Time is now for paid sick leave

The time is now for Maine to guarantee paid sick days for all workers in the state. Currently, nearly half our workforce, around 198,000 workers, have no access to paid sick leave whatsoever. This is a crisis that affects several of our industries, from nurses and daycare workers to restaurant workers.

I know this because I’ve worked retail and restaurant jobs, and the general rule is the same, unless you have someone to cover your shift, you have to come to work. This can be problematic if you have a contagious illness like the cold or a flu. I have seen several of my coworkers be around the food they are serving you, trying not to cough near it. This doesn’t even cover the fact that a lot of nurses and healthcare workers don’t have access to paid sick leave, putting patients at risk.

No one in Maine should have to choose between missing out on wages or taking care of their health. All workers in Maine deserve the ability to earn paid sick days. No working families should be left behind.

The Maine Small Business Coalition supports paid sick days. I urge my legislators in Augusta to pass legislation to ensure up to five earned paid sick days annually for all Maine workers.

Ethan Henderson


Simple truth of Gimple testimony

So I went to the federal court clerk’s office and read the entire testimony of Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s expert witness in his case against ranked-choice voting. In a recent BDN column Amy Fried is entirely accurate in her synopsis and critique. She is kinder than Professor James Gimpel deserves.

To start, Gimpel let stand a misapprehension about his contribution to a 2008 paper, published in a journal on which he was an editor — the closest he’s gotten to research on ranked-choice voting. The court asked whether he had edited the paper and Gimpel said “yes.” If true, this would be very unusual. Typically editors send out submissions for anonymous peer review. And in fact, the paper’s authors acknowledge many named and unnamed readers who offered comments on their work, among whom Gimpel is just one. They do not cite any publications by Gimpel. Gimpel’s contribution to the paper was significantly less important than he would have the court believe. This may seem a small thing, but it typifies the self aggrandizement and disregard for fact which permeate Gimpel’s testimony.

In another case, Gimpel, testifying in favor of Pennsylvania Republican gerrymandering, counter-factually opined that it is reasonable to argue that “the U. S. House of Representatives is by design supposed to be a continuing and stable body.” Ultimately the courts disagreed and rejected the GOP scheme. One can hope that Gimpel’s testimony here in Maine will similarly be given all the weight it deserves.

Annlinn Kruger

Bar Harbor

Medicaid questions for Mills

Just two simple questions: How and why are we paying for health insurance (Medicaid) for able-bodied, childless people, who can work? The big question is, how will we pay for it? An answer would be appreciated from the incoming administration.

Dana Peterson


Consider the lobsters’ pain

Please allow me to respond to the Dec. 19 BDN article “PETA lodges complaint against another Maine lobster processor.”

Anyone can go to PETA’s website, watch the video of live lobsters being torn limb from limb and judge for themselves whether or not it’s cruel. I think it is. Numerous studies have shown that lobsters and other crustaceans can feel pain, and dismembering fully conscious lobsters subjects these animals to unnecessary suffering.

Quicker, less-cruel slaughter methods, such as electric stunners and hydrostatic pressure, are readily available and should be standard throughout the lobster industry. At the very least, surely we can all agree that mutilating live animals is unacceptable.

Jennifer Austin