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Saturday, May 17, 2014: Bear baiting, Hancock County sheriff, asparagus, Portland parks

Depressing column

Could Erin Donovan’s column about Mother’s Day have been more depressing about such a special day? Is she not happy being a mom? Her husband is not her child, so what if it was NFL season? I have raised my children to believe Mother’s Day is every day. What their mother has cherished most and has saved for 20 years are those “crap made out of construction paper” cards and gifts. Not to mention, their grandmother frames and displays those misspelled poems and proudly shares them with whoever asks or will listen.

What pressure? Seems like Donovan has demands on what is expected for Mother’s Day. In our home, dandelions were placed in a glass of water and displayed as a centerpiece as if it were a dozen long-stem roses display.

I think the day is named appropriately. “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Will Bard


Column laugh

I had a good laugh when I read John Holyoke’s May 10 column, “Don’t feed the bears this spring, state warns.” He very well knows that’s exactly what the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife allows: putting out food to attract bears right before the season opens, even shooting them while their heads are in a donut barrel. Recently, more than 78,000 registered Maine voters signed a citizen initiative petition, which will be on the November ballot to end the use of bait, hounds and traps in bear hunting.

Maine is the only state that still allows all three of these unsportsmanlike and cruel practices. Other states don’t stoop to using them, and they seem to manage their bear populations just fine. Yes, by all means, don’t ever feed a wild black bear unless you want him in your backyard.

Cherie Mason


Sheriff support

I write today to express my support for Sgt. Alan Brown in his bid to become the next county sheriff. As sheriff for the past 34 years, I am profoundly interested in who will replace me, and it pleases me that Brown plans to retain my existing staff and pledges his support for the many programs we have in place, such as participating in the adult drug court, drug task force, alcohol enforcement program, the sheriff’s charities and Open Door’s substance abuse program in the jail.

Brown’s 25 years of service with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office have shown him to be a strong member of my management team, taking his turn as on-call weekend supervisor for the patrol division, commander of my criminal division and head instructor of our firearms training program. Brown has also distinguished himself for his many years as a firearms trainer at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Brown has strong support within the office, with the chief deputy, a patrol supervisor, my administrative assistant and my jail administrator endorsing his candidacy, as well as the district attorney’s detective Steve McFarland, who wholeheartedly supports Brown’s endeavors.

Remember to get out and vote on June 10 and join me in supporting Detective Sgt. Alan Brown as our next county sheriff.

William F. Clark

Sheriff, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department


Handicapped spots

We have a new $37 million courthouse in Bangor, which is designed to handle hundreds of people daily. The facility, however, has only two handicapped parking spaces within reasonable distance of the entrance, and those are both on the street. If this were a commercial business they would be cited for such a lapse. With the huge budget, why don’t we have a more realistic number of handicapped spots?

Mike Garrow


Vote yes on 1

As a resident of Portland for over 30 years, I have seen the city change in many ways, both for better and worse. I care about the future of Portland and our city’s public parks and open spaces, which are vital to our way of life. Portland is at a pivotal crossroads right now. Maine’s largest city is experiencing more development than it has in decades.

As Portland Mayor Michael Brennan has observed, “This period in Portland’s history is one of unprecedented development. There seems to be development every place we turn.”

While new growth is important, the city’s look and feel are equally as significant. Our open spaces and publicly owned lands are precious not only to us but future generations as well.

Short-term benefits must be balanced with long-term repercussions. That’s why I urge others to join me in voting yes on Question 1 on June 10. This initiative will ensure that 60 parks and open spaces will not be sold without giving the people the right to vote on the sale.

As developers compete to build on the few remaining areas throughout the city, the future of these properties hangs in the balance. Once gone, they will be gone forever. This citizens referendum is an opportunity to support a vision of Portland that preserves its precious amenities, demonstrating our desire to remain one of the country’s “most livable cities.”

Annie Wadleigh


Re-elect Frey

I am pleased to hear that Rep. Aaron Frey, D-Bangor, is running for re-election in the Maine Legislature in District 124. Working as a defense attorney in Bangor has given Frey the tools and years of experience needed to bring people together to find lasting solutions to problems in our state.

While working in the Legislature, Frey has used these skills to find common ground with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He has been a great voice for Bangor in Augusta. I hope you will join me in voting to re-elect Frey in the November election.

Andrew Bruns


Interesting article

The May 14 BDN article on asparagus by Diane Atwood is both timely and interesting. Readers particularly curious about the origins of the characteristic odor in urine that accompanies the pleasure of eating it, and are also scientifically curious, may be interested in going online to read a splendid e-review by John H. McDonald on ” Asparagus urine smell: The truth,” taken from his book “Myths of Human Genetics.”

William V. Shaw



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