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Letters to the Editor Feb. 3, 2011


True abortion opinion

The opening statement of a Bangor Daily News editorial titled “Abortion Rights at Risk” (Jan. 26) states that Republican leaders are in defiance of the views of the majority of Americans with their introduction of a bill that would prohibit federal tax dollars from being used for abortion. In the article, the BDN uses data from a recent poll that asks whether Americans disagree with a law that would impose higher taxes on an individual who chooses to purchase private health insurance that provides abortion coverage. The BDN is using this information to mislead readers about the contents of HR 3, a bill that would prohibit taxpayer money from funding abortions.

The law would prohibit any type of federal funding to private insurance companies that provide abortion coverage and tax credits or deductions for money paid for such coverage. However, HR 3 clearly states that it would not prohibit private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage.
What the BDN fails to disclose is the fact that for two years running, a Gallup poll has indicated that a majority of Americans, when asked if they are pro-life or pro-choice, state they are pro-life. I would assume that this same majority would support laws that prohibit their taxpayer dollars from funding abortion.

The BDN’s true agenda is exposed in the closing statement lamenting that the provisions of this bill could make abortions harder to get. Well, if that is true, then maybe a few more innocent, powerless babies might live to see the light of day.

Peggy Soneson

Dietary disgression

The state of Maine has high rates unemployment, poverty, obesity and illiteracy. It has high taxes, high cost of living and a network of disintegrating roads. Much of Maine’s housing stock is old, inefficient and wasteful of energy. Many of Maine’s young people are forced to leave to find themselves a future.

With issues like these at hand, our elected Legislature has time to consider making the whoopie pie the state dessert. While they are working on that, let’s also consider making diabetes our state disease and obesity our state pastime. Let’s also consider a tax on whoopie pies to offset future medical costs that will result from the state diet of whoopie pies, soda and chips.

Tod Cheney

Blue Hill

The value of vernal

With regard to the regulation of vernal pools by the state, it is only within the last few years that the function and worth of these seemingly useless areas have been explained. Far from being useless, these places are vital as nurseries for many species of animals such as frogs, toads and salamanders, which are in turn used as food by many other animals important to the entire ecosystem of our state. Many types of birds, including ducks, herons and egrets and many other animals such as fox, raccoon and mink use these animals for food.

The amphibians are an integral part of the food web, and if one part of it is disrupted, all parts are affected. It is precisely because there are no fish in these pools due to their drying up that the eggs of these amphibians can develop. With fish present, many of the eggs would be eaten by them.

It seems to me, and I’m sure to many other biologists and environmentalists in the state, that to override the existing legislation protecting these areas would be extremely detrimental to all of Maine’s species, including humans, and would adversely affect the very attributes that make Maine such a desirable place in which to live and work.

Phyllis H. Cass

Baxter’s wisdom

I am writing in opposition to LD 55. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, I support hunting and people having fun and being outside. I will generally agree with anyone who wants to keep Maine’s wild places free of wind farms, golf courses and big-box stores.

However, I oppose LD 55, “An Act To Restore Hunting Rights in the Katahdin Lake Region.”

Gov. Baxter was born to a wealthy Portland family, which one might expect turned him into an effete “sport” who hunted domesticated deer in fenced preserves and fished for trout in private ponds. On the contrary, this Republican hunter and fisherman was one of the first of our state’s leaders to recognize Maine’s assets.

Furthermore, Baxter explicitly did not trust the government to be stewards of this land, which is why he shunned national park status and why he established the Baxter State Park Authority to manage the park. LD 55 would undermine this unique and wise arrangement by making the park authority subservient to state government.

I would like the Legislature to leave stewardship of the Katahdin Lake lands and the rest of Baxter State Park to the park authority, just as Percival Baxter intended. Legislators should vote “ought not to pass” on LD 55.

Ethan Bien


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