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Friday, June 20, 2014: Bear referendum, road work signs, chemicals in children’s products


Cartoon joke

The BDN June 16 comics page cartoon Close to Home was disgusting. It showed God killing someone over a game of golf. I try to be open-minded when it comes to jokes and the likes, but this is below any common-sense standard. I agree with the author of the June 18 BDN letter to the editor on this subject, who wrote the cartoon is “no joke.”

Alton Shedd


Accept responsibility

As a 20-year U.S. Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, I find it very disingenuous that U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, refuses to accept any responsibility for the scandal consuming the Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country, even though the inspector general warned him 18 times about the problems.

When asked point-blank, at his last State House presser, if he bore any responsibility for the VA debacle as an 11-year member and ranking Democrat on Congress’ Veterans Affairs Committee, Michaud dodged and deflected. He’s what we call in the Navy a “fair-weather sailor,” only talks about veterans within the context of a photo-op or ribbon-cutting ceremony — not truly looking out for our welfare by fighting in the trenches.

Considering this scandal at the VA and that veterans issues are Michaud’s main point of pride during his time in Congress, I have to ask, what has he been doing down in D.C. for all these years?

Michaud has proven to be a weak leader and certainly not fit to serve as our next governor.

Tim Russell


Bear facts

Humans have been hunting with dogs for thousands of years. This November, Mainers will be asked to vote on whether or not to allow the use of dogs to hunt bears. The people who want to ban this type of hunting use phrases such as “it’s not fair chase,” “it’s trophy hunting” and “the dogs need protection.”

The anti-hunting people are using an emotionally based argument that has no facts to support it. First off, the dogs love to hunt. I’ve never seen a hunting dog happier than when it’s hunting.

Second, many people eat meat. And bear hunters eat bear meat. This is not trophy hunting. This is hunting for food.

Third, many anti-hunters claim hunting is not “fair chase.” Fair chase is the concept that the hunt will be legal, ethical and done in a way that will bring no dishonor to either the hunter, the hunted or the environment. For those of us who eat meat, I ask you to answer this question: What kind of fair chase was employed to get that roaster chicken or steak onto your plate?

Hunting gets a bad rap these days. But hunters provide much needed funding to support wildlife and habitat. The latest report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that hunters in Maine spend $203 million annually, and hunters nationwide spend $33 billion annually.

When you go into the voting booth this November, please vote no on this hunting ban.

Scott McMorrow


Oil’s well that ends well

We should give thanks to all the nature lovers, our president, the leaders we sent to Washington and anyone else who has helped keep us tied to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Now that a civil war has erupted in Iraq, the price of crude oil will probably skyrocket. It’s really too bad, considering that we have trillions of gallons just waiting to be pulled from the ground.

John L. Clark


Chemical worries

Like many parents, I worry about what chemicals my children are exposed to, especially chemicals that haven’t been tested for their long-term effects. I’ve seen more about phthalates in the news lately, chemicals that among other things make plastic “bendable” but can cause serious problems in children, early onset of puberty, asthma and reproductive disorder. As a parent, I worry about what we are unwittingly passing on to our children. These chemicals are in many products like those that have any kind of pleasant smell but also soft plastics such as shower curtains. But there is no central list, and manufacturers don’t have to disclose they are using this chemical.

I’m careful, but I need more information and recently signed a letter asking the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to publish the list of products that have phthalates, so consumers can make educated decisions. We all have a right to know what’s in the products we purchase and use. Did the teething ring I gave my children allow them to ingest a toxic chemical? I don’t know.

Tina Allen

Blue Hill

The Maine way

We should be thankful that Philip Sharp, who wrote a June 18 letter to the editor, went home to Massachusetts after his vacation trip through Maine. His disdainful inventory of what we keep in our yards demonstrates basic ignorance as well as a general lack of appreciation for Maine people. Anyone who equates woodpiles and line-drying laundry with junk cars and dooryard plumbing appliances lacks understanding of sustainable living practices and self-reliance.

Perhaps Sharp lives in a sterile, immaculate environment that sucks the very life out of him and others who judge Maine residents by our private property utilization.

Sharon Bray


Road work

U.S. Route 1, which passes through the city of Calais, is being resurfaced. Each city street intersecting Route 1 has a sign indicating, “Road Work Ahead, 500 feet.” On the opposite side of these streets, where these signs are placed, there is a sign indicating, “End of Road Work,” facing in the opposite direction.

Does one need to be informed of something that is quite apparent? How many man hours are needlessly wasted by erecting and removing these redundant signs? If by chance, this information is required by law then why not have both signs on one pole back to back and cut the labor in half? The money saved could be used to lay more needed pavement.

C. Louis Bernardini




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