Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Wearing a mask correctly 

Recently while I was food shopping, I encountered a man wearing a disposable mask with his nose hanging out. He was going the wrong way down the aisle and stopped directly next to me. Later on in the store, I passed two more people wearing their mask that way. Then I saw three people in a clump without masks on their faces whipping down aisles. I love my grocery store and do not in any way feel this reflects their policy as they stand at the door giving out masks.

I am asking for Gov. Janet Mills to tighten and clarify the mandate to wear a mask or face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. It’s sad it needs to be so defined because they just don’t understand that everyone hates wearing a mask.

Randy Menninghaus


Invest in better ventilation 

In order to save our economy and protect our citizens, we need to start immediately upgrading our public spaces’ ventilation systems. These pre-COVID systems do not provide adequate protection to workers or inhabitants. What is needed are more robust systems that treat the inside air to a level that does not require the wearing of masks and eye protection. 

This means continuous filtration through HEPA filters, continuous disinfection with UV light and continuous air-exchanges that replace inside air with outside air at least three times per hour. These upgrades will be expensive but not nearly as costly as a crippled economy. And given the historically low levels of borrowing costs there will never be a better time to implement these substantial, critical changes. 

Lastly, even if a vaccine becomes readily available it may only provide a modest level of protection (60-70 percent) so waiting around for a vaccine means losing valuable time. There should be a bond on the ballot this November that will help businesses, state and local governments to undertake these crucial upgrades. We cannot afford to wait.

Bruce Crawford


Looking at our heating options

With all these timberlands and woodlots, why is Maine one of the most fossil fuel heating dependent states in the nation? Somewhere along the way we’ve taken a wrong turn. All these years we could have been putting wealth into our own economy, rather than someone else’s. 

I believe it’s time we step back and take a look at our options. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Should we continue to make the oil barons rich or pump that money into our own economy? 

I read with interest an OpEd printed in these pages in late July about proposed legislation called the BTU Act that could give this possibility a significant boost, and I think it would be helpful if people would contact their representatives and ask them to support this important legislation. I certainly plan to.

Robert Fogg


Lucky to have Susan Collins

Here in Maine, we’re so lucky to have the hardest working U.S. senator represent us. From the very start, Sen. Susan Collins has proven her dedication to our state, and she has earned herself a well-deserved reputation as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate time and time again.

And she always shows up, ready to tackle whatever the task is at hand. She’s never missed a roll-call vote, having cast more than 7,000 votes in a row.

And when the pandemic hit our country, she was one of the first to jump into action, bringing people of all ideologies and backgrounds together to hash out the incredibly successful Paycheck Protection Program.

Collins has never wavered in her work ethic or dedication to the people of Maine. I look forward to casting my vote to send her back to Washington this November.

George Zaroff