As a journalism student and staff writer at the Kennebunk High School newspaper, I found myself disturbed and alarmed by Beth Quimby’s article, “Clawing her way to new heights” in the Dec. 12 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

I felt it was written in a way that showed a great deal of advocacy for the lobster and lobster processing industry. In mixing a human-interest story with political and economic news, the article failed to report objectively on the matter.

By introducing an individual and focusing on personal details and her personal character, then immediately following the friendly, intimate description with discussions of Maine lobster laws, the article weighted the perspective strongly on the side of those who stand to profit by reducing legal restrictions.

Quimby’s discussion of the change in law allowing claws and knuckles to be sold separately is perhaps the most clearly subjective element of the story. The observation that “the law may be working” begs the questions of both what the intended purpose of the law was (I hope and assume that it was not to allow Linda Bean to increase her sales), and whether the law (which deregulates lobster processing and makes size requirements harder to monitor) is, in fact, an entirely positive development.

Lastly, the placement of a human-interest story, with little relevance outside of the few individuals involved with the company, on the front page with more space than the coverage of the return of Bravo Company of the 172nd, and with articles on far more relevant global and state issues relegated to later pages, made me question the priorities of the paper.

I think that the objectivity and weight of your articles need more consideration. A highly subjective human-interest story has no business on the front page of a newspaper, and far less business upstaging the return from danger of 148 husbands, fathers and sons.


Silas Phipps-Costin


Do-gooder NIMBYs worst kind of hypocrites

I’m writing in response to “Portland to review halfway house” in the Dec. 14 online edition.

The neighbors complaining about a halfway house are displaying the classic NIMBY (not in my back yard) response. It’s the reason why many homes for people in recovery don’t succeed — people are all for addicts and alcoholics getting their lives turned around, as long as “they do it somewhere else.”

Well, guess what — petty crime to support drug addiction exists everywhere and people suffering with active alcoholism are everywhere. Maybe the neighbors should meet with the owner and residents to find out how they could support them in trying to turn their lives around.


Now that would be a refreshing news story — hearing of people actually being Christian and loving and supporting those in less fortunate circumstances than themselves.

With the upcoming promised cuts in every aspect of our social safety net by our governor-elect, people trying to turn their lives around will have little to no assistance.

Having people express contempt for their efforts doesn’t help anyone and does nothing to make the city or, for that matter, our state or our nation, a better and safer place to live.

Supporting people when they’re attempting to change their lives could go a long way toward that end, however.

John Haley



Not only does Maine rank as the worst state to do business in and most people receiving some form of welfare, it has to rank No. 1 for NIMBYs (not in my back yard) and hypocrites.

We continually hear how we need to help people with addictions and the need for affordable housing in Maine. I don’t care if it is a methadone clinic in Warren or one in Rockland, an addiction support house in Jefferson or affordable housing any where in Maine.

A good front is put up, but let someone try to provide one of the aforementioned and the NIMBYs and hypocrites come out of the woodwork in force. “We don’t want those kind of people in our town. Our property values are going to drop. The streets won’t be safe. Drugs will be rampant.”

The one constant in these protests is property values. “I am sorry you have troubles but please go elsewhere.”

Remove the sign, “Maine, the way life should be,” and put up an new sign, “Welcome to Maine as long as you don’t need help. If you do, please head for another state.”

People need to be reminded that the ones using the facilities are your relatives, friends and neighbors.


Craig Elliott


Fuel tax rebate helps, but lobster limits hurt

The Maine Fishermen’s Cooperative fuel tax rebate will provide a small measure of relief to hard-pressed Maine groundfishermen, but it is doubtful that the rebate will entice Maine vessels to return to off-loading fish in Maine.

The Portland Press Herald article on Dec. 15 makes clear that many Maine fishing vessels unload in Massachusetts because that state allows the off-landing of lobster. Such landings add thousands of dollars in value to the typical groundfish catch and, in this time of increased expenses, may mean the difference between a profitable trip or a “broker.”

The state of Maine’s prohibition of lobster landings by Maine’s groundfishing fleet is irrational. Given that these lobsters will be landed anyway, wouldn’t it make sense to land them in Maine, thus providing support industries — the Portland Fish Exchange, Vessel Services Inc. and the like — the opportunity to increase their cash flow and remain viable?


Further, having the lobsters landed in Maine would allow the Department of Marine Resources added oversight of these landings.

All Maine fishermen and lobstermen should recognize that maintaining the necessary support business infrastructure requires a steady flow of product.

Rescinding the present ban would be tacit acceptance of reality and produce additional revenues for Maine’s land-based marine businesses.

Ensuring that the businesses remain vibrant is something that all Maine fishermen should desire.

Peter Mayo



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