Killing is not the answer

In his letter to the editor last week [“Feral cats on Islesboro,” p. A9], Gary Atwell states that killing the feral cats on Islesboro is “the only realistic and lasting answer” to preventing them from killing birds.

What Mr. Atwell doesn’t acknowledge is that the major cause of loss of bird species is human activity. Habitat destruction (including industrial and residential development, logging, farming), pesticide use and pollution all take a far greater toll on bird populations.

Not only are humans responsible for the loss of species, birds and others, we are also responsible for the feral cat situation in the first place. These cats are all descendants of pets who were abandoned or allowed to roam outside unneutered.

The Islesboro Island Feral Cat Association is making a valiant effort to maintain a stable feral colony that will not reproduce and they should be applauded for their good work. However, people can stop contributing to the problem by making sure their pets are spayed and neutered and by keeping domestic cats indoors, as they also hunt birds.

What a terrible example we set for our children when we advocate killing as a solution to a problem. Education about responsible pet ownership as well as the importance of habitat preservation will yield more realistic and lasting results.

Anne Crimaudo

Searsport Animal Fund Endowment

Searsport

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Time to vote on wind ordinance

[Editor’s note: The following letter, shared with The Republican Journal, was addressed to residents of Montville.]

Your voice matters. Don’t give up on our town. Please come to town meeting.

I have spoken to people who are concerned by the low turnout last year. Families who have lived here for generations and represent the core of Montville were greatly outnumbered by newcomers.

The heated debate this year will be over the new “Town of Montville Wind Turbine Generator Ordinance.” Whatever your opinion on this topic, your presence and input will have an impact.

The summary of the ordinance in the town report does not accurately represent the contents of the ordinance. For example, the summary claims it does not apply to “personal home or farm windmills under 150 f[ee]t in height and with less than 100 kW generation capacity.” However, the actual ordinance does apply to these.

It is not a factual summary of the ordinance being voted on, either, and is titled with a different name. [Editor’s note: The official ordinance title is “Town of Montville Wind Turbine Generator Ordinance,” while the summary sheet calls it the “Montville Industrial Wind Turbine Generator Ordinance.”] The summary advocates for an opinion rather than simply presenting information. It is unsigned propaganda printed in a public document using taxpayer money. Copies of the actual ordinance are available at the Town Office and at town meeting.

Town politics can be frustrating and make you feel powerless, but you aren’t. Your participation is the way to exercise the power of democracy. Tell your family, friends and neighbors — March 27, come to town meeting.

I hope to see everyone there!

Bridget Rose McKeen

Montville

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Nancy Pelosi delivered

Say what you will about the Speaker [of the House], she did exactly what she said she would do — three times — by whipping that self-serving good ol’ boys club into passing substantial, if not perfect, health-care reform for the American people. While President Obama deserves a lot of credit for doing what none before him were able to do, and trying to do it in a bipartisan way, he, too, could learn a lesson from her unwavering promise to deliver.

On the other hand, the opposition leader, John Boehner, delivered such a shameful, obstructionist performance that he was on national television the day before claiming we were “24 hours from Armageddon.” He led his do-nothing party to a lockstep vote of 178 against the people and against history. I question whether anyone taking such a totally negative stance and making such a stupid, irresponsible and inflammatory statement should be in the Congress, let alone a leader.

Now let’s watch the Senate, to see whether they, including our heretofore brave moderates from Maine, will vote in negative lockstep or step up and do the right thing. I think some of the Tea Party crazies are actually fed up citizens on both sides, who are right to call to account all incumbents in their next election, including Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

David Estey

Belfast

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War dollar walk

On March 27, with other folks from Waldo County, I will be marching from Bath to Brunswick to join in the effort to stop nuclear war and to bring our war dollars home where they are so desperately needed for health care and education, and to fix our roads and create new, green jobs. The march will be led by Buddhist monk the Rev. Gyoway Kato who is with the Nipponzan Myohji order that does peace walks all over the world.

The entire march is from Bethel on March 24 to Kennebunk on April 1, with stops every night. So if you have the time and energy, you could do the entire march! To be spending so many of our tax dollars in a war which leads to so much death and destruction has become more and more unthinkable. To cause the death or mutilation of one American and the deaths of so many men, women and children in foreign lands is no longer viable. It is a horrible tragedy. And it creates more enemies.

When you read about school closings and so many suffering from being unable to pay for health care as well as rents and mortgage and food and gas, what do you think? What is happening to those school children? In Detroit they have shut off the heat in many homes. How many people are becoming homeless? How many people are going hungry in this great land?

How is it possible that the U.S. is falling apart? Could it be because we spend more on the military than other countries? The recession is one thing. Endless war is another. We cannot have both. We must try and get a message to our elected officials in Washington. They are being asked to support yet more money for war. The vote will come in April.

Jane Sanford

Belfast

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Looking for a laugh?

Saturday night, March 13, my husband and I were treated to a local theater ensemble at The Playhouse performing “Wild Mushrooms.” We laughed and laughed at the story of the three-generation Italian-American family.

The Playhouse, on Church Street in the Opera House building, seats 36, so its setting is intimate. At the intermission we were offered homemade cookies and drinks. If you’d like to see “Wild Mushrooms” call 338-5777. There are three more shows: March 26 & 27 at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee on March 28.

Linda Garson Smith

Belfast

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Successful Scout fundraiser

Many thanks go to Liberty, Montville and surrounding communities, Cub Scout Pack 39, numerous volunteers and Steel Rail Express for the success of our fundraiser for the Cub Scouts on Saturday night at Walker Memorial School in Liberty.

With more than 125 people in attendance, $592 was raised through cover charges, refreshments and a 50/50 raffle. The money will help to support the boys going to Scout camp this summer.

Steel Rail Express, a group of rockers from all over, is now based in Waldo County. Steel Rail Express members include guitarist Joel Watson, drummer Tim Woitowitz, singer Michael Ponder, guitarist Paul Vachon and female vocalist Jennifer Nittolo. SRE has its next gig in Bucksport on April 2 at Tozier’s II. Look for them on Facebook.

Community dance volunteers include, but are not limited to: Jen and Dave Florin, Mike and Jen Ponder, Catherine and Bryan Robbins, Kristy Palmer, Brenda and Tim O’Neil, and the generosity of Walker School. Donations were gratefully accepted from Pepsi Co., Lori’s Café, the 10-4 Redemption, and B98.5. Additionally, thanks go to Scott Weinhold and Marcus Riley for setup and lights, and Justin and Terri LaForge for donations and cleanup.

Kate Valleau

Bear Den Leader, Pack 39

Liberty