Pet overpopulation

We need tough new laws in Maine to control pet overpopulation and protect animals. A responsible breeder’s main objective is to improve the breed they love, not to make money, reinvesting most of their money into the well-being of their dogs.

People who make their livelihood from breeding contribute directly to the pet overpopulation problem by producing too many puppies. Often, dogs are cruelly confined, lack food, water, socialization and medical care. A female dog can be bred relentlessly, and when she is used up, she may simply be discarded.

Puppies often are sold to people who have not researched which breed is their best fit, making it likely those dogs will later end up in shelters.

Every year, 3 to 4 million sweet, lovable pets are euthanized in shelters simply due to lack of a home. I witnessed this firsthand volunteering at a local shelter. Thursday was euthanasia day, and when I arrived on Friday morning, half the dogs were gone, death by a needle.

Dogs are our friends and protectors. They can lead the blind, do search and rescue, herd,

work for us or simply be our welcome-home committee.

Let’s  be part of the solution by adopting our pets from shelters and rescue groups. Many breeds, ages and personalities are available, including purebreds and one-of-a kind mixed breeds. If we control how many dogs are born, then we control how many dogs die in shelters every day.

Linda Young


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The blunt thesaurus

Nearly two years into recovery, I need to jump off the wagon. After 38 years as an English instructor, I have been trying to recover some sense of normalcy: I avoid book discussion groups; I no longer correct dangling modifiers in newspapers; my desire to deface signs with inappropriately placed apostrophes weakens each day.

On a recent morning, however, when I read the headline, “Governor’s bluntness rankles many,” I succumbed. A careful writer uses words precisely.

Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated 43 years ago this month, used blunt words in his last public speech when he said: ”All we say to America is be true to what you are saying on paper.” He then compared racist policies in America to those employed in totalitarian regimes. He chose blunt words: direct, candid, forthright. Those words did offend some people.

From my perspective “blunt” is not the word to describe the objectionable quality of Paul LePage’s words, attitudes and behavior since he assumed office. The Republican senators who called out the governor do not criticize his bluntness; they mention his “government by disrespect.” We should use more precise words to describe the “rankling” behavior of Gov. LePage.

Let us be blunt and call his attitude arrogant, crude, belligerent, contemptuous, insolent, swaggering, insulting, demeaning and scornful. Most importantly, his attitude is counterproductive to his stated goals and to those of the majority of Maine’s residents — business and labor, Republican and Democrat.

Barbara Barrett


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New arena brings opportunity

We are writing this letter to express our support for the new arena in Bangor. We have called this city our home for more than 40 years, and during those years, we have watched major development take place, making Bangor one of the most desirable places in Maine to reside, in our opinion.

The new arena would only enhance the qualities this city currently possesses. An arena such as the one proposed will bring opportunities to this city and the surrounding areas by providing a state-of-the-art facility for entertainment, conventions, sporting events and so much more!

There is no downside to this proposal, in our opinion, and we encourage everyone to vote “Yes” on the arena on Wednesday, May 4.

Tony and Dottie Cerbone


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Looking God in the eye

On  April 11, the BDN printed a front-page article headlined, “Next phase of budget fight: deficit.” Presidential adviser David Plouffe reported the president would unveil more specifics to reduce the budget and will reveal plans to reduce the government’s chief programs for seniors and the poor. What a great plan to reduce help to seniors and the poor! Scrooge said that in his reply to those asking for money for the poor, “Let them die and decrease the surplus population.”

The president won’t talk about increasing taxes on the wealthy. Seniors and poor people have no recourse when programs helping them are reduced. They do not work to offset any reduced programs. Government is already planning to reduce Social Security, which many seniors rely on as their only source of money to live on. So again, “let them die and decrease the surplus population.”

Our elected officials are supposed to represent all people — the retired, poor, wealthy, sick, disabled and all others. The government could reduce what is spent on wars and giveaways to other countries and use this money to support our own people. Can elected officials look God in the eye and say “decrease the surplus population”?  God says to love the poor and the homeless and help them.

Charles Sykes


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Bad taste at my expense

I grew up in Austria and came of age around the time communism crumbled in Eastern Europe, which I traveled extensively in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When I first saw images of the mural that was removed from the Department of Labor in Augusta, I had one reaction: This looks like the kind of art I saw in subway stations in Moscow. Not the ones along the early lines, but those that must have been constructed in the later years of the USSR.

When I learned that these wall panels (I am not sure why they are referred to as “murals”) were financed with unemployment tax dollars — a tax that I, as an employer in Maine, have to pay — I felt uneasy. More recently, it came to light that the labor commissioner had herself memorialized on one of the panels, which actually upset me.

During one of my telephone calls with my mother, who lives in Austria, I relayed this story to her. Her reaction to the labor commissioner’s “self-monumentation” was simple, yet profound: “They would not even have allowed that in the Soviet Union.”

I ask, how can a state employee memorialize herself in a painting that has nothing to do with her on the taxpayer’s dime? This surely can neither be legal nor moral! And therein lies the real scandal for me as (now proud U.S.) citizen and taxpayer.

Gerald Nessmann