Give lawmakers a raise

I was surprised and disheartened to read the March 26 BDN article headlined, “How much does each lawmaker costs Maine?” It was followed by a breakdown of how lawmakers are compensated nationwide. Apparently, in neighboring New Hampshire lawmakers make $100 per year. Please, let’s not start a race to the bottom.

As a resident of Maine, I am in awe of how hard these public servants work and how little they are compensated for it. Whether I agree or disagree with them, I have found my legislators to be responsive and accessible. During my yearly trips to the State House for “Girls Day at the State House,” my eighth-grade girls always come away with the sense of honor and joy with which these individuals serve. Robert Hunt, clerk of the House, pointed out that while debating a bill, the legislators have seen the sun go down out one of the State House windows and have seen it come up outside another window.

In my view, we should be thanking our legislators for all of of their hard work, not wringing our hands about how much they “cost” us. Perhaps the best way to say thank you is with a pay raise.

Carol Rosinski


Bangor’s ethical dilemma

I just finished reading the article in the BDN about Bangor residents wanting to void the contract with Alex Gray of Waterfront Concerts. The City Council has an ethical dilemma to resolve. It is important for the city to honor the contract that it has already signed. It is also important to be clear that domestic violence is not tolerated.

Let’s not pretend there will be Waterfront Concerts in Bangor without Gray. He is the driving force of that company. If he is forced to step down from the leadership of the company, it will probably not survive for very long. Waterfront Concerts, along with the folk festival, has been instrumental in reviving the Bangor waterfront and the downtown businesses. There will be a profound economic impact on area businesses if there are no concerts.

On the other hand, we cannot tolerate domestic violence. There is no good or easy answer to such a dilemma. I urge the councilors and the residents of Bangor to think carefully, considering all of the possible unintended consequences and make the best decision possible for the good of the community.

Constance Poulin


Don’t endanger Bangor concerts

Before the city of Bangor proceeds to the consideration of cutting ties with Alex Gray, owner of Waterfront Concerts, consider this: Because the Waterfront Concerts has been such a success, his name is well known, as are his legal problems.

But if the city cut ties with him, make sure that the ones that deliver the water or office supplies, fill the soda machine, or contract any services to the city have a clean record over their lifetime, as well as their bosses. Investigate all, male and female.

Gray has paid for this crime. Don’t endanger the waterfront concerts as a result of political correctness.

Dave Clark


Abortion is wrong

Once again, we hear from Andrea Irwin, executive director of the Mabel Wadsworth Center in Bangor and Nicole Clegg of Planned Parenthood in an April 6 BDN OpEd asking why abortion should be an immediate issue for Maine’s governor. In reality, it should be a priority issue for everyone who is concerned about the pre-meditated killing of unborn babies, which the Wadsworth Center and Planned Parenthood shamelessly promote and profit from.

Irwin and Clegg whine about lack of accurate reporting, declaring it a myth that abortion is a divisive issue when, in fact, it is a leading topic politically. The twisted notion that they want to dismiss and portray abortion as the new norm is disgraceful. Additionally, they suggest that politicians who want to represent their constituents should support women’s health, which includes access to abortion. Quite obviously they don’t represent me and millions of other concerned Americans.

And speaking of women’s health, of which they appear to be hypocritical supporters, if every woman’s life matters what could be more hostile to women than the abortion of nearly 1 million unborn babies annually, of which statistically, one-half are female? How many more millions of legal, pre-meditated killings will have to occur before our unresponsive legislators and public officials do the right thing and ban these horrific procedures?

Nature shows us that all unborns have an inalienable right to see the light of day and to experience the beauty of God’s creation.

Joe Bertolaccini


Make Maine safer

Seventeen high schoolers were killed on Feb. 14 in their classrooms in Parkland, Florida. Rocked by this tragedy and inspired by the bravery of high schoolers across the nation, college students across Maine asked ourselves: How can we stop gun violence?

As Mainers, we appreciate the role of hunting and responsible gun ownership in our culture and economy. We do not want guns taken away from responsible and trained owners. We are, however, in search of solutions that would prevent such tragedies from happening again.

One solution is the “red flag” bill. This bill would allow family members or law enforcement officers to identify individuals whose behavior suggests they may hurt themselves or others, and petition to remove their firearms for a maximum of 21 days. This is an excellent first step toward making Maine a safer place for everyone while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners.

A coalition of concerned students, called Bowdoin Demands Action, with the Maine College Democrats, College Democrats of Husson University and the Colby College Democrats, want to express our support for this bill. We believe it will remove firearms from those wishing to hurt others and from people struggling with self-harm. We urge lawmakers to think of the good that this bill could do, rather than the backlash from the NRA.

This group of college students unequivocally supports efforts by high schoolers to make our schools and streets safer. We support common-sense gun legislation. We support responsible gun owners. We support making Maine a safer place.

Emma Kane

South Portland