Orrington election announcement
After much thought following the events at a recent Orrington selectmen’s meeting, my intent was to withdraw from the Orrington Select Board seat election on June 3. Unfortunately, the ballots have already been printed. At this time I choose not to be included on the list of candidates. I thank everyone who has supported me. I hope to run again in the future.
My trip to the southern border
Four weeks ago, I traveled to southwest New Mexico. Being in the area, I drove south to the border, parked my car and walked over to Mexico. Other US citizens were doing the same in order to shop, to have lunch, and to see the sights on a pleasant sunny day.
Some media outlets publicly promote a negative and vitriolic border narrative. On my visit, I saw none of this; no rapists or murderers, no guns nor ammo. I saw no MS-13, no drug dealers, and more significantly, no border wall. In this 21st century, we can modernize US immigration laws, but let’s forget about the 4th century wall.
Regulate food packaging chemicals
I would like to correct misleading statements about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a recent OpEd from a representative of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. I’m a scientist working on safety assessments of chemicals in food. I have co-authored petitions to the FDA to revoke uses of toxic chemicals in food and food packaging.
FDA has been slow to protect public health even in the presence of overwhelming evidence. It allows most packaging chemicals to be used without limits in food; quantity and quality of safety data are poor and the most consequential legal requirement for safety assessment — the evaluation of cumulative health effects of similar chemicals (like various phthalates or multiple PFAS) in the diet — has been ignored.
In addition, the FDA is not using modern scientific principles when it reviews packaging chemicals and it doesn’t reassess whether chemicals approved decades ago are still safe.
A well-intentioned law has been swallowed by a loophole that allows manufacturers to determine in secret that the use of chemicals they profit from is safe, without having to inform FDA.
I am encouraged by the approach laid out in LD 1433, the Safe Food Packaging Act, and I urge Maine lawmakers to set a leading example for the nation by passing this protective legislation. Regulating phthalates and PFAS as a class should be a no-brainer to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. To wait for FDA to act is to put the health of our most vulnerable populations — pregnant women, children and the elderly — at risk.
Maricel V. Maffini, PhD
A brighter energy future
Should Maine control it’s own future? Rep. Seth Berry’s proposal for a Maine consumer-owned utility run by Mainers and benefiting Maine — not Spain — seems to have Central Maine Power breaking out in a sweat. The mantra they are using seems to be that there is no guarantee it will work.
There are no guarantees, but history shows that private foreign companies owning Maine’s power future absolutely does not work.
While we are on the subject though, I would like to ask: What guarantees that Maine will not continue to place last in reliability? What guarantees that CMP will treat customers with respect and invite their input to improve customer service? What guarantees that CMP’s customers will be billed correctly in the future and past bills will be corrected? What guarantees that even one of CMP’s promises concerning NECEC will be delivered upon?
History with CMP, Avangrid and Iberdrola and informs us that continued reliance upon their private run grid will bring more of the same havoc. Time for a change! Mainers want safe, reliable, affordable, clean electricity without destroying the beauty of Maine in the process.
Finally, somehow CMP has a logic that says it is wrong for Maine to use eminent domain laws concerning their private ownership, but it is OK for CMP to use eminent domain against private landowners and towns. Ridiculous! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s do the hard work of creating a consumer owned utility and look towards a brighter future.