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Friday, March 17, 2017: A solution for daylight saving time, Real ID trouble, Trump stocks the swamp

Trump stocks the swamp

President Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” Instead, he apparently is stocking the swamp with alligators and crocodiles as though the American government were some amusement park adventure ride.

Well, I am not amused. We are being taken for a ride, and I don’t like it. The threats to our personal and national well-being are very real.

As the Joker said to the Thief, “There must be some way out of here.”

Stephen Ringle


Don’t squander credibility on Trump’s team

To all who are disturbed by Trumpism, Sen. Susan Collins made the humiliating mistake of supporting Jeff Sessions for attorney general.

We have since learned that he lied under oath about his contacts with Russian officials. He has recused himself from any Justice Department investigations involving Russia, but he should resign immediately.

The Maine senators should have learned that President Donald Trump’s men are not worth squandering their credibility on any longer. Just ask Collins.

Emery Goff


Practical tips for the environment

Spring is a great time to re-evaluate our commitment to a cleaner environment. As an outdoorsman, hunter and conservationist, I want my children to grow up enjoying the beauty and wonder of the natural Earth.

Here are several practical ways to help protect our environment this spring.

1. Clean up your neighborhood. Each spring the melting snow reveals waste tossed from vehicles. Take an afternoon or two to walk your neighborhood road frontage and clean up the trash. Recycle what you can. This also doubles as exercise.

2. Use fewer gas-powered engines while recreating. Paddle in a canoe or kayak instead of running an outboard motor. Backpack and hike the trails instead of riding an ATV. Less exhaust means cleaner air, and, once again, your body will thank you for the exercise.

3. Always practice “leave no trace.” When enjoying nature, leave it cleaner than you found it.

We can’t solve our environmental challenges alone, but together we can all make a difference.

Jeremy Hiltz

Cary Plantation

Don’t repeal Obamacare

As a member of Maine Providers Standing up for Health Care, I urge the residents of Maine to contact their senators and representatives to tell them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has flaws, is too complicated and definitely needs to be worked on. But its repeal would be devastating to many people, particularly in Maine. Millions of people around the country would lose their insurance, and the most vulnerable of us would be greatly underserved — the sick, the elderly and those with disabilities.

To ramrod a poorly designed medical plan through Congress, which Republicans are trying to do, would be a disaster. An issue of this magnitude needs time, thought, professional expertise and a thorough knowledge of our very complex health care system. If an impartial hearing was held, perhaps a plan could be reached that would be acceptable to both parties, which would be important for its ultimate success.

Janet S. Houghton

Cape Elizabeth

Real ID trouble

Last week, I made a trip to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for work. Much to my dismay I was unable to gain employment or receive an ID badge to enter the shipyard because the Maine driver’s license I had for personal identification was not accepted.

I traveled four hours for work to be denied because of inadequate identification. I was informed that a Maine driver’s license was not accepted by the U.S. government for identification to enter the shipyard because Maine isn’t in compliance with the Real ID Act.

I have, for nearly 40 years, used my license for work ID without a problem. Needless to say, the gentleman at the badge office was sympathetic, but I had no recourse except to drive back home with no work and at a cost to me.

Chuck Theriault


Border wall not worth tax dollars

After reading the March 11 BDN article about President Donald Trump’s proposal to help fund his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border by cutting funds to the U.S. Coast Guard, which patrols Maine’s waters, I called Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s office to find out if he agreed with that plan. I got a recording telling me to leave my name and number. So far, nobody has called back.

I’d really like to know if Poliquin thinks we should spend billions of tax dollars on a wall that Trump says will be over 80 feet tall, when our roads and bridges are crumbling, lots of American kids go to school hungry and large numbers of Americans can’t afford health care without government subsidies.

Does Trump really believe Mexico will pay for this wall? If so, maybe the Tooth Fairy will chip in, too.

Janet Redfield


Daylight saving time alternative

We’ve just done it again — moved our clocks ahead one hour in a vain effort to acquire more daylight. If anyone looks out his window, he will see that the gain of sunlight in the afternoon is exactly balanced by the loss of sunlight in the morning. So nothing is gained.

Health studies have shown that the loss of an hour of sleep in March causes a significant increase in heart attacks and strokes in the days immediately following the change. This should be enough reason to avoid messing with our clocks, but there is more.

Changing clocks takes time and effort, which aren’t productive uses of time and effort. Some clocks require the climbing of ladders with their inherent risks. Human and animal eating schedules are thrown off by the change, as are the milking schedules of cattle. Some places resist making the change, which causes further confusion.

An obvious answer, which is probably too logical to be implemented, is to split the difference between standard time and daylight saving time: Instead of moving the time ahead from 12 to 1 a.m., set the clocks to 12:30 a.m. and stick with it. No more increased health risk, no more oversleeping or waking early, no more wasting time fiddling with inconveniently located timepieces, no more disruption.

Who will be brave enough to try it? Given the courage of our current politicians, probably no one.

Lawrence E. Merrill



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