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June 29, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Coyote not culprit

It is interesting to me that the supposed coyote “facts” stated by Kurt Lane in a recent letter to the editor are not supported by any peer-reviewed science. While there is little doubt that breeding-age females are a determining factor in coyote productivity, there is little else that is anything but propaganda by those who blame the state’s lack of a northern deer population on these intelligent and valuable predators.

The true culprit, as most any state biologists will tell you, is that the forestry practices of large landowners in our state, who happen to walk hand-in-hand with Mr. Lane’s group, the Aroostook County Conservation Association, are to blame, cutting the available deer habitat to make a buck.

It is helpful for them to have people like Mr. Lane assist them in drawing attention away from the true culprits and blame the local predator.

Both the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife know the science and the facts. I wonder if I said: Fact: There is no global warming. Fact: Smoking does not cause cancer.

Would that make it all true? I think not.

Daryl DeJoy



Trek missing from BDN

Fathers Day 2009 had all the makings of an outstanding one: son home from the sea, squeals of the grandchildren, barbecue, the ability to travel to Gorham to absorb it all. And, as an unexpected bonus, passing a continuos line of bicycles and riders heading to Belfast on Route 3 from as far out as Palermo.

Indeed, in great anticipation did I race to the Bangor Daily News box on Monday morning to learn the actual numbers. To my utter dismay and disappointment there was no coverage whatsoever. Not a blurb. Definitely a front page item, in no other section was there any mention of this huge state event. News from Iran, the Rockland Lobster Boat Races, the Woodland Girls Softball team and other newsworthy items dominated.

It’s not that my home is here and that I have no connection at all with Trek Across Maine; strictly the opinion of an outside observer, but now, an even more fervent supporter of this praiseworthy and terrific (albeit once a year) event: 2000-plus riders and accompanying folks, the total numbering 4,000-5,000, descending on Belfast, raising $1.5 million dollars to battle cancer. Come on BDN, all this deserves better, and much, much more.

Frank L. Wareham



DOT has the money

The BDN’s story about canceled paving projects in Maine is sad. Sad because of the jobs that will be lost. Sad because of the terrible condition of our roads, and the damage that it’s going to do to our vehicles. Sad because there’s no need of it.

The Maine Department of Transportation has never had so much money.

Check it out for yourself. The $130 million in stimulus money, GARVEE bonds, general obligation bonds OK’d by voters, TransCap bonds, increased license fees, increased gas tax a penny a year for the last four or five years.

If they can’t manage the record revenues they have now, why should we think we’d get better roads if we gave them more? How long would it be before we had the same problem and they were back for even higher taxes?

Rep. Doug Thomas



Raise medical standards

“Here is the consummate government-run health system showing its true colors,” commented John Hubbard, concerning problems reported with colonoscopies in VA hospitals. He complains of BDN “letters and OpEd pieces supporting what amounts to socialized medicine.”

Mr. Hubbard should have been in the room with me some years ago in a Midwest hospital. I was present to collect material from an esophageal lavage (a procedure related to colonoscopy) for laboratory studies. The nurse rolled the patient into the examining room and the clinician opened the case containing the equipment for the procedure. A terrible stench filled the room. “Well, I guess we won’t be using this one,” commented the physician, closing the case rapidly.

The problem? No cleaning after the last procedure. If the equipment had been used, the situation would have been comparable to that cited by Mr. Hubbard, where inadequate cleaning exposed patients to spread of infection.

Mr. Hubbard tries to equate VA hospitals with “socialized medicine,” suggesting that problems found in the former would be present in the latter, and thus in a universal health system. He should know that the hospital error I cite occurred in a large, relatively new (two years old), privately run medical center.

All hospitals would benefit from increased standards, and all Americans would benefit from a unified, high-quality health system.

Roberta M. Goodell

South Thomaston


Beware Medicare cuts

Elderly Mainers and their families should be aware that their lives could be seriously affected by President Obama’s current plan to cut $34 billion from Medicare home health services over the next decade.

Just last week, the House of Representatives announced draft legislation cutting $51 billion over the next decade. These reductions would come at a time when the Maine State Planning Office projects that Maine’s proportion of elderly residents will almost double between 2000 and 2030.

These older citizens are likely to develop one or more chronic health condition and will need more care, not less.

Advanced home health treatments are already keeping elderly state residents and other older Americans out of far more costly hospitals and other institutions, with the potential to save Medicare billions of dollars. Thus, home care is a solution for improving care and controlling costs, especially when one realizes that Medicare pays about $4,600 for a single hospital day versus $2,200 for a 60-day episode of home care.

We’ve been fortunate that Sen. Susan Collins has been working hard to oppose the cuts. As a home health professional, I urge all Mainers to contact Sen. Collins to let her know that we’re behind her as she fights to preserve home care for older residents of our state.

Tori Gaetani



They’re illegal aliens

I’ve a bit of a difficulty understanding what Pat LaMarche meant in her opinion piece “American prisons for profit” (BDN, June 24). She states that “30,000 of ‘these people’ [illegal aliens] are locked up each night” and that “nearly two-thirds of them have no criminal record at all.” Is she saying that if a person has no criminal record then they shouldn’t be in prison? What about the person who murders someone? If they had no criminal record should they not be in prison?

Let’s not forget, they are illegal aliens. Just being here is a crime.

They aren’t just “folks who haven’t done anything criminal” as she has stated earlier in her article. If she thinks they’ve done nothing criminal, then I suggest she sneak across the border to Mexico and let them catch her and see what happens.

Perhaps they’ll feel that she hasn’t done anything wrong and let her go free, but I doubt it. They also think it’s a crime to come across their border.

Robert Greenlaw


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