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Friday, Feb. 15, 2013: Farm bill support, gun control and BDN carriers

Farm support

Four years ago, an inspector from the state of Maine’s Quality Assurance and Regulation Division came to our farm. He told us it was not “legitimate” to butcher our chickens in the USDA-licensed, state-inspected facility down the road. We would have to build our own.

Now, Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle, has submitted a bill, LD-218, that would reinstate a true poultry exemption. The bill would exempt from licensure, inspection and facilities requirements for farmers growing and processing 1,000 birds or fewer on their own farm.

The bill already includes farm sales and delivery but may be amended to include farmers markets.

After a recent meeting with Gov. Paul LePage, I received a letter from him voicing his support for small local farms in Maine. He said his “aim is to work with your group to reduce regulations, cost of doing business and allow you to prosper without government intervention.”

Now we need support from others. The public hearing on the bill is 1 p.m. Feb. 19 in room 214 of the Cross Building.

If people can’t come, they are invited to write to the clerk of the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry supporting LD 218 with an amendment to include farmers markets.

Address the letter to Chairman Sen. Troy Jackson, Rep. James Dill and distinguished members of the committee. It can be sent to the clerk of the committee at natasha.irving@legislature.maine.gov.

Heather Retberg


Define “well-regulated”

The qualifying term in the Second Amendment that most gun addicts choose to ignore is “well-regulated” as pertaining to militias. This is probably because the words “regulation” or “regulator” in any form are an anathema to many individuals in this camp.

But it is there, and it sets the conditions for the right to bear arms, and it doesn’t say “self-regulated.” Likewise it doesn’t imply that each individual has the right to arm him or herself to the teeth with military-style weapons with the idea of instilling armed insurrection whenever one disagrees with existing policy.

The well-regulated condition is fully met by the National Guard and reserve corps of all the military branches, who stand ready to defend our freedoms should the queen of England or anyone else attempt to take them away.

The men and women in these military organizations have served often and bravely whenever called upon, including most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you wish to assert your Second Amendment rights to the fullest, join the National Guard. Short of that, be content with the privilege, almost unique to our nation, to own all manner of sporting rifles and shotguns, antique firearms and reasonable handguns for defending hearth and home.

It’s all anyone will ever need, and no one is interested in taking them away.

Jerry Stelmok


Supreme solutions

Our country is a country of laws passed by our congressional delegates. The U.S. Supreme Court then rules on the constitutionality of those laws.

Both sides of the gun control issue are ignoring the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

The court ruled that the Second Amendment does give Americans the right to own firearms. However, fully automatic weapons such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers and bazookas have been restricted by laws passed by Congress in the 1930s.

Today’s modern military style weapons with high-capacity magazines could be added to the 1930s list without affecting anyone’s Second Amendment rights to own firearms, as ruled by the Supreme Court.

The first step in fixing any problem is to recognize that there is a problem.

If people believe that some 10,000 gun-related deaths per year is the price we pay as a country for the freedom to own firearms, then there is no problem. If people believe that the carnage of too many young and innocent victims is too high for that freedom, then a solution must be found.

The Supreme Court has ruled on this in a manner that offers some of the solutions.

Larry Ferrell


Stalwart BDN carrier

While mail delivery was canceled Saturday for the state due to the blizzard, nothing could deter our stalwart BDN carrier from delivering his papers this morning.

I just couldn’t believe it when I saw him drive up with the paper. Kudos to Steve Cyr and the other carriers who delivered.

Sue Kircheis


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