Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014: Support for Bangor legislators, gubernatorial debates, immigration attitude

Posted Aug. 25, 2014, at 9:01 a.m.

Where’s Flat Stanley?

OK, let me see if I understand this right. Absentee ballots, to vote for Maine’s next governor, can be submitted now, but we are expected to make an informed decision without seeing the candidates debate the issues vitally important to us.

The Republican and Democratic candidates, Gov. Paul LePage and Mike Michaud, don’t think it’s important to debate the independent candidate Eliot Cutler unless the other one is there. Remember when we were kids and said, I won’t do it unless Johnny does it?

So we have this sort of standoff that purposefully keeps us in the dark, so Michaud and LePage can play their games with all the special interest money coming into their campaigns, thinking we won’t notice and we’ll just do what their ads tell us.

Maybe the folks who wish to hold debates will consider Flat Stanleys for any candidate that doesn’t show up. This way the candidate will be represented but just won’t get to say anything.

Why, with all their special interest and PAC money, are LePage and Michaud afraid of a mostly self-financed independent candidate? Stand up and debate. If they won’t, it sure sends a message that Cutler deserves our vote because the others are a no-show

Ron Lovaglio

Augusta

Attitude adjustment

Last fall the Federal Reserve commissioned a survey “to try to better understand the forces shaping consumer behavior.” They found three-fourths of us expected our incomes to be the same or lower over the next year. In conclusion the survey said, “Economic challenges remain for a significant portion of the population.”

Then, in a recent poll, it was discovered that 63 percent of “us” believe immigrants place a burden on the U.S. economy.

In neither the survey nor the editorials was there a differentiation in the word “immigrants.” “Immigrants” is not a homogenous group; Americans have had prejudices against many different races and nationalities throughout our history. As these groups have assimilated into our society, learn to speak our language, and adopted our traditions, our fears have receded. Most of these immigrants came at a time when our country was growing. There was no welfare system, social security or income tax.

Considering the fragile state of our economy, anemic growth and stagnant wages, is it any wonder Americans are apprehensive about immigrants?

If the survey had asked about specific groups of immigrants the results would have been different and perhaps favorable.

When Americans are asked about immigrants, most think of those flowing across our southern border: the drug cartels, the human trafficking, the gangs and possibly terrorists. After the tragic events of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon, how safe can Americans feel?

Until our borders are secured, our economy strong, and our standard of living starts improving, it’s doubtful Americans will change their attitude toward immigrants.

David Smith

Newport

Anti-hunting issue

A very important point is being missed in regards to the bear referendum: This is an anti-hunting issue; bears are incidental to the matter.

With all due respect to guides from the past, all of Maine woodland is not suitable to spot and stalk bear hunting. There is no way in the North Maine Woods that you are going to specifically get on the ground and still hunt a bear successfully. Anyone who says you can has never done so.

Ray Cooley

Bethel

SpongeBob to Nemo

Human activity since the Industrial Revolution, including overfishing, carbon emissions and pollution, have changed our ecosystems forever.

Boats and their technology over the past several generations have become highly specialized. As a result, the number of fish and their size have decreased drastically.

Excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere traps and re-reflects solar rays towards Earth’s surface, causing our planet to heat. To deal with temperature stress, marine species, such as phytoplankton — single-cell plant-like animals at the base of the food chain that produce nearly half of Earth’s oxygen — crabs and fish, migrate northward and change fishing patterns and economies. Carbon dioxide gas also enters the ocean, making the water more acidic and tough for organisms to develop and survive.

Agriculture practices produce nutrient waste that enters the coastal ocean, causing unnaturally large blooms of toxic phytoplankton. If not eaten, these phytoplankton sink to the ocean floor and are broken down by bacteria that consumed dissolved oxygen in the process. When oxygen levels become low that part of the ocean is unlivable temporarily or permanently.

Together, these human-caused stressors leave our oceans and its critters in a delicate state. Without environmental friendly practices, our ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of the Earth, may reach a point of no return where we are unable to use its resources.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Tyler Carrier

Orono/Walpole

A team for Bangor

Often people go to the voting booth thinking “what can my vote really do?” or “how much can my state representative or senator really get done?” But for folks in Bangor in the upcoming election, this doesn’t even need to be a question. We have the distinct opportunity to re-elect a team that has proven to us that they can get things done in Augusta. Democratic Sen. Geoff Gratwick and Reps. Aaron Frey, Adam Goode, John Schneck and Tori Kornfield have worked together so well for the citizens of Bangor that around the State House they are known as “The Bangor Five.”

I have the honor of knowing each of these individuals and therefore know how dedicated they all are to fighting for the people of Bangor in Maine’s capital. Every day, they work toward getting thousands of Mainers the access to the health care they so deserve by attempting to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars. They work toward cleaning up Maine’s air, land and water through better environmental standards. And they work to bring new jobs to Bangor by promoting business in our city.

Bangor is lucky that, rather than having representatives who simply play politics in Augusta, we have the team of representatives that we deserve fighting for folks in this city. And this November, we have a chance to re-elect our Bangor team to continue working for us for another two years.

Toby Jones

Bangor

 

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