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Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018: Golden for Congress, LePage’s fight against naloxone, no more corporate welfare

Peace in Korea

Last Friday night, I watched a miracle happen in Korea. Two bitter rivals that have stared at each other across a double-edged sword called the 38th parallel for more than 60 years put together a unified team to compete in the Winter Olympics and cooperate in the opening ceremony. They trained together in the North and competed together in the South.

For probably the first time in Olympic history, two women, one North and one South, carried the torch together up the final steps to light the flame. Where there is one miracle, there can be more if we let it happen.

We should keep in mind that we may be too much a part of the problem to be part of the solution. If peace happens, we should give them the credit and not try to claim it for the U.S.

Fred Otto
Orono

Golden for Congress

Residents of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District need a representative in Washington who will stand up for our values and be there for us when things get tough. Jared Golden is that person.

Golden grew up in rural Maine and enlisted in the Marine Corps after 9/11. After serving our country, he used his veterans’ benefits to attend Bates College in Lewiston. Golden’s strong work ethic, experience and commitment to service mean he’ll work hard for all of us.

Since 2014, Golden has represented Lewiston in the Maine House of Representatives, and now he serves as the Democratic assistant majority leader. In that role, he has fought hard for progressive causes, such as an economy that benefits the middle and working classes, tougher environmental protections and affordable, accessible health care for all Mainers.

But what I like best is that he’s not all talk, and he knows how to get things done. In the Legislature, Golden passed a bill to provide workers’ compensation benefits to firefighters, police officers and EMTs for post-traumatic stress disorder, and he was successful in advocating for increased funding and necessary changes to state assistance programs for veterans.

Golden works hard and gets results for his Lewiston constituents. If elected to Congress, he will continue to do so for the people of Maine’s 2nd District. Golden represents a new generation of leaders in Maine, and I believe he is the Democratic candidate who has what it takes to beat Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Joan Ellis
Hudson

No more corporate welfare

General Dynamics, owner of Bath Iron Works, is asking the people of Maine for a $60 million tax break to build more destroyers, ships capable of launching nuclear missile attacks, which could result in the deaths of millions. Do Mainers want to continue corporate welfare for such a dangerous enterprise?

We certainly need good-paying jobs that BIW provides. But why can’t BIW convert from building destroyers to building hospital ships to deal with disasters such as the hurricane in Puerto Rico? Or making wind turbines to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. How about solar-powered cruise ships to bring tourists to Maine?

Why should the people of Maine continue such a dangerous tax give-away? The CEO of General Dynamics gets $21 million in annual compensation. Think about it: $21 million a year. In addition, General Dynamics shareholders will benefit from recently passed huge tax breaks to corporations and proposed increase in Pentagon spending.

The corporate share of federal revenues has dropped by two-thirds in the past 60 years. We as taxpayers make up for the lost corporate tax revenues by paying more and losing needed services. We already subsidize General Dynamics with our federal tax dollars, which pay for these destroyers.

Do you believe General Dynamics really needs more corporate welfare? Could we instead spend those millions on repairing roads and bridges, health care for the needy or developing alternative energy sources? Ask your legislators to vote no on the $60 million tax break, LD 1781.

Ilze Petersons
Orono

Misleading attacks

John Floyd’s scathing blog post condemning the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee was not only harsh, but inaccurate and misleading. Floyd faulted the committee for its decision to reject LD 11 that sought to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right by amending the Maine Constitution.

Floyd claims that nine of 12 committee members at the work session voted against the proposal (“ought not to pass”) because they were “bowing to anti-hunting activists and out of state interests.”

In truth, the committee’s majority simply recognized an obvious reality: hunting and fishing are already well-protected practices in Maine. Republicans and Democrats on the committee, as well as an independent committee member, expressed concerns that the underlying aim of the proposal is to take away Mainers’ longstanding constitutional right to place wildlife issues on the ballot through the citizen’s initiative process. Concerns were also expressed that a right-to-hunt amendment could conflict with existing laws and rights, such as property-owners’ right to post their land.

Rather than providing an accurate account of the committee’s decision-making process, Floyd employed an entire range of misleading scare tactics. The group I direct, WildWatch Maine, was labeled an “anti-hunting, extremist organization” (along with the Humane Society of the United States) that is “working to outright ban all forms of hunting.” These claims are untrue and absurd.

It is unfortunate that the Bangor Daily News does not hold Floyd’s blog to higher standards of accuracy.

Karen Coker
Director
WildWatch Maine
Cape Elizabeth

LePage’s fight against naloxone

I see in the news that the flu has claimed 34 lives in Maine so far this season. We’re all urged to get our flu shot, which is a good thing.

By contrast, deaths due to opioid addiction are running between 350 and 400 per year. Opioids are killing us at a rate 10 times higher than the flu.

Our governor, in his wisdom, is doing everything in his power to prevent the distribution of the one drug that can prevent an opioid death, naloxone. What kind of insane public health policy is this? Does he hate us?

George Fricke
Bangor


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