Thrill of the kill
I am from Bucksport, not from away. I understand the culture of the hunt and all the skills and thrills it entails. I live on a small pond and over the years I have enjoyed it here immensely.
I read the article in BDN’s Nov. 15-16 edition, “Waterfowling’s weird, wonderful side.” I avoid reading man against nature stories as I know how they end. This article attracted me because I do appreciate the wonderful side of waterfowl. I have my binoculars trained on the duck families from the time they are fluff balls meticulously lined up behind the mother duck until they leave in the late fall.
Mr. Graves in his full-page preparation and buildup to his “unique hunt” shares the experience, smells and sounds. He and his companions climb into their fake hay bale and sit chatting, poised to spray lead into the quiet sky overhead.
Predictably, along come the gaggle of geese complete with some rare speckled bellies, a fact not lost on the veteran hunter. He had not seen or heard of the breed in his 40 sporting years in Maine. He kept his “elation in check” and skillfully ended the ill-fated migration of the “rare trio of speckles” and two Canada geese.
I read only half of the article; I’d had enough of the chest thumping. Could anyone within reading distance please explain to me what is so “enthralling” about the killing of these beautiful creatures?
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The recent drowning tragedy in Dover-Foxcroft has touched many people.
As a Foxcroft Academy grad, I had James Brown as my junior-year English teacher. He was one of those teachers who would greet you by name when he saw you in the halls, even if you had never been one of his students. He took the time to make connections with his students that lasted even after graduation. My respect for him as a teacher and as a person made it hard for me to call him “Jim,” even after he insisted I do so years after my graduation.
When I would see him on a visit home, he would ask how college was, and knew where I was going and what I was studying. He would ask of my family and when he would be teaching my little brother. I am sure I was only one of thousands of students he taught throughout the years, but he made me feel like I was the only one.
As a teacher myself I strive to build the relationships that he had with his students, knowing that he made it look so easy. He will be sadly missed by the Dover-Foxcroft community, Foxcroft Academy students past and present, and all those who were privileged to know him.
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Smiley’s neocon views
In her Nov. 17 column, Sarah Smiley laments that the responses she received to her earlier column, “Elections distressing to military families,” are “the price of being a conservative.” Actually, they are the price of being a neoconservative.
Smiley’s earlier column could never have been written by conservative stalwarts like Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan or William F Buckley Jr. Their perspective was not about who is “one of us” and who isn’t; it was about what best serves the republic and everyone living in it.
Consider that offspring of all four of those true conservatives publicly endorsed Barack Obama; apparently, he is sufficiently one of us for them.
On the other hand, Smiley’s column could easily have been written by Sarah Palin, with her focus on who is the “real, hardworking, patriotic” America (that is, “one of us”), and who isn’t (everyone else).
I fully understand Smiley’s affection for and allegiance to military service. I have served this country in and out of uniform. I know what it means to serve. But I remind Smiley that there is more to being an American, there is more to serving America, and there is certainly more to being America’s president than wearing its uniform, and, as I am sure Smiley realizes, no American knows that better or understands it more clearly than those who serve in uniform.
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America faces unprecedented economic, environmental and national security challenges. We urgently need new jobs, stable energy prices and freedom from dirty fossil fuels and global warming pollution.
These challenges call for a big solution. Our state and local leaders need to know we support repowering America with 100 percent clean electricity within 10 years, to get our country and our environment back on track quickly. We can do this through energy efficiency, renewable generation and a national unified smart grid.
Repowering America means new industries with high-paying green jobs, lower energy costs and replacing dirty coal and foreign oil with clean domestic energy that is free and limitless.
See the plan at repoweramerica.org for more information.
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End tiger breeding
On Christmas Day, the same day one boy was killed by an escaped tiger in California and two others were mauled, another tiger was found shot to death alongside an apartment complex in Dallas. Tigers do not belong in backyard cages. Please support the creation of a state bill such as the federal Haley’s Act (HR 1947) to end the breeding of big cats outside of the internationally sanctioned Species Survival Plans administered by accredited zoos.
This tragedy would never have happened if Congress had made Haley’s Act a priority when it was first introduced two years ago. Please make it your priority to do something at a state level this year.
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The BDN’s recent article on the new roundabout in Calais was a bit humorous, but the fact of how dangerous it is and what an alternative to such a road hazard might be was not discussed.
First of all, the circle is too small and requires drivers to make a quick sharp turn in order to negotiate the corners. Second, everyone must have forgotten that a second traffic lane by the Milltown Bridge was used exclusively by all commercial vehicle this year because of a problem on the Canadian side of the Maine Street Bridge. And that was without a traffic light, too.
Third, who is going to pay for the broken snowplows when they try to remove snow and ice from this bumper car maze? Fourth, City Hall is on record that the traffic circle is designed for trailer trucks to ride up on the curb, tipping the load each time they pass through. Driving tipsy in and out of Calais should not be allowed.