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Friday, April 20, 2018: Injustice to domestic violence survivors, take climate change seriously, a deadly hobby

Injustice to domestic violence survivors

I am the former wife and domestic abuse victim of Don McLean. In 2016, Don pleaded guilty to four counts of domestic abuse against me, including domestic violence assault. Two related charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Business as usual dealings with convicted domestic abusers — and to paraphrase Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, there are always people who could fill the spot who don’t have criminal records and haven’t committed domestic violence against women — are another punch in the head to the victim. But beyond hurting the victim, these dealings send dangerous messages to violent men, to women in relationships with violent men, and to young people still forming views about what is and is not acceptable in romantic relationships. Too many women are dying in Maine at the hands of their partners for us to be casual about such things.

Fifty-five years ago to the day, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter from the Birmingham jail as to how “injustice must be exposed … to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

Erica Cole, the former girlfriend of Alex Gray, has heroically exposed a brazen injustice. It is time for the city of Bangor to stop making excuses about its dealings with Gray’s company, Waterfront Concerts, and do the right thing. It really is a matter of life and death.

Patrisha McLean
Camden

Take climate change seriously

What’s bigger than the Boston Red Sox? What’s bigger, even, than the New England Patriots? The Gulf Stream, of course.

A recent article in the Bangor Daily News reported on two scientific studies that show the Gulf Stream, part of circulation currents in the Atlantic Ocean, is slowing down. The article says that the Gulf Stream, which brings warm water to the New England coast, is losing steam.

This is one of the most severe outcomes of climate change. And it’s happening sooner than predicted.

Will fishing off Maine suffer from the change? Will summer Maine tourists stay away from colder ocean beaches?

As part of Maine’s creative economy, I hope the state’s official poet will eulogize the Gulf Stream before it goes.

And I hope that Republicans in the state will think twice before they vote for congressmen, Rep. Bruce Poliquin to be exact, who refuse to acknowledge man-made climate change.

Far-sighted local governments along the coast are taking changes to the ocean seriously. Why can’t Washington politicians elected in Maine do the same?

Robb Cook
Lubec

A deadly hobby

In reply to Al Larson’s April 12 letter to the editor, “No new gun laws,” we mostly all know that the woods aren’t full of hunters using AR-15s but it sure is a fact that it is the gun of choice of deranged killers in most of the deadliest shootings this decade.

Here is a partial list: the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people, mostly students; the Las Vegas slaughter of 58 people last October; the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that claimed 26 lives in November; the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead in 2016; the San Bernardino, California, shooting that killed 14 people in 2015; and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012 that took 27 lives.

AR-15 addicts have connived long enough with Congress to make these dangerous weapons legal. No other civilized country allows it, and the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were let down by Congress and the students knew it. One sign that I noticed in their march on Washington said, “Your hobby is killing us.” I agree with them.

Harold Waltz
Millinocket

A disheartening scene

While a visitor in Brewer on Saturday, I was reminded how society thinks about themselves, which was very disturbing.

After dropping my mom off at her place, I came out to the intersection where you need to drive into a parking lot of Rite Aid and wait for the light to go left. When I came around that little corner to catch the light, I observed an older gentleman sitting in the middle of the intersection because his scooter ran out of power when he was trying to get home.

I jumped out of my car and went to him and asked if he needed help. He had one good, working leg that the passing of time had left him. He was trying to get his scooter in neutral so it could be pushed to the curb. I was dressed for an occasion that day in my Sunday best. After neutral was found, I started pushing and found out just how heavy that scooter was. He helped the best he could being almost immobile.

I was shocked at how many people just sat in their vehicles and watched. Have Americans lost their hearts? Together we were moving the scooter an inch at a time. Finally, some young men showed up and helped the man get home. It was disheartening to see this behavior, especially from Mainers.

Samantha McGuire
Hallowell

Ballot access quandary

I am in the process of trying to run for the U.S. House seat for the 2nd Congressional District. My comment is this. Why does an unaffiliated (independent) candidate have to acquire twice the signatures on a ballot petition as a party-affiliated candidate? This is pure and simple discrimination.

For the past few days, I have spent time at the town transfer station in freezing weather gathering signatures. I don’t regret that, because I have met many good people who have signed for me, and I appreciate that. But it seems that the system is rigged against people not willing to follow a party line.

I have much experience in life that I would like to use for the betterment of our country. Making it twice as difficult is not right. If I can obtain enough signatures to get on the ballot, I intend to walk across Maine this summer and talk to the residents and listen to what they have to say about how we should go forward.

I will be on that ballot, even if I have to stand in freezing weather each day. I will have my say, but it should be equal access for all.

Dennis O’Connor
Oxford


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