September 1, 2008 Letters to the Editor

Posted Aug. 31, 2008, at 7:58 p.m.

So-called bear hunt

Once again, it’s bear baiting season in Maine, and there’s still no legislation to stop this so-called hunt.

I come from a long line of hunters, however it seems that “back in the day” there was no such thing as Dunkin’ Donuts for bears. Why in this great state with its rich hunting heritage do we still allow these lazy hunters and guides to use stale doughnuts and pastries to entrap and kill one of our great resources?

Maine does not allow deer to be baited so why bear baiting? Dropping a barrel of pastries under a tree is not hunting. Real hunters would stalk their game and give it a fair chance, not bait it with unnatural foods and lure it to the easy kill. Hunting is our Maine heritage, doughnuts are a breakfast treat.

Linda A. Harvey

Corinth

• • •

Median vs. average

Either Goklany and Taylor (“The big surprise about gasoline,” BDN OpEd, Aug 27) are half-wits (unlikely) or cynics with an ax to grind (a near certainty, given their employer, the Cato Institute — a notoriously right-wing “think tank,” aka propaganda mill).

They crow “personal disposable income since 2000 … has increased by an average of about $4,800 a person.” This is an obfuscation, intentionally discussing “average” where “median” is the relevant number, a “mistake” that would earn an F in any Intro to Statistics class. In its report on wealth and asset ownership, the U.S. Census Bureau says, “The median is also considerably lower than the average, and provides a more accurate representation of the wealth and asset holdings of the typical household.”

To illustrate, imagine that Bill Gates walks into a soup kitchen full of unemployed homeless people. The “average personal disposable income” in the room just went from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars, yet the “median” is still zero and still only Bill Gates can afford to fill a gas tank.

Google “povertyincomechartpack2005” for a more accurate picture of our economic well-being, and consequently, the effect of today’s gas prices on the “typical” (i.e., “median”) family.

The BDN should be ashamed to have published such misleading dreck.

Jeremy Winston

Hermon

• • •

McCain tied to Big Oil

People tend to avoid truth by denial, because reality can be painful. The simple fact is, Republicans are bankrupt in this election. They’ve done nothing in eight years except to divide us even further. Attempting to spread fear to cover the litany of mistakes and miscalculations and resorting to character assassination are the calling cards of the party. Unfortunately, Sen. McCain has caved in to these tactics. The list of lobbyists at his beck and call reads like a who’s who in big business. How does he propose to help the middle class?

McCain is tied to the hip with Big Oil, which contributes lavishly to his campaign. Is this why he has passionately promoted drilling while mocking conservation? Oil companies control the spigots and they can be turned on and off. Oil companies spend 17 percent to 30 percent of profits on exploration and material costs. Why do you think no refineries have been built in the last 35 years?

Last, what should scare the hell out of everyone about McCain being elected is the fact that he will deal with world problems from a military, instead of a diplomatic perspective. Sound familiar? Playing Russian roulette over Georgia could bring us to the brink of a new world order — a world without people.

John R. Salko

Perry

• • •

Cell service imperiled

For many of us, cell phones are a necessary component of everyday life, helping us do business, stay in touch with the people who matter most to us and call for help in emergencies.

Across the state, public safety officers like me depend on wireless service to respond quickly to emergencies. We rely on cell phones to assist in search and rescue operations, address domestic violence situations, prevent criminal activity and communicate in areas where police radio is insecure or unavailable.

That’s why a recent proposal by the Federal Communications Commission is so troubling to me – and potentially dangerous for rural Maine. In smaller communities, wireless carriers cannot always justify the costs of building new cell towers. However, there is a federal program called the Universal Service Fund that helps build reliable communications networks in rural areas.

Unfortunately, the FCC placed a cap on the wireless portion of the USF earlier this year, and now proposes drastic cuts that could eliminate nearly half the support we now receive in Maine. Statewide, we could lose more than $6 million in annual USF support, and dozens of new cell suites would be canceled or delayed every year.

We are fast becoming a wireless nation, but there is much work to be done in Maine to bring reliable cell phone networks to our rural areas. Cutting the USF for wireless is not a solution. _Go to ConnectingRural_America.org to learn more and take action.

Glenn Ross

sheriff, Penobscot County

Bangor

• • •

A town mourns

The town of Franklin suffered a great loss a couple of weeks ago in the tragedy that took the life of Kenny Tracy and injured his daughter, Kenzey. Of course the greatest loss is to his wonderful family and our sincere condolences and prayers are with them at this time. It was great to see Kenzey at the celebration of life and find out she is on the road to recovery.

I knew Kenny for more than 20 years both personally and in business. I remember him helping out many times and in many ways. We were fortunate to have done business with Kenny and Richard many times on various job sites.

Although it’s not often easy operating a business, it was always easy to deal with Kenny when we had business needs or worked together. Kenny did things the old-fashioned way; he earned his living with respect, consideration and integrity. The world be a better place with more people like Kenny, a hard-working, intelligent, kind and giving person. He will be missed greatly.

Patrick Smith

Earthworks Landscape Co.

Franklin

• • •

Move folk festival

The tents are down, the tasty food still lingers and those who ate the foods of different cultures will look forward to next year’s American Folk Festival.

I spoke to others who attended who said they had a great time, except it was very warm. Some people did not attend the festival because of that reason. I must admit, I was one of them. It might be good for the committee to talk it over by moving next year’s festival to Labor Day weekend.

Jim Koritzky

Bangor

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