Big victory underplayed

The University of Maine women’s basketball team won the America East conference championship on March 9. By doing this, they earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, one of the most watched sporting events across the world. The Bangor Daily News ran a story about their victory on page B4 in the Saturday edition. This was the front page the Sports section.

The BDN featured a page B4 story about the outgoing University of Maine athletics director on the front-page banner in the same edition. I cannot understand how the paper came to prioritize the story about the outgoing athletics director above the conference champions. The champions deserved the front page of the newspaper.

One of our hometown teams accomplished a feat difficult to attain. They did it in a manner that warranted community recognition and support. Since the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor was nearly sold out for the event, our community in fact turned out. It seems the BDN did not see the significance of this event.

Scott Misler

Winterport

Mayhew for governor

My concern with a “successful business man” as the qualifier for governor is that these positions have very different skill sets. Both require leadership and organizational skills, but in business, “the customer is always right,” negotiations are for a win-win, and success means respect and appreciation of your clientele. In today’s politics, a true conservative is attacked by press and the opposition by simple misrepresentation, lies and labels. Praise or respect is extremely rare.

I respect Gov. Paul LePage. He has stood by his principles and has not taken the easier “let’s all get along” road. He has been tested under fire and has not wavered. Some people would have you think that he is the most hated man in Maine. But he received more votes than any other governor for his second term, is appreciated and respected by conservatives, and is leaving Maine in a better position than he found it. I have seen too many conservatives throw principles away for popularity, making the easy and popular choices and be rewarded by liberals and the press.

I like my politicians successful, tough and tested. Change in government is difficult. It often becomes wars fought publicly in the press, by demonstrations or by lawsuits. It is a messy and painful process. It takes personal fortitude to engage and requires political skill to prevail. I like Mary Mayhew for governor — proven successful, tough and tested, and ready to start work on Day One with her feet on the ground.

Diane Vernesoni

Wiscasset

Maine needs gun control bill

When the Second Amendment of the Bill Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, it stated the following: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

At that period of time in our history, single-shot muskets were used and were loaded one shot at a time. The authors had no vision that citizens more than 200 years later could be armed with semiautomatic weapons that have the capacity to kill many citizens at a time. But the authors of the Constitution did provide us with a very flexible document so that lawmakers could pass legislation when needed without interfering with the basic premise of the Second Amendment.

In order to safeguard schools, as well as the general public, the following gun control legislation could be proposed: universal background checks (with a comprehensive mental health component), a five-day waiting period for purchasing a firearm, an age requirement of 21 and up to purchase a firearm, and semiautomatic and military-style assault rifles should be banned.

Our children are our most precious resource. They need to be loved and protected. Their safety while attending our Maine schools has to be a top priority.

I challenge the Maine Legislature to pass a comprehensive gun control bill.

Robert Chaplin

Bar Harbor

More car control

Everyone will agree that school shootings are horrific and need to be stopped. After a school shooting, we blame the gun, we blame the NRA. We holler at the top of our lungs “do something.” So the politicians blow a lot of hot air and maybe pass more laws and regulations that will do absolutely no good. And yet every day in this country we have the equivalent of a Florida school shooting on our nation’s highways.

Every day, 11 teenagers die driving and texting, and not a whimper from anyone. If we really care about teenagers and want to save lives, then we need regulations where you have to be 18 or a high school graduate to get a license to drive. You need to be 18 or a high school graduate to have a phone to text with.

Up to 11 lives a day could possibly be saved. That’s more than 4,000 teenage lives a year. Are we really interested in saving school kids lives, or just blowing hot air?

John McCready

Hodgdon

Food sovereignty not about safety

In a March 10 BDN article, the Maine commissioner of agriculture argues against food sovereignty laws on the basis of food safety, but the only evidence cited in the article is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found no food-borne illness in Maine over the last 10 years that can be attributed directly to a farm or dairy. There is an obvious disconnect here.

Clearly, safety measures taken by local food producers are effective, therefore the issue here is not one of food safety, but of big government versus local control. “Food safety” is the bogeyman of big agriculture, which can itself hardly claim a stellar safety record.

Those of us who buy food from local producers are making choices to support our Maine farmers and communities, and to reject the commoditization and industrialization of agriculture that is producing increasingly unhealthful food. It is our absolute right as Mainers to codify our choices via local food sovereignty ordinances to engage locally and legally with our friends and neighbors who nourish both the land and our bodies.

Deb Suran

Deer Isle