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April 17 Letters to the Editor

More than a sugar high

In my opinion, the organizers of the Blessings in a Backpack program at the Milo Elementary School (“Milo school program keeps kids fed,” BDN April 11-12) are well-intentioned in their efforts to tackle child hunger, however, the weekend menu of Pop Tarts, fruit snacks, juice boxes, instant oatmeal, applesauce, and Ramen noodles leaves much to be desired.

For starters, these foods are overprocessed, full of high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, their packaging contributes to the local landfill, and the money to buy the food goes out of state to giant corporations. These children are getting mixed messages: nutrition handouts and healthful recipes on the one hand and a Pop Tart on the other. This program is certainly a step in the right direction because no child in Maine should have to deal with hunger, but ideally it could strive to provide healthful locally grown food to its participants so that their bellies are appeased over the weekend and they grow up to be healthy adults.

For the same price ($20,000 per year) the program could buy bulk organic apples, oats, bread flour, carrots and potatoes from Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative and send those kids home with more than a sugar high.

Hedda Steinhoff



Be more judicious

I can understand why the BDN used the headline, “Internet used in Brewer prostitution sting” and printed photos of the young women, but disagree with the editorial decision. The alleged “crime” is not a felony, and the news of a misdemeanor arrest would normally be in a back section. To publish the young women’s photographs for such an offense before they have been convicted has surely caused great pain to them and their loved ones. It will unnecessarily and probably unfairly taint their lives for years to come.

Headlining them on the first page above the fold has sold lots of papers, but I believe that the BDN has “prostituted” itself for a short-term gain. We in central-northern Maine need the paper’s broad coverage of news but not at the sacrifice of high standards; please be more judicious.

Brian P. Richardson



Broken homes a problem

Would gay marriage be an issue if family values were strong to begin with? If the American home was not broken, like it is today, there would be no consideration of this union. Is the motive of the homosexual “community” seeking legal marital unions really an attempt to make their activities seem legitimate? Trying to make a wrong right by legalizing it will not change the truth of the matter.

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is unnatural and perverse. And God also condemns adultery, divorce, fornication, etc. The hypocrisy of American society is such that not much is made of these sins because they have become acceptable to society.

The confusion of sexual orientation is the result in part of the broken homes in this country. The sanctity of marriage and the importance of the home is lost. The divorce rate in this country is a testimony of the continued decay of American culture. And hidden behind the failed marriages are many suffering children.

When a parent breaks faith with his or her spouse they are sinning, not only against God and their spouse, but also against their children. Nothing can replace a child’s own loving parents. Children who grow up in a broken home are at a disadvantage in life. Every child needs a father and mother who love each other and are unselfish in their devotion to the family. They need a wholesome, moral, loving environment to become happy, content adults.

Jay Livesey



Don’t cloud the issue

I am writing in response to an April 8 letter to the editor in which so-called facts were used to justify the writer’s personal opinion.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that homosexual adults are more likely than heterosexual adults to sexually abuse children. Just because a male perpetrator assaults a male child, or a female perpetrator assaults a female child, does not mean the act was “homosexual.”

A pedophile, an adult with a specific psychological disorder, prefers children as sexual partners; age is the focus, not gender. A perpetrator, who is not a pedophile, may be able to form adult sexual relationships and may molest children while also engaged in adult sexual relationships. While there are many complex reasons an adult may molest a child, most often they will choose the most vulnerable child to whom they have access. This does not mean the perpetrator is, or is more likely to be, a homosexual or heterosexual individual.

Even a quick search on the Internet will show numerous Web sites making arguments and distorting information. Some readers may accuse me of doing the same thing. Unfortunately, misinformation can be used to prey upon people’s fears for a specific political gain.

Please do not allow your desire to protect children from sexual assault cloud the issue of whether two consenting adults in a loving relationship, who happen to be the same gender, should have the same legal rights as two consenting adults who happen to be different genders.

Tamar Mathieu

Executive Director

Rape Response Services



Represent the people

I am sure Olympia Snowe is getting the cold shoulder from fellow Republican senators lately. It must be hard standing up in support of a trillion dollar federal spending spree, aka President Obama and company’s stimulus plan, despite pleas from many constituents to vote against it. And to think she was just trying to be a centrist, according to the AP article “Snowe says polarization hurts Senate” (BDN, April 13).

The Senate is not hurt by polarization, I assert. Instead, it is hurt by the lack of actual understanding of the Constitution and our Founding Fathers. Politicians today do not represent “we, the people.” Instead they are looking only as far as the next election, and tailoring their votes to what they think will win them a return to their seat.

In the article, she grieves the loss of a moderate Senate. The rank of the Senate’s Republican centrists, she lamented, have dwindled.

I believe she is onto something here, but my reasoning and hers appear to be polar opposites. While she claims Republicans who refuse to compromise haven’t learned the lessons of the past couple of elections, I believe the citizenship is just becoming smarter. Who wants to support a politician who kowtows to a majority and does not stand up for the Constitution or the citizenship? If those centrist Republicans are dwindling, it seems that they are now being taught a lesson.

Please start standing up for our country, our freedoms and the people of Maine, not to mention our children and grandchildren.

Jessica Lee-Small


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