Internet access is an absolute necessity. I have worked in the technology field for most of my adult life, and I can attest to the importance of preserving a free and open internet experience. Nowhere is this more true than in the college campus setting, as I learned in my time at the University of Maine, where students young and old rely on robust, secure access to the internet to gain new knowledge and skills.
That’s why I’m concerned about legislation being considered in Congress that would undermine internet investment in rural states like Maine. The erroneously titled Save the Internet Act would do nothing to secure net neutrality as its supporters claim. All it would do is threaten internet access and broadband deployment across the state and the country.
Essentially, the Save the Internet Act would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 “ Restoring Internet Freedom Order” and reinstate burdensome utility-style regulations — designed for the pre-World War II telephone industry — on the modern-day internet. We have tried this approach before and it has proven to have a chilling effect on internet investment and expansion.
That is not the way to move Maine forward and keep our residents and businesses connected to the endless opportunities the internet affords us.
Regulating the internet under these outdated rules would seriously set back the free-market principles that have helped drive strong investment and create innovations in the marketplace. For a truly free and open internet, Congress should draft an entirely new set of rules — one that applies to all companies and preserves the investment we need to keep expanding and improving.
I have been enrolled as a Republican in Maine for 40 years. I served for 12 years as an elected official in Holden and ran as a Republican in a contested primary for the Legislature. I am deeply committed to citizen participation in the election process. I do not believe it is enough to talk about politics, but rather we must go to the polls and vote.
For the most part, Maine encourages participation by reducing barriers to voting. But when it comes to primaries, we close the door on a third of our voters because they are not enrolled in a party. I believe that we should encourage all voters to participate in the primary process regardless of party affiliation.
Fortunately, the Legislature is considering a bill that opens our primaries to unenrolled voters. A healthy political process requires citizens who exercise their right to vote, and LD 211 can help. In my own bid for the Legislature, I would have welcomed the opportunity to have all my friends and neighbors vote for me in June. I urge you to contact your legislators and ask for their support of LD 211.
Clare Hudson Payne
An unwarranted swipe
Judy Harrison‘s review of “Fun Home” hits the mark with regards to praising the quality of the production and the performances of the actors. Unfortunately, her parting swipe at Bari Newport, the theater’s producing artistic director, is shamefully petty and unwarranted. As a board member, I fully understand and appreciate the difficult task Newport has each year of selecting productions that will cover the cost of running the theater. The sad fact is that “Fun Home” will operate at a loss and she knew that when making her selection. However, she is able to bring it to her audience because of the success of other productions she carefully selected for this season.
As season subscribers, my wife and I look forward each season to the variety of shows that Newport brings to us. As a board member, I am impressed with her uncanny ability to make selections that allow us to present shows, such as “Fun Home.” I am happy Harrison feels that this is Newport’s finest hour, but from my point of view, it is but one of many.