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Monday, July 7, 2014: Bear hunting, Hobby Lobby, Shenna Bellows support

Bear attacks

The following are reasons why I bear hunt:

I feel that by hunting bear I’m protecting other animals. In the spring, bear sows with cubs follow pregnant does until the does can no longer wait and give birth to their fawns — only to have the sows teach their cubs how to kill the fawns. Bear also kill moose calves. I feel I’m saving the life of a little fawn when I take a bear.

I would love to hunt fair chase, but it is not feasible for the state of Maine. The woods are too dense for fair chase. The state of Maine came up with the only methods that work to hold down the bear population to protect the public and other animals.

The Humane Society of the United States claims that the bear regulate their own population. This is not true for Maine. Remember, Maine once had a bounty on bear.

One thing that really bothers me is the fact that Maine will lose jobs. Jobs are hard to come by in northern Maine, and the hardworking people are spending their hard-earned money to defeat the Humane Society of the United States bear referendum — while the HSUS posts deceptive ads on TV and receives lots of money from out of state so it can pass its radical bear referendum.

Please vote no on the referendum and protect other animals and yourself from a bear attack.

Gene A. Trisch


Lobby work

Why is there no mention in any of the articles about the Hobby Lobby vindication by the Supreme Court that Hobby Lobby offers 16 out of 20 Food and Drug Administration-accepted contraceptives to its employees?

It is not denying contraception. It does not want to have to pay for the four that it deems abortive. The federal government can pay for those as is accepted in the Affordable Care Act. If people really want the company to participate in cost-sharing for those four contraceptives, even though women won’t see a disruption in available birth control, don’t work at Hobby Lobby.

Ellen Simmons


Quid pro quo

How nice that after nearly two decades of silence in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Susan Collins has graciously told us that marriage equality is OK, her announcement conveniently timed with an endorsement by the Human Rights Campaign. Political quid pro quo, anyone?

Meanwhile, back in the trenches, her opponent, Shenna Bellows, has supported and fought for LGBT rights for years. As head of the ACLU of Maine, Shenna helped lead the successful seven-year fight to pass marriage equality in Maine, which became law in 2012.

In 2005, Bellows was also part of the campaign to expand the Maine Human Rights Act to include LGBT anti-discrimination language. As a result, Maine’s law is widely regarded as one of the strongest in the country.

Thanks in part to Bellows’ testimony and lobbying efforts, this same act also protects against discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations and access to credit.

So come November we have a choice: Susan-come-lately, or Bellows, who has spent her entire career moving equality forward. I support a government that extends to LGBT citizens the same legal rights everyone else receives. So Bellows, you’ve got my vote.

Bill Everham


Working cooperatively

Last week’s article by Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors regarding the federal New Markets Tax Credit was very interesting. It’s a program that offers tax credits to individuals and corporate investors for equity investments in low-income areas. Dana gave deserved credit to then-Sen. Olympia Snowe for being a chief proponent, and to Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Mike Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree for their support as well. It was a program that worked well.

The 2011 Maine Legislature built upon that federal framework, creating Maine’s New Markets Capital Investment Program, offering incentives to out-of-state investors to bring, retain and expand business here in Maine. It was a bipartisan effort co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Emily Cain and Republican Sen. Kevin Raye. As Connors points out, it has worked; businesses with access to capital are expanding and hiring new employees.

Cain is now running for Congress. She says that working together, finding common ground and doing what is in the best interest for Maine will be her priorities in Washington. Her record proves that. Her opponent, Bruce Poliquin, lacks a legislative record (having never won an election), but he does carry a record of single-sided politics, rhetoric and ideas.

The game of politics is too often just entertaining sport; legislating is serious business. In November we should send a 2nd District representative to Washington who is a true champion of Maine people, someone who knows how to work cooperatively to advance us all. I think that person is Cain.

Stephen Rich



Feel safer

I’ve read with interest the BDN’s coverage of efforts to reform the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. I was disappointed that Attorney General Janet Mills’ June 26 guest opinion (“Preserve Maine’s role in protecting our kids from toxic chemicals”) did not accurately explain legislation pending in Washington to update the act — a long-overdue step important for Mainers and families all across the country.

Twenty-five bipartisan senators have co-sponsored the Chemical Safety Improvement Act to update and strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act. The House is considering its own draft bill, the Chemicals in Commerce Act.

Mills’ claims that these bills would broadly pre-empt state laws are not completely accurate; pre-emption under the Chemicals in Commerce Act and the Chemical Safety Improvement Act can only occur on a chemical-by-chemical basis as EPA assesses them and makes its determinations. They would never pre-empt entire regulatory programs like Maine’s.

And as a bipartisan group of 10 attorneys general recently pointed out in a letter to Senate leaders, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act “balances the States’ need to protect the health of their citizens and resources with the need to create a coherent and cohesive regulatory framework. … The CSIA will create a coherent national approach to managing chemicals while creating new opportunities for state input into federal decision-making.”

A comprehensive federal chemical assessment and risk management program as envisioned by this legislation will enhance safety for everyone. I urge Mainers and our congressional delegation to support this bipartisan effort to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act so that Americans can feel safer and our economy can be stronger.

Ken Gray



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