Trapping is cruel

Trapping done for love? John Holyoke has to be kidding. It’s too bad that none of the photos accompanying his Jan. 23 article show what really happens. When an animal is caught in a trap, held there struggling in pain and fear until it dies, or the trapper arrives to execute it at point blank range, where’s the compassion, the kindness or the affection that love implies? Instead, there’s an indifference to life that condones suffering in the name of a “recreational sport.” What is evident is the profit motive, which is a powerful incentive and helps explain why in-state and out-of-state trappers have become a political force way beyond their actual numbers.

It’s entirely possible, as most Mainers have discovered, to enjoy nature and the outdoors without killing, but if an animal must be destroyed, it should be done quickly and humanely. Trapping is neither. The more Mainers know about the cruelty and indiscriminate nature of trapping, the more they will realize that this brutal practice should end.

Don Loprieno


Same ball, same day

I am a football fanatic, and I cheer for the Patriots. I also firmly agree that professional athletes do have a role and responsibility to those who look up to them, which is oh so many. Yet, I ask, why can’t these professionals all play with the same ball, on the same day, in the same weather conditions?

When we compare this to say basketball, the NBA doesn’t allow each shooter to select their own favorite ball before game time. Put that into perspective: everyone is a shooter with the same ball throughout the same game. And when it comes to playing on playgrounds as children in school, or in other organized activities, there are specific balls for use during the time of play for each individual involved. And I know that the child, in my time as a young athlete anyway, who throws tantrums because he feels that the ball being used does not line up to his personal liking would be the last one picked by a team, if even picked at all.

I guess that I am one fan who believes that this ball concern is clearly a National Football League issue, not just the Patriots, which in this case is simply helping the non-Patriots fans rationalize why they must be so successful.

Greg R. Stacy


Bucksport’s other buyers

I am a businessman who, over my career, has bought, sold and created businesses. I have no love for unions, and I think Bucksport could succeed after Verso Paper because of its natural beauty and deep protected harbor.

But when evidence revealed other paper companies had approached Verso to buy the mill but were ignored, the truth became obvious: Verso had no intention of selling to a competitor. Gov. Paul Le Page is right, and the union should appeal.

Bob Scott


NFL Commissioner LePage

Wow, hell froze over. Gov. Paul LePage, the Bangor Daily News, NBC, USA Today and ESPN all agree the Patriots are cheaters. Ethical? Really, without any facts, only accusations?

Here’s a thought, take the pine tree log out of your eye before you tell your brother to take the toothpick out of his. I voted for LePage to be our governor, not the commissioner of the NFL, who will make a debacle of this joke about ball pressure but allows a woman to get knocked unconscious and criminals to run free.

Until Bob Kraft allows him to buy Gillette Stadium, I suggest LePage worry about the Blaine House.

Ray Bryant


Poliquin’s allegiances

Bruce Poliquin has been in Washington for three weeks and has already turned his back on his 2nd District constituents. He has instead chosen to align his votes with the extremist faction of congressional Republicans.

So far, he has advocated for an anti-women bill that fictitiously claims to restrict federal funding of abortion (federal funds have not paid for abortion since the 1970s), supported the construction of a tar sands pipeline that will hurt consumers and destroy the environment, and opposed the president’s humane immigration reform.

With these votes, Poliquin is thumbing his nose at the Maine voters who elected him. But this isn’t a case of voter disengagement; rather, it’s a case of secret money once again propping up a candidate and leaving the voters in the dark on what the candidate actually believes. During his campaign, Poliquin received support from various out-of-state tea party groups, including FreedomWorks, a group backed by the Koch Brothers. Without campaign finance transparency, wealthy extremists will continue to dupe voters.

This isn’t a problem with just one side of the aisle, either. Both Democrats and Republicans should be held to the same standards so voters can rest assured that their representatives will actually advocate on behalf of them.

A solution exists. H.R. 20 reforms financing of elections and empowers small-dollar donors and everyday citizens to take back ownership of their elections. Only one congressional Republican supports this legislation. It would be great to see Poliquin become the second.

Simon Thompson


Park makes sense

Robert Liliehom’s Jan. 19 OpEd really hit home with me — literally and figuratively. He said that a new national park and national recreation area would not turn the Katahdin region into an “economic powerhouse” overnight, but it would help the region realize its goal of a better future, “creating new jobs, bringing new energy and vitality to the region and strengthening our economy in a way that builds on [Maine’s] outdoors heritage.”

I am studying for my Bachelor of Science degree in parks, recreation and tourism while pursuing a minor in psychology at the University of Maine. Attending the School of Forest Resources has taught me a lot, including that there can be a balance between recreation, tourism and the forest products industry.

Like Lilieholm, I don’t think the proposed national park is the golden answer, but it is an opportunity we need to grasp because it is going to bring more people to the area. It is going to create jobs and increase traffic so those “outsiders,” as most will say, will spend money in the area. We should be taking all we can get right now.

Let’s use our past to formulate a plan for the now to promote our future. Our resources aren’t leaving — people are. I want to return to my home town of Millinocket after I graduate. A national park could help make that happen.

Cody McEwen