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

Sara Gideon and COVID-19

Sara Gideon hit the nail on the head in last Monday night’s debate. She called for national leadership to fight the coronavirus.

Where is Susan Collins’ leadership? She has focused on economic bandages. A bandage doesn’t solve the problem.

The economy depends on us. As long as we are afraid to go to work, shop and contribute to the economy, it will stagnate. We must get this terrible disease under control before we can get our economy back.

Gideon stands for better health coverage and better access to testing and personal protective equipment. She will push for what America needs to fight this pandemic.

If people want our economy back, they should vote for Gideon. If they don’t want another 200,000 Americans to die, they should vote for Gideon.

Caroline Rupp


Think about Senate choices

The people of Maine deserve better, more responsive leadership from our leaders. The Maine Legislature adjourned approximately 200 days ago. Since then, nothing substantive has been done by House Speaker Sara Gideon or Senate President Troy Jackson pertaining to many issues impacting Mainers.

That includes business closures and a broken unemployment system that left countless

Mainers in the lurch. Many claims remain unpaid to this day for claimants, among many other issues, all on Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman’s and Gov. Janet Mills’ watch.

I believe these state leaders, especially Gideon and Jackson, have abandoned and shirked their duties and responsibilities. They’ve truly demonstrated their lack of effective leadership and responsiveness serving the people of Maine. This is neither OK nor acceptable, period!

Now Gideon wants a promotion to replace the most effective leader we have, Sen. Susan Collins. Think about it.

David Hall


Rank Lisa Savage first

Our country faces unprecedented crises: a global pandemic, a colossal national debt, the looming failure of Social Security and climate change and other impending environmental catastrophes. In this situation, moderate, incremental reforms will be too little, too late. This is why I will rank Lisa Savage first in Maine’s Senate race.

Savage’s plan calls for investment in infrastructure spending, including clean energy projects, sustainable farming, and public transit systems. As a northern Mainer who lacks a car, I can confirm that the latter would be beneficial. A light rail system could make travel between Maine’s towns, parks and borders more efficient, safe and affordable for residents and visitors alike.

As a believer in free markets, I have very reluctantly come to conclude that the economic and political reality is that private insurance is unable to provide health care efficiently. Lisa Savage supports the most practical and humane option available: Medicare for all.

Persistent budget deficits result from unsustainable spending on futile foreign wars and pork-barrel weapons boondoggles. Savage supports redirecting this, making other initiatives affordable while easing the debt burden on America’s children.

Congress is already replete with millionaires detached from Americans’ struggles and beholden to big donors and their parties’ leaders. If people want representation by a compassionate, independent senator, I urge them to rank Savage first and Sara Gideon second. With ranked-choice voting, regardless of the level of support for Savage, such votes are equally effective against Susan Collins.

Brennan Barrington


Patrick Myers for county commissioner

Voters in District 2 (Dover-Foxcroft, Sebec, Medford and Bowerbank, and the unorganized territories of Atkinson and Orneville) face a clear choice when electing their next Piscataquis County commissioner on Nov. 3.

As someone who held that commissioner’s seat for nine years, and served another five years as county manager, I know how important it is to elect someone who can chart a positive course of action for our region. That is why I am endorsing Patrick Myers of Sebec.

Although commissioners run on a partisan basis, this is not a political seat to be filled by an ideologue of any party. Commissioners are responsible for fiscal operations and policy decisions affecting county government, and serve as municipal officials for the Unorganized Territory. The political views candidates bring to the position are largely irrelevant. What is relevant is whether candidates have management and budgeting experience, along with sound judgment. Candidates should also be collaborative, since commissioners have no authority to act in an individual capacity, and only decisions made as a three-member board are valid.

Having known Myers for nearly 20 years, and observed his work at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA and in his current job as executive director for the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft, I know his motivation to seek public office is a continuation of his long standing desire to serve this community. His commitment to Piscataquis County has been amply demonstrated over many years and is part of his lifestyle, not political posturing.

Myers has earned a solid reputation for his calm, rational approach to building relationships throughout the county, and for getting things done. He is energetic, thoughtful, smart, creative and kind — exactly the attributes we need in the public arena during this time of national discord.

Tom Lizotte


Punctuation and capitalization

The English language continues to develop in order to accommodate changing times. This is inevitable and generally a good thing, but often politicized. Recently, I read that people in their teens and early 20s, whom I call Gen I (as in WiFi) and not Gen Z, which implies the end of the line and nothing more, feel that the use of periods in texts by older people is “hostile.” At least that period lets you know that my rather long sentence is now complete! Who would have predicted? Is a question mark still acceptable?

My question for the BDN is this: Why is it currently politically correct to capitalize the “b” in “Black man” while leaving the “w” in “white man” in lower case? I know we cannot say “red” or “Red man” as that is taboo, but why capitalize one of these adjectives and not the other?

I know I am old and therefore not always cognizant of the latest trends. For example, I remember when there were colored people instead of people of color. And now people of color means everyone except white people, including anyone of Asian ancestry and that is a very diverse group.

Call me old-fashioned, but I do like some consistency when it comes to grammar. I also prefer punctuation and adjectives that clarify rather than obscure the meaning of a word or sentence. I apologize if this seems hostile to some. That is not my intention.

Mary-Michael Billings