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Saturday, June 14, 2014: Lung cancer, phthalates, bear baiting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl


Lung Force launch

Free ME from Lung Cancer is absolutely thrilled with American Lung Association’s launch of Lung Force, which will increase funding to lung cancer research and raise awareness of women and lung cancer and lung health. We commend ALA’s efforts to bring more attention to this deadly disease and the stigma long associated with it.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. In fact, a woman is diagnosed with lung cancer every five minutes. More women lose their battle to lung cancer than breast, colon, uterine and ovarian cancers combined. Despite being the No. 1 cause of death from cancer, it remains woefully underfunded.

Free ME from Lung Cancer is the only nonprofit organization based in Maine that is dedicated solely to lung cancer research, patient care and education.

Deb Violette, President and CEO

Free ME from Lung Cancer


Hidden phthalates

As a grandparent, I am concerned about toxic chemicals in everyday products that could have serious health effects on my grandchildren. Recently I have heard a lot about “phthalates” in the news – chemicals that can cause serious health disorders. What’s worse is these chemicals seem to be in all kinds of products I could own, but it is so difficult to tell whether products contain hidden phthalates.

I know phthalates are in soft plastics, like raincoats, kid’s toys and many lotions and shampoos – especially ones that use some type of fragrance. Looking in my bathroom, I see “fragrance” on the label of at least three products. Only a few products voluntarily tell you “no phthalates.” I want to know for my grandchildren’s sake. This chemical can affect reproduction, cause cancer and other major health problems. Pregnant women and their unborn children are at the highest risk. I want to know the harmful chemicals in all products before another generation suffers.

The point is, even though I am a careful consumer, I need more information in order to keep my grandkids safe. Right now, our state has the power to do something about this. Maine residents recently brought a proposal to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, backed by more than 2,000 signatures, calling on it to gather information on which products contain phthalates. I’m calling on Maine DEP to listen to these thousands of petitioners. We have a right to know.

Skip Worcester


Moose baiting

The June 3 BDN OpEd written by Mary Moulton is her opinion. No, we don’t bait moose, but what would you use to bait a moose — a birch tree? Hunters search out moose in broccoli fields and deer in apple orchards and agricultural fields. Deer baiting isn’t allowed; however, 22 states bait deer due to large populations. If populations are too large, we take measures to reduce them. If moose become a burden to roads and agricultural areas, we do special hunts. Maine once had a bounty on bears as a way to reduce populations.

If we talk fair chase, what next? Ban fish finders, GPS, decoys, turkey calls? Ban shooting partridge on the ground or in trees? Out of 10,000 bear hunters, only 3,200 bears were taken in 2012. If baiting was easy, wouldn’t numbers be more staggering?

There is no middle ground; it’s all or nothing to eliminate traditions in Maine. Forget outfitters, taxidermists and guides who will lose their livelihood. Forget revenue lost throughout the state, non-hunters or out-of-state wildlife protectors, if this is passed. If you want the truth about the impact of the referendum on the bears, ask the biologists and game wardens who manage them, and get the facts.

Amazingly, Democratic and Republican senators, representatives and gubernatorial candidates Gov. Paul LePage, Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud have and do not agree with the ban. Get the facts.

Ray Bryant


Food collections

I am a member of the Holden Congregational Church located on the corner of Ryder Bluff Road and Church Road. The church has been here since 1928 and is known not only for the wonderful sermons each Sunday, but for the great peanut brittle that the members and friends make each year.

On behalf of the membership, I would like to say a huge thank you to all in the Holden community who left non-perishable food items on their mailboxes May 10. Also, thank you to all the letter carriers who collected the food and brought it to the Holden Congregational Church.

The Mission Committee, chaired by Eleanor Murley, sorted, stockpiled our cupboards and distributed extra food to other food cupboards.

Thanks to the letter carriers and members of the community, our food cupboard is well stocked and well used.

In the words attributed to Mother Theresa, “If you can’t feed 100, feed one.”

Donna Hall



TV judge

For the last several days, TV newscasters have held a public trial of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a member of the U.S. Army who was imprisoned by the Taliban for five years. Because this is a subject that will attract viewers, they’ve decided a potential increased count in viewership is more important than letting the military justice system decide whether the sergeant is guilty of any crimes.

It will be difficult to fill a jury with members who haven’t been affected by their actions. It’s obvious there’s no shame in the business; audience count affects revenue, an item more important than fairness.

Charlie Cameron



The University of Maine System’s avoidance of its own open-search policy in creating and filling a new executive director of public affairs position not only smacks of the Gary Alexander no-bid contract, it is reminiscent of the view expressed by Leona Helmsley, the so-called “Hotel Queen,” who supposedly said, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”

In the same vein, apparently only the little people need to follow the university’s established hiring policy.

Terry St. Peter


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