Hydro line won’t benefit Maine
Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect, a 145-mile transmission line from the Maine-Quebec border to Lewiston, is proposed to bring electricity to Massachusetts with no benefits to Maine’s ratepayers. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Planning Commission requested an independent review of CMP’s Visual Impact Assessment in the site application by James Palmer of Scenic Quality Consultants in Burlington.
Palmer’s Aug. 20 review states, “I am concerned with what appears to have been a rushed preparation of this VIA” and “for projects that will affect a large area, such as wind energy development or transmission lines, the analysis requires the use of GIS data that accurately locates and describes the project elements.”
The 145-mile corridor will be visible from a minimum of three miles away at two national natural landmarks and other natural and cultural features; 23 state or national wildlife refuges, sanctuaries or preserves; 44 properties listed with national register of historic preservation; 227 public natural resources of public lands visited; 36 publicly accessible conservation areas; and 22 cemeteries.
Palmer’s review reveals that CMP must complete more comprehensive studies to provide data that fully supports their judgment of scenic impacts. Palmer reports, “the VIA fails to consider the cumulative impact of the existing transmission line(s) and the NECEC to the affected scenic resources.” Maine currently produces more than enough power to sustain our ratepayers’ needs so there is no public need in Maine for this transmission line. No environmental organizations have reported support of the project.
No sport in bear baiting
Maine’s annual bear slaughter has begun.
Each summer, in a state-endorsed feeding program, thousands of Maine bears are trained to come to feeding stations by giving them millions of pounds of waste food. This feeding program also produces more and bigger ursine targets by fattening them up with greasy, sugary garbage prior to hibernation.
Maine’s bear population is far higher than before the feeding program began. It is also far higher than it was in 2004 when the first anti-baiting referendum was held. At that time, in opposing the referendum, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife claimed that feeding bears was necessary in order to control their population. But that’s not the case. In fact, by the department’s own estimate Maine’s bear population, with the feeding program retained, has grown in the last 18 years from an estimated 24,000 to nearly 40,000 animals.
Rather than stop this feeding program, there is much talk of allowing hunters to kill more bears and of reopening the spring bear hunt. Of course, this will mean more money in the pockets of hunting guides and outfitters and in the wildlife department’s coffers.
It’s time to allow Maine’s bear population to return to natural levels. It’s time to stop training bears by feeding them and time to force them to return to their natural foods and behaviors. Killing a trained bear while its head is in a five-gallon bucket is not hunting. It’s not even sport.
It’s just disgusting.
John M. Glowa, Sr.
Vote no on Question 1
While I am sure letter writer Jackie Bachman’s heart is in the right place regarding caring for Maine’s elders and disabled, Question 1 on the November ballot is the wrong solution to address the needs of Maine people who need home care.
First, Question 1 proponents have written their initiative so that even millionaires and out-of-staters can qualify for home care from the quasi-government program it would enact. This will create waiting lists for care for seniors and disabled Mainers who genuinely need this kind of care and cannot afford it. It is one of the reasons the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine opposes Question 1.
Second, the privacy of Maine elders and the disabled would be compromised by Question 1 because the bill requires that the private health and contact information of all participants in the new program be shared with an unlimited number of groups.
Funding for Question 1 would come from imposing a new 3.8 percent tax on tens of thousands of Maine families and businesses that cannot afford it.
The bill also would require all caregivers, even a family member like a son or daughter taking care of a parent, to be a dues-paying member of the Maine state employees union, even if they do not wish to be.
Question 1 may sound good on the surface, but this bill is not what it appears to be. Do not be fooled by the false and misleading information proponents are spreading. Vote no on Question 1 on Nov. 6.
Emissions rollback bad
The clean cars rollback is a bad idea. It’ll make driving more expensive, and it’s bad for our health. Have you seen those pictures of smog in Beijing? Do you remember that New York looked like that until we spent decades working to reduce air pollution? I’m not likely to forget it.
I have asthma. I developed asthma as an adult, not because of genetics but because I lived in cities with poor air quality. I was diagnosed after an emergency room visit about a decade ago, after walking to work on a poor air quality day. The ER was so choked with respiratory emergencies, they were pulling doctors in from all over the hospital. They ran out of beds. After eight hours, I was treated in the hallway on a folding chair.
When I moved to Maine four years ago, one thing I was excited about was breathing fresh air. But on Cadillac Mountain there’s a sign about how air pollution from out of state blows into Maine, obscuring our beautiful views and damaging our health.
The clean cars rollback puts us on a path back to where we were 40 years ago, with heavy smog and acid rain. That pollution will be here in Maine, even if we aren’t congested with traffic. It will come here. These regulations are protections for people, for us. And I for one would rather spend my money on other things than fuel for gas-guzzling cars and ER visits for preventable respiratory illnesses.