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March 16, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Tactile sensibilities

It has been several days since I heard, with great satisfaction, on one of the electronic versions of journalism the welcome news that President Obama, one of the most organized individuals the world has ever seen in a U.S. president’s chair, does not get his morning news from CNN or NBC or ABC. He likes the “feel” of the paper in his hands and the opportunity to read the printed word with some vestige of leisure. So do I.

Neither TV, radio nor a computer is a valid substitute for good old rag-content newsprint. If we’re lucky, before delivery it will have the tender loving care of an editor who will see that at least some of the copy in the paper he or she “puts to bed” is reasonably accurate and will not offend the sensibilities of the readers who still believe in the importance of proper spelling and grammar.

But, the most telling aspect of this unusual “news” item is that President Obama values the “feel” and the substance of his newspaper in the morning. A guy like that is one to cherish. I hope the newspaper will become, once again, the necessity in every home that it used to be.

Keep up the good work! We need you.

Robert C. Dick


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Joe Perry’s utopia

The March 4 article in the BDN on Sen. Joe Perry’s proposed bill to tax heating oil is a perfect example of how out of touch and out of control Maine Democrats are. They live in a utopian world where they come up with a “brilliant” idea which always involves a new tax or bond, filter it through government and the people get 50 percent or less at the other end.

My greatest energy loss is through my windows. Would his plan pay for replacing my 20 windows at a cost of $1,000 each plus installation? Joe Perry, try a new idea; how about for once decreasing Maine taxes. Give Mainers a tax credit to improve their home’s heating efficiency. If I got a $20,000 tax rebate, I guarantee you I would replace my windows. Otherwise get off our backs and out of our pockets, and — by the way — stop the automatic yearly gas tax increase while you’re coming up with “brilliant” ideas.

Joe deNatale


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Deer herd tragedy

What a big surprise to read about the decline of the deer harvest last hunting season, which is predicted to be how this year will be. With the raping of the wintering area, it is a no-brainer — the cutting practices leave only stumps, the canopy is gone, which is like living in your home with no roof.

So the end result is looking back to the “gold old days” when a person could depend on putting some meat in the freezer. This problem should not only concern hunters, it also should matter to anyone who cares about nature and the environment.

This state needs to make better and wiser decisions on our precious resources.

George Dooley


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Hope turns to fear

Just seven weeks ago, on Inauguration Day, most Americans were hopeful and anticipating “change.” But hope has turned to frustration and fear as our economy has dropped off a cliff, the deficit has grown exponentially and the acclaimed “change” is leading us rapidly down the path to socialism.

This is a change I hate. Those who share my opinion should make their voices heard and hold tightly to the principles and values we believe in. Because of Obama’s liberal use of the executive order, we’re now paying for abortions overseas. In addition, we’re constantly bailing out banks, auto manufacturers and other businesses which should instead be allowed to fail, reorganize and come back stronger.

As if all of this isn’t enough cause for outrage, our president also insulted one of our staunchest allies by snubbing British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his recent visit to Washington. Not only was his choice of gifts for Brown useless and foolish — American DVD movies which cannot even be played on British DVD players — but he added grievous insult to injury by giving back to Britain a valuable bust of Winston Churchill it had presented graciously to us after Sept. 11.

This tactless display of impropriety came on top of neither having a state dinner nor a news conference featuring Obama and Prime Minister Brown. You can call the British Embassy in Washington at 202-588-6500 to apologize, as I have done.

Overall, I find Obama’s first seven weeks as president to be appalling and a great disappointment.

Rosalie Welch-Johnson


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L.L. Bean still tops

I am writing about the gloomy story by The Associated Press and headlined by the BDN about layoffs at L.L. Bean. As a three-year employee, I can tell you this is a very employee-friendly company.

Yes, sales are down, like everywhere in retail. Yes, salaries have been frozen and hours cut back, for now. However, this comes with no loss of employee benefits. And, also on the plus side, eligible employees have been offered a very generous early-retirement package and we all were surprised by an appreciation gift of more than $300 per employee. Here’s just a sample of more good news as reported by L.L. Bean’s CEO, and well-known to those of us who work the phones — L.L. Bean ranked No. 1 in customer service by the National Retail Federation-American Express Customers’ Choice survey, and Down East magazine also named L.L. Bean as having the best customer service in Maine.

L.L. Bean was named the No. 1 online apparel retailer by a leading consumer magazine, as well as the No. 1 apparel Web site by ForeSee Research. And it was named Multichannel Merchant of the Year by a leading industry publication.

Although it is important to be aware of and realistic about downturns in these difficult economic times, in my opinion it is equally important to remain positive and optimistic. Those of us at L.L. Bean certainly strive to be so. This important Maine company and the Bean family should be lauded for their efforts on behalf of its 5,000 employees and its commitment to excellence.

Kathy Strout


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