Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to email@example.com.
Milne ready to serve again
I am writing to support Duncan Milne of Liberty to represent Waldo County in the state Senate. Milne is an excellent choice with 25 years of service as a U.S. Marine, retiring as a colonel. Milne grew up in Maine along with his wife, Therese. He is a decorated Marine with experience in economic development, pandemic response, and public policy now as president of the Dixon Center for Military and Veteran Services.
Milne is a highly qualified candidate so I need to speak out against a recent anti-Milne postcard sent to many Waldo County voters. The mailer questions Milne’s ability to serve Waldo County because he recently retired here. It is upsetting — especially during an election year — to see doubt cast upon a Maine veteran because he was away serving our country.
My late uncle, Lt. Cmdr. (Ret.) Fred Breslin, also served. He retired from the Naval Reserves after 22 years, moved his family back to Maine and began a second career of public service as a city and town manager for Belfast and Searsport. He was “away” a long time, but when he was ready, he came home. I am grateful for the service of my uncle, Milne and all of our honored veterans.
The anti-Milne postcard is wrong describing him as “someone who moved here from Virginia for political gain.” The truth is that Milne was away serving our country.
Now that he’s home, Milne offers us experience, compassion and commitment. A true Mainer, he’s ready to serve again. Duncan Milne has my vote!
Jayne Crosby Giles
Which commandment is that?
I am confused by the opinion some have that wearing a mask during the current pandemic and adhering to social distancing norms is a restriction on their liberty. Pastor Todd Bell of Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford is quoted as saying, “I love liberty. And I want the people of God to enjoy liberty!”
He, like others, seems to have forgotten that their freedom to choose not to wear a mask is affecting the freedom of others in their community to safely go to the grocery store, return to their jobs or maintain their business. Would the pastor uphold my liberty to go shopping in public without clothing? To run red lights while driving because they restrict my liberty? Of course not! And I wouldn’t expect him to.
The Bible’s commandments “Love thy neighbor” and “Thou shalt not kill” seem to have some relevance here for guiding our behavior at this time — wearing a mask and social distancing are norms most of us can adhere to with minimal discomfort to follow God’s commandments to love our neighbors and not kill others.
Where’s the commandment that guarantees one’s own liberty and freedom at the expense of others’ liberty and life?
Worried about plastic bag use
I find it rather alarming that single-use plastic bags are making a comeback, due to the coronavirus. To avoid having my groceries packed into plastic bags again, I found an easy solution.
I ask the bagger at the cash register to just return the items into my cart again, without bagging them. My shopping basket and a freezer bag are in the back of my car, and I put everything I bought into them, returning the empty cart as usual. Hardly any work, same safety and no more single-use plastic bags.
I see a reminder of why this is a good idea every day in our yard: the wind blew one of those thin plastic bags up into a tree, where it slowly stretched out to cover a whole branch, suffocating the leaves and looking just like one of the ghastly moth webs.
The disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection, incarceration, home ownership and distribution of wealth between white Americans, Native Americans and people of color bring into focus the systemic advantages that white people have long had in this country. This runs directly counter to the belief that America is a place of equal opportunity for all.
While protesting through overt actions to bring attention to injustice is critical, it is not enough. We must also engage in a genuine examination of our prejudices and of our local and national laws and policies. We need to examine the history that is taught to our children in our homes and in our schools.
I am part of a small group in Monroe that began meeting weekly in early June to begin this process. We are looking for more people to be part of this conversation and are interested in meeting with other groups who have similar ambitions and aspirations. We don’t envision anti-racism will come quickly or easily, but there is momentum moving in this direction. We need to use that energy to begin this work. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to join us.
My experience with Curry
I am voting for Chip Curry, representing Waldo County, for state senator. I first met Curry more than 10 years ago when we were both part of the Maskers’ summer musical “Carousel.” What I was drawn to was Curry’s kind, steady direction for whatever needed to be done over our weeks of practice. He has the ability to work with people, lending support and guidance in a non-threatening way.
Over the years, I have seen this same approach from Curry in many other groups. It’s just naturally who he is. The state Senate will be enriched by his way of doing business. As a retired teacher, I also am impressed with Curry’s commitment to education at all levels and the importance of offering training and guidance for securing good jobs here in Waldo County. I hope you will join me in voting for Chip Curry.