July 13 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 12, 2010, at 6:33 p.m.

From China on China

I feel the need to respond after reading “Chinese flag an insult” in the July 9 BDN.

To my way of thinking, it’s unfair to negatively characterize the presence of the flag or sign. I feel that these parades, whether they take place in Bangor, Maine, or Lynn, Mass., or any other American small town, ultimately are about celebrating local community and the constituent parts of that community.

I’ve often seen Irish and Italian flags alongside the red-white-and-blue in July 4th parades. I sincerely doubt that my grandfather, a WWII vet, very proud of his service in China and fond of quoting the bits and pieces of the language he picked up during his time there, would have been outraged had he been present at the parade.

Thomas M. Creeley

China

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Police accountability

I met James Popkowski once (“Man shot near Togus struggled with illness,” BDN, July 9). His puppy was running around the hardware store in Medway and as I stopped to pet her, James enthusiastically talked with me about his beloved dogs. I left the store thinking, “What a nice fellow.”

Two weeks later, James Popkowski is dead, and if the Attorney General’s Office handles this case as it has handled every other death at the hands of law enforcement in Maine, the game warden and the VA police officer who shot him will be unaccountable for ending the life of a veteran who was at the VA hospital looking for help.

Over the past 20 years, the Attorney General’s Office has not once ruled that deadly force by a police officer was unjustified. Not once. The review is private and confidential and most disturbingly, not open to the public.

If a regular citizen hurts another citizen, there is an investigation and a jury trial by peers in full public view. In contrast, if a police officer does the killing, well, then the review must be secret.

It is time the Attorney General’s Office and Legislature hold the police, game wardens and any public safety officers accountable when they take the life of a human being. A fully transparent review process will be a step toward ensuring that tragedies such as the death of U.S. Marine James Popkowski are not monthly events in Maine.

Jessica Masse

Medway

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Bring back God

Do you feel as I do that our country has done a 180-degree turn from how it once was? When I attended Perkins School for the Blind, I actually learned a lot about God and Jesus, sang a hymn, recited the pledge of allegiance to our flag, and said “The Lord’s Prayer” before school each morning.

Later in public school, the pledge, the prayer and a short Bible reading were still done each day. My family and I could enjoy TV programs at night, without sex and swearing.

Oh, there were some large problems, such as rampant racism, but we tried changing that with civil rights legislation. But now we’ve reached the point where you can’t even disagree with the policies of our president without being called a racist.

Also, laws are now being passed that go completely against the good family values that once were the norm. Marriage used to be between a man and a woman, and there was great respect for the right to life. There was more respect for our military, but now even saying the pledge of allegiance to our flag is highly controversial.

What caused these drastic progressive changes over the last 50 years? In my opinion, it started when Madeline Murray-O’Hare got God and the Bible thrown out of school. I, for one, long to have our America back with all the constitutional freedoms, reverence for God, respect for our flag and each other.

Rosalie Welch-Johnson

Bangor

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Peeved by MPBN

As a resident of Bangor who gets his television broadcasts through the air (and not by cable), I have been unable for months to view Channel 12-MPBN-TV, which strikes me as a pathetic deprivation.

I have talked with several MPBN engineers as well as Jim Dowe, MPBN’s CEO. They explain the reasons for their failure, but cannot tell me when a solution might be available.

When MPBN-TV went to digital broadcasting, it directed its (relatively low-wattage) signal from the new tower in Dixmont toward Waterville. So, here we sit in Bangor (and the other Penobscot Valley towns) unable to get the signal except over cable.

I don’t think I should have to pay cable fees for that. I think MPBN should be rather embarrassed that it has out-and-out deprived this area of their over-the-air signal.

I am frankly amazed there hasn’t been more hue and cry about this locally. MPBN tells me it has received a number of complaints, so it’s not like it is unaware of the problem, or that it’s just limited to me.

MPBN claims it does have plans to activate (or, re-activate) a transmission tower on the same mountain in Eddington where it used to have a tower, but staff also reports, in the next breath, that they can’t afford to do this at the present time. I think this is a most negligent approach to their “public” responsibilities.

Really, it’s past time requiring a satisfactory solution.

Jim Elmore

Bangor

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LePage one of us

Comments made by the anti-LePage activists offer typical Democratic accusations with no insight into reality. With total “take care of me” tunnel vision, they promote the same self-defeating attitudes that have kept the same spend-foolish, tax-crazy people in power for years.

Taking care of everybody happens when we can all take care of ourselves. The bottom line is Democrats have been in control of the Legislature and governor’s seat for nearly all of the last 40 years. It is time we leave the wilderness and follow a real leader, a common sense, financially educated, constitutionally principled CEO.

Paul LePage has used the skills acquired from a lifetime of hard work and sound judgment to improve his community. Now he wants to do it for Maine. He cuts waste, fills the remaining space with intelligent staff, and then they get to work rebuilding a broken system.

He has no problem with threatened vetoes of his policies because he takes it to the streets. If the people don’t want it, fine. But most do like his ideas, because they work. The proof is the huge number of non-Republicans who supported his re-election in Waterville. Many of them have now joined the re-energized and refocused Republican Party and support LePage for governor.

Paul is one of us, but with the skills and experience to put us back on track. Mainers will do well to put Paul LePage in the Blaine House.

Dena Worster

Palmyra

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