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Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Organ donations, war protests and picking plums

In defense of trooper

While I can say that I was not shocked at a March 2 letter by Cynthia Hirst and her venom towards Trooper Shawn Whalen, I do pray that neither she, nor any of her loved ones ever need a quick response from the Maine State Police or any emergency service that may require the responder to make a U-turn or any other maneuver that she may classify as a “dumb stunt.”

I’m just guessing here that the writer in her miles of travel has never had a close call by something she may have done. By all accounts this was a traffic accident, something none of us are immune to.

Most fortunately, Eric Rosten was not seriously injured, K-9 Bailey was not injured and Trooper Whalen’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The trooper’s vision may have been obstructed by the K-9 cage, but one thing is certain: he does not deserve to be treated by anyone in such a vile manner. While the writer states she feels sorry, she doesn’t realize the trooper’s family is capable of reading a newspaper.

Sadly, this is yet another example of how cold we’ve become, that instead of wishing someone who protects us day and night well, we choose to attack him for something that can happen to us all. I pray both the driver and Whalen make a full recovery and am thankful K-9 Bailey was not hurt.

Edward Verbeke

Cary Plantation


Consider donating

This letter is in response to the March 4 blog post by Diane Atwood about Andy Loman of Augusta needing a kidney donation. I would like to encourage people interested in being a living kidney donor to go for it. It could be a wonderful gift you could give someone — especially Loman.

The story mentioned Roxanne Taylor, the living donor transplant coordinator at Maine Medical Center in Portland. She is a wonderful resource to get information from.

She was my coordinator when I decided to seek out information to be a kidney donor for my brother who lives in Mexico, Maine. He was very ill with polycystic kidney disease.

One of my sisters and I started the long evaluation process to see if one of us could be a donor. I just happened to be a better match, so, on Dec. 14, 2010, my brother and I underwent surgery at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

I was 62-years-old. Imagine that. We both received excellent care and followup.

After about a year, my brother was back to work and feeling so much better. I was back to work full-time in six weeks.

I don’t even realize that I now only have one kidney. I don’t feel any different than I did before I donated one.

I knew it was the right thing to do. I am a woman of faith and believe with my whole heart that God chose me for this purpose, and I am grateful that I could do this for my brother.

I pray that Loman receives a living kidney donor soon, and I wish him good luck and better health.

Patricia Leavitt



Join our anniversary

On March 19, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. A group of Aroostook County people, who opposed the war and its cost and waste in lives and resources, immediately began a weekly protest on the Aroostook River Bridge in Presque Isle, part of the “Bridges for Peace” movement.

March 17 will mark the end of 10 years of war protests on the bridge. Rain, shine or snow, a group has been there to exercise its right to speak out against government folly.

Through declarations of victory, increasing body counts, surges and other policy fiascoes, the group on the bridge has been a consistent voice against the folly of war.

Consider the costs which are available at costofwar.org.

These figures are for the U.S. only: 6,616 killed in combat; 106,000 wounded, injured or sick; $3.5 trillion spent, including projected benefits to disabled and other veterans; 745,000 veteran disability claims filed.

And what has the U.S. gained for all this loss? What has anyone gained? These costs will continue for many decades in caring for soldiers physically and psychologically wounded by these wars.

We do not celebrate our 10 years on the bridge, but we do honor the commitment to peace and nonviolence of the many who have participated in the protests over the last 10 years.

We invite people to join us on March 17, from noon to 1 p.m., on the Aroostook River Bridge in Presque Isle, to mark the anniversary of this bridge for peace.

Steve DeMaio


Opportunity for America

The March 6 BDN article “Chavez’s Venezuela: A castle made of sand?” appears to portray the situation in Venezuela following the death of Hugo Chavez as the inevitable tide, with the U.S.

intervention, both overt and covert, rushing in and sweeping away everything he had built, like a castle made of sand.

The author writes that “the death of the Latin American martyr represent[s] an opportunity for the U.S. to return to the region,” and “the United States and the international system were also prepared to tackle the issue of the left in Latin America once Castro left this world.”

He goes on to write of “increasing U.S. support for the opposition movements” in the coming election in 30 days, of “fragile democratic institutions that will not guarantee a smooth

transition of power to whoever is elected” and that “the eyes of the world focus on the eminent instability that will engulf this rich oil producing nation.”

The writer depicts that the U.S. appears to see this situation in Latin America as a plum, ripe for the picking.

Eliot J Chandler



Good choice

Twice this year, President Barack Obama has pledged to make climate change a priority. This was clear when he nominated Gina McCarthy to the post of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. This is important, because she has been a champion for clean air and water during her time with the EPA.

Climate change is real, and it is negatively impacting both public health and the economy. A poll conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment America, following the state of the union address, shows that 65 percent of Americans believe climate change is a serious problem.

I urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the nomination of McCarthy.

Dorothea Mead

Southwest Harbor

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