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Saturday, May 18, 2013: Bangor library, student contact and plastic waste


Development questions

What happened to Plum Creek‘s real estate development plans for the area around Moosehead Lake?

What happened to what could have been the largest private commercial real estate development project in the history of the state of Maine?

Market conservatives and tea party activists are missing what could be a showcase example of their theories of trickle-down economics and fiscal conservatism.

Alan M. Church



Library truths

Have I misread recent articles about the library? The library is not owned by the city of Bangor, according to city council member Pauline Civiello. Bangor taxpayers do give the library more than $1 million dollars a year. Two years ago, Pat Blanchette, who is also a city council member, told me that the city has no right to tell the library how to operate. This seems truly unfair to the taxpayers of Bangor. The library now wants a $3 million bond for a new roof, and this bond may be paid for with an increase in property taxes.

We are being asked to raise our property taxes to pay for this roof. Does it need to be copper? Surely it is possible that a roof for less than $3 million can be found. Civiello also told me that the library hopes to raise another $3 million and that this amount will be matched by Stephen and Tabitha King, but that $2 million of this will be put into the libraries endowment fund. Our property tax will be raised so that the library can put money in its saving account. What about our savings accounts?

There will be a vote in early June on this new roof. If you have concerns about your taxes and what appears to be spending run wild, you might want to show up and vote.

Claire Moselle



Student interaction

The extreme direction the “no contact” rule in education has taken is not necessarily in the best interests of our children. Children need nurturing, encouragement and lots of it. Oftentimes a warm pat on the back is exactly what a child needs to encourage or comfort them.

The charge against former substitute teacher Gene Staffiere is an example of just how far we have strayed from commonsense. A good and honorable man’s reputation has been smeared.

For what? It would seem to me it was an opportunity for a few people to stomp their feet, paw the ground, then cave to hysteria and mob mentality.

As for Staffiere, I would welcome his interaction with my two grandsons.

Gloria S. Faulkner



Legislative courage

The committee vote by Rep. Carol A. McElwee, R-Caribou, regarding linking Medicaid expansion to paying the debt owed by the state to the hospitals, showed some serious courage on her part.

For a freshman legislator to vote her conscience in the face of strong partisan pressure is impressive. Good job.

Dick Langley

Fort Fairfield


Paper or plastic?

Paper or plastic?

Both create major problems.

As you go for a walk, you may have become accustomed to a large amount of plastic waste. If not properly recycled, it goes from the sidewalk to the sewer (where it may cause a jam and increase municipal expenses), to the river, to the ocean, where it will last for an unknown long time. Sea turtles snap up plastic bags, which stick in their digestive track. In every square mile of ocean, there are 46,000 pieces of plastic.

There are huge gyres in all of the oceans, where currents bring waste plastic into an area where nothing lives. One of the gyres in the Pacific is as large as Texas. We’ve done this after having plastic for only 50 years or so. Imagine another 100 years of plastic.

Do we move to paper? Paper production emits 70 percent more pollution than the production of plastic and much more greenhouse gas. It takes four times the energy to make a paper bag as a plastic bag, three times as much water. They create 80 percent more solid waste and, unexpectedly, degrade very slowly in landfill.

We need to ban all point-of-sale packaging and move to reusable bags.

In addition: all plastic should be numbered and recycled; all plastic should be biodegradable; we should have stronger litter laws and more recycle bins; and we should develop a mandatory recycling program, such as the one in Germany where residents separate and recycle everything at the curb.

Jim Wellehan


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