Excessive force

The many examples of what appears to be excessive use of force by officers of the law toward citizens around the country is very disturbing. A recent example in California involved not one officer but 10 beating and kicking a man lying on the ground with his hands behind his back. The man was unarmed and had been subdued by a stun gun.

The shooting of unarmed black men by police occurs all too frequently. And the unprovoked use of force and abuse of the occupy Wall Street protesters exercising their right to free assembly and speech in a public space also comes to mind.

Given all the examples of excessive force, one would think that a critical look at police behavior by mindful citizens is in order. Rather than militarize our police force with surplus weapons and equipment from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we need citizen involvement to help police departments formulate rules of conduct. After all, just whom are all those military weapons intended to shoot? Does a black man in this country have more to fear from an Islamic State militant or from a militarized police force?

Herb Thomas

Northeast Harbor

North Woods park

Those of us who live in the real world know Interstate 95 travels through Bangor. Millinocket is about 12 miles from I-95. Millinocket does not want to have anything to do with the North Woods national park, this according to the Town Council’s 6-1 vote.

The Bangor City Council would like to have traffic flowing towards these woods and water. This is the business of that City Council. That City Council is looking out for the people and businesses of Bangor. Bangor is a mere five exits away from Medway. This is very much Bangor’s business. This will bring that city much in return for their support.

The people of Bangor should be very proud to be represented by such forward thinking council members. The councilors were very eloquent in their 7-2 vote to support the national park idea that could raise the economic draw of their city. The Millinocket Town Council could learn from these well-groomed, well-respected councilors.

Charlie Cirame

Millinocket

Radical sportsmen

A small group of radical “sportsmen,” emboldened by their narrow win in the bear baiting referendum, are now attempting to amend the Maine Constitution to make killing wildlife a right rather than a privilege. In doing so, they also are attempting to possess the “holy grail” by banning all future citizen referendums dealing with wildlife issues.

These radicals already control the Maine Legislature, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Blaine House. Based on recent court decisions, one could argue that they also exert considerable influence over Maine’s judiciary. Realistically speaking, the only avenue remaining for the public to influence fish and wildlife policy in this state is the citizen’s referendum.

The radical sportsmen know this and are pulling out all the stops to gain complete control. No less than four “right to hunt” bills are presently under consideration by the Legislature. The reason that we have had wildlife referendums is because of a corrupt, broken political system that refuses to address the concerns of all Mainers. Evidence of this corruption is the fact that no less than eight sponsors of this right to hunt legislation serve on the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, about 11 percent of Mainers hunt. Hunting contributes $202 million to Maine’s economy annually, and wildlife watching contributes nearly $800 million annually. It’s time for the 89 percent of Mainers who do not hunt and the countless hunters who support increased protection for our wildlife to speak up and be heard.

John Glowa Sr.

South China

Food Mobile

As a former resident of Willimantic, I am concerned that the food cupboard problem in Dover-Foxcroft is getting worse and people are not being taken care of. The group of community leaders trying to start a new food cupboard are in way over their heads and need to find some help. People literally don’t know when or where their next meal is coming from.

They set up in the old food cupboards building, but only temporarily. We’ve seen two different locations mentioned for May, but there seems to be no real answer. A permanent place should have been the first priority.

Then they change the hours week to week so it’s hard to know when to arrive, even if a person knows where to go.

Then they took pictures of people getting food help and posted them to the Internet for all the world to see, without thinking how those people might feel.

Now the Food Mobile is coming to Dover-Foxcroft. The Food Mobile should be going to towns with real crises happening like mill closures and hundreds of families wondering how they’re going to survive. Not to well-off Dover-Foxcroft, where they supported the old food cupboard for decades and never needed to take food away from other towns.

This is a big problem, not just growing pains and jeopardizing needy people in Dover-Foxcroft. They need to fix it before people start missing meals.

Art Daigle

Saratoga, California

Ignore the numbers

Update, bulletin, special announcement, whatever the television media names it, we are deluged by salivating reporters who report survey results of presidential hopefuls. We will hear one broadcast channel report the findings from “a study of 1,200 persons that so-and-so leads the field by 45 points.” Another perspective will report that from “1,400 people surveyed that so-and-so leads by 25 points.”

Who are those 1,200 or 1,400? Does it even matter? The answer to that last question must be yes. The explanation can be found in the basic philosophy of the media source — liberal, conservative, moderate. Each study is and will be biased by the network’s philosophy. No study is truly independent.

We must not be persuaded like lemmings heading to the cliff by these biased studies. Ask yourself and the media, “Who are those persons being surveyed.” It is easy to shape the surveyed population according to the media’s objectives. It is absolutely necessary to study each candidate’s balance sheet that supports our own beliefs. Not the opinions of the 1,200 or 1,400.

Ray Sheely

Veazie