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July 28, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Carlton Willey’s glove

Much has been written about the late Carlton Willey in the past few days but no one has mentioned an autographed (by machine, I am sure) baseball glove that was made by Spalding and sold through Wight’s Sporting Goods on State Street in Bangor somewhere between 1956 and 1960 when I was an advertising sales representative for the Bangor Daily News calling on Wight’s. I have one of the gloves which was used quite a bit when my four children were growing up.

Jerry Harvey


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Terminal health care

Universal health care sounds wonderful, except for those for whom it may be terminal.

I have grave concern about the proposed health care legislation. Since abortion is included in the bill, it appears that insurance plans will have to cover it and provide means necessary to obtain an abortion. This means that many of our unborn citizens will receive the opposite of health care — death at the hands of the health care profession — at taxpayer expense.

Also, I am concerned about a statement made in an April interview by President Obama, when discussing the fact that his terminally ill grandmother had received a hip replacement: “That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues [of] the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.”

He also added: “There is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.”

At age 33, I am one of the “chronically ill.” Over the past five-plus years I have been incredibly blessed to receive successful treatment for ovarian cancer, ongoing care for rheumatoid arthritis and other serious medical issues, and testing to evaluate new medical problems. What if the new health care legislation decides that my past cancer history and my current chronic illnesses make me ineligible for anything but “comfort care” or other inadequate treatment?

Is my health care “a difficult moral issue”? Is yours?

Sarah M. Menkin


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I believe in America

I believe America is exceptional, that America has done more than any other country to improve this world. I believe American values supercedes any other country’s. I believe the American military has done more to foster good will and liberty on Earth, than anyone else has.

I believe nuclear power, drilling for oil and other alternative energy are necessary to help America keep going full speed. Congress has held back on doing anything for the good of our country and its people.

I believe America assimilates more foreigners than any other country does. I believe bilingual programs are costing America billions and they do not work, that learning the English language should be mandatory.

America needs to return to its basic principles and reject Obama’s massive government assault on the middle class, the people who feel the way I do. We cannot afford the health care plan, that he so wants, to bankrupt this nation. This is his agenda.

This America is supposed to be a country by the people and for the people. What a tragic mess it is now.

Americans must constantly be on guard against attempts to by-pass our Constitution, or amend it illegally. Our freedom depends on it. I believe America is the greatest country on Earth and that we shall survive this insurgence of socialism.

Albert Gamble


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Where’s the bias?

I’m appalled with the reporting concerning the Harvard professor Gates story. I have not heard or read anything that even hinted that Gates possibly should have been a suspect.

As I understand the story, a neighbor reported a possible break-in at the professor’s Cambridge, Mass., home. Fact.

The officer arrived and questioned the possible suspect inside the home. Fact. Yes, Gates had an ID on him. Aren’t officers trained to question the legitimacy of this? Maybe Gates had picked up someone else’s wallet when he got into the home and the ID was not really his?

To hear that this story was racial bias from the get-go is appalling. I would want someone to report me if they thought I was breaking into a home. The person was doing his neighborly duty of protecting his neighborhood by reporting the possible suspect. The questioning officer was doing his duty to protect this neighborhood by thoroughly questioning the suspect.

Why has the news media made the entire story one of racial bias?

Shirley Zinn

Southwest Harbor

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Community banks

Your recent editorial acknowledging the valuable contributions of community banks was refreshing and, on behalf of my colleagues, I thank you for it. Maine residents and businesses are well-served by many strong, responsible and accessible local banks, which are committed to do everything they can to provide financial ad-vice and support during these most challenging times.

As the two bank executives you interviewed confirmed, Maine’s community banks avoided the excessive risk-taking that has characterized the well-publicized failures of some major financial players as well as several smaller institutions around the country.

Whether large or small, flawed business plans often lead to failure and banks are no exception to this rule. By contrast, Maine’s community banks have remained focused upon fundamental common-sense banking principles during good times and bad and are well-positioned to provide uninterrupted access to credit and the other essential financial services that their customers need.

Maine banks take great pride in knowing their customers and Maine households and businesses place great value in knowing their bankers.

Familiarity breeds confidence and we are confident that the inherent resilience of Maine residents will persevere through the current uncertainties. And, as they do so, Maine’s community banks will be there to assist them as they always have.

Joseph M. Murphy

president and CEO Bar Harbor Bank & Trust

Mount Desert

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