May 14 Letters to the Editor

Posted May 13, 2010, at 6:29 p.m.

Bathroom inequity

Recently, at taxpayer expense, the state upgraded bathroom facilities at some of its highway rest areas. The Legislature and DOT, in their infinite wisdom, also saw fit to close those facilities in September, and reopen them in May — just in time for tourist season.

Now I know that we Mainers are tough and stoic, but really — must we pay for our summer “betters” to relieve themselves in comfort, while we grimly endure to our destinations, eight months a year?

Were it not for the Irving Corp.’s restrooms, many a Mainer would find themselves in a urologist’s office, posthaste.

Come along now, Augusta, and stop subjecting us year-rounders to double jeopardy.

Henry Smith

Sorrento

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When in Rome …

A few years ago, on a very hot day, I took off my shirt and prepared to go to the pool. My daughters, who often have complained how unfair it is that they can’t take off their shirts, too, went up to the rooftop pool at the hotel where we were staying and I followed shortly. When I got there — lo and behold — they had taken off their tops and were enjoying the beautiful sun and a cooling breeze.

There were many people on the roof. None of them cared what my daughters were or were not wearing. That’s because we were in Italy. And it would have been the same in France or Sweden or many other countries. The informal rule there seems to be it’s OK as long as it doesn’t disturb others.

So while the recent topless demonstration in Farmington was dramatic, I don’t think it was stupid. In my opinion, a woman ought to be able to sit in a chair in her backyard on a warm day with her top off, or even mow the lawn or paint the house. What’s degrading or disgusting about that, as some readers have written? Same goes for some public places.

You won’t find an Italian woman taking her top off in a restaurant, but you might at a beach or in a quiet corner of a park. It seems to me that disgusting and degrading are in the eyes of the beholders.

David P. Frasz

Dover-Foxcroft

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A true statesman

I enjoyed reading BDN reporter Chris Cousins’ article on Bill Beardsley in the Tuesday, May 11 edition. Mr. Beardsley is a true statesman, and I hope the people of Maine have the common sense to elect him to office. There is no better man for the job as governor.

Morgan Jane Butler

Mount Desert

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Repeal tax law

Vote yes on Question 1, the referendum to repeal the law that reduced Maine income tax but expanded the sales tax on 102 items. The advertisements supporting a no vote are using scare tactics and threats, saying if this bill passes they will raise our income taxes. They will do this anyway down the road after they get the sales tax on the 102 items they are trying to sell to us.

It’s interesting that country clubs and lawyers will not be taxed on their labor like the rest of us who will pay through the nose. The list of sales tax items was sent to the governor and he sent it back to the legislators and had the sales tax on ski resorts removed from the list.

Strange how this was removed when he enjoys this sport.

To review the full list for the 102 items, see: restoreject@gmail.com. Please do not let this pass because we will be paying more taxes in the long run, and we will have our income taxes raised in the future after this goes into effect.

Sally Ferris

Presque Isle

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The water’s rising

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Beardsley asserts (BDN, May 11) that “I’ll never sway the people who want to give everything away and take from the rich and give to poor, or those who want to soak Maine in formaldehyde and put a sign over it saying ‘look but don’t touch, this is a reserve.’ I think those people are only 5 or 10 percent of the population.”

Beardsley misses a major point: 100 percent of the population lives on the planet, not just 5 or 10 percent of “those people.” We all live on the same planet Earth, breathe the air and drink water.

Beardsley’s proposed energy strategies are born of a mindset that perpetuates business as usual with disregard of environmental impact. We need to look beyond mere economics of the so-called business climate to come up with more alternatives to help our planetary climate because the water is rising, and I believe it will float all boats.

Tom Newman

Blue Hill

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Library a lifeline

Further cuts in funding for the Bangor Public Library have broader consequences than just decreasing the books purchased and cutting hours of service. The greatest loss to the community is probably in the area of public use of library computers.

According to research conducted by the University of Washington funded by the Gates Foundation and reported in the BDN on March 30, “one third of Americans use public library computers.” That’s one third.

The most common uses included “gaining access to government agencies, searching for jobs and filling out applications, and seeking health advice.” In the health area “over 80 percent of the users made a change in their diet in response to information acquired online.”

As the Bangor City Council struggles to make good decisions about the budget I dare not argue for an increase in library funds (which I believe is a good investment in our community) but I strongly recommend no further cuts.

Mary Lingley

Bangor

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Cats and goldfish

I agree that potentially invasive non-native species should be controlled (“State kills invasive goldfish in pond,” BDN, May 11). I am glad this situation worked out OK, although I think if the pond had no outlet and no chance for flooding it was a bit of overkill (pun intended).

But this brings up a point. I believe any non-native species should be controlled, and this seems to be generally the case except for cats. Now cats are certainly non-native, and cats, both feral and house cats free to roam, kill an estimated 1 billion song birds in the lower 48 states. There are apparently no regulations on cats. Some say that cats kill mice and other vermin, but goldfish eat mosquito larvae.

I like cats, but I like goldfish and I like native birds. I also like logic, and wish that laws would follow that course. Cats, like goldfish, should be indoors.

Fred Gralenski

Pembroke

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