May 21, 2018
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March 15 Letters to the Editor

Rowe for governor

There is one candidate for governor who continues to shine brighter than the others for his record of dynamic public service and his passion for raising the bar for the health, safety and productivity of every person in Maine.

Steven Rowe has experience at every level of our economy and government. He has an MBA and worked in private business in Maine. He served in our military, was speaker of the House and our attorney general. He has been a single father and understands the needs of families. He is a practiced and ethical leader — the kind of person Maine needs in the Blaine House.

The stakes have gotten so high for people and families with the current state of the economy; the divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” is wider than ever. If you are unemployed or struggling to support your family, older than 60 and unable to get the care you need, or in an abusive relationship, know that Steve will measure his success as governor by how well you are doing. He gets how hard it is for you because he has lived many of the same struggles.

Steve will always ask what he needs to do to improve the lives of Mainers — it’s the question he asked as a legislator and as attorney general that led to his many successes on behalf of Maine people. We need his kind of leadership and vision to guide Maine toward a more positive future.

Kate Faragher Houghton



Off the leash

We are so grateful for City Forest. We walk our two dogs there almost every day, and I think we’re good stewards of the forest. Our dogs walk off leash, so they are trained not to jump. We clean up their messes — now the horses are another story — and we pick up litter left behind by humans. We have even returned someone’s cell phone.

As residents of Holden, we are equidistant to dog trails in Ellsworth, but we prefer to go in the Bangor direction. When we’re at the forest we often stop to do errands at the mall, check in and buy at Borders, and even pick up meals in the area.

Bangor is lucky to have such a great attraction.

For these reasons we hope the park is not going to limit off-leash dog walking. Of course, there will always be some irresponsible dog owners, but then, there are always some people who will do damage to public areas: Some will spray paint new signs, damage benches or break into parked cars.

Still we have not eliminated public parks because of the few.

To limit the forest to a large population of off-leash users seems not only unfair but also a poor use of Bangor’s resources as an area attraction.

We would hope that at the very least, specific trails, hours of the day, and-or days of the week could be left open to dog owners for walking off leash, in much the same way walkers and cross-country skiers share trails in the winter.

Jan and Dwight Rideout



Fear of shaving cream

As we prepared to land on our flight home recently, a flight attendant made the announcement that “all electronic devices” should be turned off. At this time I noticed a passenger in front of me was reading a Kindle book, an electronic device that makes wireless connections in the same manner as cell phones, iPods, and other mobile devices.

The passenger ignored the request to turn off all electronic devices. Maybe he thought an electronic device is just a single transistor. There are two things that amaze me more than this person’s thoughtless behavior. First, the flight attendant walked by his fully operating device on three occasions after the request was made to turn off all devices. The people who are there to protect us do not know what they are asking.

The second is that during screening it was decided that my partially full can of shaving cream was dangerous to the flight and so it had to be confiscated. If my can of shaving cream was so threatening as to have it discarded, then surely they should have taken away that man’s Kindle book.

His was a genuinely threatening act. My having a can of shaving cream had nothing to do with either other people’s safety. The flight experience is symptomatic of the serious ignorance combined with fear that has fallen upon our once great country.

Fred H. Irons



Pesky public option

President Obama has just unveiled the latest iteration of his health care reform proposal. It calls for a mandate for all Americans to purchase coverage from private insurers or pay a substantial fine, and it does not call for a public option.

Should we applaud, or at least breathe a great sigh of relief?

I, for one, must confess that I am not entirely sanguine about being forced to shell out my hard-earned cash to private insurance companies that are exempt from antitrust regulations and are therefore free to raise their premium rates as often and as much as they feel like doing so.

Somehow, I had thought that the Constitution would protect me against that sort of thing. I guess maybe I was wrong about that.

Of course, if there were a public option, it would give those unfettered insurers enough real competition to force them not only to rein in their exorbitant premium rates but actually to lower them.

So maybe, just maybe, we really could use that pesky public option after all.

David Laing

Stockton Springs


Dog eat dog world

Bangor doesn’t need a leash law because dog walkers in the City Forest police themselves? What a joke! The few times my husband and I walked our golden retriever (on a leash) at the City Forest, our dog was attacked by one of these so-called well-policed dogs.

The first time, a large gray dog approached us off leash, head forward, eyes in a shark stare. “We’re on a walk, Buddy,” trilled the owner. Buddy attacked our dog until my husband drove him off. Buddy’s owner ignored the commotion, continuing on, singing “we’re on a walk!”

Next time, we met a pack of four little white dogs. One was on a leash, the other three were not. The yapping pack attacked before we could coax ours forward and they hollered at theirs to “stop it!” Fine policing there.

Third visit, we approached a couple with a dog off leash. We waited as they called their dog back to “heel.” This worked for two seconds, until the dog decided to attack. “What did I tell you?” the owner hollered as he dragged away the snarling beast. Obviously the dog doesn’t care what it was told and is not to be trusted.

Was someone’s safety at risk in these incidents? I believe so. We no longer subject our dog to the “dog eat dog world” of the City Forest. In a heavily used area such as the City Forest I believe leashes should be mandatory.

Jane Rosinski


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