Poliquin stands up for gun rights

Tragedies like the heartbreaking massacre perpetrated in Parkland, Florida, force us to reflect on what we as a society can do to prevent future incidents. For many in Washington, the first thing politicians think about is restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Those politicians are wrong, and I am glad that my congressman is focused on solving the actual problem.

Law enforcement agencies have failed us repeatedly in preventing these incidents and their process must be fixed to protect our communities. I appreciate that Rep. Bruce Poliquin is standing strong in protecting our constitutional rights, while working to reform the FBI and other institutions that have failed us.

Blake Winslow
Presque Isle

Gratwick for Maine Senate

I have known Sen. Geoff Gratwick for many years. First as a devoted physician, then as a devoted city councilor, and for the last six years as a devoted state senator.

Gratwick brings his A-game to whatever task is before him, whether that be medicine or as a public servant. Gratwick is particularly important now as a member of the opioid task force, using both his medical knowledge and political pragmatism to help solve a crisis of epidemic proportion.

Let’s not lose that experience and knowledge. Let’s return Gratwick to the state Senate for two more years.

Ken Huhn

Poliquin cares about veterans

“Nobody deserves more support and praise from our community than our brave veterans.” Sentiments and statements like these are common. What is so frustrating is that almost everyone will say they agree with this statement, yet veterans constantly suffer due to government bureaucracy.

The Veterans Affairs Department has left our veterans without the support they desperately need, and there are far too few members of Congress willing to propose actual solutions to fix these problems. As a veteran, that is why I am so thankful for Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s aggressive actions in Congress on behalf of my fellow Maine veterans.

Poliquin is on the front lines fighting to reform the broken VA and bring justice to thousands of veterans who deserve the best care possible. It makes me proud that my congressman cares enough to advocate for those who deserve it most.

Robert Leathers

Elvers, not baby eels

Two recent articles in the BDN contained inaccuracies and misleading statements. Foremost, the small eels caught here are not “baby eels, also known as elvers.” They are not babies, and they do not “swim to shore … immediately after being born.” Elvers, the proper term, caught in Maine are offspring of the American eel and have spent about one year drifting and swimming as larvae in the western North Atlantic Ocean before entering coastal waters and rivers. Please, let us purge the term “baby eel” from lexicons.

The latest article mentions a “boosted demand for Atlantic eels.” There are two separate species of Atlantic eels, the American eel, and the European eel. The export of glass eels, or elvers, of the European eel from countries in the European Union is banned by law, but there is some illegal trade.

The term “japonica eels” is nonsense because it mixes part of a scientific name and a common name. The proper common name of this species is Japanese eel. The “japonica” part comes from the scientific name, Anguilla japonica, but is never used alone or as a modifier of eel.

James McCleave
Professor emeritus of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

Oil drilling unlikely off Maine’s coast

Recently, new concerns have surfaced about opening the continental shelves of the United States, including Maine, to new exploration and possible production of oil and gas. There are those in Maine, including, tourism and local governments, who fear that oil platforms would be put off Mount Desert Island, destroying scenic views and providing the possibility for disastrous oil spills.

These fears exist for all of Maine’s coastline and result from the widely held misconception that oil and gas are present throughout the Gulf of Maine. In reality, there is no possibility that the ancient rocks flooring the Gulf of Maine contain petroleum reserves. However, petroleum has been proven to be contained in the younger strata of Georges Bank, just beyond the gulf, 250 miles southeast of Maine, on the outer edge of the Continental Shelf.

The last continental glacier flowed across Maine and the entire 250-mile-wide Gulf of Maine, terminating along the inner margin of Georges Bank about 35,000 years ago. Erosion by the glacier apparently removed all of the potential petroleum-bearing younger strata within the gulf, leaving only a remnant on Georges Bank.

Only the strata preserved on Georges Bank are known to contain proven oil and gas reserves. The gulf, stripped of these younger strata, is underlain by the same ancient rocks as those exposed on the Maine landscape. None of these ancient rocks are such that they can possibly contain petroleum. Consequently, there is no reason to believe that we will ever see oil drilling or production platforms along our immediate coast.

Harold W. Borns Jr.
Professor emeritus
University of Maine

Poliquin helps Old Town

The people of Old Town should give Rep. Bruce Poliquin a big ole “thank you.” I saw on Facebook that Poliquin sponsored a bill specifically to change a law that prevented economic development on a parcel of land next to the Old Town airport. It revises an outdated law by removing an obsolete deed restriction on this land.

Poliquin’s law will allow the airport to move forward with the project of developing the land to attract and welcome new interested businesses and jobs to our area.

For years, the Old Town City Council and residents have been brainstorming ways about how we can bring more small businesses into our city. Thanks to Poliquin’s hard work, Old Town should be able to make that happen very quickly.

Mainers are lucky to have Poliquin representing us in Washington, D.C. We deserve a government that works as hard as we do, and Poliquin does just that.

Wanda Lincoln
Old Town