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Thursday, July 10, 2014: Mideast violence, parade vehicles, Sovereign Citizens


Lab farewell

The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory at the University of Maine was created in the 1980s (under a different name). After nearly 30 years of service, the laboratory ceased to exist on July 1, 2014.

The lab continuously supplied high-quality data for a diverse group of clients throughout Maine and beyond. Among those who trusted the lab were high school students and their teachers, undergraduate students and their professors, graduate students and their advisors, campus researchers, researchers from universities in and beyond Maine, commercial laboratories, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies, the Penobscot Nation and other tribal nations, the National Park Service, volunteers from the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program around the state, citizens concerned with environmental issues, and many others.

I thank all the people who allowed us the privilege of their patronage; it was wonderful working with them. I also thank the many faculty members who supported us through thick and thin; it was an honor working with each of them.

I apologize for the short notice regarding the end of the lab. If it had been the lab staff’s decision, we would have given you more notice and offered to do comparative analyses to ease you into the transition to another lab. I believe we were able to help “faculty and students contribute knowledge to issues of local, national, and international significance” through our work, in support of the university mission statement, as well as helping many other people with relevant contributions. Farewell, it has been a pleasure.

Karen Small

Research assistant, SECRL



Mideast mess

Three Israeli teenagers are kidnapped and brutally murdered by suspected Hamas terrorists. The world yawns at yet another perturbation in the Middle East. Outraged by that unconscionable act of violence and utterly frustrated by the violent disruption of a peaceful existence, a vengeful posse of Israeli youths exacts a pound of flesh upon an innocent Palestinian. The provocative incident is relegated to the sidelines and a hue and cry from the media is directed against the Zionist perpetrators. That Israeli authorities sought out and is bringing to justice those involved receives passing notice. That the killers of the first instance are lauded as heroes, and little is done by the Palestinians themselves to emulate Israeli response, speaks volumes of the Israeli position in an area of the world where culture demands retribution against real or perceived grievances and a recourse to a quid-pro-quo, eye-for-eye retaliation should be expected.

Upon the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, the surviving “inmates” turned on their captors and tormentors and, in some cases, literally tore them to pieces. Had the media reaction been a condemnation of those who exacted vengeance, world opinion, other than the pervasive, extant anti-Semitic portion, would have been one of incredulity.

Rockets continue to rain down upon Israeli settlements, while compassion rains down on the Palestinians. Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime Minister, said that peace will come when Palestinian mothers begin to love their children more than they hate the Jews. Instead, they keep the intifada fires stoked.

Ron Goldstone


Go for it

In seeing the BDN photos of the Bangor 4th of July parade, it comes to mind, once again, how incongruous the vehicles are that carry floats. This is likely true for most parades.

Isn’t it time to design and build vehicles that complement and are attractive and compatible with floats of varying sizes and themes? The vehicles could be bought outright or rented as needed. Millinocket has a vacant former paper mill lot. Go for it, Maine.

Richard Mackin Jr.


Registry respect

I am compelled to write this letter after working for many years with men leaving the Maine prison system who are placed on the Maine sex offender registry. It takes courage, fortitude and perseverance for an inmate returning home, knowing that his crime will be posted on the registry. Registration results in severe collateral consequences, such as unemployment, homelessness, depression and often physical and humiliating attacks on registrants and their property.

Again and again, I have witnessed the emotional and social deterioration of the human spirit after years of failed job searches, inadequate housing and struggles with adapting to a life of destitution. Should we not be collaborating with the wider community in finding ways to address the injustices of the sex offender registry, when other crimes of equal seriousness are not posted on a public registry? How do we begin an intelligent dialogue?

The simpler solution is to move on, ignoring the catastrophic implications that prevent inmates from beginning new lives as productive members of society, rather than viewing them as permanent wards of the state or public nuisances. Let’s open the possibility of a creative pathway that will renew human dignity and self respect.

Calvin E. Dube, Director of Cell to Street Ministry



Picking, choosing terrorists

I really have to hand it to Amy Fried who had the nerve to write the July 2 BDN column accusing Gov. Paul LePage of daring to meet with a group she deems extremist. She goes on about how the group, the Constitutional Coalition, has called for the execution of “Sen. Justin Alfond and Rep. Mark Eves as traitors who should be punished as such.” Without any proof, I might add.

She then goes on to whine about the time taxpayer money paid for Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty to attend at least one of the governor’s meetings with the group. She complains that the sheriff “complied with the governor’s request and visited the offices of the attorney general and the county district attorney to ask them to hear the Constitutionalists’ case.” That’s an outrage?

Nowhere does she hyperventilate concerning millions wasted by the Obama family on extravagant vacations. Nor have I seen on these pages her outrage over Obama’s close association with Bill Ayers, a known domestic terrorist and co-author of his autobiography, who helped launch his political career.

Jerry Bono



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