Stop the insanity

Please do not allow DCP to construct the Liquid Propane Gas tank at Mack Point. Maine's environmental future is too much to gamble for a very short term and small financial gain. The risks are too great.

Surely the negatives against having this tank far outweigh the positives. There are other solutions to strengthening the area economically. This rusting tank will be a monumental reminder to our grandchildren that corporate greed and short term gain at the expense of our posterity is short sighted, rash, ill conceived and ludicrous. Stop the insanity.

This proposal benefits the elitist few who don't live here, at the expense of the people who do. This is our heritage, our home, our life and our nest. Let us not befoul our nest for someone else's benefit.

Ben Eversage

Swanville

Palm oil and the conscious consumer

Most people wouldn't knowingly support the decimation of some of the most endangered species on the planet, yet a large percentage of the population does just that when visiting their local market. Found in approximately one-half of all consumer goods, palm oil is a ubiquitous ingredient, making its way into everything from soaps and cosmetics to packaged foods and biofuels, and is largely responsible for the rapidly declining numbers of Sumatran rhinos, tigers, orangutans and Asian elephants.

With demand rising precipitously since the 1970's, vast swaths of tropical rain forests, carbon-rich peat-land and other ecosystems, valued for their socio-economic importance and rich biodiversity, are being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations, primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia, with interest growing in Africa as well. In Indonesia, the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and where deforestation claims more than 740,000 acres annually, the government plans to convert another 45 million acres to palm oil plantations by the year 2020.

Responsibly managed, palm oil production can provide lasting jobs to developing countries. Unfortunately, a mere 14 percent is certified sustainable, and the unchecked large-scale expansion that dominates the industry continues to put vulnerable wildlife at ever greater risk, while expediting climate change and destroying watershed and forest resources that locals depend on.

Given the rapidly expanding global marketplace, and with palm oil imports to the United States growing by 485 percent in the last decade, it is increasingly important to be a conscious consumer and to read labels. Lives depend on it.

Rebecca Tripp

Searsport

Rumble strip makes for noisy neighborhood

Report from the leisure homes in Unity. We live on a rumble strip. It shakes the buildings. Do you think that someday the ground will open up and drop us in it? One man says a picture moves on the wall. It vibrates real strong. At times we can hear the building make a loud noise.

Harold Gordon

Unity

Protect the children

Children need protection form both physical and psychological abuse. They also need protection from adults who are negative role models. Children need a safety plan in order to approach the world feeling that there is hope.

In my opinion, the state has failed in providing protection for these vulnerable children. In my opinion, 40-percent of children have little protection. Laws appear to be designed only for lawyers and courts.

When an observer files a complaint, a child is often sent to a counselor without a proper evaluation, frequently leading to a longstanding cloud of shame hanging over that child. Loving grandparents can be dismissed without an investigation if they report abuse. The lawyers often earn large fees while the child remains in the same damaging setting, feeling hopeless. Children can easily be placed on addictive medication when a parent reports an anger problem. They can fail in school at vulnerable ages and the parents are not required to assist that child. Children need self-esteem building. They need a network to report psychological abuse, and they need a system that will fix problems, not just study them. Most parents or protectors get little information regarding available remedies. The schools do not know and the attorneys do not always explain the potential length of time necessary to fight for the child's protection or the potential extensive monetary needs. Children often are further abused during these investigations, even while the protectors are still observing the abuse, which often multiplies in intensity.

Here is my proposal:

Create a grassroots committee of interested parties beginning in March. I would like everyone to contact me with their email or phone in order to begin a Facebook-type suggestion dialog. We will need letters from all professional, semi-professional and non-professional people who profess their support for this cause. We need organizations to speak out and those organizations to support us with letters.Then we seek an attorney who will work pro bono. We will work pro bono as well. Then we approach the state, review the protection laws, review how Child Protection protects some, but leaves many others defenseless. We gather some legislators to review findings and make changes. We set goals, implement strategic plans and make those changes immediately.

I have encountered many challenges in my life, and I know I am ready to face this challenge more than ever. However, it will be slow, it will be thorough and I would like to believe that parents, teachers, and, yes, students will contact me.

In closing: I plan on proceeding even if I am alone in this battle. i will never give up on the children who are in need of others who will care. It will be a grassroots effort, and with everyone's support the power will grow. Children can be protected!

Contact me for more information at julieww@roadrunner.com or 323-2283.

Alan Wood

Belfast