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July 16, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Dismissal and divorce

With regard to the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s recent dismissal of an employee, I wish someone would explain why it is necessary to pay benefits after the fact. With no contract, what basis does a lawyer have to try to extort benefits from the employer? Hiring someone to work for you is not like a marriage.

Donald McEdward

Eagle Lake

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Right to bear arms

In his OpEd in the July 10 BDN, “Right to bear arms is a relic,” retired teacher Ronald Jarvella did an excellent job describing the history of the relationship of the American militia and the need and right of Americans in general to bear arms. The recognition of an individual American’s right to bear arms, as guaranteed in the Constitution, was clearly related to the periodic need for armed Americans, in militias, to come to the aid of their community, state, and country.

Given the widespread presence of America’s local police, state police and numerous national law enforcement agencies as Jarvella noted, it may be that it is no longer necessary for private citizens to keep and bear arms in defense of their communities and country. Recognizing that these law enforcement agencies seldom over-reach their authority and seldom interfere unlawfully with the lives and rights of American individuals and families, it may be time for American citizens to amend the Constitution so that various local, state and national governments can restrict the type of weapons permitted to be owned by private citizens even further than these governments are now able to do.

The American people have chosen to amend the Constitution before and can choose to amend it again. I encourage Mr. Jarvella and others around the country who share his views that more government restrictions are needed on personal weapon ownership to mount a national campaign to attempt to persuade his American countrymen and women to amend the Constitution to allow this to happen.

Michael McCabe


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Imprudent speed

I want to thank Mr. Chenoweth for sharing his concern for bicyclist safety in his July 11 letter to the editor. While I never have ridden my bicycle on the roads he cites, they may be similar to some roads in my area, which I avoid. Every local cyclist I know avoids them, too. The instances he relates are common problems.

I’ve been bicycling on roads for 50 years. I’m highly aware that I am vulnerable to inattentive or reckless drivers. The sad state of disrepair on our state roads only makes it worse. A prohibition against bicycling is too much blaming the victim. At the same time, bicyclists have a responsibility to be courteous and watchful on any and all roads.

If you want to do something positive, contact your local police and DOT and alert them to dangerous road conditions and speeding. And join the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, which has done so much in the past several years educating the public and lobbying for safer roads for everyone who uses them — cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Peter d’Entremont

Blue Hill

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Legalize fireworks

The fireworks fiasco with Rep. Blanchard points to a larger problem. This state has had anti-fireworks laws for more than 50 years. Isn’t it time to change the laws and allow fireworks in Maine? That way, some business could be created, some jobs could be created, some sales and income tax could be created and we could stop paying people to confiscate fireworks.

Please don’t give me the safety lecture. Cars cause much more death and injury than fireworks ever will.

Dave Sleeper


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