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Friday, April 18, 2014: Gerry Hodge, piebald deer, CMP rate increase


Get well, coach

I played football for coach Gerry Hodge in the mid-1950s at Mexico High School. Very sorry to hear about his failing health but wanted to let people know that he was a great coach and was a big factor in shaping his players’ lives. Very strict but fair, speaking from personal experience. Hang in there coach, my prayers are with you.

William Petrie


Stolen memorials

Our family lots at Woodlawn Cemetery in Brewer abut the circular driveway. Repeatedly, over the years, floral arrangements placed on my husband’s and mother’s graves Memorial Weekend were stolen before the day was over. So I just put a single geranium there.

Every November, I put an artificial wreath, attached to a cross, on the lot, and I remove it next March-April.

Last November, I put a new, expensive artificial wreath, attached with wires, to the new cross. When we went to retrieve it last week, the wreath was gone, and replaced with a “ratty” dead brown one, attached to the cross with ropes.

A “conscientious” thief? Go figure.

Mary Gray


Deer population

I am not sure what the fascination is with piebald deer other than it is relatively rare and people like to see it because they think the animal is pretty. Piebaldism is a genetic mutation and a negative one at that. It is not a desirable mutation to have in a healthy deer population. Piebald deer have several conditions that not only negatively affect the individual deer, such as shortened legs, scoliosis and a deformed face, but impact the entire local deer population in which it exists.

Humans, in a typically anthropomorphic fashion, value these deer for purely aesthetic and selfish reasons, because the condition does not benefit the deer at all.

Steve Zahm


Meeting recommendations

I attended the April 8 Maine Department of Environmental Protection hearing concerning dredging Searsport bay at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

I would like to recommend:

1. An environmental impact study as the next step.

2. A true public hearing when more facts are understood.

3. That we find a useful way to repurpose the dredge spoil, if dredging becomes the path of choice.

It was pointed out that the dredge spoil is relatively clean, and shipping is the greenest form of transport. Therefore, to ship the dredge spoil to where it is needed would be a practical way to preserve Penobscot Bay from siltation, which warms the water and depletes necessary oxygen. Empty ships departing Searsport after unloading cargo could be employed to ship out the sediment.

With sea level rise, there are coastal salt marshes eroding away that can use the size sediment that will be dredged. There are other shoreline and island locations in need of sediment supply, if it is trapped behind barriers until it can settle, such as lagoons and mudflats on the landward side of islands, Cape Cod, etc. Have we really exhausted the possibilities for reuse?

Cloe Chunn


State travesties

Gov. Paul LePage touts words about preventing domestic and child abuse. Yet, parents in crisis seeking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families have to first prove job searches.

Lack of skills, available jobs and access to transportation are serious issues when abandoned by a household provider. Penalties for misuse/fraud of EBT cards for food and home costs can only be called child abuse and neglect. Children would suffer with no such aid. Are we to spend tax money on residences and foster care, then? Are we up to furthering child traumas and insecurities?

Not expanding Medicaid for low-income workers is another travesty. Why would any parent risk no health care access by taking a low-paying, no-employer funded insurance? If they did, would we call that child neglect or abuse? Where are safe and affordable child care options?

As a clinical social worker with 45 years of mental health and substance dependency work, I can attest single parents take time to recover when abandoned by the family provider. Sure, I have known clients who “play the system” but far fewer than neighbors who boast of “playing the system” to avoid their share of income taxes.

Jane Fairchild

Orneville Township

The little things

I lost a dollar in a change machine at U Wash It in Bangor three years ago. I left my address with someone there but didn’t hear anything.

Surprisingly, my dollar recently turned up in an envelope with no message from U Wash It. My wife, Callie (Allen) Seaton, found the envelope buried in some papers at home in Kansas.

Out here on the prairie, we like people who look after the little things.

I look forward to returning to Bangor for a visit and taking our car to U Wash It.

Dave Seaton

Winfield, Kansas

CMP’s unfair rate increase

I am one of the half million customers who would be affected by Central Maine Power’s proposed unfair rate increase if the Maine Public Utilities Commission approves its proposal. I decided to make my voice heard about this by testifying before the commission at a public hearing on April 3. I’m glad I did.

Many in our state live on a fixed income. CMP needs to take a long, hard look at what an increase will mean to people who have no place to turn as they struggle to make ends meet each month. One-third of Social Security beneficiaries in Maine who are 65 and older don’t have any other income. No savings, no pension, nothing. How do you absorb extra costs when you have no other resources?

It is also disappointing that the commission chose to have only two hearings and both of them in the evening. Older people don’t tend to drive at night, and many of CMP’s most vulnerable customers live too far away from Portland and Hallowell where the hearings took place to be able to attend. They should have made the hearings more accessible to more people.

CMP needs to remember that this issue is not about numbers. It is about people. I hope all CMP customers will contact the commission on its website at and say what they think about CMP’s proposal.

Erica Magnus


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