Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
The article in Another View (June 19) accused the Humane Society of advancing this November's bear referendum as a prelude to ending all bear hunting. When other states prohibited hounding and baiting, interest in fair-chase bear hunting actually increased. Colorado, Washington, and Oregon all prohibited baiting and hounding more than 20 years ago, and since then the number of bear hunters has risen significantly in all three states — by an average of 289 percent. Bear take increased in these states as well. Since Oregon prohibited bear hounding and baiting in 1994, bear tag sales have tripled. In Washington, the number of bear hunters has almost doubled; the number of bear hunters in Colorado has more than tripled. We can infer from these data that bear hunting in Maine would increase, not decrease, if the referendum passes.
Although the referendum might have been initiated by the Humane Society, countless other groups and individuals in Maine are supporting it. A long list of local advocates can be found at fairbearhunt.com. If the referendum were not a valid concept, it would not have garnered some 80,000 signatures from the citizens of Maine.
If bears are invading our space, it's because we have fed them and lured them into our territory. We may be hearing more about bear incursions than in the past because of the impending referendum, but none of these reports has described any injury to humans. If indeed the bear population has increased 30 percent in the past 10 years, then clearly the current methods of hunting are not controlling the population. Baiting actually increases the population because it fattens bears and leads to the birth of more cubs and a higher survival rate. Other, more humane, methods than hounding and trapping can be instituted, such as extending the season and increasing the bag limit.
So please join me and other concerned Maine residents in passing the bear referendum this November.
To Boston Financial
I am not sure who is in charge of the boardwalk in front of your place of employment but I am sad as well as many others to see things that need to be fixed there.
I am 90 and my friend, who is 87, walk almost every day at the boardwalk and have to sit on the benches to rest in between and feel so fortunate that we have them but they are deteriorating fast.
Is there something we can do to help repair or build new ones? I was given a $1 this morning to start a fund for it, but don't want to do that if other plans are in the making.
Where's the flags?
Where are the American and State of Maine flags? They are not flying high on the building at 409 Old County Road in Rockland where patients go and pay their medical bill each month? They call it Pen Bay Medical Center. This question was asked to the chairman of the Board of Directors at Pen Bay Medical Center. The chairman, which is high in the community, a member of several outstanding clubs in Knox County, and also a businessman for many years in Rockland. At this time I will not mention the chairman's name to avoid lawsuits. But why is he avoiding the answer to this question? Even some members of the staff at 409 Old County Road are wondering why the American flag and State of Maine flag are not on the flagpoles daily.