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Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011: Troop greeters, water fluoridation and sexuality

Asset to alliance

I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Trahan for his work in Augusta, including helping the shellfish industry many times.

I would also like to congratulate David on his new position as executive director of the Sportsman Alliance of Maine. He will be a great asset to our organization.

Clinton E. Collamore Sr.

Maine ambassadors

I wanted to share a recent conversation relating to the troop greeters at Bangor International Airport.

While traveling in Antigua, my flight was delayed by eight hours. While waiting at the airport, I spoke to a young man who also was waiting. He asked that I pass his thanks on to all the troop greeters.

He’s in the Army and had recently returned from Afghanistan. When I told him that I lived in Maine, he said he wasn’t in Maine long but it was the best experience of his life.

He said having to stop in Bangor on his long trip home was at first a disappointment. He wanted to get home and did not want to stop anywhere. He said the welcome he received was the best he has ever experienced and he truly felt like a hero.

He asked me to thank the people who take their time to welcome the troops home, so thank you. What you take the time to do is greatly appreciated.

Joan Mason
North Yarmouth

Save fluoridated water

In reading the Maine Dental Association News Journal this month, I was disappointed to hear that some of the communities in our state have removed, or are thinking of removing, fluoride from their local water supply. I hope that they carefully research the facts before the vote.

I came to Presque Isle in 1953 and practiced general dentistry until 1959. I returned to Tufts dental school, became certified in orthodontics and came back to Presque Isle where I practiced orthodontics there until 1995, when I retired.

During my practice in the early 1950s, I saw many cases of extreme dental decay in very young children.

In 1959, Presque Isle and Caribou voted to approve public water fluoridation through the efforts of our county dentists. Most of the towns in the county now have fluoridated water, so dentists no longer see the rampant decay that existed earlier.

Younger dentists in Maine, especially those who live in communities with fluoridated water, have never seen the rampant decay that the dentists of my generation had to deal with.

Citizens of Maine, if you are asked to take fluoride out of the water, please research the issue and then ask your dentist about what she or he sees in the mouths of kids in fluoridated versus nonfluoridated areas. That should tell you all you need to know.

Please vote to keep the water fluoridated for the health and well-being of your children and your neighbors.

Donald R. Blackstone
Presque Isle

Gone to the dogs

Our grocery stores have turned into pet stores.

On Saturday, a man had three dogs in his cart; either they don’t know that it is a state law not to have dogs in a store where food is sold for human consumption or they just don’t care.

If the law has changed, I would like to know so I can bring my pet shopping with me. People will start bringing their dogs, large and small.

Therapy dogs are an exception; they do a wonderful job. Just show the manager the papers to prove they are therapy dogs. How hard is that?

Helen Curran
Old Town

Tea party implications

Where has the government I was raised to believe in gone? I remember when the wishes of the people of this beloved country were once considered as of the people and for the people and Congress was our employee.

As it is now it appears, we are no longer important to the majority of Congress. A small third party with extreme demands has taken over and many members of Congress have folded to their Draconian plan to sen this country down the drain.

However, plans have been developed by the tea party and others to decimate Social Security, Medicare, the federal health care plan, education and other programs that assist middle- and low-income Americans in achieving the dream of more than a subsistence lifestyle.

But the unions, middle and lower classes are paying for the greed and corruption of banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and Wall Street.

Their ideology will not allow them to touch the loopholes, subsidies or ‘death taxes’ or remove the exemption, passed under President George W. Bush, giving the super-wealthy tax breaks of several thousand dollars or more.

Just imagine if these gifts were recalled and the taxes were paid; there would be no need for much of what is proposed to be decimated. If tea party candidates become our president and members of Congress, every American should be greatly concerned.

Bernard Michaud
Presque Isle

It’s DNA, not choice

I’m one of the 15-30 million (5-10 percent of the U.S. population) born with a DNA sequence attracting us to others of the same sex. Of this population, there is a continuum, or sliding scale, ranging from those who are 100 percent interested in the same sex to those who are mostly or partially attracted to the opposite sex.

From conversations with thousands of people over 35 years, in countries in both hemispheres, these observations have been validated repeatedly. When the data is analyzed in an unbiased, dispassionate process, it clearly shows humans are born with certain sexual preferences — the theory is accepted as fact.

Thus the record must be corrected from the inaccuracies described by John Henderson in his Aug. 11 letter to the editor. Mr. Henderson should avail himself of the wealth of existing data from peer-reviewed medical journals or simply sit down and talk with one of the 15-30 million gay and lesbian Americans.

Secondly, Mr. Henderson confuses the principle of “special treatment” with the premise of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which all citizens shall enjoy equal privileges, in addition to the broader principles of life, liberty and property. These guiding principles are to be applied equally and without bias, regardless of age, sex, skin color or other inherited physical characteristics that cannot be changed.

Lastly, he also confuses the notion that a majority vote can deny one or some of these protections and privileges, simply because a majority exists.

Chris Dorion

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