Keep the mail moving, safely

To the editor,

During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure residents stay connected with their world through the mail. Whether it’s medications, a package, a paycheck, benefits or pension check, a bill or letter from a family member, postal workers understand that every piece of mail is important. While service like this is nothing new to us, we need our communities’ help with social distancing.

For everyone’s safety, our employees are following the social distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials. We are asking people to not approach our carriers to accept delivery. Let the carrier leave the mailbox before collecting the mail. With schools not in session, children should also be encouraged to not approach a postal vehicle or carrier.

If a delivery requires a signature, carriers will knock on the door rather than touching the bell. They will maintain a safe distance, and instead of asking for a signature on their mobile device, they’ll ask for the resident’s name. The carrier will leave the mail or package in a safe place for retrieval.

We are proud of the role all our employees play in processing, transporting, and delivering mail and packages for the American public. The CDC, World Health Organization, as well as the Surgeon General indicate there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

With social distancing, we can keep the mail moving while keeping our employees, and the public, safe.

Regina Bugbee, district manager

U.S. Postal Service – Northern New England District

Responsibility to ensure safety

To the editor,

At a time with so much uncertainty and fear regarding our public health, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that our community is acting safely and proactively to protect one another from danger. People at the highest risk levels from the COVID-19 virus are also those who tend to be most threatened by emissions from the oil tanks in South Portland, tanks operated by Global, who is now attempting to renew the terms of their license to operate those tanks. This is an opportunity for action and oversight.

What we’ve seen in our current crisis is that having good neighbors we can depend upon is key to maintaining the health and safety of our community. We’ve seen more than enough from Global to know that, in moments of precarious public health, they’re not the type of neighbors we can count on to look out for the well-being of South Portland on their own.

The Department of Environmental Protection has an important role to play in ensuring that Global’s licensing agreement works for everyone in South Portland — especially our most vulnerable community members — and not only for a big corporation. We need the DEP to require the installation of infrared fence line monitoring with the results available to the public in real time.

I hope that other residents will join me in making this request to the Maine DEP by emailing [email protected] At a moment when public health is front of mind for all of us, we should do everything we can to protect our community, now and in the future.

Kevin Simowitz

South Portland

Candidate ‘understands’ importance of SoPo waterfront

To the editor,

I’m supporting Anne Carney (D) to represent South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and parts of Scarborough in the Maine State Senate. I admire her work as state representative, especially her authorship of LD 2033, An Act To Ensure Proper Closure of Oil Terminal Facilities, which
was signed into law in March.

LD 2033 is a forward-looking bill that recognizes we are likely approaching a tipping point, transitioning away from the petroleum-powered economy of the past toward a clean energy future. The bill requires of the petroleum industry what we routinely ask of our children: “When you’re
done playing here, please clean up your mess.”

Maine has a long, proud industrial history, and our landscape is littered with the bones of once prosperous canneries, foundries and mills lost to the shifting forces of our economy. LD 2033 does not seek to shut down petroleum-oriented businesses, it simply accepts that change is inevitable. It recognizes the history of out-of-state investors closing shop and leaving town, and codifies in law that first, they ought to clean up their mess.

Anne Carney understands that the South Portland waterfront is a tremendous asset to our region. In writing LD 2033, she has taken significant action to ensure that as our energy economy evolves, reinvention of that asset will not be hindered by abandoned infrastructure and contaminated soil, and that the cost of remediation will be paid by the companies that made the mess, not the taxpayers. That’s why I’m supporting Anne Carney for Maine State Senate.

Peter Stanton

South Portland