Sturgeon and Belfast

I was somewhat surprised by a few of the remarks made in John Holyoke’ s article on sturgeon in Penobscot Bay (BDN, Aug. 2-3).

My friend, Peggy Levangie of Belfast, told me that her late husband, Dick, a onetime commercial fisherman, caught and released a sturgeon in Penobscot Bay some years ago. He was told at the time that they were not all that rare.

I was told that the Passagassawakeag River, whose mouth forms Belfast Harbor and is locally called the Passy, is an Indian place name meaning, “The place where sturgeon is caught by torchlight.” As far as I am able to determine, this is the only Native American locality which specifically names that particular fish.

Robert Fraser

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Obama out of touch

I couldn’ t disagree more with the editorial “A ‘ Background’ Gap” (BDN, July 29). It says these words are code words for racism, should one oppose Sen. Obama, who is black, for president. The paper underestimates the quality of the thinking of most Americans.

A presidential candidate who says rural Americans need guns and religion because they are depressed, who wants to raise your taxes, who never wore a flag pin until he was criticized for not wearing one, who chose not to visit our wounded troops in German hospitals on his recent campaign trip is out of touch with the “background and values” of most Americans and the BDN.

Bob Roxbrough

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Obama’ s vision right

John Bolton in his op-ed, “Presidential hopefuls on a different planet,” (BDN, July 31) underestimates the potential of the world standing as one. One of the advantages of European efforts at rapprochement toward the former Soviet bloc was that it opened up those countries to the West. Eastern Europeans were able to see the truth about life across the Iron Curtain not the misrepresentations told by their governments.

Similarly, efforts here in Maine help “tear down the walls.” One only has to witness the Children’ s International Village held this summer in Brewer or the Seeds of Peace summer camp, which brings together Palestinian and Israeli youth. As people of different backgrounds get to know each other they find they have more in common than their frequently misguided leaders claim. Obama’ s call for one world thinking is sorely needed to repair America’ s image abroad.

Thomas E. Martin

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Bangor, July 4, 2009

A story about Bangor’ s Fourth of July fireworks display (BDN, July 8) correctly pointed out that the funds to stage Bangor’ s Fourth of July parade and fireworks display are raised by area Kiwanis clubs under the Fourth of July Corp. banner. In an average year, the parade budget is approximately $6,500, while we strive for a $15,000 fireworks display.

Approximately one-third of the cost of the festivities is paid by three local communities (Bangor, $5,000 Brewer, $2,000 Levant $100). The rest is raised by Kiwanis through solicitations from businesses and individuals as well as the sale of $1 Joshua Chamberlain Bridge passes, as well as many local trucking companies donating trucks with flatbed trailers and drivers to haul bands and floats.

Viewers were quoted in the article as saying the 2008 fireworks display was “a little lacking.” The reporter failed to mention that fewer than 50 businesses and individuals contributed to the 2008 display. There is a perception that the city of Bangor funds the entire show. This is not the case.

I invite spectators past and present to help ensure a successful 2009 Fourth of July celebration by mailing your contribution payable to the Fourth of July Corp. to my attention at P.O. Box 2729, Bangor, 04402-2729. Anyone interested in helping plan, organize, or raise money for the 2009 celebration should contact me at 942-3526 or any member of the Bangor Breakfast Kiwanis Club. Our club meets for breakfast at 7 a.m. every Thursday morning at Geaghan’ s Restaurant, and you are invited to attend.

Dan Guerette
president, Fourth of July Corp.

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No to Alaskan drilling

I do not believe we must despoil our environment in Alaska and along our coasts with oil company drilling. The oil companies already have hundreds of thousands of acres of off shore areas along with more in the arctic which they have not touched but they want more. Why?

Any oil discovered would not be available for at least 10 years. If we are serious about weaning ourselves from fossil fuels, especially oil, then why the push? I submit that the oil companies are thinking of tapping into the developing Asian market not the American market.

I think we should be more careful in our husbandry of God’ s green Earth. We also owe future generations the opportunity to experience the wonder and enjoy some completely wild and unspoiled areas. I am not in favor of despoiling our American environment so oil companies can continue to make huge profits by supplying oil to others. The logging companies are already doing this to the Tonga in Alaska.

John C. Ferriday

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Drill now

The BDN’ s July 30 editorial, “Drilling LIHEAP” bemoans that even if we started oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge today, we wouldn’ t see any production until 10 years from now. But had naysayers allowed drilling there all along, we would have realized production way before now.

Second, the misconception, but consensus is that we can “conserve” our way out of oil imports and alternative energies will save the day. Misconception because the world collectively uses more energy today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today. And second, you will never recoup the price tag of that new hybrid car, no matter how many miles per gallon it gets. It takes more gadgets, be it cars, appliances, or solar panels.

If you simply want to feel “green” about yourself, fine, but it’ s still a drop in the bucket as far as reversing world oil supply demand. By this logic, restaurant patrons can save energy by not cooking at home.

Bill Capistran

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Congress bugs out

We finally get a bipartisan group in Congress that wants to solve the energy crisis using all means available, including conservation and drilling, and the Democratic Congressional leaders close shop for five weeks or more instead of doing something to help lower gas and heating oil prices.

If they think that bugging out and going home is going to improve their 9 percent approval rating they are wrong. Imagine what would happen if your boss thought that you messed up 91 times out of 100 while paying you an attractive salary. Resignation seems the only honorable thing to do.

Hewlett Crawford