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Letters to the editor, April 12, 2011


Adoption an option

Regarding the Bengal kitten article (BDN Lifestyle, March 26-27), I wanted to mention to others who feel they must own a specialty breed that there’s both a way to have a purebred or “designer” pet and rescue one at the same time.

Whether it’s a certain cat, dog, rodent, bird or other creature you’re looking for, there are breed specific rescue groups and shelters in every state, begging for responsible people to adopt. These pets are not immune from being in need of new homes or from being euthanized due to lack of them.

Personally, we assist about 500 animals each year. Typically one-quarter descend from a specialty breed (including, at times, Bengals). Our efforts are minuscule in comparison to others’ across the U.S. Yearly, that translates into a staggering number of unwanted specialty pets.

If you’re considering a new pet and feel you must have a specialty breed, then do a search of rescue groups and shelters statewide, within New England or nationwide (Petfinder.com is one of many great resources). It may take time to find your pet, but isn’t that a small price considering the life you’ll save?

Before deciding to forgo the adoption of a “regular” animal, research euthanasia rates in the United States and visit your nearest shelter.

The saying “please don’t breed or buy while shelter animals die” is a simple statement of fact and a heartfelt plea for the millions of unwanted animals who are not considered to be “special” enough to adopt.

Laurie Mountain


• • •

Just give us truth

Rep. John Martin’s criticism of the state treasurer quoted in the Mar. 28 edition of the Bangor Daily News not only illustrates his willingness to ignore fiduciary responsibility, but also displays the head-in-the-sand attitude that led to the pension fund’s current problems.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised: Martin is also the state official who said the state’s hospitals — owed millions of dollars for providing services to patients under state mandates — “should just stop whining.” He apparently not only believes the state shouldn’t pay its bills, but also that it should mislead potential lenders about its financial well-being.

The recent article quotes Martin as saying that the treasurer’s and governor’s role “is to make the [financial] picture rosy.” Not so. What the treasurer and governor should be doing is providing the financial community and all citizens with straight-forward, open and honest accounts of our financial condition.

Our economy is still suffering from years of “rosy” affirmations by mortgage brokers, lenders and unqualified borrowers. We don’t need “rosy” predictions from our elected officials; we need the truth.

John Edwards


• • •

Recycling efforts improving

Brent Coulson’s April 1 BDN letter claiming Bangor’s recycling rates are “abysmal” is dead on. How do we change that? The city and the Bangor Recycling Committee have taken a hard look at our current system. The bottom line is that Bangor has neither the manpower nor the resources to make the changes necessary to encourage folks to recycle more without fundamental change.

The face of recycling has evolved due to new collection and processing systems. Previously, Bangor processed other community’s recyclables for a fee. Due to other communities signing on to the new system, Bangor has lost revenue we might have used to upgrade. If Bangor adopts PAYT/Single Stream to capture a high volume of recyclables, it will address Mr. Coulson’s valid complaint that the only plastic we take now is the #2 type.

Mr. Coulson’s letter has a valid point about the lack of promotion for composting and its place in the bigger puzzle. Think of how much weight we could keep out of the solid waste stream by managing compost ourselves (source reduction) instead of expecting the city and its taxpayers to manage and pay for it.

As to his concern with illegal dumping, the city already has an ordinance that addresses this issue. Communities that have adopted PAYT/Single Stream have told us this has not been a significant problem.

The Recycling Committee meetings are televised and open to the public. We will be having an information and listening session related to recommendations for solid waste disposal, recycling and composting in May.

Monique Gautreau

Recycling Committee Member


• • •

Bottle bill works

I cannot think of a law that so effectively and fairly spreads the burden of taking care of our state as the bottle law.

Young, poor, well-to-do and elderly, all take bottles back or pass them along to someone who will.

If the law changed, little businesses would die. Isn’t this what we like to promote in Maine? It provides an income and realistic work for those who might have no employment at all. Supermarkets and Mom and Pop stores have already made the investment and have the organization to handle returns.

Distributors and suppliers have to take the bottles back. They need to be forced to participate because they won’t on their own. It’s a closed loop policy and the bottle law accomplishes that. Shame on the Maine Distributors, CocaCola, Pepsi and all the big guys. If they want to make a profit on their spirits and sugar, they can do their part. We want to drink the stuff, we can do our part.

Hampden’s Rep. Andre Cushing should know better than to tinker with the bottle bill. That also goes for the 28-ounce bottles. They will not be conveniently streamed out of his sight. They will end up on the roads — maybe even his front lawn!

Some other states have never gotten a conscience about it. They should do better, but we can only fight our own little battle here and see that the bottle law stays intact.

Linda R. Stearns

Thomas Bartlett


• • •

Thanks, governor

I, too, am repulsed at Gov. Paul LePage’s bluntness. He is certainly rough around the edges.

However, I called the governor’s office regarding the condition of Route 2. To my surprise, I received a phone call from the head of the DOT and one of the governor’s representatives was also on the call. They both listened to my complaint which included the need to remove the big rigs from the back roads and put them on the highway.

The road is still in rough shape out here, but, I am impressed that Gov. LePage has the proper people dealing with the problem.

Thank you for that, governor.

Cindy Rivers


• • •

He’s wrong

My mother died in 2002. She was 95, had six kids, grandkids and so on. One of the things she was most proud of was working at the South Portland Shipyard during the second World War as a shipbuilder.

For Gov. Paul LePage to remove that mural out of meanness was wrong and he’s wrong for doing it. And he knows it.

Barry McSorley


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