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Oct. 2 Letters to the Editor


Voting responsibility

Renee Ordway has written that she would vote for Obama, not because he was African-American, “and certainly not because I’m certain he’ll do everything right,” but because she has a choice, and she wishes to fulfill her right to choose.

I would disagree with that conclusion.

The president-elect takes an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, “so help me God.” Our purpose in voting should be, as best we can discern it, to put in office those who will best sustain and maintain our way of life, our freedom and our constitutional form of government.

Of course, this choice depends upon our concept of what it means to uphold and defend the Constitution. To that end, not popularity, charisma or the ability to persuade through rhetorical eloquence, but the candidates’ proposed programs, policies and position on the issues effecting the election should govern the choice we make.

Every citizen therefore has the responsibility to inquire into the background, education, political views, character and integrity of the candidates to determine who is best qualified for the office. Anything less would betray our Constitution to politicians who are untrue to the oath they swear, or who would not perform in such a manner as to fulfill their constitutional requirement to protect and defend our Constitution.

Kenneth Lane


Supporting Collins

During this hectic election season, one is faced with a wide range of opinions, half-truths, and wildly erroneous statements that paint a very misleading picture of certain candidates. Although most writers are sincere in their support of a candidate, they often resort to inaccurate characterizations of others. This negative approach may attract some, but to me it reveals a lack of personal integrity and a desperate attempt to win at any cost.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Sen. Susan Collins and working with her to help Maine residents for many years. Her public service has been recognized nationally, and here in Maine she and her local staff provide support and assistance to everyone regardless of party affiliation or philosophical differences. Working with Maine’s growing elderly population, I am keenly aware of Sen. Collins’ interest and ability to further the aims of such legislation as the Older American’s Act, which provides a broad array of services to seniors here and across America. Her ability to reach across the aisle and seek consensus on matters of importance underscores her strength and ability to get things done. Susan Collins is a strong, dedicated and knowledgeable senator serving Maine, and her re-election on Nov. 4 is in the best interest of Maine residents.

Nelson Durgin


Vote no on citizens veto

I received a call from a paid telemarketer today on behalf of Fed Up with Taxes. This use of a citizens veto is problematic given the amount of outside industry funding involved attempting to defeat a law that will harm no one and help many.

Chronic health conditions (diabetes, heart disease and domestic violence) are bankrupting not only our health but our budgets as ex-Gov. Angus King recognized in 2000 at the Healthy Maine Summit. We tax gas to pay for roads; it is common sense to tax soda, cigarettes and alcohol to pay for the health and social consequences of these luxury items. We all benefit from each others’ good health or pay for each others’ poor health, especially when people are uninsured. Please consider voting against this industry sponsored citizens veto on Nov. 4.

Michael Lambke


Smiley’s writing

I am responding to the letter written by Andrea Maberry of Deer Isle in which she implies that Sarah Smiley is “grumping” about her move to Maine. Maberry needs to take a more objective look at Smiley’s writing.

Smiley is not making light of Maine’s or an individual’s economic woes, as Maberry suggests. Smiley is writing about her personal experiences, in a humorous manner, about moving from the south to the north. Maberry does not state where she moved from 20 years ago, but moving from different regions of the country is a difficult transition for a family.

I definitely felt Smiley’s same emotions when she brought her children to school and groups of mothers were milling around outside of the school and she and her children knew no one. My family has moved 12 times in the past 31 years; one of those moves to a different country and two moves from the North to the South. The culture, customs and language are very different in many regions of the United States. Smiley is just making light of her transition to another region and writing about experiences that many other people have had.

Hopefully some kind “Maineiac” has taken Smiley under their wing and is helping her with the transition.

With all the negative and “woe is me “ articles that readers are confronted with daily, it is refreshing to read a writer’s column in which she writes humorously about her family and personal experiences and can put a smile on another reader’s face.

Susan White


Save the landmarks

The city of Bangor has seen major improvements to many of its architecturally significant buildings in recent years. There is a renewed appreciation for historic buildings, complemented by streetscape projects undertaken by the city. Residents can look with pride at the restored Opera House, the Vestry building now owned by Merrill Bank and, after many years of neglect, the prominent Nichols Mansion at the corner of Union and High Streets is getting a new lease on life. Many still lament the destruction of so many of the city’s architectural gems through the urban renewal program, but fortunately many still survive.

However, the pressure is always on to protect historic buildings from damage by careless owners attempting to “rehab” without regard to a building’s integrity, thus causing irreparable damage to the building, neighborhood and the community. In hindsight, the boundaries of the historic district should have been expanded to include other unique structures in the immediate area of the Nichols Mansion. Inclusion in this district would afford some level of protection for the buildings and guidance for owners before making repairs that affect the exterior appearance.

Owners of historic buildings should feel compelled to be good stewards of their properties for future generations. Since that is not always realistic, communities need to take an assertive lead to protect them through appropriate ordinances, code enforcement and incentives. A review and update to Bangor’s historic district boundaries might help save some of these endangered landmarks.

Ron Harriman


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