LETTERS

Monday, Aug. 25, 2014: Bear hunting traditions, King endorsement, prostate cancer screening

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, at 11:59 a.m.

I like Mike

I agree with Sen. Angus King’s recent statement that “Maine voters need to choose the best candidate for the job, regardless of political party.” But we don’t agree on who that best candidate is. The BDN article has motivated me to work earlier and harder for Rep. Mike Michaud. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful, creative and determined representative for the 2nd District for the past 12 years.

As a leader in the Legislature, Michaud showed that he was able to reach across the aisle without animosity to get things done. He’s done the same in Congress, just recently rescuing the almost lost veteran’s relief bill. Talk is cheap, and ideas are a dime a dozen, but I want someone who has demonstrated that he can turn ideas into reality. Michaud has.

I hope there’s a Michaud sign ready for my lawn.

Suzanne Kelly

Bangor

Hospital thanks

A few months ago, I was getting my blood drawn at the blood lab at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor. I overheard the lab technicians talking about a free test for prostate cancer that day. No sign-up, just go.

My husband was waiting for me in the parking lot, so I encouraged him to participate in this workshop. It included blood work, urine analysis, rectal exam and background questionnaire. They even had written material and refreshments while waiting.

Well, come to find out, my husband has prostate cancer. He has since undergone numerous tests, successful robotic surgery with Dr. Jonas Gricius, and he now awaits radiation therapy.

Our sincere thanks goes out to St. Joseph Hospital for sponsoring this workshop. It did in fact save my husband’s life.

Nancy and Rick Pare

Orono

Program funding

The Aug. 20 BDN letter “Misguided approach to bear baiting” raises the critical issue of funding for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife programs. Funding for salaries and administrative costs comes mainly from the proceeds of hunting licenses and permit revenues.

Judy Camuso, wildlife division director, believes that bear baiting has no real impact on the bear population. Camuso stated, “We have 40 years worth of data that shows it doesn’t. Baiting is constant on the landscape, so if it affected the bear population, we’d expect yearling weight to be pretty flat, consistent from year to year.”

This was presented as a scientific fact, when it is nothing more than an untested hypothesis — a weak one at that. An alternative is “placing tons of food in the woods increases the carrying capacity and thus bear numbers in Maine.” This could be tested scientifically and rejected if no significant correlation is found.

If IF&W can produce the study that specifically addresses bear baiting’s impact on the bear population and clearly show its methods, then we can have a scientific conversation.

IF&W biologists, guides and sporting camps depend on income from bear baiting for their livelihoods. Although I don’t like bear baiting, trapping and hounding, I do like and respect the folks who engage in these activities. IF&W must have a budget line in the general fund to produce science unbiased by politics and represent all Maine citizens equally. Let’s be honest: This is about money and jobs vs. ethical hunting practices, not science.

JoAnne Putnam

Chapman

Seriously?

Let me get this straight. Independent Sen. Angus King endorses independent Eliot Cutler for the governor of Maine despite Cutler’s constant polling in the low teens because of Cutler’s strong business background.

Well, it’s logical that independents in elected offices are a small fraternity and must embrace their own to help increase their fold and their caucus. And if a long, lucrative career as a lobbying lawyer is considered a “strong business background” versus Mike Michaud’s 30 years of public service, then I guess Cutler would qualify as King’s “independent” choice.

Why not? King also endorsed Republican Sen. Susan Collins over a bona fide Constitution-defending young fireball Shenna Bellows. I’m a registered Democrat and have always considered myself to be an independent voter because I vote issues, not party. It’s not always clear what principles and issues independent candidates stand for except in the case of Cutler, who seems determined to put his own ego over the best interests of Maine even if it means another four years of Gov. Paul LePage.

From day one, LePage has proven himself to be the most harmfully partisan governor Maine has ever endured, and we must vote him out of the office Cutler helped put him in. Michaud could never have served three decades in public office if he had not repeatedly proven himself to be a fair and nonpartisan representative of the people. He has proudly partnered with those across aisles in the Maine Senate and House, and the U.S. Congress, while Cutler has been partnering with big business.

Carol Selsberg

Eliot

Bear tradition

I have been reading a lot of comments about bear baiting, yet not many have come forth in favor. One of the reasons behind baiting bear is to allow the hunter to get a good look at the bear for size and sex to ensure they do not shoot a mother with cubs or young adult. Some believe tracking is a more sympathetic way to hunt, but then trackers shoot the bear while it is eating over wild fruit bushes — same situation, same results. Bears will hear or smell you long before you even get a glance at them.

There is a reason the state controls animal population through hunting. People are overpopulating the Maine woods, and if we take away the only feasible way to control bear population, it will increase serious car accidents like we already struggle with from moose and deer, and it will increase the chances of bears looking for enough food to feed the increased population in people’s yards. Leave well enough alone, and let Maine tradition live on the way it was meant to be.

Dawn Drew

Eddington

 

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