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Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014: Medical malpractice, Maine Winter Sports Center, green crabs


Safe health care

Once the president has accomplished his objective to provide health care for all Americans, I would ask President Barack Obama to make health care safe.

When medical malpractice occurs, resulting in injury and death, those health care professionals that practice bad medicine are still practicing under the “protection of the health care community.”

When malpractice occurs, it is next to impossible for advocates of the injured and dead to get accountability from the “chain of command” because the medical community protects its own.

I ask readers to speak out to the “chain of command.” It may make a difference in another person’s life.

Barbara Johns


Outdoor lifestyles

I want to express how much I value the work that Maine Winter Sports Center has done in Maine communities as well as in my own life. This nonprofit organization has inspired active, outdoor lifestyles in countless Mainers. MWSC’s Healthy Hometowns program has generated enthusiasm in all ages about playing outside. The competition program helps athletes in Maine take their pursuits to the next level, all the way from regional skiing competitions to the Winter Olympics.

The competition program is where I am especially grateful. I began competitive cross country skiing my freshman year of high school. Now, as a senior, I consider it to be one of the best decisions of my life. Skiing has taught me focus, conscientiousness and introspection. I was able to step up my skiing career with the help of MWSC throughout high school.

Now, during the first season in years without a cross-country ski team at my high school, MWSC has helped me continue to improve my skiing abilities as well as myself through skiing. Maine Winter Sports Center has had a tremendous impact on my own life and the lives of many others throughout the state. The promotion of active and outdoor lifestyles is more important now than it ever has been. We need to support this incredible organization, and it will continue to inspire and change the lives of people across our state for years to come.

Dustin Ramsay


Green crabs

An article about the work funded by the Freeport Town Council to examine the dynamics of green crab populations in the Harraseeket River and effects of green crabs on soft-shell clams appeared recently in the BDN with the headline: “Researcher: Little learned from $100,000 green crab studies in Freeport.” Although there were aspects of the study that did not proceed as intended, the headline was inaccurate and misleading. The article itself, however, was more objective.

A final report was submitted to the council last week. It references a number of aspects of the study that provided useful information about green crab movements, sizes, sex ratios and their spatial and temporal variability. Further, the study showed the devastating effects of green crabs on clams as small as ¾ of an inch. Juvenile clams planted at Little River and Recompence flat in August in unprotected plots were devoured at a rate that left less than 2 percent by mid-November.

Volunteers, mainly shellfish harvesters, contributed hundreds if not thousands of hours of valuable time to support the study. Regardless, problems associated with the maintenance of green crab fencing did compromise two of the six studies. But even in those instances, the data showed that green crabs are a menace, our resource is in jeopardy, and doing nothing is not an option.

We encourage you to read the final report to the town council yourself — available at http://bit.ly/1khPi3A — and draw your own conclusions about what information the study yielded.

Brian Beal

Professor of Marine Ecology, University of Maine at Machias

Nora Healy

Acting Chair, Freeport Shellfish Conservation Commission


Deadline for comments

Deadline for public comment is 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10, on the question of raising fares for our public bus system in the Bangor area. I urge everyone to contact Laurie Linscott at 992-4672 or laurie.linscott@bangormaine.gov and respectfully request a public hearing on this matter. Even if you miss this tiny window of opportunity, please contact her anyway.

Whether or not you use the bus, have a thought for those of us who cannot afford a car or are trying to cut down on fuel consumption and pollution by busing. If we need stricter rules about bus behavior, let’s make them. If we need to charge everyone but students a small fare, let’s do it. If we need the business community to pitch in for evening service, which would mean more customers and fewer parking hassles, fine.

Right now commuters who can’t get to the depot by 5 p.m. can’t even use the bus to get to work. They can’t shop, have dinner with friends, attend a meeting, or go to the library after work. Christians can’t get to Sunday services. We need better access to public transportation, not worse.

Local residents, please stand behind us and ask that the public be allowed a voice in the decision to price the bus above the means of working people on tight budgets. And when you contact Linscott, please ask her to request a public hearing on this issue that takes place during bus hours.

Jane Livingston

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