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A turning point for climate action

We just had the hottest June on record followed by the rainiest July in parts of Maine, with several days of smoky skies from a record-breaking fire season out West. The recent floods in the South and along the Mid-Atlantic coast make it all the more clear: we must act on climate now.

It is past time for Congress to take serious action on climate change, and the federal budget bill

currently being assembled is their big chance to do it. If passed, this bill would be the most significant climate legislation I’ve seen in my lifetime.

The federal budget reconciliation bill would be a big step in the right direction. Not only would this legislation improve our climate resilience and bolster our public infrastructure against extreme weather, it would also attack the problem at the source by reducing carbon pollution and funding needed to transition to clean energy. These investments would be incredible for Maine’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs and allowing us to take full advantage of our abundance of natural clean energy resources like solar and wind.

This bill would do a lot for our small cities and towns that have struggled economically during the pandemic. I want to see healthy and productive futures for my friends and family here, and we have to be intentional if we want to see that happen. The federal budget bill could be the turning point we need, and I hope our congressional delegation will work to pass it without delay.

Bud Farwell

Ellsworth

Back to school with masks

Coming back to school after a year of being online has required a lot of planning. The biggest question has become, should the children wear masks? The CDC has recommended that schools should require masks in schools. This recommendation has made some states go into a rampage as they do not agree with this ruling. Some schools from these states, however, have the right idea to listen to the CDC. A Texas school district has changed its dress code to include masks.

Again, these schools have the right idea of listening to the CDC, but state officials cannot be happy with schools going behind their backs. It’s not a secret how dangerous COVID-19 can be seeing that it has impacted everyone’s lives in one way or another in the past year. As vaccine rates rise it feels as though the world as we know it might start heading towards what we remember it to be. But as masks come off, coronavirus begins to emerge once again.

Children under 12 are also not eligible for COVID vaccination yet as well. This means they are one of the most vulnerable to not only catch the virus but to then go home and spread it to others as well. Wearing a mask during school hours will help to reduce this rapid spread. Everyone wants to see children’s smiling faces but, I would rather not see a smile now but be here to see them in the future.

Erin Haverty

Orono

Don’t ignore the horrific treatment of Native children

Silence speaks volumes as the remains of Indigenous children are found in Canada and the United States. Children stolen from their homes to “kill the Indian… and save the man.” Placed in residential schools run mostly by “churches,” stripped of their braids, languages and all that made them who they are.

Emotionally, physically and sexually abused in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, thousands never returned home. Families never knew what had happened. And still, we see it happening within foster care. Generational trauma ripples through communities, doing damage directly connected to the genocidal policies. And still the media and most of society is silent. It is time to hear the voices people have ignored for too long.

David H. Hendren

Randolph