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

Collins working to protect firefighters

Each and every day, firefighters and first responders put themselves in harms way to keep the communities they serve safe. That’s what the job entails. But while some threats are obvious, other threats are silent killers that inflict serious harm over time. A prime example is repeated exposure to PFAS, which are a category of toxic “forever chemicals” that are used in firefighting foams and certain personal protective equipment.

That’s why, on behalf of the membership of Professional Fire Fighters of Maine, I would like to thank Sen. Susan Collins for joining a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances Act. This important bill would help provide proper PPE to mitigate exposure to these toxic chemicals, and training on how to reduce risks of PFAS exposure while on the job. It would also take the important step of phasing out the use of these harmful chemicals.

While these chemicals have helped first responders respond to emergencies for years, now is the time to identify safer alternatives that don’t pose a risk to the health of firefighters, first responders or the communities that we serve. We are fortunate to have Collins on the front lines leading the charge on our behalf in the U.S. Senate.

Michael Crouse

President

Professional Fire Fighters of Maine

Etna

Golden has lost my support

We were delighted when we received our COVID-19 relief money in our bank account, as promised. It is such a relief to have a government that is actually governing with its constituents in the forefront. Necessary things are getting done and we can sleep at night.

Unfortunately, Rep. Jared Golden, for whom we voted, apparently does not have our best interests in mind. He seems focused more on pleasing the right wing of his party. He was the only Democrat in Congress who voted against the COVID relief package. In fact, 76 percent of Americans were in favor of this piece of legislation.

The COVID relief is not the only item that Golden has gone against the majority of the party on. He has opposed legislation dealing with gun control and police reform. Maybe it is time for Golden to rethink which party he wishes to support. If he wants to be an independent, then he should so declare. If he continues to make choices which align with the Republican Party then maybe he should become a Republican. In either case, as a Democrat, I can no longer support him as my representative as his voting has been a large disappointment.

Delia Kenny

Bangor

Precise definitions

Forgive me, but my inner pedant could restrain himself no longer. The Bangor Daily News should please advise its reporters to be more precise in the use of the word “native.” The March 16 edition included an article about a “Cape Elizabeth native” who has been nominated for an Oscar award. The article goes on to tell us that he was born in Portland.

OK, that’s pretty close. But it’s at least the third time in the recent past that one of the BDN’s writers has misapplied the word “native.”

More egregious was an otherwise illuminating article a month ago about the death of a Nobel Peace Prize winner at age 99. The first sentence describes him as a “Lewiston native.” But it turns out he was born in Lithuania and immigrated to Maine at age 14. That would make him a native of Lithuania.

Chuck Bradsaw

Hancock