Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014: Bangor music, bear baiting, King endorsement

Posted Aug. 19, 2014, at 11:09 a.m.

Setting the record

I am writing this today in response to what I feel is a misrepresentation of the truth. Shenna Bellows, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, recently attended a conference in Detroit, Michigan, and at that event stated she had the unanimous endorsement of the Maine AFL-CIO.

This simply does not reflect the truth, and Bellows knows it. At the convention where the AFL-CIO voted to endorse her, the machinists union did not vote to endorse her. At a meeting held the day prior, there were in fact two internationals who voted against the endorsement of Bellows.

Hardly the “unanimous endorsement” she now claims to have. Let it be known that both of the machinist locals S6 and S7 at Bath Iron Works, along with our brothers and sisters in United Auto Workers Local 3999 and Maine Professional Fire Fighters have endorsed Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She works hard for us and our shipyard, and we will continue to fight hard for her!

Ryan Jones

Bath

Endorsements

I’m confused. If Sen. Angus King wants Gov. Paul LePage to be re-elected, why doesn’t he just come out and say so?

Michael Grondin

Brewer

Job well done

On Aug. 12, the Bangor Band performed its last concert of the summer season. The members deserve so much credit for providing this wonderful service to the community. There seemed to be an increase the attendance this year which I believe was the addition of the new shell that enhanced the beautiful sound.

The Chapin Park Block Party was a huge success, and a hearty thank you goes out to the local sponsors who made it all possible. My wife and I attended all but two of the weekly performances and look forward to another year of them. Thank you, Bangor Band, for your dedication to the community and a job well done.

Bill Hogan

Veazie

Protesting is legal

A front-page “editorial” disguised as a news story, “Veterans decry intimidating police response in Ferguson” was terribly transparent. The Aug. 16 story by the Washington Post depicted an armed “heavy-handed” police response to “peaceful protesters.” The broadcast news videos revealed police responding to rampant looting.

The editorial, oops, news story, included the following quote: “There could have been threats to officers, but that information has not been shared to the public.” The broadcast news specified that an officer had his Facebook page hacked with multiple death threats.

The Ferguson situation is reminiscent of the 1965 Watts riots, which I witnessed first hand. In that, the Los Angeles Police Department chief acquiesced to community leaders who promised to diffuse the situation. For three days, the police merely observed the escalating looting from a distance. The looting fever spread like a virus and ultimately grew to include burning the looted businesses. By then it was beyond the capability of the police to handle, and the National Guard was deployed.

In Watts, I spoke to an arrested looter. He was very upset that others were getting lots of “free stuff,” but he was being arrested. Protest? Well, he didn’t know “nothin’ about no protest.”

Looting is a felony, as is arson. Protesting is legal. We really need to recognize the difference and expect appropriate responses.

Dale Sprinkle

Surry

Better sportsmen

I am a 77-year-old Maine resident. I have been hunting since I was old enough to handle a gun. I had an excellent teacher, my father, who taught: Only kill what you can eat. I don’t believe in hounding bear and raccoon. Usually the animal is wounded, and when it falls to the ground the hounds are allowed to rip it apart and it doesn’t stand a chance because it is outnumbered.

We aren’t allowed to bait deer, and the deer do more damage to property than bear do. We don’t need the extra money from hunters from out of state to control our bear population. When we have problem bears, let the game wardens relocate them. Let’s be better sportsmen.

Margaret Turner

Orono

Bare facts

I’ve now read numerous letters to the editor mentioning the fact that the Maine woods is so dense that still hunting for bears is impractical.

The repetition makes me wonder if this is a canned talking point.

As a guide operating a remote sporting camp in western Maine during the 1970′s and 1980′s, I helped our hunters find locations to still hunt bears in the fall. We always picked large hardwood beech nut ridges where visibility was often 150 yards. We would locate areas where the bears had raked the leaves into numerous piles in search of the nuts. I can’t believe that I am the only guide privy to this fact.

Over time, the hunters shot many bears.

Jake Morrel

Sangerville

Misguided approach

Once again, as in 2004, officials of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are speaking out against the upcoming bear referendum, creating a clear conflict of interest between their role as public employees whose salaries are paid by all taxpayers and their close — some might say too close — relationship with the state’s powerful hunting lobby. In a vast agency like IF&W, one would expect some difference of opinion on the bear issue, but you can be sure no dissenting voice will ever be heard — not because everyone is of the same mind but because the agency is beholden to the financial and political pressures that are very much a part of the November referendum.

Late last year, Commissioner Chandler Woodcock stated his opposition to the referendum. It’s highly unlikely that anyone at IF&W is going to disagree with the commissioner in public.

It’s also been suggested that if baiting ends, we’ll be practically overrun with bears. If it’s true that most bears are killed over bait then that’s only because the IF&W has taken the sport out of sportsmanship and turned hunting into something more like a shooting gallery where these animals are lured by human junk food and ambushed while they eat. If IF&W persists in ignoring its own advice not to feed bears, these creatures will continue to be drawn ever closer to populated areas. Under this misguided approach, it’s no wonder that some of them become nuisances.

Don Loprieno

Bristol

 

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