Maine need immigrants

At Mano en Mano’s annual meeting on April 7, 67 people from Down East Maine signed the following statement in support of immigrants. I am sharing this statement with the broader community in honor of the Day without Immigrants on May 1, a national action to highlight the contributions of immigrants in every aspect of our society.

“We the undersigned believe that immigrants and farmworkers are an integral part of our community. We recognize that in places like Washington County, where the population has been shrinking for decades, the economic, cultural and social contributions of immigrants are particularly invaluable. We strive for an even stronger and more inclusive Downeast Maine, knowing that our future will be brighter together. And we agree to stand in solidarity with immigrants and farmworkers here in Maine and throughout the United States today and every day. Si se puede.”

Beth Russet

Board member

Mano en Mano


School nurses critical

On May 10, the Maine Association of School Nurses recognizes school nurses by celebrating National School Nurse Day as a way to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting.

Parents should be able to send their children to school with the peace of mind that they will remain healthy, safe and ready to learn. Given that today’s children face more chronic health illnesses — asthma, diabetes, food allergies, mental health — than ever before, we take our role as a licensed, professional school nurse very seriously. Our knowledge, assessment skills and judgment help ensure we can provide quality health care to children guided by the principles in the Framework for the 21st Century School Nurse developed by the National Association of School Nurses.

School nurses take on a variety of roles every day. For many children, we are the only health professional they may have access to, except in emergencies. This becomes even more important as the prevalence of chronic social, emotional and other health problems keep increasing. We help develop, implement and monitor individualized health care plans for these students.

It seems like common sense that healthier students are better learners. Evidence-based research in fields ranging from neuroscience and child development to epidemiology and public health support this argument. Our elected officials must invest in programs and services that seek to improve the health and well-being outcomes of all children.

Janis Hogan

Maine director

National Association of School Nurses


Waldo County supports solar

I was very pleased to learn of Rep. Seth Berry’s bill, LD 1373, An Act To Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine. At a Waldo County candidates’ forum at Belfast’s Hutchinson Center last fall, many candidates voiced support for solar power, including Reps. Stanley Paige Zeigler Jr., Erin Herbig and Maryanne Kinney.

A similar bill, LD 1649, was passed last year, then vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. Reps. James Gillway and Herbig and Senate President Mike Thibodeau were among the supporters. During two House attempts to override the veto, it failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority on the second round by three votes. Reportedly, several opposing Republican representatives avoided the vote in an office.

Among those absent for the second vote was Kinney, though she had voted to override the veto the first time around. Having voiced her support for solar power in Maine on her Facebook page and at the candidate’s forum, she took issue with subsequent criticism that she had intentionally ducked out during the final vote. As she explained on Facebook, she received an urgent text from her mother

With LD 1373, she can show her constituents that she truly does support solar power in Maine. This bill is a chance to create jobs, lower energy costs, and align with other states in our region. I am proud of our Waldo County legislators, and I hope the rest of the state will follow suit.

Bernice Nadler