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Saturday, April 16, 2016: Progressive policies help women, scrap the I-395 connector, solar energy will create jobs

Scrap I-395 connector

What is the Maine Department of Transportation thinking? This whole ridiculous I-395/Route 9 connector plan is nutty. It’s too expensive and we do not need it. Traffic in Brewer is always busy anyway. Has anyone ever thought about the traffic on Route 9 to Calais? That is a hilly, curvy road that will be very dangerous with increased traffic.

I do not believe that people in Eddington should lose their homes and property to eminent domain. This is Maine, and we do not treat our residents with eminent domain. There is very little information for the people who would be affected. The Department of Transportation needs to rethink this whole plan. This seems to be a substitute for the rejected east-west highway.

A.J. Berry

Lincolnville

Age discrimination

I completed the commercial truck driving course at Tri-County Tech Center in Dexter, and I am licensed by the state to drive Class A commercial tractor-trailer trucks. I have a clean driving record, two years of experience driving tandem dump trucks, hauling sand and gravel, and experience hauling equipment on trailers.

I was laid off last fall when my employer was downsizing. I have applied to about eight employers, and was well considered by most of them for employment. But I was turned down because I am not 21 years old. They all told me that they could not hire me because their insurers will not cover anyone under age 21, and even under 23 much of the time.

Neither my clean driving record nor my two years of experience were ever considered. The reason I could not be hired was because the insurers won’t let them. This is discrimination against an entire group of young men and women simply because of their age.

I hope that American people can come to their senses soon and realize that a whole generation of young adults are being discriminated against just because we are the wrong age. This is as wrong as discrimination against someone for the color of their skin. I just want a chance to work.

Vincent Pitts

Garland

Solar energy will create jobs

As the legislative session comes to an end, the Legislature faces a defining moment for the state: Will we embrace the future and strive for progress and innovation, or will we continue down a path of lost opportunities? All across the state, Mainers are looking to Augusta for leadership, but their representatives continue to ignore the best interests of their constituents.

Since 2011, Maine’s once-thriving paper industry has lost 2,300 jobs, with the closing of the Madison Paper mill being the most recent. Maine is the oldest state in the nation with a median age of 43 years old, and 25 percent of Mainers will be 65 or older by 2030. The state is in dire need of a new direction in order to save its people from an uncertain future. Luckily, the Legislature has the opportunity to reinvigorate Maine and live up to the state motto: “I lead.”

The Maine Legislature will soon vote on LD 1649, which will modernize Maine’s solar energy policy and encourage economic growth. This legislation will add more than 800 good-paying jobs to Maine’s ailing economy, decrease the state’s dependency on unreliable fossil fuels and give Maine an innovative advantage over other states’ solar policies.

By passing this legislation, the state will not only help the economy, but also attract people to the state. Maine can once again represent the way life should be by leading the nation in progress and innovation.

Jared Mummert

Unity

Progressive policies good for women

Year after year, Americans head to the polls to vote on everything from school budgets to the leadership of the free world. But we don’t just choose between individuals. We vote a set of values, and this year is no different.

One set of values leaves women stuck in low-wage jobs that perpetuate a cycle of poverty. It ensures that women like me are fired when they get pregnant. It eliminates economic security for victims of domestic abuse. It ensures that women have inadequate access to health care. These values leave women unable to advance their educations, find adequate childcare to stay in the workforce or even to plan their pregnancies.

Then, there’s another set of values. It’s a set of values that gives women a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, even for tipped workers. It advocates for paid family leave, so that women don’t have to choose between a family and a career. It ensures that women like me who have found themselves victims of domestic abuse have access to food, housing and safety. It’s a value system that treats health care as a right, gives women a chance at an education, ensures universal access to pre-kindergarten education and gives us the right to choose.

It’s no secret why there’s a gender gap in elections. Conservative policies are bad for women. This year, let’s vote for real values on minimum wage, universal pre-K and a slate of progressive candidates from the president to the Maine Legislature.

Jerika Chasse

Bangor

Transgender common sense

Instead of being brainwashed about tolerance, diversity and political correctness, children should be taught and shown the difference between right and wrong. Allowing boys who supposedly “identify” as girls to use girls restrooms, and vice versa, is blatantly wrong for many reasons, not the least of which is the potential embarrassment and intimidation of 99 percent of the population to appease less than 1 percent, as well as the increased probability of bullying and violence toward transgender students.

Separate restrooms based upon biological sex have worked for centuries. A quote by well-known fly fisherman and author Lefty Kreh seems appropriate: “Common sense just ain’t so common anymore.”

Joe Bertolaccini

Orrington

Christian health care baloney

If Christians were really “Flock[ing] to health care sharing,” as an article in the April 9-10 edition of the BDN suggested, we’d have universal health insurance in this country instead of Ted Cruz.

Bruce Brown

Brewer


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