Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012: Roxanne Quimby, BPA and Johnny Pesky

Posted Aug. 21, 2012, at 3:51 p.m.

Public loses

After reading the article (Aug. 7, BDN) on giving Campground Road (Wilson Stream Road) in Elliotsville to Roxanne Quimby, I called Sen. Doug Thomas to discuss the possibilities of a people’s petition to put this matter to public vote if the commissioners approved this giveaway and the right number of signatures are gathered from the residents of Piscataquis County.

He told me it couldn’t be done, as there was nothing in the Piscataquis County charter that allowed for this action on any decision these three commissioners make. He was quite disappointed as it can be done at the local and state levels and in other counties in this state and has been many times, as we all know.

In Piscataquis County, commissioners answer to no one other than who they want to, and in this case it may be the money crowd. Residents of Piscataquis County must find a way to take this absolute power from the county commissioners. Contact your local state officials and find out how this can be done.

It may be too late to save Campground Road for the people of Elliotsville who have managed it quite well for a century and proved that it was owned by the people and not Roxanne Quimby just months ago.

It would be in the best interest of all involved if the commissioners took about 500 feet from the stream back across the road so a trail could be built for those who wanted to hike to the falls.

The final vote will be at the next commissioners meeting on Aug. 22.

Howard Davis

Dexter

Big chemical companies

As a former Maine legislator and lead sponsor of Maine’s Kid-Safe Products law, not to mention mother of a young daughter and seven months pregnant with my second child, I was frustrated but not surprised to see an OpEd defending bisphenol-A, or BPA, by Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman, whose Washington, D.C., law firm represents big chemical companies.

Working on this issue both inside and outside of government, I can tell you firsthand that parents and legislators are fed up with the industry’s tactics and lies.

In Maine and in Washington, chemical companies and their advocates have a pattern of touting studies paid for by industry, only to voluntarily phase out their dangerous chemicals later, when the facts become too difficult to deny. The chemical industry itself just agreed to support a ban on BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. If it’s unsafe for my daughter’s sippy cup, why would it be safe to use in the packaging of the food we buy for her?

Dr. Cheeseman’s argument, that Maine should delay protecting our children from proven toxic chemicals such as BPA because the federal government is looking out for us, is unsupported by the facts. Even the chemical industry has agreed that the Toxic Substance Control Act, the federal law overseeing chemicals, is ineffective and needs to be overhauled.

I am hopeful that Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection will not be distracted by the industry’s tactics when they consider a measure to remove BPA from certain food packaging, especially kids products.

Hannah Pingree

North Haven

Faith policy

There has been a powerful ad on Catholic TV station EWTN for some time. It talks about critical social issues such as infanticide — abortion — and wholesome marriage. Some select quotes: “Catholics have the opportunity to shape the future for generations to come” and “some issues [such as marriage are] not negotiable.”

Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., says “Mr. Obama has a different idea of what our culture should look like.” Mr. Obama has assaulted Catholic institutions with his contraceptive mandate. Mrs. Clinton has verbally assaulted our freedom of conscience with her public statement, “Do not let your religious traditions [principles] interfere with your embrace of morally equal homosexual relationships.”

I, as a deeply convicted Christian, am deeply offended that I should re-evaluate moral conduct to suit the Obama administration. As a churchman yesterday said, “the Obama administration now places itself above God and his laws and wisdom.” Fifty-eight percent of Catholics voted for Mr. Obama and at the same time, I believe, voted against their own faith and its principles.

Will you vote party policy above your faith principles?

Elaine B. Graham

Farmington

Remembering Mr. Red Sox

I first met Johnny Pesky in 1973 before a game at Fenway. It was a familiar sight, seeing him smoking a cigar, as he often did. He was always gracious and we talked many times through the years and about his military experiences and times with Ted Williams. As I am in the military, those memories are even more special to me.

I remember him telling me of his flight school experiences with Ted and of him humbly saying, “I guess I was too dumb to go on much further than flight school!” That was Johnny. I saw him for the last time when I returned from my second deployment to Iraq at spring training in 2009.

He talked with my two boys and I took pictures with him. To show appreciation for his service I sent him an American flag that I flew while in combat in Iraq. Johnny called and thanked me. Johnny always had time for anybody and everybody. It didn’t matter who you were or what you did.

I was close friends with Bob Feller who passed away in 2010. I feel sad today of the loss of both of them but cherish the many stories that I had the privilege to listen to and time spent with them. It will be a void in my life for sure but a reminder that we need to let those of the “greatest generation” know how much we appreciate them while we still can.

Steve Curtis

Stacyville

Mandatory reporting

Heather Estey’s letter to the editor (BDN, Aug. 18) raises valid concerns about Maine’s mandatory reporting of sexual offenders law. Ms. Estey’s frustration with the lack of prosecution for those who violate that law is understandable.

Here is the problem: the Legislature repealed that section of the law that authorizes prosecution. The Legislature stripped Maine’s district attorneys of the power to prosecute and eliminated our ability to hold violators responsible. If a person feels that the law should provide criminal or civil penalties they need to contact their local legislator and ask them to reinstate the power to prosecute.

R. Christopher Almy

Charleston

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