Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013: Federal spending, elvers and bears

Posted Aug. 14, 2013, at 2:34 p.m.

Fond farewell

After being members of the Bangor community for more than 40 years, it is time for Sister Mary Romuald and myself to bid a fond farewell. After our recent sabbatical, we have accepted new assignments and will be moving to our order’s central house in Enfield, Conn., in September. We consider ourselves to be most fortunate in that we have been able to call the Bangor community our second home.

We have cherished our time at St. Joseph Hospital, and we were always so overwhelmed with the level of care and support from our colleagues, friends and the wonderful people of this community. As a community, we have shared many challenges together, overcome obstacles and shared in joys and sorrows. We will take with us enormous pride in the success and growth of quality health care in this community.

Our lives are defined by the people, places and events that we encounter on this earth. We will be forever grateful that our paths have crossed. We extend God’s blessings for peace and good health for those within our Bangor community.

Thanks to everyone for all the extraordinary memories. We will hold these memories close to our hearts as we begin our new adventure. Bangor will forever be in our prayers.

Sister Mary Norberta, Charism of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Felix of Cantalice, former president and CEO of St. Joseph Hospital

Bangor

Improved common sense

As reported in the Aug. 9 BDN, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, decried wasteful spending, saying that “improved management and common sense … would save billions.”

The United States budget is roughly $3.7 trillion. Therefore even if Collins’ proposal saved the country a couple hundred billion dollars, it would amount to less than one tenth of one percent of the federal budget.

If merely improving management and initiating common sense were easy, one would hope Collins would have helped fix the problem by now, since she’s been in office since 1996.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

No second wind

I write with regard to First Wind’s twice-failed plan to erect wind turbines on Bowers Mountain in Washington County. I have been a seasonal visitor to this region since 1953, and my family members have been seasonal residents since 1964. We have tried as best we can to be active and positive contributors to local life and culture. Thus I applaud the Department of Environmental Protection and Commissioner Patricia Aho’s recent rejection of the intended wind farm. I hope that First Wind will waste no more citizens’ money in its relentless pursuit of its aims.

It would be a personal grief if the view from our property on West Grand Lake were sullied by the tallest structures in the state. My larger concern, however, is that the area’s citizens, so deeply dependent on its scenic quality for their livelihoods as guides, merchants and lodge owners, would face an even more difficult path to economic viability in this underemployed region.

I therefore hope that the Bowers Mountain wind project will have finally met its well-deserved death.

Sydney Lea

Grand Lake Stream

Panhandling

I thought Bangor was going to curb panhandling. Then I read about the American Folk Festival bucket brigades.

Jon Coburn

Monson

Governor BPA

I am very concerned about the toxic chemical bisphenol-A, which is found in many linings of cans and jars where it gets into the food we eat, including baby food. This year the state Legislature had the opportunity to increase transparency and let us know which foods BPA is in. Sadly Gov. Paul LePage vetoed LD 1181, and the override vote came a few votes short.

I want to thank Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor, and Rep. Victoria Kornfield, D-Bangor, for their votes to override the governor’s Veto.

Timothy McGuire

Bangor

Owe it to eels

The American eel is under review to be put on the endangered species list. U.S Fish and Wildlife is under court order to decide by Sept. 30, 2015. What are Maine elver fishermen doing to stop the decline of the American eel?

The demand for the “elver” or baby American eel has driven prices to $2,600 a pound at the end of June 2013. With prices this high, fishermen caught more than 19,000 pounds in 2012. This is a 13,000-pound increase since 2008. The concern is whether the increase in fishing of the American eel is driving its populations so low that it is endangered.

The Maine Elver Association was created to gather information about the American eel in Maine and create new laws that would ensure the American eel’s sustainability. The problem is there is not enough information gathered on the American eel to show that it can be commercially fished and remain sustainable in Maine.

The studies needed to show the impact of commercial fishing of the American eel may not come in time. If the American eel is not put on the endangered species list, then it may become overfished before new laws are enacted. It could be the end of elver fishing for years to come. Do we not owe it to eels to help them rebuild their numbers in other states where populations are diminished?

Jon Gielarowski

Springvale

No to outsiders

There seems to be a way to for us all to get along in Maine. Roxanne Quimby’s land management seems to be open to allow hunting on some of her land. Her land managers feel the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife know best how to manage the bear population in Maine by allowing bear baiting in Maine.

Why should we listen to the outside influences on Maine’s wildlife management? It’s good to see there can be common ground on the way we Mainers deal with issues in Maine and not by those who don’t even call Maine home. Let’s let those who do most of the living and dying in this state make the difference and say no to the outsiders.

Lloyd Bryant

Benedicta

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/08/14/opinion/letters/thursday-aug-15-2013-federal-spending-elvers-and-bears/ printed on April 25, 2014