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

Mehnert has never let me down

I feel honored that I have known NAMI Maine Chief Executive Officer Jenna Mehnert for more than two decades. I first met Mehnert when I was in junior high school. She was working for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services as a social worker.

If you want to know the truth about someone‘s character, ask a scared and powerless child, they are the best judges of genuine compassion.

Mehnert was the worker who took me into state custody. In all our interactions she was compassionate beyond the expectations of her job. She made me a promise when I was 12 years old that she would always be just a phone call away. Twenty-five years later, she has never let me down.

Melissa Hutchinson


Danby is world-class

It’s been said and bears repeating that we in Eastern Maine are most fortunate to have in our midst a world-class political cartoonist — George Danby.

Gregory Biss


Enjoying Maine year-round

Winter is a way of life here in Maine. For as long as I can remember, my family has taken advantage of all the recreational activities that this special season offers. I grew up skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

Something is changing, though. Maine’s winters are growing increasingly warmer and shorter. This year, the ice on many ponds and lakes took much longer to freeze than normal. The continued lack of snowfall convinced my dad to get rid of his snowmobile because it’s simply not worth having it sit idle all winter.

If we want to be able to share these winter pastimes with future generations of Mainers, we need leaders in Washington to address the issue of climate change. Fortunately, there is a bipartisan concept called the Baker-Schultz plan that would cut our country’s emissions by 57 percent over the next 15 years. It would put a fee on carbon but returns the revenue to the American people — ensuring that the vast majority of families come out ahead. This unique proposal is supported by environmentalists, businesspeople, Democrats, independents and Republicans.

Working together now will help ensure that Maine remains a special place to enjoy year-round.

Jake Faria


The days are getting longer

Thank you to the BDN for printing the thoughtful OpEd piece, “We are halfway through winter. Do we have enough to make it through?” by Todd Nelson of Penobscot. How wonderful to read such bright and beautiful prose, words with universal appeal during this trying time of so much bickering.

Nelson’s imagery is something most Mainers can appreciate and his metaphors are delightful. For example, frozen blueberries as his solar energy of choice and how we can be emotionally sustained in the deep of winter by baking blueberry muffins. The seasonal continental divide of which he speaks leads one to look into the “figurative pantry of foresight and hindsight” to see what is stored there for future use. We can see the woodshed as either half-full or half-empty.

Optimism is in short supply right now so I appreciate Nelson’s half-full approach and will strive to maintain this perspective myself as the days get longer.

Mary-Michael Billings