Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012: Bob Carlson, BPA, and Dr. Donohue vs. Dr. Oz

Posted Aug. 10, 2012, at 3:39 p.m.

Community protection

I have followed the story of Bob Carlson with great feelings of sadness, disgust and revulsion. The lives of some people that I am acquainted with have been forever damaged by this monstrous predator, and I believe the scope of his abuse is still not fully known. My emotions turned to anger and outrage after reading the contents of the Maine State Police report.

This investigation must continue. Carlson was embedded in the fabric of our public safety system in the greater Bangor/Orono region. It appears he manipulated his clerical authority, our criminal justice system and several government agencies to prey on innocent children and families.

In my opinion, what has happened here over 40 years is comparable to, if not worse than, what happened at Penn State with Jerry Sandusky. There, the fines and penalties are in the millions of dollars, and several prominent individuals have lost their jobs.

Forty years of abuse. Let that sink in for a while. Where is justice being served for the victims of our community if this simply ends with Carlson’s cowardly suicide? The fact that this was allowed to happen points to a serious breakdown of our public safety system, our churches and our local government. As a member of this community, I demand that the full truth be discovered, the culpability of our community leaders involved be punished and measures be enacted to prevent this from happening again. Not one more child should have to suffer because our community cannot protect them.

Mark Brunton

Brewer

It is not our intent

If I can take the liberty to rewrite an old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” then I would rephrase it today to read, “The road to Canada is paved with good intentions” (with apologies to Canada, as the rephrased word is not intended as a synonym).

The answer — or, rather, nonanswer — to many of the questions at the Dover-Foxcroft forum on the proposed east-west corridor contained the phrase, “It is not our intent.” That phrase does not instill much confidence in my mind or the mind of anyone else, I would guess. It sounds more like a fall-back phrase to be referred to when things don’t work out as intended. I expected more from the leaders of that forum.

I am also concerned about the secrecy surrounding this project. Except for obvious reasons in military applications, secrecy usually involves hiding something the public should have the right to know. One can come up with all kinds of reasons to justify secrecy, very few of which may turn out to have much validity in hindsight.

One of the leading supporters of this project has written that if an affected landowner refuses to sell, then the highway won’t be built. It really stretches believability for me to accept that a $2 billion project would be scrapped because one landowner refuses to sell. And yet they claim that “eminent domain” will not be used — period. Something doesn’t compute — period.

Gordon Canning

Ripley

Understanding what you read

The writer of “ Bible rules” BDN, Aug. 3, has revealed to the world that she is a nonbeliever, and as such she does not have the ability to understand what she reads.

Hopefully many will recognize that just because she wrote it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Glennice Cline

Greenbush

Delicious dogs

Regarding “‘You can make a hot dog special’: Delicious Dogs serving up simple fare in Winter Harbor,” I went to Boston University in the early- to mid-1970s, and there was a hot dog vendor that was fantastic.

Back then he was selling a quality hot dog, Maple Leaf, for a dollar with a table full of different toppings.

For $1.50 you could get the gourmet dog. The same hot dog but in a small french bread, and your selection of topping was from two picnic-size tables. I lived on these! The price was great even back then, and you had full control of what and how much you put on your dog. So a gourmet dog is not a new idea.

Jon Greenberg

Westbrook

The Wizard of Oz

One can only hope that the exclusion of Dr. Paul Donohue from the weekend BDN and the inclusion of Drs. Oz and Roizen is a trial balloon that will burst when enough readers express their opposition. In the maelstrom of hyperbolic medical claims we hear about each day, Donohue is a calm, common-sense, reasoned and scientific medical voice. He also seems prescient at times, writing an article applicable to friends, family or myself within days of a medical event of concern.

In small doses, Dr. Oz was informational and enjoyable on Oprah; but his own show, complete with the cure du jour and dramatic music, is making Dr. Oz seem more like the Wizard of Oz.

Donohue is still in your table of contents. Please keep him in the paper. Don’t replace the good doctor with a pop doc.

Michael Fasulo

Linneus

BPA rebuttal

My recent editorial supporting action to protect children from BPA in their food appears to have touched a nerve: Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman’s editorial attempts to refute hundreds of independent scientific studies with a handful of discredited arguments.

Although Cheeseman criticized my focus on the National Toxicology Program’s opinion on BPA, he doesn’t acknowledge that in 2010 the Food and Drug Administration endorsed the NTP’s conclusions, agreeing that there was some concern about BPA’s effects on human brain and prostate development, and behavior.

While Cheeseman suggests it isn’t true that the FDA relied on a small number of industry-funded studies for their safety assessment, this is exactly what he reported to the FDA’s Science Board in 2009. And it is exactly what was written by an FDA official in response to a congressional inquiry. The FDA’s subcommittee categorized the FDA’s review of BPA studies as “incomplete and unreliable.”

Many independent scientists believe there is sufficient evidence for concern over BPA safety. Assertions that scientists would prefer that people get food poisoning instead of using BPA in canned foods, or that they want poor people to starve for lack of BPA-free canned foods, are not new tactics. They sound similar to attacks made on Rachel Carson, who in the 1960s supported action on DDT; industry representatives claimed that Carson preferred dead children to dead mosquitoes. Cheeseman’s attempt to distract from the science on BPA by suggesting that we need to choose between food poisoning and exposure to synthetic sex hormones is a false dichotomy.

Laura Vandenberg

Massachusetts

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