March 23, 2020
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Tuesday, March 24, 2020: Sharing a crisis, an idea for retired medical workers, we are not at war

Sharing a crisis

It occured to me that this crisis that we are experiencing in our nation right now is the first time in my lifetime that something has happened which profoundly changes everyone’s life in the same way, no matter where they live or what their age.

In that way it is like the days during World War II when, as my parents told me, the nation pulled together and everyone was touched by the war. Everyone shared the experience of being at war, the hope and despair, the sadness and anxiety. Hearing from friends and family members across the country, whether by phone, email, on Facebook or by text, I hear the same underlying story with different details.

We all know what this feels like. We all feel that fear of the future. I wonder if this will change how we feel about each other; can you share a crisis like this with other people and still see them as strangers?

Carolyn Bower


Doing the same thing over and over

Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” By that definition, the attempt by opponents of ranked-choice voting to force us to vote on this issue for the third time in four years is clearly insanity.

Unfortunately, some have decided to challenge the law passed by the Maine Legislature last year expanding ranked-choice voting to presidential elections. People involved in these efforts may soon be at polling locations and other places across the state asking voters to sign their petition to put their people’s veto on the ballot. What they may not tell you is that if they collect the required number of signatures, ranked-choice voting will not be used in this year’s presidential election.

There is no reason to think that ranked-choice voting has suddenly become much less popular than when we voted on it in 2018. In fact, it seems more likely to me that Mainers would like ranked-choice voting to be used in more races like the presidential primaries. Opponents of ranked-choice voting should listen to the majority of Mainers.

Everyone else should politely decline to sign the petitions for this people’s veto.

Trudy Ferland


Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network


We are not at war

A pandemic is basically a global epidemic — an epidemic that spreads across continents.

A health crisis or public health crisis is a difficult situation or complex health system that affects humans in one or more geographic area, from a particular locality to encompass the entire planet. Health crises generally have significant impacts on community health, loss of life and on the economy.

War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction and mortality.

“The invisible enemy” is an episode of the original “The Outer Limits” television show. It first aired in 1964. Or the “invisible enemy” is a serial of the British science fiction television series “Doctor Who” which was first broadcast in 1977. In the serial, an intelligent virus intends to spread across the universe after finding a suitable spawning location on the moon Titan.

We are having a public health crisis called COVID-19, which is a pandemic. We are not in a war! The colossal mishandling of it from the start from President Trump, who called the criticism of his administration’s coronavirus response a hoax, and waited two months before acting, is disgraceful!

Vic Kraft


And idea for retired medical workers

If you are a retired nurse or doctor or paramedical professional, maybe a transporter, medical assistant or surgical scrub, you can help with the COVID-19 crisis. As a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who has worked in Bangor since 1976, I believe that most of us are probably going to get the disease, just like the flu. But after we have seasoned hopefully minor symptoms, and after we have been proven positive for the virus, we can be of great help to our community.

We can offer to stand in as medical professionals to help. We could assist our colleagues not yet infected or replace them in their jobs to care for their families. Maybe assist in the screening tents, maybe help run offices or emergency rooms or whatever we’ve been trained to do. I suspect Gov. Janet Mills might endorse this concept, even if someone’s license has expired. Just recently, she allowed open water fishing without a license to encourage social separation but not isolation.

This would not only ease the burden on current medical professionals but also protect the community and flatten the curve.

Bob Gause, M.D.


More taxes not a solution

As a Cumberland resident, I am writing to you about the newly proposed tax on video streaming services. I am opposed to this bill, and Mainers should be opposed to this bill as well. Maine doesn’t need more taxes and should work on reducing the cost of running the state instead. The state budget could be trimmed, some employees could be removed and some administration costs could be reduced.

Adding a tax on streaming services may follow what other states have enacted, but that doesn’t make it right. The tax would impact those Maine residents who have chosen to use new media sources for entertainment and news, instead of legacy media. The majority of those streaming service customers are younger, so it may be easy to sell this tax to those older voters who watch conventional media. The population is aging, and older citizens tend to vote in greater numbers, but this tax is not good for Mainers.

As Mainers, we need to oppose this bill in any possible capacity that we have. We should work to reduce the size of government and the cost to Maine citizens, not tax them and ignore wasteful spending and unnecessary costs.

Please oppose this bill and try to help Mainers save our hard earned money, instead of sending it to Augusta to be wasted.

More taxes are not the solution, they are the problem.

Andrew Gardiner



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