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

Winter driving adjustments

As the days get shorter and the snow begins to fly, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine wants to remind all drivers to slow down and pay extra attention for pedestrians, people on bikes, and other vulnerable users on our state’s roadways. Speed affects everything from how fast a car can come to a stop to how quickly a moment of distraction becomes a disaster.

Driver visibility is greatly reduced in the dark and during inclement weather. It also can take significantly more time to slow down when the roads are wet or icy. On dry roads, it can take a car driving 35 mph 60 feet to come to stop. On icy roads, that same car may require 600 feet to stop.

Pedestrians and people on bikes should also take precautions to be as visible as possible while out on the road by wearing bright or reflective clothes.

We all know that cold, rain, or snow doesn’t stop hearty Mainers from getting outside, so please slow down and help keep us all safe. Learn more about the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Slow ME Down campaign here: bikemaine.org/slow-me-down.

Jean Sideris

Executive Director

Bicycle Coalition of Maine


Mask frustrations

Recently my husband went into a local pharmacy to pick up a medication for me. There were two lines to reach the counter and in one line was a woman waiting for her prescription. My husband stood in the other line to wait his turn. Then after the woman was finished, she turned around and, moving into my husband’s lane, requested that he move out of her way. She was standing right in front of him. And she was not wearing a mask.

My husband called three people who have responsibility within the pharmacy’s chain and they all said they were not enforcing the Maine’s mask ordinance by confronting their customers. Consider that this is a national chain pharmacy.

After that, my husband spoke with local law enforcement about this experience. He was told that there were limitations as to what they could do unless they themselves saw an individual without a mask in a store. Only then they could give the store a warning.

My husband and I are elderly (he’s 72 and I’m 84) and I have very bad lungs — the result of a lung infection for several years when I was a child. Considering this and our ages, we’re very careful about not getting close to people who might infect us.

This has been so frustrating! I’m hoping Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order for stronger mask enforcement makes a difference.

Paula J. Hays


Not one of my favorites

I rise in support of Susan Vaughan’s Dec. 3 appropriately scathing letter regarding the Mark Trail comic strip. I have read the comics since the Katzenjammer Kids (anyone remember?). I read them in reverse order of favoriteness (is that a word?).

The current Mark Trail is the very first (followed by The Phantom). I agree with all Vaughan says of the artwork, plot and characters’ personality, if there are such.

Harold Shaw