Poliquin’s recount

Rep. Bruce Poliquin is entitled to a recount in the 2nd Congressional District election, so here goes. It was Lyndon Johnson who said politics is knowing how to count.

This is a test by fire for ranked-choice voting that has certainly highlighted imaginative misunderstandings. Inattention? Ignorance? Or, as per the Poliquin camp, intentional misrepresentation?

In recent memory, Maine seems to have steered clear of GOP dirty tricks that suppress the vote elsewhere. Leave it to Poliquin to soil where he lives.

As for Poliquin’s court case, our voting is in the hands of Federalist Society acolytes up and down the line. States’ constitutional rights? Bush v. Gore anyone? I wouldn’t want to bet on the current Supreme Court. Are all those who held their noses and voted for Donald Trump to pack the courts expecting a payback win no matter the numbers or the law? That would stink.

It is easy to imagine the pressure Trump-nominated, GOP-fast-tracked and newly seated federal Judge Lance Walker is under to deliver the seat. It is good that Walker has some record of independent action. And he has shown some wit here, so far. One can hope.

Annlinn Kruger

Bar Harbor

More to income than wages

The Nov. 16 BDN report on the increase in personal income does not distinguish between sources of income. According to data from the Maine Regional Economic Analysis Project, 58.75 percent of personal income in Hancock County in 2017 was from earned income (such as salaries), compared with 70.23 percent in 1969. The remaining income was from transfer payments (such as Social Security) and interest, dividends and rent. This change is due at least in part to relatively wealthy retirees moving to the area. While overall income has increased, this does not necessarily mean that those in the local labor force are sharing in this prosperity.

Thomas Martin


‘Seaman’s manslaughter’

I was shocked to read in the Nov. 21 BDN that Richard Smith, a windjammer captain, was charged with “seaman’s manslaughter” in the Virgin Islands because a confused and combative crew member jumped overboard in the middle of the night and the captain did not go back and look for him. The dead man allegedly hit his head on the railing as he leaped and showed no evidence of trying to swim in the brief interval during which he could still be seen.

When my kids were young, we frequently practiced “man overboard” drills and considerable skill is required to come about and sail back to a victim in daylight, clearly seen. At night, if attempting to find a man who quite possibly is no longer on the surface, the challenge becomes impossible.

I have sailed offshore many dark nights, and even with a full moon a swimmer would be hard to see and quickly lost.

This case is not manslaughter. The captain did the right thing.

Gerald A. Metz


No to CMP power project

Central Maine Power Co. wants to clear thousands of acres of north Maine woods for a power line from Quebec to Massachusetts. I pity the people who live in cities. They are so far away from everything, like Maine’s woods and waters, but I don’t pity them enough to relinquish part of Maine’s wilderness so that they can power their many electrical conveniences. If Massachusetts residents need more power, let them install solar panels and wind turbines in their own backyards and coastal waters.

Nearly 70 years ago, CMP built a dam on Maine’s Dead River, which created Flagstaff Lake and flooded three communities. Years later, some former residents of those communities published memories of their pre-flood years in a book, “There Was a Land.” If developers such as CMP are allowed to continue chipping away at our North Maine Woods, people currently living in, earning a living in and/or recreating in those woods may one day collect their memories in a book titled, “There Was Land, Volume II: The North Maine Woods.”

Fern Stearns