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Saturday, March 31, 2018: Stop the ‘smurfs,’ animal lives matter, Wiscasset’s foolish lawsuit

Animal lives matter

As innocent American citizens continue to be murdered by disturbed men armed with military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, three organized groups can be counted on to resist life-saving, common-sense gun control: the National Rifle Association, Safari Club and the so-called sportsmen’s clubs.

The message communicated by this organized axis is that life is cheap, guns matter more than most everything else, and if you don’t agree, too bad. Whether it’s protecting the lives of America’s school children or the lives of elephants, lions and rhinos in Africa or native wolves, wild cats and polar bears in North America, the NRA and Safari Club offer mostly “thoughts and prayers” for the children and their devastated families, and complete support for the continuing “sport” killing of native wildlife everywhere.

There is a documented link between the abuse and killing of defenseless animals, among many mass murderers, that often precedes the killing of people. The continued, state-sanctioned sport killing of native wildlife sends a message to disturbed people that taking innocent life is acceptable behavior when it should not be any longer.

As an adult who feels protective of innocent children, adults and native animals, I hope students’ message of common-sense reform and decency, and their determination to change the world, carries over into putting an end to the killing of animals for “fun.”

All lives matter. That is the message our children should be hearing and learning from responsible and compassionate adults. That message will change the world for everyone.

Robert Goldman
Portland

Wiscasset’s foolish lawsuit

I am writing concerning the Main Street project in Wiscasset. The Maine Department of Transportation offered to bring improvements to the summer traffic situation in town and presented three options. By a wide margin, Wiscasset accepted Option 2. This plan included limiting interference with traffic by eliminating diagonal parking on the lower end of Main Street and installing two synchronized traffic lights to make a safer road and allow traffic to move in an orderly manner.

On Main Street, the sidewalks and the steps would be replaced and become handicapped accessible. The sidewalks would be wider, allowing foot traffic for the businesses along the street and allow for a gathering place for local events, such as the summer art walks. Wiscasset is in dire need of such improvements, but the town cannot afford them. The Transportation Department will bear these costs.

A small group of people are mistakenly claiming that the loss of a few diagonal parking spaces would put them out of business. On the contrary, the wider sidewalks would bring them additional foot traffic that would, in turn, result in additional sales.

The Transportation Department has gone out of its way to, within reason, listen to the public and businesses. As a result, changes to the original concept plan have been made to facilitate their needs. It is time to cut to the chase and get the project going. We have been told that if we continue the court fight against the state, it is a fools’ game we cannot win it.

I ask Wiscasset residents to vote to end this fight.

William Maloney
Wiscasset

Stop the ‘smurfs’

There’s no hiding the fact that Maine has long struggled with drug issues. While the opioid epidemic gets much of the attention, the issue of meth production has been particularly menacing over the past decade. Our legislators and law enforcement officials have worked tirelessly to curb the production of this terrible drug, and now the state’s retailers and pharmacists are joining the fight against “smurfing.”

Our law enforcement officers have recently seen success in their efforts, reporting a 50 percent reduction in meth lab seizures from 2016 to 2017. Their success can be largely attributed to limits on how much pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in common cold and allergy medicines, individuals can buy.

As with any criminal activity, manufacturers of meth have begun working around these limits by recruiting “smurfs” to purchase pseudoephedrine for them. Smurfs are people who purchase legal amounts of pseudoephedrine, and then hand it over to someone so a larger amount may be collected to make meth.

It’s important for members of the community to band together in tackling difficult issues like meth production, and that’s what’s happening here. The student pharmacists of GenerationRx, a patient care project of Husson University School of Pharmacy’s student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association, are invested in helping to promote the health and wellness of the community by supporting a new initiative to warn Mainers of the consequences of smurfing. As student pharmacists, we’re encouraged by these efforts to protect the rights of law-abiding cold and allergy sufferers, and proud to support Maine’s anti-smurfing campaign.

Caitlin Brittelli
Emily Wells
Bangor

Voters can stop gun madness

I grew up around guns and enjoyed hunting the vast wilderness of Maine’s North Woods. Today, we have a new breed of hunter, one who hunts innocent people on our streets and in our schools with weapons designed for a war zone.

Some blame our mass shootings on mental illness and not the guns, but the reason a deranged gunman kills 30 people and not three lies solely with gun choices. I expect we will always have guns in our society, but why do we need the guns that make it so easy to kill so many, so quickly?

Law-abiding Americans should not lose their guns, but we need to ban the ongoing sales of these semiautomatic guns and high-capacity magazines. Congress outlawed fully-automatic guns without violating the Second Amendment. If they had included semiautomatic guns in the ban, many parents across the country might still be watching their kids grow up. As the son of a police officer, I have also never understood how our government could stand by and let our nation’s first responders be subjected to such weapons.

During this year’s midterms, voters need to elect candidates who stand with the American people, especially with our kids, in support of both comprehensive federal gun laws and funding for stronger mental health initiatives. We can no longer tolerate lawmakers who ignore our nation’s gun problem by hiding behind the Second Amendment and blocking life-saving gun laws while earning themselves an “A” rating from the NRA.

The voters can and must resolve this.

Fred Egan
York Harbor


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