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Yes on transportation bond
I urge Maine voters to vote yes on Question 2 on July 14. This $105 million bond issue will increase to $380 million with the added federal, local and private funds, and will support improvements to Maine roads, airports, various transit, marine and rail facilities, tourism and recreation-related transportation facilities.
If the bond doesn’t pass, projects that are planned for this year will be canceled, and people will lose their jobs. We need this bond to pass, not only to improve safety, but to improve our struggling economy and restore some of the construction jobs we have lost during the pandemic.
Please take time on July 14 to go to the polls and vote yes on Questions 2.
Improve internet infrastructure
As the owner of Mook Sea Farm, a midcoast oyster business, I’m writing to urge readers to vote this summer for an infrastructure investment that will help businesses grow and will strengthen Maine’s economy. The July 14 vote for a broadband bond invests $15 million to improve access to high-speed internet and leverages many millions more for improving internet infrastructure in our state.
Access to high-speed internet has been crucial to our business long before the increased urgency brought on by the pandemic. We depend on the internet for all our bookkeeping, financial transactions, and payroll. We reach salespeople and customers all over the U.S., made possible by a custom online ordering and marketing application. All of our production record-keeping both in our hatchery and on the river is done online with cloud-based storage, boosting efficiency and productivity.
We have developed a number of automated systems that we can monitor and control remotely over the internet. This applies to not only production, but also to environmental monitoring and research and development. In general, we transmit an enormous amount of information over the internet.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of broadband access for business in today’s world — and that includes facilitation of innovation. It is also difficult to imagine how Maine businesses in areas that do not have access to high-speed internet could possibly grow or weather storms like the recent impacts of the virus. Mainers have the chance to support this priority by voting yes on Question 1.
A third choice for president
I’m not willing to settle for a President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are responsible for never-ending war in the Middle East. Both are responsible for saddling my children with trillions in debt. Both are responsible for the war on drugs and militarizing our police forces. Both parties continue to reauthorize the Patriot Act and other laws, violating our privacy and continuing the erosion of our civil rights and liberties.
And once again, they both expect me to choose between their terrible candidates. Instead, I’ll be voting for Dr. Jo Jorgensen. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology and is a senior lecturer at Clemson University. She has managed, started and run successful companies. She has practical ideas to address these issues and many of the others our nation faces. And in my mind, she’s the only candidate truly committed to preserving our rights and liberties.
If you are also dissatisfied with the main party choices, I’d encourage you to explore her platform and ideas on her website.
Wearing a mask is not that hard
What a sadly telling photo on the front page of the BDN on June 29. A store full of people buying fireworks and only the cashiers have masks on.
With so many states having spikes in cases and hospitalizations, we will not defeat coronavirus unless everyone wears a mask to help prevent community spread. Maine does not need to be the next Florida, Arizona or Texas. Come on, folks. It’s not that hard.
Betsy Sweet for Senate
I am writing on behalf of Betsy Sweet because the more I learn about her and her long record of involvement in the issues affecting everyday people, the more I realize she is the person I want representing me.
I admire her continued work as a political organizer and human rights activist all while running a small business and raising three children on her own. Because she has been running a grassroots campaign, not accepting the huge donations that cause the most well intentioned candidate to be indebted or beholden to special interests, she has not been flooding television with political ads.
Instead she is using social media, virtual events and phone banks to make contact and get her message to voters. Sweet’s priorities mirror mine and I hope she is the senator we send to Washington to replace Sen. Susan Collins.
Let them rest in peace
No monuments or symbols of any war should ever be erected or waved anywhere that glorify a belief or cause that time has shown was on the wrong side of history. Every Maine veteran should be especially offended to see the Confederate flag displayed in a state that contributed so much in blood and wealth to hold the Union together and put an end to slavery.
All those, of both sides, who go into battle willing to give their life because they have been brainwashed and influenced by the propaganda of their side in any dispute, deserve our empathy and respect. They only did what they had been taught, often since birth, was the right thing to do, when they were called on to do it by their government and leaders. We should honor them all.
With the passage of time, we now have a better perspective in regards to the Vietnam War, which may not have been justified. Yet, those who did what their country asked of them are rightly honored with the Vietnam Wall. However, we should never honor with any monument those in our government who were responsible for the loss of life and national treasure that resulted in such a senseless war.
The Civil War is nearly over, as our society begins to mature and deal with some of the root causes that led us into such a horrible conflict. Very few of the young participants on either side fully understood what was going on. They only did their duty. Let them rest in peace, no matter where that may be.
Richard N. Bedard