Go green

Trump and Republican Party with their country-club mentality are leading America and the world down the wrong path. They are concerned with petty and nonexistent problems while ignoring major problems with difficult solutions. Instead of a wall to keep imaginary criminals out, we need to be spending money on developing green renewable energy. But the only green these people know are the dollar bills lining their pockets. We should be leading the world efforts on climate change instead of being an anchor dragging the country and world down with there ignorance and greed.

Steve Roth

Swans Island

Response to Sutton ad

I would like to make two comments about the open letter from Paula Sutton that ran as an ad in the Bangor Daily News on Jan. 24.

First, why wasn’t this piece printed as a guest column on the editorial page? I was surprised to see this type of paid advocacy in the news section of the paper without any kind of context. Does the paper have any policies about what content can be printed in this format? I think the BDN owes its readers an explanation of what is going on here.

Secondly, having grown up in Laredo, Texas, Sutton’s father likely knew what he was getting himself into by purchasing ranches near the Mexican border. When I read there was a court case involving the vigilante group Ranch Rescue that Mr. Sutton allowed on his land to set up their paramilitary activities, I found official Texas court documents and newspaper articles about the proceedings.

The group allegedly used a dog to hunt down two Hondurans hiding in the bush at night, detained them, beat one, verbally abused and threatened them at gunpoint before releasing them to be picked up by the border patrol. The Hondurans took Mr. Sutton and t wo group members to civil court. Sutton settled his portion of the suit by paying $100,000.

I think the open letter misrepresented the facts to make a political point. I think the BDN owes its readers more context on what it puts in its paper.

Douglas Heden

Bar Harbor

Vaccinate students

As a teacher of 15 years, I have had the privilege of educating a variety of students. Part of their education has involved discussing the efficacy and importance of vaccinations to protect the members of the population who are most at risk. In some cases, those individuals have been students I have taught who could not receive vaccines because of a number of medical issues.

As we are seeing in Washington state, declining vaccination rates are dangerous to our most vulnerable populations. Here in Maine, on a smaller scale, cases of pertussis and chickenpox are on the rise as well.

Maine’s opt out rate is more than double the national average, causing serious questions about our herd immunity. The educational, medical and financial tolls that vaccine-preventable diseases take on families throughout our state are enormous and steadily increasing.

Students in my class have had to miss school because they are concerned of a pertussis diagnosis; this creates undue stress on students as it impacts their educational experience. The parents of these students then have to either stay home from work or pay someone to care for their children. The real tragedy is that we know exactly how to prevent this.

As a parent of four young children who are vaccine eligible, I have the good fortune of being able to choose to fully protect them against some of the deadliest contagious diseases in the world today. Unfortunately, too many people in Maine are refusing to do the same. The bill that will eliminate non-medical exemptions is essential to protect the most vulnerable members of our population and allow them to be educated without fear of contracting preventable diseases.

Amy Magnuson


Belfast reality

A few weeks ago, there were several BDN articles written by Abigail Curtis that mentioned NIMBY (not in my backyard) and activists in the Belfast area who were positioned as being against development.

To my knowledge, there have been few if any complaints about Belfast’s Front Street Shipyard. This company has enlarged and built additional facilities to accommodate mega-yachts and other vessels.

Nordic Aquafarms is a different situation. The fish manufacturing plant is promoted as one of the largest in the world. This experiment has been criticized for its massive size and huge carbon footprint.

Nordic Aquafarms could use an estimated 1,200 gallons of freshwater per minute. In times of drought, will the aquifers and our wells be diminished or dry up?

Effluence piped into the Bay, even if treated for diseases, could create a catastrophe, especially if the pipes leak or break apart. Huge amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous spilled in the bay could cause toxic algae blooms. Aqua farmers raising oysters, kelp, and other seaweeds could be negatively impacted, as would boaters, kayakers, and children who play in the water or tourists who admire the harbor and park.

Imagine the additional traffic, especially in the summer, from trucks carrying feed and other supplies to the fish plant and the refrigerated trucks carrying fish to markets in and out of state. Who will pay for road repairs inevitably deteriorated by the number and weight of the


NIMBY people, activists, and others are confronted with the reality that Belfast — not Norway, where Nordic Aquafarms is from — is a testing ground for this experiment that could end up being an environmental and economic disaster.

Phyllis Coelho


Bring back ‘Non Sequitur’

I’m an 84-year-old retiree who moved to Maine 20 years ago. I’ve been a regular BDN reader since then, paying attention to the news of the day before breathing the fresh air of the comics pages. For as long as it has appeared, I have particularly valued “Non Sequitur” for its unusually imaginative take on various aspects of life. Let’s not take things too seriously, shall we? To end its run in the paper is a great example of a non sequitur. Bring it back. Thanks for making the BDN worth reading.

Joseph L. Snider

Southwest Harbor