Don’t make drug epidemic worse
With Maine’s ongoing drug abuse epidemic, why would we approve another drug to regulate and add to the existing problem? I support voting no on the referendum to legalize recreational marijuana — Question 1 on the ballot.
It has taken years to educate the public on the need to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption. Let’s not get into the same situation with the use of another potentially addictive substance.
The only people who would profit from the passage of this ballot question would be the sellers. The users would be the losers. Vote no on marijuana.
Aroostook needs strong leaders
Recently, I attended a public candidate forum sponsored by the Presque Isle High School social studies department. The staff and students are to be commended. During the event, I heard presentations by Aroostook’s two Democratic Senate candidates: Troy Jackson of District 1, an Allagash logger, former legislative leader and fighter for labor and working families, and Mike Carpenter of District 2, a Houlton lawyer, small-business owner and former state attorney general. Each spoke eloquently with passion and pride about their Aroostook County roots and dreams for bringing prosperity back to the region. They spoke of hard times in The County, with its loss of jobs and influence, while maintaining that, given a level playing field, Aroostook County students and workers can successfully compete with those anywhere.
Jackson and Carpenter pledged to level the playing field by bolstering educational opportunities and making sure Aroostook gets its fair share of resources and attention. Needing no on-the-job training, they will be ready on Day One to go to work for all Aroostook County families.
Unfortunately, we don’t know the views of their respective Republican opponents who chose to skip this community opportunity. Aroostook needs strong, experienced leadership in the Senate. On Nov. 8, please send Jackson and Carpenter to Augusta to work for all of us.
Question 3 makes no sense for Maine
Does the following scenario sound reasonable and fair for Maine? A friend of mine asks to borrow a rifle from me. The firing pin in his rifle broke, and it will not be repaired in time for the deer hunting season. Typically, I would simply lend him the firearm, and he would return it to me when the season was over.
If Question 3 passes in November, in order for my friend to borrow a rifle from me, we would have to both drive to a licensed firearms dealer, where my friend would undergo a background check at whatever cost this dealer chose to charge. If my friend passes, he could borrow my firearm. When he is ready to return the firearm to me, we would again be required to drive to a licensed firearm dealer, where I would need to have a background check performed on me for another possible fee in order for my firearm to be returned to me.
Question 3 was not written to accommodate the rural nature nor the traditional sporting culture of Maine. Legal firearm owners and hunters want nothing more than to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, but, as written, this background check law and all its nuances simply does not belong in Maine. Vote no, and let’s go back to the drawing board. But this time include Maine people in the process of establishing a background check law that makes sense for Maine.
Stand up for students in November
Question 2 on the November ballot is a real chance to make a positive difference in the area of school funding, and it won’t increase most Mainers taxes by 1 cent, unless they earn more than $200,000 per year. Think of the educational opportunities and advantages available to people who have that kind of money.
The staff at a typical school is stretched so thin that teachers are routinely scheduled to supervise students for more than five straight hours without a two-minute bathroom break. It also has become routine for local school boards to ask voters for extra money, above and beyond the state’s funding formula, or to cut arts programs, libraries, life skills or technology learning opportunities. There are hard choices and tension over school budgets every spring. Thrift and belt-tightening have reached the point where we have to question whether the system is really about doing our best for students, even as schools are expected or even mandated to provide more and more services.
Voters all over Maine understand that a good education opens the doors to success and satisfaction in the lives of our residents. Question 2 is the solution that our leaders were unwilling or unable to enact themselves. Please vote yes on Question 2. It’s a chance to finally stand up for students and fund our schools properly.
Trump no role model
Donald Trump has created more anger, hatred, divisiveness and paranoia than any other presidential candidate. Trump likely hasn’t paid federal income taxes for many years, and he has declared bankruptcy several times. He is an adulterer, sexist, racist and sexual predator. (Trump bragged he went into dressing rooms at beauty pageants, reportedly while girls as young as 15 were changing, in order to do “ inspections” on the girls. He also bragged no one could tell him not to because he owned the pageant.)
Voters are conducting the interview for hiring Trump as our next president. They should consider his resume (he has no job experience); his recommendations (even some in his own party won’t recommend him); and his behavior during the interview process (angry, hateful rants and unstable behavior toward many people, mocking a disabled reported, prisoners of war, women and anyone who criticizes him).
Trump’s pattern of unstable behavior during the campaign — Trump has bragged that as a young boy he punched his second-grade music teacher — is teaching children things no parent should ever want their children to learn. Would a parent want her son to grow up to behave like Trump?
Presidents, in varying degrees, act as role models for our children. So voters obviously should consider the national and international repercussions of a Trump presidency but also ask themselves if Trump is a good role model for their children to emulate?
The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Oct. 28. Not all submissions can be published.