June 25, 2013

Letters to the editor: Falmouth parent's views rankle readers

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Paula and Barry Spencer of Falmouth were accused of letting dozens of teens drink during a party at their home. Readers criticize Paula Spencer for saying that her family would not have been singled out for community disapproval “if we lived in a trailer park and didn’t have a cent to our name.”

2013 File Photo/Carl D. Walsh

We older people just need to temporarily adopt saggy pants, and this style of dress will die a natural death.

Bern Cook

Portland

Legislature takes wise step to protect lobster industry

A bill in the Legislature would have jeopardized one of Maine's most successful industries, coast and economy. L.D. 1549, An Act To Provide an Exemption for Incidentally Caught Lobsters, would have removed the penalty for Maine groundfishermen who land offshore lobster bycatch. This bill recently died in the House of Representatives.

The reason this bill didn't pass is simple: Lobster dragging depletes the lobster population inshore and harms a $1 billion industry that supports 7,000 jobs.

Current federal law allows groundfishermen to land up to 500 lobsters as bycatch. States following this law have lost their inshore lobster facilities because they allow offshore lobster dragging. Maine is the only state in New England that has a thriving lobster industry because of what we have done to protect it.

We put measures in place a century ago when we were facing the same problems that this bill would have caused. It took two decades to put in place the current regulations and another two decades to see the results.

While many species targeted by groundfishermen are diminishing, allowing them to land lobster as bycatch was not the answer.

We can help them by supporting the $3.5 million bond to purchase groundfish quota, by investing in processing and freezing technology to be competitive and by working with the federal government to bring other states in line with our sustainable fishing practices.

I'm thankful that the Legislature is protecting this valuable industry.

Rep. Mick Devin

D-Newcastle

Teens' essays give visitor hope for country's future

Congratulations on the excellent article "Essayists hope to leave a mark" (June 16).

After seeing so many young people with nose, cheek and eyebrow rings, tattoos and baseball caps on backward, it is very reassuring to read such wonderful essays by graduating high school seniors. It reinforced my faith that we are still producing the kind of citizens who have a vision of putting "service above self."

We will need a lot like them to keep our nation on track in the years ahead.

Aloha,

Ken Bailey

visitor to Maine

Kailua, Hawaii

 

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