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

Front-page questions

We have been subscribers of the Bangor Daily News for more than 30 years. We were appalled to open our paper and see prominently featured on the front page of the Aug. 29-30 edition an article written by a Dallas, Texas, reporter (“Trump warns voters must ‘save the American dream’”). 

Seriously? With thousands of peaceful protesters marching on Washington to promote social justice, the BDN chose, instead, to feature 2-day-old news of a speech that was filled with highly questionable rhetoric. This article highlighted and repeated quotes from the president’s speech that were outright false and designed to be incendiary. 

Is there no one at BDN willing to fact-check an article before it’s printed? Is there no one on staff at BDN capable of writing a feature article more worthy of the front page? This article would have been more appropriate for the OpEd page because of its obvious bias. Again, with the March on Washington commemorating the March led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the best that the BDN could do was insert a small picture of some young Black men shooting hoops? 

Seriously? Does this, perhaps, just help to reinforce the stereotype that all Black men can do is play basketball? So much better to print a large picture of a president using the White House, the People’s House, in flagrant violation of the Hatch Act, for a campaign photo op instead.

I sincerely hope that the BDN editors will re-evaluate what they call news.

Cynthia Parker

George Parker 


Mean stew

I am fearful and hopeful all at once. Fearful about the mean stew that Trump is serving up, piping hot and boiling over, but hopeful that once those undecided voters get a mouthful, they’ll spit it out. Filled with misinformation, cruelty, hatred, divisiveness, cheating and vicious, self-centeredness, I’m hoping — I guess betting — that most Americans will taste the reality at the bottom of the cauldron: the nasty bitter dregs that make it unpalatable.

As for myself, I prefer the stone soup of the European folk tale of the same name: where no one in the village can make their own soup but when each brings an ingredient they have, be it a carrot, a potato or a meat bone, the soup is delicious and shared by all, in community.

 Let’s get this one right. There is no question in my mind: truth, diversity, kindness, empathy and, yes, science will be a sweet, nourishing relief and will not leave a bitter taste.

Suzanne Kelly


Ads against Susan Collins 

It is with total disgust that I try to endure the political ads backing Sara Gideon against Sen. Susan Collins. If the only way she can try to obtain support for her effort to unseat Collins is to try to attack her with half truths or other back door attacks, she should not even be in the race.  

It is unfortunate that this type of campaign tactic is allowed. If candidates can’t get votes on their own merits, they shouldn’t be allowed to serve. It is for this reason that I refuse to vote early, because the closer to Election Day, the more the candidates tend to show their true selves.

I am, and probably always will be, a registered Democrat. Once upon a time, the Democratic Party was the protector of the blue-collar class. We need to get back that protection. We need to bring the Democratic Party back to the way it used to be, back to being the watchdog of down-home America.

Timothy Smyth


A few things Zeigler won’t do 

Politicians are defined by what they won’t do as much as by what they will do. S. Paige Zeigler, the incumbent District 96 representative, will never take big-money donations in return for a legislative vote. He relies on Clean Elections money for his campaigns.

He will never vote for unregulated development at the expense of forests and farms, the foundation of our lives. He will never try to make it more difficult or dangerous for citizens to vote. He will never restrict people’s access to medical care.

Zeigler will never Interact with you without wearing a mask and maintaining social distance during a pandemic. He will never openly or tacitly support any form of bigotry — sexual, racial, religious or otherwise.

Above all, Zeigler will always tell the truth, to constituents and everyone else. He will consider compromise in anything but his integrity.

I’m proud to be a friend of his, so I’m biased. I live outside his district, so I can’t vote for him, but I urge the voters of Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont to send him back to the legislature. He’ll work to make things better for all of us.

Gary Stimeling


Business is hurting

As a self-employed educational consultant, I work with most of the private town academies and boarding schools in the State and our business is hurting.

Boarding schools enjoyed a trend starting about the late 1980s of foreign students discovering the value of American education and applying to our schools. Maine’s private town academies

and local high school started recruiting international students about 20 years ago as declining local student populations were affecting the financial viability of many schools. The students enrolled in these schools brought crucial financing plus world-expanding diversity. Virtually all these students and the others from around the world were full-pay and contributed significantly to the Maine economy. 

Now, not only is that market in a nosedive — first because of the Trump immigration policy that has made it difficult for many students to get a student visa, plus the fear generated by school shootings that frightens parents and now as the coronavirus fear spreads — the international student business is way down or nonexistent. 

My business is hurting, the schools’ business is hurting and Maine’s economic benefit from these students is seriously impacted.

Peter Duston