While I was driving along, sulking that I had to work on Christmas Eve, I started to notice convoys of lineman trucks and tree removal companies headed north. And I mean a lot. Between Bangor and Scarborough, I counted more than 30 total. I left Scarborough around 10, and followed and passed even more convoys of trucks, at least another 30.
So here is the thing: They were from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania. It quickly brought my situation into perspective. While I was feeling sorry for myself for working Christmas Eve (although I have worked most of them since I was old enough to work), sitting in my warm truck driving 300 miles was nothing compared to those without power and all those workers who left their homes on Christmas Eve to travel far away and miss Christmas with their families to help us here in Maine.
How ironic that this happened on Christmas, the season of giving. We toss the word hero around a lot these days, but, to me, these people truly are heroes.
Thanks for lineworkers
Driving back home from Blue Hill on Christmas Eve, my heart went out to all the occupants of homes along River Road in Bucksport and Orrington who were clearly without power as the night was getting colder. Then, too, there were the more than 12 power company trucks I saw in Bucksport, many parked while workers (looking clearly exhausted) grabbed a late dinner.
How fortunate we were to have them working on our behalf and giving up their time on Christmas with their families.
I want to thank all the electric company employees and their families. They have worked through the holidays, giving up their own merry Christmas, to ensure so many of us can be safe and warm in our homes. I was one of the lucky folks whose power was restored early Christmas morning. As a retired military member and the daughter of an obstetrician, I’ve been on both sides of that equation many times. It’s never fun to be away from family during the holidays, and I want everyone involved to know how much I, and I’m sure others, appreciate their sacrifice.
I want to thank all the power people out there cleaning off storm damage. It is very demanding. They all did a good job.
Having lived in a dozen states and chosen Maine more than 20 years ago as the home of my heart, I am terribly disappointed — horrified, really — to realize everything is not “the way life should be” after all. How can the state of Maine allow the cruel and unnecessary practices of bear hounding, baiting and trapping?
By now, no other state allows all three of these unethical practices, and surely they do not reflect the values of Mainers. All three methods are unquestionably unfair and clearly torturous to the innocent creatures.
The reason cited for continuing these practices is that the bear population will increase to intolerable levels if they are stopped. Yet other states have found that argument to be false. Colorado, Oregon and Washington found their numbers of fair chase hunters increased, while the numbers of bears did not.
I firmly believe the people of Maine should be able to vote on the issue. Shall we be the only state where all three forms of this cruelty to our iconic bears is endorsed?
Here I am, a grandparent of small and large children, around Christmastime, presented with the Grinch-like task of reminding us all, and especially our legislators, that many of those much-loved presents and other more ordinary products still have toxic chemicals in them, chemicals that should be regulated or banned because they imitate the normal hormones that control children’s growth and development and can cause early puberty, asthma, learning disabilities, obesity and contribute to cancer. They are in many plastic toys and decorations, as well as furniture, cosmetics, cleaning agents, pesticides, and on and on.
A sad example: I just learned that many fake Christmas trees contain phthalates — hormone-disrupting chemicals that are especially dangerous when exposed to the developing fetus. There is no obvious way to tell which trees contain phthalates and which are toxic-free.
My wish is that Maine legislators act swiftly to protect kids from phthalates by giving us all the gift of information: information about which of the products in our homes are safe and which are not. On behalf of our children and grandchildren, I ask our elected leaders take action to protect pregnant women and children from phthalates in 2014.