Many complain of the coyote population, its damage to livestock and our deer herds.

Five members of the Carrabassett Valley Trappers removed 78 coyotes from the woods this fall. While this may seem like a large amount, it isn’t. The coyote population remains high in the areas trapped, but many more deer will make it through another winter because of their efforts.

These coyotes were taken during the early canine season that starts approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the deer hunting season. The trappers stop most of their coyote trapping with the beginning of deer season simply because a few hunters have a habit of shooting coyotes in traps.

There are approximately 2,000 licensed trappers in the state of Maine, most of whom stop the bulk of their coyote trapping with the start of deer season.

The act of interfering with trapping is against the law. If caught, an individual may lose the right to hunt, and pay large fines, along with the loss of all licensing done by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Trappers can’t afford to run trap lines with the gas prices of today and the value of furs down from what they were just a few years ago if other users of the out-of-doors damage their furs and equipment.

Imagine the coyotes these five trappers could take if they trapped the whole trapping season.

The growing predator populations along with several recent bad winters have hurt our game populations, which will take many years to recover. Trappers are the farmers’ and hunters’ best bet for control of coyotes.

The Carrabassett Valley Trappers is an independent group of trappers. Most are life members of the Maine Trappers Association and urge all trappers to join the MTA.

Dave Miller

Lexington Township

Education as much part of our defense as our military

When I think of national defense, my first thought involves the military aspect of keeping our country safe from physical attacks. I firmly believe that a strong military is vital to this mission.

We must keep our borders secure and our airspace monitored. It is necessary to promote and maintain strong ties with allies.

I believe is our responsibility as the greatest and one of the freest nations on earth to protect others from dictators and terrorists around the world, and to promote the God-given freedoms and rights that we enjoy here in our country.

However, there are also the historic and patriotic aspects of national defense that requires us to teach our country’s history to future generations; to preserve our republic and our Constitution; and to honor the sacrifices of those patriots who came before us which paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today.

This is an ongoing necessity, else we lose our freedoms to those who hate us and would destroy us. Therefore, we must make sure that our country’s history lessons are taught in our schools as a major part of the daily curriculum.

We must ensure that the accuracy of our country’s beginnings is taught, and that it is not allowed to be distorted by teachers or professors to suit their political views.

When a young person has grown up knowing only the freedoms that we take for granted in this country, it is all too easy for him or her to expect that those freedoms will always be there.

We must teach our children, day in and day out from birth to cherish those freedoms and to protect them always at all cost.

Linda Drake Miller

Lexington Township

NAACP would do better with a small name change

About 60 years ago I joined the NAACP. How many folks today know what this acronym represents? What does “C” stand for?

Well then, it is time that this special interest group seriously think about a name change.

How about NAACR, with the meaning, “National Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights”? That would take away the sting of any kind of special interest.

That colorblindness is what Martin Luther King taught and believed in his “I Have a Dream” Speech.

Robert Fournier

Bangor

Keep too-heavy trucks off all of Maine’s highways

Recently, all Maine citizens were ignored by the high and mighty federal government regarding a request to continue using their federal roads for our heavy trucks.

The heavy trucks go through downtown Freeport, Bangor and other small non-interstate roads because of federal weight limits. It is now time “we the people” take charge and take this huge monkey off our backs.

Our state government needs to lower the road weight limits down to 80,000 pounds instead of the current 100,000. Then all trucks can use the federal interstate and not our main streets to haul their cargo.

It hasn’t helped to complain to the feds, so it’s now time to call our governor and legislators to save our communities’ roads from this unnecessary truck traffic.

Maine, the way life should be? Maybe so, if we live that life with 20,000 pounds less weight per truck on our state highways.

Neil Farrington

China

Sen. Susan Collins has so far been successful in arguing for allowing heavier trucks on interstates. She claims this is good for Maine’s communities and makes things “safer.”

Huh? I don’t think 100,000-pound trucks make anyone safer, nor does it protect our roads. The senator is really an enabler of the trucking industry. If she was truly looking out for Maine, she would argue that the state should adopt the same standard as the federal rule for Interstates, banning the heaviest trucks altogether.

Even at 80,000 pounds, that’s 40 hulking tons hurtling down the road, typically over the posted speed limit, burning fuel like there’s no tomorrow.

If Susan Collins were really a visionary, concerned about our health and environment, she would argue for trains. Trains are way more efficient, safe and so much less toxic to the air we breathe.

Why not load tractor-trailers onto flatbed cars for long-distance hauling, then unload them for short-haul deliveries? You need to raise the bar on your thinking, senator.

Steve Cartwright

Waldoboro

New Maine attorney general should give Dechaine retrial

In Colorado’s JonBenet Ramsey murder case, unidentified DNA on her pants eliminated her parents as suspects.

But in Maine’s Sarah Cherry case, the girl’s pants, along with other evidence, were incinerated by the state after Dennis Dechaine filed an appeal, and the state refuses to act on the possibility that the unidentified male DNA found under Cherry’s thumb nail belongs to the killer.

The testimony of detectives regarding alleged admissions by Dechaine is contradicted by their notes, and two world-renowned forensic pathologists have concluded — as have other experts — that Dechaine could not be the killer.

The same judge who denied Dechaine’s 1989 request for DNA testing is still in charge of the case, and five Democratic attorneys general, perhaps fearful of being accused of being soft on crime, have evidently permitted a psychopathic killer to remain free.

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up! Hopefully our new attorney general, William Schneider, will demonstrate his independence, intelligence, courage and dedication to the cause of justice by dropping his office’s opposition to a retrial, and, at long last, restoring honor to the state of Maine.

William Bunting

Whitefield