Green New Deal, green jobs

Last summer, I worked on rooftops from Damariscotta to Bar Harbor to Bangor, installing solar for a small family-owned company. I loved the job. It paid a good hourly wage, I learned a ton, and the view from the “office” changed every day. But more than anything, the job was fulfilling: every solar panel installed meant a few less watts coming from fossil fuels, and that is crucial, as climate change is happening right here and right now.

The Gulf of Maine is warming up, and the latest report from the United Nations says we have only 12 years to transform our economy to save the world. Thankfully there’s a plan: the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal would create a massive mobilization to keep us safe from climate change and create millions of green jobs. That means thousands of good jobs here in Maine, just like mine.

So why haven’t Sens. Angus King or Susan Collins voiced their support? Why hasn’t Rep. Jared Golden signed on? The Green New Deal is common-sense policy that is overwhelmingly popular among the American people. For the sake of our state and our planet, I hope our representatives support the Green New Deal now.

Nick Googins


Caring health staff

I recently spent some time at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor as a patient and have a couple of comments.

First of all, for the size of our city we are gifted with some of the best health care available anywhere. We have hospitals, doctors, clinics, testing labs, EMTs, all right here in our city.

I found everyone I dealt with as a patient to be friendly, compassionate and helpful in every way. The doctors, medical assistants, physician assistants, nurses, techs, transport folks, room cleaners were all be friendly and they did their best to make ones stay as comfortable and painless as possible.

Well done all.

Frank Carr


Non Sequitur censorship

After careful rereading of my favorite comic strip in the Bangor Daily News, I find the BDN’s censorship offensive. What happened to freedom of speech and protection of satire and humorous expression of political differences?

I find no “hidden” profanity in “Non Sequitur.” The strip’s characters are forthright in disdain for right-wing politics. Many other comic strips do the same, and some play more vigorously with concepts of profane language.

If the BDN is worried about offending anyone, the paper should abandon publication entirely. The editorial pages, choices of placement for news stories and headlines, pictures of tragedies all risk offense. Years ago the BDN moved daily “Doonesbury” to the editorial page though we still enjoy it in color on weekends.

Who in the BDN hierarchy makes such decisions? I am so sad for the BDN — and somewhat offended.

Sharon Bray


A complicated history

All the talk about the governor of Virginia wearing blackface back in medical school is missing a historical perspective: the minstrel show. It was a popular form of entertaining during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The stage shows consisted of a cast of white men in blackface performing humorous and musical skits, an interlocutor or host, two comic end men and a variety of entertainers. Thankfully, their portrayal of blacks as dim-witted was eventually determined to be inappropriate and the shows were gradually ended.

Eliot Chandler


How to reunify families

Thousands of migrant children have been detained, and we’re now told we can’t find their parents. In the America I grew up in, even a convicted serial killer on death row would be allowed to see his or her child.

The person who is in charge of any government agency involved should be given an iPad and an assistant who has completed at least third grade. When the government is on shutdown status, thousands of volunteers would appear.

They would set up a website with a closeup photo of every child, announce on every news medium that the faces will each be on view 30 seconds in nonstop rotation until the last of our lost children is found.

People watching would send a message instantaneously when they see a child they know, or think they know. Every positive hit would trigger a single loud bell.

The cacophony of bells would echo around the world. People everywhere would be crying. It would be addictive. I’d watch for 1,000 years if it were my child.

It only might take until noon. The third-grader would show the government agency how to use an iPad. Better still, give John Walsh one afternoon.

Paul Liebow