Save the brookies

As a Maine angler for over 55 years, I’ve learned that brook trout are the most beautiful fish anywhere, and also the most fragile and most vulnerable. Efforts to roll back fuel economy and emissions targets established during the Obama era threaten those beauties, and other fish, which contribute tremendously to the rapidly growing tourist economy of Maine as well as our angling culture. Both the economy and culture rise and fall with the health of the environment and our watersheds.

The Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 is deceptively named. Rolling back emissions standards certainly doesn’t make cars safer. It does help the already profitable foreign and domestic automakers by backing off entirely achievable emissions targets.

Congress is doing precious little to protect our brook trout in the pristine, well oxygenated and cold water they require. Maine is already the tailpipe of the country as a result of carbon dioxide-emitting smokestacks in the Midwest. In addition to acid rain from CO2, the climate change caused by the CO2 warms the water, reducing dissolved oxygen and pushing the range of the brook trout further north and eventually out of Maine.

If we don’t set achievable but aggressive goals to reduce vehicle emissions and take other action to curb climate change, the Maine brook trout is doomed. Save the brookies.

Steven Mogul

Bangor

Reject Kavanaugh’s nomination

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has a clear record on women’s health. He has ruled against a woman’s right to privacy, against affordable access to care and against access to contraception.

Sen. Susan Collins did not listen to us about Jeff Sessions, who is working to dismantle our civil rights, ignores the Constitution’s separation of church and state, and punishes children and their families seeking asylum. She did not listen to us about Ryan Zinke, another grifter who sees our beautiful, sacred lands only as a way to make a profit by their destruction. This time she must listen to us.

We will not go back to back-alley abortions, to gag rules that harm our abilities to make good decisions about our health, and we will not have our family planning timeline dictated by others.

Collins must vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination. No nominee should be voted on until Robert Mueller’s investigation is finished and a new Congress is seated.

Catherine Masters

Deer Isle

Help elders live independently

I’m 74 years old. My husband passed away eight years ago. After he passed, the bills became too much for me to handle alone, and I sold the house.

It was our dream house, the place we grew old together, and it was hard to part with it. What’s even more concerning, though, is where I go next. I now live in an apartment. As I grow older, I want to know that I can continue living independently. This year, Question 1 will help ensure seniors like me can stay more independent longer by expanding homecare.

It also ensures that none of my kids or grandkids will have to quit their jobs to take care of me full time.

What’s even better is how it’s paid for. I worked for 40 years, and I paid 6.2 percent in payroll taxes my entire life. What isn’t fair is that the rich get a special tax break so they don’t pay as much in payroll taxes as people like me. This question would close part of that loophole so that the rich start paying more of what they owe.

Question 1 is not just good for the economy. It doesn’t make sense to force adults with jobs, mortgages and student loans out of the workforce to care for their parents. It doesn’t make sense to waste money on nursing homes we don’t want to be in anyway.

Vote yes on Question 1 for your grandparents and your grandkids.

Maxine Knowles

Bangor