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Dec. 28 Letters to the Editor

An annoying neighbor

As the health care reform bill passed the Senate in the wee hours of the morning, I was struck with the following observation:

Congress is like this really annoying neighbor. He’s the guy who wanders up your lawn, pointing out all the flaws in your yard, while 17 rusted Ford trucks in various states of disassembly lay strewn across his withered, brown excuse for a lawn. This neighbor’s solution to all the flaws in your yard is to rob you, take the money and buy a huge tractor, and bulldoze your yard until you can’t even recognize it, while those 17 Ford trucks continue to rust peacefully on his side of the fence.

Then, when you point out that not only are you broke, and your yard is worse than it was before he bulldozed it, and that his own yard continues to look like Hillbilly Jim’s Junk Emporium, he ignores you and waddles across the street to wipe out some other neighbor’s property.

Michael LaReaux



What churches really do

This is in response to Jean Schinck’s letter to the editor of Dec. 23 (“No more zealots”). I would like to suggest that instead of using disrespect and sarcasm to tell churches in Maine what to do and how to act, that she brush up on what churches actually are in the business of doing, and have done for many centuries — namely, assisting the poor and infirm, providing housing and other assistance to the poor and elderly, and shelter and assistance for unwed mothers and all other needy members of society. Catholic Charities of Maine spends millions every year doing just that.

As for the sexual abuse scandal, the BDN has reported that the Catholic church has even gone so far as to waive the statute of limitations on these crimes so they can all be prosecuted, no matter how long ago they occurred.

I hope Ms. Schinck might also brush up on the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States, neither of which contain the phrase “separation of church and state.” This simply does not exist. What the Bill of Rights does stipulate is the following, in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech.”

As citizens in a pluralistic society it is vital that we know exactly what our laws are, laws which govern the civil society we all share.

Patricia Claus



Health care questions

Remember the expression, “act in haste, repent at your leisure”?

What we are witnessing in Washington is stunning. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are trying to ram the government take-over of our lives in the name of health care reform down our throats before anyone knows what’s in the bill.

Please ask yourselves:

Does it make sense that our senators and representatives pass bills they don’t read?

If this health care reform bill is so great, why are Congress and certain government employees exempt from the plan?

Our politicians preach equality. Are we all equal or are they more equal than we?

If this bill is so wonderful, why do certain senators in certain states have to be bought off or bribed for their yes vote? Medical decisions must remain between family, loved ones and doctors, and not be controlled by government bureaucrats.

Our soldiers sacrificed for us. Don’t be too willing to surrender your freedom to politicians. In 2010 and 2012, please remember to vote out all politicians who supported this bill.

Jim Blois



Water not worth risk

Shouldn’t the drinking water supply of all the people of Ellsworth be granted the same considerations as the 20 percent of the residents serviced by the Branch Lake water system?

Homeowners in the North Street area have been objecting to the permitting of an automobile graveyard in their neighborhood since the application was first made. The argument we are making is that this permit should be issued with planning board approval. This would assure that issues of water runoff and subsurface water would be properly addressed. As it is now, waters that originate from that property form at least two brooks that run onto adjacent properties and eventually into Graham Lake. It should not be given a carte blanche hand wave by the code enforcement officer and the blessing of the city council.

City Manager Michelle Beal has said to the purchase of land around the Branch Lake wellhead, “The cleaner we keep this water in this area, the less it’s going to cost us to treat it in the future.” Doesn’t our drinking water deserve the same consideration? Would a junkyard even be considered anywhere in the Branch Lake watershed? I don’t think so.

Our contention is that these projects belong in the industrial zone, where they can be properly regulated, and not sited in the woods, beyond anyone’s view until it is too late. There is already one seriously contaminated site in the Boggy Brook area; are we willing to risk another?

Michael Macfarlane



Religious woes solved

With reference to the BDN’s article on Dec. 17 by Judy Harrison, “Catholic bishop vows renewed zeal,” I find it so much fun that the Catholic hierarchy and other Christians get their knickers in a twist or their panties in a bunch over the issues noted in the Manhattan Declaration. I agree with them completely.

On the sanctity of human life; nobody is for abortion. What is their position on capital punishment, bombing of civilians anywhere, neglect or abuse of children, teenage suicide, hunger and end of life consulting? I know the Catholic Church has poverty programs. Good.

On the dignity of marriage — absolutely. There is little more beautiful than one person committing to another and any kids involved and any proclivity to adopt.

On the rights of conscience and religious liberty — solid. Who can argue? One can pray or worship wherever one wants.

Ramadan, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Chanukah, the pagan celebrations — what’s the problem?

David M. Purdy


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