Let the kids march
On March 14, across this nation, walkouts are planned to bring to light the seriousness of the gun violence and the school systems in our area. I am appealing to the parents of students: Just let your children walk. Here is a chance to be part of a solution to a problem. The adage of “children should be seen and not heard” should be disregarded when it comes to their safety.
Growing up, we were never involved with active shooter drills or locked doors in classrooms. The only thing we had to worry about was getting caught smoking in the bathroom. Our children have larger safety concerns walking the halls than we ever did. The children need our support and to be heard. Thoughts and prayers are just not enough anymore.
On Feb. 14, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School became the site of one of the deadliest school shootings on record, and I know my children are concerned and scared because of their school’s lack of locked doors. I am scared for my children’s safety, and I don’t even belong to the student body, so I cannot imagine the horror of having to walk through the halls.
We need to support and protect our future, so let your children join in and help them have their voices heard. Parents should let their children know you support them. Changing a society can begin at any age.
Marijuana law change
The recent proposed legislative changes on Maine’s marijuana law has me concerned over the legislative power over the will of the people. Specifically, on the change of the number of plants allowed for recreational use from six to three. The initiative, as approved, allows for six plants, so where does the Legislature have the authority to change it? Are people who are now growing six breaking the law?
I think this is abuse of legislative power. Do what they want on the retail sale, but leave the initiative on recreational use as approved by the people.
By the way, I do not use marijuana and never have, but I do believe the private, recreational use should be left as the people approved it.
Reject corporate welfare bill
In the news recently, we learned that Bath Iron Works has spent at least $16,000 to lobby for its corporate welfare bill, LD 1781, currently under review by the Maine Legislature. This bill would give $60 million in tax breaks to General Dynamics, a bloated weapons manufacturer that doesn’t need the money.
Maine’s human welfare needs, education, roads and bridges desperately need that money. Legislators do the right thing. Reject LD1781
Climate action needed
Although I believe it warranted front page headlines, it was great to see the Feb. 27 BDN article about the above freezing heat wave at the North Pole.
A primary concern is that there are great stores of frozen methane in the shallow Arctic Ocean and vast permafrost regions that are beginning to thaw. There is so much there that if a fraction were to release, it would push up global temperatures.
About 250 million years ago, the Permian mass extinction was initiated by a vast lava flow in Siberia that heated up the planet much like our industrialization and fossil fuel use has. Once it warmed things up enough to melt the great stores of methane, the temperature climbed so high that plants and animals could not adapt and 90 percent perished.
An Oct. 22 BDN article, that also deserved to make the front page, reported that pollution causes 9 million deaths each year at a cost of $4.6 billion. Environmental degradation and climate change have initiated what is already called the sixth and greatest extinction because it is happening so fast and by so many drivers.
We might consider putting the brakes on releasing any more carbon and learn how we can live more locally and simply. It is daunting, but is there really any sane alternative to not trying? Besides, who can say that, while life is magnificent and sacred, our civilization with all the wars and inequity is so fine?
Time for Poliquin to retire
I’m a veteran, and unlike some of my comrades in the state of Maine, I am not homeless.
The tax breaks given to the rich that Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted for will not benefit anyone in this state if you are not making millions of dollars. This makes me wonder why someone who is a millionaire wants to be my representative for very little pay.
I would like to talk to Poliquin about my concerns, but it is very hard to find him. He is always happy to put out press releases talking about his love for veterans, but he cuts aid for them. We do not need millionaires running our state when they don’t even understand that their constituents struggle for their daily needs to be satisfied.
Let us all help Poliquin retire early.
Protect our children
A measure of our civilization is how we treat our children, the most vulnerable members of our society, along with our elderly and infirm.
Our children are a resource, an asset and our future. If they can’t speak for themselves, be their voice. And if you see something wrong, do something right.
Honor and treasure our children.
Tax bill benefits
The Republican tax bill has already impacted the Pine Tree State for the better.
Last month, IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook announced the company will share its savings from the tax cuts through an increase in employee 401(k) retirement contributions. IDEXX employs over 2,500 people in Maine, while roughly 90 percent of all employees participate in the company’s retirement plan.
This is a wonderful benefit to Mainers trying to save for retirement. And it’s just another reason to be thankful for tax cuts.