Bring back Busby

The BDN’s termination of Chris Busby’s excellent column is a gigantic but hopefully fixable error. The BDN has three other columnists whose work isn’t suitable for wrapping fish to go to the dumpster. I refer to Heather Denkmire, Matthew Gagnon and Sarah Smiley.

The BDN could get rid of any or all of them and vastly improve its product. Meanwhile, Busby always wrote well and about things that mattered and weren’t being covered. Please bring him back, posthaste.

Jim Burns

Amity

Shameful protesters

It was shameful and appalling that a visit to Maine by a presidential candidate be treated so badly by Democrats.

This candidate was kind enough to come to this state, which is more than I can say for most of them over the years, with the exception of a few, and he has come here more than once.

What happened this time? He was protested vigorously, both inside and outside the rally. Some of the placards and shouts were more than disturbing, with words like racist and worse.

My dad was a Democrat, but he seldom discussed politics. He would have been disgusted at what these Democrats have lowered themselves to be with their utterly shameful, rude and uncalled for attacks.

What was even more disturbing was the local TV news media. They gave more time and attention to the screaming protesters than to the candidate and his speech. Just how low have we become? It is a sad situation, though it seems to be the norm nowadays.

Bob Leeman

Brewer

Naloxone saves lives

A recent New York Times article titled “ Naloxone Saves Lives, but Is No Cure in Heroin Epidemic” addressed some of the unique concerns we recently have had in Maine. I would like to clarify some confusions with which readers may have been left.

Naloxone is not a cure to the opioid epidemic. Advocates for access make no such claim. Naloxone is an emergency measure to save a life. The true hope for a cure to the opioid-related overdose epidemic is expanded access to treatment, a solution which Maine’s governor has fought at every turn.

Paul LePage’s policies have resulted in reduction of care and closure of treatment facilities across the state. Some overdose survivors will go back to using; this fact is well known. When options for treatment and support are so few and access barriers so many, how can we expect otherwise? There is no evidence to suggest that increased access to naloxone has a correlative effect on opioid use.

Our community has many gaps to fill in order to truly help those affected by opioid use. We need more suboxone and methadone providers. We need more intensive outpatient treatment facilities. We need people in recovery to speak out and show that recovery is possible.

The number of overdose deaths in Maine increased by 31 percent from 2014 to 2015. Naloxone saves lives; that is the sole intended consequence. If we fail to provide compassionate, nonjudgmental treatment to those in need, the toll falls on us.

Ross Hicks

Harm reduction coordinator

Maine Health Equity Alliance

Brunswick

Don’t eat lobster

Many passers-by who saw PETA’s plated “lobster” protester at the Maine Lobster Festival last week asked for more information, and some vowed to let lobsters live — by not eating them.

According to researcher Michael Kuba, Ph.D., lobsters are “quite amazingly smart animals.” They recognize individual lobsters, remember past acquaintances, have elaborate courtship rituals and take long-distance seasonal treks, traveling 100 miles or more every year. Lobsters also feel pain, and those that are boiled alive likely suffer every second of the three long minutes it takes for them to die.

Other lobsters are ripped apart while they’re still alive. PETA captured video footage inside a crustacean slaughterhouse in Maine, where lobsters were decapitated, torn apart and left to die slowly and in agony.

The next time you consider eating one of these interesting beings, please pass and opt for an animal-friendly vegan meal instead.

Paula Moore

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

Poliquin right to take on Ex-Im Bank

Enough is enough. I am tired of partisan activists manipulating the media and spreading blatant lies about Congressman Bruce Poliquin.

From mills to manufacturers and everything in between, Poliquin has fought for Maine jobs. In the case of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and General Electric, there are several facts that are being left out.

First, there are dozens of news reports on the bank’s employees and Washington politicians scamming the system for their own benefit. For instance, a congressman from Louisiana was found with nearly $100,000 in his freezer, the definition of cold hard cash, from corrupt deals surrounding the Export-Import Bank. I am proud of the fact that throughout all of the hearings on the bank, Poliquin stood up and brought these issues to light. As a lifelong Mainer, he understands we are honest people and do not stand for corruption.

Second, I don’t believe GE ever had the intention of bringing jobs to our Bangor plant. A May 28, 2014, article in the Wall Street Journal reported the GE had been looking to add 1,000 jobs in France. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those 80 jobs were never coming here. They were always going overseas, and they used Mainers as political pawns to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank.

Terry Hamm-Morris

Hermon

Trump wrong about Maine’s Somali refugees

During his campaign stop in Portland last Thursday, Donald Trump disparaged Maine’s Somali refugees by saying the U.S. is admitting people from “among the most dangerous places in the world” and that “has to stop.” Being in danger is an essential condition of the right to asylum that is recognized by federal and international law.

My grandfather came from the dangers of Eastern Europe 115 years ago to escape pogroms and persecution. He asked only to be able to practice his religion and to raise his family. His children and grandchildren have started businesses, become lawyers and accountants, schoolteachers and nurses, served in the military and defended this country and have paid taxes.

Somali refugees are not destroying America anymore than my family did. We are fulfilling its promise.

Jeffrey Lovit

Addison