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

Maine leads with school lunch bill

In an age when government activity at the national level is paralyzed by politicians in Washington, D.C. who seek to empower their party at the expense of our democracy, it is encouraging to see two leaders at the state level lead their respective parties to come together in the best interests of Mainers. Senate President Troy Jackson, a Democrat from Allagash, and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Matt Pouliot, a Republican from Augusta, deserve credit for leading their colleagues to unanimously support a bill that could pay for the cost of breakfast and lunch served at schools, regardless of a student’s economic status.

All kids need healthy meals to reach their potential at school. Virtually all family budgets have been stretched thin by economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps those in the U.S. Senate who are employing the filibuster to thwart legislation supported by a majority in Congress and who have recently threatened to block confirmation of Supreme Court nominees could learn a valuable lesson from the bipartisan leadership exhibited by Maine Sens. Jackson and Pouliot.

James Moore

Bangor

Protect local waters

We are writing to voice our opposition to the proposed construction in Frenchman Bay of two salmon farms by American Aquafarms. We understand that on  June 9, the Maine DEP accepted American Aquafarm’s wastewater discharge application as complete.

In our opinion, this company would profit from exploiting a treasured natural resource that should be protected for future generations. In addition, it would cause pollution (light, noise and fuel) at levels we believe to be unacceptable.

We believe American Aquafarm’s 20-year lease on local waters would negatively affect the livelihoods of individuals who currently fish the areas of the proposed farms, and interrupt the visual expanse of open ocean water treasured by those who live, work and visit the greater Bar Harbor area.

This internationally owned company must be stopped from entering local waters and disrupting a fragile aquaculture system. If allowed to go forward, we fear it may invite other similar projects to area waters.

Suzanne and Ted Murphy

Winter Harbor

No vaccine judgment from us

One of us drove more than 76 miles to get a vaccine at the VA hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. The other drove more than 33 miles to get a vaccine at the Maine Mall. We both obtained the first shots available to us. We were not anti-vaccine.

Our son, a healthy, very fit, former paratrooper, is a 25-year-old police officer in another state. In December, he and four other members of his police department were infected with COVID-19. He suffered a mild illness and returned to work, after he quarantined for the required period of time.

In April he received his two vaccine doses, even though he had already had COVID-19, because that was what was recommended.

By May 4, our son became ill. The diagnosis was devastating: Type 1 Diabetes. In a matter of weeks he went from 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds to 200 pounds. He is out of work burning through his accumulated sick time, and his rapidly dwindling savings account while his doctors try to gain control of his disease. He can not currently drive a vehicle.

His doctor told him that it is unlikely that his bout with COVID-19 is related to his diabetes due to the timing of his illness. The same doctor however, did tell him that the vaccinations could have been a factor.

Our son served his country and community. Our son was vaccinated because he was assured it was the right thing to do. Now his days are filled with blood tests, injections, doctor visits and disappointing conversations with insurance companies.

We do not know with certainty why our son is sick, but the circumstances cause us concern.

We will not judge anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated no matter who they voted for, how much money they make, nor where they live.

Kevin and Michelle Mowry

Porter