LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Saturday, July 19, 2014: Hobby Lobby decision, war jobs, bear referendum, Cutler support

Posted July 18, 2014, at 10:49 a.m.

Lobby control

On the July 14 BDN front page were pictures of Mabel Wadsworth supporters protesting the Supreme Court decision that Obamacare cannot force Christian business owners to buy insurance that provides abortifacients to its employees. They are calling it birth control. Hobby Lobby provides 16 forms of birth control; only four pills that cause abortion after conception were what they objected to.

One sign said, “Life, liberty, and reproductive freedom.” What about the life, liberty and freedom of the unborn? Reproductive freedom doesn’t mean free to kill the unborn. Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which President Barack Obama ignored. The court just honored it.

If not for the decision, Hobby Lobby would have had to pay $475 million a year in fines, probably closing many stores and putting many people with well-paying jobs out of work.

Thomas Coleman Sr.

Dedham

Bear facts

I’m writing to encourage the Bangor Daily News to support the end-Maine’s-bear-hunt initiative that will ban some of the cruelest forms of bear hunting.

More than 60,000 tourists and Mainers have signed on to support wildlife conservation in Maine and not cruel bear hunting.

Bears are an important species in wild Maine and should be protected for the sake of our ecosystem.

Hunting bears with cruel traps, bait and other controversial methods is not good sport; it’s the cowardly methods of a few people who would rather kill an animal than appreciate nature.

Tens of thousands of tourists have pledged to stay away from Maine in protest of cruel hunting practices if this initiative fails. That would be a much bigger impact on Maine’s economy than the handful of visitors who come to hunt bears each year.

Gov. Paul LePage is wrong to defend the most extreme forms of bear hunting and is acting at the behest of a tiny minority of well-heeled trophy hunters instead of the vast majority of nature-loving Mainers.

Robert Krikourian

Bangor

Deserving bears

The figures given by Gary Aldridge in the July 15 letter “Bears deserve better” are misleading. He states that Oregon sales and harvests have tripled and doubled in this state. The only reason that there are more bear licenses is because Oregon in trying to harvest bears that they were harvesting over bait and hounds by giving bear permits away with their deer and elk licenses. No revenue there?

Bear in Maine have been getting supplemental food from Mainers for ages. Before sportsmen and sportswomen made the black bear a legal game animal, we were shooting them at open dumps and turning them in for bounties. If we lose the right to bait, hound and trap the black bear, guides, sporting stores, mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, general stores, and many more will lose their jobs and revenue.

And most important, bear numbers will rise, not only putting the public in danger, but causing wardens and control agents to use the very methods that they want to ban to dispose of them. So let’s leave our black bear to be managed by those who know what to do and spend hard-earned money for better reasons.

Kenneth Scribner

Durham

Vote Cutler

Steve Cartwright’s July 16 BDN letter to the editor clearly shows that his support for Democrat Mike Michaud for governor comes by way of throwing the Eliot Cutler candidacy under the wheels of the party machine bus. I happen to share his positive regard for Michaud and his negative description of the current governor, but I do not share his cynicism or his inability to see the worth of an independent candidate with Cutler’s credentials and intelligence.

Augusta now clearly mirrors the dysfunction in Washington, with a general inability to wrestle intelligently with voters’ needs or air differences in public policy in a manner that would give us hope in terms of political leadership. Everything has become party first, and I honestly believe that it is this state of affairs which will negate most of the potential that Michaud might bring to office. I ask people to really take a look at how much trouble we’re in with Augusta as well as Washington and support the candidate with the intelligence and policy ideas that will in fact make a real difference and offer us real leadership for a change — Eliot Cutler.

Dennis Marble

Hampden

Less bang for buck

As a member of Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies, I couldn’t help but note several home runs in a July 15 BDN article regarding Barney Frank’s speaking to the issue of the diversification of military jobs, in Maine and elsewhere. He stated at one point, “In general, military spending is probably less bang for the buck.”

Indeed, it’s true. Data show that defense spending is not the best jobs creator. In a recent study compiled by the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts, $1 billion in Pentagon spending results in 11,200 jobs, while comparable investment in education results in 26,700 jobs being created. Other sectors fared better, as well: Clean energy results in 16,800 jobs, health care creates 17,200 jobs, and even returning that money to taxpayers could result in 15,100 new jobs.

As Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies prepares for a meeting with U.S. Sen. Angus King to discuss the issue (after our standing-room-only forum at the Winter Street Church on June 27), we hope that anyone interested in moving this discussion forward with a state commission to facilitate planning for military jobs diversification might take a look at our effort to assist the process. Pentagon cuts have happened, and will continue to happen.

 

We also invite all interested persons to join us at 6 p.m. Monday, July 21, at Bath City Hall for a community meeting and follow-up to the June 27 forum.

Lorry Fleming

Midcoast Citizens for Sustainable Economies

Bath

 

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