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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013: Flu shots, guns and snowmobile registration

OpEd context

In Carol Muth’s Jan. 21 letter to the editor, she takes the OpEd I wrote, “Best way to fight the flu: Live a healthy lifestyle year-round,” totally out of context by trying to make it into a “to get the flu shot or not to get the flu shot” controversy. Nothing in this OpEd mentions or implies that in any way.

As a matter of fact, in the first paragraph I wrote, “The flu season is here again and, as every year, we are told to get the flu shot.” This piece provided tips on how to be less exposed to the virus and how to try to stay healthier during the flu season and year round.

Katherine Meryweather Cavness


Gun mindset

I have been waiting for someone to start a discussion about the leading cause of the gun control problem: the mindset of so many of our citizens. This mindset has been fostered by the huge arms industry through its conduit, the National Rifle Association, whose answer to the problem is to sell even more guns.

Have we been persuaded to put too much emphasis on the Second Amendment?

I have the right to smoke tobacco, but like many others, have chosen not to exercise that right. We will win the battle against tobacco with education and common sense, the same way we could change the mindset on gun ownership.

Certainly this will not come from government rulings or the measures presently being discussed.

Does the opinion of the majority of the world carry any weight here, or have we reason to feel we are somehow different?

Our friends in many countries just can’t understand why a significant number of Americans, nearly all peaceful men, would even want to choose as a hobby the collection and use of lethal weapons.

If change is to come, and we are to adopt the attitude of most of the civilized world, it will not come from government Band-Aids or tinkering with the Second Amendment.

Maybe our best hope lies with the mothers of America who can convince their sons that there are more worthwhile hobbies than one based on an infatuation with guns.

Eric Charlton


Snowmobile suggestion

As president of the Chapman Ridge Runners Snowmobile and ATV Club, I have a suggestion to make snowmobiling in Maine more equitable.

We should incorporate a two-tier system that registers snowmobiles for trail use or nontrail use.

For example, a trail use registration would be $80, a $40 increase per sled, but this same permit would remain $40 with a valid snowmobile club membership card shown at time of registration.

A nontrail use permit for $40 would be given to snowmobilers, such as fishermen, trappers, farmers and construction workers, who do not use the trail system for their activities.

Sleds using a nontrail use registration would be considered not registered if caught traveling on any trail within the state snowmobile trail system and subject to fines.

The dollar amounts are only an example; any dollar amount will work in this system. The Dec. 15 deadline for sled registration or a $20 penalty being proposed only drives snowmobilers away.

Perhaps the Legislature needs to review our percentage of the gas tax or sales tax. We understand the reasons for the cuts in state funding, but in Aroostook County we had snow last year and continued to groom.

Please contact me at 764-1236 if you have any questions or ideas. Our 14,500-mile trail system generates $350 million in this state. This money affects everyone.

Mickey Maynard


Bring back financial info

I have been a subscriber of the BDN for 58 years. I miss the financial information on the business page. If I have to go online to get it, why not get the rest online and cancel my subscription?

Charles Theriault

East Millinocket

Coverage unwanted

With all the news coverage we could read locally, statewide and nationally, it amazes me that the BDN would devote so much space to the New England fight scene in the Jan. 18 edition.

I’m sure there are readers who appreciate this sort of reporting, but does the BDN need a full page to satisfy their interests?

Perry Amsden


BPA science, profits

As a registered nurse, I have concerns with bisphenol A being allowed in baby food, metal cans and glass jar lids.

Evidence has shown that it is a chemical associated with lifelong health problems, indicating early onset puberty, learning disabilities and cancer.

With the increase seen in childhood physical and behavioral issues, it is ludicrous to permit toddlers, children and adults to be exposed to a chemical that is known to cause numerous potential health issues.

It’s unfortunate that public health can be so easily bought by industry.

Dyan Burry


Enjoyed story about dad

I loved the article and video “ 92-year-old skier still heeds the need for speed” that ran Jan. 17 about my amazing father, Ed Hendrickson. He truly lives and embraces life.

Keep up the good work with those positive human interest stories. The one about my father is inspiring.

Ellen Hendrickson



It is time to stop industry from putting their economic interests ahead of human and environmental health. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection’s decision to ban bisphenol A from baby food is a significant step toward improving the safety of food we feed our children.

Our government should continue to take a precautionary approach to BPA and other chemicals in our food and force businesses to use safer alternatives.

We have enough evidence to suggest that these substances can have negative health effects even at small exposure levels, so clearly the government must now use this science to act to protect our health.

Lucy OKeeffe


Disappointed with headline

I was disappointed in the inflammatory headline, “ Obama unveils biggest gun-control push in generations,” that ran on the Jan. 17 BDN front page.

President Barack Obama proposed an agenda to curb gun violence, not just a “gun control agenda.”

With all the proposed measures on the table, the BDN chose to emphasize the gun control aspect, which feeds into the very limited emotional and reactionary dialogue prevalent in social and other news media.

This can do little to bring about a rational and comprehensive plan to decrease violent crime.

Rosa Livonius


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