Patriotism and being uninformed

A fellow citizen wrote a letter to the editor in the BDN that, as I read it, accuses the protesters of the long-standing medical guidelines now in effect due to the new virus of being “fake patriots.” A patriot, as I understand it, is one who stands behind the love he or she has for their country.

I believe this virus has been way overblown by the mainstream media, which has caused abject fear. It is so bad that we are being ordered to stay at home, wear a mask and not congregate.

Yes, some people are dying from it and most of those that die from it have other outstanding issues that complicate the issue. We were hit by a sucker punch not one of us could prevent.

However, we cannot continue to allow our economy to be wiped out, and people need to get back to work. We have a right to protest, we have a right to congregate and we have a right to leave our homes. Our Bill of Rights and our Constitution guarantee those rights. We believe in a free country as founded. Life itself is a risk and if we do not take risks then who are we? Puppets?

I would like to add that the writer also accuses us of ignorance and being uninformed. Well, most of us have not lost the skill of critical thinking and open mindedness. We do watch FOX, listen to Hannity and Limbaugh. However, we also watch CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and other media that we call mainstream. Then we weigh what information we are hearing and make decisions on what may be the truth.

It seems to me the letter writer does not want to see and hear news that does not agree with his beliefs. That to me is ignorance. That is being uninformed.

Howard Cutler


Student support for Gideon

Thousands of college students across Maine, including myself, are currently learning from home to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Many of us are completing our courses remotely. However, uncertainty around returning to school in the fall and what that is going to look like looms large. In addition to this, many college students have been left out of the federal aid that has been passed because they have been claimed as dependants.

Many students have had to go find part-time jobs because they lost employment at their school — making it harder to complete classes. College students are in limbo because they are unsure if they’ll be returning to campus in the fall.

During these uncertain times it is critical that we students have someone like Sara Gideon to

represent us, as she has had our backs throughout her career. Gideon has championed legislation here in Maine to minimize student debt.

Just last year, Gideon helped pass the Maine Student Loan Bill of Rights that protects students from misleading student loan lenders. Additionally, despite the Trump administration’s effort to lift educational restrictions on for-profit colleges, Gideon has done just the opposite. She has taken the responsible steps towards ensuring that these institutions meet the highest of standards.

It is imperative that we elect Gideon to the U.S. Senate. If we as Mainers can accomplish

this, I am hopeful that students across Maine will be able to complete their education in an

engaging, timely, and cost-effective way.

Andrew King

Old Town

Gun safety during COVID-19

Children are not immune to the effects of COVID-19. They face increased risks to their safety and well-being during this time of uncertainty and upheaval in their daily routines. Among the increased risks are domestic violence and food insecurity.

As well, an estimated 13 million households with children under the age of 18 are gun-owning households, according to a 2018 article in the Journal of Urban Health. Approximately 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes with firearms that are loaded and unsecured. Easy access to firearms during these times pose an increased risk to their safety and wellbeing.

With schools closed due to COVID-19, millions of children and teens are isolated from friends and extended family. Adults should always assume children and teens know where guns are stored.

According to a study of pediatric firearm injuries, nearly 90 percent of unintentional shooting injuries and deaths among children under the age of 15 occur at home. More than 80 percent of child gun suicides involve a gun belonging to a family member.

It is the adult’s responsibility to safely secure firearms, locked, unloaded and store ammunition separately. I encourage all readers to learn about the Be SMART for Kids Program from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The premise is simple: Secure all guns in homes and vehicles, model responsible behavior, ask about firearms in homes your children visit, recognize the role of guns in suicide (especially, vulnerable teens) and tell your peers to be smart.

COVID-19 has already had a drastic impact on the lives of our children. Let’s do all we can to protect them and lessen the negative effects and unintended consequence of this disease.

Kathleen McFadden

Maine Chapter Leader

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America



The Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision to uphold a lower court ruling allowing Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project to go to referendum on the November ballot is wonderful news for folks who live and work in, visit and recreate in Maine’s Kennebec and Upper Moose River Basins.

The proposed power line would carve up the unique wild and scenic, working forest landscape west and south of Jackman, in order for CMP to transport Hydro-Quebec energy to Massachusetts’s customers, with little benefit to Maine.

I would say this “ clears the air” for video series host Thorn Dickinson of CMP’s parent company and for the State of Maine, that public opinion and community voices matter concerning the magnitude of the irreversible, destructive impacts that will result if this huge power line is allowed to carve through this unique area of Maine’s woods and associated communities.

Come November, vote no on NECEC.

Roger Merchant