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Monday, Nov. 4, 2013: Port Clyde accident, drug abuse, robotic surgery

Forever changed

I’ve been following the sad and tragic case of the car accident in Port Clyde this past summer, which claimed the life of a youngster and injured his mother and brother. The father watched in horror as a woman from New York driving in her Infiniti, careened out of control on the ferry landing, basically attacking this unsuspecting family. Cheryl Lynn Torgerson has said she has no recollection of the sequence of events on that fateful day, and an investigation of her vehicle and its possible malfunctions was launched.

The vehicle investigation revealed no problems, so now we must look at Torgerson and wonder who is she? What is her background? Driving record? Does she have a history of road rage? Irrational behavior or mental health issues? A subsequent report of calls into law enforcement shortly before the accident from drivers witnessing a car matching the description of hers, i.e. approximate color, New York license plates with approximately the same numbers, operating in an erratic fashion, was published in the BDN.

Why isn’t the BDN digging more deeply into Torgerson’s personal history? A family was devastated while on holiday in our state, and more must be done to get to the bottom of why this accident happened and who this person is that robbed a nice young family of their son and forever changed their destiny.

Kathleen Rogers


Something must change

The Oct. 25 BDN editorial lambasting the Republican Party for the federal shutdown was an interesting and predictable read. Completely missed in the editorial is the fact that a bill to fund government sans Obamacare was offered but rejected by the Democrats and President Barack Obama. So, was the flat-out refusal of the Democrats and the president to negotiate not part of the problem? I think it was. The BDN apparently does not.

The bottom line is that we are in debt to the tune of $17 billion and growing. We spend every tax and revenue dollar we get and then have to borrow massive amounts of money to keep up appearances. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the nerve or will to tackle the problem. Perhaps the so-called tea party members do. If they do, I will support them.

Something has to change.

Greg Palman


Ancient history

In 1972, I worked with a program (federally sponsored) to discover how much drug abuse was related to crime. In some major American cities, we began medically screening every single person arrested on a felony. The medical personnel only had to ask if the person wanted a Valium pill to ease the pain. If the answer was “yes,” that kind of substantiated that most of those arrested had illegal substances in their bloodstream.

Fifty years later, it has dawned upon the law enforcement agencies in Maine that maybe drug addiction can be a cause of crime. With this conclusion, Maine’s great leaders can address the issue and offer all kind of state-sponsored interventions to help those who are addicted to illegal drugs.

After a decade or more of these self-help programs, our great leaders may discover that the only solution to drugs and crime is to build more assisted living facilities (prisons and jails) to warehouse this underworld of Maine’s finest walking dead.

This essay only adds to my personal conclusion that Maine is 50 years or more behind the fast track legal systems that many states have adopted. Everything coming out of Augusta is like ancient history.

Robert Fournier


Phone service

I recently visited the Belfast U.S. Cellular store to close my cellphone account. I was told I had to call a toll free number to close my account, as the store is not allowed to make account changes. Contacting U.S. Cellular by phone proved to be nearly impossible, but, after three wireless phone recharges and an hour of lost time, I finally got a representative on the line.

I then received an additional bill after being told my account was closed, so I had to go through the phone ordeal again to get the incorrect billing corrected. Makes me wonder how many other Maine citizens have had money stolen from them when trying to close their U.S. Cellular accounts. I ask you all to speak out when any corporation abuses its customers. Demand fair treatment and competent customer service when you pay your hard earned dollars.

Loyd Marlow


Robotics way to go

The Oct. 29 edition of the BDN had an article on robotic surgery, and I just want to say that if anyone out there is considering robotic surgery and, after reading this article, was worried about having this type of surgery, I can tell you that in May of this year, I had my very first operation, and it was done robotically by a wonderful Bangor doctor.

If I ever had to have another operation, I would want it done robotically. I had no complications, no pain; my incisions were very small and never bothered; and I went home 24 hours after surgery. I was out and about two days later. I am a very large woman with high blood pressure, and with these added problems, my surgery still went great.

Any type of surgery has its risks. People die from all types of surgeries, so why should robotics be any different? But from my experience robotics is the way to go.

Lorraine Flagg


Excellent restaurant

We live in South Portland, and there are many good restaurants in the Portland area. That said, Bangor is fortunate to have a real gem of a restaurant in Thistles on Exchange Street.

We enjoy coming to Bangor with Thistles being a motivating reason to visit.

Once inside, we have always received excellent service by staff who truly listen, and the pace is geared to the diner. Both are examples of a commitment to staff training. Availability of half-portions is very nice, and the quality of the food is excellent.

Last, but not least, is the wonderful, soothing live music provided by Piero Brovarone. We only wish Thistles would open a second restaurant in Portland.

Barbara and Gene Fetteroll

South Portland

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