Collins shows courage

Maine has a proud tradition of independence and leadership. Decades ago, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith stood up to partisan bullying in the Senate in a famous floor speech, and recently Sen. Susan Collins has shown the same courage.

Last summer, she would not endorse the deplorable behaviors of her party’s nominee, and this summer, she has protected both children and the elderly from the political storm that threatens their health care.

I want to thank both Collins and Sen. Angus King for refusing to vote for health care plans that have not been fully written, read, debated or vetted. In particular, I admire Collin’s courage to stand apart from her party in order to bravely represent her constituents.

While our governor in particular criticizes her decisions, I applaud her courage, and urge her to continue working for all of us here in Maine.

Sue Griffith

Parkman

Don’t use poison to kill bugs

Many insects cannot be killed with pesticides nowadays because they’ve developed immunity. To help save your health from poisoning, here are several natural, safe preventatives:

Sprinkle cinnamon where you observe ants, or plant mint by your door and put some sprigs in your cabinets.

Get powdered sulfur from your pharmacist, sprinkle it on your mattress and wall edges if you have bed bugs. They go “away.”

Go out in early morning while Japanese beetles are half-asleep and knock them into a large can of soapy water. Do this frequently. Or plant soy beans, which Japanese Beetles prefer.

Deer ticks are so tiny that I believe we’ve all been bitten at least once. Not all ticks have transferable diseases — the percentage is rather small. No need to panic. Simply examine your entire body, ear folds, scalp and nape of neck carefully. No slacking.

Ticks have attached to me many times, but serious tick-checks prevent their becoming imbedded after I’ve been working in the garden or outstanding in my field.

Don’t mow beautiful tall grasses; birds need their nutrient-filled seeds for their migrations. Grow raised-bed gardens instead of a wasteful lawn.

Using antibiotics every time one sees a tick on oneself is foolish; antibiotics kill natural immunities in your body, as well as any pathogens.

Whatever you do, do not have your entire house poisoned. This poisons your entire family and pets for a long time.

We need to use clean, safe practices to grow our food and live healthy, productive lives.

Nancy Oden

Jonesboro

Fulford for Congress

We all want our homes to be safe from the threats of foreclosure, but according to recent financial reports, another housing bubble like the one in 2007-2008 could burst again. And it’s happening right here: in Belfast, there are bidding wars over some properties.

A 2008 Harvard study found that over 60 percent of foreclosures were linked to “medical crises [that put] 1.5 million Americans in jeopardy of losing their homes.” And a 2014 study by bankruptcy attorney Daniel Austin, at Northeastern University Law School, found that medical debt is the single largest factor in personal bankruptcy.

Now millions of Americans could lose everything if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, or worse, replaced with a program that rewards the healthy-wealthy and assigns dangerous gaps in coverage for the rest of us. One accident or illness is all it takes.

Maine needs a representative from the 2nd Congressional District who has shown strong principles of caring, fairness and true compassion for the most vulnerable. Someone who believes in a government of, by and for the ordinary citizens of this country.

That person is Jonathan Fulford. He’s dedicated to making a better future for all of us. We can count on him to think of his constituents first and foremost. He knows that universal health care is the only answer.

Let’s give him the chance to show what a truly honest, smart and caring representative can do. There’s too much to lose if there’s no change in Congress.

Nancy E. Galland

Stockton Springs