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Monday, March 18, 2013: Seniors, east-west corridor and veganism

Wait a year

Many new laws to restrict various aspects of gun ownership have been proposed recently, particularly in response to the crisis of the shootings in Connecticut. Very few of them would have done anything to change the Connecticut shooter’s actions or the actions of the inevitable copycats to follow.

Registration schemes have been tried before and have been resounding failures. Canada spent more than $2 billion on long gun registration starting in 1995 and repealed it in 2012 because it accomplished absolutely nothing positive.

It seems that assault rifles may be banned. They were banned once before, but the ban ended because crime didn’t go down. There’s little reason to think crime will go down if they are banned again, but our constitutional rights will be eroded.

In the crisis when a spouse dies, the survivor is often counseled to avoid making big decisions about housing and investing for at least a year. If our legislators could similarly refrain from passing laws in reaction to a “crisis” for at least a year, some useless and counterproductive laws might be avoided.

Lawrence Merrill


Senior welfare

As a Maine senior citizen, I am speaking out against Gov. Paul LePage’s budget cuts.

Many people in Maine are struggling to make ends meet. With the rising costs of food and fuel, we cannot enjoy the luxury of vacations and eating out in nice restaurants.

Many have been taken off MaineCare, and now he wants to take away the homestead exemption. We do not need higher taxes.

The low- and what is left of the middle-income population, if any, will be in danger of losing their homes.

LePage must listen to the people and find solutions that will help rather than hinder. Are we to become a state where only the wealthy can prosper and live?

Cutting health care and education and raising taxes is unacceptable.

I recently picked up a copy of Maine Senior Magazine, and on the back of the last page was a letter from LePage stating how much he cared about the welfare of Maine seniors. You tell me.

Barb Ericksen

St. Albans

East-west education

The east-west corridor is a proposed privately owned, 220-mile long, 500-foot-wide right-of-way that could contain a four-lane highway with various multilevel utilities traveling from Calais to Coburn Gore.

The corridor may bring short-term jobs, but it truly is a long-term profit arena for a chosen few.

The east-west corridor will destroy diverse ecosystems throughout the state and will cause high levels of noise, air and water pollution. It will permanently change the beauty of Maine and forever change its culture.

With its unique landscape, Maine holds some of the remaining wild places in America. It is a place where people can go back to the land because the land is healthy. Maine’s families have farmed, hunted and fished here for hundreds of years, passing down knowledge through generations.

Maine still possesses true community in its rural towns that spread across the state, which the corridor will cut through and divide.

A Cianbro representative stated that “the corridor will happen.” What about the opinions of the people in Maine?

America exists because of the passion of people, some of whom gave their lives for freedom of choice, liberty and individual rights. Don’t the people whose homes in the small towns that this corridor will pass through deserve a choice? Shouldn’t the citizens of Maine have the freedom to say yay or nay to this proposal?

What if we the people refuse to sell our land or be any part of this private multibillion-dollar corporate endeavor? I urge the people of Maine to become educated on this “project” and to truly understand what is at stake.

Gail Wilmott


Great American Meatout

The energy of spring is full of new beginnings. If readers have ever contemplated reducing the amount of animal products you eat, The Great American Meatout on March 20 may be just the day to do it.

The Meatout is a national day of grassroots, meatless activism hosted by FARM, the Farm Animal Rights Movement. The campaign encourages people from all over the country to share what they know about meatless eating and make it easy for other folks to give it a try. FARM provides an online resources for folks who want to take the “veg pledge” and eat vegan for one day on March 20.

A starter kit is handy but not really needed. Greater Bangor has lots of great products readily available for you to try. Stores such as Hannaford, Shaw’s and Natural Living Center have tasty meat and dairy substitutes readily available.

Beyond the great vegan-marketed foods that are becoming more and more accessible every day, there are choices that can be made with no trouble at all. Fruits, veggies, salsa, a three-bean chili, sorbet and pasta are just a few examples.

Have some fun, boost overall health and help animals all in one day. Who knows, participants might make meatless Mondays a regular habit or reduce animal products even further.

Check out www.meatout.org for the vegan living resources or for more information about the Great American Meatout.

Leslie Linder


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