Gun sale honesty

I must respond to the letter by Karen D’Andrea (director of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence) in the Feb. 5 edition. The percentages she quotes are very suspect, but the true falsehood is her saying that her group is trying to stop a gun show loophole. There is no gun show loophole. To be honest, what Ms. D’Andrea should have said is that she and her group are trying to make illegal and stop all private gun sales in Maine. Private gun sales between people are now legal in your home, out on Main Street or on the floor of a local gun show. I am being very honest when I say I wish the laws to remain this way.

Merle Cousins

Southwest Harbor


Guns targeted

In regard to Karen D’Andrea’s letter in the Feb. 5 BDN.

It is obvious that Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence would love to ban handguns, period. It is not about a “gun show loophole,” it is about handguns.

It is also nice to see at last 11 candidates for governor have some respect for the Constitution.

Jamie Main



Irresponsible media

A 19-year-old man was shot and killed in a recent tragic event. This is obviously a newsworthy item in Bangor but the media’s ongoing coverage of the issues surrounding this incident has been irresponsible. The media should cover the news but not create it.

I first saw a television interview with friends of the victim discussing how their friend “took a bullet” for them. They also discussed how it is hard not to want revenge. I couldn’t help but think that these are rural kids acting like “gangstas.”

I have since seen a front page picture of the alleged killer flashing a sign of some sort. I have read concerns about involvement of the well-known gang “the Bloods.” I have seen news reports about the Internet activity posted by local kids that shows there is gang involvement.

The media are giving these kids credibility, a stage, a sense of empowerment and fueling their fire. The media are selling advertising.

Sometimes a fight between rural kids gets out of hand and a life is lost. This is a newsworthy story in Bangor. Teenagers behaving like people they have seen on MTV or the Internet is not. Reporting this is pandering to people that will get caught up in the hype, tune in to the local news and buy the local newspaper.

This is irresponsible journalism with the potential of contributing to further loss of life.

Bill Branca



Disrespectful display

Could I be the only person who was thoroughly disgusted during the singing of the national anthem Saturday night by the Zac Brown Band at the Bud Shootout in Daytona?

I cannot begin to know what kind of message NASCAR is sending when the fans are asked to remove their hats while the band doing the singing is permitted to wear theirs. Just a bit confusing. And unpatriotic.

This is yet another example of the total lack of respect being shown to our national symbols and songs.

Russ Irwin



Belfast civic center

Most people seem to believe in the idea of recycling, but it’s even more impressive when a large but empty commercial building can be recycled in a way that benefits the economic, social and entertainment life of a town.

That appears to be the case in Belfast where a group of some 40 civic-minded residents are trying to convince the City Council that the town should buy the large, centrally located building that was the former location of the window-making company Mathews Bros. The group believes the building could be renovated on the interior to make it ideal for a civic and event center.

I think this is a great idea that would bring many more visitors to this town of only 6,700.

Among the things the civic center could be used for are: a meeting place for groups up to 400; a convention center for groups of the same number; trade shows and expositions; large weddings and receptions; a theater venue perhaps for the Belfast Maskers, who now have to perform in the round, and perhaps for the annual high school musical, since they now have to perform in a gymnasium with poor acoustics.

By bringing people to Belfast for these events, the center also would benefit local businesses, especially accommodation facilities and restaurants.

I applaud the 40 residents who are trying to make this happen.

Stephen Allen



Board not serving town

We are being told half-truths by an out-of-state polluter that wants to renege on a promise to clean up the HoltraChem site. Mallinckrodt uses scare tactics to exaggerate the dangers of removing its hazardous waste left in our town from its leaking unlined hazardous dumps. These dumps are located near two water sources: the Penobscot River and an aquifer that provides water for nearby families.

Mallinckrodt cites the danger of airborne emissions, but fails to note that it has to remove much of the material anyway. And for years it hauled hazardous materials through our backyards on tank cars and released chemicals into the air and water — never once warning the public. (Check public records on the numerous spills and emissions.)

The truth is these unlined sites are located on unstable soils near the water table, and they will continue to leak into the future. If we demand careful removal, we will be free of this hazard forever and can leave a legacy of clean air and water for our children.

We have been fighting this outrageous hazard for more than 20 years, and now with this opportunity at hand, the Orrington Select Board would rather Band-Aid the site with a cynical promise that after a quick cleanup, businesses will flock to the location. In fact, this site has been open for business for decades. How many came? Zero.

We want readers to know that the board is not speaking on our behalf but rather on behalf of Mallinckrodt’s interests.

Patricia Judd