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

My experience as a temporary Census worker

Hope has been in short supply lately. As a temporary enumerator for the U.S. Census Bureau my job began in August, not the established April 1 starting date. Fortunately, in these modern times, many of the questionnaires have already been filled out and sent in by mail or online.

While tracking down one address after another, I was bothered by two things. The first was a noticeable number of houses (not seasonal) that were vacant. I couldn’t help but think that some were foreclosures due to the tough times. The second was the indifference of respondents who refused what is a legal duty. Privacy concerns were not an issue since I took an oath before my training.

Given the fact that roughly half of the eligible citizens vote in a presidential election, my job tended to be a little forlorn. I don’t think people realize this country can be a republic and also a democracy at the same time, and that voting makes it possible. Differences should not divide, patriotism is unity under one flag, and the sum total starts with doing your part.

Denying a referendum ( in Maine), scorning and scamming the right to vote, bombarding the electorate with superfluous advertising, and not engaging in discussion or dialogue have become the American way. So much for a tweet.

Going door to door gave me a different perspective. Most of the people I interviewed were amenable, and before I knew it I exceeded my 10-minute limit.

Douglas Yohman

East Waterboro

Reelect Zeigler

I’m writing to support the reelection of Stanley Paige Zeigler as District 96 state representative. As a teacher in Northport, I like the fact that Mr. Zeigler was a teacher and also served on a school board. He knows the problems schools face in normal times, and I trust him to work for sensible policies during the pandemic and after.

Additionally, having worked on legislative staff, I understand how hard it is to write good legislation and then build the support among other legislators to get it passed. As our representative, Zeigler works especially hard to develop cogent environmental policies, such as dealing with the pollution of our soil and water with toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” and encouraging offshore wind power generation as a step toward Maine energy self-sufficiency.

Real-world support for schools and safeguarding our lands and waters — these true family values are just two reasons to support Zeigler for state representative. Please vote for him.

Anna Wood Cox


Savage for Senate

The recent U.S. Senate debate made strikingly clear which of the four candidates in the race best reflects my concerns and values. That candidate is Lisa Savage. Her responses to questions demonstrated her extensive knowledge of issues and realistic approaches to solutions.

Savage is a former school teacher, union negotiator and a longtime peace and climate change activist. She recognizes the critical need for universal, single-payer health care and is the only candidate to support Medicare for All. She is a strong advocate of the Green New Deal to address the urgent environmental and sustainability issues we face.

Savage has long called for conversion of Bath Iron Works from production of warships to building clean energy systems and protecting good union jobs. Her OpED in the June 7 edition of the BDN titled “Bath Iron Works leads the way in peaceful production” addresses key issues related to conversion and job generation.

Savage does not accept campaign contributions from PACs, corporations or lobbyists. And she is the only Senate candidate with the courage to address irrational Pentagon funding which eats up more than 60 percent of the discretionary budget.

A detailed summary of Savage’s positions on major issues is at the Lisa for Maine website as are the policy-focused webinars she convened this summer with subject-matter experts from Maine and around the country. People should study this information and consider Savage for their number one choice this November.

Connie Jenkins

East Blue Hill

Understanding economic activity in Maine

The recent front page article that asserted that Maine’s economy has recovered from the pandemic recession was misleading. As anybody that has lived in Maine for more than 12 months can attest, economic activity during the summer is far higher than during the dead of winter. Without summer residents, tourists, outdoor construction and with many Maine residents fleeing south to avoid the cold weather, activity in March is always far lower than during August.

To assert that the economy has recovered because August numbers were 93 percent of those in March is just wrong. The correct comparison would be between August of 2020 to August of 2019.

Donald Snoke


Quantity over quality

A television ad currently bombarding the airwaves attacks U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon for allegedly being “stumped” when candidate Susan Collins asked Gideon in the Sept. 10 U.S. Senate race debate whether she would have voted to confirm Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Gideon said she “would have to fully study” it.

Thank God someone is finally standing up for the bedrock principle that made this country great: deciding on important issues without studying them.

The ad goes on to gravely state that John Roberts has been chief justice for 15 years. In doing so, the ad takes a principled stand for another great American value: confusing quantity with quality. Thanks to this extremely enlightening ad, I have decided I will cast my vote for the candidate who refuses to waste her time studying issues before voting on them and who clearly sees that quantity is much more important than mere quality.

Lawrence Reichard


Carter’s birthday message

Jimmy Carter is turning 96 years old this week. His wife Rosalynn has suggested that all his friends post their care for him on a birthday bulletin board. I replied and requested that he say something to everyone, who might be on board, to give to our nation a “spiritual message” during these trying times.

Carter is the type of person who cares for all humans. Understand what he has accomplished all over the planet since he has been out of public office. For those who don’t know, I suggest that they look up The Carter Center in Atlanta.

Robert Fournier