LePage embarrasses Maine
Gov. Paul LePage thinks government should be run like a business. If it were, he would have been fired long ago as an embarrassment to his company.
David P. Frasz
Federal control in North Woods a loss
All Mainers, especially those euphoric souls who view the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument akin to a divine gift to humankind, should seriously ponder the negative impacts federal control of land has on local people as highlighted in an Aug. 26 BDN article about marine harvesters in conflict with Acadia National Park over access to intertidal zones and an Aug. 27 BDN article about a family fighting for access to their summer home. The BDN should be applauded for publishing these alongside all those expressing jubilation for our new national monument.
These impacts should concern all. Unfortunately, many will trivialize these conflicts unaware or overlooking the fact that Maine’s forestland owners continue to honor a unique tradition documented in Henry David Thoreau’s “ The Maine Woods.” Since at least 1846, the monument land has been open to the public for a broad range of unregulated recreational activities. Not until Roxanne Quimby bought the land were roads blocked, camp leases canceled, snowmobile trails closed and activities restricted. These restrictions are embedded in the rules that will govern access and use within most of the national monument.
Humankind has not gained anything by this change in status of these lands. We all have lost free access and utilization across these lands that have existed for more than 170 years.
I am saddened by this loss. I wonder what Thoreau might have thought on his last trip to the Maine woods down the East Branch of the Penobscot in 1857 had he encountered the restrictions within this national monument.
Time for LePage to resign
Gov. Paul LePage’s outrageous voice mail to Rep. Drew Gattine requires some action. It is time to speak out. Action after questionable action have caused me to question his adequacy for the highest elected position our state. This one astounds me and makes me feel ashamed of Maine and embarrassed for him. Mainers are the only ones who can do something about this situation.
As an educator, I spent years helping to teach student to to speak out against bullying and to help protect the one being bullied. To do otherwise is to quietly accept and condone the bullying behavior. So, how do we teach children this is unacceptable when mature adults let it go and ignore it?
It’s time for our elected representatives and senators to speak up and do something about the situation. To do less is to quietly accept and condone the governor’s behavior.
Mainers must do their part to let the Legislature know this is not acceptable behavior. It is time for LePage to resign or be removed from office.
Janet W. Varnum
Be wary of big government
In a May 8 BDN OpEd, attorney Stephen Smith correctly pointed out that Question 3 — the background check for gun transfers for law-abiding citizens — is not at all about safety but instead about control. Socialists who want to take away individual freedom and give government control over every aspect of people’s life and everything they own, including their firearms, used out-of-state money to hire an out-of-state consultant to put this proposal on the ballot to harass Maine sportsmen. It will not affect criminals because criminals don’t follow laws.
Big government control of people’s lives is something of which all freedom loving Americans should be wary. History shows that both major parties have contributed to the ever increasing size and intrusion of the government. Fortunately, this year, we have an opportunity to say enough is enough by voting for Gary Johnson for president. As a Libertarian, he believes in less government and more freedom.
Vote for Johnson and against Question 3.
Support ranked-choice voting
As voters, we tend to assume that whoever is elected represents the majority of citizens. After all, they won. We assume that as voters, our voices are always heard and not overpowered by the limitations of the system. Yet, that is not always the case. Our current system of voting in Maine has failed to represent the will of the majority on numerous occasions, which is why I support ranked-choice voting.
Unfortunately, the truth is that the Maine people have not been adequately represented by our current system. In nine of the last 11 races for governor, the winner received less than a majority of the vote. In some cases, candidates have won with as little as 35 percent of the vote.
Ranked-choice voting offers a solution as voters are given the power to rank candidates running for an office in order of their preference. This allows voters the freedom to express their voice without fear of splitting the vote. Moreover, this forces the candidates to interact with all constituents, not just the handful they need to win. In this way, Mainers can ensure their voices are being heard as a majority consensus is reached.
This system has already proved successful in Portland and only needs the chance to prove successful across the state. Support this movement by voting yes on Question 5 on the ballot this November.
LePage’s intolerable behavior
It is time for political leaders of both parties to step up in a very public way to protect the integrity of not only the Maine House and Senate but now the entire state. The level of humiliation of our state is experiencing because of the voicemail the governor left a Democratic legislator is beyond comprehension. A line of civility and professional integrity has been crossed by the governor and now our state again suffers. As citizens, we do not deserve this. Further, we cannot tolerate this.
The governor and his actions need to be publicly denounced by both parties with either a call for his resignation or at a minimum urging him to go through extensive mental health evaluations and counseling. I am in no way qualified to offer a professional opinion of his mental and emotional state; however, his erratic and unhinged behavior, past and present, clearly indicates there is something seriously wrong.