Sept. 28 Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 27, 2009, at 6:28 p.m.

Squirrel power

Since squirrels constitute a high percentage of road kill victims, one could conclude that those poor creatures get extremely addled in the face of moving vehicles or tend to commit suicide. Thus, users can accept Central Maine Power’s accusation that an unnamed bushy-tailed nut collector caused the recent power outage in the Dexter area and can only assume that CMP has the forensic evidence proving that such an agent was responsible.

Unreported and unexplained in the news release printed in the BDN was the extent of damage that occurred after CMP took steps to restore service. Those who witnessed the sudden and severe surge, which accompanied restoration of power, heard circuit breakers popping, smelled insulation burning, saw analog equipment and devices smoking and surge suppressors melting. Several homes had extensive fire damage. On the positive side, the surge proved an economic stimulus for electricians’ assistance and for repairing electronic and electrical appliances. The Dexter area fire departments were also in much demand. It was reported that some who had material damage were advised that CMP was not responsible because it was caused by “an act of God.” So, squirrels are not only confused and suicidal, they are agents of the deity.

It would appear that, in this instance, maybe a squirrel did initially disrupt the flow of household power. However, CMP should investigate action its employees took in its restoration. Since there is no effective squirrel lobby and no legal agent willing to rise to the species’ defense, a human explanation should be looked for.

R.G. Goldstone

Dexter

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Lead us, senators

My older sister who lives in Missouri is upset. She asks, “Are you aware of the pivotal position your senators are in? They are the only Republicans who seem willing to consider some of the Democratic ideas. If you could be at all persuasive with them, they could provide the vote that would make it work. Have you been following Susan Collins’ role in the Gang of Six? It has received a lot of intense national attention.”

I answer, “No, I haven’t contacted Olympia or Susan. I’ve stepped out of the political arena for now. Both know me as an activist. I am following from a bit of a distance what is going on.”

She persists, “I’m curious as to why you are stepping back. It is such a crucial time to be involved, especially in Maine where your senators could possibly make a difference.”

How can I reasonably defend myself? The country is in a crisis. People in physical agony won’t go to a doctor because they can’t afford to pay.

Two Maine women can help remedy this situation. I know these women to be fine politicians. I humbly ask them to use the skills women have been refining for centuries — do what my sister has done and persist until every American with sickness or injury can have access to a remedy.

I invoke the name of Margaret Chase Smith, a leader who led from the Senate, a woman unafraid of controversy. Lead us out of the darkness, Susan and Olympia. Make us proud.

Jennifer Hill

Waldo

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Prejudice is wrong

I was going to rant and rave for Bob Emrich’s editorial that was printed on Sept. 2, but after a few days, once I was calm again, I realized that writing a long and sharp rebuttal would only serve to add flame to the fires of ignorance.

People fear change, and may come to hate what they fear, especially religious extremists.

Whether it’s called “marriage” or a “civil union” is the issue here. One must use logic and set aside negative emotion. Logic dictates that a homosexual couple should have the same rights as any other couple, including rights to inheritance and rights of child custody.

I am one of the New Era: someone who understands that gay people are human beings. Prejudice against them is wrong, very wrong. The generations after me will grow up seeing that being gay isn’t evil. In 35-50 years, no one will remember that homosexuality was a political issue, only the history books will recall it.

Please, if anyone reads this, remember one thing: Where there is love, there can be no evil.

Megan Staples

Bucksport

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Sixth-grader on school

I heard our government is thinking about cutting our school year. I would like to know why and to express my opinions on it.

I am a sixth-grader at Mount Desert Elementary school and I care about equal rights, the environment and people.

Money should not be the most important thing to think about in the school year; it should be about teaching and helping students express their love for learning and having fun. The students will not have fun if we have to worry about the days of school running out. We won’t be able to achieve our dreams and won’t be able to go to college because we won’t know how to do certain things.

The school year just started and we are having a blast; why should we have to ruin it by cutting any of it. The teachers will be affected, too. They already have to get other jobs to support themselves and their families. They have the right to get paid. But just because people think they have to cut school because they are worried about money, that is ridiculous.

When I am older I either want to be a vet tech or a therapist or maybe even an artist. Everything I learn at school counts. Everything, and every day I learn something new. Which new thing should I not learn? There are going to be a lot of disappointed children if you cut days from school. I think one of the most important things in life is education.

Hannah Renee Edgecomb

Mount Desert

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Enforcing city’s laws

How nice that the city of Bangor has decided to enforce parking laws. Now if it would only enforce moving traffic violations. Chief Gastia was quoted as saying, “It’s our obligation to enforce laws, and we hadn’t been doing that.” This letter is no critique of the chief. I respect him and think he does a very good job. The simple truth is, traffic violations in Bangor are almost always ignored. My office overlooks two stop signs. Cars that actually stop at them are virtually nonexistent. The violators I have personally witnessed in just the last 10 days include almost all city buses, at least one Penobscot County Sheriff cruiser and three Bangor police cruisers, along with dozens of “civilians.” One Bangor officer ran both stop signs on Water Street while making a casual loop past the parking garage. No one gets tickets unless there’s an accident. Not ever. I have watched countless illegal left turns at red lights, tailgating to the point of being physically threatening, downtown reckless speeding and more.

Recently I was in the “straight ahead lane” when a city bus pulled up next to me in the “right turn only” lane, then went straight ahead, almost forcing me into the oncoming traffic.

Illegal parking is a nuisance. Moving violations are a danger that should be stopped. I applaud the chief’s decision to enforce our safety laws.

Brent Slater

Bangor

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