On behalf of the Broadband Coalition, Elaine Higgins wanted me to thank the July 28 special town meeting attendees. She says: “Thank you. This is democracy at its best. The conversation was kept on task with many good questions and answers from everyone. When the vote finally did come up, all who voted knew what they were voting for.

“By passing the article to join the Interlocal Agreement, we in the town of Freedom are well on our way to getting fiber to every (home). The coalition can’t thank you enough. More to follow as we progress on this path.”

In early June I sponsored a refugee Ukrainian family through the federal government’s “United for Ukraine” program. This family of three — parents in their early 30s with a 10-year-old son — arrived in America on July 7 and settled among other Ukrainian families in Lewiston. I met them in person for the first time this week after only communicating with them through email and phone. The mother, Inna, speaks decent English and had a message for me and encouraged me to share it with others.

She tearfully explained how she and her husband were thankful to Mainers — not just Americans, but Mainers — for making their radical transition to a new life as easy as possible. They fled Ukraine a month or so after the war started and struggled to live in Italy before coming to America. She noted how many social services were available to refugees like her — job training, temporary financial assistance, schooling for her child, etc. — and equal opportunities to “get to work” as quickly as possible. Thanks to her grasp of English, she will probably be able to start working soon in some capacity, and expressed interest in becoming a nurse because of what she saw in her home country.

I thought you all might like to know how appreciated we are to those who come here hoping to live among us.