LePage can oppose monument on own time

Gov. Paul LePage’s continuing rant against the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument does not reflect the opinion of the majority of Maine residents. If the governor chooses to go to Washington to lobby against the monument, he should plan on doing that as a private citizen, not as an official representing Maine. And, he should go there on his own dime, and his own time. Maine taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for his rancor against our national monument.

Paul Johnson


Collins overturns Senate tradition

What does it mean to be a moderate? Sen. Susan Collins has long worn that label, as pridefully as is allowable for a Mainer. Right now, she is in full-moderate mode, calling for the “ existing rules, practice and traditions” of the Senate to remain in place. This is her unity cry, after voting to allow fewer than 60 senators to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court.

Collins could have cemented her place in history as a moderate by voting “no” on the question to end debate on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The final outcome would have been the same, as there were already enough Republican senators willing to “go nuclear.” Instead, she put her allegiance to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and his continued efforts to turn every aspect of our governance into a partisan battle, over the long-term good of the legislative process.

Collins voted to overturn more than 200 years of Senate tradition, and she did so of her own free will. She called it “a profoundly sad day,” and indeed it was. Kind of like it’s a sad day when your friends decide to rob a bank and you agree to drive the getaway car. Nothing very moderate about that.

Gail Leiser

Bar Harbor

Praise to planet Earth

In a sense, this letter is my petition to the federal and state governments for a redress of grievances, one at least.

My observation over the course of my life, nearly seven decades, is that in every moment of my living, breathing life on planet Earth, the United States has been at war in one form or another: hot war, cold war, overthrowing legitimately elected governments, propping up dictators, covert war, overt war, drug war. Since 1948, there has not been one moment of actual peace. And we are paying for it. Nearly half of all discretionary spending goes to war making and its repercussions. Weapons manufacturers reap obscene profits.

Of course, if we did not do the research, we wouldn’t know. We’ve been hoodwinked, numbed and separated by the incessant marketing of corporations that run our society.

My involvement in the peace movement over the last five decades has led me to the practice of conscientious objection to war and the business of war. My spiritual, philosophical, moral and ethical beliefs do not allow me to support war or the business of war in any way. Although difficult, I have decided to make every effort to withhold any financial support for such a destructive system. I divert any money I am told I owe into community service and efforts toward the wellness of humanity and all living beings on planet Earth.

All praise to water and land protectors. All praise to those who seek and work for genuine peace on planet Earth.

Byron F. Greatorex


School district shoe policy

As many of loyal BDN readers are from Aroostook county, and many of them have family that attend Hodgdon High School, it is in the BDN’s best interest to cover the rising concern surrounding the petition to ask the school to reverse a policy asking students to remove shoes before using the gym. The online petition currently has nearly 12,000 signatures. So far, the school, the superintendent and board members have ignored the public’s demand for action.

Angelina Jackman


Maine is lucky to have Collins

I read a story the other day about people protesting the offices of Sen. Susan Collins. I had to laugh when I saw it because I thought it might be a parody article.

Protest Collins? For what? This senator is literally the most bipartisan member of Congress. She is the most reasonable person in that entire mess in Washington, D.C. She is always home in Maine, meeting with people, solving problems, and just being a Mainer through and through.

I would suggest to those protestors dressed up in silly suits and making a scene that they need to take a step back and realize how lucky we are. Collins is an asset, and one we should be proud of.

In my opinion, Collins is the best senator down there.

Jeff Mullen


People come for quality of life, not low taxes

Marcus Hutchins’ April 10 BDN OpEd, “Maine’s new income surtax for education is a step toward a prosperous society for all,” reminded me of the choice my own family faced eight years ago: whether to accept a job offer from Bowdoin College in Brunswick or one from the University of Iowa.

My husband and I considered things like which place was closer to family (Iowa won out in that aspect) and which job would be most professionally satisfying (Bowdoin won there). Salaries were equally commensurate with cost of living, so that was a wash.

We chose Maine in large part because we decided it would offer our family a better quality of life. We did not consider income tax differences between the two states, but we did consider quality of public schools, especially because our son was 3 years old at the time.

Gov. Paul LePage said he knows people who have fled Maine to avoid higher income taxes. But wouldn’t more people, like us, move to Maine because of what those taxes buy, such as good public schools?

If the governor and some Maine legislators have their way and overturn the education surtax approved by Mainers last year, we may never know.

Honoring the will of Maine voters by implementing the 3 percent education surtax on annual income over $200,000 would benefit Maine kids and boost our state’s prosperity.

Lisa Ledwidge