As someone who is fortunate enough to hold an “essential” job (as if anyone’s job is non-essential), I found myself traveling home to Maine in a rental car from out of state last weekend. I was stunned to see that Maine was still requiring cash payments for those drivers without EZpass. Is there a more certain way to expose oneself to COVID-19 than by handling cash? This is an egregious error from the Maine Turnpike Authority and I strongly urge them to refrain from collecting cash tolls for the safety of their workers and for the safety of drivers. While they’re at it, why not refrain from collecting all tolls while we are living in a time where millions of workers have been furloughed, and even more of us are dealing with a reduced salary.

On another note, as an outdoors-man I’ve noticed that the state and various townships are closing certain recreational areas to include parks, walking trails and popular mountain trails. While I understand the intent is to deter individuals from congregating, I believe the outcome of these closures produces the opposite effect. By reducing the number of places for individuals to get outdoors (something our governor has advised us to do!), our elected representatives have inadvertently created a situation where more people are unnecessarily constrained into a tighter area for recreation, thereby making it even more difficult to maintain a posture of social distancing.

Great intention, horrible application.

Ted Bennett


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