Dec. 17 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 16, 2010, at 11:31 p.m.

Gratitude for service

I would like to thank Darla Coombs’ son for his service to our country. I would also like everyone to take a minute to thank the men and women serving right now, and those who have served.

Think about how great it is to live in a country where a condo association can rule against flying an American flag.

Philip Henderson

Hampden

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Malone hiding truth

Bishop Malone’s pretension that being in “compliance with the audit” of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (BDN, Dec. 7) hides his irresponsible policy of secrecy that protects sexual predators of children.

Bishop Malone is violating basic common sense in refusing to give the names of seven priests recently accused of sexual abuse. Two of these priests are dead, says he; but, wouldn’t parents and parishioners want to know if their children were in contact with these individuals? One of the accused priests, says he, “was removed from the ministry” and two others have been restricted pending the outcome of investigation. But doesn’t Bishop Malone realize that predators still remain dangerous after they have been removed or restricted?

Bishop Malone should publish on the website of the Portland diocese all the names and locations of all priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, instead of continuing his policy of hiding predators and not protecting children.

Robert Gossart

Salisbury Cove

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Potato industry aided

Sen. Susan Collins’ support is instrumental to the success of the University of Maine Potato Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, program and to Maine’s potato industry. Our largest agricultural sector, this $500 million industry supports 6,000 Maine jobs.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension has received a special grant, championed by Sen. Collins, to implement a potato pest management program that has had a tremendous positive impact. In 2008 and 2009, the program provided early warnings and effective strategies that averted crop losses estimated at $43 million. For every dollar invested in the Potato IPM Program over two years, Maine growers received $38 in direct benefits through saved money and saved crops

Under the special grant, UMaine researchers collect and analyze data. They then use this information to track pest outbreaks and provide growers with current information on specific and timely treatments to minimize pesticide use and environmental impacts, while maximizing potato quality and yield. The Maine potato seed affected by this program provides farmers from Maine to Florida with a quality seed product.

As Sen. Collins, herself an Aroostook County native, knows, continued investment in this program is vital to protect the quality of our food and our environment. Without this investment, the Maine potato industry would lose a tremendous resource as it battles nature to remain a viable and sustainable Maine industry.

John Rebar,

executive director,

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

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Help the truckers

I would like to thank the BDN for the recent article on higher truck weights. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this is such a big discussion. It appears to be pretty cut and dry when it comes to safety and economic issues and what the impact will be for Maine.

If you are worried about “tired truckers,” it would appear this program would be something you would want to pass. Being able to get to their destinations with a higher weight limit and a more efficient route would allow them to decrease their time on the roads. As for the safety, going through smaller towns with school zones, children playing and people out walking should be enough reason to keep an 80,0000-plus pound truck off our small-town roads.

My husband delivers your gasoline so you can get to work to pay for food, buy clothes, travel for vacations, get your medications and purchase anything else you may need or desire. If it weren’t for truckers, you wouldn’t have any of these things, let alone the gas to get anywhere. Without truckers being able to do their job efficiently and safely, you are putting everyone at risk.

America runs by truck; give them a break!

Deborah Jewett-Chretien

Bangor

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If Bangor builds it …

On one hand, I would rather drive to Portland or Augusta to see a show than sit in the old Bangor Auditorium. On the other hand, Bangor is more central to Maine for me and I enjoy much of what Bangor has to offer.

I believe some of the money for a new Maine Center arena should come from those who would benefit from it. I would be willing to pay a surtax on my tickets purchased outside the Bangor ZIP code to help defray the cost. I don’t think the taxpayers of Bangor should shoulder the burden alone. This center will benefit all of us in central Maine.

The University of Maine has a wonderful performing arts center, and I have taken advantage of the shows there. A larger multiuse arena will benefit Bangor for several generations.

I support Bangor’s future as it remains a large central hub to many of us in rural Maine. You have what we want, sometimes. If you build it, I will come.

Randy D. Jackson

Millinocket

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Too much harvesting

Corporate America: Now there was a slogan we could all stand behind. Too bad the corporations are now becoming corporate world. It seems that the corporations are acting like America is dead, and they are the vultures eating off the carcass of a once-proud beast.

Instead of reinvesting in it, they seem to want to just sell off what they can, piece by piece at auction to the highest bidder. They can do that, since they have gained the upper hand in controlling who is elected with their wealth and backing from the U.S. Supreme Court.

We, the common working people, are fed a steady diet of, “It’s all your fault, if you give up some benefits or pay, we’ll stay in operation for you,” when in another room they are selling out to another country.

Corporate America is operating like a poor farmer, one who slashes and burns, grows crops until they get little yield, then moves to another forest to repeat. Where are the farmers who seem to be able to farm the same acreage for centuries? The ones who reinvest with fertilizers, take care of their fences, maintain their buildings. The ones who are willing to fix that leaky barn roof, repair that tractor, make sure their dairy cattle are healthy.

Thomas Bonner

Alexander

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