Inherent dangers

In response to “ Brewer teen rescues grandfather on Katahdin, upset with park policy,” I am an avid hiker and regular visitor to Baxter State Park, as well as to New England’s other beautiful mountain ranges such as the White Mountains. Anyone who spends time on these peaks knows the dangers inherent in climbing to the top of them.

Unfortunately, the 2014 summer season in Baxter has already required multiple rescues off Katahdin, putting park rangers, EMTs and helicopter pilots in hazardous scenarios that are often avoidable.

Critiques of park policy, and the rangers’ unwillingness to search for an under-equipped hiker who chose to set off alone, show how much these places are misunderstood, even by those who are there most often. The mountains of New England claim lives every single year; many more are saved by brave folks who are there to help when a truly unfortunate event arises.

For me, one of the most exhilarating features of Katahdin is knowing that if I mess up on a hike, it’s on me to fix it. Landry is correct that the park’s policy on this matter is not as clear in the minds of visitors as it should be, even with the extraordinary lengths park authorities go through to ensure the safety of visitors. But I think it’s clear on who’s back this mess up is.

A senior citizen hiking alone without a flashlight is not a truly unfortunate event. It shows a clear and willful disregard for the safety of everyone on the mountain. There is only so much that humans can do for each other in a place like that. Don’t think otherwise. And please, take care of yourself out there.

Alex Greenlee


Regular men

I respectfully disagree with Eddie Adelman’s July 9 BDN OpEd, “ A conversation between Jefferson and Hancock.” To say that the Founding Fathers were just “regular men” is like comparing the Mona Lisa to subway graffiti.

They were statesmen who rose above politics to accomplish the goals they envisioned. They were passionate; they were educated; they were visionaries; they had a moral compass (except maybe for slavery and women’s rights, but then maybe morals evolve just as everything else does); and they read books. There is a sign up in the Lubec Library that reads, “Our country was founded and its Constitution written by men who got their learning from books.”

Walter N. Plaut Jr.


Trucking safety

With 1,270 members around our state, the Maine Motor Transport Association is committed to promoting safety within the trucking industry and to making our roads as safe as possible.

Despite assertions to the contrary made in a recent letter, “Driver Fatigue,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is working to help improve highway safety.

Collins, along with a bipartisan group of senators, has proposed suspending two new rules that were intended to make the roads safer, yet they are having the opposite effect.

The new law is, instead, pushing more trucks onto the road during the daytime hours when crash risk is at its highest. This has increased risk, congestion, emissions, delays and costs to our economy.

Collins is simply asking for a comprehensive study of the public safety impact of these new rules. During this study, her proposal would revert only two restart provisions back to the rules that were in place from 2003 to 2012 — rules that produced quantifiable safety improvements.

The National Fraternal Order of Police recently wrote to Collins in support of her effort which, they say, “only makes sense from a public safety perspective.”

We all want safe roads, and safety is the trucking industry’s highest priority. That’s Collins’ priority, too.

Brian Parke

President and CEO

Maine Motor Transport Association


Complete disenchantment

My experience as a Vietnam veteran has left me with an attitude of complete disenchantment with politics at the national level, and until recently, I have painted local politics with the same brush. But a longtime neighbor of mine has entered the ring, and I am forced to reconsider my blanket disaffection.

I am supporting Jonathan Fulford for state Senate in District 11, in Waldo County, because he has convinced me that much can be done on the state level to support veterans and all Mainers in the areas of health care, education, job creation and training, housing and protecting the overall environment that we live in. Jonathan has demonstrated his ability and his values in the way he has lived his life here in Waldo County. I am confident that I could not be better represented and that my support, combined with that of my neighbors, can be an effective force for positive change.

Wes Cotton


Dog days

Rockland definitely has a dog owner problem as Steve Betts’ July 7 article — “Unscooped dog poop may force closure of Rockland park” — states. Yesterday, upon arriving home, we could smell dog feces in our yard. Obviously the dog was not on a leash to come that far into our yard, and it had been tracked over the grass.

The South End of Rockland is littered with feces on Boston Financial property as well as on our sidewalks. Last winter, there was feces littered on and at the entrance to the boardwalk, on Main Street and the side streets. A favorite spot is on Lincoln Street by the former school. During the Summer Solstice, a man let his dog trample lilies on Main Street, so the animal could urinate.

Dogs should not be allowed on Main Street, and anyone who sees people leaving dog waste on our streets should be reported. Around dog licensing time, I was at City Hall on an unrelated matter and decided to see the city manager with a suggestion to help with this problem. The solution is to have a DNA test done on every dog at time of licensing. When feces is found, it would be tested; the owner would be fined; and they would bear the cost of the DNA test as well.

Some home developments in Florida require the homeowners’ dogs to be tested, and they are fined if not compliant. Obviously, this suggestion was not delivered or considered by the city council.

Linda Hillgrove