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Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018: Democrats’ pointless shutdown, bigotry has no place in Maine, Trump trades away our safety

Democrats’ pointless shutdown

Thanks to Senate Democrats, we went through three days of a completely unnecessary government shutdown. They put the safety and security of the country at risk and jeopardized the children’s health care program all over a non-budget immigration issue.

While I agree that DACA is an important issue, it has no place in a funding bill. I would also point out the Democrats could have a deal on DACA anytime they wanted one, provided they are willing to also fix the cause of the problem and deal with border security and immigration reform. It does no good to treat the symptom of the current “Dreamers” if you are not willing to fix the cause of the problem. The fact that the Democrats didn’t want to deal with this issue just proves that all of this was nothing more than a contrived issue and done solely for political reasons.

To all representatives and senators on both sides of the isle, I would say, “enough is enough. Do your jobs and pass a budget as you are required to do by the Constitution and stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

Timothy Grant

Glenburn

Bigotry has no place in Maine

I am appalled and outraged that anyone with Tom Kawczynski’s blatant discrimination, and spreading of the same, could occupy a position of authority in our wonderful state of Maine, namely as town manager of Jackman. I am a ninth-generation native, born in north-central Maine, who believes we are better through diversity. Bigotry, hate and downright ignorance only weakens us.

I regret that Jackman did not do a better job of vetting; something that Rockland, where I currently live, was also guilty of doing — council members were wise enough to take corrective action and we now have a good and qualified city manager. I hope Jackman’s select board members will do the same.

I have been to and through Jackman many times during my 78 years in my beloved Maine, but I shall not return to Jackman as long as Kawczynski holds a position there. I have already spread the word to my friends and asked that they pass it on as well — like one would do with a chain letter.

Like white supremacist Porter Bodine in the 1960s, I am confident that Kawczynski, with the help of the good people of Jackman, will discover it is best to go to another part of the country dragging his flag behind him.

Silence is complicity. I am asking the good people of the Jackman area to, please, not be complicit. Take action — peacefully insist and persist until Kawczynski is removed from office.

Leslie Poole

Rockland

Don’t use insecticides

California just announced it will put a freeze on new use of bee-killing pesticides. We were happy to see this move because in 2014. We at Eldredge Lumber and Hardware in York removed current uses of bee-killing pesticides. These chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, have annual sales in excess $3.7 billion.

Neonicotinoids are a systemic insecticide. They’re marketed as being effective against insects that feed on plant tissue, and used ubiquitously in conventional farming and greenhouse production.

The “neonics” by their very nature are problematic. Populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinators are crashing. A recent study in Germany found a 75 percent decline in the number of flying insects in the last 20 years.

At Eldredge, we solve our customer’s landscape problems with organic products. We don’t sell neonicotinoids or chemical lawn treatments because we believe it’s the right thing to do and organic methods and products work, not because we thought it would be good for business. But it has been very good for business. It is energizing our customers in every department.

As an Ace affiliate, we encourage others in the Ace network to follow California and Eldridge Hardware by eliminating neonicotinoids and moving to organics. We refuse to take part in endless promotion of these chemicals. Call your local hardware store or garden center and ask if their plants have been treated with neonics (ask us, too). Buy only organic or grow your own. It’s the only way to be safe and sure.

John Bochert

York

Trump trades our safety for nothing

I lived and worked in a country in this hemisphere that I certainly have referred to, in private conversations, with a vulgar epithet, but I am a private citizen.

The president of the United States is not a private citizen but rather the most public citizen on the planet. Nothing the president says outside his family is private. Our loose-cannon president has put every member of the U.S. military serving overseas, every U.S. diplomat and embassy employee, every U.S. business person working abroad, and every U.S. traveler and tourist in peril, and for what? This self-described dealmaker has traded the safety of U.S. citizens for nothing.

Martin O’Connell

Bangor

LePage’s nonsensical junk food ban

By citing the obesity rate in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage tried unsuccessfully to ban the purchase of soda and candy by food stamp recipients.

Low-income people receiving food stamps have to use cash to buy laundry soap, bleach, dish soap, shampoo, body soap, toilet paper, household cleaning products, shaving cream, razors and so on. Low-income people consider those items to be necessities, not luxuries.

That being said, I completely agree with the current exclusions of tobacco and alcohol. If soda and candy become exclusions, then all flavorings for water and milk would have to be excluded, too. Ingredients for cooking and baking also would have to be excluded because many are made of candy (chocolate chips for cookies and muffins). Vanilla extract has no nutritional value, so that would have to be excluded, too.

Where would the exclusions end? Where would the line be drawn? Who would determine where that line would be?

Dianne Marie

Biddeford

 


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