Death with dignity response
The many safeguards built into LD 1313, the Death with Dignity Act, were not mentioned in Rep. Archie Verow’s recent letter. Numerous screenings by physicians, psychological counseling, counseling through hospice and palliative care are among the many safeguards designed to prevent misuse.
Verow also suggests that this bill could lead to believing that suicide is an acceptable solution to a problem. In fact, it is and should be, under the conditions provided in the bill. Given the agonies facing one with a savaging terminal disease, indeed suicide is an acceptable way to deal with the problem. And no one should be able to deny someone that inherent right. I doubt that any Oregon group influenced this vote. Mainers have long demonstrated their resolve in self-determination.
Finally, given the 73 percent support shown in polls for this bill, I am confident that a referendum would have passed decisively.
Expand ranked voting to presidential elections
I am writing in support of LD 1083, introduced by my state senator, Senate President Troy Jackson, to adopt the ranked-choice voting system for presidential primaries and general elections. I also appreciate the support for this bill by our other county senator, Michael Carpenter.
I worked on the campaign to enact the original ranked-choice voting law, and was very pleased to see how well it worked in 2018. Under current law, ranked-choice voting is used for some primary and general elections in Maine, but not the presidential election. LD 1083 proposes a simple expansion of the existing law. A vote for LD 1083 would align the letter of the law with the intent of Maine voters.
The Maine Legislature is running out of time to enact LD 1083. In only six months, we face a presidential primary with more than 20 Democratic candidates and at least three Republican candidates. We need ranked-choice voting now more than ever to ensure that we elect majority winners. Please join me, and contact your senators, asking them to support LD 1083.
Protect Maine land from development
Maine’s North Woods is the largest undeveloped area east of the Mississippi and is the home to Canadian lynx, bear, moose, bobcats and more. This 10 million acres of undeveloped forests, lakes and rivers needs to be protected for future generations. Right now, Mainers use the land for fishing, hiking and hunting but public access to this area is not guaranteed. Acquiring more public lands would ensure public access forever. We need to support a new bond for the Land for Maine’s Future Program so that funds are available to purchase more lands.
Right now, Maine’s North Woods is losing protections and is exposed to potential development that would fragment the land, endanger wildlife and privatize the land use. If we want the right to enjoy nature, it comes with the responsibility to protect the land when it’s endangered. At the very least, we need to act to reinstate the adjacency principle which protected areas one mile or more from previously developed areas.
To speak out against the decrease of protection, please call your local legislators and Gov. Janet Mills. Ask them to protect the legacy of Maine’s North Woods by limiting sprawling development in the North Woods.
When I encounter one of those dive-bombing bugs, I just quietly stand under or next to a tree for a minute or two. All gone — until the next one.