In 1994 I was in the bowels of an armory in Augusta, standing next to the new governor of Maine, Angus King.

My wife and I were close friends of Mary Herman, Angus’ wife, and we had come in just for the inauguration. It was a happy time.

I looked at King as we walked along a dim corridor toward the crowd waiting in the armory. I glanced over to the man about to become governor and saw a grim look on his face. He should have been smiling at least.

He stopped for a bit before he walked out to the bright lights and he turned around. I was the only one next to him.

“Can you believe this?” he asked, shaking his head in obvious amazement. “Now we get a chance to really do something. To really help people.”

To say I was impressed is a serious understatement. I was a veteran of Wisconsin politics, where amassing power and influence were the coin of the realm. In public, candidates talked about helping people. But in private, the people were often forgotten in the lust to acquire and exert personal influence.

King was a rare bird, indeed. In what should have been a moment of extreme personal pride, his only thought was for what he was now going to be able to actually do for the people of Maine.

He doesn’t know I’m writing this letter, but it helps explain why I think Maine, and the United States, would be better with Angus King as a senator.

David Begel

Milwaukee, Wis.

Reader hopes for justice in Sarah Cherry case

I’m going to begin this letter to the editor by congratulating and thanking Superior Court Justice Carl O. Bradford. It is a positive step when on May 23, Bradford will hear oral arguments in regard to pending DNA evidence in the death of Sarah Cherry.

The congratulations are in order because I want to believe: that this Maine justice during his tenure on the bench has always striven to do right by the law and those suffering an injustice. I have no reason to believe otherwise about this public official.

I do not have the same fuzzy, warm feeling toward others specifically responsible for bringing justice to the victimized and the guilty to justice. It is my belief that even an intelligent, well-intentioned judge can be duped, especially if, during the initial trial, an unscrupulous officer isn’t totally forthcoming.

Is a judge or jury to blame? No. What would be worse yet is if any attorney general in a position to do the right thing these past 24 years chose instead to continue practicing the art of obfuscation. Again, is the judge at fault? I do not think so.

And so, I wish to thank Carl O. Bradford for the May hearing. Many citizens in Maine feel that justice for the little Cherry girl, and for Dennis Dechaine, has fallen short. A great number of folks welcome your presiding a retrial, I am just one of many in favor.

Martin F. Dionne

Sinclair

Couple’s Maine visits are a gamble, but worth the risk

I grew up in Atlantic City, once a nice family resort but now best known as Las Vegas East. The boardwalk of my memories is no longer lined with classic and classy old hotels, but rather glitzy and brassy casinos.

The families that flocked to the beaches and patronized the amusement parks have gone elsewhere in pursuit of innocent pleasures, leaving the ocean and its environs to gamblers who often are unaware of their surroundings other than the lure of card tables, slot machines and wheels of fortune — or misfortune.

I seldom return to Sin City because I have no interest in betting the farm and seeing it disappear in quarter increments. But I am a gambler nonetheless; I gamble on such variables as the weather, where the odds of the perfect combination are about the same as those of a slot machine.

My husband and I visit Maine at least twice a year, usually in summer and occasionally at other times. We have seen nearly perfect seasons, such as 2005, when we found it hard to return home after four months of bliss.

On the other hand, we spent this past Easter in Maine with the hope of the mild weather that had arrived early. Needless to say, we lost that bet and nearly froze in our spring attire.

Recently we have expanded our gambling to include a new pastime, road roulette. In this game, we try to guess the price of gasoline before we fill the tank. We have both good luck and bad at this venture. When the price rises, we are forced to ante up or get out of the game.

The entry fees are based on an arcane formula designed to favor the oil companies in much the same way the odds favor casinos over players. Wanna bet we’ll be back in Maine anyway? Who can resist its charms?

Ann Dow

West Deptford, N.J.

Readers share why they support Matthew Dunlap

We have recently met Matthew Dunlap, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. Now, I am a skeptic, but I was really impressed! We met a man who was easy to talk to, so down to earth! He made us believe in “Maine, the Way Life Should Be.”

Matt grew up here in Maine, went to UMaine and worked hard at a variety of jobs. He is a former state legislator, secretary of state and House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He knows Maine, how it works and what is important to all of us.

Matt Supports the Affordable Care Act, Social Security and Medicare. He acknowledges each may need some work. Matt wants to work to make them better.

He supports growth of industry here in Maine. He is especially interested in re-establishing Maine’s agricultural and farming economy.  Did you know that even with the loss of 85 percent of family farms over the past 100 years, food grown here still provides $1 billion to Maine’s economy? Wow!

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get more affordable, healthy food grown right here year round instead of having it shipped from other states and countries? Maine farmers are practicing more organic and organic-friendly farming every year.

Matt is anxious to support the growth of small businesses that provide jobs for our own citizens and to keep those jobs right here! We are a great state, we’ve had some tough times and we need someone to advocate for us to regain our industries while protecting  what we really love: our ocean, lakes, forests, mountains, fish, wildlife and clean air!

Matt Dunlap is the Maine man we need in Washington. His biggest interest is in making Maine the healthy and prosperous for all of us. Please, vote for Matt!

Ellen and Bettie Harris-Howard

Lebanon

One of the Democrats running for U.S. Senate understands Maine better than anybody because he’s lived and worked in Maine all his life. He’s not a lawyer, he’s not a millionaire, he’s not running for the Senate because it’s the next rung up the political ladder.

He’s running because he wants Maine to be the kind of place where his daughter can find a good job when she’s a grown-up. He wants Maine to be the kind of place where you can still hunt and fish because the water isn’t polluted and developers haven’t bought up all the woods or turned them into a national park.

He’s running because he thinks that the Senate needs to hear from an actual working Mainer, not another millionaire. He’s running because he thinks Maine needs to move forward, not backward, as the Republicans seem to want to do.

He’s Matt Dunlap. He’s a real Democrat, a real Mainer and a really good choice for U.S. Senate. That’s why I’m urging people to support him.

Peggy Pendleton  

Scarborough