Your editorial of April 24 (“New catch limits signal success of new fish rules”) leaves the impression that groundfish stocks have increased as a result of a single year of catch-shares management.

In fact, stocks have increased as a result of nearly a generation of engaged fishery management and sacrifice by commercial fishermen.

Nonetheless, as a result of catch shares, many of the same fishermen whose efforts helped rebuild fish stocks have effectively lost their access to them because they no longer have “share” enough to catch.

Implicit in the effort controls imposed on groundfishermen since 1994 has been the notion that their sacrifices would one day result in a sustainable fishery. Yes, indeed, except that most of them will not be part of it.

If you take the position that viable fisheries ought to bestow broad economic benefits at the community level, you will find yourselves far less certain than you now seem to be that catch shares represent a boon to New England fishing communities — in Maine or anywhere else.

Jerry Fraser

publisher, National Fisherman



Bring war dollars home by cutting Pentagon funding


Did I hear correctly? Did President Obama seriously call for cuts in the military in his recent budget speech?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s words from his speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 16, 1953, are ringing in my ears: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

That sounds like a call to action to me! Now is the time for us to cause a break in that too-solid wall of power in the Pentagon budget.

It begins with discussion and education about the national budget. It begins with us calling upon our state representatives to urge our national leaders to vote “no” on any further war funding, and bringing our troops and our war dollars home.

Sally Breen



Don’t like vaccinations? Come up with some cures


I was disappointed when I read Dena Worster’s letter decrying how the medical community is getting rich through unnecessary vaccinations.

I would have thought, that as a public service she would have given us the cure for polio and whooping cough.

Robert Marsh



Army still persecuting accused WikiLeaks hacker


I am writing in response to the story about the Army moving accused WikiLeaks informant Pfc. Bradley Manning from a jail cell at Quantico, Va., to another at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

The Army is attempting to reduce the intense pressure it is feeling from peace and justice advocates from throughout the world for unjustly holding this 23-year-old man many consider a hero by moving him to faraway Kansas.

Since last June, when he was jailed for being accused of releasing classified information about war crimes in Iraq, Manning has been held 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.

He has been convicted of no crime. He has confessed to no crime. Yet he has been held naked and alone in a cell for 11 months. Subjected to psychological and physical abuse, Manning has received treatment many experts consider nothing less than torture.

Manning is primarily accused of releasing to WikiLeaks the now-famous “collateral murder” video which shows a U.S. Army Apache helicopter blasting almost a dozen Iraqi civilians and reporters into oblivion. Manning has been slapped with more than 20 charges by the Army. The most serious is “aiding the enemy,” which is punishable by death.

We who support Manning feel that exposing war crimes should not be a crime. The Army has not been able to establish any connection between Manning and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. We demand that the Army release Manning on bail.

We were lied to about the reasons for invading Iraq in the first place, and even if Manning is the source of the leaked documents, he deserves our gratitude for exposing the true horror of this war.

Please stand with documentary film maker Michael Moore, “Pentagon Papers” whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, veterans like myself and thousands of others around the world. Free Bradley Manning!

Don Kimball

South Portland


Antibiotics in food animals do more harm than good


According to a recent issue of the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases,” half of the meat and poultry sold in U.S. supermarkets may be tainted with the deadly pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

The study tested 136 samples of beef, chicken, pork and turkey in five cities. Half of the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics. One organism — MRSA — is a leading cause of fatal infections in schools and hospitals.

The authors suggest that feeding antibiotics to animals in factory farms may contribute to this resistance.

Indeed, two-thirds of all antibiotics in the United States are used to promote the growth of farmed animals and contain infectious diseases induced by their extreme crowding and stress.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should ban the routine use of antibiotics in factory farms. The European Union adopted such a ban in 2006. The World Health Organization has recommended a worldwide phaseout.

In the meantime, each of us should replace animal products in our diet with vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes and grains.

These foods contain all the nutrients we require, without deadly pathogens, antibiotics, pesticides, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.

They are touted by every major health advocacy organization and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Patrick Wayne