Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

We can’t hide from racism

I was so glad to see the front page of the Bangor Daily News featuring the article about racism in Bangor High School. I was glad because this is the kind of article we would all benefit from reading every day.

Racism exists here in Maine and, as a white middle class woman, I want to see that fact staring me in the face. I also want racism to end but until it does, I do not want to hide my head in the sand. I do not want to be silent. I want to shout “why are we hurting our young people of color?” The administration of the Bangor High School needs to be shouting the same thing.

Susan Manning


Support high-speed internet access

I live in the town of Palermo in Waldo County, which is an area with poor to no high-speed internet. My internet service is horrible. Although I pay the same as anyone for access to the internet, my service is barely a step up from dial up service.

We also have only one choice for an internet provider with the exception of going satellite or with a hotspot with cellular services. When I ran my business from my home, it was very difficult to maintain a viable website for it.

High-speed internet access is necessary to utilize new technologies that improve the quality of life for people of all ages. High-speed internet service can help older Mainers to age in place. Children need access for their school work. Especially in a time of stay-at-home orders, family caregivers, the elderly and anyone with medical considerations need access to telehealth and telemedicine, but one needs high-speed internet for those services!

Right now we’re all practicing social isolation, but Mainers should be able to connect anytime with family and friends through email, social media, videos and photos. A good internet connection can decrease loneliness and depression, increase opportunities for furthering education, and allow services such as free captioned telephone services for the hard of hearing and even some life alert programs.

I strongly support the referendum to expand high-speed internet services in Maine to unserved and underserved areas. Maine has the opportunity to increase access to high-speed internet in homes and businesses across the state. I think the last few months have demonstrated how important it is for all of us to connect with one another and be part of a wider community. Let’s work together to support the referendum and vote yes on Question 1.

Paul Armstrong


Concern about hospital coverage

I am writing to express my deep concern with the ongoing Bangor Daily News coverage of the Chapter 11 court process for Calais Regional Hospital. It saddens me to consistently see the reporting continuously dramatized. The recent sensationalized headline is the latest example of distorted coverage.

The report covered in the news story was in fact more positive than negative in regard to the quality of care provided at Calais Regional Hospital. The report recognized the work of the staff for continuous improvement, documented quality care, detailed patient satisfaction and community support. Some of the specifics noted in the report include:

The quality of care has not declined significantly nor been materially compromised. There were numerous positive comments about the quality and caring nature of the hospital staff and the value of the hospital to the health of the community it serves. Patients expressed they would continue to seek care at CRH. A new Quality Management Director has been hired.

Despite the headlines chosen, nothing in the report was felt to be a “warning.” It was in fact a very straight forward reporting of the level of care provided, the efforts already put in place for improvements and some basic advice that would be prudent for any hospital in a similar situation.

The bottom line is the report reinforces our efforts to deliver quality care to the community.

Ron McAlpine

Board Chair

Calais Regional Hospital


Ideas from the left

A few ideas from the leftist university system have spilled out into general society.

“Listen to the experts,” we’ve all heard over the past few months with regard to how our country should respond to COVID-19. Leftism prefers to hand over policymaking to unelected bureaucrats and scientists whose job it is to make decisions for the little people. But it is our elected officials who should use data collected from “the experts,” among other considerations, to inform their decisions.

“Safer than sooner.” This leftist idea being that we must prioritize safety over reopening our great society. Did our founding fathers, immigrants arriving after harrowing trips from abroad, or our veterans (just to name a few examples of great Americans) choose safer than sooner?

“Black Lives Matter.” Yes, they do. But must we accept the premises of the movement itself? Its underlying proposal is that systemic racism exists and that America itself is bad. Are those propositions now foregone conclusions? Can we still debate them?

The American justice system is not systemically racist, and America itself ultimately is a force for good.

James Rudolph


Including media theories

This is in response to the recent OpEd in the BDN titled, “My Fellow Liberals: Contempt is not leadership” by Chuck McKay. Overall I thought that this was a very informative piece that covered a relevant and important topic.

My criticism of this piece is that the opportunity to include media theories was missed. When reading the column, I believe that it would be better received by the reader if the inclusion of media theories was present. I see that the article is an opinion piece, even so, I think citing credible sources on media theories would increase the validity of the piece to consumers.

For example, the author discusses how journalism amplifies contempt by featuring the “world’s most extreme and scary behaviors.” They go on to discuss the consumption of extreme media and the importance of being able to distinguish that extremism from reality. This seems to be very relevant to cultivation analysis theory which states that “heavy exposure to media causes individuals to develop — or cultivate — an illusory perception of reality based on the most repetitive and consistent messages of a particular medium.”

Although this theory would help bolster their argument, the inclusion of this theory was absent.

Kaylie Robertson