Piano permit

Rest easy ye citizens of Bangor, code enforcement is alive and alert so blue pianos beware. Neither trauma nor horror of a Wurlitzer pipe organ accompanied by a bagpiper in Hamlin Square.

Blake Bartlett


More than gun control needed

Yes, we need effective gun control that could keep guns out of the hands of all people who would use them to kill, themselves or others. Though the diagnosed mentally ill get most of the media attention in conversations about gun violence, they are a tiny fraction of all those who kill with guns.

Gun regulation is not enough. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and putting those people in the hands of the criminal justice system is certainly not enough, either.

Both our criminal justice systems and our mental health care systems are dysfunctional and becoming increasingly expensive, cumbersome and ineffective as the control is placed more and more in the hands of profit-driven corporations. We need to reform these systems. And we need to create healthy communities and climates that can take care of all the basic needs (physical, social, emotional, mental and moral) of everyone, and especially the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

Alice Bolstridge

Presque Isle

Gun control not answer

Although the obvious response to the recent shootings in Oregon is “Do away with the gun-free zones that invite the unbalanced or evil to target the unprotected,” we know beforehand what the media and our president will say: “We need more gun control laws.”

We also know that every news report will muse over the gunman’s motive. The motive is irrelevant because no motive justifies such actions. Do we understand that by attending to the motive we accept the suggestion that there are motives that make these crimes justifiable?

Patricia Egan


Romulan shopping

I just moved here from a major city where cars are not needed for daily life. Upon moving here, I decided that Brewer was a town small enough that I could again manage without a car. It’s working great, with one exception.

Obviously, when I go shopping, I must carry by hand all that I buy. In every grocery store, gas station and pharmacy I have entered carrying either a backpack or shopping bags from another store, I have been asked to leave my property at the door or at a front desk. When I ask why, I am told it is “policy.” What a lovely, corporate curse word.

Be creative next time. They might as well say “national security” or “the greater good” or “Godzilla prevention” or “only Romulans carry backpacks and we don’t serve your kind here.”

If they don’t trust me in their store, why should I trust them to watch over my goods? I kindly ask that they alter this “policy” that indirectly profiles those of us without cars as thieves. Or, be creative. The boring, petty power play is what insults me.

Zachary Hutchinson