Loud money

With reference to the 72 people who have complained about the loud concert noise at the Darlings Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor — they are wasting their breath. Those with the most money win, period.

Now they are being mocked by Garrison Keillor, as reported in the July 29 BDN.

Roy Marshall


Royal summary

What a good summary of Maine political families by Matthew Stone and fine OpArt by George Danby.

As a summer resident of this beautiful state, may I add a few luminaries to your list?

I am reading Michael Hill’s Elihu Washburne collection of journal entries and letters while he served Paris during the worst of times. How about the national influence of all the Washburn brothers? It is unheard of anywhere else. Remarkable Americans has a chapter on each brother and how they knew Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

Stone told the story of Olympia Snowe being elected to her husband’s position. What about Margaret Chase Smith? Wasn’t her husband senator before she was elected to office?

Hannibal Hamlin and James G. Blaine must have other family members in the political arena, too.

Martha F. Barkley

Belgrade Lakes

Bangor Home Companion

It was a rare treat to spend last Saturday evening at Waterfront Park, to share in the Prairie Home Companion Radio Romance Tour. Garrison Keillor even pronounced Bangor correctly, except when he needed it to rhyme in his opening monologue. He got an unexpected laugh when he offered praise for a summer night, containing the scent of mowed grass.

Up on the stage, he might be forgiven for missing, “the rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.” But those of us in the prime viewing section were doomed, over the course of the evening, to count “two and seventy stenches, all well defined, and several stinks.”

Whether Shakespeare or Coleridge provides your field guide to stenches, we had plenty of it: The wafting of an evening breeze from the row of plastic cesspools lining the walkway to the stage prevented even Sara Watkins from lifting us up and away into the music.

Let’s hope that the folks at Waterfront Park rethink their placement of backhouses before we all call to question that other odoriferous quote, from Juvenal: “The smell of profit is clean and sweet, whatever the source.”

Ron Beard

Bar Harbor

Royal omissions

While I found Matthew Stone’s description of Maine’s “royal” families to be very interesting, I was bothered by a couple of omissions. When discussing the famous historical families, Stone did not mention the Washburn family. As anyone who has ever spent time at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore knows, this family has impacted the political and business history of Maine and the United States.

The family of Israel and Martha Washburn included 10 children and became one of the most influential and powerful families in the United States in the 19th century. Israel Jr. was instrumental in forming the Republican Party and was governor of Maine, 1861-1863. He also served in Congress with his brothers Elihu and Cad who represented Illinois and Wisconsin. Cad also served as governor of Wisconsin, and several of the family members served in diplomatic positions.

In the discussion of more “modern” families, Stone brought up the Longley family but omitted Susan Longley. She served in the Maine Senate from 1994-2002 and then ran and lost to Mike Michaud in the Democratic primary for John Baldacci’s congressional seat in 2002. She has been elected and serving as the Waldo County judge of probate since 2004. Her valuable contributions should be noted, too.

Patricia Clark


A jury has spoken

The July 22 BDN column by Charles Krauthammer about the George Zimmerman verdict should quiet the public uproar created by the press. If the roles were reversed, I doubt that the press would have pumped up outcries of racism.

Krauthammer points out that President Barack Obama followed the case and the FBI investigation that showed no indication of racism. The jury of women very carefully reviewed the laws governing the case and issued a verdict of not guilty. Even Obama said, “A jury has spoken.”

Thyrele Robertson

New Limerick

Out of touch

The Navy plans to spend $34 billion of our tax dollars to purchase a total of 52 ships, which were designed to patrol coastal waters while addressing threats like mines and enemy submarines. To put it in perspective, that’s roughly $4 billion more per year than the United Nations estimates it would cost to end world hunger.

Let me see, protect the homeland from “mines and enemy submarines” or end world hunger? This is just one tiny example of how out of touch our government has become.

John Hafford


Town’s vitality

In regards to the July 20 article in the BDN about Sanford becoming a city, it should be mentioned that after the textile and shoe mills closed, Sanford recovered from that economic disaster and was known as “the town that refused to die.” I cannot see what benefits will be realized by changing my town to a city. We will now have councilmen as opposed to selectmen. Councilmen have the authority to put in force changes to the city without bringing proposed changed to a town vote. I feel that if more people were informed about what effect it would have to change our town to a city, they would have not voted in favor of this change.

Edgar A. Morin


Insightful illustrations

I would like to express my appreciation to George Danby for his fine work day after day in creating clever editorial cartoons and insightful OpEd illustrations for the BDN. I hadnʼt fully recognized his presence in the paper six days a week until I began using the paper daily in my American literature classes at Ellsworth High School this past spring.

Students were responsible for creating editorial and OpEd pages and used the format of the BDN as a guide. Danbyʼs art was invaluable to my artists as they created their cartoons and drawings. One of my students came to realize how much fun but also how demanding of the imagination this exercise is.

Danbyʼs work is one of the many features of the BDN that makes it a better newspaper than those Iʼve read in cities of similar or even larger size throughout the country.

Barbara Conroy