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Thursday, April 4, 2013: Opinions, jokes and Kwikies

News facts and opinions

I enjoy the BDN’s online edition and read it daily when I travel, which is often.

Recently on my way back to Maine, I noticed the March 29 article, “ Ellsworth motorcyclist incapacitated after motorcycle accident.” As a rider myself, I always notice these stories.

Thank you to the paper for noting that the rider was wearing a helmet and that mechanical issues may have contributed to the cause.

I take issue, however, with the last paragraph: “In 2011, the most recent year for which information was available, there were 558 motorcycle accidents throughout the state, according to data maintained by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. There were 15 motorcyclist fatalities that year and another 24 in 2012.”

By inserting this, I believe the BDN was making an editorial comment on a news story, to whit, motorcycles are dangerous. The story does not mention total car fatality statistics in every car wreck story so why in a motorcycle story?

While the BDN certainly has every right to its editorial opinion of our form of travel, that opinion belongs on the editorial pages, not in news stories.

Ruth Lind

Stockton Springs

Maine jokes

This is in response to the March 26 letter called “National Joke” from a Jonesboro resident. I am wondering what country he migrated from.

Certainly he cannot be a United States citizen, as every schoolchild in this country is taught that an elected official wins by garnering the majority of the popular vote. Be that 1 or 100 percent more than other candidates.

That being a “given,” why would said letter writer think that 40 percent of Maine voters are “jokes”?

Now as far as the rest of the nation finding Maine a “joke,” that probably was the consensus before this latest gubernatorial election.

Being one of the highest-taxed states in the nation, having one of the highest poverty rates, having not paid our bills in years, we continue to elect former “leaders” that perpetuate those distinctions, then elect them to even higher positions. So I agree: We are a “national joke.”

What is not a joke is that, we managed, albeit by “only 40 percent,” to elect a governor that says “let’s pay our obligations,” rein in welfare cheaters, weed out gravy-train leeches, put people

to work and “keep our educated young in-state.”

The get-a-grip attitude of our legally elected governor is hard to take, tough to implement, but absolutely what this state needs. I for one, of “just 40 percent” of registered voters, will tighten my belt, suck it up and hope that that the letter writer can, too. It’s time.

Jan I. Blanchard


King’s assaulting vote

So Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, helped get the assault weapon ban thrown out in the Senate.

It seems politicians subscribe to the belief that they must cater to single-issue extremists like the National Rifle Association, because if they don’t vote their way, those extremists will vote against them as a block in the next election, and that will spell defeat.

The politicians know that rational people will decide who to vote for based on various issues. These voters don’t expect a candidate to mirror their every position.

I hope King will reconsider his vote before the next gun tragedy occurs. I am a gun owner and have hunted most of my life. I support reasonable and effective gun control, and I vote, too.

James Buttitta


Out of state name

While driving to work to volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity housing job site in the lower 9th ward in New Orleans, I passed two service/lube stations called “Quickey’s.” Immediately, I thought about the latest dilemma in our great puritanical state about naming the new scratch-off tickets “Kwikies.”

If Maine can declare Moxie the state drink — heaven forbid it be Allen’s — and declare the whoopie pie the official state dessert, it should be able to get over the connotations of the word “quickies.”

The name may well have increased the lottery’s revenues even if it did not meet the purchasers’ expectations.

C. Louis Bernardini


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