Invest in early childhood education

I appreciated reading Nancy Brain and Barbara Reinertsen’s March 27 OpEd, “A commitment to poor children’s well-being is key to Maine’s future prosperity.” I was particularly interested in the findings they cited from a 2013 University of Maine study on the importance of investing in the early childhood education of our state’s poorer kids. While the study indicates high-quality early learning programs help put our kids on “paths leading to fiscally responsible futures,” I want to add that early education programs also help to prevent kids from choosing a life of crime.

As police chief in Old Town, and having served in law enforcement for my entire career, I have witnessed the powerful influence early childhood education programs can have on changing the trajectory of some kids’ lives. And evidence shows that reaching our at-risk youth early with childhood education programs such as Head Start and prekindergarten significantly improves their ability to succeed in school and life — and not become criminals — by giving them a solid foundation and the social, emotional and cognitive development support and skills they need early in life for future success. For some kids, early childhood education programs are a real game changer.

I urge Maine lawmakers to commit to investments that help put Maine’s less-advantaged kids on a path to success. Providing at-risk kids with high-quality early learning programs that give them a strong start in life is a proven investment in their ability to succeed in life, and not choose crime.

Scott Wilcox

Chief of police

Old Town

Horoscope too harsh

I am an avid horoscope reader, and I believe in them to help people reassure themselves that they are on the right path and making the right decisions. I am a scorpio, and my horoscope in the BDN the other day basically said that it’s my fault that I have no one in my life.

I have severe depression, anxiety and mental instabilities, and that horoscope made me so upset I almost reverted to my old habits. Luckily, I have a safety net for when I feel myself depleting, but what about other people who don’t?

I just feel like maybe horoscope writer Holiday Mathis should try a little harder to make her points a little less harsh. Take into consideration not everyone has broad shoulders, or someone who can help them with their issues, and they really live by their horoscopes each day and depend on the guidance to help them, not discourage them.

Brittany McKinnon


Collins supports Maine veterans

I am writing today to state what outstanding support I have seen from Sen. Susan Collins in Washington toward our veterans.

Recently, I accompanied a group of veterans from the American Legion that called upon Collins’ office and presented a legislative agenda for the 115th Congress that we want supported. Our contingent was very warmly received as we went over 14 issues that are important to our nation’s veterans. They range from fully funding a superior national defense to reforming the VA’s claims appeals process, support for veteran-owned small businesses, and finishes with an amendment protecting our flag.

Collins could not have been more gracious or welcoming. She is leading her colleagues in supporting our veterans and looking for ways to improve their lives. Collins is a leader in caring for our veterans, and I support her efforts in this area.

Douglas Damon


Collins votes for nuclear option

Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday voted to change Senate rules because she and her GOP colleagues wanted to secure the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. She did this despite being a vocal critic of using the “nuclear option” to require only a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, opposing it in the past, and most likely receiving a very high volume of calls asking her to demonstrate some integrity and oppose the rule change. She did this despite building a career on a moderate platform, one that advocates respect for democracy and for Senate rules and traditions.

How did she justify that to herself, and how can she possibly explain it to the public in a way that will make some sense?

Collins has voted with her party to push through many questionable Cabinet nominations. Rex Tillerson for secretary of state with his longstanding business connections in Russia and his lack of either government or military experience. Steven Mnunchin for treasury secretary with his involvement in the mortgage crisis. Jeff Sessions for attorney general with the allegations that he intimidated civil rights activists. And now she voted to change Senate rules to push through a highly-contested Supreme Court nominee who did not have sufficient bipartisan support to actually earn the seat.

From what I see, Collins is far from moderate, she does not work to represent her constituents in a balanced manner, and she does not truly respect the democratic process.

Julie Schneider


Maine benefits from Collins’ leadership

In these times of anger and partisan strife, when bipartisanship and compromise seem to be going out of vogue, moderate members of both political parties are increasingly coming under unfair attack. Now, more than ever, these members of Congress deserve our support for reaching across the aisle and working to move our country forward.

For the past two decades, Maine has benefitted from the leadership of Sen. Susan Collins, who has consistently represented the state with class, eloquence and courageous independence. Throughout her public service, she has effectively pursued a pragmatic and cooperative approach.

While I have not agreed with every vote she has cast, I respect that she always listens to diverse perspectives, undergoes careful deliberations, and provides detailed explanation on how she reaches her decisions. Despite the partisanship and increased division amongst her colleagues she continues to seek solutions to the difficult problems at hand with an open mind.

It is unfortunate that our country seems to be moving away from this type of honest, thoughtful, and inclusive style of representation, yet I am proud to live in a state whose senior senator shines in that regard. I thank Collins for her tireless work, commitment and belief in this state and the nation. Collins, must continue to fight the good fight.

Micki Sumpter

Mount Desert