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Monday, May 19, 2014: Koch Industries, homelessness, buggy crash, Bangor eagles

Kid-safe products

The Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to drop its proposal to add formaldehyde to its priority list of chemicals under the Kid-Safe Products Act is more than just reckless — it’s part of a dangerous pattern of behavior by the governor and his administration of bending to corporate influencers like the Koch brothers and putting their interests ahead of every-day Mainers.

The pending federal review of formaldehyde, which the DEP cited as the reason for its decision, has come about as a result of heavy pressure from the chemical lobby, including Charles and David H. Koch whose company Koch Industries happens to be a major producer of formaldehyde. Koch Industries also pours money into the formaldehyde panel of the chemical industry lobby the American Chemistry Council, which has testified against listing formaldehyde as a priority chemical at hearings in Maine.

Davida Ammerman


Preventable accidents

It’s a miracle and a wake-up call regarding the horse-drawn buggy and car accident in
Island Falls
. Thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed.

As a former public health nurse, my concern is how future accidents involving horse-drawn wagons be prevented. Yes, the thick line of trees obstructed the view, plus the age of the child driving seemed like another major factor. It’s time to be proactive and review and revise laws regarding horse-drawn carts, including wagons being illuminated when used after dark — with compassion for all involved in the accident including the families, first responders and police.

Jerolyn Ireland


The eagle flies

I am sad to read about the death of one adult male eagle in Bangor and the serious condition of the adult female eagle. I work at the Veterans Readjustment Center in the In-Town Plaza on Harlow Street. I have enjoyed watching this pair of eagles over the past three years. Some days they flew by outside my office window, which faces the Kenduskeag Stream. It always startled me and made me smile, too.

I hope the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does testing to determine what poisoned the eagles. It is possible that other birds might also be sickened by whatever it was. I will miss seeing the eagles fly by each day. Maybe the babies will return to this area when they are grown.

Constance Poulin


Re-elect Kornfield

I am pleased to hear that Rep. Tori Kornfield, D-Bangor, is running for re-election. She was a wonderful teacher at Bangor High School for 30 years and has been a strong advocate for Bangor in Augusta for the last two years.

She has a deep understanding of our community and will fight hard to do what is best for our city. She is a good communicator and will work to find common ground with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I hope you will vote to re-elect Kornfield in the November election.

Charles Bruns


The core of a person

When thinking of someone who is homeless, one tends to pull up the usual stereotypes: bums begging for change to buy booze, cardboard signs stating the plight of a dirty and disgruntled individual, sleeping on streets and in boxes or makeshift lean-tos, trash fires to stay warm. In my experience, both volunteering and actually being homeless, I find that most of those who end up homeless have done nothing wrong.

Throughout my experience in the homeless culture, I have met many of the hardest working and dedicated people anyone could ever associate with. Yet the dirty beggar image remains plastered to anyone who falls on the misfortune of homelessness. This is not a fair image. In a world that needs more equality and compassion, individuals like me get swept up into the dustpan of American society. Though some of this country’s homeless population are in that position due to abuse of drugs and alcohol, most are focused on getting away from the patterns they repeated in order to end up homeless.

All human beings are severely flawed, no matter their financial or mental status. It is only when we accept the flaws of our fellow human beings, and ourselves, that we can start to progress. I will be the first to admit I am flawed. However, I am also fully aware of the beautiful creatures we are when we strip down the pride and defenses we all learn to put in place. It is simply a matter of taking the time to see the core of a person.

Aaron Parks

Discretionary fund

I would like to respond to a recent article criticizing the University of Maine for “buying out” the contracts of the women and men’s basketball coaches and the hockey coach.

First, although this buy-out money was termed as being taken out of the “discretionary fund,” it is my understanding that that money actually came from private sources. No funds from taxpayers were utilized. Donations to educational institutions’ discretionary funds can be tax deductible, and donors can remain anonymous.

Furthermore, UMaine’s athletic department offers “long-term” contracts, (usually two to five years), to attract good candidates. This is necessary for a top flight coach to come to Maine for a lower salary. Thus, a longer contract is an incentive. However, the length of the contract really doesn’t cost the university more because all coaches are hired with a one year “buy-out” clause.

My answer to the aforementioned letter: Don’t criticize until you factualize.

Wally Covell


Library funding

Last year the people of Bangor voted to pay for a $3 million roof for the Bangor Public Library. Author Stephen King then gave the library $3 million, and the library raised the other $3 million through the efforts of a fundraiser. About $2 million went into the library reserve fund.

Now, the library wants even more money that the taxpayers give on a yearly basis. I imagine that the library reserve fund (calculated to be about $12 million) is invested and brings in yearly funds. I find it hard to believe that the library has the nerve to ask for more money.

There is also the issue of the library wanting to bring in a cafe. This seems absurd, but then I’m not a taxpayer-financed librarian. The library’s upholstered furniture smells very bad. Just imagine what the coffee shop will smell like.

I am tired of giving the library so much money.

Claire Moselle




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