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Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016: Wage hike helps seniors, lobsters don’t vote, Schneck for Legislature

Wage hike helps seniors

When Gov. Paul LePage attacks the referendum to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour as hurting the elderly in Maine, he fails to account for the substantial number of folks on Social Security who work in minimum wage jobs at places such as Marden’s. As they struggle to survive the governor’s cuts to social services, they must work when and where they can.

Michael Grunko


Clinton supported bad laws

David Estes’ Oct. 11 BDN OpEd supporting Hillary Clinton for president is fraught with error.

The most egregious error is the assertion that Clinton possesses “an undisputed record” in support of children, minorities, the poor and women. I and many others hotly dispute this. Clinton championed her husband’s “welfare reform” legislation, arguably the worst law ever passed for all four groups in this country’s history.

She also supported her husband’s 1994 crime bill, arguably the second worst law ever enacted for all four of these groups as it resulted in mass incarceration. That law has devastated millions of women, minorities, children and the poor, and it continues to do so.

Clinton’s statements of regret over her support for the crime bill have been tepid at best, and she has uttered no such regret for the welfare reform law.

Given Clinton’s abysmal record on these issues, the Green Party’s Jill Stein is a much more rational choice.

Lawrence Reichard


Flatlanders push gun referendum

The November referendum on universal background checks for gun sales and transfers is nothing more than out-of-state money trying for a solution to a problem that Maine does not have. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action are using out-of-state money. That alone is reason to vote against it, but there are other reasons as well.

If passed, Mainers may have to pay a licensed firearms dealer to do a background check in order to loan or sell a gun to a neighbor. And they will have to go through the same gyrations to transfer it back. The backers swear the so-called exemptions in the wording of the bill are good, but closer examination show significant flaws. Each transfer could be a significant cost to any gun purchase or loan.

Mainers are smarter than to be taken in by these unscrupulous flatlanders meddling in our Yankee affairs.

George Fogg

North Yarmouth

Lobsters don’t vote

When I think of Penobscot Bay, I think of lobsters. Although lobstermen and women around the bay are doing well this year, they are worried about threats to their livelihood if industrial wastes are discharged into this watershed. We’re still living with the legacy of mercury pollution left by the firm Holtrachem more than 20 years ago. In 2015, Searsport was the center of a white-hot debate over how to dredge its harbor for commercial shipping.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted to dredge more than 900,000 cubic yards of spoils, barge down the bay, and dump it off the northern tip of Islesboro. I kept waiting for my state senator, Mike Thibodeau, to lead the effort to nix the plan and implement a better alternative known as the Dawson Alternative. But he did not.

It took a grass-roots push by citizens to write letters to the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Residents spoke out at public meetings to persuade the DEP to table the proposal and require additional testing of the sediments to determine actual levels of contamination.

Democrat Jonathan Fulford publicly supported the Dawson Alternative and argued strongly for it. He understands the long-term consequences of short-sighted solutions that do not protect the productivity of Penobscot Bay.

I will be voting for Fulford to represent Senate District 11 on Nov. 8 because we need a person of vision and courage to do what’s right for our region. Lobsters don’t vote, but I do.

Meredith Ares


Tired of negative ads

While I pay attention to all of the news, I will not watch any more local news until after the election. I find that the volume of negative political ads are too upsetting and more than outweigh my desire for local news.

Karl Austin


Support for ranked-choice voting

This year many of us have a particular concern for good governance. Right now, many are sick of nasty ads, criticism, accusations and, most importantly, sick that many important ideas and plans aren’t being debated. Changing the way we elect our leaders is part of the solution to these problems.

In this light, ranked-choice voting — Question 5 — is worthy of consideration as a system that gives voters more choice with the power to rank candidates from their favorite to least favorite. In the cities across America where this has been used, surveys suggest candidates have been more civil and inclined to focus on issues.

On election night, all the ballots are counted for voters’ first choices. If one candidate receives an outright majority, he or she wins. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated and voters who liked that candidate the best have their ballots instantly counted for their second choice. This process repeats and last-place candidates lose until one candidate reaches a majority and wins.

This system will help reinstate faith and fairness in our elections. Please vote yes on Question 5.

Linda Miller Cleary


Schneck for House District 126

It is with enthusiasm that I support the re-election of Democrat John Schneck to representative House District 126.

Schneck has worked tirelessly for his constituents and all the people in Maine. He has spent hours going door to door. It is not just to ask for votes but to listen to people’s concerns. It helps him get the pulse of his constituents to better serve them.

He does a good job keeping the people in his district informed during the legislative session and beyond by email.

Schneck is a hard-working, caring man. I urge others to vote to send him back to Augusta on Nov. 8.

Julia Nault


Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Oct. 28. Not all submissions can be published.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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