Vote yes on Question 1

Few ballot questions have generated as much fierce debate as Question 1 involving mandatory vaccines. We were told that this law was passed to protect the public from unvaccinated individuals, but that does not seem to be the case.

According to a 2018 report from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of whooping cough cases occurred in vaccinated individuals; a 2019 measles case in our state, the first in two years, was in a vaccinated individual; and up until 20 years ago, the polio vaccination caused a resurgence of the disease until changes were made to the vaccine. But these facts do not seem to deter supporters of this law from using fear to justify removing voluntary consent to a medical procedure.

Vaccines carry the risk of injury or death. Since 1986, more than $4 billion has been awarded to those injured or killed by vaccines. Without the right to choose this risk for ourselves or our children, we are no longer a free people. You may agree with the 15 doses required with this new law, but what if several vaccines are added that you don’t agree with? You can no longer opt out.

But thanks to a grassroots people’s veto campaign, Maine has the opportunity to undo this assault on our freedom. Send a message to the pharmaceutical industry and government officials that we will not surrender this basic human right. Help preserve medical freedom in Maine. Vote yes on Question 1.

Donna Dodge


Support consumer-owned power to fight climate change

Wouldn’t it be great if Central Maine Power was actually owned by Mainers? Under the bipartisan bill LD 1646, CMP and Emera Maine would become a consumer-owned utility owned by us as Mainers, instead of outside investors.

As a parent, I’m part of a new branch of 350 Maine — calling ourselves Families Talking Climate — because it’s time to reckon seriously with this climate crisis we’re raising our kids in. A consumer-owned utility is our best bet to achieve the rapid and fair transition to a clean energy economy.

I thought hard about what to emphasize here; maybe downplay the climate angle, don’t ruffle feathers, just stick to the numbers. And the numbers are convincing: consumer-owned utilities average twice as reliable service at 13 percent lower rates.

But no — I have my kids, all our kids, to answer to. When students walk out across the state to demand we adults step up and take responsibility for this climate mess we’ve made, this is what they mean.

Taking investor profits out of the equation means we can finally focus on swiftly building a resilient, 100 percent renewable grid, instead of the outrageous current situation: CMP lobbying — spending our ratepayer funds — to block the expansion of solar or find alternatives to huge transmission line projects.

Tell your representatives, “I’m doing my part to create a livable Maine for our kids. Now you do yours, and support LD 1646.”

Caitlin Marshall


Vaccines benefit us all

At the beginning of March, in addition to the Democratic primary, we will have a vote to determine whether we should overturn the law passed last year to require students to be vaccinated to attend school.

l feel that the people’s veto of this law is short-sighted and should be rejected. The World Health Organization considers vaccination hesitancy one of the greatest health threats in society today, and this is especially true here in Maine. An unvaccinated student can be a health threat to fellow students.

In March, please reject the people’s veto and leave the mandatory vaccination law in place. It will benefit all of us.

Tom Dipasqua


Trump’s tweet narrative

I don’t think the American people realize that what they are facing is a narrative. A narrative has nothing to do with truth, and attacking a narrative with truth, as does Rep. Adam Schiff, simply does not compute.

Behind the scenes, the president has had people expert in media, some from Fox, producing his program. You don’t ever hear much about the producers of a show.

The narrative is driven by tweets, and the president controls the narrative, and changes it at will, devoid of truth; because it is a narrative. You cannot fight narrative with truth — every writer knows that. You must fight narrative either by cancelling the show, or else coming up with a counter narrative that will catch the people’s attention.

The Democrats are slogging along in the realities of a campaign, facing hurt, disappointment, sometimes winning, sometimes losing — and that’s not a narrative. That’s the pain of real life.

The Democrats cannot come up with a counter-narrative. They just need to get the show canceled, which is what they are trying to do.

Philip C. Groce


Life and death before vaccines

Most memories get murky and fade over time, others are seared into our consciousness and last forever. For my mother, that happened from witnessing her brothers and sisters dying when she was a child.

Mom was born in 1911, the second of eight children. Only three survived to adulthood, the rest all died of what are now vaccine-preventable diseases. Her older brother, Malcolm, died when he was eight from polio. Andrew died from meningitis. Inez from diphtheria. May succumbed to measles. Margaret was taken by pneumonia.

Thankfully, most Americans live in an environment where we assume that our babies will not be ripped from us by “childhood diseases.” Those of us born post-World War II have grown up during the age of vaccines which essentially eliminated these scourges. I have clear memories of kids in my neighborhood during the 1950s being killed and crippled by polio. When I was in medical school and residency, I did lots of spinal taps on sick children searching for meningitis. Then a vaccine for Haemophilus influenza bacterial infections became available and meningitis and pneumonia from this deadly germ essentially disappeared.

I fear that our society has grown so secure from the miraculous success of childhood immunizations that we forget how common childhood death and permanent disability was, and still is in many parts of the world. We must not be so complacent that we allow ourselves to relive the horror that my mother and her parents went through.

Vote no on Question 1.

Harry Grimmnitz