This week, ClickBack seeks comments from editorial page readers on the future of the social safety net in Maine, the role of women in state government, Bangor’s urban renewal and international terrorism. Readers are directed to the “Opinion” pull-down menu at bangordailynews.com, where they will find the ClickBack page.
Comments posted at ClickBack may be featured on Friday’s OpEd page.
Should Maine’s social safety net be reduced in size and scope?
Maine, compared to other states, is generous in what it offers low-income, elderly and disabled residents through social service programs. But this comes at a cost; about a third of the state budget is devoted to such programs. Should the safety net be reduced? Or would that mean higher social costs in other areas, such as at hospital emergency rooms and in crime? What programs would you consider reducing? What programs should be exempt?
Women are dominating the State House, but when will one be governor?
Last week, Rep. Hannah Pingree of North Haven was elected Speaker of the House, Libby Mitchell of Vassalboro was chosen by her peers as Senate President, and Rep. Janet Mills was chosen by the Legislature as Attorney General. Yet Mainers have yet to elect a woman governor. Who might be the first woman to win the Blaine House? Chellie Pingree? Susan Collins? Janet Mills? Hannah Pingree? Carol Weston? Someone else?
Bangor’s urban renewal – good or bad?
Along with much of the nation, Bangor saw big changes when so-called urban renewal policies were implemented in the 1950s and 1960s. The policies meant a shift from emphasizing the downtown as the center of commerce to outlying shopping centers. Has this been good for Bangor? If it has meant a net loss for the city, in terms of community vitality, what similar forces are at work today that someday may be regretted?
On what country should the U.S. focus its anti-terrorism efforts?
First it was Afghanistan, the country that harbored al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden. Then, President Bush said Iraq was “the central front in the global war on terror.” Recent events in Pakistan, and now India, recommend those nations be scrutinized. Then there is Israel and its enemies. Where should the U.S. focus its efforts?
What do you think? Go to bangordailynews.com to post your thoughts.