Stehle best qualified

I am an independent candidate for Penobscot County Sheriff and I am responding to Glenn Ross’s letter (Sept. 13-14) and his comment that the job of sheriff is “not a job one learns from a textbook.” Ross’ insinuation that I lack the law enforcement experience for the job of sheriff is misleading.

My experience and unique set of skills were the reasons Sheriff Ross pursued me and hired me to be his chief deputy. My skills in law enforcement and as a chief executive officer, law-enforcement trainer, accountant and organizational manager were pressed into service to take control of the organization and put it back on a path to excellence, and I did. My personal mission as chief deputy was to restore trust in the organization, and I did.

I started the Special Response Team and, working with Community Health and Counseling professionals, brought Crisis Intervention Training to the sheriff’s office. With my experience in law enforcement, I was selected to serve as a contract employee with the FBI, dealing with anti-terrorism activities.

As an international Certified Fraud Examiner, I have investigated complex fraud and money-laundering cases, and I serve as a consultant for other law-enforcement agencies.

In response to Ross’ statement of learning from a textbook, I do agree that I am a lifetime learner and textbooks play a role.

In addition to reading textbooks, I also have written one. I am writing another book on law-enforcement ethics and how to maintain integrity over a law-enforcement career.

A lifetime of experience builds skill sets that can be appropriate to different jobs. My experience, skills and integrity make me the clear choice to become the next sheriff of Penobscot County.

Allen T. Stehle


Stop digging

The brief history of humanity’s skyrocketing demands for nonrenewable energy reads like a horror story. For generations, suffering people will accuse us of the most heartless — and brainless — selfishness. Tragically, they’ll be right.

Is there a fisherman, farmer or forest worker in Maine who can’t tell you how much their environment has degraded in one generation, or how unreliable weather patterns have become and how this threatens their ways of life?

Jim Hightower says, “If you find yourself in a hole and want to get out, the first thing to do is to stop digging!” We are digging early and awful graves for our grandchildren; neither ignorance nor inaction are acceptable responses.

This weekend, a busload of University of Maine students heads to Manhattan to voice their concerns about climate change and to call for action. They know the answers lie in each of us taking personal responsibility to learn and to do whatever we can. They and other climate change activists can show us the way out of the hole. Let’s start climbing.

Jane Livingston


Yes on 1

I’ve never seen myself as a political person. When I heard that our state is the very last one to still allow bear trapping, hounding and baiting, I felt a lot of embarrassment — this is not “the way life should be.” These practices are truly unnecessary and cruel. I’m speaking up to support a Yes vote on Question 1 and to tell my fellow Mainers how much I want to see cruelty banned and fair chase restored.

Last year, my friends and I began volunteering for this cause, gathering signatures for the ballot. It was a really energizing and rewarding experience! Now that Question 1 is on the ballot, there’s even more to do to get ready for Election Day. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit and sign up to volunteer today.

And please vote Yes on Question 1.

Susan Baker-Kaplan


Elephant misinformation

We are grieved to hear of Dr. Jim Laurita’s death at his beloved sanctuary in Hope. We are responding to the negative conclusions drawn about his mission and passion for these two ladies, Rosie and Opal. Our family has visited the facility three times in the past two years, privileged to have our grandchildren see and hear about the world of the Asian elephants. We applauded their mission and broadcasted to all the need to visit this amazing facility.

This program was not a dog-and-pony show to exploit these pachyderms as some have stated. Those making such ludicrous statements have probably never visited the sanctuary or observed the mutual love between Dr. Laurita and the elephants. There had been a list of elephants waiting for this necessary rehabilitating program.

The media stated that all wild creatures need to have a protective barrier between them and man. How ridiculous. Animals that perform have had trainers and performers alike in physical contact. If that was not safe then, performances would have been outlawed many years ago for these animals. At the sanctuary they provide barriers protecting the elephants and humans.

Please, someone step forward on behalf of this amazing and educational resting place for elephants. Those in the media, government, law enforcement, friends, neighbors, someone, anyone, defend this sanctuary and its mission. To the family, we say we are so sorry for your loss and you remain in our prayers as you grieve for this man and all the changes invading your privacy.

Cheryl Whitten


Support Cain

Maine deserves a leader in Washington who represents their values and understands their concerns. Here in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, we have the highest percentage of minimum-wage workers among all New England districts. We need a representative who will stand up for Maine families and businesses, someone who believes that full-time employees and their families should not suffer the indignity of living in poverty.

Emily Cain is running for Congress this November, and she has my vote. In Congress, Emily will work to raise the minimum wage to help working Mainers and their families. The minimum wage, both nationally and in Maine, has not been increased since 2009. Adjusted for inflation, today’s minimum wage is nearly one-third lower than it was in 1968. In an economy that’s more than doubled in size on a per-capita basis, surely we can do better.

As a professor at the University of Maine, I see how my students struggle to get by, working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Opponents of a higher minimum wage fear that it will hurt business, but growing evidence suggests that a higher wage reduces employee turnover, which in turn reduces employment and training costs. A higher minimum wage also empowers workers, fostering self-sufficiency and reducing the need for public assistance.

Emily Cain is the only candidate in her race that supports a higher minimum wage. We deserve a representative who understands what’s at stake for hard-working families. I’m voting for Emily. I hope you will too.

Rob Lilieholm