Consider consequences


We are currently facing a global epidemic, which is wreaking havoc on the planet and her inhabitants, indiscriminately. The collective human consciousness is decidedly uncluttered by thoughts of the before, during and after repercussions of our blind consumption, yet the evidence abounds, in waterways and on beaches, in our parks and streets, in trees, in the stumps where trees once stood.


Americans use and dispose of approximately 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year, the manufacturing of which requires some 12 million barrels of non-renewable petroleum oil, costing more than $500 million and creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste. The amount of petroleum used to make just 14 plastic bags would provide enough fuel to power a car for one mile.


Taking up to 1,000 years to decompose, and with a negligible number being recycled in the United States, every plastic bag ever made can still be found somewhere on this earth in one form or another. They remain a blight on our society, leaching toxins into our environment and killing an estimated 100,000 marine animals each year. Every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of floating plastic, which act as sponges for toxic chemicals and are ingested by unsuspecting sea life, thus introducing these poisons into the food chain.


Paper is hardly a better option, requiring significant amounts of energy and resources to manufacture. With an estimated 14 million trees cut down each year to make the 10 billion paper bags consumed by the American public, not only is wildlife habitat being destroyed, but the exorbitant amount of water, chemicals and fossil fuels utilized during production are drastically compromising soil, air and water quality.


For being so elusive, the solution is a simple one. It is no more difficult to carry a few reusable cloth bags into the market than it is to carry numerous plastic bags out and discard them. We’ve effectively convinced ourselves that we need only to throw something away in order for it to be gone, but the truth of the matter remains: there is no “away.” Restrictions and bans on disposable bags have been effectively implemented in 25 percent of the world’s countries. Let’s join them. You can make it happen by signing and sharing the full petition at


Rebecca Tripp




A little perspective


I doubt that there are many living here in Midcoast Maine who have not welcomed the return of local news in print and over the Internet. We all applaud and admire Reade Brower and his team for taking this on and bringing local news back home. Having been without it for a time has probably made most of us realize how important it was to us.

That said, I think a bit of perspective is in order. When Richard Anderson first conceived of an Internet-based meeting place of news and public exchange that balanced the print news but was more immediate, he called it VillageSoup. This concept had merit then and even more today.

We owe Richard our long-standing appreciation for risking everything and working tirelessly to make this vision a realty. For those of us who know Richard, it is impossible to imagine him taking the closure of his psychic and financial investment at all easily. He is at his core a community person who would have taken the loss of the livelihood for his 56 employees very much to heart. Richard made his share of mistakes in trying to bring his initial vision to life but the old adage of “it’s the pioneer who takes the arrows” may have application here. What we missed while the local news was blacked out is what Richard and his staff gave us over the years.

I sincerely hope that Reade Brower is successful in this latest iteration of our local news and if he is, he and the rest of us should recognize Richard Anderson’s contribution to this effort.


Des FitzGerald





To atone for past sins (reading your online content without paying…) I have become a subscriber. We seldom get second chances in life. Community without our local newspapers/sources was unthinkable. Support the Republican Journal, now and next year, or it may not be here the year after!


Paul Sheridan