August 18, 2018
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Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017: Disparaging lobster industry, Gov. LePage comes through, love trumped hate

Love trumped hate

What would you do if a man in a parking lot asked you why you had a “Love Trumps Hate” bumper sticker on your car? I told him that to me it means that love is stronger than hate. I told him that President Donald Trump has said things that are hateful against women and immigrants.

He said that Trump supporters wanted an outsider who would tear down Washington. He said if supporters see he doesn’t deliver on his promises, they will not vote for him again.

I said fact checkers say that 70 percent of what Trump says is a lie. Trump promised to bring health care to everyone, but the bills that have been proposed cut health insurance. I said health care is a right, like education. We have enough money for everyone to have health care if we tax the top 1 percent. Under Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, the top tax rate was 90 percent and now it is about 30 percent. The billionaires are running the country due to unlimited campaign contributions.

He said Trump supporters think former President Barack Obama is a Muslim and swore allegiance to Allah on the Quran at his inauguration.

I said Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim. Fifty-eight percent of what Fox News says is false. They are being sued for “fake news.”

I said we have the same goals — good education, roads and bridges, and health care for everyone.

He said he appreciated my perspective, and we each went our own way. Love trumped hate on that day.

Kathryn Bourgoin


Disparaging to lobster industry

I read with dismay the Aug. 14 BDN article, “What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day.” This story contains factual inaccuracies and was disparaging to the thousands of men and women of the Maine lobster industry.

According to several studies, and the Maine Lobster Institute’s Robert Bayer, the lobster’s primitive nervous system is most similar to that of an insect. Lobsters react to sudden stimulus, like twitching their tails when placed in boiling water, but they don’t have complex brains to process pain like humans and other animals do.

For hundreds of years, Maine fishermen have been lobstering off our coast. Fishermen created the first sustainability rules in the early 1800s by limiting the number of fishermen who could fish for lobster. Over time, the industry has introduced rules that prohibit the taking of undersized, oversized and breeding females. Traps have very specific rules that make it easy for undersized lobsters to escape and hard for oversized lobsters to be caught in the first place. When a Maine lobsterman encounters a lobster that is not legal to land, he puts it back in the ocean, alive.

These sustainability measures are the envy of the world’s fisheries. More than that, Maine’s sustainability practices have resulted in our catch increasing fourfold since 1990. Maine lobstermen, and their sustainability story, are amazing ambassadors not only for their industry but for our state. That the BDN would choose to present such a biased and factually incorrect piece about this industry is a shame.

Matt Jacobson

Executive director

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative


LePage comes through

At his town meeting in Houlton two years ago, Gov. Paul LePage was asked when nine unfinished miles on Route 1 from Cary Plantation to the south line of Houlton would be completed.

Some 11 years before, the road had been done from Danforth to Cary and was to be finished the next year because of the heavy truck traffic. It wasn’t, and it did not happened until he told us he would look into it. He said he knew the road well and had traveled it many times.

LePage came, listened and looked into it. The road was completed last week.

A new system of using two levels of reconstituted hot top and a new level was used. The new road is like riding on a velvet carpet. More importantly, it will be much safer with the heavy truck traffic.

Congratulations to LePage, the local Department of Transportation foreman, Bob Watson, and Steelstone Industries of Aroostook for a job well done.

Richard L. Rhoda


‘Deja vu all over again’

It has been years since I have been involved in activities to promote economic growth in Maine, and more specifically in Greater Bangor. But the July 21 BDN editorial about Maine’s lagging economy is, as Yogi Berra famously said, “deja vu all over again.”

Not long before this editorial was published, the BDN paper reported on the employment needs of a local employer, C&L Aerospace, with the potential for a major expansion. But there is a problem. There is not a labor pool available sufficiently educated to assume the technical responsibilities required for employment by C&L Aerospace.

Many states and cities, notably in the South, having recognized the absolute need for a large “work ready” labor pool, have established educational institutions to meet the demand.

This problem was brought to the attention of the Bangor City Council, but the BDN report of the meeting did not seem to reflect a sympathetic understanding of the problem nor the opportunity for economic growth, and it certainly did not convey an urgent need for a “call to action.” I hope that behind the scenes there is an effort to address this opportunity.

The editorial encourages state and local cooperation to grow new businesses that produce products for sale beyond the state. The first step in this process is to help those prepared to do so now. Let’s hope this indeed happens.

Leonard Minsky


Help Collins win nomination

I was thinking about the Aug. 10 BDN article suggesting that Sen. Susan Collins’ run for governor would be an uphill battle. In my opinion, all she has to do is win the primary vote.

As an ex-Republican, I would suggest that if Democrats and independents register as Republicans for the primary vote, we could help Collins win the election as the Republican nominee.

Additionally, we could also help ensure that Rep. Bruce Poliquin not be the Republican nominee for the House of Representatives in 2018.

John Gray



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