Speak out against injustice

I sympathize with an event Nick Schroeder wrote about in a May 31 BDN story that, “Hundreds peacefully protested police violence and racism in Maine’s largest city on Sunday, with many ending up on the steps of the city police station following demonstrations nationwide …” We as a state and country need to listen to what these groups are protesting for. These demonstrations are important since they are helping make others aware of the wrongdoings of an archaic system. The only way for us to accomplish this feat is to listen and to work together.

We as a society need to ensure that we are cognizant of how we treat one another. While I agree with the protests fighting for a change I do not agree with the violence or looting that is associated with them at times. Peaceful protests need to remain that and police as well as citizens should not be harming others or their communities. This only hurts everyone in the long run and causes consequences, like a ripple effect, taking longer to recover from.

Whether you agree with how the protests are being carried out or not, we all need to learn from what is being said and done. Our country should be one of peace, tranquility, and of working to understand each other. It is our duty as citizens to stand up for injustices and to speak out against what we believe as inequitable treatment by a system that can aspire to be much better.

Ben W. Bucklin


Demilitarize the police

Why do police, whose job is to protect the public, need military-style equipment?

It is time for the U.S. government to stop supplying local police departments with surplus weapons of war.

Also, why do police need riot protection gear? This equipment is used not to protect the public, but to protect police officers. If riot control is necessary, this should be the job of the National Guard.

Whenever I see local or state police in riot gear, especially when they are on the move and not just defending an area, I wonder what kind of country we are becoming. A police state? I am scared!

Nicholas Fox


A fox guarding the hen house

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made us all aware of the need to achieve a balance between public health and economic interests. While we focus on the challenge of opening up the economy, the Trump administration has been quietly gutting environmental regulations, with no apparent regard to the health implications of its policies.

As a pediatrician, I rely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to oversee industry and protect children from dangerous toys, cribs, home furnishings, cleaning supplies, and many other items. The Trump Administration’s nominee to run the CPSC, Nancy Beck, has had a long career opposing health protections from toxic chemicals as a senior chemical industry executive — representing Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Exxon et al. as a trade association leader.

Under Trump, Beck has essentially directed the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety office. In that capacity, she has undermined efforts to strengthen protections relating to toxic PFAS and other “forever chemicals” that can enter the food chain. You may recall that PFAS were involved in contaminating a dairy farm in Southern Maine a few years ago, putting a lifetime dairy farmer out of business.

Beck’s record does not give me confidence that she will fairly balance health and safety with economic interests. The fox should not be guarding the hen house. I hope that our senators vote to oppose this nomination.

Sydney R. Sewall


Sweet has my vote

Our U.S. Senate Democratic primary will arrive soon, on July 14. It was a crazy spring, but now critical decisions are before us. It seems clear that many Mainers are ready for a change in who represents us. So, who can defeat Sen. Susan Collins? Or, who is in office and doesn’t really seem to listen to our concerns at town halls or debates. Susan Collins? Yes. Sara Gideon? Yes again.

Betsy Sweet is the candidate most capable of defeating Collins. She doesn’t have big money or the establishment backing, but she is there for us! I have been to Sweet’s events and talking to others there, it was interesting to hear them say they had been supporting Gideon, but after hearing Sweet, they realized Sweet was the one to beat Collins.

I believe Sweet has more experience helping Mainers with everyday life issues than any candidate, including Collins. Some of her impressive traits I saw at events were her interest in what the peoples’ concerns were, and when asked about her position on issues she answered clearly and then explained why she took that position. Additionally, she reaches out to people to find common ground, if they have a different opinion.

Sweet is the best candidate to represent us Mainers and to defeat Collins. She’s not taking big corporate PAC money or beholden to Sens. Chuck Schumer or Mitch McConnell. She’s running to represent us and deserves our vote. She sure has mine! Thank you Betsy for giving us hope for positive change!

John Soifer

South China

Response to Weston

In response to Cary Weston’s recent BDN opinion piece on defunding police: It seems Weston did not research the movement to defund police before writing his opinion piece criticizing it.

Shifting some portion of spending from law enforcement to other services, such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, is the essence of defunding police. Ergo, he seems to support the goal of this movement.

Zachary Smith


Campaigning in Maine

It appears to me that President Donald Trump used his recent trip to Maine for a partisan campaign event rather than for official government business. This could be a violation of federal campaign finance law.

I wonder if any elected Maine official was invited to “tour” the Puritan facility. For unexplained reasons, the former Republican governor was there to meet him at the airport. The former Republican Second District congressman was with him in Guilford. Who invited them and who paid for their expenses?

The Bangor Daily News reported that Trump started his remarks by recognizing the workers at Puritan for their work, but then drifted into partisan political remarks.

The Trump campaign should pay for this type of activity, not taxpayers.

Robert Hayes