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Friday, October 11, 2013: Special Olympics, shutdown craziness, national park commonsense and BDN photos


Special day

Last Wednesday was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I had the fortune to be at Husson University soccer field as a spectator of the Special Olympics Central Maine Soccer Tournament. What a pleasure it was to watch these men and women, some young and some not so young, running across the field displaying skills, sports knowledge and sportsmanship.

I don’t know anything about the rules of soccer, but I had no difficulty finding athletes who were quick to share their knowledge of the game with me. Each player took his role on the field seriously, and teamwork ruled the day. Some of the matches were exciting and close.

These athletes demonstrated how good coaching and training pay off. If you know someone with an intellectual disability who would benefit from the year-round sports, recreation, socialization and friendship offered by Special Olympics, Penobscot/Piscataquis/Hancock Area Special Olympics meets the second Thursday of each month at 3:15 p.m. at the United Technologies Center, 200 Hogan Road.

Please join us and see what we’re all about.

Bernie Oster

Area manager, Special Olympics


Childish politicians

Does anyone still wonder why the mascot of the Democrats is a donkey, a mule, a jackass? Call it what you will, the disgusting behavior of the president and Harry Reid is like that of a petulant child who refuses to participate in anything unless he gets his absolute way.

Forcing federal employees from their jobs, putting barricades around open air national monuments, closing hiking and biking trails that cross national park land, even (so I have heard) prohibiting tour boats from going out on an ocean bay, is bullying at its worst. Who gave those orders? How high does the hand of power go? Threats from above are the only explanation for agencies enforcing these draconian measures. Shame on you, President Barack Obama. Your bullying will not be forgotten.

I have lost count of the number of suggestions, proposals and compromises that have been submitted by the House over the past months to resolve the budget crises. The president and Reid should get off their sorry little fannies and get to work. They should end this childish temper tantrum and show the country they actually care about its citizens.

Helen A. Shaw


Two photos

There are two wonderful pictures of Maine animals in the Oct. 3 BDN, and the large photos are right across from each other. Both feature a human petting the animal admiringly: On page C6 a smiling man pets an adorable furry pig with a bright eye and an almost human smile, and on page C7 a woman pets a beautiful 11-year-old cat in a cage.

The cat story is about trying to find homes for “older cats up for adoption.” The pig story is about the restaurateurs plan to introduce his pigs “to American plates at his three restaurants.” The contrast is really striking and sad.

John Picone


Acadia shutdown

So let me get this straight. Acadia National Park closes for the winter, but you can have access to the trails. But if it closes due to a government shutdown, you’re out of luck?

Stephen Gorrill


Congressional action

The U.S. Capitol law enforcement — many of whom are currently being forced to work without pay — did not hesitate for a moment to protect the very Congress and members of Congress who are responsible for forcing them to work without pay. Though the officers were not getting paid, they put their lives on the line, did their jobs, and eliminated the potential threat to our government, our Congress, when a woman attempted to drive her car near Capitol Hill.

What does it say about the members of Congress who are still getting paid on the order of three to four times as much as these good officers and yet cannot or will not do their job? Isn’t it time Congress reciprocated the goodwill and dedication of the federal workforce, recognized the outstanding job it does every day to protect our nation and them, by passing a budget and getting us paid for the work we do?

Isn’t it time that Congress — all members of Congress — actually did its job in the best interest of the country rather than the best interest of the party and its ideology? Congress: We’ve done our part; please do yours.

Alan D. Mulherin, president, NTEU Chapter 141


Rock lobster

The full page ad from PETA in the Oct. 4 BDN wants Linda Bean to stop killing live lobsters by pulling them apart. The picture of the lobster shouldn’t feel anything, as it has already been cooked.

Larson Alley


Acadia National Parking

Let me see if I have this straight. Acadia National Park is closed. All employees except for “essential personnel” have been furloughed. So some of the “essential personnel” are writing parking tickets for cars parked in otherwise empty parking lots. Hardly an essential activity. Is this a way to make up lost revenues from visitor pass fees? Way to go, Acadia. And shame on you.

M. Christine Breedlove

Mount Desert

Yes and no

“Democrats: The party of ‘no’” says the headline. Columnist Matthew Gagnon claims Democrats have a “deep-seated” aversion to negotiating and are responsible for the shameful shutdown, actually caused by a tea party attempt to hold Obamacare hostage to an unrelated matter. This sort of perverted political pressure would set a bad precedent and must be rejected.

I imagine getting held up in an alley by an addict drunk on power. “Hands up!” he says, and when I walk away he complains, “He wouldn’t even raise one hand! He won’t negotiate! Obviously a Democrat.”

Jerry Metz


Shocking promotion

We were shocked by the insensitivity of PETA’s full-page ad displaying the corpse of a lobster who had obviously been boiled alive (as made obvious by its red color) and then displayed in a postmortem pose to make him appear foolish. Our only hope is that PETA found this deceased lobster and did not kill it to promote their cause.

Jerry Selig

Southwest Harbor

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