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Feb. 11 Letters to the Editor


Well-told tale

Having red her recent book “‘A’ is for Allagash,” I must laud Cathy Pelletier for her realistic portrayal of this small Scotch-Irish town in northern Maine.

This account of their early beginnings, as told by her dad, tells of the strength and endurance of these courageous people.

Now only fragments of those early ways of life and lumbering days are left behind.

This well-told narrative will be a treasure now and in the annals of historical literature in years to come.

Lucinda Crawford


Healthy investment

As president of the Maine Osteopathic Association and a practicing emergency physician, I am writing to implore the Legislature to prevent cuts in funding to the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship Program.

As Maine and the nation face a critical shortage of primary care physicians, it is imperative that we not be short sighted. This program provides necessary financial assistance for Maine students who want to train and eventually deliver health care in our state.

It takes at least seven years from the first day of medical school until completion of residency training. From a long-term perspective, cutting funding does not make any sense, given the fact that this scholarship program is matched dollar-for-dollar with private philanthropy, thus leveraging the state’s modest investment.

Over the past three decades, the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed a blueprint for educating and training primary care physicians, which has proven highly successful.

As the No. 1 provider of physicians for our state, graduates of UNECOM account for greater than 15 percent of the primary care work force and nearly 27 percent of those providing rural medical care. In other words, one out of every four physicians in rural Maine is a D.O. who trained here in our state, at Maine’s medical school.

Indeed, it is the many citizens in rural and underserved areas who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this investment in the future of primary care for Maine.

Joel Kase, D.O., M.P.H.,

president, Maine Osteopathic Association

Dog trespass

This past year, my elderly neighbor and I were the victims of repeated animal trespass by an extremely aggressive dog. Each time this dog crossed onto our property, intimidating my neighbor into such a state that she was afraid to come out of her home to hang laundry.

There were few consequences that could be imposed on the dog’s owners by the animal control officer.

I also frequently visit a camp where a neighboring resident raises a breed of dog known to be aggressive. Over the years, these dogs have gotten loose repeatedly and have caused extensive property damage. Civil action against the owner for the repeated trespass of his animals, as well as any attempt to recoup financially for the destruction the dogs inflict on private property inevitably falls to the individual property owners.

A public hearing on LD 89, a law to strengthen the animal trespass law, is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb 10.

Laine Parsons


Fireworks sense

I am writing in opposition to the legislation to allow the sale and use of a wider range of fireworks in the state. I am a lifelong Republican, pro-business, but some of the ideas being floated in the name of business strike me as a little odd.

I remember the days when fireworks were legal, downtown Damariscotta was like a war zone. Firecrackers were put under cans to see how high they would fly. We would distract our buddies and drop a lighted cracker behind them to see how high they would fly. My brother accidentally shot a rocket at the local grain mill. Luckily, it is still standing today.

I have an idea — let’s lower the drinking age to 13 and use some of the additional revenue to educate the young ones on the evils of alcohol.

Makes as much sense to me as selling fireworks in Maine and using tax revenue to educate people about their safe use.

Richard F. Dinsmore


It’s OK to disagree

Thank you for the BDN editorial “Bangor’s Educated Dissent” and the story by Eric Russell that appeared in the Jan. 22-23 edition. The Bangor School Committee is a dysfunctional group that thwarts public participation and stifles any opportunity to dissent. The committee follows the lead of Superintendent Webb, whose unyielding management survives because of the effectiveness of hard-working teachers, aides and staff — not administrators.

Last year, I attended a public presentation that students conducted. Before the performance, the school committee chair addressed the audience to tell us to vote to remove the school budget from a public vote. This was an incredibly inappropriate action to take at a school event and reflective of a committee that feels it can do no wrong.

When was the last time the Bangor School Committee made a decision that was influenced by public input? As the BDN has pointed out, this situation has been going on for a long time. I brought an issue to the school committee that was promptly ignored since it lacked the support of the superintendent. I’m not alone. After a while, you give up. That’s not the democratic process we are supposed to be teaching our children.

Participatory democracy will lead to better decisions. It’s OK to disagree and work through differences, but apparently not in Bangor.

Donna Miller


Let the fans sing

Once again, the worst thing about the Super Bowl was the butchering of our national anthem. When will the NFL realize that it is not a rock tune or a barroom ballad? What if someone decided that our flag would look cooler if the stars were blue and scattered at random across the red and white stripes? Neither can our anthem be improved by adding a scattering of random notes.

If any of you know Roger Goodell, please tell him to get a military band, let the band play and leave the singing to the fans.

Peter T. Smith


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