Prevention is the cure

“A stitch in time saves nine.” “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” “Don’t let the genie out of the bottle.” “Don’t add fuel to the fire.” When I was a child, I wasn’t sure what these meant.

It is easier to stop something in the early stages than to wait until it gets out of control. We have seen this with the COVID-19 pandemic. The countries that acted early and boldly have done the best.

Climate change is also a global threat. Have you seen the recent pictures of cities without smog? They are beautiful! Studies show that some of the best ways to reduce climate change are free family planning, educating girls worldwide, refrigerant reductions, wind and solar power, reduced food waste and plant-rich diets.

Nuclear weapons are also a global threat. If the New START treaty expires next February, it could destabilize the U.S. and Russia, and lead to a new arms race. Current and former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly support the treaty. Unfortunately, the current U.S. president doesn’t seem to want to continue it.

We are facing a triple threat of COVID-19, climate change and nuclear weapons. These all require early and bold action. I urge you to contact your senators to co-sponsor S. 2394 to continue the New Start treaty, and contact Rep. Jared Golden to co-sponsor H.R. 109, the Green New Deal resolution to reduce climate change. Do this for our children.

Kathryn Bourgoin

Orono

Gideon and veterans

Sara Gideon leads the way in helping military veterans. As a veteran, I have applauded Gideon’s leadership in Augusta to improve the lives of Maine’s veterans by filling gaps in veterans’ services and benefits.

Gideon voted to fund veteran homelessness prevention. She worked to expand health care coverage for veterans, including mental health care. Gideon also voted to grant in-state tuition to all veterans attending Maine colleges. Veterans are better off because of her work.

And I believe Gideon will do much more for our veterans in Washington, D.C. Instead of filling the gaps, she will ensure that veterans’ benefits and services are neither neglected nor eroded, but reinforced and improved. In these times, we need to send her to Capitol Hill to continue serving our Maine veterans. Join me in voting for Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate.

Mark Balfantz

Portland

Delivering for the USPS

I am writing in support of the U.S. Postal Service and to endorse Sen. Angus King’s efforts on its behalf. In these times of attempting to ease financial burdens due to the coronavirus, it is interesting to note that zero funding was allotted to our national postal service.

Sheltering at home has undoubtedly fostered more online buying and Amazon is booming, but our most valuable asset for connectedness is completely ignored. The USPS delivers not only these packages, but also census forms, medications, Medicare checks, etc.

Unfortunately, a law was passed in 2006 requiring the USPS to pre-pay retirement benefits at least 50 years in advance, a situation unique to the postal service. They do an amazing job and have a high approval rating, but struggle under the weight of this mandate. It receives no funding other than reimbursements for nonprofit and lawmaker mailings.

It’s time to support this American institution that has served us so well for so many years!

Jean Vitali

Belfast

The new normal

We’re talking about getting back to normal. But is normal really working for us? Lately Mother Nature has been serving us hard pills to swallow. For years, science warned us that we are warming our planet at an alarming rate. I believe burning fossil fuels, excessive energy usage and our consumerism is no longer viable. Marine life is dying, and numerous land species are moving toward extinction faster than any time in human history.

The handwriting on the wall is clear: this pandemic is foreshadowing further disasters. It’s also an opportunity to seize this moment and immediately end our denial. Science is telling us we need to move rapidly if we are to salvage the future. We cannot do this alone. We need to do this together as one united front.

We hear the phrase, “We are all in this together.” Really? How can we move together when privatized health care systems have deliberately erected barriers and health care is tied to ones’ employment. And still about a third have inadequate or no healthcare. Privatization of this and other common services is pulling us apart.

To face continuous crises and be “all in this together,” it’s time for a comprehensive expansion of our commons and the enactment of an equitable financial and taxation system that ensures we are all in this new normal together. We have the technology, we just need the courage to work rapidly toward a liveable and equitable future for all. Enough with more studies, let’s move on now.

Clifford Krolick

Candidate for the Maine House of Representatives

Parsonsfield

USPS concern

I’m writing because of my deep concern about our U.S. Postal Service. Due to no fault of their own, the USPS is on the verge of bankruptcy. This has to do with a couple of issues: A law passed in 2006 requiring USPS to fully fund employee retirement 50 years into the future. No other government agency or private corporation has to adhere to such a requirement. Now we have the COVID-19 crisis and USPS use has dropped precipitously.

According to Mark Dimondstein, president of the Postal Workers Union, the USPS receives no government funding and relies entirely on revenue to fund their services. The USPS has served us faithfully since our country was founded.

We have an election coming up and the postal service could play a critical role securing equal access to the ballot box. How many people will feel they want to go out and wait in line at their polling places to vote in the state primaries and in the national election in November?

I urge people to contact their senators and representatives to tell them to do everything they can to support our USPS.

Carol Rosinski

Ellsworth