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

Where memory and mortar meet

Home is the place where memory and mortar meet. Where our personal history is written and, in Maine’s old buildings, where history is made personal.

How lucky are we to be surrounded by so many places we can reach out our hands and literally touch the past, feel the passion and toil of the artisans and craftsmen who forged strength with beauty, edifices to endure and details to delight.

It is by no accident we find ourselves so fortunate, it is by intention. Mainers preserve traditions, because it is our tradition to preserve. If something can be saved, we save it. With every last drop of Yankee ingenuity, born of short summers and long winters. It is how we look ahead. We don’t tear down everything which came before, we build upon it. Preserving it by making it useful today.

Landmarks are how we orient ourselves so we don’t get lost. The copper cupola and Celtic cross of the Motherhouse in Portland is certainly one of those. Because of the Maine Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, it is not an empty beauty. In it now is not just the history of the Sisters of Mercy but the most valuable history we have, the living memories and experiences of the seniors who live there.

There are many landmarks across the state that have been brought to vibrant life by the tax credit. There are many more landmarks waiting to be brought to life, as affordable housing or whatever the community needs. Without the credit, they are likely to remain empty or disappear completely — through wrecking ball, slow decay or thoughtless profiteering. There is the opportunity to sing the praise of the credit to the Maine Legislature in the form of LD 201. I encourage people to add their voices to the chorus.

Orion Breen


A sad day for America

Last Saturday’s vote by the U.S. Senate was a vote against all decency. Although I expected the results, I am an unhappy camper!

I guess I was thinking that some miracle might happen and the vote would be different! No miracle of decency appeared and the expected came true. I feel kind of dead inside. Shame on the U.S. Senate!

Doug Pooler


Give Susan Collins a medal, not a censure

I understand the Maine GOP is considering censuring Sen. Susan Collins because she voted “guilty” at former President Trump’s impeachment trial. They should give her an award.

She is one Republican in this state with a backbone. I am very proud of Collins.

Richard Spinney


Climate collaboration and innovation

Climate litigation advocates — such as the Center for Climate Integrity’s Pay Up Climate Polluters — have ramped up pressure on Maine’s elected officials and municipalities to file litigation against energy manufacturers. These potential lawsuits are not an isolated effort, but happening all throughout the country in a coordinated campaign to hold one sector liable for the collective responsibility of all countries across the globe.

Maine has made significant progress in meeting its climate goals – as noted by a 2018 report by Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. The report notes that “annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric power sector have decreased by 73% since they peaked in 2002 largely by replacing high carbon fuels with natural gas.” This progress has happened without pursuing frivolous litigation.

These campaigns also fail to acknowledge that it is energy manufacturers and other industry partners, that are delivering on reducing emissions through innovation and technological advances — which should be encouraged — not stunted due to counterproductive lawsuits. The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project has argued that a commonsense approach is needed to combat climate change through innovation and collaboration.

Gov. Janet Mills, to her credit, has echoed these same sentiments in order to preserve Maine’s natural beauty. She has encouraged the investment in energy efficient technologies by embracing clean, renewable energy sources, which can create good-paying jobs and diversify our economy. These tangible goals are what our state needs to commit to protecting our environment — not frivolous lawsuits without real solutions.

Jon Seavey