Saturday, June 6, 2015: Ranked-choice voting, Bangor school budget, Clean Water Act

on June 05, 2015, at 10:04 a.m.
Ranked-choice voting During every election cycle, the angry cry of “spoiler” arises from the two major political parties. Maine can solve this problem through a referendum-initiated change called ranked choice voting. Here’s how it works. In a hypothetical three-way race, voters would rank the candidates in numerical order of their …

Friday, June 5, 2015: LePage veto threat, clean elections, almond waste

on June 04, 2015, at 10:08 a.m.
LePage veto threat Whether the state’s budget should be supported by an income tax or only by more regressive and fluctuating revenue sources, such as the sales tax, is an issue on which reasonable people can differ, as is the question whether a constitutional ban on the state income tax …

Thursday, June 4, 2015: LePage’s behavior, Bush legacy, climate change

on June 03, 2015, at 10:09 a.m.
Maine-tribe relations Bravo to the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy chiefs for their joint declaration on May 26 to withdraw their delegates from the state Legislature. They’ve demonstrated their resilience and self-respect in calling out the state for its patronizing and disrespectful behavior. In the process, they’ve issued us a wake-up call. …

Wednesday, June 3, 2015: LePage veto threat, CO2 emissions, identity theft

on June 02, 2015, at 12:29 p.m.
Stray rifle fire The interview with the Bucks Mills Road resident, who described her quiet afternoon being shattered by rifle fire from an unknown source and then finding a bullet hole in her minivan, in the May 28 BDN article reminded me of a similar incident I had several years …

Tuesday, June 2, 2015: Cost of living, ranked choice voting, death with dignity

on June 01, 2015, at 10:23 a.m.
Compounded increases Columnist Jim Fossel expressed concern in his May 20 column that General Fund spending increased by 35.9 percent from 2000 to 2014. The question is: How much of that increase is simply annual and compounded cost-of-living increases? The same is true with regard to school budgets and municipal …

Monday, June 1, 2015: Young drivers, biomass energy, pedestrian behavior

on May 30, 2015, at 11:39 a.m.
Pedestrians in the road I was pleased to read the May 27 article about new “Complete Streets” policies to “enable safe access for all users, regardless of … mode of transportation.” However, as these programs expand, communities would do well to consider implementing or enforcing ordinances regulating pedestrian behavior. Day …

Saturday, May 30, 2015: Civil forfeiture, clean elections initiative, abortion bill

on May 29, 2015, at 8:03 a.m.
Civil forfeiture Asset forfeiture or asset seizure is a form of confiscation of assets by the state. It typically applies to the alleged proceeds or instruments of crime. This applies, but is not limited, to terrorist activities, drug-related crimes and other criminal and even civil offenses. We’ve all seen the …

Friday, May 29, 2015: No open-pit mining, concealed carry, Clinton Street one-way

on May 28, 2015, at 11:17 a.m.
Bald mountain mining In the last several weeks I have read a number of letters and opinions in the BDN about open-pit mining rules in Maine. None of them were in support of these new rules. I believe there is a reason for this: The majority of Mainers do not …

Thursday, May 28, 2015: Alewives, Hippocratic Oath, UMS failure

on May 27, 2015, at 12:59 p.m.
Clean elections Are there any good reasons for someone to oppose clean elections? Today, concerned citizens of all political persuasions believe there is too much money in our political system, too little transparency on where it is coming from and growing suspicion on what the donors expect for their “investments.” …

Wednesday, May 27, 2015: Bangor kids, male chicks, Citizens United

on May 26, 2015, at 1:15 p.m.
End Citizens United “We the people” are treasured words that evoke a passion in many Americans, a passion to see our country be a true democracy. We the people, the citizens of the United States, have been schooled in the belief that the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution are our …

Tuesday, May 26 2015: Alewives in West Grand Lake, open-pit mining, joys of train travel

on May 25, 2015, at 10:41 a.m.
Keep alewives out As part of federally mandated re-licensing of the West Grand Lake dam, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has called for year-round passage of alewives through the dam. This biologically indefensible, woefully misguided recommendation would contravene 30 years of a non-negotiable Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and …

Monday, May 25, 2015: Ban backpacks, cellphone cancer dangers, doing the wave

on May 24, 2015, at 9:40 a.m.
Israel’s dishonest campaign There is growing evidence Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has overplayed Iran’s nuclear capacity and ability to develop nuclear weapons. Still, the Israeli leader addressed the United Nations Security Council famously using an hourglass with a red line to illustrate how little time remained before Iran had …

Saturday, May 23, 2015: Memorial Day remembrance, Penobscot restoration, taxing rent

on May 22, 2015, at 11:26 a.m.
Memorial Day Once again, it is time to remember the sacrifices of those who gave some or all to defend the freedoms we cherish, in wars around the globe. Without those sacrifices, we would be less free, enslaved or destroyed by madmen who would decide we were no more than …

Friday, May 22, 2015: TANF drug tests, graveyard care, Bald Mountain mining

on May 21, 2015, at 11:19 a.m.
Drug treatment, not tests The current drug policies in the state of Maine and the U.S. are not working. Ask any responsible, educated and honest law enforcement officer, treatment provider or elected official. The idea that the governor is trying to use drug testing to entice people to stop using …

Thursday, May 21, 2015: Common Core, tribal sovereignty, homeownership

on May 20, 2015, at 12:18 p.m.
Common Core benefits I was quite impressed by the May 15 BDN OpEd by middle school teacher Jennifer Dorman about the benefits of Common Core. Those of us in the business community (I am the retired CEO of WBRC Architects/Engineers) have a vested interest in how teachers such as Dorman …

Wednesday, May 20, 2015: Bernie Sanders for president, welfare drug tests, out-of-state ‘facts’

on May 19, 2015, at 2:31 p.m.
Grass-roots campaign We have already entered into the 2016 presidential campaign, like it or not. And there is much to like since Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont threw his hat into the ring, seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party. He will not be a spoiler and consistently rebuffs the …

Tuesday, May 19, 2015: Katahdin region national park, metal mining, public school overhaul

on May 18, 2015, at 12:46 p.m.
English politics Having just returned after spending most of April and early May in England, and being thoroughly steeped in their electoral process, I was surprised to read Jim Fossel’s May 14 BDN column in which his first premise is that the Liberal Democrats are to the left of Labour …

Monday, May 18, 2015: Deflated footballs vs. real problems, Maine’s worst road, tax reform doesn’t belong on ballot

on May 16, 2015, at 10:16 a.m.
Maine’s worst road Last summer, Route 15 was selected as the worst road in the entire state. It is especially bad from Blue Hill to the Sedgwick town line. Once Sedgwick is reached, the road noticeably is better. I first noticed the condition of the road in the fall of …

Saturday, May 16, 2015: Gun permits don’t stop criminals, free trade bad for America

on May 15, 2015, at 10:45 a.m.
Free trade dangerous The editors of The Washington Post who attack Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for blocking Obama’s “fast track” free trade bill in an editorial in the BDN’s May 12 Other Voices seem pretty confident this trade bill is good for America. So how do they know? The …

Friday, May 15, 2015: Ban fireworks, John Martin is a genius, Dechaine deserves retrial

on May 14, 2015, at 10:34 a.m.
Anti-vaccine dangers The anti-vaccination movements fail to look back far enough to the years before polio vaccines. Bear in mind vaccines do not kill viruses. The polio virus and others still are in our environment. Those of us old enough to have lived through the annual polio epidemics understand all …
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