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Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012: Raw milk, Mother Earth and alcoholism


Risky business

I thought the BDN’s recent poll question, “Should Maine farmers be allowed to sell directly to consumers?” was poorly worded considering farmer Dan Brown’s dispute with the state isn’t about whether he can sell raw milk directly to consumers, but whether he can sell raw milk that hasn’t been certified “safe” to consumers.

There are a dozen or so illnesses that can be attributed to the consumption of raw or unpasteurized milk. Among these illnesses are E. coli, Salmonellosis and C. enteritis. Any farmer who sells raw or unpasteurized milk to the public should be required to have the Maine Department of Agriculture’s approval.

Earle M. Rafuse


Survival, long-term

I am fascinated by legislators’ attitudes when they talk of money. They stand there wringing their hands, tears in their eyes, saying that their children and grandchildren won’t have any money left for them in the state and federal coffers. In Maine they wring their hands wondering about the state of the deer and moose herds (coyotes are the scapegoat here, hunted 24/7, 365, yet it has just been proven hundreds of deer and moose were “ticked to death” in the woods of Maine).

In the next breath, the same legislators astound my senses by stating we don’t need clean air, water and earth. I wonder whether their children and grandchildren will need money if they can’t breathe, drink the Earth’s water or survive ultra-contaminated soil. The “thinking” here is cunningly capitalistic.

The Republican Party’s attempts to devalue the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules and regulations are pathetic and must be stopped. Their attempts to destroy the man-made Endangered Species Act are deplorably specious and won’t fare well for humanity’s existence either (most likely the last entry on the list).

Money must not and cannot surpass intelligent thinking, humaneness and Mother Earth’s survival.

Jackie Freitas


LePage’s obligation

Gov. LePage, who has state insurance, housing, and heating, has the temerity to make rude comments to Fort Kent citizens concerned about DHHS spending cuts.

Families are worried their loved ones will be forced out of their private nonmedical institution housing and left on the streets. Tens of thousands are afraid of losing their health care. A statewide mental health crisis system that took years to build could be dismantled.

The governor has an obligation to treat these concerns seriously rather than upbraid people for having an agenda.

James Alciere

East Machias

Red flags on trooper

For all of us who work in or around the substance abuse business, there was a glaring omission in Trooper Parker’s rambling and impassioned letter to his “brothers” (about his arrest on an OUI charge) published in the Dec. 30 BDN. Nowhere does he acknowledge or admit a possible problem with alcohol.

There are thousands of readers who are substance abuse professionals or are active in 12-step recovery who know that the trooper’s alleged actions constitute red flags and warning signs of an alcoholic problem. His letter has denial written all over it. Moreover, his “appeal to police for tolerance” reflects an arrogance that is unacceptable in our society.

Police officers do not have special privileges to operate or live above the law. The troopers who arrested Parker did the right thing. They did not let privilege and loyalty to the “brotherhood” deter them and shame on any law enforcement officer who might think otherwise as we may infer from the letter and BDN article.

Peter Duston


Expand drug testing

I am writing in support of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to drug test welfare recipients as a condition of their eligibility to receive government funds. I hold a commercial drivers license and as a condition of my employment; I was sent twice last month for drug testing. Out of a sense of fairness then shouldn’t our elected officials also be held to the same standard?

These people have imposed these tests on us. Shouldn’t they be held accountable? Random drug tests for them sounds fair. Because these people have so much power over the rest of us maybe regular lie detector tests should be required as well.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know who the person you thought was representing you really worked for? An example might be The Heritage Policy Center. Their ideas become Gov. LePage’s proposals. But they refuse to tell where their funding comes from.

I am of the opinion that if politicians created these standards for us they should have to live by them too. They are paid with tax dollars. Imagine if they had to do what they were put in office to do.

Tony Gonzales


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