What Pickering Square can be

I was glad to see the large turnout and thoughtful speakers at the Jan. 13 hearing about the Pickering Square bus hub. It is particularly encouraging that speakers on both sides expressed a desire for a strong public transit system and a vibrant, walkable downtown.

The different perspectives seem to arise from the question of whether a bus hub fits in pedestrian-friendly community space. According to Project for Public Space, “At the heart of a transit-friendly community is a station that is comfortable and convenient for transit riders and … creates a sense of place for commuters and visitors alike.”

Pickering Square can be that. I moved to Bangor at age 20 and have made it home for the past 12 years, five of them without a car. What keeps me here are the relationships I’ve built; the bus has been central to that. On the curbs of Pickering Square, I have reconnected with old friends, met professional contacts and struck conversations with strangers about how to solve community issues, all while waiting for a bus.

I have helped organize events in Pickering Square attended and enjoyed by all ages. The presence of the bus hub there has been an asset to these events and part of why we held them there.

Quality of place is more than beautiful landscaping. If Bangor wants a vibrant pedestrian-friendly center where people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, faiths and lifestyles connect and community is built, keeping the bus hub in Pickering Square is the right choice.

Martin Chartrand

Bangor

The choice for Collins

Sen. Susan Collins has had a long career marked by reason and willingness to compromise. She is now facing pressure both from the left and the right and may very well be serving her last term in the Senate.

She now must choose whether to go into history as the master fence-sitter of all time or as a courageous senator who demanded that the monumentally important impeachment trial of a sitting president be conducted with witnesses, facts and an impartial search for the truth.

Nathan Freeman

Orrington

Counting kids in the 2020 Census

The U.S. Census will begin collecting data this year, in March. You should participate accurately in the 2020 census to direct money and power back to you.

Please make sure that all kids are included. During the last census, 1 million kids were left out of the count.

Let’s look at these issues: money, power and kids.

Money: Numbers from the U.S. Census are used to determine how funding is directed to your state and community. This money will be used for infrastructure — like roads and bridges, education and grants.

Power: The U.S. Census is used to decide how you, your community and your state will be represented in our government. That’s important to advance your needs and interests.

Kids: In the last census, kids were the most underrepresented group of all. Census data will be used for the next 10 years. To be accurate, all infants, children and adolescents need to be properly included. That means that every newborn should be counted.

Even unrelated kids need to be counted, like foster care kids. If kids spend time in different homes, as many do, count them in the one where they spend the most time, even if it is with a grandparent.

Information collected in the census is confidential, by law, presenting no concern for any repercussions. It can be completed in person, by mail, or through the internet, where it is translated in every language.

All kids count; so, include each one in the census. The census helps us by directing power and money our way, for our kids and for the future.

Janice L. Pelletier, MD, FAAP

Orono