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Saturday, July 25, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Speeding a problem

Sara Smiley’s July 20 column acknowledges one of Bangor’s strengths, our neighborhoods. The old-fashioned sidewalk nurtures community and our children. It allows autonomy at a much earlier age. We have “walk-around neighborhoods.” They often can walk to a ball field or the corner store. Our young families get to know one another, one another’s children and the owner of the corner store. Bangor’s neighborhoods keep our kids connected to the greater community and develop that “sense of place” important to a general sense of security.

Then Ms. Smiley gets to one of Bangor’s troubling issues in Bangor: speeding. I flash back to raising my school-aged children. I remember my otherwise calm, banker husband chasing after speeders down our “short-cut” side street. We even “acquired” city-owned orange cones and put them in the middle of the street to dissuade speeders. The police said we could not do that, we were obstructing traffic. We resorted to parking our cars on the street to attempt to slow traffic.

Bangor has acknowledged a speeding problem and it deserves discussion. Some reasonable parameters could be worked out to satisfy both families and the city. For the very short summer months when our children do have the run of the neighborhoods, we could discourage some speeding and let Bangor do something it does best — take care of its kids.

Becky Pratt



Moose lottery a success

The 2009 moose lottery has come and gone, and once again Fort Kent and the St. John Valley proved that this is the area to hold showcase events.

More than 50 businesses, towns and service organizations assisted in the June 18 event that was attended by nearly 600 people. It was the first time the moose lottery has been held in the St. John Valley in the 29 years since it was started.

Although it was hard for me to judge the overall picture, people who have attended many of these in the past said it was the best ever, with the most booths for people to view and the most people who have attended this event.

I want to thank the readers of the 3,015 winners of the moose lottery.

These 58 people represented all but two St. John Valley municipalities, all but one school unit, large employers, present and former game wardens, St. John Valley state legislators and several well-known sportsmen.

It was a great event, and one that allowed us to showcase Fort Kent and the St. John Valley to people who attended from throughout Maine and New Brunswick and several states along the eastern seaboard.

“The Little Town that Can” and the St. John Valley did us proud once again.

Beurmond Banville


Moose Lottery Steering Committee


A Rush of hot air

If anyone is interested in tapping into wind power, but apprehensive about how much is available, tune in Rush Limbaugh.

He and his cultlike followers are like angry kids who lost the game. Twisting and turning every word President Obama says, promoting hate and dissension, and openly avowing that he hopes our president fails is shameful.

Limbaugh takes the high road on abortion, yet he supported the rush to war by our former administration and therefore the killing of thousands of our brave men and women and the innocent victims including children in Iraq. Killing is killing, especially if it was based on lies as we now all know.

President Obama has been in office a mere few months and Limbaugh and his followers have blamed this country’s problems entirely on his administration. What would this bunch rather he do? Nothing?

If after eight years of President Obama and his administration we are worse off than we were before, then maybe, just maybe, it would hold water, or maybe it will just be more wind.

Linda Harvey



Watch for scare tactics

The negative campaigning has begun with scare tactics warning us against any change in our health care system. Look for well-financed ads to prevent “the government,” “a bureaucrat” or “socialized medicine” from choosing our doctor, deciding who gets covered and denying claims. This is all nonsense.

Today, we have the world’s most expensive health care system. It is our for-profit insurance companies that decide what and who is covered. Many of them enjoy virtual monopoly situations. To maintain high profits, insurance companies spend huge sums on lobbyists, CEO bonuses and staff members whose sole task is to deny as many claims as possible.

A Medicare-type single-payer option is just that — an option. Insurance companies would have to play fair to compete, and all citizens would retain the right to opt for private insurance.

Rick Hirte

Bar Harbor


End Medicare, Medicaid

Thankfully, the current seems to be turning against another expansion of government-run health coverage. I’d like to get past all the cutesy anecdotes thrown about by both sides of the argument and get down to the nub of the issue — the poisonous expansion of the federal government.

While not the only examples of the federal government overstepping its constitutional limits, Medicare (and its Medicaid sibling) and Social Security are the two most pressing and expensive. Both programs had began in times of crisis. Both follow the same premise — take from one group to give to another.

At their beginnings, the programs’ first beneficiaries paid no money into them, thereby establishing the largest Ponzi schemes in history. No program based on such a premise is sustainable over a long term. The inevitable end game is collapse.

The only real answer is the elimination of both programs. Let people keep the more than 15 percent (half employee, half employer) of their incomes currently taken from them through payroll taxes and plan for their own futures.

Will this hurt the current beneficiaries? In the short term of course, but I don’t see an easy solution on the menu. In the long term it will be a great improvement over the current system of confiscation and award. The only truly sustainable system is one in which individuals make decisions for themselves and live with the consequences of those decisions.

Randy Bacon


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