Fence sense

There have been six suicides in seven years on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, yet the Legislature decided against a suicide prevention fence for the bridge. It seems that due to numerous suicides on the bridge in the short time since it has been built, this is a necessary safety item that is greatly needed.

There are plans to put a fence at Fort Knox in Prospect to prevent visitors from falling and getting injured. There has not been a suicide or major injury at the fort. It has been stated that there have been 34 serious incidents in 28 years, with injuries ranging from cuts and abrasions to broken bones and even loosened teeth. Are these really serious injuries that warrant a fence? Yet a bridge that has had many suicides does not need a safety fence to save lives?

It would seem that due to the numerous suicides on the bridge, a safety fence would do more good. The fence at Fort Knox just doesn’t make sense. A fence to save lives would make much more sense than a fence to just prevent a fall.

Where is the common sense in this?

Rosemary Graney


Poorly crafted law

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, was on Fox News to say that the Affordable Care Act needs to be fixed not dismantled. I disagree.

I am a builder, and I know that a good foundation inspection is required before cosmetic fixes should be considered. The Affordable Care Act does not have a strong foundation. The website is full of problems. Still, some mandates have been delayed; the religious aspects were not well thought out; the costs are astronomical to insure a few; and policies are being cancelled.

Should I go on?

Insurance for all is a great goal, but the way this law was set up is flawed, and it will always be flawed. It is quicker and more structurally sound to build a new foundation than it is to repair leaks in an old damaged one. The sooner we scrap the Affordable Care Act and start fresh, the sooner we will reach the goal of insuring everyone. King needs to stop supporting this poorly crafted law.

Glen Quintal


Court fools

It’s a good thing the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t issue its decision on McCutcheon v. FEC on Tuesday.

That’s because America would have thought it was an April Fools’ joke.

Instead, the joke is on us, as the court deals another blow to our democracy by delivering another big win to special interests.

It’s not enough that big money dominates our federal elections with unlimited spending by super-PACs and others. No, the court had to lift the cap on what the wealthiest among us may hand over directly to candidates.

No cap on what can be given to candidates. The current cap, which is more than $123,000, is apparently so low, some wealthy Americans are deprived of their First Amendment rights.

McCutcheon won’t help you or me, but it will give yet another advantage to those with the deepest pockets and the greatest financial interest in and influence over what happens in Congress.

If only that was funny.

Alison Smith


Traditional means

The story in the April 1 edition of the BDN about the Glenburn girl who was turned away from the “father-daughter” dance highlights how really rigid-minded some people can be. The age of 13 is especially a sensitive time in any child’s life. I know, I was 13 once, and it was the year my father died. Suddenly, we were a “nontraditional” family.

Jody O’Connor showed deep insensitivity when the girl and her stepsister tried to attend the dance. Regardless of her deeply rooted belief that “traditional” means “we have always done it that way,” she showed two faces. One was the immovable “face” to the girl and her stepsister when she turned them away from the door; then she turned the other “face” to the reporter when she said, “I don’t like the idea that someone would be excluded, to be honest with you.”

O’Connor needs to be honest with herself about how she works with children, the school for which she volunteers, and, most important, to consider the emotional damage and embarrassment the girl will experience as she moves through the rest of the school year.

Les Myers

Old Town

Think again

I would like to offer my support to Jody O’Connor, who was cited in a BDN article that featured her as the individual who turned away a girl and her older sister from the Glenburn father-daughter dance. I have always known Jody to be an open-minded, generous and kind person. A dynamic organizer in Glenburn for many years, Jody has worked tirelessly to produce many beloved activities for our children, often with just a small committee of folks working equally as tirelessly. Indeed, my hat is off to her, as it has been for many years. I am not alone in that sentiment in Glenburn.

I find that, while many folks are quick to criticize, few actually put forth the effort to be useful. The father-daughter dance has been a tradition in Glenburn, similar to many other communities, for years. It is easy to sensationalize this issue; however, the decision to bring this to the media rather than follow more productive channels (such as talking to school officials) has only served to create unnecessary controversy. If the agenda was to cause positive change, certainly a more proactive approach would have been helpful, rather than attempt to tarnish a citizen who has served the community so well and for so long.

To not acknowledge all the good that Jody has done in our community is remiss. If anyone thinks that they can accurately draw conclusions about her character based on this story, think again.

Donna Cotton