January 20, 2020
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Monday, May 20, 2019: Put peace first, equal rights amendment, Penobscot Theatre Company shines

Penobscot Theatre Company shines

My wife and I just saw the Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of “Fun Home,” based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. We were both blown away by the brilliance of the play itself and by the quality of this production.

The level of the acting (most of the players are either local talents or have local roots), the directing, music, choreography, scenic design and lighting were all first-rate! When live theater works, it is magical, and there was magic here tonight.

We left the theater smiling, with a tear in our eye. Our thanks to the entire crew (and to Judy Harrison, whose glowing review in the BDN alerted us to this production). Shine on, PTC.

James Bishop


Put peace first

Donald Trump must think American citizens are too stupid to follow his oh-so-obvious Iran moves. First, unilaterally withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear weapons contract we had urged our allies to sign as well. Then, imposing more economic sanctions on Iran. Then, sending additional military might into the region. And, most recently, laying highly questionable, shipping lane charges against Iran that (conveniently) increased the price of oil — which had already gone up because of Trump’s first move.

Here are questions for Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King: When will Congress, and now our president, stop acting against American and world interests when those interests don’t align with Israel’s, and now Saudi Arabia’s as well? When will they kick the Iraq War-promoting, neoconservative hawks — who have also had Iran in their sights for decades — out of the Pentagon, and AIPAC out of the halls of Congress? When will they put world peace ahead of the interests of the military-industrial complex?

Melodie Greene


Maine needs an equal rights amendment

Last Tuesday, the Maine House of Representatives voted 87-54 for a bill that would guarantee constitutional protection against sex discrimination. The vote fell along party lines on LD 433, with all “nay” votes cast by Republicans. The most basic of human rights — freedom from sex-based discrimination — has become a partisan battle in our state Legislature.

In a recent Bangor Daily News story, “ Latest effort to add equal rights amendment to Maine constitution falters,” reporter Michael Shepherd wrote that, in addition to the 14th Amendment, we have federal laws prohibiting sex-based discrimination. This statement is misleading, most importantly because nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there language that specifically prohibits sex discrimination. And federal legislation can be repealed or fail to be renewed by Congress, as in the case of the Violence Against Women Act, which lapsed earlier this year. In the absence of a federal equal rights amendment, Maine needs such protections guaranteed in our constitution.

A two-thirds vote is required in both legislative chambers on LD 433. We need to contact our state representatives and senators and demand that they vote “yes” so this bill will go to a voter referendum in November. We deserve the opportunity to cast our votes on an amendment that will codify equality of rights. Rights that should not be co-opted by partisan or other special interests.

Susan Snider



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