Vote no on Question 1

Before the passage of the law that eliminated all exemptions except medical from vaccination requirements for students to attend schools and colleges, and for employees of health care facilities, the kindergarten opt-out rate in Maine was more than double the national average, reducing herd immunity.

Vaccines protect children — and those around them — from many serious or potentially fatal diseases, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).

So now those who apparently oppose vaccines are promoting repeal. I see signs urging voters to “ Reject Big Pharma” — from my perspective, clearly a scare tactic. The vaccine law is not about the pharmaceutical industry, but is about preventing contagious diseases.

Here are some facts from the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Pediatrics: First, measles can cause brain swelling, which can lead to brain damage or death. Mumps can cause deafness. Polio can cause paralysis. Second, delaying or refusing vaccines can put a child’s health and life at risk. It can also pose a risk to others, such as those with weakened immune systems or those with chronic medical conditions, or babies too young to be vaccinated or the elderly. Third, the study supposedly linking vaccines and autism has been discredited. And fourth, side effects of vaccines are rare and usually minor.

I am generally for personal liberty, but not when it endangers others. The vaccine law is for our common good, the general welfare. In the Maine primary election on March 3, please vote no to uphold LD 798, which eliminated all but the medical exemption from vaccination requirements.

Susan Vaughan

Saint George

The case for Elizabeth Warren

The billboard on one side of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign bus contemporizes the wisdom of Teddy Roosevelt: “Courage over Cynicism.” The other side blasts “Hope over Fear.” Both messages are clarion calls to the more than 50 percent voters who reported in a poll that the Trump administration has exhausted them.

Warren reminds us that if we’re serious about addressing the urgent issues we face, we each have to dig down deep and find the courage to commit to the substantive changes we’ll need to make together. Ceding to our fears with a sense of hopelessness ensures that we’ll never make the changes that this country needs to make.

If we’re to find our courage, we need to be mindful of the mine fields of cynicism dotting the campaign and social media trails today. They masquerade as critical thinking instead of symptoms of resignation, with little predictive value of actual outcomes. They lace in conversations about electability, gender and voter profiles.

The case for Warren as our next president rests on a vision that government should serve all of us, not just the interests of monied donors and lobbyists. She’s been an empathetic champion of the middle class, working for families throughout her career. She formed a government agency from scratch to protect them.

She has a tireless spirit to meet the demands of a presidency, an intellectual capacity that has distinguished her as a respected influence in the Senate and proven administrative skills to implement the well-considered plans central to her candidacy. Under her leadership, we can realize our collective courage, invest in our citizenry and regain our trust in government.

Marie McNeely

Owls Head


Having lived in Maine my entire life, one of the greatest things about the state is that it contains one of the last true wildernesses around. The proposed Central Maine Power corridor would drastically change an area hardly touched by man in western Maine. The corridor would also lessen the value of the pure natural sights that tourists from thousands of miles away come to see.

In my opinion, the proposed corridor is an extremely bad deal for Maine, based on the fact that Massachusetts, along with Hydro-Quebec, are the beneficiaries while our state is left with the damage and destruction.

The construction and clearing of the 145-mile corridor would harm the animals in the area immensely. The construction would take the animals out of the safe dense forest they are used to living in.

Soon, this issue will likely be placed directly into the hands of Maine voters. As polling shows, a majority of Maine people are against this proposal for clean energy, I believe the continued resistance against the corridor will soon put an end to all talks and discussions of ruining Maine land for Hydro-Quebec to make money while providing Massachusetts with cheap, clean energy.

Robert Tomilson


Why Jared Golden still has my vote

Have you seen the ads with Stacy, a “mom, wife, teacher,” complaining about Rep. Jared Golden? She’s no Mainer; she’s a professional actress. This same ad is running in other states across the country. All make identical pitches against sitting Democratic House members. We’re supposed to contact said representative, and urge him or her to work on “issues that really matter.”

However, as one example, Golden co-sponsored the Lower Drug Costs Now Act that passed the House last month. The bill would hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and help Mainers, particularly Maine seniors, afford prescription drugs.

The House of Representatives has passed more than 300 such bills, many with Republican support. But they are gathering dust in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has essentially said that when a bill comes over from the House, if he doesn’t like it, it dies. He refuses to bring them forward for consideration. Republicans point to a ” do-nothing” Democratic House, but it’s the Senate blocking action.

Golden is our representative in the House, and he is working diligently for Maine. He voted for the impeachment inquiry to distinguish truth from political hyperbole. He voted against the second impeachment article because legal options had not been exhausted.

Golden has shown since before the last election that he is a super-responsible legislator, believing in hard work and not political theatrics. All our lives would be so much better if more representatives in Congress followed his example.

Golden had my vote in 2018; he’ll definitely get it in 2020.

Robert Nelson