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Tuesday, June 26, 2012: Channel 5 versus DirecTV, Calais nursing home and hyrdo dam removal

Thanks Channel 5

“We do what we do for you” — a catchy little phrase. It makes the announcers at Channel 5 feel good when they read it, and management feel good because they think everyone believes it. So on Monday June 4, after having read the catchy little phrase, they announce that as of midnight, Channel 5 will not be carried on DirecTV.

Channel 5 will also hide behind the FCC ruling and block you from having access to any other CBS network station for programming. “We do what we do for you.” Mike Young naturally bristles and blames it on DirecTV.

I’m not saying DirecTV is faultless, but with approximately 250 cable channels, 60 sport channels, 50 movie channels and four other networks, both locally and nationally under contract, can Mike Young and Channel 5, the only channel now off the DirecTV programming be free from the thought that they are asking for excessive increases in their current contract.

“We do what we do for you” is typical of Channel 5’s history with customers unable to receive signals before the DirecTV era. They always relied on the FCC to fall back on by not allowing access to other network outlets, even when all other network stations in the area provided releases so that customers could receive network programming.

Because Channel 5 transmitters are the most powerful in the area it seems to give them the idea that they can make these excessive demands and other capitulate. Thanks Channel 5 for being so concerned for those you serve and thanks for not coming out with that other catchy phrase. “It’s not about the money.”

Harry Williford


Front page news

The article entitled “Calais nursing home to be shut down July 6” was placed on page B6 of the June 13 edition. The fact that it was right next to the Obituaries was probably apt, but why wasn’t it on Page One?

This news is devastating to many in Washington County. Over 100 people will be losing their jobs, families will be struggling to find places for their loved ones as near as they can get them. Machias area facilities are strained to capacity and are sending new patients farther away.

Lubec and Eastport facilities have the same dilemma.

The fact that the state of Maine has abandoned the people in this area by backing the closure and move out of the county wasn’t mentioned in the article. The planners who limited the number of available licensed beds in the state obviously did not know what everyone else knows: The population is decreasing but the population of older people is rapidly increasing. Faced with this fact, the state chose to ignore those obvious trends and kept the licensed beds the same.

Those beds are now moving out of Washington County. This should be front page news. Hancock County has more money and more votes. It is hard to think that these assets take precedence over the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. I am appalled at this callous decision on the part of Secretary Mary Mayhew of DHHS.

Linda L. Gralenski


Lest we forget

Gov. LePage was recently criticized for not appearing at the demolition of the Great Works Dam in Old Town. Dam removal proponents would have you believe that removal of the two Penobscot dams is celebratory. Gov. LePage is right, “removing hydro dams is irresponsible.”

Lest we forget, in 2008, the needless demise of the Ft. Halifax Hydroelectric Dam in Winslow was an environmental disaster. The removal of the dam caused the loss of clean renewable energy, the loss of a 417-acre lake, the loss of a four-season recreation area, the loss of slope stability, the loss of six family homes on Dallaire Street, the loss of the city sewer line, the landslide on Cemetery Hill, the loss of tons of soil through bank erosion, the loss of countless endangered mussels, fish and aquatic life, the loss of property values on the dewatered impoundment, the increased cost of replacing the Mile Brook Bridge due to pier scouring, and the loss of the scenic waterfall in the center of town.

The taxpayer cost from removal of this one dam is hovering at two million dollars. The emotional cost is immeasurable. For what? So that sea run fish can swim another five miles to the next dam. There is a saying; if you can’t be a good example you may end up being a horrible lesson. Winslow won’t be celebrating the Penobscot dam removals any time soon.

Mary Ellen Fletcher


Turtle crossing

How about a timely article in “Outdoors” about turtles who are crossing roads to lay eggs so people will think to slow down and give them a chance. Two days in a row I have seen turtles run over by cars. I pulled over to help one across and then the car behind me ran it (her) over.

People should stop and see the damage they inflict. I imagine they suffer after being hit lingering in the hot sun unable to move.The shells were largely gone so that you could see the insides. How hard is it to be mindful of something dark in the road and then slow down so an innocent creature can just live?

Lorraine Lans


Landmark decision

A news item you may have missed — In another landmark decision that resembles the court’s ruling on the definition of a corporation, the Supreme Court ruled five-to-four recently that constrictor snakes living in the wild and currently causing problems in Florida are so like corporations that they too are persons.

Because they are now persons, they can no longer be hunted unless they break laws.

Charlie Cameron


UM disrespect

Imagine my surprise and disappointment this week when visiting UMaine to find not only were the fundraising bricks at the athletic field in deplorable condition but some — including ours — had been removed.

Shame on you! This disrespects all UMaine supporters. Jon Sias ’93 and G’95.

Jon Sias

Las Vegas, Nev.

Questions about coaching

In regard to the Bangor school system’s asking Roger Reed to choose between coaching the Bangor High boy’s basketball team and being, possibly, a part-time Maine legislator, I am wondering how it is that full-time teachers are able to coach sports teams. For that matter,

if Roger Reed’s coaching position has been this demanding, was he ever asked over the years to choose between coaching and devoting his full time to his teaching?

I am just trying to understand the logic of the educational leadership in Bangor.

Jan Rideout


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