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

Consistency from Collins

“Year in, year out, no Senator has matched her devotion to constructing bipartisan legislation in the interest of getting things done for her constituents and our country.” That’s what the policy director of the nonpartisan Luger Center had to say about our Sen. Susan Collins when announcing that she was again ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate for the eighth year in a row.

Many in Washington talk of working across the aisle. Collins does it. Across our nation, Americans consistently say they want their elected officials to work together, to set aside partisanship for the greater good. Yet fewer and fewer in Congress have the courage to meet this expectation. And thus, we continue to see disagreements about things like ending the filibuster in the Senate.

Collins is the embodiment of what Mainers expect of their leaders. Many past Maine leaders have worked to bridge the gaps that outside political forces try to divide. This is especially true right now as both Democratic and Republican leaders constantly work to keep their members firmly opposed to their opposition. While this will continue to be a very dangerous burden to our nation, Maine has done what it can to try to combat the forces of division, by sending Collins back to the U.S. Senate for a historic fifth term.

Eventually our nation’s partisan fever will break, and when it does, we’ll be thankful that leaders like Collins set the example for others to follow.

Robert Caverly


Support public power

Good news is coming out of Augusta these days! For one thing, L.D. 1708, a bill to establish a consumer owned electric utility in Maine passed out of committee with bipartisan support after years of consideration and is on its way to the full Legislature for votes.

The Pine Tree Power Company would replace Versant and Central Maine Power with the goal of providing Mainers with more affordable and more reliable electricity. It can also build the grid we need for more local distributed generation of electricity, especially from solar farms. It is about time that we stop sending our electric utility dollars to foreign-owned companies and governments for their profit; we need to keep those millions in our state to benefit us all.

I’m grateful to my own Rep. Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth who co-sponsored and strongly supported this bill as it made its way through legislative hearings and work sessions. If L.D. 1708 passes, the issue will be sent to the voters in November for approval or disapproval.

So if people believe Maine voters should have the chance to vote on this consumer-owned electric utility, they should please contact their state representative and senator and ask them to approve L.D. 1708. More information is available at ourpowermaine.org.

Martha Dickinson


Taking care of our teeth

Unaddressed tooth issues can turn into a host of health issues that can cost even more money to address. As a college student I have made it a goal to not take out loans. I am in need of dental care, both to stop pain and prevent the loss of teeth. I had no choice but to take out a student loan last year. This was to cover the cost of a portion of my dental needs.

If I had consistent dental care access as an adult, I would not be in this position: facing debt, interest and fees. Tooth pain is distracting. It causes me to divert my attention from worthwhile volunteer and school work to incessant mouth pain. When I was in early recovery I had to work extremely hard to build up my self esteem. I couldn’t imagine going to a job interview while feeling like everyone was going to be staring at my teeth, or in some spots of my mouth, lack thereof.

How can we expect folks to go back to school, maintain long term recovery and keep a stable job, when they do not even have their basic human needs met? I am taking care of my teeth so that I can continue to be present for my daughter and all other life responsibilities.

I’m pleased the Legislature has advanced L.D. 996 and am asking lawmakers to follow through and fund it, so that single mothers like myself can thrive and operate at their highest potential.

Kayla Kalel