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

Maine needs infrastructure support

For too many years, politicians have talked about our failing infrastructure. And finally it has become important enough that it is on the front page of newspapers across the country.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King should make this a top priority for our great state of Maine. As one of the most rural states in the country, Maine’s bridges and roads are in dire need of attention. We also have an advantage over many landlocked states with a coastline that has many ports that are an important piece of the global economy. Investing in our ports and transportation networks through infrastructure investments will help to strengthen our domestic supply chains as well as create good-paying jobs for generations to come.

As a member of the United Steelworkers, I am fortunate to work in a paper mill that has attracted capital investments over the years giving us a competitive edge over other mills. Unfortunately, that cannot be said about many of our former paper mills in the state as many have shuttered their mills or curtailed operations. Using these manufacturing sites could be part of a bold infrastructure package creating those good paying jobs with great benefits. And connecting these sites with improved broadband access should be a priority within any infrastructure plans.

Our great state of Maine should and could be a leader in infrastructure investments. Please call Collins and King and ask them to support a bipartisan infrastructure plan for Maine.

Patrick Carleton


Tackling poverty

On May 13, the BDN editorial highlighted the recently expanded child tax credit, reminding readers that to receive it, they must claim the credit. This is a time-limited benefit that the Poor Peoples’ Campaign is trying to make permanent. Theirs is part of a national effort to end poverty.

I grew up with a widowed single mother who waitressed. I know personally the struggle with mental and physical health effects, tough choices, trauma, and the stigma that comes from poverty. Members of the Congressional Task Force on Poverty and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have launched a resolution titled “Realizing a Third reconstruction: A moral and political commitment to fully address poverty and low wealth in America by building up from the bottom.” Learn more at 3rdreconstruction.org.

Even before COVID-19, the need was urgent and now even more so, this is why we are taking action at 12 p.m. on June 7 at Rep. Jared Golden’s office in Bangor to pressure all of our U.S. representatives in Maine to sign onto our resolution.

Haydee Foreman

Coordinating committee member

Hancock/Washington Maine Poor Peoples’ Campaign

Blue Hill

Make packagers pay

We Mainers want to do the right thing by recycling, but if big corporations and brands are creating packaging, much of it plastic, that can’t be effectively recycled then they must share in the cost of managing this waste. It’s not fair to expect Maine taxpayers to pay for their poor decisions. This is also a big reason why Maine’s recycling rate is decreasing instead of increasing, which is alarming news for our environment.

That’s why we need big change such as in LD 1541. Huge thanks to the bipartisan majority of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee for voting in support of LD 1541 to implement an Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging program to help save recycling in Maine.

Based on the experience of other regions across the world with similar programs, we know that recycling rates have gone up when Extended Producer Responsibility laws are used. We also know these programs work here in Maine where we have adopted methods to deal with paint, batteries, and other difficult to dispose of products.

Too bad, that rather than acting to protect Maine’s environment, the big corporations responsible for this problem are trying to kill this bill. For the health of our environment and oceans, Maine people and businesses must continue to speak out in support of LD 1541 to help Maine’s cities and towns save their struggling recycling programs. Let’s continue our past legacy of leadership on reducing waste and tackling plastic pollution.

Cloe Chunn