Bear facts

Bucky Owen, former commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said in a May 19 BDN article, in reference to a family of four bears living near Dirigo Pines in Orono, “These bears have no fear of people and will eventually get into trouble. … It is a good example of why people should not feed wildlife and make them dependent on human resources; in the end, it always turns out badly for the wildlife.”

Owen’s statement as it applies to bears is spot on. Yet it’s legal for Maine hunters to put out piles of junk food leading up to, and during, hunting season! Bears become conditioned to feed safely at these food sources for weeks, then — unaware the rules of the game change on the first day of the shooting season — they fall easy prey to hunters who await them in tree stands above. Later, surviving bears could be lured to familiar food scents exuding from and around houses. Yet when it comes to generating revenue, this example of feeding wildlife and its predictable consequences is condoned by DIF&W.

Economics aside, it’s a shame state wildlife biologists won’t take a stand against the Maine Sportsman’s Alliance and bear baiting. This practice violates the tenet of fair chase and is wrong on many levels — but especially for the reason Bucky so emphatically articulated.

Maine’s contradictory hunting laws are a discredit to DIF&W.

Kathy Pollard


F is for plagiarism

Our governor invokes the values of accountability and transparency by insisting on grading our schools, but he apparently abandons these values in the case of the Alexander Group’s late and badly flawed report about Maine’s welfare and social services programs. As a lifelong educator, I employed penalties for lateness and plagiarism: a deduction of one letter grade for every day an assigned essay was late and an automatic F for any student guilty of plagiarism, because taking another author’s words and pretending they are your own is theft, pure and simple.

I never, happily, received an essay from a student whose paper was both late and guilty of plagiarism, but the greater of the two crimes — theft — should automatically result in a grade of F. The Alexander Group has been found guilty of both: the LePage administration must demand a full refund of $925,000 on this no-bid contract.

Roger Bowen

Prospect Harbor

Election primer

How often we get things backwards. Such as with elections. People tend to skip the primaries, thinking the important vote will take place in November. But if Mainers don’t voice their preference June 10 — both parties have contested races for the House of Representatives — Maine will be stuck with whomever others chose in the primary when the state votes in November.

If there’s a difference between the candidates in a party, please vote your preference June 10. There’s always time to become informed about Republicans Bruce Poliquin versus Kevin Raye and Democrats Emily Cain versus Troy Jackson.

Patricia Colling Egan