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Jan. 29 Letters to the Editor

Headlights required

Friday, while driving to the hospital for tests in whiteout conditions, I met four out of 10 vehicles driving without headlights on. The law reads: “Headlights on when wipers are on.”
Seat belts are enforced, why not headlights? “Lights on for safety.”
Tom Curtis

• • •

A lost Cat

Sunday marks the end of an era with The Cat making its last sail out of Bar Harbor headed for its new route.
From the start in 1950 and ending in 2009, there had been a ferry route serviced by CN Marine, Marine Atlantic and Bay Ferries between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. This ended because two sides could not come to terms on how to fund the route.
It is hard to believe that when traveling into downtown Bar Harbor you will no longer see a ship sitting alongside the now-Bay Ferries wharf. So as The Cat makes its final approach out of Frenchman Bay and continues through between Sheep and Burnt Porcupine islands, we have to remember the history and the end of an era without a ferry between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Rick Hathaway

• • •

NAACP’s antagonism

Having recently moved from North Carolina to the great state of Maine and having lived all my life up to this point in North Carolina, rest assured that the NAACP is nothing more than a political engine, which will run over you if you let it. North Carolina is a very good example, as it is currently being governed by a woman who is more than easily swayed by “good ’ole boy politics” and the political maneuverings of the NAACP.
So good for you, Gov. LePage for your more than appropriate response to the “overtures” and “invitations” presented by the NAACP. The “invitation” was purposed to inflame — the term down South is “bear bait.” There is always an underlying motive.
And the invitation had absolutely nothing to do with honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was indeed a gentleman, one whom we all would do well to honor and remember and be thankful for, for his vision and his peaceful way of going about living what he believed.
The NAACP would do well to emulate him rather than use this time of remembrance as a political game with which to antagonize Gov. LePage.
Leigh James
St. David

• • •

Outhouse air

In recent letters to the editor in the BDN some people have commented on Gov. LePage’s rather bad habit of responding to people with whom he disagrees with inarticulate and often rude remarks. Some people say they consider these remarks to be a “breath of fresh air.” If this is a breath of fresh air, then I can’t help but wonder if they live next to a row of portable outhouses.
Mike Avery Sr.

• • •

Youth retention

I am writing in response to Carolyn Ball’s Jan. 21 OpEd, “A calming analysis on Maine’s aging population.” The author put forth a few interpretations of the term “the oldest state,” her emphasis being that Maine is not the oldest state.
Maine is indeed the oldest state when referring to median age. The U.S. Census Bureau’s table of median age by state (using 2009 population estimates) shows that Maine’s median age is 42.2, the highest of any state. Vermont is second at 41.2, a difference of a full year compared to Maine. Florida is fifth at 40, California is 46th at 34.8 and Utah has the lowest median age at 28.8.
Nationally the median age is 36.8.
While a few states have a higher percentage of their population aged 65 and older compared to Maine, those states also have more vibrant young populations, as reflected in the median age.
Many of Maine’s young adults have left the state. Some leave for college and do not return; others leave the state after high school or college. This exodus affects Maine’s median age.
We need to attract more young people to Maine with well-paying jobs. We need their energy and creative ideas to grow a vibrant Maine economy. Those of us who have raised our children here know what a great place Maine is to live and raise a family, and we must convince more young people to do the same. They are our future.
Christine Sady

• • •

A nation of sheep?

President Franklin D Roosevelt, in a message to Congress, wrote, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
Today the American people, in ignoring FDR’s admonition, are tolerating private power’s takeover by the huge corporations: Wall Street banks, pharmaceutical, communications and defense industries, for-profit health insurers, the mercenary military and Washington lobbyists such as AIPAC.
Our democracy is being diminished as these corporations, etc., continue to gain more power over our government. We see uprisings in Tunisia, France and England, but Americans are too busy watching sports and “American Idol.”
Are we a nation of sheep?
Eliot J. Chandler

• • •

Let’s go backward

So the BDN thinks Gov. LePage wants to move Maine backward (“Moving Maine Backward,” Jan. 26). Really?
I sure hope so! Looking in the rearview, we had woolen mills, shoe shops, tanneries, canneries, railroads, industries and on and on. We had jobs! Boatloads of jobs!
After 40 years of government meddling, taxation, regulation, suffocation by bureaucrat, look where we are now. I hope to tunket we do move backward!
Now I know full well I’ll be attacked for  using these words. The handwringers will worry about clean air, water and land. That’s not the issue; no one wants fouled air and water ever again. But the paths Mr. LePage wants to take, will take us back —  to prosperity.
Ken Durkee

• • •

Indian proverb

A Cree proverb holds words of wisdom for Mr. LePage and all who voted for him: “Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we can’t eat money.”
Ward Grafton Jr.

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