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Friday, Aug. 26, 2011: Baseball, bottled water and firewood

Great World Series

We would like to commend Mike Brooker and his staff for once again running an excellent Senior League World Series tournament this last week. I realize the countless hours that go into planning and organizing this event long before it becomes a reality.

We have attended this tournament for the last seven years and have always been very pleased at how well Mike and his staff manage to plan this weeklong event. Everything is handled in a very courteous and professional manner, something that Maine should be very proud of considering we are the showcase for these athletes for this weeklong period.

We only wish more people would at least attend one day of games; that is all it would take for these people to be hooked on the quality of baseball that is offered during this tournament.

We’d really hate to lose this tournament because it wasn’t financially feasible. The skill level of these young adults from all these countries is nothing short of amazing.

We all should support this tournament in the years to come; we want this tournament held in Bangor in the future. Please try to show your support next year by attending this great tournament. Thanks again for another great week of baseball in Bangor!

Scott and Karla Curry


Stop talking, cut wood

The talk of cutting home energy assistance by as much as 50 percent may end up as just a political exaggeration. If it were true however, Maine’s Indian reservations would be among the rest of the state’s low income communities to be impacted through the cold winter.

Fortunately for Passamaquoddies, we have a practically unlimited supply of firewood at our disposal to offset any cuts to home heating oil assistance. But it won’t cut, split and deliver itself. There is time to begin a firewood program immediately as a precaution to avoid having elderly and low-income native families be without heat this winter should the LIHEAP program be cut. But, there is no time for delay.

Roger Ritter

Indian Township

Bottled water is luxury

“Water dumping.” This act of buying bottled water through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has become so common it now has a name.

The key word in the assistance program name is “nutrition.” There is nothing nutritious in a glass of water — no vitamins, protein, calories, etc.

No one in Maine needs to buy bottled water. It is a luxury. If I were in charge of the SNAP program, people would not be able to purchase non-nutritious consumable items such as beverages (other than juice), potato chips, pickles, mustard, relish, ketchup, etc. These are not life-sustaining foods.

Nor would I allow recipients to use the food stamp card in restaurants. Eating out is a luxury. It is cheaper to eat at home.

People need to understand that these handouts are to help them through troubled times and should not be abused.

Shirley G. Aube


No Hope for Rosie

The welfare of Rosie the elephant who might be moved to Hope must be the very carefully considered. While the motivations of those hoping to bring Rosie to Maine cannot be questioned, is Maine a place for an elephant? Here is some of what we know about elephants in cold climates. The sources are highly reliable, research-based sources:

• Elephant home ranges vary from a few hundred to 770 square miles.

• Elephants require natural water sources, mud holes and diverse vegetation.

• Elephants kept indoors during long periods in cold climates suffer from boredom, frustration and abnormal behavior along with significant feet and circulation problems. Cold weather exacerbates arthritis.

• Elephants are herd animals that require a social structure. Even if another elephant is brought to Hope, more elephants are needed. Most zoos recommend a minimum of three elephants in an enclosure; the Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being recommends 5-10 elephants be held together. The space in Hope is one acre.

• Many enclosures require an elephant be chained. I do hope Rosie will not face that.

The most respected researchers and directors of elephant sanctuaries tell us elephants need thousands of acres. Hope residents are excited at the prospect of an elephant in their midst. But is it in Rosie’s best interest to come to Maine? One researchers writes, “When [elephants] are confined to a few sterile acres of less, they inevitably suffer.”

Eleanor Leo


Save the water

I am so incensed at this whole water dumping scam debacle that I could spit.

For one thing, if the person buying the water took it home and drank it and then returned the bottles three days later, there would be no problem. My biggest concern in these cases is the wasting of the water. Either drink it or leave it.

On another note, why is the state picking on people looking for scraps? Food stamps don’t cover diapers or toilet paper and some people don’t have enough income to cover the items not approved by SNAP, so they do what they have to do to survive.

Why are we so worried about this when corporate welfare is so rampant? Oil pipeline spills in pristine rivers are a bigger waste of water and should be cause for greater concern and outrage us much more than a penniless couple pouring a few Poland Springs bottles onto the pavement so they can buy things not provided by SNAP.

Tom Newman

Southwest Harbor

Merger means jobs

There’s a lot of talk about the economy, the national debt and jobs, but not too many realistic solutions. It is difficult for anyone to come up with answers when there is no revenue to fund them.

There is, however, currently the opportunity to create jobs, stimulate the economy and improve worker environments. The AT&T and T-Mobile merger would deliver all three of these, so long as it is approved by the federal regulators.

The merger, along with the promised $8 billion in private investment, will allow AT&T to have the spectrum it needs to deliver next-generation wireless broadband to at least 97 percent of the country. Businesses depend on high-speed mobile broadband service to drive their businesses and create new jobs. This will be particularly good in states like Maine with large rural and remote areas that do not currently have mobile broadband service.

The merger has the potential to be good for T-Mobile’s workers who have been stymied from organizing by anti-union management. AT&T takes a neutral stance on this issue and will allow T-Mobile workers to decide for themselves whether they want union representation and an improved work environment. We think they will say yes.

Federal regulators should encourage this kind of private investment in our jobs and economy. We urge the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to approve this merger.

Kenneth Eaton


Teamsters Union Local No. 340

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