Don't hide Constitution

We find it beyond comprehension that on June 13, Maine’s Senate voted to continue hiding sections of Maine’s Constitution from public view.

In rejecting LD 428 — an Amendment to Article X of the Constitution of Maine Regarding the Publication of Maine Indian Treaty Obligations — the Senate chose to dishonor not only Maine’s Native Peoples, but also the integrity of Maine’s governing process.

Mainers might not know that when Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820, Maine accepted and included in Section X of its new Constitution the requirement to “assume and perform all the duties and obligations of this Commonwealth towards the Indians within the (new) state of Maine, whether the same arise from treaties, or otherwise….” In 1875, however, that passage was suppressed from written copies — although its validity was never challenged and it remained fully in force. We believe Rep. Henry John Bear’s bill to restore Article X (and Subsection 5 in particular) to all versions of the state Constitution, regardless of format, is a long overdue attempt to set the record straight, and deserves our support.

Hiding Maine’s Native American history will not make it disappear. Transparency has the potential to further a process of healing. We are simply talking about the respectful treatment that any Maine citizen would want for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Will the citizens of Maine be forced, again, to initiate a referendum because the Legislature has failed to lead in a fashion Maine citizens can be proud of? We urge responsible legislators of good conscience to co-sponsor and encourage all their colleagues to pass a new bill that will ensure the entire Maine state Constitution is always in full view and available to everyone.

Yours in right relationship,

Belfast Allies of the Wabanaki Peoples and other Maine Allies and Friends:

Christopher Wright, Belfast; Chloe Chunn, Belfast; Kathryn Robyn, Belfast; Susan Lauchlan, Waldo; David L. Smith, Belfast; Ridgely Fuller, Belfast; Barbaria Maria, Belfast; Judith E. Simpson, MPA, Belfast; Barb Blazej, Dixmont; Ginny Bara, Belfast; Lane Fisher, Belfast; Karin Spitfire, Belfast; Antonio Blasi, Hancock County Commissioner; Linda and Henry Harrell, Augusta; Wayne Cobb, Portland; Karen Marysdaughter, Co-coordinator of the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Bangor; Joan J. Sheldon, Topsham; Emma Macaillen, Penobscot County; Jeffrey Hotchkiss, Portland; Jacqui Deveneau, Portland; Shri A. Verrill, Freeport; Nancy A. Kelly, Stockton Springs; Riley Neugebauer, Rockport; Myke Johnson, Portland; Shirley Hager, Chesterville; Jennifer Brown, Morrill; Donna Short, Swanville; Meredith Bruskin, Swanville; Deidre Sousa, Belfast; Eileen Wolper, Belfast; and Kathy Muzzy, Belfast

 

No common sense

While I stopped reading newspapers some time ago, I do occasionally check in with The Republican Journal. It keeps me aware of local happenings such as the new United Farmer’s Market, the trails available and local restaurants.

As I read the current issue during my breakfast at Bowens, I found an editorial column entitled Common Sense. Since common sense seems to be altogether missing in today’s world, I thought I’d check it out. The problem with this article however, was that there was no common sense involved. The writer did the normal President Trump bashing so popular among left-wing ideologues and then, of course, went after Gov. LePage.

All this was expected, but when he indicated that the “mainstream media” was all that was saving America from doom, I almost spilled my coffee. Perhaps the author hasn’t noticed that Journalistic Integrity has become the biggest oxymoron in the history of oxymorons…far overshadowing the 1960s' champion of Military Intelligence.

There are no mainstream media. What used to be news media have now denigrated to left wing and right wing propaganda organizations. On the left we have the three little pigs — ABC, CBS, and NBC. On the right we have Big Bad Fox.

The three little pigs and their local minions are far better at manipulation than the Big Bad Fox. Their representatives are really good at obfuscation, eyebrow raising, intonation, and other propaganda techniques, while the Fox tends to be more straight up and in your face. But when the author proclaimed that The New York Times and Washington Post are “beyond reproach,” I choked on my coffee. Fake news, outright lies, innuendo, and obfuscation abound in these Pravda Lefts. I really can’t comment on right-leaning newspaper Pravda because I have never found one.

Finally, I think it’s interesting to note that as of the last Media Insight Project report in 2016, only 6 percent of Americans trust the media. I can’t wait for 2017’s report.

Jack Buckley

Lincolnville

 

Safe water

When we hear about unsafe drinking water, we usually think of man-made pollution.  But in places where there is a lot of granite in the ground, as there is here in Maine, arsenic occurs naturally in the groundwater. The Maine CDC has estimated that as many as 1 in 8 private wells may produce water so high in arsenic that it is unsafe for such uses as drinking or cooking, and in some "hot spots" the danger may be much greater.

You can't taste it, smell it or see it, but this contamination has been proven to cause skin, bladder and lung cancer, and is suspected as a cause of other cancers, too. Arsenic in drinking water also affects the mental development of children, which can lead to difficulty in school and a lifetime of underachievement.

The Maine Legislature produced two bills this year to address this public health crisis: LD-454, a bill to educate the public about this danger, passed with bipartisan support and overcame the governor's veto. LD-1263, a bill to provide the funding needed to address the problem, is now caught in the budget stand-off in Augusta. All Mainers should urge their representatives to support funding of LD-1263. Families in the rural counties of Maine are no less deserving of safe water than the affluent, or those on public water supplies.

Meredith Ares

Searsport