Jan. 19 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 18, 2009, at 6:04 p.m.

Waltz ‘one of a kind’

Maureen Waltz was struck and killed by a truck on Jan. 11 while crossing the road to check her mailbox. I had the wonderful opportunity to know Maureen and the contributions she has made to her community. Women, Work and Community is celebrating 30 years of growth this year and Maureen was selected as one of 30 graduates to be profiled in our anniversary publication titled “Creating The Future: 30 Stories from the Maine Economy.”

Maureen was a success in so many areas of her life. She succeeded in her role as daughter, mother, grandmother, community volunteer and director of The Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau. She loved this region and I want to share a direct quote from her that is in the profile book that has been distributed state-wide. About her job, she said: “I love the Bangor area and I love showing it off. I get to brag about my home region.”

Maureen was a wonderful ambassador for the Bangor region, her enthusiasm was infectious, her commitment to this region knew no limits. My heart goes out to family, many friends and co-workers at the Bangor CVB. She was one of a kind.

Jane Searles

Bangor

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On adult businesses

In response to the Jan. 10-11 BDN editorial “Welcome To Topless Town” about the soon to open topless coffee shop in Vassalboro, LD 1801, “An Act To Control Adult Entertainment Establishments,” was presented in 2003 to the Legislature. It proposed to prohibit the operation of adult entertainment establishments within a specified radius of churches, schools, public parks and residential zones statewide.

This type of law has been enacted in other states and is an effort to protect small towns that do not have the resources to fight such establishments. Increasingly adult entertainment establishments have permeated small towns on the outskirts of large cities.

The larger cities have cleaned up their red light districts, and the outcome is that these businesses move to areas where they are not regulated.

What this has done is place numerous family-filled neighborhoods across the country in danger.

It has been proven that adult establishments bring crime and lowered property values with them, which, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, justifies their being regulated.

The proposal did not pass here in Maine. It was argued against on the basis of “home rule.” However, a law resulted that did allow municipalities in Maine to zone adult businesses without initially going through the time and expense of first establishing a comprehensive plan. I urge all small towns in Maine to enact an adult entertainment establishment ordinance to protect their residents. In this recession, we may see a number of these establishments attempting to start up.

Theresa M. Ayotte

Brewer

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More than a day off

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday Jan. 19. He would have been 80. I had the pleasure of working with him in the civil rights movement, and I know that in that mystical place called death, Martin is crying tears of joy because of the inauguration of our new president.

Barack Obama won by a large majority in Maine and many formerly red states have turned blue. He was able to transcend color, unlike Shirley Chisholm and Jesse Jackson, when they each ran for president.

America has come a long way to begin payment on that check granting all rights to people of color that our Constitution guarantees. Dr. King came to Washington with thousands of Americans to cash that check and was told there were insufficient funds.

The 2008 election assures us that America has the funds and is willing to start making payments. Barack Obama is the beginning of what Dr. King meant in his last speech in Memphis, the night before he was assassinated, when he said, “I’ve been to the mountaintop and the Lord has allowed me to view the promised land. I may not get there with you, but we as a people will get to the promised land.”

With Obama’s election, Dr. King’s dream for America begins to become a reality. My hope is that all Mainers on Jan. 19 will gather to hold a Dr. King vigil in their place of worship, community centers or homes with prayerful hope for the success of the inauguration and the hope that most Americans work together with our new president.

James Varner

president,

Maine Human Rights Coalition

Old Town

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Kudos to Sen. Damon

In my humble opinion, marriage should be defined as the union of two adults who love each other and want to make a lifetime commitment.

Sexual orientation has nothing to do with love and commitment. Whether a couple consists of a man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman, there is no guarantee that their marriage will withstand all the trials and tribulations of life. Every couple suffers ups and downs and this should not be trivialized because of gender.

Given the divorce rate in this country it is obvious that heterosexual couples have problems keeping their vows, therefore why should they hold the corner on marriage? I’ve seen many gays and lesbians who show more love and commitment to each other than heterosexual couples. That love should extend to their right to marry, not a civil union.

This state doesn’t recognize common law marriages so it shouldn’t allow civil unions, but instead should call it what it is — marriage.

Kudos to Sen. Dennis Damon for presenting this marriage law proposal. It is long overdue.

Finally, I am a happily married woman with two small children. If my son or daughter is not “straight,” I want them to be able to happily marry and raise a family with the same rights as their father and I have.

Janice M. Cross

Brooksville

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Right to drive

Old fogies never die — they are incompetent and get into highway accidents — so say many of your readers.

Consequently, set up an arbitrary age when they must give up their driver’s licenses. Enacting such a law would mean that some of the legislators would have to find other means to get to Augusta.

Older folks living in remote areas truly would be handicapped, all oldsters would lose valued independence. What does this say to the elderly who are in better shape than many who are 20 or 30 years younger?

Doesn’t it make sense to require all people to present a doctor’s evaluation on their competency when getting or renewing a driver’s license? Applicants of any age must prove that they can see adequately to get a driver’s license. Provisions can be put into legislation whereby licenses may be revoked between renewal dates should a driver become too impaired to continue driving. Thus, except for new drivers under 16 years, age does not become an issue.

V. Dana Allison

Mapleton

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CPMs are the solution

I am a home birth mother (and grandmother) and a midwife serving central Maine for 31 years. My title of Certified Professional Midwife is a national credential issued by the North American Registry of Midwives, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. There are more than 1,300 CPMs in the U.S., licensed in many states including New Hampshire.

As the experts in out-of-hospital birth and the only professionals attending home births in Maine, we are trained and equipped to care for families who choose home birth as well as those who need help in emergencies as part of comprehensive disaster plans. The bill to license CPMs in Maine passed the House, 85-55. The more political Senate was heavily lobbied, resulting in the nays of a dozen people denying Maine families a licensed home birth professional.

I appreciate the support of Gordon Smith and the MMA in passing an alternate bill enabling CPMs in Maine to carry and dispense emergency medications in midwifery practice, providing more safeguards for home birth families.

All studies of CPM-attended home births compared to hospital births show no difference in safety for mothers or babies, while the incidence of unnecessary intervention, surgery and infection is significantly lower for comparable populations choosing home birth. MACPM.org has information on CPMs and links to studies. The costs and dangers of a 33 percent C-section rate pose unacceptable risks to the American public. CPMs are part of the solution, not the problem.

Jill Breen

St. Albans

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Back in the U.S.S.R.

Banning cell phone use in vehicles is going to the extreme. No doubt there may have been use that caused a distraction that caused an accident, which is unfortunate, but I think things are being carried to the point of a dictatorship.

I use a hands-free device to answer my phone when out on calls and it is part of my business. But now, like many other things that are being taken away because of a few that have no common sense. These people have it glued to their ear all the time, and yes this is a distraction, but one that should be defined a little better.

The next thing you know people will be banned from walking down the street and using their cell phones. It is almost like back in the USSR. I thought I lived in the land of the free, but doesn’t appear this way because some bureaucrat has to be a goodie two shoe. What will be next?

Stephen Smith

Milo

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