July 21 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 20, 2009, at 7:08 p.m.

Not a fireworks fan

Dave Sleeper (“Legalize fireworks,” BDN letters, July 16) asks, “Isn’t it time to change the laws and allow fireworks in Maine?” I would answer with an emphatic no.

Having lived on Down East lakes for more than 25 years, I have watched and listened as the crescendo of fireworks usage has increased by leaps and bounds. Did somebody say that fireworks were illegal?

Full-fledged displays shot off from the deck of somebody’s party boat for nearly on an hour are ignored by everybody except the dogs and babies. Many of us actually leave our lakeside homes for the Fourth to avoid the noise in search of more quiet venues.

Dogs howl and hide. Babies and small children wake from their slumber asking in a frightened voice, “Who is shooting?” The people responsible for the fireworks — their purchase and their launch — couldn’t care less if others are bothered by the noise, the pollution, the debris.

Fireworks have been kept illegal for good reason. But more than safety is the attempt to keep a lid on the destruction of what we know as lakeside, neighborhood and countryside living. One can only imagine what summer evenings — all of them — would be like if fireworks were indeed made legal.

I think Maine has the right idea in keeping the night skies lit only with heavenly stars and celebrating with fireworks at city locations on the Fourth for those who enjoy them. That is what makes them special.

Tonya L. Troiani

Meddybemps

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On Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made the statement that suggested that a wise Latino woman could reach a better conclusion than a white European male.

She tried to make light of that racist statement, saying it was a rhetorical jest that fell flat. Yet she was found to have used that same statement in seven previous speeches over 10 years; obviously she meant what she said.

She said she was trying to encourage young Latinos to aim high. So the message she was trying to convey is that it is all right to make racist hate speeches, as long as they are about white males and you are a member of a minority group? Whether you are David Duke or Sonia Sotomayor, racism should not be tolerated. Would Obama have chosen her if she had said, “Surely a wise Latino woman would reach a better conclusion than a black male”? I think we know the answer to that one.

Her views on the Second Amendment are also suspect, but I feel that is at least partly why Obama chose her. His hostility to guns, the Bible and Christian symbols is becoming legendary.

Robert Carvell

Presque Isle

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Your kids may be gay

The most vocal arguments against gay marriage have come from various religious groups, citing the Bible to support them. They ignore the most important biblical dictum, that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

The Bible does not specify the color, race, sex or sexual orientation of those neighbors.

Are they afraid that homosexuality will be forced upon the unwilling and unaware or that the sanctity of the institution of marriage will be severely threatened if marriages of gays become legal? It has been proved scientifically that sexual orientation is in the genetic makeup of a person from conception.

Who would willingly choose to live a life in constant fear of censure, ostracism and slander? Historically, homosexuals have been beaten, imprisoned, tortured and even murdered.

The anti-gays are circulating a petition which they hope will have sufficient signatures to allow the question to be decided by a vote of Maine residents I admonish the signers to think carefully before they sign this petition, and voters to think carefully before they cast their ballot.

All the gays are asking is legal recognition of their unions so they may enjoy the rights, privileges and benefits of heterosexual couples.

Keep in mind that homosexual babies are born to so-called “straight” parents.

Think how your decision will affect future generations.

Rita M. Souther

Camden

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Pharmacists give, take

What great news! You can now get flu shots and other immunizations from your neighborhood pharmacist (BDN, July 17). So pharmacists will now be providing direct hands-on health care services.

Should I assume they will also stop selling tobacco and alcohol? Wouldn’t that be consistent with this new role?

Edward F. Miller

American Lung

Association of New

England

Augusta

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Framers got it right

In his July 10 OpEd, Mr. Jarvella suggests that the Second Amendment to the Constitution is no longer useful in today’s society due to the advent of local and state police organizations.

One need not ponder his proposal long to come to a conclusion that this amendment, stating, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” was a just and important part of the original Bill of Rights. Ratified in 1791, it is still vital to the success and continuation of our democracy. He contends this right applies only to “a well-regulated militia.”

However, the words chosen were, “the right of the people,” not the right of the militia.

When confronted by an intruder in your house, waiving a cell phone and stating that you have already dialed 911, it is not much protection when the bad guy is armed and the police are five or 10 minutes away — worse if you live in remote areas.

If Mr. Jarvella’s argument was sound, then perhaps the same logic could be applied to revisit the First Amendment. I doubt that in 1791 any imagined a city of 10 million, maybe they did not intend that the “right of the people to assembly” should allow a gathering of 100,000 people. Perhaps such a crowd shall be deemed unsafe.

I believe we owe our freedoms to those few individuals who had the genius to write our Constitution and Bill of Rights more than 200 years ago. Without those rights we are left with tyranny. No thanks, Mr. Jarvella.

Kendall N. Huggins

Bangor

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