Knott is not for York

The Town of York is about to embark on two major initiatives that will deeply influence municipal policies for decades: the Comprehensive Plan update and a Climate Action Plan. Both plans will require significant technological analyses, and both will rely on scientific input. As these plans are developed over the next two years the Town government will also continue to face challenges posed by the current global pandemic, another topic that must be informed by the best available medical advice. The select board will be the primary source of new policies, or revisions to existing town policies, that ensure these initiatives are effective and that the community remains safe.

Yet one of the candidates for Selectman, Mr. John Knott, has made it clear that he will ignore any scientific assessment that does not conform to his unique political ideology. For example, he does not accept the science of climate change. Knott wrote « The real risk is CO2 starvation! » and that climate change from manmade emissions is a « false narrative. » Based on posts he has advocated on his personal Facebook account, he has rejected the seriousness and severity of COVID-19, believes measures to protect public health are unnecessary and all part of some liberal agenda.

While entitled to his opinions, someone who holds such views has no place directing or developing local policies, policies that will have such an enduring impact on our future.

—Gerry Runte, York

Garon for York selectwoman

I write in strong support of Britton Garon for York selectwoman. I believe her skills as a lawyer will contribute to the board, and her personal experience as a working mother of three young children will bring an important perspective to policy discussions.

Britton is committed to the community. She has ably served for nine years on the Appeals Board and recently joined the Library board. I have worked with her in York Rotary and as a steering committee member of Dining for Women. She is also a member of SOS, Serving our Seniors. Britton is smart, funny, hard-working and fair-minded. She will bring a positive attitude focused on the best possible future for York’s residents.

—Holly T. Sargent, York

Campaign sign theft

As one can observe around town, political parties are permitted to display campaign signs in public rights of ways for a fixed period of time prior to elections. The signs must be removed within a few days post election.

The penalty for unlawfully removing a sign is $250, but proving an individual(s) did so is difficult. Previously, in civil societies, opposing parties have respected each other’s rights of mutual display. Unfortunately that is not the case in York. Campaign signs placed by the Shoreline Republicans have continually been removed and damaged. Put out one day … gone the next. With constant replacement, still more than 50% of the signs placed have been illegally removed. This is out and out property theft.

If one looks at the general groups of campaign signs in any one area in York the contrast is stark. Democrat campaign signs now dominate each area and have not been subject to removal. In addition, there are numerous illegal anti Trump and Collins signs placed without proper identification. One would hope that the York Democrat Party would condemn this removal of Republican signs even though they may not be directly involved with the perpetrators. It is a sad state of affairs that in York, some factions do not want to permit opposing views. Freedom of speech is at issue with everything now subordinate to political factors.

—K.A. Field, York

Write signs with kids in mind

As new, full-time residents of York, my husband, myself, and our three elementary-aged children have had a wonderful experience over the past several months meeting people in the community and seeing what a vibrant and supportive environment York provides. With the upcoming election, it has been energizing to see so many signs on lawns supporting various candidates in a variety of offices.

Regardless of who is voted into office, we are thankful that our children are exposed to such an encouraging display of political fervor. On our drive to school each morning, much of our conversation is dominated by questions from our children about the various lawn signs and what we think of each of the candidates.

However, I wanted to share the following with the community as I feel it is our job as parents and elders to lead by example. On a recent family bike ride, our daughter came home and the first thing she said when she arrived in the door was that there was a « bad » word on a lawn sign she saw. I walk daily in our neighborhood over by the Nubble and saw the exact sign she was referring to. She was correct. The large sign hanging from the front deck contained profanity.

My message to the homeowners or whoever is responsible for hanging that sign is the following: While we can all become heated at different points in time, especially during an upcoming election, remember that your message can be just as effective without the use of profane language. Your audience includes young members of this community, and whatever message you were trying to convey was lost in translation because of the profane language you chose to use.

My hope is that your intent was to emphasize your strong support of a presidential candidate. If it was for shock value, you were successful. Our 9-year-old daughter was so shocked that she didn’t even ask about the candidate but focused on the « bad word. »

Please lead by example and show our children that freedom of speech can be just as powerful when it’s free of profanity.

—Stephanie Topping, York

Reelect our Maine legislators

In 2018, we voters in southern Maine helped elect a governor and elected a local group of legislators that quickly proved themselves to be the energetic, hard-working, caring and dedicated public servants that we trusted they would be. They all deserved our hearty support for reelection. Representatives Lydia Blume of York, Patti Hymanson of York and surrounding areas, Michele Meyer of Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick, and Tiffany Roberts of North/South Berwick and Sen. Mark Lawrence of local District 35, are up for reelection, and Kristi Mathieson is running to continue the service that retiring representative Deane Rykerson has so ably given us over the years.

At the outset of the Covid emergency, these public servants quickly acted to advocate for science-based public health measures to curb viral spread and to reach out to their community in every way they could to provide assistance, guidance, and reassurance, and continue to do so.

Since 2018, they, along with Governor Mills, have – in only two short years- also accomplished many more things for the greater good of Maine. Some of the bills passed: Property tax relief sponsored by Speaker Sara Gideon, Medicaid expansion, ban on offshore drilling in Maine, ban on conversion therapy, earned income tax credit to fight poverty and prescription drug reform package to reduce costs.

This is a record of accomplishment and revival that deserves our strong voice of approval. A vote for Lydia Blume, Patti Hymanson, Michele Meyer, Kristi Mathieson, Mark Lawrence, Tiffany Roberts and others, depending on your district, is a vote for integrity, accomplishment, and real progress for all people of Maine.

—Michael Thompson, Kittery

Why I support Sara Gideon

I would like to share my reasons for supporting Sara Gideon as our next U.S. Senator.

As Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives for four years, Sara proved herself capable of creating bipartisan consensus in order to get legislation passed that benefits all Mainers. Maine folks from across political, social and economic spectrums were able to rally behind such issues as expanded job training and education programs; a universal paid time off policy; an increase of state aid to local school districts and expanded medical coverage in Maine. Sara believes that bringing people together for common cause is both desirable and achievable.

I believe Sara will continue to work for the people of Maine as U.S. Senator. Her promise to push for major infrastructure development and raising the federal minimum wage are among a number of national issues. Her promise to find ways to keep our workers and young families from leaving home and to promote fair trade policies that specifically help Maine industries are of special interest to us.

Sara Gideon is a moderate focused on issues that we care about. Her temperament and perspective give her the ability to « work across the aisle » and get things done, for Maine and for our country.

—Nancy Garrick, York

Stand with Susan Collins

While the coronavirus pandemic has presented Maine and the country with unprecedented challenges, Sen. Susan Collins has led us through this historic time. Senator Collins has always been a fierce advocate for Maine, and despite her opponent’s repetitive talking points, Senator Collins’ leadership has never changed.

Collins is consistently named the most bipartisan senator because she is willing to work with her colleagues to get the job done. In such a divided political atmosphere, Senator Collins makes me proud because she shows that Maine can lead the way to finding solutions. And her commitment to creating good jobs and improving Maine’s economy is unwavering. These ads from Sara Gideon trying to scare seniors about Social Security and Medicare are not true. Senator Collins has always and will always protect Maine’s seniors.

I don’t care how much money Gideon spends on negative TV ads, she will never buy my vote because I stand with Senator Collins.

—Jeff Berlin, York

Collins solves problems

I admire Susan Collins’ backbone. She makes tough decisions for us Mainers, and she’s always working for us. Susan has a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation as a problem-solver, and her seniority in Washington benefits our small state tremendously.

This benefit was especially evident with her quick action to draft, pass and launch, within three short weeks, the popular Paycheck Protection Program, which has been credited with saving our national economy. And now, while Sara Gideon can’t be bothered to call the Maine House into session, Susan is back at it, working with her colleagues on a second round of forgivable loans to protect Maine workers.

So thank you, Susan Collins, for all you do, and for never losing sight of what’s important for Maine. You have my support and my vote this fall, and the support and votes of my family.

—Nicholas G. Xenos, York

Term limits for Susan Collins? Absolutely.

When Susan Collins was first elected to the Senate in 1996, she made a pledge: « if elected, I will serve only two terms. Twelve years is long enough to be in public service. » Four terms and 24 years later, Senator Collins has shown the people of Maine why term limits are a good thing and why we have them in place for our own legislature.

Senator Collins’ blanket support for Donald Trump’s judicial nominees and her infamous/awkward assertion that « the president has learned from this case » (impeachment) demonstrate that her priorities lie elsewhere. And while the senator has tried to walk the knife’s edge by occasionally expressing some sort of disapproval for the president, it is clear that even if the senator should win reelection, she is at best a diminished figure within her own party. Does it really make sense to give Senator Collins another six years? If the senator were on the Red Sox, she would find herself on the trading block (and not like Mookie Betts, more like Jason Bay).

Maine deserves a senator that will inject new life and fresh ideas into our national government. This is why I will be voting for Sara Gideon.

—Peter Yauch, York

Editor’s note: Sen. Susan Collins voted in favor of President Donald Trump’s first two nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Collins has said she will vote against Trump’s third nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, if the vote takes place before the Nov. 3 election. Collins said the winner of the 2020 presidential race should be the one to nominate the next Supreme Court justice.

Gideon isn’t bipartisan

Sara Gideon would like us all to believe she has been bipartisan during her tenure in the Maine Legislature. I served two terms with Sara Gideon in the House, and I can unequivocally say that she is far from bipartisan. She has manipulated votes among her members, twisting arms and even threatened members, unless they towed her party line.

One prime example was the vote on LD 745, « An Act to Prevent Female Genital Mutilation. » The initial vote on the bill showed strong bipartisan support with some 20 democratic members supporting the bill. As Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon held the vote open for well over 30 minutes while she sent threatening memos from her rostrum to democratic members, forcing them to change their vote. One by one the green lights flicked to red until just one democratic green light remained.

After enormous pressure from within Speaker Gideon’s leadership team, that member flipped her vote and left the House Chambers in tears. The bill failed on a party line vote because of one person, Sara Gideon.

You can be assured that if Sara Gideon is elected to the U.S. Senate, she will tow the line Chuck Schumer tells her to, not the people of Maine.

While Mainers are looking for elected officials to come together, Sara Gideon has proven she is not that person. We have such a person already, recognized throughout this country as the most bipartisan member of the Senate. Susan Collins always votes in Maine’s best interest.

—Robert Foley, Maine State Senator, District 34

Editor’s note: Robert Foley, a Republican, isn’t running for reelection in the 2020 race. Republican Michael Pardue and Democrat Joseph Rafferty, both of Kennebunk, are competing in the Nov. 3 election to represent Senate District 34, which is comprised of Kennebunk, Wells, Acton, Lebanon, North Berwick and part of Berwick.

We need to reelect Patty

As a physician and resident of Maine House District 4, my vote goes to Patty Hymanson. We need a physician in the State House, and Patty could not be more well-qualified to both represent the district and lead debates about health care policy. She has lived in the district for 35 years, raised three children here, and has led many local boards, including being elected twice to the York School Committee, where she served several years as chair. She understands the district in many ways.

Now, as we rebound from the pandemic, Patty knows and understands the largest piece of the state budget. As House Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, she has helped put together three Maine budgets over six years. With an upcoming revenue shortfall, I trust Patty to make decisions for working families and the most vulnerable among us, including the elderly and those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I trust her to protect health care, especially for those who are struggling.

Patty will follow science and public health directives; that has been her training and practice as a physician for over 30 years. Helping my elderly patients stay safe at home by raising the pay of people who take care of them, and opening the investigation into child abuse cases are just two of many issues that Patty has actively supported, spoken about, and built bilateral consensus.

Please vote to reelect Patty Hymanson for State Representative, District 4.

—Alison Green, M.D., Ogunquit

Vote for Gideon because Maine matters

While in office and as Speaker of the House, as expressed in Patagonia’s website, « she has passed expansive carbon reduction goals for the state, moved Maine closer to a clean energy system powered by renewables, and advocated for job growth, especially in rural communities. She has vowed to invest in a clean energy economy, » while Susan Collins « voted to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, took funds from the Texas oil and gas industry, and voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, whose position on the Supreme Court could have lasting consequences for the future of the planet. »

We must all remember, there is no Planet B and enthusiastically vote for Sara Gideon because Maine Matters in the global stewardship effort.

—Ted Little, York

Progressives and Maine’s U.S. Senate race

How to promote the progressive agenda in voting for U.S. senator? What candidate will make a difference? Who will help wrest the senate from Mitch McConnell? The answer: Sara Gideon.

The answer is not Green Party candidate Lisa Savage. She cannot win. She commands support from less than 5% of voters. You’ve got to get elected to introduce legislation. You’ve got to get elected to ditch Mitch. Ranked choice voting doesn’t change that. A vote for Savage is a feel-good vote, it is not a meaningful progressive vote, for it will not achieve change. But it could result in heartbreak for progressives.

The Savage campaign promotes the idea that ranked choice voting ends the spoiler effect. Not so. In the end, ranked choice voting can result in the kind of outcome that put Paul LePage in office, thanks to Eliot Cutler. Twice. Can we afford to have an independent candidate once more produce a retrogressive Republican victory? Collins and Gideon are running neck-and-neck. Do progressives really want to help return Susan Collins to Washington for six years?

In Maine’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, let’s not waste our votes on an impossible outcome. Vote for the best outcome. Advance the progressive agenda. Vote first and last for Sara Gideon.

—David Chase, York

Let’s clean up Trump’s swamp

Back in 2016, Trump ran as the « business man. » He led people to believe that he could make America better and businesses stronger, while he wore shirts and silk ties from China, and most of his own businesses were failing. He has managed to find every tax loophole and pay just $750 in taxes for two years in a row over the last ten years. Trump has fired more of his appointed staff than any president we can remember! Why? Is that good management?

Is your business thriving? Do you pay almost no taxes? Are you better off? Is America « great again »? Did he keep his promises? We don’t think so.

Remember, it is Republicans who passed the tax cut bill that gave some people a few extra dollars for a short time, and a lot of BIG tax breaks to BIG BUSINESSES! Even during this Covid crisis some big businesses are making huge profits while others are left out, like the airline and cruise industries. Small businesses, the backbone of America, struggle to keep their doors open and staff paid; thousands have closed forever, and some of those are here in York. People fear being evicted from their homes and are worried about feeding their families. Many have no health insurance and are afraid to go to a doctor when sick. There are higher rates of depression and domestic violence. But thanks to Republicans in Congress, there is still no new stimulus bill to provide immediate help to families and businesses.

But help is on the way: on election day, remember to « clean the swamp » by dumping Trump and his supporters in Congress.

—Dennis and Susan Kepner, York

Don’t elect a climate skeptic

Last week’s York Weekly article, « Selectman Candidates Answer Four Climate Questions, » was timely and helpful. Because of Covid, there has been no public candidates’ forum. The survey helped clarify candidates’ positions on our changing climate.

The comments by one of the candidates, John Knott, were particularly revealing. One does have to appreciate Mr. Knott’s candor: his stated opinion is that « the evolving climate is not being caused by manmade CO2 emissions » and we « do not allow politics to push a false narrative. » Unfortunately, he hints that he has some special expertise about climate science – « with advance degrees in engineering, science is important to me. » Some observations in response:

1. Degrees in engineering do not indicate any special knowledge of climate science. True climate scientists feel unequivocally (at least 97% of them do) that the issue is resolved: increased CO2 production by human activity is drastically changing our climate. The assertion that politics is driving this conclusion just doesn’t pass the smell test. Scientists are an ornery, unruly bunch, the most skeptical individuals in our society and the least likely to kowtow to a politician or political party.

2. Mr. Knott talks about the Milankovitch Cycle and CO2 levels in Precambrian times – impressive name dropping, but these are old arguments that scientists debunked years ago. The website « skepticalscience.com » is one of several sites that addresses the irrelevance of the Milankovitch cycle, etc., to our present climate dilemma.

3. Unfortunately, the opinion of John Knott and other climate skeptics can create doubt and confusion, which lead to inaction, which we cannot afford. This is the playbook of « Big Oil, » the main sponsors of misinformation about climate change. This was the strategy of tobacco companies in the 1970s and 1980s: delay regulation to create doubt and thus make a few more bucks. « Follow the money » to see the hand of Big Oil in perpetuating climate change skepticism.

From his statements, I conclude that John Knott is just not a qualified candidate for our select board.

—Mac McAbee, York



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