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Friday, July 12, 2013: Air pollution, background checks and a Herculean governor

Acadia cartoon

Hurray for BDN editorial cartoonist George Danby for raising the issue of auto pollution in his July 8 cartoon depiction of Acadia traffic and smog.

I recognize the scene, as I have been creating a painting of the Trenton Grange Hall on Route 3.

All the enormous vehicles, trucks and frequently empty Island Explorer buses generate air that is no pleasure to breathe.

It is clear that auto pollution is the main agent of climate change in Maine and the United States.

Rick Beckjoud


World citizens

They come from more than 90 countries around the world to have their American “experience.” They arrive in August with little idea of what that will mean. Their notions of America are based mostly on what they have seen in the movies or on TV. They leave the following June with a whole new outlook. No longer citizens of Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Yemen or a multitude of other places, they are now world citizens.

Twenty-eight of the young people involved in the American Field Service program have called us mom and dad over the years and shared our lives with us. Hosting them was only the beginning of the experience. So many places to visit and people to meet, there’s not enough time to do it all.

Our German daughter asked us to celebrate her wedding day with her next year, because we are her family. Our Russian son calls frequently from New York City where he has a great job. He invited us to see our first Broadway show with him. Our Italian son spent Christmas with us while in Philadelphia attending Drexel University.

Our American Field Service experience has brought teens from 16 countries into our home. It’s about “connecting lives and sharing cultures.” When the parents of our son from Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union, visited us a few years ago, they said as they left, “Now we understand.” And that’s what it’s all about, seeing the world in a whole new way.

Sylvia Williams


Gov. Hercules

Gov. Paul LePage is an excellent governor and in his words “not a politician.” I find that refreshing. Maine needs more “non-politicians” in Augusta, working for the people. Despite LePage’s Herculean efforts, I bet he feels it’s all for not.

Alanna Gertz


Sarcasm school?

I enjoyed the July 8 BDN blog “Tales of a hard working mom: Politically correct.” Great writing. However it assumes that the man benefited enough from his education to understand sarcasm. Maybe there could be a sarcasm charter school?

Bruce Gram


Represent their constituents

Reading about former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ call for universal background checks reminded of what Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association says quite often. LaPierre has come to the brilliant conclusion that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Everytime I hear him say this, I can’t help yelling at the television that it might be easier to try to prevent the bad guy from getting a gun in the first place.

Unfortunately, not too long ago the U.S. Congress failed to pass a bill that would have required background checks to purchase a gun, which would be a way to prevent the bad guy from getting his or her gun in the first place.

They rejected this bill despite the fact that, depending on which state you look at, approximately 75 to 90 percent of Americans are in favor of background checks. These congressmen and congresswomen apparently have forgotten that they were sent to Washington, D.C., to represent their constituents, not the NRA.

Mike Gagnon

Fort Kent

Prize article

These are just a few words by which to applaud Kathleen Pierce for her superbly crafted profile of Acton in her July 9 BDN article, “Summer tourists crowd Acton’s quiet lakes and fill town coffers.”

She captures the vernacular of Acton’s year-round citizens as they discuss their annual welcoming of summer folks, most of whom, like themselves, seek solace, not excitement. A prize-worthy piece if there ever was one.

Charles Packard


Seat sale mishandled

I agree with Merrillee A. Kirby’s July 6 BDN letter to the editor explaining her frustration in the way the sale of the old seats at the Bangor Auditorium was handled.

My grandfather, W. Weldon Dunnett, was on the board that supervised and planned the Bangor Auditorium. I was so looking forward to having a set of the seats as a souvenir in his memory.

I had received an email stating the sale would start at 1 p.m. I was told at 1:15 p.m. on the day of the sale that all the seats had been sold. Sounds like the sale started way before 1 p.m.

Linda Dunnett Pollard


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