Support O’Connell in District 128 special election

Kevin O’Connell is running in the March 3 special election for the Maine House of Representatives in Brewer. Kevin is a lifelong Brewer resident and extremely dedicated to the city of Brewer and all of its people.

He has recently served on the Brewer City Council, including two terms as mayor. He has also served on the school board, parks and recreation committee and others. He has been very active in the community as a youth sports coach and a member of several adult parks and recreation sports teams. He has worked as lineman for Bangor Hydro and Emera Maine for more than 30 years, and he is a 24-year veteran of the Maine Air National Guard — having served on several deployments, including one to Iraq in 2009.

O’Connell is a practical problem-solver who will listen to and work with anyone in support of the interests of the residents of Brewer, including continuing to improve the economy, making health care more affordable, supporting education and finding additional ways to reduce property tax burdens.

Most of all, he is a caring and dedicated husband, father, neighbor and friend. If you live in District 128, please support O’Connell in the special election on March 3.

Ron Bilancia


Criticism for the critics

The BDN needs a theater critic who can write a negative review without falling into cruelty.

I look forward to seeing “ Gondoliers” in Ellsworth.

Having spun out reams of criticism myself, I know that creative work is more important than criticism.

As Sam Johnson wisely said: “Criticism is a study by which men [women, too] grow important and formidable at very small expense.”

Peg Cruikshank


Our lessons from impeachment

In a recent interview, Sen. Susan Collins said she was being “ aspirational” that the impeachment process had taught President Donald Trump lessons. Soon Trump revealed clearly at the National Prayer Breakfast and follow-up comments to what he actually aspires: rejecting the Christian imperative to love your enemies, vindictively attacking both politicians finding him guilty at his trial and witnesses to his wrongdoing whose religious beliefs compel them to speak truthfully.

Another act of vengeance was Trump’s removal of patriots such as the Vindman brothers for choosing loyalty to country over blind subservience. This was especially unwise in that it threatens our national security due to their expertise on Ukraine-related matters.

And how do Collins and other GOP senators characterize Trump’s abuses of power and obstruction of Congress? “Improper” — as if undermining its oversight responsibilities, power of the purse and sole right to declare war were not serious offenses. How can they be conservatives, for whom a consistent priority has been protecting our traditional separation of powers sacred to the founders?

As Republicans recoil in fear from Trump’s tweet attacks, threats of installing primary opponents and his appearance locally to disparage them, expect no book celebrating their profiles in courage. For a head buried in the sand offers no profile to onlookers. But I have faith Maine voters will in defense of our Constitution send Collins to defeat in November.

Dave Witham


Exercise your constitutional right to vote

A friend said he was all set to go to the caucus on March 8 to vote in the primaries. “I hope you will go to the primary election before that on March 3,” I replied.

Such is the confusion regarding Maine joining in on Super Tuesday, March 3. You can register to vote at your polling place on the day of any election, and you must register as a party member to vote in a primary.

In a recent law, Maine moved toward primaries rather than caucuses. However, the parties still have caucuses to elect delegates, who will vote at the party conventions. Thus the two dates: March 3, Super Tuesday primaries (and referendum on vaccinations), and March 8, Democratic caucuses. The dates for Republican caucuses vary.

And so who can vote? According to information from the state of Maine, you must be a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years old by the general election on Nov. 3. So, many 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the primaries! You must have established residence in the town where you will vote. This applies to all citizens, including students, homeless people, former felons and current inmates who established residence in Maine before incarceration.

Once registered, you do not have to show an ID to vote, but it’s a good idea to bring it.

If you have any questions about voting, call the state elections division in Augusta. Be sure to wear an “I voted” sticker on Election Day to remind others of this essential, constitutional right.

Victoria Adams


The right to decide on vaccination

In response to David Levy and Donna Cotton’s letters to the editor from Feb. 11, I respect them as professionals and totally understand the concept of vaccination. However, that is really their opinion, and essentially, to me, this new law says that parents are so stupid, we need a law to make them vaccinate their children.

Also there are complications to vaccines. What about the children who are devastated by the vaccine, don’t they count? There is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for the children who have serious reactions to it — obviously, there are such cases.

I would like to remind people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is touted as a gold standard, missed the last two years when selecting the flu vaccine. Furthermore, what is the big deal with measles? I am from the generation where the entire neighborhood had the measles, mumps and chickenpox — and although sick, we all survived. They are making measles out to be some deadly disease.

I feel parents have the right to decide whether vaccination is right for their own child. We shouldn’t be bullied into it. If parents want to vaccinate, then they don’t have to worry about their child getting measles. If parents don’t want to vaccinate, then they run the risk of a sick child who could build up natural immunity. We, as parents, dearly love our children even if we chose to disagree with you.

Dolores Gamble