Warren is the most qualified candidate

As the Iowa Caucus approaches, it seems that one candidate, Elizabeth Warren, is getting less buzz than Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg or Joe Biden. Some people I talk to say she’s “too far left,” “too academic” or that old chestnut, “She’s not electable.” Well, I say rubbish. It’s almost as if the Republican talking points have infiltrated the Democratic primary process.

Yes, she wants to make some big changes in Washington. Yes, she’s left of center. But this country needs bold new ideas, and that’s what she offers in abundance. And she has the integrity, courage, intellect and compassion this country really needs right now.

The one issue she has been hammered on is Medicare for all. They say “people don’t want to have their insurance taken away from them.” As someone who spent 18 years in the insurance industry, I tell you that’s nonsense. Who really loves their insurance companies? You mean those outrageous premiums, high deductibles and copays, the exclusions and limitations? Those thousands of dollars in medical bills your insurance won’t pay? One thing I do know: Your insurance company is not your friend. Nor will it suffer if Medicare eligibility is expanded to include all people. The industry will still make a fortune in “Medigap” coverage.

Warren is not against insurance companies. She’s against corporate greed and corruption. And I think she is the most qualified candidate in the field.

Bill Barnes


Support local journalism

I’m wondering if Maine residents realize how truly lucky we are to have the Bangor Daily News available to us six days a week in print and online. I am a former resident of Ellsworth, but have chosen to continue my BDN subscription in Portland because the BDN is a truly fine newspaper.

Take the Saturday, Jan. 4, edition for example. Open it up to the editorial and OpEd pages. Its format is much like that of The New York Times. There are three OpEds, two marvelous Danby cartoons (as always), excellent letters and commentary from the Seattle Times, the latter of which prompted this letter. It’s on saving community newspapers like this one. There are consistently three to four OpEds, six days a week in the BDN. I just read that the Portland Press Herald will no longer publish a print edition on Mondays.

Do you know how rare a paper like the BDN has become across the country? Most newspapers have been forced to replace much of their content with ads. I have an online subscription to The New York Times as well, but before I did, I would read articles from the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer, the Dallas Morning Star, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, the Des Moines Register, etc., until my free articles expired. They are all good newspapers, but do not provide as consistently excellent local, national and international coverage as the BDN.

Please do as the Seattle Times asks: show your “resounding support for the mission to help local journalism thrive.”

Barbara Conroy


Location ideas for a new bus hub

The city of Bangor has received more than $1 million for a new hub for the community buses. Bus riders deserve a hub that works for them. Off the road, convenient and with a decent shelter. There are several such locations, not far from Pickering Square, and none of them located in a roadway.

The best choice might be Abbott Square. It is quite large, hardly used and almost adjacent to the public library. Every bus rider could access the library and with no transfer needed. Also there is shopping on both Harlow and Center streets with many shops and eateries. Or even a walk over the bridge and out along the Kenduskeag Stream.

Another possibility would be the municipal parking lot on Exchange Street. Bus riders would find it is a short walk over the pedestrian bridge to downtown Bangor.

Although it is now used for parking, there are many other available parking spots in that area. One is the parking garage. Another is behind the Camden Bank along the Kenduskeag Stream.

A third space for the hub would be behind the Dollar Store at State Street and Broadway. Not as close, but possible.

Any of these would provide a space of their own, off road and with a shelter.

Sandra Lane Johnson