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Monday, April 22, 2013: Sympathy for the hermit, gun control and a drain on tourism

Gravel mining

The April 11 edition of the BDN had an excellent article about a lawsuit being filed in Lamoine regarding a new gravel extraction ordinance adopted by local voters that greatly increases the setback on property being mined for gravel. Great article.

It should make all of us sit up and take notice about what might happen if and when a four-lane highway is ever built across our state. There is a word called “borrow” that means plain old dirt is taken from wherever they can get it, and it is used to fill in low places so not as much gravel is needed to bring the road up to grade. Not only will a lot of gravel be scraped up to use on the proposed highway, but there will be a lot of dirt pits left as well.

Harold MacQuinn Inc. needs gravel for its construction business. Without it, there is no business, but these kinds of problems have to be addressed every day. We need the precious gravel available to rebuild and maintain the roads that Maine already has, and allowing Canadian trucks a high speed route across our state will not eliminate the need for maintaining our roads.

One other thing: Look up the meaning of the word “community” in the dictionary; it will surprise you.

Donn MacLauchlan


Hermit education

Regarding the “North Pond Hermit,” I was literally sick to my stomach when I opened my BDN and saw the gleeful looks on all of those law enforcement officers faces as they tore down the hermit’s decades-long dwelling. They looked so proud, as though they were discovering a big drug bust or a mass murderer, instead of the home of one solitary man.

The few hours they spent there with their multitude of vehicles probably had more negative impact on the environment than this one man did spending his adult life there.

What’s wrong with us that we have to put dogs on leashes, birds in cages, fish in tanks and harmless people in jail? Who did he hurt? No one.

How much did he steal? Instead of jailing him, which will cost us thousands per year, perhaps the state could pay those folks back and give this guy enough to live on and leave him alone. Who does it serve to put this man in jail? God forbid, maybe we could learn something from his solitary reflection and simple way of life. If we don’t shoot it, we cage it. Shame on us.

Aynne Ames


Reasonable controls

I went to a concert recently to watch my granddaughter, who is a first grader, sing with her class. As I watched the children come in, I smiled at how they were unable to resist a jump and a skip of happy excitement.

Suddenly my mind went to the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, and I thought of those children and the sadness of parents and grandparents who can no longer watch their spontaneous happiness.

How can people who love children as I do not want reasonable gun controls, which might stop such tragedy? Why are we not rising up as a nation, demanding that our precious children be protected by whatever means possible, however imperfect it may be?

Is it not a more important right — that right to go to school without fear of violence — than the right to carry assault rifles? It is heartbreaking to think that even after this unspeakable tragedy, we can’t control weapons created specifically for the destruction of human life. And, that Congress can’t pass legislation, which the majority of Americans support, to have universal background checks.

Carolyn Bower


Gun controls

Fine, I do not want a ban on assault weapons. I do not want to register my guns and make a list of them available to anyone. I do want background checks as long as when I am checked out and approved for a gun purchase, my name is removed from all databases.

Every time a criminal commits a horrendous act, why is it that the decent, law-abiding citizen is at fault? Get all the gun controls in place, but it will still not stop another Sandy Hook.

The only way we will stop another one, and it is just a matter of time, is to turn our schools into fortresses, with locked doors, screening for everyone who enters and armed guards.

The authorities can’t even keep guns out of prisons; how are they going to do it on the street? Before long, only authorities and criminals will have these weapons, but we will have our slingshots and pea shooters.

John McCready


Energy drain on tourism

This is the time of year, when Maine’s small businesses begin to receive a welcome boost from the influx of summer tourists visiting the many natural wonders the state has to offer. Unfortunately, the seasonal economic uptick that many business owners count on may be offset by increased energy costs if President Barack Obama has his way.

The president’s budget includes several measures that will increase the cost of production for the nation’s energy producers — costs that will be realized in home heating bills, shipping and transportation costs for Maine businesses and at the pump.

For each dollar that tourists spend in Maine each summer, there is a seven-fold multiplier for the local economy. This summer, increased energy costs will diminish the flow of tourists into our restaurants, shops and hotels as families decide to stay home to avoid inflated travel costs.

Just as these tourism dollars provide a positive multiplier in the economy, higher energy costs provide a negative multiplier, including heating and cooling costs for hotels, cooking fuel for restaurants, etc. These all generate residual effects in the larger economy.

Please call our representatives in Washington, D.C., and ask them to vote no on Obama’s budget to save the Maine economy. The sequester has already resulted in a month delay in the opening of Acadia National Park. Maine’s tourism industry cannot sustain another blow to the bottom line this season.

Matt Leino


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