Be respectful, wear a mask

I want to extend a sincere note of gratitude to the employees and owner of the Brunswick Home & Garden Shop on Stanwood Street. Last Monday, I walked my lawnmower there to perform an annual tune-up. When going into public businesses, I normally wear a mask, but having just completed mowing my lawn, I forgot to bring my mask as I entered the store.  When I walked in I was greeted by three employees all wearing a mask. Behind a protective transparent piece of plastic, they told me that I could take a mask out of a box of individually packed surgical masks for customers to use upon arrival. I thanked them for taking such great preventative measures.

Later that day, I went to the Cumberland Farms on Pleasant Street to get gas and a soda. Walking into the store, I put on my mask and looked to see if there the limit of five-customers in the store had been met. I counted four and entered. Although the employee was masked none of the other four patrons were masked. As I waited in line to purchase my soda, two customers left and were replaced by two more customers without masks.

We don’t wear a mask to protect ourselves, we wear a mask to protect others around us. The majority of people who have died from COVID were over the age of 70. Please be respectful of them.

Ray Nagel,
Brunswick

Collins goes south on the Arctic

In 1983, working for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service I had the great privilege of conducting research on caribou, insects and others species inhabiting the coastal plain and foothills of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This portion of the Refuge provides breeding and nursery habitat for countless birds, fish and mammals including the migratory Porcupine caribou herd calving here by the Beaufort Sea. At the time, this herd numbered about 140,000 and a popular bumper sticker exclaimed “140,000 Caribou Can’t Be Wrong.” Currently, with caribou herds in decline across their circumpolar range, only the Porcupine herd, at 218,00, is at its all-time high.

Last week the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Act. This is a good thing. While Sen. Collins touts her support of this legislation, and its impact on parks like our own Acadia, I would encourage a broader look at her record. Doing the difficult work to protect our nation’s public lands, address the climate crisis, and represent the will of the people is what we need from our elected officials. Sen. Collins’ present support (in contrast to her earlier voting positions), of legislation to sell off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas development does none of those things.

The Trump administration continues to ignore overwhelming public comments against development of the Arctic Refuge (very few issues have 70% support of the public but protecting the Refuge from drilling is one) and alarms from scientists on the devastating impacts (including extinctions) development would have on wildlife and our climate. Burning the Refuge oil would have a carbon impact equivalent to doubling the pollution from all coal-fired power plants in the United States over three years). The arctic is under plenty of threats already as rising temperatures melt permafrost, reduce critical sea ice and displace indigenous populations now threatened by sea-level rise and loss of food supply. The Refuge is one of the wildest and vibrant places left in the world and should remain sacrosanct.

I urge Sen. Collins to walk the walk and opposed fossil fuel development in the Arctic Refuge. 218,000 caribou can’t be wrong!

Ed Friedman,
Topsham

Vote Perreault

I support Corey Perry Perreault, a Democrat running for office in the Maine House of Representatives, District 49.

I met Corey years ago, through community theater, her daughters performing in plays, and me, behind the scenes as assistant stage manager (Aida) or soliciting play ads for the Brunswick High School plays. Corey’s creative energy, dedication and passion has amazed me, as in the fundraising drive for BHS students to perform at the Fringe Festival in Scotland. Her positivity is infectious and common sense refreshing. And for as corny as it sounds, she has a heart as big as Brunswick.

Her commitment to community – school board, volunteering and activism, and the arts – her drive, passion, and leadership make her an excellent candidate as a representative and Maine would benefit from her service.

Rae Duval,
Brunswick

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