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

Secure our environmental rights

Maine thrives because of its natural wonders and hard-working people. So much of Maine depends on our environment: tourism, guides, agriculture, outdoor recreation. However, there are no legal protections for our environment in the Maine constitution.

The Pine Tree Amendment will guarantee these essential protections. The amendment states that “The people of the State have the right to a clean and healthy environment and to the preservation of the natural, cultural and healthful qualities of the environment …”

With these rights, Mainers would have power to bring legal suit against corporations that exploit Maine’s environment and the people of Maine. The new out-of-state hazardous waste site in town, the proposed transmission line to bring power to Massachusetts, or a large development at the foot of local mountains. Mainers’ voices would be as loud as those of corporations.

Similar bills in Montana and Pennsylvania were able to prevent harmful fracking and environmental degradation in those states. People should please contact their legislators and tell them to support the Pine Tree Amendment.

I want to be able to hike Bald Mountain with my children and their children. I want to be able to walk on the rocky shores of Penobscot Bay and swim in its cold clear water when I grow old. Let Maine lead the way in the nation and secure unalienable environmental rights.

Maggie Blake

Waterville

Please get vaccinated

This is a message for those who won’t get vaccinated, for whatever reason:

Many of them may have been among those who were vocal about getting our country strong once more, to “make America great again.” How are we supposed to do that, with a large number of people protesting the need for the vaccine?

Those of us who get vaccinated are not feeling smug about it, but are aware we are much safer than those without it. However, we can still spread the virus, unknowingly. We can be carriers to others and their loved ones.

I urge people to please reconsider their thoughts and their actions, as we are all united in wanting a strong, healthy nation for all.

Eleanor Murley

Dedham

Let Mainers of French heritage speak for themselves

In a state with thousands of French heritage women and many involved in the theater, how or why can a woman without an authentic French heritage present, authentically, voices of the French heritage, Franco American, Acadian, etc. unless she pirates the actual voices of the women and ventriloquizes the voices back to the audience of the Penobscot Theater Company in the play, “Je Ne Suis Pas Evangeline,” through her imaginary captured identity puppet on her knee?

And we should all marvel once again at the French heritage women not speaking authentically for themselves, but being spoken for by a non-member of the culture in the play by the woman from Georgia using the words of the Franco American, Acadian, etc. women and presenting those “ideas” as if she had come up with those words herself.

As the author of my memoir, “Down the Plains,” which won the Maine Chapbook Award for creative nonfiction, my words are not there free for the taking in the archaic, anachronistic action of being spoken for by a woman without an identity in the culture using the words of the women in the culture to present herself as if she had something to teach the Franco American, Acadian, etc. women.

I find this disturbing in the way that the women of the state are being erased and I will not endorse nor validate the words, voices, heritage being misrepresented as if the women of the Franco American, Acadian, etc. did not have voices of their own. Franco American, Acadian, etc. people of this state can speak for themselves.

Rhea Cote Robbins

Brewer