Take back marijuana legalization

I was shocked to learn that the people of Maine approved the recreational use of marijuana in our beautiful state. Maine and the country as a whole spent millions of dollars over the years trying to stop people from smoking cigarettes. For the most part, it has been a successful effort. Now we want to allow adults to smoke marijuana. It makes no sense.

Everyone knows we have an alcohol problem in our state and the country. Thousands of people are killed, injured, or abused on a regular basis as a result of alcohol. Now we have marijuana that can also change behavior and be another excuse for death, injuries and abuse. Advocates say it is no worse than alcohol, which may be true, but is that good? Adults and young people abuse alcohol on a regular basis in an attempt to have fun. It seems like people can’t have a party without alcohol. Now things will be made worse with marijuana being legal.

I am so sorry for young people who will be brought up in this environment. I hope a new vote will come to pass in the near future to rescind this decision. Our young people deserve better.

Richard Leonard


Trump must get real on climate change

The only critical issue facing us that absolutely can’t be fixed later is climate change. As Bill McKibben put it: “ physics doesn’t negotiate. Physics just does.” But President-elect Donald Trump has denied climate change, calling it a hoax. His pick for chief of staff, Reince Priebus, clarified Trump’s position on Fox: Climate science “ is a bunch of bunk.”

Our government’s weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that 2016 is on target to be the hottest year ever recorded, surpassing the record set by 2015.

Trump had threatened to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce emissions from the largest single U.S. source — power plants.

Trump has named a notorious climate-denier, Myron Ebell, to lead the EPA transition. This bows to the wishes of the dirty energy industry, threatening the health of all Americans.

But Trump has no mandate to wage a war on public health and the environment by rolling back critical protections against air pollution — whether from cars, power plants or oil and gas drilling. The vast majority of Americans support climate action. Climate change is happening now, and its effects are being felt around the country and around the world.

It’s time for the president-elect to leave his climate denial behind and listen to his new constituents. I also hope that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King will stand up to Trump and continue to champion action on climate.

William Wood


Monument positive for Katahdin region

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is already beginning to have a positive economic effect in the Katahdin region.

I own and operate Two Rivers Canoe and Tackle, a small business in Medway that caters to sportsmen and women of all interests, from hunters to paddlers. As a small-business owner and a former millworker, I’ve seen a lot of changes in my town as mills around this area have shut down. I’m thrilled that the national monument is here for lots of reasons.

There has already been a big jump in visitors to the region. I’ve seen it in my store, where people I haven’t seen before are here to check out the monument. This is good for business. This year is on track to be our best year since 2009.

There has been too much negativity in our communities for years. Negativity is bad and does nothing for a community. It never did anything for ours. But the monument is positive, and the jump in business we and others have seen is just the beginning.

Now that we’ve got something big to draw people here, we’ve got something to build on that will keep some of our young people here. Houses are going to start selling and more families can put down roots here. Everyone in our communities needs to embrace this. And we need Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin to protect and promote this monument down in Washington.

Barry Davis


Two Rivers Canoe & Tackle