Letters to the editor, Week of September 7, 2017

Roadside trash overwhelming

To the editor:

My wife and I and another couple took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River, in Quebec, [recently] to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these large, gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However when we crossed the international border from Edmundston, New Brunswick, to Madawaska, we noticed a great change and it wasn’t Belugas swimming in the potato fields of Aroostook County. No, it was the incredible amount of roadside trash.

All four of us are avid cyclists and as such, we are subjected to the disgusting amount of detritus along the roads here in central Maine. From “nip” bottles, to beer cans and bottles, to McDonald’s wrappers and cups, to plastic bags and paper trash, the amount of stuff thrown out of car windows in this part of our world is overwhelming. It almost seems like no one has waste containers in their vehicles or at home any more. This is even more distressing when one reads of the environmental impact that this waste has, not only here but on the world as a whole. By some accounts, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. And yet, the residents are seemingly much more thoughtful for and caring of their surroundings; why can’t we have the same respect for our environment?

I know that there is no simple answer to this issue, but I hope that those of you who read this letter at least think a bit before you toss your Dunkin Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window as you cruise down Lakeview Drive or Rte. 3. It will be better for all of us in the long run.

Bob Bennett
South China

Historical facts can’t be erased

To the editor:

Just a few historical facts concerning this lame-brained antifa and BLM, destroying all statues and memorabilia concerning the Civil  War history.

It would take too much writing to straighten some of the myths concerning some, not all, of the people of that era so I will just give one example: General Robert Edward Lee, one of the best soldiers on either side of the Civil War. Through his leadership the army of northern Virginia repeatedly defeated Union army contingents two and three times the size of his army. He graduated second in his class at West Point Military Academy, never receiving a demerit. He believed slavery to be immoral and inherited some from his family, but released them from bondage. To all who today besmirch and slander the name of Lee by taking down his statues and hiding them, as symbols of public disapprobation, I say shame on you. A black friend of mine years ago down south, and in the military, once told me he thought Lee was the greatest general the south ever had. Wish he was still alive to discuss this with me. [I will] close with the old sage words of someone much wiser than me, who said, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Frank Slason
Somerville

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