Killing ‘Big John’

An Oct. 6 headline in the BDN Outdoors section read, “ Hunter takes down well-known ‘Big John,’” with the ensuing article relating to a skilled guide, three tracking dogs, suggestion of a bait box and an eager hunter from out of state. The glamour, excitement and thrill of killing Big John are evidenced strongly in the article by John Holyoke.

The killing of this magnificent creature that had avoided human contact for many years and had probably fathered many young bears is tragic. Was he harming livestock, destroying property or otherwise becoming a nuisance?

There is a similarity between this killing and the recent shooting in Las Vegas by Stephen Paddock. The bear hunt set up: bait box, dogs and a knowledgeable guide. Paddock had just that with planning, the hotel room strategically located and the cache of firearms. The concertgoers were enticed by the music and comradery just as the bear was by the bait box. As Paddock had meticulously planned how best to reach the crowd and from which windows he would shoot, the tracking dogs similarly knew where to find Big John. Paddock had excellent knowledge of the area and how he was to achieve his unthinkable goal of mass killing just as a skilled guide would know best where to find a prize bear.

How sad that the hunter is thrilled with his “once in a lifetime” trophy.

Jean Miller


Impeach Trump

When a well-respected conservative Republican who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks up and says the president is in danger of starting World War III, it seems time to sit up and take notice. Are we safe with this president?

Donald Trump came to office with no government or diplomatic background. This would not be fatal to his presidency if he were willing to listen to advisers who have that knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, he entered office dismissive of the entire intelligence community, and has since denigrated the judiciary, Congress, and members of his own Cabinet, thereby downgrading all three branches of government. He does not see diplomacy as being useful for addressing issues with North Korea, and this clearly puts us on a path toward military, and possibly nuclear, confrontation.

I have been reluctant to advocate for impeachment out of concern that it would further divide an already divided nation. The normal way to remove a president — or any elected official — is at the ballot box.

But if a president poses an imminent danger to the future of the world, impeachment is a constitutionally created process and would be reasonable to pursue. Possible grounds for impeachment include failure to uphold the oath of office, dereliction of duty, failure to provide steady leadership, conduct that debases the office of the president, possible obstruction of justice, and violations of the emoluments clause.

Carey Donovan


Keep Portland healthy

In my medical practice, I see the effects of not having paid sick leave firsthand. Every week, I care for patients who either work in the health care industry or have significant caretaking responsibilities at home. In the realm of health care, this is especially critical as these workers are often taking care of populations with already compromised immune systems, exposing them to unnecessary risk.

Take, for example, the mom who works at a nursing home and comes down with the flu. She is then faced with the choice of going to work sick and putting nursing home residents as well as her co-workers at risk or missing a day of pay that, for her and her family, may mean making rent for the month or putting food on the table.

Business owners will argue that the economic burden of Portland’s proposed sick leave ordinance is too great, but multiple studies have shown there is no appreciable effect on the bottom line for businesses that adopt these practices. Furthermore, having paid sick leave has been shown to increase job satisfaction and decrease worker turnover.

And, finally, the effects beyond the immediate workplace are great and include downstream benefits such as new mothers being more able to continue breastfeeding, caregivers being able to assist family members in treatment and recovery, and decreasing rates of expensive hospital admissions.

Numerous states and municipalities have successfully implemented similar legislation, and I urge the Portland City Council to keep our city healthy by adopting this policy.

Krystian Bigosinski, M.D.


Poliquin fails on health care

My dad, Master Sgt. Glenn Walker, served our country in the Air Force for 20 years. During his 18th year of service, he was sent to Vietnam. I remember coming home and seeing him sitting on the porch. His head was down. He didn’t want to go.

He could have just run away, but that’s not who he was.

He didn’t dodge. He didn’t hide, and he didn’t shirk away from his oath and duty to defend our country. He paid a price for his service. Dad had post-traumatic stress disorder and was a different man after his deployment, but with good medical care covered by the VA and tricare, he recovered. Not all veterans are covered by the VA, and it’s important that the Affordable Care Act fills in the gaps and provides care for veterans. I asked my Rep. Bruce Poliquin to explain to me why he voted in May to repeal the Affordable Care Act. His response to me was to turn his head and walk away. He works for Mainers, and he can’t turn and walk away from his commitment to this country.

Poliquin took an oath like my dad and serves to protect the general welfare of people like me.

Poliquin needs to protect the health care of Mainers. Dad put his life on the line to protect the people of our country. Poliquin needs to join bipartisan efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act and protect it from political sabotage.

Valerie Walker