November 14, 2018
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Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018: Ban polystyrene, expand Medicare to all, EPA ignores science

Giles for Maine Senate

There are many things I admire about Jayne Crosby Giles as she runs for Senate District 11, which covers Waldo County. I’ve known Giles as part of the Belfast Rotary Club, where she devotes many hours of service to the club’s projects — in particular, the 100 Fund and as the chair of the Youth Exchange Program. I served as the club president last year and witnessed Giles’ willingness to undertake additional responsibilities to ensure that our Youth Exchange Program continued. This valuable program will continued because of Giles’ commitment.

But I’ve known Giles even longer as a small-business banking consultant and through her work with Broadreach Child and Family Services. Her message is clear, and her efforts in Augusta will reflect her family values around education and children, access to health care especially for seniors and veterans, and supporting small businesses. Her experience serving in the House of Representatives for four years will enable her to transition smoothly into the Senate. She knows the process of creating legislation and how the State House works. She will be a tremendous asset for us.

Giles will have my vote in November to represent Waldo County in the Senate. She will work hard for us, ensuring the Maine Legislature continues with public policies that support growth, investment and serving the people of Waldo County.

Dorothy Havey

Lincolnville

Ban polystyrene

A sentiment I have found in every corner of Maine is an intrinsic fondness and sense of belonging to this state. Maine’s natural serenity and beauty come from its untouched forests, unique cities and especially its coastline. Tourists come from far and near to taste Maine life on the water. It’s what makes Maine, Maine.

Our waters are integral to life in Maine. However, they are being polluted by a material we are all familiar with: polystyrene. Even though we only use it for a few minutes as a cup and takeout container, it lasts in our environment for hundreds of years and never fully breaks down.

Not only is this an environmental threat but an economic one, as well. The polystyrene breaks down into microplastic particles that can compromise the fishing industry that carries our name to foreign markets and constitutes our Maine identity. If we don’t want our economic brand to suffer, we need to encourage alternatives.

We could be the first state in the nation to pass a statewide ban on polystyrene cups and takeout containers and serve as an example of environmental responsibility to other states. We should all do our part and urge our representatives to vote for Maine.

Graham Ludders

Bath

EPA ignores science

Thank you for the recent BDN editorials on the Environmental Protection Agency’s intention to roll back fuel economy standards and power plant pollution standards. The BDN correctly pointed out that the Trump administration lied when it claimed its new fuel economy standards would save lives. And the BDN recognized that it is easing coal-fired power plant standards despite the EPA’s conclusions that doing so will, by 2030, cause up to 1,400 premature deaths annually and as many as 15,000 new cases of upper respiratory disease.

These standards were researched and based on solid science, but it is clear from these latest actions that acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, like his predecessor Scott Pruitt, has little regard for science.

What the EPA is proposing should be of concern to all Mainers. Our state is known as “the tailpipe of the nation” because prevailing westerly winds bring us lots of air pollution from other states. If the EPA rolls back these standards, Mainers will breathe toxins generated not just in Maine but in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, etc.

We need to tell Wheeler to leave these standards in place and let our senators and Rep. Bruce Poliquin know that we expect them to put pressure on Wheeler as well. Then we need to elect a congressman in November who will use congressional oversight to ensure the EPA does its job — defending the environment and public health, not threatening them.

David Jolly

Penobscot

Martha Dickinson

Ellsworth

David Batuski

Orono

Expand Medicare to all

I read with great interest Phil Caper’s recent OpEd discussing the reduced costs and improved benefits that would be achieved by Medicare for all.

I have been a Medicare recipient for seven years. I have seen how well it works from the patient’s standpoint, and I wish everyone were as fortunate. One of the things I like best is the freedom Medicare gives you to choose the provider you want; you aren’t restricted to a private insurer’s network.

There are some who believe that government-guaranteed coverage would somehow take away important freedoms. Yes, we would no longer be able to choose from the confusing array of incomplete coverages offered by private insurers. Most of us would gladly give up that freedom to have a single payer (the government) that provides full coverage. We would also lose the freedom to take on risk in exchange for dubious savings, in this case the risk of bankruptcy due to crushing medical bills. I gave up these “freedoms” when I enrolled in Medicare, and I have actually found it liberating.

The government has a 50-year track record of running Medicare well. It is time to expand it.

Michael Bacon

Westbrook

Golden for Congress

The fat cats must be running scared. Tens of thousands of dollars have recently been spent on television attack ads directed at Jared Golden, who opposes the right-wing incumbent in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District this November. Making an obvious appeal to voter paranoia, these ads accuse Golden of being “too liberal” and “too risky” for Maine, and ask, “What will he do in Washington?”

Two things Golden won’t do that his opponent has already done: he won’t hide in the bathroom to avoid answering questions about his policies, and he won’t support policies that benefit the wealthy at the expense of working people.

I believe Mainers are too decent and fair-minded to believe frantic nonsense paid for by out-of-state money. Golden, a rock-solid, energetic moderate, is our golden opportunity to elect someone who will work to improve conditions in the 2nd District and who will himself improve the composition of the House of Representatives.

Richard Lamasney

Northfield

 


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