Bill Graves explains

In response to Mr. Graham’s letter, “Credit where due,” (BDN, July 27-28), I’d like to clarify: First, no self-respecting writer uses someone else’s ideas, words or photos without express consent, and second, the publisher, the editors and this writer would never intentionally print an image without proper credit. Literally thousands of photos comprise my files from over 35 years of outdoor writing and on the back of each are written the names and places. Although I receive many unsolicited pictures and digital images from outside sources, unless the sender and subject are personal acquaintances those photos are destroyed or deleted.

The dog photo was one of over a dozen submitted to support using digital cameras with fast “stop action” lens speed and was picked from a file labeled “Stuttgart Arkansas Duck Hunt.” Regardless of who or how many eventually handled that photo or why the credit note was lost, the ultimate responsibility lies directly with me. I offer my sincerest apologies for the oversight and will make every effort to find a better, more permanent labeling system.

I am puzzled how that photo ended up in my hands and why Mr. Graham didn’ t e-mail me with his concerns rather than seek a public forum.

Bill Graves
Presque Isle

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Fighting for Fort Knox

For years I have been an “army of one” trying to educate people on the correct location of Fort Knox and thought I had been gaining, but in the July 26-27 BDN, there was Fort Knox in Bucksport again. Yes, it is a tourist attraction along with the observation tower on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, but in order to visit the fort, you must drive to Prospect over the bridge which runs from Verona to Prospect.

I am very glad that the British did not come up the Penobscot River and use the supposed location of the fort as fact and blow up Bucksport.

We are proud to call Prospect home and would like to have Fort Knox physically and editorially stay here. At one time I had talked about getting some people to come down the river as a raiding party and take back possession of the fort, but I’ m too old now, so words will have to do.

Barbara Tilley

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Dirty politics

A security group calling itself The Employee Freedom Action Group has mounted several attacks on Congressman Tom Allen, who has served nobly and well these past 12 years in Washington. He is now running for the Senate in opposition to Susan Collins.

At the beginning of his campaign, Allen renounced the use of negative attacks on his opponent, yet Sen. Collins has not. Allen says he respects her and is looking forward to a clear and honest debate on the issues. Hopefully, Collins will denounce this group and their dirty tricks.

Jenny Hardina

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Iran offers to talk

The Bush administration is escalating its saber-rattling against Iran even though military experts warn attacking Iran would lead to a far worse disaster than the current Iraq quagmire.

Among administration actions: President Bush recently labeled the Quds Force, a branch of Iran’ s Revolutionary Guard, a “global terrorist threat.” Late last year the administration authorized stepped-up covert operations against Iran. Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mullen admitted last spring that the Pentagon is actively considering military action against Iran.

A resolution now before Congress would effectively back a naval blockade of Iran — an act of war.

Few Americans know that Iran has offered comprehensive talks with Washington that could resolve the nuclear standoff and other issues. Such talks without preconditions are backed by independent experts like Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and Hans Blix, former chief weapons inspector in Iraq.

As before the invasion of Iraq, claims that Iran is developing nuclear weapons are taking center stage. Washington uses the specter of “rogue” states gaining nuclear arms as its main excuse to wage war. But the U.S. builds its own national security policy around threats to use nukes first and turns a blind eye to Israel’ s nuclear arsenal.

Most Americans believe we need to get out of Iraq. All who are part of that majority should press Congress to resoundingly reject any moves toward war with Iran and to instead promote dialogue with Iran to ease tensions and normalize relations — an essential step toward real regional and global security.

Jack Lally

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Local food options

Regarding the letter to the editor “Meat and oil” (BDN, July 26-27): although I agree that “Big Meat” production is as bad for the planet as joyriding in an 18-wheeler, I feel we would overlook a few important points when jumping directly from that to “our local supermarket’ s rich variety of soy-based” products.

For instance, soy is a highly allergenic product for many, and it comes with genetic engineering and “Big Agriculture” baggage of its own. Soy still carries the burden of the fossil fuels it takes to grow, process and transport those veggie burgers to your table.

Let’ s not forget that Maine is rich with small farms that are producing healthy, tasty meats and veggies in an environmentally friendly way. Our state Department of Agriculture has a site, that offers lists of your local farms. We are fortunate to have many options in Maine for a sustainable “think globally, act locally” diet.

Rhiannon Hampson-Jovin

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50-year oil supply

The BDN states in its July 30 editorial that Republicans are holding heating assistance hostage in return for offshore drilling. This could not be further from the truth.

Republicans only want a compromise which would and should allow more drilling. Of course, opening up drilling will bring the price of oil down if only because of pressure on the Middle East. We have enough untapped resources in the U.S. and its territories to last us for well over 50 years.

The editorial states that more drilling would not benefit the consumer for a decade. If that is true, then why should one attend college? The college student certainly is not going to school today and graduating and starting a career tomorrow.

I would suggest that the BDN should come out of its ivory tower and see that over 80 percent of the population wants to drill now.

Ivan Hanscom