LETTERS

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011: Freedom of speech, County’s shelter needs

Posted Sept. 08, 2011, at 5:11 p.m.

Free speech under assault

It is frightening to watch Western Europe as well as Canada descend into a hopeless quagmire in the area of free speech.

The world was accustomed to witnessing rigid controls on freedoms, especially

free speech, by those tyrannical governments that existed in many areas outside Western Europe, Canada and the United States. It was unthinkable that free people would willingly put ridiculous restrictions on this most basic God-given right, but they have.

You may be subject to severe legal action in many of those countries if you make any statement thought to be critical about anyone or anything, be it gays, Muslims or obese people. If the good people of Western Europe and Canada want to willingly give up their freedoms, it will be interesting to see what they lose next, voluntarily or not.

A more immediate concern here in America is seeing academia instituting speech control on many campuses as more and more groups are deemed in need of special protection in every walk of life.

Then comes hate crimes; if I punch you in the nose because I do not like you I get less punishment under the law than if I did the same thing for racial or lifestyle reasons. A punch in the nose is a punch in the nose, regardless of motivation.

Let us pray that this, the greatest nation on Earth, never relinquishes our treasured rights, first and foremost free speech.

William D. Duddy

Dedham

Save Caribou shelter

It was troubling to me to read in the Sept. 2 issue regarding Norma Milton being asked by the city of Caribou to relocate her shelter, Halfway Home Pet Rescue, into an area that is not zoned residential.

Norma and her volunteers have worked tirelessly at great personal sacrifice to help their community by rescuing hundreds of cats each year. Caribou and surrounding towns have benefited greatly from their efforts. They have spared no expense or effort to help these animals and have been duly certified by the state to operate a shelter.

Northern Aroostook County is in desperate need of animal shelters. Central Aroostook Humane Society and Halfway Home Pet Rescue are the only shelters in an area that could easily use two or three more. Both shelters struggle to meet the unrelenting demand and both do an excellent job with the resources they have.

The ordinance defining “kennels” does not pertain to shelters and is ambiguous

according to the Caribou code enforcement officer and, if enforced across the board, would result in many citizens having to move since a good percentage of households have more than three pets.

The Halfway Home Pet Rescue board recognizes that the shelter should be relocated to another area and is working to accomplish this; they just need the time to do it.

I hope Caribou officials will resolve this matter in the best interests of the communities that Halfway Home Pet Rescue benefits. To do otherwise would be no less than tragic.

Jean Cobb

St. Agatha

Can’t sit to dance music

My wife and I recently went to the Lady Antebellum concert at the waterfront. My wife was one of the first to get tickets to this event and got front row seats, so we thought.

When Lady A came out to play, we got up to see them, but the event staff came over to us and told us to sit down or be escorted out of the show. If my wife and I sat down the only show we would see was the backs and heads of everyone in the “pit.”

Really, who wants to sit at a concert to music that makes people want to get up and dance? I think that the people who put on these concerts need to make a more permanent venue, with real seats and not the flimsy chairs they use now. Until this is accomplished I will be taking my family to other venues even if it requires me to drive out of the state.

Jeffrey Roach

Bangor

Quebec’s opportunities

I congratulate BDN columnist Julia Bayly for calling reader attention to the recreational and cultural opportunities present in our too-little-known neighbor, Quebec. I hope she visits the Bic-Rimouski area soon. There is a lot to write about there.

Richard Clark

Perham

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