Kavanaugh a threat to environment

Sen. Susan Collins needs to see how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ruled on legal matters while he was in the Bush administration. She needs to consider this information when she makes her decision. This top position of power cannot be taken slightly. Kavanaugh is a threat to our environment and our public health. Collins must vote no on his nomination for the health of Mainers and all people who face a threat to the safety of our air and water quality.

Kavanaugh has sided with polluters over challenges to clean air and clean water regulations. He has voted to allow companies to dump pollution in our waterways, blocked protections against air pollution that crosses state lines and fought against our ability to limit dangerous pollutants like mercury. If he’s confirmed, he could undermine significant protections that’ve been in place for generations. Protections that’ve been in place because of the hard work previous generations have done to protect the future health of life on earth. I respect their fight, and the fight that carries on.

Kavanaugh’s nomination will be a vote for an anti-environmental judge who will help finish the job that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt started by rolling back environmental protections.

Collins should not vote on his nomination until she sees the records from his time in the Bush administration, which will be out in late October. Maine people need to see her taking this appointment as seriously as we do.

Kirsten Gonya

Berwick

Social Security reliable lifeline

For years Americans have retired with a greater sense of financial security thanks to the Social Security system. Throughout their working lives, Americans allocate part of their pay check to the program, knowing that when they reach retirement age they will have a steady income to live on.

Today, more than 81,000 retired Mainers receive Social Security benefits. These benefits help Mainers to age with dignity, by helping to pay for their medical care, home maintenance and heating costs, and put food on their tables. Few benefits are as reliable as Social Security. Companies can go bankrupt. Pensions can vanish. The stock market can take a nosedive. But Social Security benefits have been a lifeline in good times and bad.

As one of the oldest states in the nation, it is imperative to Maine’s retirees that Social Security remains strong. In Maine, 47 percent of retirees are lifted above the poverty line by Social Security. With rising health care and utility costs, they can’t afford cuts to their benefits. Thirty-four percent of Maine beneficiaries have no other source of income.

This election season, the future of Social Security is on the line. It is important to know where congressional candidates stand on keeping Social Security strong for current and future retirees. I urge you to ask your candidates where they stand on this important issue, and please pledge to vote this November.

The employment and retirement landscape is changing. But Social Security is a deal that must be strengthened, not broken.

Roberta Downey

Communications Volunteer

AARP Maine

Bangor

Andrews for Maine Senate

Has the economy gotten better for Piscataquis County?

“Where are the jobs?” asked the young man who answered the first door I knocked on for Sue Mackey Andrews, who is running for Maine Senate District 4.

I remember when women took piece work home from Dexter Shoe, a good mill job. More people were getting by and raising a family. They could expect to see their kids stay around after high school or college to find a job. These days are over, sadly. Our nation is touting economic growth with low unemployment rates, but Piscataquis County hasn’t seen this.

Andrews is my choice for Senate District 4 because she can bring modern economic development. She understands the importance of a good education with healthy children and families. Andrews supports Medicaid expansion to address the opioid crisis.

After surgery, I was unable to manage on my own and drive to Bangor. Without Medicaid expansion, we may soon lose our local hospitals and nursing care. We need a healthy workforce free of debilitating drugs and with health care provided by skilled practitioners. We need our kids safe at school, free of violence and food insecurity that hampers health and learning.

Are we doing any better since the mills marched south? No. I’m voting for Andrews for the Maine Senate because she’ll fight in Augusta with real solutions for real recovery in District 4, not just keep the status quo.

Katy Waitt

Sebec