Dec. 5 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 04, 2009, at 5:58 p.m.

Bangor council failed

The Bangor City Council has done something wrong and has embarrassed this city and cost the city taxpayer money, money that will be spent on looking for someone to fill a position that was already filled capably.

This decision ranks right up there with other foolish decisions by councilors such as giving money to a private college to build a baseball stadium for a private investor, doomed to fail from Day One.

Councilors deserve to be voted out. What kind of candidate wants a job working for this council, knowing how loyalty is rewarded? No wonder they don’t stay long in most situations. Mr. Barrett was the exception.

I can’t wait to send councilors packing.

Byron Ogden

Bangor

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We mean business

The editorial page of the BDN weighed in Friday on the recall campaign currently stirring in Bangor. Being involved in starting that campaign, I am concerned that the editorial hastily arrived at a conclusion neither appropriate to the situation nor based on anything other than the old go-along-get-along routines which got us into the present mess.

A close reading of the editorial, in fact, demonstrates to me, at least, that the writer is tangled up in her or his own logic, or lack thereof. Moreover, starting from a convoluted set of premises and a priori assumptions, the writer hopes the reader concludes that only bad things can flow from the recall effort. In fact, in my opinion, only bad things can flow from sticking with the status quo.

As for the use of the word “whimsical” in the editorial, I can assure the Bangor Daily and its readers that, like a renowned attorney who advertises on local TV, “we mean business.”

Jim Elmore

Bangor

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Try different approach

I am writing in response to Sid Duncan’s Dec. 1 letter to the editor regarding Jane and Norman. I applaud his courage in speaking up. It’s time we all did.

Bangor could add 1,000 more homeless beds; in a month they would probably all be filled to capacity.

I am certainly not against people who are in need and find themselves homeless and without work receiving a place to stay and a warm meal until they can get on their feet again. But who would provide room and meals and a monthly check to their teenage kids who do nothing but drink, smoke, fight and use drugs? However, that’s what society is doing for so many who cannot become functional on their own.

The biggest testimonial to the mental health system of late is Perly Goodrich taking a cab from Dorothea Dix to Newport and then shooting his father and beating his mother. Don’t tell me that this was due to a poor economy; it is due to a broken mental health system that is in need of repair.

This letter will most likely elicit responses from psychologists, licensed social workers, homeless advocates, etc., but I don’t care to hear it. All the wonderfully worded rationales and blame on economy, politics and bad childhoods doesn’t matter. We need to stop enabling bad behavior and spending billions of dollars on programs that have no lasting effect.

Linda Brown

Dixmont

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Report on climate hoax

A recent letter to the editor relates to a situation in the United Kingdom that should be investigated by the BDN’s editorial staff. Perhaps the story about “climate change hoax” is a hoax in itself; perhaps it is not. But should you not be reporting on an issue as important as the pros and cons of climate change research?

If I am correct, the “climate change hoax” letter is the first reference to this important issue in the BDN. You could have done better.

Bob Frank

Hampden

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Fake ‘chew’ not cool

We are members of the Caravel Middle School Youth Advocacy Program, or YAP. YAP is a student club that provides opportunities to teach classmates about healthful choices. A lot of our work focuses on substance abuse and tobacco prevention.

Recently, some classmates showed other students a product called Jack Links Jerky Chew. Although it is beef jerky, the look and design of the product imitates tobacco chew.

YAP would like to share our concerns about the Jack Links product. After a group discussion, we came up with the following list of concerns:

The product looks like smokeless tobacco.

The container says “chew” on it and resembles a tobacco chew container.

Kids are using the product to imitate the use of smokeless tobacco by tucking the jerky between the gum and teeth. It looks gross.

The product could lead kids to think chew is OK.

Beef jerky is not harmful, but many classmates are using this jerky chew to act as if they are chewing tobacco. It is becoming the “cool” thing to do. Because of this, our principal has asked our students not to bring Jack Links Jerky Chew and similar products to school.

Our hope is that retailers will consider removing this product from store shelves. This will help us promote our message of healthful choices for a healthful community.

Caravel Middle School YAP

Carmel

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Healing while stealing

One of the BDN’s Dec. 2 front page headlines read: “Lewiston post goes to Barrett.” In the same newspaper another headline read: “Bangor City Council begins work on vision.” In part, their discussion was described as a healing session.

While our City Council was “healing,” the Lewiston City Council was “stealing” perhaps the best city manager in the state.

Joe Pickering Jr.

Bangor

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Web of own making

In response to Ellen MacMillan’s complaint about our government’s immigration system (“Immigration web,” Letters, Dec. 2): It’s too easy to cast oneself as the victim of government and much easier to demonize the less fortunate on mistaken beliefs (Plyer v. Doe, guaranteeing public education regardless of immigration status, is the law; what law gives illegals Social Security benefits?).

Immigration laws are certainly complex, but I take issue with the writer’s attempt to demonize illegals for her inability to comprehend simple instructions. The writer wanted to marry her foreign fiancee after his arrival in the U.S. The writer freely exercised her right to marry earlier than anticipated, which the government could never impinge upon.

Yet the writer blames government when she fails to follow instructions reading: “Who May File This Form … You may file this petition if … you and your fiancé(e) intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.”

If the author apparently did not intend to marry after her fiancee’s arrival in the U.S., why did she submit the “fiancee” application in the first place? How is she criminalized for exercising her right to marry where she did not understand simple, yet important instructions?

The writer does not realize that if her fiancee had already been in the U.S., her mistake could have made her now-husband an illegal himself.

Theresa Thomas

Bangor

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