Vote no cruise ship question

To all Bar Harbor residents who love the bay, the mountains and the quiet serenity of Mount Desert Island and its surroundings, please vote no on the ferry terminal. I’ve grown up here knowing the peaceful beauty of our bay, the comforting sounds of the lobster boats early in the morning, the cry of the loons into the late evening.

I appreciate those wanting to see this spectacular area, and they should, but it is important they respect it, understand it and experience it as we do. Not from the day voyage from the tour boats that send them to the “A-list” locations, but as we do, unintentionally strolling along the beaches and paths that make up every nook and cranny of our beloved coast and mountains and to the little gems that only exist if you look for them.

Please do not allow the ferry terminal to destroy everything we hold dear with litter, pollution and noise that will scare away the porpoises and harbor seals, drown out the familiar sounds of the lobster boats and loons and take away what we hold so dear.

Alice McDonald


Collins should ditch Republican Party

The reactions of Maine’s two senators to President Donald Trump’s withdrawing America from participating in the Paris global warming accord stand in sharp contrast. While Sen. Angus King characterizes the president’s action as “irresponsible,” Sen. Susan Collins merely finds it ” disappointing.”

King expresses proper concern for the disastrous course Trump is determined to follow; Collins appears to voice only mild disapproval. Instead of denouncing the perilous direction he is leading the Republican Party, she seems to accept it with reluctant acquiescence.

In view of the ominous direction in which Trump is steering the Republican Party in such policies as health care, Medicaid, social services, foreign relations, arms control, as well as global warming, it seems to me that the right thing for Collins to do​, in the interest of the people of Maine as well those of the rest of the world,​ is​​ vigorously oppose​ Trump’s​ policies ​and join King as an independent​.

Gene Clifford

Mount Desert

Trump makes America a pariah

In a stunning but not unexpected move, President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. He has rejected entreaties from 97 percent of the world’s scientists, 190 other nations, the Pentagon, the CIA, our nation’s insurance companies, Gen. James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, major petroleum companies, major corporate leaders, the pope and even Ivanka Trump to instead align himself with scientific luminaries such as the Koch Brothers, Scott Pruitt, Betsy Devos and Mitch McConnell.

This action has nothing to do with America First, protecting U.S. jobs or industries, making coal great again, making electricity or other energy cheaper. It does have everything to do with the fevered apocalyptic machinations of Steve Bannon and a desire to undo anything Barack Obama did. There is no possibility to change this international accord and Trump’s decision will not make us a world leader. Instead, we have ceded leadership to China, Germany and California.

In so doing, Trump has turned the United States into a rogue state, a pariah and offered further proof that we are a nation that cannot be trusted.

It is clear the Senate can no longer afford to pander to the bizarre and vindictive whims of Trump, McConnell and the hard right-wing. Our senators must stand up for the people of Maine and reject policies that greatly harm our residents and lead our nation into a box canyon of irrelevance.

Greg Rossel


Poliquin’s health care vote

How does Rep. Bruce Poliquin explain his recent vote for the American Health Care Act?

This is the same plan that has been universally panned by hospital groups, insurers and even by his Republican cohorts in the Senate.

Consider that Poliquin voted yes without a fair and accurate congressional report detailing the cost and impact of the plan.

Let’s see. There will be 23 million fewer insured ( 117,00 in Maine) and the cost for a 64-year-old making $26,500 paying $1,700 in premiums under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would skyrocket to $13,600 under the Republican repeal bill. No wonder the American Medical Association, AARP and major hospital groups all came out against it.

But not Poliquin.

It’s strikingly clear that Poliquin is more lemming than leader, and he is doing the bidding of his party’s leaders as opposed to fulfilling the needs of his Maine constituents. Perhaps it’s time to repeal and replace Poliquin.

Larry Durkin


Carbon tax a climate solution

President Donald Trump could use some advice from his predecessor, President Ronald Reagan. Reagan, in the 1980s, faced a situation in which scientists warned him of a serious atmospheric problem, an ozone hole growing in the stratosphere, because of emissions of manmade chemicals. Reagan called for an “insurance policy,” which phased out those chemicals. It has worked well.

Trump is faced with scientists predicting serious climate change caused by increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric warming gases, mostly from burning coal, oil and natural gas. Predictions are for catastrophically rising sea levels and global temperatures and increased frequency of drought and floods. We are already beginning to feel the effects. We need another “insurance policy.”

If it isn’t the Paris climate accord and the Clean Power Plan, what will it be?

One proposal put together by several prominent Republicans and conservative economists is called carbon fee and dividend. It puts a price on carbon fuels to discourage their use while encouraging clean alternative energy sources. Economic modeling shows that in 20 years carbon dioxide emissions will be cut 50 percent, millions of jobs will be added building the economy, all the while improving air quality. The plan is revenue neutral, so won’t increase government size and spending. And it works through the free market.

Do you buy insurance against the unlikely event that your house will burn down? We urgently need to buy into a national insurance program against the likely changes caused by staying focused on fossil fuels.

Peter Garrett