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May 8, 2009 Letters to the Editor

A cormorant season?

Today, I passed over the end of the Piscataquis River in Howland and saw two groups of approximately 50 cormorants between the bridge and dam. Over the last two weeks I have seen, at the most, about 20 birds at any one time at this spot. Today there were many more.

I’m 49, and when I was a child, we rarely if ever saw these birds anywhere but on the coast. I was once told each adult cormorant eats five to eight pounds of fish each day. If this statistic is even close to fact, many pounds of fish were killed today at this spot. This afternoon, I was reminded that stocking of trout may have taken place lately.

Why do we not have a season on these birds that do such damage to our inland fisheries? If they are seen a certain number of miles inland, they should be fair game for a shotgun, steel only of course and only on the first and third Saturdays of October through December. Why we are letting these birds do what they do with our well-intentioned state funds? This money is ending up as whitewash on our large above-surface rocks.

Reggie Trefts


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Retro Bangor fair

I find it odd that Bangor can’t figure out why the fair’s attendance is down. The explanation is obvious: It has become nothing more than a carnival with 4H agriculture tacked on.

As a 4H volunteer I have heard the complaints from attendees over the last several years: “There is nothing here. I’m not coming back.” They are talking about the fact there are no crafts, handiwork, gardening, canning, or the myriad of other things folks expect to see when they attend a fair.

Bangor’s is supposed to be a state fair. Why have agriculture events almost completely disappeared? Why isn’t the civic center filled to overflowing with the work of local crafters and gardeners showing off their work? Why isn’t there a tent for local commercial exhibitors? Because Bangor only puts on a carnival, not a fair.

If you want attendance to recover, give folks what they want to see. Emulate other successful fairs and draw in people over the age of 30 by giving them something other than rides. Open the gates at 10 a.m. so the public can attend the 4H shows. Start drawing people back by offering down home entertainment and connections to the community.

Don’t treat the fair like a cash flow problem but a community gathering. Improve the Fair, draw people back, the cash flow will solve itself.

Kelly Hamilton


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Body of the letterNo nursery service?

I’m writing to inform the taxpayers of Mount Desert Island of the community service requirements at the high school. I have volunteered over 80 hours of my time over the past two years to a local church; every Sunday I baby-sit in the nursery during the adult Bible study. The high school requires that each student prove 20 hours of community service in order to graduate.

I presented my hours to the school and was rejected because my service did not fit within a guideline: “A non-religious activity performed through a religious community, but which does not benefit the religious community directly, qualifies.”

America was founded on religious freedom when colonists left an oppressive government to worship freely. Our historic documents, songs and pledges all reflect religious guidance. I feel that our administration is acting hypocritically because it offers yoga instruction as a class when it is a form of Hindu meditation and yet the school is overruling my family’s values. Furthermore, let’s not forget that we base our calendar year on the birth of a religious figure.

This is socialistic because public educators are reaching into the family and forcing a non-educational act upon the students. Volunteering in our community is vital, but it’s a family ordeal. The school should not have a say in what a family decides to be morally correct.

If you agree, please express your concerns with a school board member or the high school administration directly.

Sarah Falt

Southwest Harbor

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Consolidate cities

Several years ago, when the economy in Central Maine along with other parts of the state was in a downward direction, Gov. John Baldacci suggested we review consolidation of cities-towns, etc.

John was right, and here we are in a worse situation. It’s never too late, and when I read the article in the BDN that the Bangor and Brewer City Councils were getting together, I said to myself, “finally.” The world is changing and it is the responsibility of our elected officials to move us forward. Bangor and Brewer, being the center of Central Maine, must take the lead in organization and funding.

How do we get going? Possibly choose an area 30 to 40 miles radius of Bangor-Brewer and ask for a copy of every city and town’s most recent budget. As a project, ask UMaine, Husson, etc. to consolidate the data and point out possible recommendations.

Bangor-Brewer Project Group would publish the data, copies to all who participated and ask for their comments, as well as the state, and go from there. There is nothing better than good information.

Arthur Tilley


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Speaking for Catholics

Contrary to the assertions of a recent letter and OpEd (BDN, May 2-3), Bishop Malone speaks for the Catholic Church and therefore for all Maine Catholics.

Charlotte Herbold and Ken Fredette, like many others today, are Catholics in name only. If they truly find themselves so at odds with the teaching of the church, perhaps they should consider finding another faith community to join, one that allows for a more individualized and personal interpretation of God’s word. I understand that many such communities now exist.

Interestingly, Ms. Herbold states at one point, “We are not sheep.” I just came from Mass and the homily was about Christ as the good shepherd. So we are part of his flock. There are many issues we are free to disagree on, but our theology has remained constant for 2,000 years. The bishop is our leader, the church is his guide. That guidance is unbroken since Christ gave the keys to St. Peter.

Thank you, Bishop Malone.

Alfred J. Greenlaw


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Headline here

Incentive theft

Perhaps a word of caution is in order for the makers of solar, wind, and geothermal energy systems. If they increase the price of their products to the point that they pocket all of the government’s incentive program money, then where do you think we are going to get our incentive to buy those products? I’ve been looking at a windmill, the cost of which has increased $2,000 in the last six months. I think I’ll keep looking.

Dana Bradley


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