Thursday, May 31, 2012: American flags, Canadian roads and sidewalk accessibility

Posted May 30, 2012, at 4:20 p.m.

Shame on Bangor

Shame on Bangor. Every town and even the city of Brewer is proud of the U.S. and supports our troops, who watch over this country 24/7, by flying American flags on their main streets.

What does Bangor have? A few flags downtown and that’s it. I am lucky I live on outer Union Street next to the Hermon line and pay the veterans in Hermon to put flags up in front of our home.

I think it’s time for Bangor to do something to show support for our troops and be proud to be Americans.

Bert Johnson

Bangor

Canadian roads

Why should Maine build a road for Canada? The road has no purpose other than to meet the needs of Canada’s energy interests. It will make very few people in Maine rich, and that will definitely not includ you or

me. Why don’t Canadians build and pay for a road across Canada?

We, the unfortunate majority, will simply suffer all the negatives of this unnecessary superhighway in their peaceful backyards. Why would anyone in Maine want to build a huge road with a 2000-foot corridor that takes properties by eminent domain, demolishes rural life and literally divides the state of Maine? Not a good idea except from the perspective of the few rich entities that will get richer from this project which “we the people” are just finding out about.

Meredith and Stephen Perkins

Sangerville

BDN praise

The BDN should be commended for the noticeable improvement in the quality of its local and state news coverage that has developed in recent weeks. The front page has become a must-read every morning with interesting and well-developed stories that frequently put

important local issues into a broader statewide context.

The midcoast has been a particular beneficiary of this focus on solid reporting and attention to schools and pressing environmental and social issues. Thank you Tom Groening, Abigail Curtis, Bill Trotter and others for digging in and writing well.

You’ve also been running some spectacular photographs. Recent photos showing gulls and birds of prey going after alewives are a great example of what makes a newspaper come alive visually. That’s prize-worthy work by Robert Bukaty.

As a former newspaper editor, I know that none of this happens by accident. It takes a financial commitment (read staff numbers and salaries) by the paper, astute editors and well-trained, inquisitive reporters and photographers to produce a paper that informs readers rather than merely titillates them. TV can’t, or won’t, provide this sort of intelligent, in-depth news coverage. I hope your readers and advertisers support what you are doing in a very difficult economic environment for the print press. I certainly do.

Pat Griffith

Belfast

Accessibility for all

After 26 years of running an art and frame shop in Machias, I have moved downtown. I noticed that the three-step entry would be impassable for some of my mobility-challenged customers.

My landlady agreed to add an access ramp, and contacted the selectmen as the entrance abuts the public sidewalk. We were shocked when they objected to the ramp, stating that “a public space shouldn’t be used for private enterprise.”

Sidewalks are used by people to enter private businesses. Special parking spaces and curb cuts, including in front of my shop, have been provided for the disabled to get onto the sidewalks. Is it wrong to use part of that sidewalk for a ramp to access a business when the design leaves adequate space for pedestrians and fulfills the ADA standards for older buildings? My able-bodied customers are happy that I’m downtown. They can use the public sidewalk to access my gallery and other stores that have steps on this side of Main Street. Even one step can seem like Mt. Everest to some disabled individuals. Everyone has a right to equal access to businesses.

When a small business is willing to go to the expense of becoming accessible and the town blocks the process rather than supporting it, there is something terribly wrong. I urge anyone who agrees that all people should have access to local businesses to call the Machias town

manager and selectmen at 255-6621 or email machiastownmanager@myfairpoint.net.

Holly Garner-Jackson

Woodwind Gallery

Machias

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