Doctors, not politicians

Evidently some local politicians are trying to stop the sale of raw milk. These people seem to have the belief that milk that has been messed with and modified by a corporation is better for us than raw milk. However, there are many doctors that don’t agree with them.

If you will look on the web site of Dr. Mercola ( or Dr. Wright ( or watch Dr. Oz (Channel 5 at 10 a.m.), you can find information that is more accurate than what you would get from a politician or a corporation. These people are medical doctors who have examined benefits that proper nutrition has for people.

I would rather get my nutritional information from a doctor who is trained in nutrition than from a politician or a corporation.

Arthur F. Bailey Jr.


U.S. presence stops attack

Like Mr. Hoyt, a veteran from Lubec (“Why I stand,” BDN letters), I too am a veteran (Korea) and from Lubec as well, and my forebears did their share of fighting the English way back.

But that’s where Mr. Hoyt and I part company. I don’t like what’s going on in the Middle East either, but I would remind Mr. Hoyt that there is this thing called the atomic bomb, and some of those Middle East countries have it and are just dumb enough to use it. In fact, a case can be made that they would have used it already but for America’s checkmate presence in that part of the world.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hoyt and many of his compeers fail to realize that centuries and centuries of sheikdom domination of the Middle East populations has resulted in an aggregate population today that is incapable of rational thought and assessment. Maybe the Arab Spring movement will eventually bring forth a mindset in that part of the world that is capable of ruling out the implementation of nuclear holocaust as the quick-and-easy problem solver in the name of Allah, but until such rationality exists, we are locked in, like it or not.

I hate the costs in loss of life and treasure that we are paying in our attempt to maintain equilibrium in that part of the world. But we created that bomb, and I am sure that bomb saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. There is, indeed, a price for everything!

Phil Tobin


Disputing suicide numbers

I read the letter from Dick Hoyt in the Nov. 30 issue of the BDN (“Why I stand”) and was concerned about his figures regarding Army suicide rates.

While I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Hoyt’s position, I appreciate his concerns and applaud his attempts to make a difference by writing a letter to the editor. However, as a retired Air Force officer who has had the opportunity to review military suicide rates, his statement that 18 Army members a day succeed in committing suicide seemed extremely high.

Although I was unable to find the Army Times article Mr. Hoyt quoted, I was able to find some official statistics and the number Mr. Hoyt quotes is closer to a monthly average than a daily number. In 2009, 160 soldiers committed suicide, roughly 13 a month. In July 2011, Army suicides reached an all-time high for a single month at 32 suicides.

These numbers are still unconscionably high but nowhere near the 18 a day Mr. Hoyt cited.

Mr. Hoyt also stated that there are months when more soldiers in Afghanistan die as a result of suicide than die in combat. If this is true, it probably has to do with the fact that combat-related deaths in Afghanistan have decreased greatly since hostilities began. There are many months when there are no combat-related deaths, so even a single suicide would result in more deaths by suicide than in combat.

Catherine McLoud, Lt. Col. USAF (Retired)


East-West now

Sen. Doug Thomas’ proposal of more investigation of an East-West interstate highway in Maine is an excellent idea with many economic benefits.

Twenty-five years ago this proposal was made, roughly paralleling U.S. Route 2 in Maine and New Hampshire. New Hampshire was against this route as they believed the blasting would dislodge the “Old Man of the Mountain.”

The “Old Man” is gone.

James W. Buchanan


Strengthen, don’t weaken LURC

I am writing you to express my concern with the efforts by some in our state to weaken LURC as it now stands. I would plead for the opposite.

The job of LURC has been to look out for all Mainers’ interests. I live in Washington County, but value the lands, waters and wildlife of all counties. I believe that if LURC’s powers were relinquished to “local interests” that would be the beginning of the end for habitat and quality assurance for Maine’s unguarded and remote lands and waters.

I have lived on two of Washington County’s lakes for most of my adult life. I have seen what local control can and can’t do. Too often local control involves local politics, and we all know what happens then.

There seem to be some who believe LURC isn’t working. I beg to differ. When threatened by this agency, people take notice and try to abide by the laws in place. Isn’t that why it was created? We owe it to our children and grandchildren to take as good care as we can of our beautiful state’s lands and waters. LURC is helping us do just that.

I cannot see any good coming from allowing local control to weaken LURC, especially at a time of unprecedented pressures from development and heavy harvesting. I see good from strengthening LURC while improving its methods.

Tonya L. Troiani


Anniversary reminder

What a coincidence that the BDN’s editorial on prostate cancer would appear on the second anniversary of my surgery for the disease. I am, today, a two-year survivor. However, I run a high risk of recurrence because I did not have the advantage of early detection, so critical in the treatment of any life-threatening illness.

I am convinced that had I had annual PSA screenings, a diagnosis would have been made earlier, before the tumor grew as large as it did. The PSA is a simple blood test, one that can be done as part of any customary panel ordered by the physician. If started at say, age 50, the levels can be tracked as are any other values — potassium, sodium, calcium, etc.

If PSA levels begin to rise, the patient can be referred to a urologist. Together, they can discuss options, including a biopsy, which the vast majority of men endure with little or no side effects. It would be too bad to eliminate PSA tests as part of a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s condition and preventative care.

Clyde Tarr