Letters to the editor — The Camden Herald

Jun 23, 2016

Yes on Ranked Choice Voting

In last week's Herald, Kerin Resch of Warren wrote a letter to the editor attempting to belittle the motives behind the effort by tens of thousands of Mainers, including the Maine League of Women Voters and supporters of all political persuasions, to have future Maine elections carried out using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). In doing so, Resch made two false assertions, first that such a change is not needed and second, that such a change would be contrary to Maine's State Constitution.

Regarding the need for such a reform, Maine now has, in effect, a multi-party environment with Independent candidates and ones from small third parties regularly contesting elections with candidates from the two major parties. The frequent result is a candidate winning without a majority, often with less than 40 percent of the vote. The legitimacy of these "victories" is almost immediately attacked by the winner's opponents, who point out that the majority of the voters voted against him or her. This has been the case in nine of the last 11 races for governor in Maine, with five of the winners getting less than 40 percent. Ranked Choice Voting would allow all election winners to achieve majorities.

As for Resch's contention that RCV is unconstitutional, this is not as certain as he would have people believe and most likely not true at all. Several experts on Maine's constitution, including superior court judges and the former head of the Law School at the University of Maine have stated that the proposal is constitutional, and similar findings have been made nationally in RCV cases brought before the Supreme Courts of two other states.

Two other benefits of RCV are that it focuses emphasis on the more important issues of a campaign and discourages negative campaigning.

To learn more, I encourage readers to go the website rcvmaine.com.

Charlie Graham

Camden

Support gun legislation

We the undersigned, members and friends of First Congregational Church of Camden, an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, join our fellow Americans in grieving the shootings that targeted the LGBTQ community in Orlando last week, taking 49 lives and wounding many more. We support legislation proposed by Sen. Susan Collins to ban the sale of guns to terrorism suspects who appear on the government's no-fly list or the so-called "selectee" list. The denomination to which we belong, the UCC, has a long history of supporting peace and justice issues. Its stand on gun violence is clear.

In the words of John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the UCC:

". . . [W]hat we feel and wish to express goes far beyond deep grief. There is also enormous anger and profound rage that once again beautiful and innocent people have been violated in this horrible way; and that homophobia continues to threaten the safety and sanctity of another person's right to pursue happiness.

"The United Church of Christ again calls for America to act swiftly to produce gun legislation that lowers the risk that someone with an agenda, a distorted view of humanity, a proclivity for violence, and access to automatic weapons can wreak such havoc and destroy so many lives."

Rev. Dr. Deborah M. Jenks, Interim Minister, First Congregational Church of Camden, UCC.

Ann Cole

Bruce Cole

Nancy K. Smith

Eric Charlton

Beryl Charlton

David E. Walker

Zella F. Walker

Joe Curll

Vicki Doudera

Mary Ireland

Jane Babbitt

Susan A. Hopkins

Robert A. Carter Sr.

Donna Crane

Jean Nolan

Kim Palermo

Peter Palermo

William C. Bisbee

Gail Palmer

Katherine Migliorato

Roger Burke

Maddie Burke

Rebecca Brace

Elizabeth Lally

Michael Lally

Noel Cox

Esther Sexton

Marjorie Wester

Edwin Wester

Wendy Wickenden

Kathy Pease

Dan Pease

June Fryer

Matthew Mainster

Ann Bresnahan

Douglas Linder

Marianne Linder

Dodie Smidgall

Lucy Goulet

Mary Wells

Rebecca Simms

Kathrin Seitz

Jan Kelsey

Sally Fernald

Allen Fernald

Ruth Lowry

Iola (Mimi) Benedict

Harry (Skip) Hoblin

Margaret J. Thomas

Owen R. Thomas

Stephen W. Moles

Ann Bex

Roy A. Hitchings Jr.

Deborah H. Hitchings

Richard M. Anderson

Andrea Hamalainen

Marty Hamalainen

Cheryl Roberts

Marianna Edmunds

Rita G. Elliott

Nan Haid

Julianne Edmondson

Cornelia Ostheimer

Tom Barksdale

Mary Libbey

Elizabeth Bates

Bonnie White

Jeanne Denny

John Davidson

Barbara Davidson

Gary Walker

Roberta Walker

Helen M. Popp

Kristel Brown

Cheryl Cassidy

Nancy Nickerson

Eric Nickerson

Marty Martens

Betsy Perry

Joseph Dowd

Alisa Dowd

Bob Garcia

Jinx Hufnagel

John Hufnagel

Teri Young

Hilda Livingstone

Gloria Guiduli

Madeline Shields

Kudos and a plea

Saturday’s Yard Sale at 63 Washington St. was a big success and on behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to express our thanks to so many for making it so. From the Board members who helped (and non-Board members who helped as well) to all those who donated items to sell, and to all those who came to shop and were generous with our sell by donation policy, we thank you.

Leftover items were boxed up and picked up by Heavenly Threads Thrift Shop. Some will go to Goodwill and larger items to the Restore and we thank them as well for their help. This is truly a caring community, people helping people. We made enough money to cover badly needed advertising in Maine Seniors magazine.

There was one downside to our big event, however. Sadly, someone managed to get onto the porch and take Kert, “the Waving Man’s” scooter battery charger. This World War II 100 percent disabled vet is now not able to charge his scooter to get out to the road to wave at everyone driving by. If anyone has or knows anything about this charger would you be so kind as to return it to the porch, no questions asked.

Once again, many thanks to all who helped before, during and after, to make our fund raiser a success.

Jan Kelsey

Board Secretary

63 Washington St.

Camden

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