Nov. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 22, 2010, at 9:03 p.m.

Open access by law

Reading the BDN’s Nov. 17 article on Roxanne Quimby’s appointment made me chuckle. All the players use any excuse to expand or manipulate the system to achieve their goals. Quimby receives all the benefits the state has to offer but allows the public little, if any, benefit.

The Maine Forest Products Council states, “We can have all the recreational benefits of a forest while making sure it’s still productive for forest products.” Where is this now?

The people wanting a park want all of us to pay for something most of us will never be able to access. I think most of us are fed up paying the freight for these large landowners through tax breaks, only to be denied access for recreational purposes.

Call your representatives and senators and ask them to support “A Bill to Foster Economic Growth Through Increased Access to the People’s Assets.” It will require landowners who receive bargain basement assessment tree growth tax benefits to open dirt roads to public access. We’ve already paid the toll.

Robby Perkins

Orono

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Transgender etiquette

I am writing in response to your recent report on the tragic suicide of a transgender woman in Bangor. As a transgender person myself, I am outraged at the ignorance and insensitivity shown by your publication when reporting about this tragedy. Ms. Hilderbrand lived her life as a woman, and the insensitivity of your insistence on referring to her as “him” in your reporting is inconsiderate and sloppy.

In the future, when your publication is reporting on a topic related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender issues or subject matter, I would strongly encourage you to refer to the Stylebook Supplement put out by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and use the correct terminology.

We live in a time when LGBT people are too often victimized, alienated and maligned, and it does not further the dialogue or help alleviate matters when the press perpetuates the hate and reports in such a disrespectful manner.

If journalists are interested in education about this topic, I suggest consulting Maine Transgender Network, Inc. (mainetransnet.org). I am sure they will be delighted to bring the BDN up to speed on transgender etiquette in the press.

Branden Parker

Westbrook

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Snowballs, not baseballs

If Major League Baseball extends the playoff season any further (BDN, Nov. 18), the leagues will have to budget for snow shovels just as an extended college football bowl season will need a timeout for spring break.

Richard Mackin Jr.

Millinocket

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Saddened by ‘progress’

I read in the Nov. 19 BDN that the city of Bangor’s plans for the new auditorium are shaping up and an architect’s drawing of the building is prepared. This may make some residents glad. I am sad.

It is obvious that the “footprint” of this edifice will march right across Paul Bunyan Park and its beautiful old bandstand. This is why I am sad. My wife and I have spent so many pleasant summer evenings sitting in that park listening to the Bangor Band play — one of our lives’ simple pleasures.

So sad, that like the Union Station, the old City Hall and other architecturally significant buildings in the Queen City, this park and bandstand have to succumb to somebody’s interpretation of progress. I understand that all is pretty much in place, except the hefty sum to pay for it. Well, do take your time raising that money, guys! Don’t rush on our account. Perhaps we can squeeze out a few more gentle summer nights listening to the sweet strains of the Bangor Band before this deal is sealed.

Bill Shook

Bangor

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Essex Street concerns

Another tragic fatal accident occurred on outer Essex Street on Nov. 16. This follows a serious rollover accident involving two teenagers in 2002 and an earlier fatal accident in 2000 along the same stretch of road. Sgt. Paul Edwards, investigating the crash, stated, “There have been accidents on Essex Street between Burleigh and Church, and they are generally more serious due to speed. It’s a busy road.”

Lt. Jeff Millard expressed concern that new pavement is being laid along that stretch of Essex Street and may encourage drivers to “throw caution to the wind and speed.”

Essex Street is in terrible condition. Traffic is very heavy. The road is narrow, windy and has several areas with very limited sight distance.

Surely, the officer is not suggesting that proper maintenance of Essex Street should be abandoned. The proper response from the city of Bangor to this tragedy should be increased enforcement of the speed limit, consideration of lowering the speed limit, and consideration of a traffic signal or blinker at one or more of several locations: Burleigh, the entrance to the Hillbrook subdivision and Church Road.

Irwin Gross

Bangor

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Better nursing ratios

I am writing in support of my fellow nurses at EMMC and elsewhere, who are willing to put their money where their mouth is. I feel sure this coming strike is not something these nurses want, but they are being forced by the administration to stand by their convictions, for themselves and for the patients for which they care.

Research proves that lower nurse-patient ratios save lives, reduce the risks of deadly infections and increase job satisfaction. It’s a terrible feeling to go home worried, wondering if you did everything you were supposed to have done, because of a heavy patient assignment.

What the general public doesn’t realize is that all patients are not alike. There are times that one nurse could safely care for four or five patients and other times that three or four could consume one nurse’s entire time.

I don’t doubt that the administration of EMMC also wants what’s best for the public. If indeed that’s so, it would seem a fair nurse-patient ratio included in the contract would be the way to go. This would better assure the public that the nurse at their bedside would be there when needed. I am aware that these measures would be a cost to the hospital, but how do you put a dollar figure on a life — especially when it’s yours or a family member’s?

Nurses are not out to make things difficult for hospital management. They are dedicated, hardworking, professional men and women committed to seeing the public receive safe care.

Doris Sherman

Oakfield

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