ATV frustration

Millinocket was lucky enough to get a multi-use trail for walkers, bicyclists, all-terrain vehicle riders and snowmobilers. I have volunteered my services, equipment and am the sole fundraiser for maintenance items needed to keep the trail beautiful. I have built more than 30 gardens and raised money for a new lawn tractor, plants, gas, leaf blower and other items needed for the upkeep of the trail.

I am so frustrated by the ATV riders and other people ruining all the hard work I put into the beautification of the trail. The speed limit is 5 mph on the trail that goes along the Granite Street School and the little league field toward Ash Street and Central Street and the back path portion.

Parents should teach their children please to respect other people’s work, keep out of the gardens, not to ride in the gardens, stay on their side of the path and follow the speed limit of 5 mph on the paths. Adults, this path is made for a safe environment for all those who use it, not for you to run over plants and speed through the path, kicking the gravel from the ATV side onto the walking path.

Bobbie Allen


LePage’s wrath

Why does the Maine Legislature permit Gov. Paul LePage to play the role of a wild-eyed, finger-pointing, cursing dictator?

Six months into his second term, LePage’s wrath continues to fizzle and pop, then snap. Once again, all of us who didn’t vote for him are castigated along with those we voted in. Our votes and their votes are wasted.

Bonds sit on a shelf or in his toy box. “Not coming out until I get my way.”

All his petty tantrums and insults would be enough for any kid to be kicked out of kindergarten. But those elected to speak for us shudder and shake and try to act like nothing has happened. That he intends to redefine state government by sacking those not in compliance with his wishes also is ignored.

A bold, fearless Legislature swerved past the potholes and put guns into everyone’s belt or bra.

Meanwhile, bridges swing and sway, potholes get deeper and the ninnies in Augusta cower as LePage pompously declares himself Maine’s first King, Angus notwithstanding.

Ken Buckley


Panhandling problems

Pat LaMarche was in Bangor on Monday protesting Bangor Police Department’s Facebook post warning people against panhandling scams. Soliciting funds by the roadside is protected by free speech, I get it. My problem is in the tax-free income folks who choose this line of work seem to enjoy. It is a unique benefit other trades do not have.

I support those in need through my generous tax levy and charitable giving, and I understand what it is to be out of luck. Still, I find it intimidating to be approached in the grocery store lot, on my way to church and downtown by persons who say they are broke and need money for a ride to Houlton. Apparently, there are numerous Sheetrock jobs there that only are a “bus ticket” away.

I believe it is a poor choice to reinforce this public solicitation of funds by non-registered charity; but if you must donate cash, ask for a receipt.

Jane O’Loughlin French


Broadband service

Kimberly Lindlof’s June 8 BDN OpEd on the need to educate Mainers on broadband use does not mention two other reasons why only two-thirds of Mainers have subscribed to high-speed broadband service. Cost is one reason. With Maine having the highest population of elderly citizens, many of them cannot afford the $50 to $100 per month to get connected.

Rural living is another reason. Probably one-third of the population live in a rural area where broadband may come into their town, but they are just outside the area where rural local exchange carriers and cable companies have decided they can not make enough money to extend their broadband access another half-mile down a side road.

That is what has happened in Eastbrook. I’m less than a quarter-mile from where broadband ends. Myself and at least a dozen more residents who live down the road from me have to pay for an expensive dish on our roof to get online.

Diane Collar


Picking on the poor

Gov. Paul LePage spoke to students in Brunswick last week and told them the worst discrimination often is against “the poorest kid in the class.” As a clinical social worker with 45 years of experience in mental health and substance dependency, I have seen many “poorest kid in the class” families.

Kindness helps. But the “poor” child is a victim of mental illness, substance abuse, parental incarceration, parental abandonment, intellectual disability, insufficient education, child neglect and abuse. LePage ought to know that personally.

But Maine Department of Health and Human Services “reforms” are guilty of massive child neglect. No TANF, SNAP or MaineCare granted to the child’s family if their crisis-stricken parent used a drug? No medical care because LePage won’t allow expanded Medicaid? No funds or shelter for some immigrant children? Limited early childhood education? Even the rare “welfare cheat” has “poor” children. Regressive taxes on sales? Low-income workers’ fixed costs would rise.

Wise up, governor. Not many kids have patronage from political friends.

Jane Fairchild

Orneville Township

Harsh lessons

My sister and friend recently graduated from Eastern Maine Community College. As nontraditional students, both are mothers, grandmothers and employed. I was very disappointed at the way EMCC acted when they were six hours late turning in an assignment two days before their graduation.

The instructor failed the assignment, which resulted in their grade dropping from an A to a D. Although stated in the syllabus that late assignments would receive failing grades, this deadline was an hour before noon on the same day my sister was taking finals.

I take exception that the assignment held so much weight it would drop them three letter grades, that the late submission would be set at a time so inconvenient for a nontraditional student and that the severity of the penalty would result in a grade that made the course nontransferable and results in them having to retake the course, which both can ill afford.

EMCC should eliminate such harsh penalties. Students of EMCC, beware.

Tom Bryant