Credit: George Danby / BDN

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

Collins supports education

As a retired teacher, I greatly respect Sen. Susan Collins and the work she has done in Washington to support Maine children and young people from Head Start through high school and college.

Our Maine students and schools have benefited greatly from Collins’ advocacy over her many years of service as a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and as one of the most senior members of the Appropriations Committee. Further, she has co-chaired the Senate Rural Education Caucus, a group that organized to serve as a voice for rural educators and school districts in the Senate.

Collins co-authored the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), which helps level the playing field for students in rural school districts with high poverty rates. This program has helped many Maine children over several years. And this past winter, she led the efforts to ensure that REAP and its vital funding continue to provide support for our students and schools, many of which would have lost program eligibility due to changes the federal Department of Education had proposed in February. Collins has my thanks.

Collins puts our Maine students and educators first. And she has done and continues to do so much for the people of Maine. Please join me in supporting her re-election.

Jan Banks

Belfast

Care for inmates

If Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty thought the expansion of treatment of Hepatitis C in inmates was “the right thing to do,” why did it take a class action lawsuit to do it? If the article by Susan Sharon was correct that only three prisoners were being treated in 2017, presumably the latest figures that were available, and there are direct antiviral medications that can cure this highly contagious disease in a few weeks, it seems criminal that inmates were not being treated.

One wonders what other medical care is being withheld from inmates.

Martha B. Higgins

Trenton

Why I voted for Yacoubagha

Since moving to Bangor four years ago, I have been impressed by the pool of skilled and vibrant candidates for state and local offices. This election I voted for Dina Yacoubagha to join the Bangor City Council.

I first met Yacoubagha at Food and Medicine meetings and events, and at the Wilson Center in Orono. The first thing I noticed was her active listening, seeking to truly understand what I and others were saying before responding. In my experience she is a clear, critical thinker who thoughtfully works to identify and frame problems, then gathers alternative solutions and approaches to solving them, interacts with others, especially those who will be affected by a solution, seeking understanding and consensus, and works to see the solutions through to completion.

She does this with an empathic, caring and compassionate heart and mind. Yacoubagha has no illusions about the problems confronting our city during this pandemic. She has started thinking through possible approaches to them, and, refreshingly, invites each of us to share our ideas and suggestions with her. I can’t think of a better person to serve on our City Council, and I am glad and proud to have voted for her.

Thomas White-Hassler

Bangor

Zeigler’s leadership

My late husband drove Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler to meet his constituents for his first two election cycles. When my husband complained that Zeigler wasn’t liberal enough, Zeigler reminded my husband that he represents all the people of his district. He also must best fit our district (Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont) into Maine’s needs.

Zeigler is passionate about climate and education since our region is being transformed by warming, acidic oceans that damage lobster fishing and clamming. A former professional logger, Zeigler knows that warmer air and the violent winds accompanying normal storms affect our woods and new farms.

Environmental issues lead to his strong interest in education. Treating science like a social agenda ignores the critical need to move Maine forward. Community college courses in food service, nursing, electricity, plumbing and my husband’s love — welding — are all based on science. These are the careers we need to grow our economy besides those through the University of Maine. Conversations with Zeigler are energized by his decades logging, guiding ships, as a teacher and leader on the RSU 3 school board.

Delivering signs to my house, he wore a mask, keeping me, an older voter, safe. Following the senseless spread of coronavirus, our region needs a strong, experienced leader to grow our economy and effectively apply our tax dollars in educating our kids. Vote to reelect the one person with the experience and knowledge to lead our district into the future, Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler.

Leslie Woods

Montville

Vote for Democrats to protect health care

Maine’s population has the highest median age of any state in the country. Washington County is among Maine’s counties with the lowest median income and the highest rates of poverty. Many of our neighbors have benefited from access to the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid. As I consider the issues before us in the 2020 election, healthcare and access to affordable health insurance are critical priorities.

As one reads, listens to, or watches anything relating to politics and what might occur if Republicans or Democrats are the big “winners” on Election Day, it’s clear that the stakes are incredibly high. Recent claims have included the i mpending repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would potentially eliminate what so many of us now take for granted — protections from preexisting conditions; the possibility of 20 million Americans suddenly losing healthcare; and Medicaid expansion, which would be in jeopardy.

An invalidation of the Affordable Care Act could create devastating circumstances for the over 7.5 million Americans who have or have had COVID-19, for the more than 34 million Americans with diabetes, and for so many others. The loss of protections from preexisting conditions is just one of the many provisions that would become a thing of the past. Being one medical emergency away from bankruptcy will again become a constant fear for so many of our neighbors.

To protect accessible and affordable healthcare for all Americans, join me in voting for Joe Biden, Sara Gideon and Jared Golden on Nov. 3.

Beth Clifford

Perry