Feb. 16 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 7:40 p.m.

Bottle rattling

The Feb. 12 Bangor Daily News story, “Alleged scam spurs criticism of bottle bill,” details yet another red herring (and scam) offered by the bottling industry lobbyists.

In the past, fearmongering bottlers asserted that returnable bottles would cause disease, breed bees, attract rats, cause small family-owned stores to close and restrict consumer choice. None of these occurred.

What did happen is that for more than 30 years, the state has had much cleaner highways and the cost of trash removal was reduced as these items have been removed from the waste stream.

New Hampshire is the problem for both recycling states and bottlers as Granite State bottles and cans have to be treated differently from beverage containers consumed in the rest of New England. It also is worthwhile to remember that before the bottle bill, the state would have to use tax money to pay state highway crews to clean the roadsides.

Maine residents should tell the bottlers just to can it.

Greg Rossel,  Troy

Star-spangled abuse

I would like to comment on the letter to the editor in the Feb. 10 issue by John L. Clark. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that rues the desecration of our national anthem by those performing for sports events.

I have been known to leave the area when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is sung by a person who insists on doing a country rendition. Generally speaking, I feel that it should almost never be sung, especially by a soloist, as the range needed for this performance is often not possible for the human voice. Also, these people seem to want to drag the tempo, when in reality, it should be performed almost in march time. It’s painful.

Sylvia Smith, Bangor

Repeal inspection law

Overly complex, often irrational, administered unevenly by for-profit garages and of dubious value, Maine’s vehicle inspection requirements need to be repealed.

Most states have no inspection law and do as well or better without it. Studies confirm that such laws do not work and impose unfair burdens on the car owner. If Maine lawmakers really want to improve vehicle safety, let them ban the spraying of liquid de-icer on Maine’s roads. This one change would do more to assure vehicle integrity than the entire inspection law.

I urge all residents and legislators to support HP 283, LD 357, an act to repeal Maine’s motor vehicle inspection requirements.

Henry Smith, Sorrento

Got the lard out

Who started the rumor stating that whoopie pies have lard in the filling? I have been making them since the 1950s for my husband and five sons and always have made them with vegetable shortening (Crisco) in the filling.

I don’t believe the pies are any worse for one to consume than most other desserts.

C’mon folks, enjoy!

Anne Hayes, Warren

Doctor for fireworks

I would like to share a viewpoint on the recent fireworks bill proposed by Bangor’s Rep. Doug Damon. In the proposal, fireworks would be legalized in Maine. This presumably would reduce the numbers of fireworks illegally smuggled into Maine, and safety measures would be required for people to purchase fireworks as well as minimum age requirements. The sale of fireworks also would help increase state revenue through sales or possibly use tax.

While there is known danger to children using fireworks, it’s truly a common sense issue that should require responsible parents to keep these away from their children. Finally, if the people of Maine are considered responsible enough to legalize marijuana, a DEA Schedule I drug for “medicinal purposes,” they should be responsible enough to keep the firecrackers out of children’s hands.

I support the bill proposed by Rep. Damon.

Adam Lauer, D.O., Brewer

Wrong way to save

In the Feb. 10 edition of the BDN, there was an AP article about President Obama and our multibillion dollar national debt. The paper said that he was going to halve the funding for LIHEAP in order to cut the deficit $2.5 billion from a $5 billion home-heating aid program for the poor.

A few months back, tax cuts for the multimillionaires was scheduled to end. That would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars. What did the professional politicians do? They extended those tax cuts. Billions of dollars now will go down the drain for people who do not need any more money.

I did not believe that they now would go after the most vulnerable people in our country. What do they think these poor people will do now to pay for their heat in apartments, trailers or camps? What if they have young children? Will single people go into shelters? Will they get in line to, “go on the state”?

Who would believe that any Democratic president would propose such a bill as this?

Paul Hanson, Argyle

Endearing dogs

I am responding to the letter to the editor, “Not my best friend,” which appeared in the Feb. 12-13 BDN. The writer seems to have a wealth of knowledge concerning the “pathogens and parasites” contained in dog waste. Perhaps she should inform herself of the many benefits humans have derived due to the sacrifices of man’s best friends.

Many come to mind, such as: the dog languishing in a research lab, enduring daily and painful experiments in order to make medicines and medical procedures safer for humans; the dog confined to a cage in a puppy mill (many in deplorable conditions) used as a breeding machine to earn money for the owner; the dogs required to fight to the death, in dog-fighting operations to win money for perverted gamblers; the guide dog that leads the blind; and the therapy dog that cheers the sick.

A dog’s ability to give unconditional love and loyalty is something from which humans could take a good lesson. Indeed, Man’s Best Friend certainly has earned that famous title.

Carolyn McKinnon, Bangor

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