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Monday, Oct. 31, 2016: Ranked-choice voting is simple, McCabe for Senate, Question 1 threatens medical marijuana

Bravo for the Bangor buses

The Bangor City Council has again proclaimed November “Ride the Bus! Month,” and there are many more folks on board this year. The Community Connector Bus Ambassador program has expanded, with city department heads learning the ropes and sharing information in their departments. All bus routes are free on Election Day. At least one church congregation (Bangor’s Unitarian-Universalist Church) has planned a Faith Rides! trip to the polls on Nov. 8. The Bangor YMCA and Bangor Historical Society are taking seniors on a bus trip to Mount Hope Cemetery to learn about its geological and local history. Look out for more opportunities and local celebrities extolling the virtues of bus riding and taking rides themselves.

There is a concerted effort to improve our public transit system. The city is adding more buses. Pickering Square and the bus depot will be getting a facelift. Soon there will be extended hours and perhaps an increased frequency of route runs — maybe even on Sundays — so people can get to and from jobs and to the expanding array of restaurants and evening venues.

You will be seeing more about improvements to the connector, beginning with a Ride the Bus! Kick-Off event at Pickering Square on Halloween from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Bring your children and grandchildren and wear costumes. There’ll be a parade and prizes.

For information about Bus Ambassadors and the Community Connector, contact Food AND Medicine at 989-5850 or Community Connector at 992-4670 or online at bangormaine.gov/communityconnector.

Suzanne Kelly


Question 1 endangers medical pot

I have been a medical marijuana patient since the law came into effect in 2010. I have used cannabis as medicine before, during and after my two knee replacements, during the rehab of my two torn rotator cuffs and most recently while healing my fractured ankle. I use CBDs — a cannabinoid from the plant — in oil form, capsule or vape pen, for my ankle’s pain and inflammation. CBD strains have only a trace THC and produce no high.

Maine’s medical marijuana program is currently the best in the country. I’ve been working with caregivers and patients to make it even better. Although I support ending the cannabis prohibition, I am not supporting this referendum and am urging people to vote no on Question 1.

If marijuana is legalized for adult recreational use, I am concerned that out-of-state corporations will overtake our local cannabis growers. This could easily put an end to our medical marijuana program, just like in the state of Washington. In Maine we have nearly 3,000 local caregivers, registered with the state, who pay taxes and serve patients. I support our local growers and want to see the medical program flourish. Several retired medical providers in my professional circle are serving cancer and seizure patients as medical marijuana caregivers. It seems like every week we see more and more good news about this treasured plant.

I encourage you vote no on Question 1 on Election Day. Keep our cannabis local!

Roxanne Munksgaard


Clinton is best candidate

I’m a daughter of Maine, born in Lewiston and raised in Auburn, the child of a master mechanic and a graduate of the University of Maine. I am also a retired ambassador who has dedicated her life to development and diplomacy for the past 40 years.

I’ve worked in many of the poorest countries in the world, including many in Africa and Haiti. I’ve met four presidents, several secretaries of state, four first ladies and dozens of members of Congress. I have spent anywhere from a few hours to a few days with them. Not one compares to Hillary Clinton.

The first time I met Clinton was in South Africa in 1997. She was there as first lady to represent the U.S. and congratulate the newly democratic country on finally having defeated apartheid. She didn’t just shake hands and share perfunctory toasts. She carefully examined our efforts there to help women, students and the poor. Since then, I’ve spent time with her in Washington, Liberia and Haiti. There is nothing flashy or fancy about her. But she is always thoughtful, indefatigable, curious and deeply compassionate. She works 16 to 18 hours a day. She is always the best informed person in the room.

More than 200 former ambassadors support Clinton’s candidacy, and I’m one of them. This is no accident. Clinton is by far the best candidate in this race.

Pamela White


Need for ranked-choice voting

For each voter in the booth, ranked-choice voting is as simple as one-two-three. My first-grade grandson can do it.

No one has to participate. If you have only one preference among three or more, just mark your single choice and move on. It’s not a big deal.

But ranked-choice voting gives us the option to participate in an election runoff with only a single trip to the polls. It adds a valuable service for busy and engaged citizens. As we voters drive to the polls and stand in line, we owe ourselves this opportunity for the election system to make better use of our time.

When there are multiple candidates, will it take longer to count ballots? Sometimes it might, but it’s a lot less time and expense than a runoff election. And with computerized tallying, it can be as quick as an instant scratch ticket.

Question 5, the referendum for ranked-choice voting, is a great way for us to add value and depth to citizen participation in future elections.

Peter Mills


Elect McCabe to Senate

Jeff McCabe has a proven track record as an elected official for Skowhegan. We need more leaders under 40 in this state, and McCabe is someone with a proven track record.

Many of us have seen his efforts at Lake George Regional Park. He made improvements and upgrades that improved a regional asset. He showed he is willing to roll up his sleeves get dirty and work hard.

McCabe is active in so many things and at local events even in nonelection time. McCabe and his young family mirrors my young family in many ways. He understands what families are facing and the challenges our state is facing.

We need a strong voice and proven leader in Augusta. Vote McCabe for Senate District 3.

Diandra Staples


Election notice

The BDN is no longer accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election. Not all submissions can be published.


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