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What I care about
I care about the violation of the Hatch Act despite Mark Meadows’ dismissive words (“Nobody outside of the beltway really cares”). I care about the blatant disregard for this law during the Republican National Convention. I care that none of our Republican senators spoke out against these law-breaking actions. I care that the only “lawbreakers” who were demonized were my fellow citizens trying to protect their lives in the cities across our country.
I care about the more than 180,000 of my sisters and brothers who have died of COVID-19, even as the pandemic is still dismissed as a hoax by those in the White House. I care about the Black and Brown lives that have been lost to police gun fire. I care about the immigrants, especially the children, still detained at our borders.
I care about the disregard for Congress in the latest effort by the White House to prevent our elected representatives from receiving election security briefings in person, setting this country up for increased Russian interference in the election. I care about attempts to curtail mail delivery and to malign the postal service, thus trying to prevent mail-in voting in this election. I care about the failure of Congress to pass any follow-up legislation to give my fellow citizens some continued relief from losing jobs and homes.
I care enough to vote absentee and to hopefully change the destructive course on which this country has been embarked for the past four years.
Kathy W. Walker
Facts in the ‘mail-strom’
We are all suffering from campaign-ad fatigue! How do we figure out what’s true and what’s not? In the age of social media, 24-hour news and an electorate that is severely polarized, it’s tough to determine what campaign rhetoric is fact and what is fiction.
Many claims are half-truths consisting of facts that have been coaxed, cherry picked, tortured and often taken out of context to fit a particular argument. A case in point: several campaign ads accuse Sen. Susan Collins of being solely responsible for the current post office controversy — a “mail-strom” which started a few months ago when the current Postmaster General of the United States made several cost-cutting moves.
Reading and listening to those ads, you would think that Collins single-handedly is going around peeling the stamps of every piece of mail. In an OpEd piece in the BDN, a Portland business owner pointed out that in 2005, Collins introduced the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. And that the 15-year-old legislation is responsible for “the crisis that the Post Office is now facing.”
After reading that gentleman’s OpEd, I went back to find the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Collins did sponsor the legislation in the Senate. However, what the campaign ads conveniently neglect to mention is that the bill had 26 co-sponsors (16 Democrats and 11 Republicans). The Democrats included Charles E. Schumer of New York, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusttes, Carl Levin of Michigan, Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, among others. Hardly a bastion of conservatism.
Where will the industrial wind development end?
I drive the Airline back and forth to camp and other Down East adventures, and have always treasured the stretch between Aurora and T28, over the Whalesback, with its expansive views across the Middle Branch to Lead Mountain, then the scenic slither and swoop over the esker’s east end and up the other side of this amazing geologic roller-coaster. Now the scenery is upstaged by gargantuan wind turbines looming over Route 9, ominously distracting with their huge blades.
Why did the developers and permitters have to site the northernmost turbines of the Weaver Wind project so close along this uniquely scenic stretch of Route 9? Another of Hancock County’s treasures has been sacrificed to industrial wind.
I am for green energy, in its place. Huge, highly visible wind turbines should not encroach on great ponds, iconic mountains and other features defining our Down East landscape. The Whalesback is part of a 120-mile esker ending at Katahdin, one of the longest esker systems left by the last ice age.
Beyond the desecration, these outsize turbines so close to the highway are a distraction to drivers. Alert to threats, one is compelled to keep an eye on these Godzillas while negotiating the steep hills and curves. Could a blade spin off due to a failing part, or pitch a raptor into traffic below?
Turbines of that scale should be set back a respectful distance from any highway, especially near this winding, scenic stretch traveled by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.
Industrial wind has already taken too much of value from Hancock County’s landscape, claimed too many of our mountains and views, for too little benefit to our state. Where will it end — Katahdin?
Jane Crosen Washburn
Gideon’s health care record
2020 has been a year of lessons learned. One of the biggest is that Americans need a better health care system, now more than ever. And one of the ways to get there is by voting in leaders who have a proven record of working on a health care agenda that benefits everyone.
Over the recent months, I have paid close attention to the U.S. Senate race and I can tell you there is a clear winner on health care. Sara Gideon has worked tirelessly to address the health care challenges that Mainers face every day. Whether it is the legislation she has passed in the State House like expanding health care for thousands of Mainers, hosting roundtables at recovery centers or health care centers, or winning endorsements from well-known health organizations like Planned Parenthood, Gideon’s agenda puts Mainers’ health first.
So this November, please remember who has done the work to make sure health care is accessible, who listens to the experts, who understand the opioid epidemic is a health crisis, who has pushed for the correct COVID-19 response, who has been a champion on reproductive rights, and who cares about your health — remember that person is Sara Gideon.
D. A. Dubois, M.D.