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Thursday, August 29, 2013: Maine climate, Broad Street shutdown

Think for yourself

The title of Hubert Kauffman’s Aug. 26 BDN OpEd told us to think for ourselves regarding climate change. After doing that and reading his piece, I’m convinced in my belief that global warming and climate change alarmists think that if they yell louder, we’ll all believe their theories. To quote Kauffman, “The weather of Maine has changed. More rain, more humidity, more violent storms and more extremes of hot and cold. Summer and winter have become more inconsistent than ever: more warm days in winter and more cold days in summer.”

That sounds like a lot of subjective statements with no references to statistical research. What I’ve noticed during my many years in Maine is that every year can be a little bit different than the previous one: maybe one year with a couple of blizzards, the next one being a mild winter. One summer with lots of rain and cool temperatures, the next where I have to turn on my air conditioner more often and I’m wishing for more rain.

This is all normal variation — not proof of rapid climate change.

The truth is there have always been natural variations in weather and climate, long before man began burning fossil fuels. The truth is that global mean temperatures are the same today as they were 18 years ago, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statistics.

Kauffman concludes by saying, “There is no controversy about climate change.” I would say that’s only true if you ignore all the evidence and the thousands of scientists who believe otherwise. Do a search online, using “climate change hoax,” or “global warming research,” and decide for yourself what the numbers say.

Tom Metzger


Common sense solution

I have been involved for well over two decades in pushing for reform in how we handle “not guilty by reason of insanity” court-committed individuals for serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.

During that time, Augusta Mental Health Institute (now Riverview Psychiatric Center) housed many dangerous “not guilty by reason of insanity” individuals. We saw serious attacks on hospital employees, and the murder of a young citizen in Augusta.

We should not expect hospital employees to risk their lives dealing with dangerous “not guilty by reason of insanity” individuals. In the time it takes to call for outside help, a mental health worker or citizen can be killed.

In 1986, I learned that the forensic unit had been previously located in Thomaston until 1906. At that time, the unit was moved to Augusta Mental Health Institute largely because the roads were so bad, psychiatrists could not readily travel to treat these individuals at Thomaston. To ensure the safety of our dedicated mental health workers and all Mainers, we need to move violent “not guilty by reason of insanity” individuals back to the Maine State Prison where they belong.

The time has come for a common sense solution to this very serious problem.

David Crockett


A unique space

With a pending West Market Square revitalization project, now is the perfect time to consider shutting Broad Street off to traffic and converting it into a pedestrian only zone in downtown Bangor.

Broad Street is the perfect spot for such a zone, with storefronts on both sides of the road, a parking garage down the street, and regular events that use the space, such as the open air markets and the Downtown Countdown. By eliminating traffic through Broad Street, West Market Square and Pickering Square, we would have more space for events as well as outside restaurant seating.

Besides creating more usable space, a pedestrian zone would increase safety and walkability, thereby boosting property values and quality of life in the area. Broad Street has the possibility of becoming a destination in downtown out of what is now just a side street with many vacant or underutilized spaces.

So in a city dominated by cars and busy streets, why wouldn’t we consider giving a little space back to pedestrians by creating a unique space in downtown?

Greg Edwards


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