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Monday, Jan. 2, 2012: Gov. LePage, traffic lights and driver negligence

No negligence?

I must be going crazy. In what world is falling asleep at the wheel and killing someone not criminal negligence? In Piscataquis County, apparently.

According to Piscataquis District Attorney Christopher Almy (BDN, Dec. 28), the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Shirley man who was walking along Route 15 (with a safety vest on, yet) may not get charged because the driver was not drunk or speeding. He was just asleep.

Almy said that “unless you have intoxication or speeding way, way over the speed limit, it doesn’t meet the threshold of criminal negligence.” So beware walkers and bicyclists. Apparently “whoops, sorry” is about all your family can expect if a driver bumps and kills you for having the audacity to walk or bicycle along a Maine road.

Bob Baker


LePage insults County

As a former House of Representatives candidate for Caribou, I know that going door to door to each home and meeting with many groups is paramount when seeking political office. Listening and taking notes on concerns of the citizens of the community is in fact the reason why a person would seek the position in the first place.

On Gov. LePage’s most recent visit to Fort Kent and Presque Isle to hear the concerns of Aroostook County citizens, his comments were inexcusable. While I certainly am one to promote respect for the office of the governor, unfortunately, I find myself questioning why he would disrespect a former House and Senate member because he simply disagreed.

I can tell you that the planet Judy Paradis is from is a very real and “in the moment” planet. She and her husband (a former House member) have been tireless advocates for the citizens of the St. John Valley as well as Aroostook County. The comment from Gov. LePage was completely disrespectful and an apology seems appropriate.

Aroostook County folks are regarded as hard-working and ethical individuals. We do not deserve to be disrespected, especially from our governor, which appears to be happening more often. At the same time, it should be noted that when it comes down to Election Day, it is we citizens of Aroostook who elect our candidates to an office. We get what we voted for.

Matthew Sanfacon


Better traffic lights needed

After moving here from New Hampshire, we can only characterize the traffic lights in Bangor as Jurassic-age engineering. All too many times you come to a stop light and sit for no apparent reason simply due to a mindless timer system, wasting precious gas in the process.

These lights on Stillwater, Union Street and others need to be sensor-controlled based on changing traffic needs. The traffic light system needs control by sensors so that traffic can flow on the busiest street. Green right-turn arrows should be triggered when there are no oncoming cars turning left.

Much needs to be done to make a trip into Bangor better. Let’s use our heads. There must be some grants available to upgrade to a sensor-based system. They’ve done it in other states with more traffic than Bangor and it works great.

Timers are rigid and are wasting our money stopping us when there is no need, especially as you enter Bangor on Union Street. It’s time to upgrade these lights to a system that actually works.

Tim McCann


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