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

Bates College needs to be stricter

At the end of spring break my sophomore year at Bowdoin College, we received the devastating news that Bowdoin would be transitioning to online for the rest of the year. Like many of my friends, I was mad at the administration. My friends and I made complaints about Bowdoin overreacting and jeopardizing precious time for students. We felt as though a piece of our brief youth in college was robbed from us. Looking back at my complaints at the time, I feel an immense amount of guilt.

While Bowdoin is restricting campus mostly to first-year students this fall, Bates College has opened its doors to all students. By having students back, I believe Bates is jeopardizing the health and safety of Lewiston locals. I fear especially for the immigrant populations in Lewiston.

I do not blame the students. While I understand the need for student fees to fund the school, I believe the administration is not considering the life-threatening danger they are putting the greater Lewiston area in. Bates is allowing students to enter the Lewiston-Auburn area and the rest of Maine freely, and I have seen the school make no comments about setting aside funding for any locals jeopardized by their decision. Bowdoin, in comparison, has restricted the use of cars — this clause will protect the larger Maine community and will contain outbreaks to Bowdoin.

I urge for Bates to create a stricter code of conduct for students and release a proper plan on how to contain outbreaks.

Clio Bersani


Not presidential or unifying

Regarding an earlier letter regarding President Donald Trump’s statements that our war dead are “losers” and “suckers”: The writer stated these were anonymous sources and therefore not believable: well, I am not anonymous, and I remember when Trump called John McCain a “loser,” and “not a war hero” because he was captured in Vietnam while in the Navy.

I heard Trump say it, as did millions of viewers, so this newest and additional confirmation of Trump’s contempt for the military — other than to use it to create photo ops — is not new, and to me is surely accurate. Indeed, even a reporter at Fox News confirmed its accuracy, to which Trump responded that the reporter should be fired. That is how Trump regards the free press in this great, and now troubled, democracy!

Further, just because Democratic politicians behave poorly does not exonerate Trump. It does not excuse Trump from his abominable behavior. Finally, I agree with the letter writer about being “sick of this” and “not alone.” No doubt most of the country is. Thoughtful observations of and efforts to advance our culture, health and civil struggles are being called hoaxes, fake news or alternative facts by this president. Those on all sides of serious issues are used and abused by fomenters of discord for their own ends.

There is something positively sinister when the president, the leader of this great country, denigrates and dismisses legitimate concerns by any of our citizens as irrelevant, false, inconvenient, disturbing or of no significance to his private agenda. That is certainly not presidential, nor unifying.

Nancy Nadzo


Sick of politicians

I am sick everytime there is an election. The candidates can’t seem to focus on anything but digging up dirt on each other. No one seems to want to discuss the issues of the day.

They should express their ideas on how to fix the issues. My definition of a politician is that they are little children doing everything they can to get their own way.

Becky Wiers


Know the voting options

Recently I was told by a normally sensible person that the elderly are in danger of losing their opportunity to vote this year due to absentee balloting and ranked-choice voting. According to this individual, the elderly (of which I am one) cannot grasp the concept of early voting and that the idea of ranking a list of choices is beyond the comprehension of the over-65 crowd.

Really? I take offense.

For all ages, voting in the Nov. 3 election will be easier and less demanding than ever before. Many people are averse to standing in lines due to the coronavirus and welcome the chance to vote from home by absentee ballot or to vote early at their town office.

Here are the voting choices: One, to obtain an absentee ballot, people can request one from their town clerk by Oct. 29, follow instructions, sign the back of the envelope and return either by mail or in person by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Two, people can vote early starting 30 days before Nov. 3 at their town office. And three, for the traditional voter, people can go to the polls on Election Day. Ranked-choice voting is available for presidential ( as of right now), U.S. Senate and House elections. So, for those of all ages, vote!

Susan Harvey


Rare unity with climate legislation

Thank you for printing the recent OpEd by Peter Garrett about the carbon-fee-and-dividend policy being proposed as a major step to curb U.S. carbon emissions. I understand many other countries have put a realistic price on carbon-emitting fuels to reflect their true cost to society, with good results.

Such measures that can help steer the economy away from fossil fuels in a market-based, revenue-neutral way are widely accepted by conservative as well as liberal economists. We all share common ground in our fight for the climate, and legislation like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act gives us the opportunity to enjoy some rare unity!

Cynthia Stancioff


What I’ve seen from Sara Gideon

Some time ago I had the good fortune to spend a day visiting the Maine Legislature while it was in session. At the time, Erin Herbig was representing Belfast, and is now our city manager. Herbig and her staff welcomed me and I tagged along during her day. I was able to watch Herbig and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon as they went from one meeting to another, and from one issue to another.

I was impressed by both of them. Their seriousness, competence, understanding of how legislative processes work and respect for other members in the chamber was impressive. I will vote for Gideon, I have seen with my own eyes what she can bring to the U.S. Senate.

Jim Owen