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

Hampden confederate flag

I have lived in the town of Hampden for over 20 years and love this community and the people. Sadly a resident on one of the main roads has taken it upon themselves to raise a confederate flag on their front lawn for all to see. I’ve asked the town of Hampden to help not let a symbol of racism be allowed in our community and they have apparently chosen to take no action.

It’s very disappointing to me as a Republican and a pro-Trump supporter to see anyone displaying symbols or messages of hate and racism, especially those in my own political party like I believe this resident of Hampden is. We as a greater Bangor area have grown so much and shown how diverse and supportive we are of all groups and all races. I hope people can help me in spreading positive messages and ending the racism and hate we still see today.

Gerald Cushing

Hampden

Prioritizing child care access

Thank you to Gov. Janet Mills for signing into law, and to Senate President Troy Jackson for bringing forth L.D. 1712, “An Act to Create an Early Care and Education Program to Support Children’s Healthy Development and School Success.”

Under this new law, high-quality child care in Maine will be more accessible and more affordable for families, benefitting Maine kids, our state’s workforce and employers and our economy. It is a great investment in Maine’s future.

The law will create up to five additional child care programs across Maine modeled after a successful high-quality child care program in Somerset County. These programs have many benefits. They build kids’ important foundational skills that help them start school ready to learn, do well in all grades, complete high school, achieve a post-secondary degree or credential and succeed in the workplace.

High-quality child care programs also remove a significant barrier to workforce participation — particularly for women, as pointed out in a recent BDN column — by providing a safe, nurturing place for kids, so that parents and guardians can be employed and be assured that their kids are well-cared for while they work.

This new law will help more kids get a stronger start in life, and will help strengthen Maine families, communities, workforce, employers and our economy, especially as Maine continues recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to Mills, Jackson and others — including House Speaker Ryan Fecteau — for prioritizing access to high-quality child care for Maine kids and families.

Dana Connors

President & CEO

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Augusta

Support local fire department and oppose NECEC

Pacific Gas & Electric has finally  decided to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in California to prevent further fires. The current California fire potentially   caused by power lines has exceeded 100,000 acres. The Baxter State Park fire in 1977, started by a lightning strike, consumed 3,500 acres and cost almost one million in 1977 dollars to put out — which equals about $4.5 million today.

Central Maine Power, apparently in order to get awarded the contract cheaply for Massachusetts, decided that burying power lines across the largest forest east of the Mississippi was not an option. One of the nearest fire departments to the New England Clean Energy Connect is the  small volunteer fire department in West Forks. Should a fire break out, this small dedicated fire department could be the first to respond with their volunteer crew. When the Forest Service is called in to help the bill could be well in the millions. We as taxpayers would foot the bill.

Please donate to the West Forks Fire Department. They need all the help they can get! Only you can prevent forest fires, vote yes to reject the CMP corridor!

Edwin Buzzell

Pittsfield