Managing bears

In a Dec. 15 letter titled “Bears for killing” the author stated: “Animals were not put here on this planet for our benefit. It’s time we stopped treating them as if they were.” That statement would infer that she believes that animals were created by a creator (“put here”), which I agree with. However, as to why they were put here, I refer her to Genesis 1:26 (NIV): “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” This creator(God) plainly states that mankind was to rule over the animal world, in essence to care for, manage and wisely use the abundant resources he created for our benefit. Human tendencies being what they are (another debatable topic), we have not always “ruled” very wisely in this area (or others either).

I believe our biologists genuinely care for the wildlife they are charged with managing, including the wise use (harvesting) of the surplus, just as a farmer does with his livestock. Were the bear population in Maine in trouble for whatever reason, these same biologists would be the first to advocate for rules restricting the bear harvest. That’s not currently the case in Maine. We have a thriving bear population, and our biologists need all the tools that are available to do their job of managing Maine’s bears for all of us to enjoy.

John Dykstra


E-W highway not priority

I tried to answer the BDN survey on possible ideas to improve Maine’s economy, but found it impossible. Too many ideas sounded good in general, but the specifics given ranged from okay to abysmally bad, or didn’t even mention the most important things we need to do in that area. So what are we rating? Some would be good if we had a different governor or Legislature, but I wouldn’t trust the current leadership on what they would do if they were given any encouragement.

The article that introduced the survey said the list of ideas was from “experts,” yet the east/west corridor was in the list. This idea has been around a long time and no actual experts have considered it to be a good plan. When a Canadian businessman tried to sell the idea to the Citizen Trade Policy Commission when it was intended as part of Atlantica, Sen. Kevin Raye, then on the commission, asked, “What’s in this for Maine?” and the man had no answer. But I couldn’t leave this blank, as in zero, no never, or totally too rotten an idea to even consider.

Nice idea, but extremely faulty execution. Perhaps instead of a list, you could get some actual experts in a room with some of us regular people and hash things out. See the book “Coming to Public Judgment” for a plan. Democracy takes time.

Bonnie Preston

Blue Hill

Better support seniors

My grandmother lived most of her life as a stay-at-home mother, so when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she depended on a fixed income. Sometimes she forgets a medication dose and recently she had been taking three times the prescribed dose of a heavy pain killer. This led to a trip to the hospital and a severe addiction.

Once she was released, it was a battle to get the in-home care support she needed and it was a hardship for my family to provide care in the meantime. My great aunt, who is 80 years old herself, had to come to take care of my grandmother. Finally, a great in-home aid worker was provided and paid for by the state so she could have someone there three to four times a week.

In order for more family members like my grandmother to continue living in their home, there needs to be a better system in place. Some cannot afford an in-home aid and for others the waiting list is so long they have to resort to other options.

There needs to be changes made in Maine to improve quality of life for all. This would include increasing the reimbursement rate to support the home care workers, raising minimum wage, and increasing affordable housing available to seniors. Much of this is in the new KeepMEHome initiative. These changes are critical because our family members deserve quality care and their in-home supports deserve quality employment.

Shannon Watts