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Tuesday, May 20, 2014: Culture of violence, tree growth exemption, national park, Dale Crafts


Culture of peace

I applaud the Bangor Daily News for its support of reading to our children.

Unfortunately, there is a “culture of violence” that permeates our homes, schools and communities. How do we begin to cultivate a “culture of peace”?

We know that exposure to violence creates a normal “fight or flight” reaction in all humans. This is a basic survival mechanism. This leads us to develop ways to cope with the fear or anger. Children will often develop play themes or preoccupation with the traumatic image. Over time they develop apparent immunity to the violence. This is called “habituation.”

We often mistake habituation for unaffected.

In our pursuit of a “culture of peace,” we must remain aware of how often we expose ourselves to violent images, words and ideas. It is easy to “fall asleep at the wheel” as we are bombarded with images of violence constantly.

On Friday, I “woke up” to the front page BDN headline disclosing information on a recent tragic homicide. The language was much too graphic. After my initial reaction, I read the entire article and was given more details of the grisly murder. I haven’t stop thinking about this horrible event.

I wonder how many other adults were initially shocked by the headline?

I wonder how many BDN loyal and very curious younger readers read the headline?

Christine White

Adult and Child Psychiatrist

St. Croix Regional Family Health Center


Gentleman Crafts

I know an apology was made to my friend Rep. Dale Crafts, R-Lisbon, and accepted by the “gentleman” that he is.

My blood still boils to think we have people who are supposed to be “intelligent” folks — “a leading liberal activist group” the Maine’s People Alliance and whoever else — sitting around making “ prescription cards” with Crafts’ picture on them and saying “no heart,” “no spine” and on the bottom signed by “the voters of Maine.”

I wonder how many nights they stayed awake, laughing and planning that little stunt! Even after the apology, I think it’s pretty “small potatoes,” and it certainly showed stupidity.

I will not apologize for what I have written because I know Crafts is a bigger man than some others will ever be. One day, he won’t be needing that wheelchair, for Crafts has a “heart for God,” and one day, he will walk that street of gold!

Will others? I challenge them to look up the words “respect” and “intelligence.”

LaVerne R. Williams


Tax rhetoric

It is with interest that I read congressional primary candidate Bruce Poliquin’s statements about how he wants to “ hold the line on taxes.” We in the southern part of the state haven’t forgotten his use of a tax loophole that he didn’t qualify for to save in property taxes on his multimillion dollar property in Georgetown.

By “holding the line” on his own taxes, he shifted the burden to every other taxpayer in Georgetown. I hope that Republicans in the Second District consider actions over rhetoric when selecting their candidate.

Karen Martel



EPI’s foresight, generosity

I attended a presentation by Lucas St. Clair, president of the board of Elliotsville Plantation Inc., a few weeks ago at the Bangor Public Library. St. Clair described EPI’s proposal to donate up to 150,000 acres east of Baxter State Park to the National Park Service for a national park and national recreation area. In my view, it’s a win-win situation where beautiful expanses of scenic land and mountains would be preserved and enjoyed by many.

St. Clair answered some excellent questions, including whether the land is worthy of the national park designation. A proposed unit is considered “worthy” if it meets four standards:

— It is an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.

— It possesses exceptional value in interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our nation’s history.

— It offers superlative opportunities for recreation or scientific study.

— It is a true and relatively unspoiled example of the resource.

My family has always loved going to Baxter State Park, and the surrounding area is on par with other park units. The miles of rivers and streams and the expansive forest should be preserved for future generations. I am absolutely in awe of EPI’s foresight and generosity, and look forward to visiting our nation’s next national park.

Carol Howell

Old Town


Crisis pregnancy centers

I recently read Aaron Prill’s opinion piece imploring women to “cry out to God” for solace during unplanned pregnancies. He suggested ignoring resources offered by Mabel Wadsworth’s Center in favor of “crisis pregnancy centers.”

As a member of the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center advocacy committee, and a young professional woman in the Bangor community, I want to offer clarification. The Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center does not approach pregnancy as a “crisis” but, rather, a choice. Women have a choice to carry a pregnancy to term, a choice to end a pregnancy and explore all options. Whatever the choice, there are trained medical professionals who understand what a woman is going through and will provide support.

One in three women choose to end a pregnancy by abortion b efore the age of 45. This does not make them part of a shameful population but part of an informed, empowered group of women who recognized that being pregnant was not the right choice for them. The Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center will be there not only for one of the most important choices but for their basic needs as well, from sexual health questions to reproductive health care. Its mission is to “empower all women, regardless of color, sexual orientation and economic status, to take control of their sexual and reproductive lives through their menstrual years and beyond.”

That sounds like more than just a “center,” doesn’t it?

Chelsea Castonguay



Correction: An earlier version of the letters listed Rep. Dale Craft. It is Rep. Dale Crafts.

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