Credit: George Danby / BDN

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

A lack of debate and leadership

Sen. Susan Collins is a member of “the greatest deliberative body” yet the senator voted against even allowing a debate about whether to strengthen the ability to vote. There is no reason to oppose a debate on policy as a member of a governing body. Debate is how many perspectives can be shared to solve problems fairly. It is what is supposed to happen in Congress.

However, in many state houses across the country Republicans are writing laws to make voting more difficult. Some of these laws would allow the state elected representatives to throw out votes they don’t like. That is not democracy. Yet Collins’ vote ensures that these types of laws will be allowed. That is not leadership.

Lisa Buck


Bathrooms needed in Bangor

The failure of the Bangor City Council to follow through with plans for a common bathroom facility for public use is an embarrassment. The inability to provide basic sanitary services for the citizens and tourists of Bangor is a breach of trust for the people who put them in office.

We need forward thinking leadership that fights for working-class and poor people, not banks and corporations. Locally, nationally, globally.

Andrew Funaro


Get on board with climate action

Recently, two BDN columns echoed the call for action to address the climate crisis. Jennifer Driban expressed the immediacy of healing the ocean, while Janis Petzel cited clean energy investments in infrastructure as a key public health intervention.

While Maine’s congressional delegation has voiced support for climate mitigation actions, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Jared Golden lack a sense of urgency. Collins and King are backing a Senate infrastructure package that is locked in a mid-20th century definition of infrastructure that pays scant attention and few dollars to climate change.

Instead, the crisis must be met with 21st century vision, boldness and urgency. The clock is ticking. A House plan backed by Golden largely follows the same blueprint of past priorities and timidity about tackling the enormity of the problems.

In addition to infrastructure nearsightedness, Maine’s delegation ( except Rep. Chellie Pingree) has resisted endorsing the most effective approach to reducing greenhouse gases — putting a price on carbon. Two new bills in the Senate, Save our Future Act and America’s Clean Future Fund Act, set a fee on carbon and use the revenue to protect Americans from the impact of cost increases. Collins and King need to get on board.

In the House, H.R. 2307 would reduce 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while using the carbon fees as dividend payments to citizens to offset the cost of transition to clean energy sources. Golden needs to sign on.

It’s the time for Mainers to pressure our delegation to act with boldness.

Bernie Baker


There is always hope

There is always hope. Hope has synonyms: courage, anticipation, and expectation. Hope does not just live in people. Hope is a real tangible force for good in this life. Hope makes survivors from victims. Hope makes people act against insurmountable odds and triumph. Hope prays when events and circumstances are formidable. Hope brings up resilience beyond the trauma. Hope makes one stand against the many.

Hope is powerful because hope has time on its side! Time past proved that our enduring hope was correct. The future will demonstrate the fulfillment of our anticipated expectations.

Light is still stronger than darkness. Love is more influential than hate. Hope can endure when depression sucks the energy out of everything. The sun will rise in the morning. The red blood will course through our tired bodies. Hope shall empower us to endure until a positive desirable change comes. Find yourself a healthy dose of hope.

Juneteenth becoming a national holiday in 2021 is witness to the tearful arrival of hope for former enslaved Americans. There is always hope!

James Weathersby