Jan. 4 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 03, 2011, at 6:26 p.m.

Vote on arena

There sure has been a lot of banter about a new auditorium to be built in Bangor. It could be a good idea, could be a bad idea. The old auditorium certainly does not have a good track record, both economically and event-wise. It costs the taxpayer money every year.

What makes the council think anything will be different? If it is such a money-making idea, why hasn’t anyone in the private sector done something before now? What is wrong with building a regional center with more municipalities involved?

I just see this as another boondoggle undertaken by the council at taxpayer expense. It will cost a lot to build, maintain and staff. I just do not see the profitability in city hands.

Let’s put this to a vote so taxpayers can decide, not just the council, especially with a $60 million price tag.

Earl Eberhart

Bangor

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GOP on environment

In his recent article on Maine fisheries, Skowhegan attorney Clinton B. Townsend stated, “Republican administrations supported the enactment of such landmark legislation as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act” and that environmental sensitivity seemed out of character coming from the business-oriented Republicans. So I investigated.

In fact, the Clean Water Act was introduced in 1971 by Maine’s own Democratic Sen. Ed Muskie of Rumford and passed the Senate that year and the House the next but was vetoed by that pillar of Republican values, Richard Nixon. The Senate and House overrode the veto.

The Clean Air Act came about during the Kennedy-Johnson administration in 1963 and was significantly amended in 1970 and called the “Muskie Act” at that time. It was further modified in 1977 during the Carter administration, another environmentally-conscious Democrat.

You are entitled to your own opinions, Mr. Townsend, but not your own facts.

Gerald A. Metz

Addison

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Snowballs from heaven

Bangor’s Downtown Countdown celebration was a huge success, and we are honored that we were asked to be part of it. From the organization to the various events to the size of the crowd, it was a great night for all involved.

The only sour note happened after we dropped the ball at midnight from the roof of Paddy Murphy’s. Some guests of a party happening elsewhere in the building snuck onto the roof as we were leaving and began lobbing snowballs at the crowd below, which caused many to run for cover.

Dawn Gagnon’s article covering the event contained an ambiguously worded paragraph that might lead some to believe the snowballs came from us. We want to set the record straight that we had nothing to do with it and in fact were back on the street when the snowball fight took place.

Our thanks to all of the organizers of Bangor’s New Year’s Eve celebration and to Steve Smith, the originator of Bangor’s ball drop.

Mike Dow and Mike Elliott

Kiss 94.5 Radio

Bangor

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In defense of Israel

Regarding the problem of a Middle East two-state solution, it’s easy for some to continue to put blame on Israel alone as the uncooperative state of evil in the Middle East. Some even act as though if the West sacrifices Israel, the Muslim world may have a new understanding with the United States, etc.

This strategy would be folly and wreak disaster. Israel is our first line of defense in a turbulent region. The latest Arab Palestinian ploy is to delegitimize democratic Israel while legitimizing itself.

The West must stand strong to ensure its own and the world’s future without terrorism. Self-doubt, multiculturalism and political correctness given to proven haters and enemies of the West will bring nothing but further jihadist expansion.

Israel is imperfect, as are all nations, but peaceful means — not world suicide attacks to promote causes — are the way to work things out.

Stamping their feet because they can’t get their way is counterproductive, juvenile and unacceptable.

Just as Arab Palestinians have a right to exist in a homeland, so does Israel, which has legitimacy (U.N. 1948) and already has proven worthy via its contributions to the world in ethics via the Bible, science, medicine, commerce, literature, arts, academia, philanthropy, politics, etc. And yet it is referred to by some as evil?

Marguerite Riley

Hudson

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Conservation’s high cost

The recent report of additional coastal lands being bought for conservation (“Grant to protect Pleasant River land,” Dec. 28) reminds us again that some of our neighbors and all of our elected officials have no concern for the welfare of Down East Maine.

Conservation land is usually the most valuable land in town. Once purchased, there is no more tax revenue. (Groups claim to pay a voluntary amount, but this is negligible, if it exists at all.) That cost burden then is spread among struggling residents. In Washington County, this means more hardship for some of the poorest communities in Maine and indeed in the United States.

In addition, it seems that the tax money spent is based on what the conservation groups have to spend rather than any objective assessment. The land described as Seal Cove (Ports Harbor) in Addison is land already accessible for historical uses and far off the beaten track for some fictitious wave of new-day trippers. Yet the price paid was exponentially higher in this down market than the original price of the land just a few years ago.

The sale of land for conservation under current laws and procedures excludes any concern for the rights and needs of the towns and does accumulating damage to the ability of the town and of the state to fund infrastructure and quality of life. But meanwhile, the flats will be there for the tourists, who apparently are rushing to Ports Harbor to view the sea gulls.

Roger Yochelson

Addison

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Searching naked dogs

Saturday’s comic strip “Mother Goose and Grimm” made me smile. As Mother Goose checked Grimm (the dog) for ticks, he was thinking, “I hate these TSA full-body searches.”

My service dog, Brooklyn, was likewise searched on one of our recent flights, despite walking “naked” through the metal detector and not triggering it. I watched in bemused amazement, wondering what dangerous item the agent thought could be concealed on this short-haired dog.

Maybe she just wanted to pet him. Probably not; she didn’t take off the blue gloves.

Douglas Sewall

Orono

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/01/03/opinion/jan-4-letters-to-the-editor/ printed on September 19, 2014