March 23, 2019
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Monday, Nov. 5, 2018: Maine’s population problem, encourage kids to read, uphold water quality standards

Maine’s population problem

Per the Bangor Daily News: “By 2020, Maine’s population is expected to drop to 1.33 million from 1.34 million in 2017, according to the University of Virginia’s Welden Cooper Center for Public Service.”

That’s 10,000 people.

Maine already has a worker shortage and an aging population.

Thousands of hard-working, industrious refugees need a place to live. Let them come to Maine.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

Disappointing article

Last month, the community of Norridgewock came together to honor Cpl. Eugene Cole by dedicating a bridge over the Kennebec River in his name. In a moving ceremony attended by hundreds of people, we heard tributes to Cole from his family, members of law enforcement and local and state leaders. It was a beautiful day.

On Oct. 8, I was disappointed to see a strange story in the BDN that didn’t come close to accurately describing the afternoon I observed.

The article began by bizarrely stating that Sen. Susan Collins didn’t speak about Brett Kavanaugh in her remarks. That is absurd. We were there to honor the life of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Collins’ remarks were appropriately focused on Cole and his family. That was not a day for politics.

The article also suggested that Collins was avoiding protesters. Yet, there were no protesters at the event.

Finally, the article stated that Collins left the event early, but she actually stayed until the very end. I would know. I was with her.

As the sponsor of the bill renaming the bridge after Cole, I was frustrated that the BDN chose to write an inaccurate story about politics instead of focusing on what mattered to everyone in attendance that day: the life of a great man and a community that is continuing to heal.

Rep. Brad Farrin


Trump a manipulator

President Donald Trump is a clever manipulator. He understands many Americans are angry about their powerlessness, diminished economic opportunities and tsunami of social and technological change. He clearly understood that appealing to and even stoking that anger by blaming immigrants, Muslims, the media and the “Democratic mob” could build a mandate for his “leadership.”

He has never offered any rational approaches to address issues such as education, broadening of economic opportunity, health care, or environmental sustainability — all issues that affect his base of supporters as well as most of the electorate. He has just offered various enemies to hate.

His political rallies have besmirched the core values embodied in our political system. He has applauded violence against the media and others who criticize his actions. His language, behavior and tone have enabled political violence both here and abroad. While law enforcement has alleged perpetrators — the synagogue assassin and the pipe bomber — in custody, Trump remains free and able to foment more hatred.

Americans must urge their representatives and senators, regardless of party, to censure Trump’s language and, most importantly, to collaborate on legislation and policies that truly serve all citizens and do not pander to our darkest impulses.

Thomas Adelman


Encourage kids to read

Reading is a dying habit that is turning into an abnormal hobby. It used to be that reading was a popular pastime, people loved it. But now it’s viewed as a chore — something that teachers and adults make children do. Kids would rather be on their cellphones on social media or playing mindless video games. It is known that if younger children don’t read then they can’t develop complex vocabularies or have the necessary skills to one day join the workforce.

As someone from this current generation, I can attest to the fact that more and more of my peers are forsaking reading in favor of partaking in mindless activities on electronics. This is worrisome to watch and leaves me with a bad feeling. The effects it could have on society should be taken into consideration. We have not yet seen the children raised off screens from the time they can talk enter the world. Before they do we should take strides to encourage more reading in school and out of school.

Jessica Bennett


Uphold water quality standards

I appreciated Judy Harrison’s Oct. 29 article on the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt at scaling back Obama-era water quality standards. The current water quality standards were implemented largely to protect native communities that utilize the river as a food source. The move comes as the latest in a long line of regressive environmental policy moves by the current administration.

There has been significant attention paid to river restoration efforts in Maine over the last several decades, and the state has come a long way. The aforementioned changes proposed to quality standards undermine those efforts. Maine’s greatest asset is its outdoor resource, and any move to curtail protection of that resource should be admonished.

Eamon Laskey


Get kids engaged

Smartphones are no longer used primarily for making calls — rather, they provide convenient entertainment and easy access to social media. With the amount of adults with smartphones increasing rapidly, more children are given phones, too. But until they’re in high school, there is no need for a kid to own a phone.

Rather than having your child text his or her school friends, why not just let them hang out in person? If worse comes to worst, there should always be a responsible adult whose phone they can borrow. Children need to learn to be responsible for their possessions, and at age 13, they can’t be trusted with a device that can cost more than $600. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, kids are becoming dependent on technology to entertain themselves. There isn’t even a way to definitively monitor their activity.

If you can afford to buy your kid a phone, then why not put that money toward something that will teach and engage? Why encourage kids to become addicted to their phones? Instead of giving them a phone to avoid social situations, teach them to look up, enjoy the world and communicate with the people around them.

Darcy Bates


Election notice

The BDN has stopped accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 6 election. Not all submissions can be published.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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