Dec. 22 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 21, 2010, at 7:11 p.m.

People over pups

Regarding the woman and dog bitten by a neighbor dog: It really is a tragedy that almost an entire neighborhood is afraid to leave their home because of one dog. Where I am from — and no, I don’t want to go back there — the dog would already have been put down.

I am an animal lover, but you can’t put them above human lives.

Dee Gudroe

Hermon

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You pay

A federal judge in Virginia has ruled the new health care law’s individual insurance mandate unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will eventually decide that issue. However, non-profit hospitals (all Maine hospitals) are still required to provide care, regardless of ability to pay.

So who pays? Who pays the bill for those who cannot afford insurance, or who chose not to buy it? Who pays when the Medicare and MaineCare pay less than the cost of treatment. Who pays for the hospitals bad debts and free care? The answer is called “cost shifting.” You pay.

Those that have insurance, and those that self-pay, pay extra to make up for those that don’t or can’t pay their fair share. So if you don’t like the requirement that everyone has insurance, how do you like the requirement that you pay their bills?

Dean S. Read

Bar Harbor

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Ross’ judgment?

I have supported Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross ever since he first ran for office in 1984. So I was confused and upset when I read that he had attended a speech given by ex-Sheriff Richard Mack in Old Town, a speech apparently hosted by groups called Maine Patriots and Maine ReFounders. Good sounding names. But what is behind the names and the man?

Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who made his name by suing to overturn the Brady Bill and later went on to fame in the patriot and militia movements, makes his living in part by advocating violence against the federal government. At a conference put on by the American Policy Center, as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Mack said: “My friends, I pray for the day that the first sheriff in this country is the one to fire the shot heard ’round the world and take out some IRS agents!”

According to the BDN, our sheriff attended this speech to learn more about the role of the constitution in establishing local, state and federal jurisdictions. Well, sheriff, shame on you for getting your education from such people as this, and shame on me for voting for you.

I call on the county commissioners to investigate the sheriff’s involvement with these groups. I hope a reasonable explanation will be forthcoming because until now I have never had cause to question the job that he has done in protecting the citizens of Penobscot County.

Harold Hamilton

Bangor

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Cell coverage critical

The BDN’s Dec. 15 article noting poor cell-tower coverage in Penobscot County and the subsequent danger to public safety by the inability of citizens and first responders to contact emergency services could not be more correct in describing this risk to the public.

As publicly regulated communication providers, each of the companies providing service in Penobscot County have a responsibility to the public to build a network which provides for the public safety.

My property on Escutarsis Lake is less than 15 miles from Vinegar Hill cell tower, but the hilly terrain prevents calls from our property to reach emergency services. When my dad fell, sustaining major trauma requiring transfer to Bangor for treatment, we had to load him into an SUV and drive five miles to get cell service to call emergency services.

Cell phone tower expansion and coverage must be mandated to improve public safety in Penobscot County and the ability of first responders to get back up and consultations from EMS physicians on duty.

Greg Moura

Lowell

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No cover-up

In his Dec. 10 letter to the editor, Bob Hoke cited his former employment with the Marshal’s Service as a foundation for his credibility. In his letter, Hoke implied that Bangor detectives had been asked by the chief to “back off” on a recent investigation.

In my 23 years as a police officer, eight as a detective working on numerous, successfully prosecuted homicides, gross sexual assaults, assaults, robberies and child abuse investigations, no one, including Chief Gastia, ever asked that I back off any investigation. I have never met Hoke.

I know that the detectives assigned to the case that Hoke speaks of, with such apparent intimate knowledge, were never asked to do anything other than the thorough job that they do every single day. Additionally, I am positive that Hoke was not present during any part of that investigation nor at the presentation of the entire case to the grand jury.

As for Hoke’s scurrilous claim of a “cover-up,” I do believe he should rethink his words. Police officers are not allowed to speak about specifics and cases as freely as people are allowed to voice opinions.

I think it’s safe to say that Hoke’s claims are uninformed opinion. He has the absolute right to say whatever he wants. I know for a fact that what he stated in his letter was wrong.

Tim Cotton

Hampden

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‘Monstrous’ myths

Tony Hammond (“Nobel the Monster,” BDN Letters, Dec.12) continues libelous myths about Alfred Nobel. These began with a vendetta against Nobel by the French press in 1888 when they printed an erroneous obituary (Nobel’s brother had died) condemning him for “finding ways to kill more people faster.” Nobel’s response to these lies caused him to form the Nobel Foundation and the Nobel prizes.

Briefly, Nobel did not invent nitroglycerin. He invented dynamite, a more stable and safer form of nitroglycerin. Dynamite has been used ever since for blasting in mining and civil engineering, not warfare.

He did not invent the first smokeless gunpowder, but improved the product of the French inventor. The French did not buy his product (ballistite) because they were already buying Poudre B from the inventor.

Nobel then sold it to the Italians which brought down the wrath of the French press and government.

These “monstrous,” erroneous myths are political in origin and should not be perpetuated.

Bob Buntrock

Orono

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