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Whalesback view spoiled

The view from the “Whalesback” on Route 9 in Aurora was one of the iconic vistas in eastern Maine, to the extent the Maine Department of Transportation even included a scenic turnout in their highway planning so people could stop and enjoy it. It is noted as a “Unique Natural Feature” in the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer.

What a bitter disappointment when a recent trip through the area revealed several large wind turbines dominating the skyline in the near distance, completely despoiling the once pastoral view. The industrial development of our wildlands continues its march eastward, threatening the existence of the last 100 miles or so of unspoiled land on the eastern seaboard.

Larry Balchen


Say it together

Since the protests following the killing of George Floyd and the plea and insistence that Black Lives Matter, I’ve noticed a number of placards and road signs in our rural county that announce All Lives Matter or America Matters or Maine Lives Matters. In these times of social isolation from pandemic and serious social division as a nation, road signs are sometimes as close as we get to a conversation. So let’s talk!

Why do folks put up those signs? Is it a hope for unity, a recognition that life is sacred and equal — we hold these truths, to be self-evident? I certainly agree that all lives should matter, but somehow, in these times, it seems these signs pose more of a counterargument or an attempt to change the subject.

The fact is that Black lives, in America, haven’t fully mattered. Black Americans have been devalued as property, chattel, criminals; have been cast aside, kept from citizenship, property ownership, education, voting, access to credit, jobs; deemed as suspicious, followed while shopping, walking, driving, jogging, breathing.

The demand that Black Live Matter is to claim that truth in the face of unrelenting, generational, and system-wide oppression. To change the subject to All Lives Matter is to continue to deny that Black lives matter. For all lives to matter we must undo the injustice and racism that is part and parcel of our history and continues in so many forms to the present. Let it not be our future. A start is to say it together: Black Lives Matter. Then we must all work to make that true.

Brian Dyer Stewart


Another Teddy Roosevelt

We need another Teddy Roosevelt. Recently a statue of him was scheduled to be removed from the American Museum of Natural History. It dawned on me that another president like him might be what this country needs!

He was an imperialist and a war monger. Roosevelt was vilified by Mark Twain for his role in the Philippine Insurrection (one of the biggest blights in our history). Unknowingly, Roosevelt also set the stage for Pearl Harbor by giving Japan a free hand in the Far East.

These actions, however, should not overshadow Roosevelt’s accomplishments like going after big business by trust busting. After a perhaps questionable land deal, the Panama Canal was built. In addition, the national parks were doubled and vast tracts of federal lands preserved.

Most importantly, Roosevelt started a progressive third party. In a country where history has not been adequately taught in the schools for many years, this is very important. The word progressive somehow is a dirty word for many people. These sadly are the people who think the Federal Reserve is a federal agency, don’t realize that southern Democrats became Republicans beginning in the 1960s and don’t realize socialism at the top makes socialism at the bottom look like chump change.

Anyone who thinks that either of the major political parties in this country offer any hope for the future is sorely mistaken!

Peter Clifford