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Monday, July 21, 2014: Burger challenge, fleeing children, Loring air base use

Burger challenge

I was disgusted to read the article in the BDN (in the food section, no less) on July 16 about the Paul Bunyan Burger Challenge at the Hollywood Casino in Bangor.

When there are thousands of Mainers who have to choose between buying medications or food and children who go to bed hungry, it seems obscene to think there are eating contests where people stuff themselves and eat more than they want just to win and then be glorified for having done so.

Vaino Kola

Deer Isle

Fleeing from violence

I just finished watching the segment on The NewsHour (PBS) about the immigrant situation in the U.S. states bordering Mexico. My understanding is that most of these women and children are coming from the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and are fleeing from gang violence, drug cartels, sex trafficking and political instability.

As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine trying to raise my children in such an environment, and I would do whatever I could to protect my offspring, so my heart goes out to these people. After watching the news, I looked up the poem by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty — that great symbol of America. It reads as follows: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Sara Hessler


Humanitarian help

During the last few weeks, we have been hearing more and more about the waves of refugee children washing up on our southern border. Some see this as a real problem, and that it is something to repel, like an invasion. But I see it as an opportunity, something we can do to help humanity as well as something we can do to help ourselves. What better place for these children than the old Loring air base here in Aroostook County?

Because wherever these kids go, federal dollars are sure to follow. The housing is there, the job center training is there, and these young and thirsty minds are ready to soak up whatever knowledge and training we can provide them to turn them into productive, taxpaying citizens. The entire project could be contained on base without any strain on current systems. And let’s not forget what all of those federal dollars could mean to the surrounding area. There would be an increased demand in housing for support staff and teachers, and every local business would also see an increase in income. This would also increase the tax revenue for every municipality, and hopefully, result in lower property taxes for everyone!

I urge readers to call Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and let them know we want to help in this humanitarian crisis, and we have the perfect solution to aid in this effort.

Jim Kent



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