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Wednesday, July 26, 2017: Tourism can bring prosperity, McCain can beat cancer, DHHS child care rules troubling

McCain can beat cancer

I was sad to hear that Republican Sen. John McCain has brain cancer. When he ran for president, I voted for him, even though I am a registered Democrat.

He certainly had paid his dues in full. He had given his whole adult life to his country, suffering so much torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years. He showed his true character when he could have been released early but wouldn’t leave until the rest in his prison, those who had been there longer than him, could go home as well.

He’s always crossed the party line whenever he believed it was the right avenue to take for the good of the country. That always came first. Some of his comrades in Washington could take a page from his book of integrity.

He certainly is a true American hero and a warrior — the best of the best. When then-candidate Donald Trump made the statement that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured, I couldn’t believe those words could come out of any person’s mouth. But now after six months as president, I believe anything of Trump. He is a disgrace to our great country. How Trump could become president when a true patriot like McCain couldn’t win that office from the American people boggles my mind.

God Bless McCain. I know he has a long battle ahead, but he has always been a fighter and that he will give it his all to conquer that adversary: cancer.

Estelle Bowden


Raising adults up to families

In his July 14 BDN letter to the editor, Richard de Grasse offered an opinion and interpretation of Sen. Ben Sasse’s book, “ The Vanishing American Adult.” My response to the book was so different than his that I am compelled to revisit it.

The reader seemed to interpret the book as an indictment of our public schools, including universities, in that they have failed the people. I believe the rather refreshing thrust of Sasse’s book was to communicate with families and suggest that the bulk of responsibility for raising children to adulthood rests with them. If I recall correctly, and it has been a couple of months since I read it, Sasse strives not to blame teachers and schools.

In an effort to help families affect change, at the end of his chapters he lists a sort of “to-do list” rife with examples directed at his intended audience. The lists contain primarily suggestions for the adults whose charge it is to raise the children. His book was refreshing in that it was not yet another manual with prescriptions intended to heal teachers and administrators. It was a suggestion that the cure needed to begin with families.

During a time when there is such polarization and distortion of facts, I will reread Sasse’s book. If my interpretation is inaccurate, I will stand corrected.

Mary P. Karpen


Tourism can bring prosperity

The days of large-scale harvesting of timber from Maine’s forests have come and gone. In the 1940s, I watched hundred of cars pouring out of the Eastern Maine Fine Paper Co. parking lot after the workers finished their shift. I swam among large logs floating in the Penobscot River in South Brewer while they waited to be made into paper. I stood on Exchange Street in Bangor and looked at all the axes and saws in Sammy Segal’s Pawn Shop.

But those things are gone and they aren’t coming back. What can come back and bring prosperity back is tourist dollars.

Don’t give developers the chance to pick apart Roxanne Quimby’s gift of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to Maine. Her gift should benefit many people, not just a few. Look at the prosperity that Acadia National Park brings to the area around it. We can bring such prosperity to the region north of Bangor.

We can promote a Great North Woods National Park.

Paul Shanley

Old Town

North Woods monument economic boost

Thousands of Maine people fully oppose any action that would modify the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Katahdin Woods and Waters is a spectacular place already helping the region’s economy. Businesses are investing, tourism is growing and real estate sales are on the rise.

The region has been clobbered financially in recent years, in part, because of paper mill closings. There is a huge pool of good workers who can and will be employed by the national monument and supporting businesses.

Rick Alexander

Blue Hill

DHHS child care rules troubling

As adults, it is our responsibility to ensure that all early learning environments in Maine promote the health and safety of our youngest children. When our children have quality and safe early learning experiences, they can truly thrive later in life — in school, on the playground and into adulthood.

This is why I find the new family child care rules proposed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services deeply concerning. To echo a recent Maine Focus story, the proposed rules seriously weaken basic health and safety requirements designed to guard our children in child care. Not to mention, they reduce parent rights and most importantly go behind the backs of lawmakers by delaying legislative review until after implementation.

In Maine, over two-thirds of children under the age of six have all available parents in the workforce and are likely in need of child care. These parents should be able to go to work confident in their child’s care and these children ought to have the proper safeguards that protect their health and safety. And the family child care providers I know want to provide this quality care.

The health and safety of our children is paramount. And we owe it to our children to ensure these proposed rules receive the proper scrutiny they deserve. I hope lawmakers will support delaying the implementation of these rules until they have received legislative oversight.

Margaret Leitch Copeland

Vice chair

Board of directors

Maine Children’s Alliance



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