Protect the 207 area code

It is absurd to say that Maine is running out of phone numbers under the area code 207. There are approximately 7,900,000 available numbers under any one area code.

We have less than 1.5 million people, and I believe we have less than 200,000 businesses. There should be plenty of available numbers.

There is no good reason why a Bangor number has to start with — say hypothetically — 942, or a Portland number with 771. This may not be an important issue, but it’s nice to have something minor to talk about.

Gloria Vollmers

Professor emeritus of accounting

Maine Business School

University of Maine


Help tribes and all of Maine prosper

Ample evidence exists that the central, Down East and northern Maine regions lag far behind Greater Portland in terms of relative economic prosperity. The single most effective action the Maine Legislature and Gov. Janet Mills could take this legislative session to enhance the economic conditions in these distressed areas is to enact LD 2094, An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act.

The homelands of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Nation lie within some of Maine’s most economically challenged areas. As the former executive director of the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, I’ve seen for years how the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act has stymied Wabanaki tribal governments from implementing economic development opportunities because of the oppressive provisions and disputed interpretations of the act. Acknowledging the basic fairness that Wabanaki tribal governments should receive the same legal treatment and exercise the same powers of self-determination as other federally recognized tribes seems self-evident.

Contact your state legislator today to tell them to support LD 2094. Consider testifying at the Friday public hearing. Tell people you know about the importance of this bill. Wabanaki prosperity means all of Maine will prosper.

John Dieffenbacher-Krall

Old Town

Not a safe bet

I read the BDN article about the Maine Senate overriding Gov. Janet Mills veto that would legalize sports betting in Maine. I do not bet, so it didn’t concern me much either way, but I did get offended by some remarks made by Sen. Louis Luchini.

He introduced the initial bill and then pushed for the veto override, but his reasoning seems to me to be way off base. He argues that the illegal sports-betting market is huge so we should make it legal and tax it. This same reasoning was used to help make marijuana legal.

If this was sound reasoning, Luchini should introduce legislation to make cocaine, meth, heroin and even drunken driving legal — but put a big tax on all of them to help the state.

Just because lots of people engage in an illegal activity doesn’t mean that making it legal and taxing it is a solution.

Merle Cousins

Southwest Harbor

Vote no on Question 1

I would like to share a brief quotation from the current edition of the Mayo Clinic alumni magazine. I received this publication as a graduate of residencies in internal medicine and nephrology at the Mayo Clinic.

At the 71st biennial meeting of the Alumni Association, Dr. Pritish Tosh of the division of infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic noted the following: “2019 has seen a global increase in measles — three times the number of cases in 2018 and the highest incidence since 2006. Measles is among the leading causes of death in children worldwide. The decrease in measles vaccine uptake is a victim of its own success — loss of community memory about the severity of the disease.”

Do we need to await the death of Maine children from measles and other preventable infectious diseases before taking a rational approach to vaccination? Please vote no on Question 1. A yes vote says no to science, and ignores recommendations of the world’s most highly respected medical professionals. Voting no says no to measles, polio, pertussis, and other vaccine preventable diseases.

David L. Levy


Response to ambulance rate story

The article in the Jan. 10 edition of the BDN regarding the ambulance rate increase was somewhat misleading. Taxes in the unorganized territories are collected by the state, which then compensates the counties to provide services to the unorganized territories.

If those costs increase, the reimbursement increases identically so, practically speaking, there is no “increase” in the county budget (i.e. the amount raised by taxation). Additionally, for those concerned that Connor Township could see a 3 mill increase in their tax rate, remember Connor’s present mill rate is roughly 7 mills compared to Caribou’s mill rate of more than 24 mills.

William Clark


Protect Maine children from disease

As a concerned citizen and nurse practitioner, I am urging everyone to vote no on Question 1 on March 3 to protect Maine’s children from serious and deadly diseases.

The referendum question seeks to repeal the new law removing the religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccinations for all children entering school and daycare. A yes vote supports the repeal; a no vote supports keeping the law in place.

I believe a vote to repeal the law guarantees putting Maine’s children in jeopardy. Having been a health care provider in this community for more than 30 years, I’ve seen the sad consequences of illnesses that are now vaccine preventable, and the reduction of those illnesses with the implementation of vaccinations.

I know that vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent dangerous diseases. I believe in the science behind the development and manufacture of vaccines, and I know they save lives. Indeed, it has been disheartening to witness the movement to discredit vaccinations. The damage done to public health resulting from misleading information and scare tactics has been staggering.

The wording of the question itself is confusing, so it’s important to know exactly what it states before you cast your vote. Vote no on Question 1 to protect Maine’s children from serious and deadly diseases.

Donna Cotton