Yes on Question 1

First CMP tried to distance its abysmal reputation from the CMP corridor project, designed to deliver power to Massachusetts through the heart of western Maine. Many saw through this ploy and, despite being subjected to a $30 million PR campaign, Mainers remained unconvinced that it’s a good deal.

Now, just weeks before Election Day, CMP has again shifted tactics. Now, it doesn’t mention the project at all. CMP has propped up new organizations and hired new spokespeople to spread fear and misinformation about Question 1. My hope is that Mainers again see through CMP’s nonsense.

Question 1 does not:
Create retroactivity — this already exists in statute;
Put roads, bridges or your back deck at risk.

Question 1 does:
Affirm the Legislature and the court’s finding that the lease to cross public lands cannot be hashed out behind closed doors;
Protect critical wildlife habitat in the Upper Kennebec region from high impact transmission lines;
Require a simple majority vote for high impact transmission lines that are greater than 50 miles in length.

For those of you who are still on the fence, know this — Question 1 is your opportunity to stop the CMP Corridor, uphold the Maine Constitution and inject much-needed transparency into the approval process for similar projects down the road. Question 1 is  necessary to prevent unelected bureaucrats from pushing unpopular projects that put the interests of foreign corporations first.

If we don’t act now, Maine will become nothing more than an extension cord for southern New England, or as my good friend Darryl says, a cold New Jersey. Please vote yes on Question 1 to ban the CMP Corridor Nov. 2.

Sandra Howard

Director, No CMP Corridor

Director, Say NO to NECEC

Caratunk

Question 1 confusing

In all my years as a Belfast election clerk and with even more years as a Maine voter, I have never seen such a badly constructed ballot question. It is sensible that if you are in favor of something you will vote “yes” and if you are opposed to something you vote “no.” But Question 1 wording defies logic by reversing things.

But, it gets worse. One who is in favor of the corridor would also vote “no” to the second part about the retroactive mumbo-jumbo required of the Legislature. So for people who are opposed to the project, their “yes” vote would  be in favor of the Legislature engaging in retroactive law-making. The problem is that there are two questions here: 1. Do you approve of the CMP corridor? and 2. Do you approve of retroactive law-making?

The Republican Journal’s article was excellent in delineating the legal intricacies that Question 1 presents. It also reveals the complexities such that the average voter will be severely challenged in comprehension. This is not proper for a ballot question and it should be rewritten.

Two more notes of interest here. The ballot question is obviously about the CMP corridor, but it is not mentioned in the wording. This seems a bit deceitful. Also, within the extensive pro/con discussion (mostly about money and legalities) in the article, there is no mention of clean energy and clean air for the Northeast yet we are in a global warming crisis.

Keith Dunson

Belfast

Ballot Question 1 should be considered illegal

To Secretary of State Shenna Bellows:

Question 1 is plainly THREE questions, and extremely confusing.

The intent is in conflict with our Constitution. Instead of being prospective, forward-looking, seeking to encourage new growth and opportunity, it’s retroactively punishing people who long ago started the processes, and received the local permissions — which trump state involvement — from the far more important individual citizens who will live alongside any development. This entangles and destroys projects already legally owned and endorsed by local people who need activity development brings.

Mainers dream of owning their own restaurants, farms, making their own products (on a scale to hire), and providing help/service to their fellow man. Eighty percent of business in Maine is just our neighbors trying to live their dreams, not multinational corporations misusing our environment! Wind and solar are multinational corporations! Hmmm!

Under our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, we have personal property rights. CMP owns most of the land it’s developing. Public lands, treated well, are ours — not an agency’s — to control. Agencies merely exist to settle disputes, not to inhibit use of land that we the people own and that the entire local community has already endorsed!

CMP will add 1200 megawatts to Maine’s grid, 55 megawatts given to Maine free — equivalent output of five solar farms, but without down time when it’s dark, and minus the destruction of farmland. We need this energy to run the heat pumps everyone is installing!

CMP is giving FREE high-speed fiber-optic internet access to all towns abutting the corridor, allowing isolated Mainers to join the world economy! It will be open to ATVs, snowmobiles and hikers, year-round, and will increase our tourist economy with no noticeable change to the environment.

In large part, the corridor is already there — they’re only widening it 100 feet. It’s two poles with a beam across the top, with few wires, not big steel monoliths as presented by opposition lobbyists. Ospreys like to nest on them. Widening creates first-growth saplings that deer eat. Deer feel safe with cover nearby. Well-fed deer help the hunting industry.

You’re deliberately targeting CMP. This is leftist Democratic partisanship; lobbyists, not local groundswell, nor well-considered legal need.

Someone should sue.

Anybody got any money left after groceries anymore?

Patricia Keyes

Swanville

Nothing meek or mild about opposition to Nordic salmon factory

Editor’s note: The following letter has been edited for potential libel.

In a Sept. 9 column, Sam Patten warns that if the Frenchman Bay salmon operation is allowed, “Penobscot Bay could be next.”

The threat arrived three years ago.

Since 2019, Nordic Aquafarms has sought permits for a salmon factory in Belfast. Patten calls Nordic “mildly controversial.” Three years of hearings and six lawsuits is not mild. Countless citizens’ ongoing support of several organizations that have mounted relentless opposition is not mild. Years of careful research (see upstreamwatch.org/news) by top scientists is not mild. The city of Belfast using eminent domain to take private property for the gain of a private, foreign corporation is outrageous, not mild.

Nordic did not “earn positive environmental reviews,” as Patten writes. Its permits are under appeal over what plaintiffs say are violations of the Federal Clean Water Act, the Federal Clean Air Act, and numerous state statutes and local ordinances. The factory’s outdated technology would demand enough power to serve the needs of every town from Belfast to Rockland, hundreds of gallons of fresh water a minute, and belch diesel pollution from eight industrial generators, each with a 67-foot smoke stack.  In short, Nordic is another big aquaculture corporation hoping to dump its waste into Penobscot Bay and exploit Maine’s resources, weak laws and submissive political and environmental leaders.

Patten states that Nordic doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Let’s take a closer look.

Nordic claimed the effluent would be discarded far from shore. However, the pipes will dump millions of gallons of discharge daily into 34 feet of slowly circulating water, taking more than a week to make its way toward Islesboro and beyond. (See upstreamwatch.org “Close the Loop. Save the Bay.”)

Nordic proclaimed its plant would run on solar power. Its plans show no panels. The reality? Industrial generators, and massive amounts of power from the grid, built on soils that are so inappropriate they must be replaced at least 20 feet down. This represents a huge carbon and methane release.

Patten got right that jobs in these factories would likely rely on importing labor. Like American Aquaculture’s infrastructure, Nordic’s power demand requires taxpayers dollars, while tax benefits remain elusive.

The threat to Penobscot Bay is real, and here, and now. No one who loves the Penobscot Bay should be distracted from that reality. For more information, please go to upstreamwatch.org.

Susie O’Keeffe

Montville

Investors be warned

On Sept. 15, 2021 a fire broke out at the Atlantic Sapphire land-based salmon project in Denmark. This industrial salmon facility is immediately ahead of the Belfast Nordic Aquafarms proposal in a pipeline of four high-discharge facilities getting rubber-stamped by Gov. Mills over serious opposition.

Newsreels show a sky red with fire while the sea also turned red with iron chloride, a corrosive chemical. The police called on the armed forces for support. A press release by the police read:

“People in the affected area should avoid swimming in the Ringkøbingfjord and otherwise avoid contact with iron chloride, which can be recognized by the fact that the water is red. The red water can be corrosive to the touch.” They ordered any caught fish be destroyed.  (https://nord.news/2021/09/16/large-fire-at-salmon-factory-has-created-corrosive-chemical-emissions-2)

Material safety data sheets warn: Danger! Causes burns by all exposure routes. Harmful if swallowed. May cause liver and kidney damage. May cause adverse reproductive effects based upon animal studies. Target Organs: Kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system.

Investors be warned: On July 9, 2021 Atlantic Sapphire lost over 360,000 fish in a mass die off. Earlier in 2021, two mass die offs occurred at its Florida facility, totaling 800,000 fish. Stock value plummeted.  (miaminewtimes.com/news/activists-accuse-atlantic-sapphire-salmon-farm-of-animal-cruelty-12210072)

This August, off Acadia National Park, during the height of tourist season, Cooke Aquaculture had a mass die off of 100,000 fish. Eleven days passed after Cooke noticed the problem. Newsreels were tightly managed. A company spokesmen blamed “uncommonly low dissolved oxygen,” sterilized words for rotting dead fish, that might tarnish Maine’s brand. Mill’s Department of Marine Resources remained silent for weeks then agreed with Cooke, nothing more.

Jim Merkel

Belfast

A helluva job

Former Gov. Paul LePage has announced he will run for governor in 2022. When he left office in 2018, he immediately moved to Florida because he said he “could not afford to live in Maine.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement for his eight years in office.

Now, he’s back, so I guess now he CAN afford to live in Maine. To my way of thinking, that must mean Gov. Mills is doing a helluva job!

Brian Callahan

Searsport

Let’s keep knitting our community together!

I agree wholeheartedly with Bennett Konesni (Children help to knit Belfast together, Sept. 23) re: the silver lining of linking elementary school children to the places and people of Belfast. As a parent, educator, director of a participatory arts nonprofit, and a citizen, I know that such community connections are vital for a healthy society.

However, I want to correct one small error in Mr. Konesni’s letter. He mentioned learning “to contra dance by the gazebo,” perhaps because he saw me teaching solo versions of dances from different cultures, including ones we might have done on a first Friday: a Scandinavian schottische and a simple dance sequence called Traffic Jam. But we weren’t contra dancing.

In fact, Belfast Flying Shoes has not presented a public community/contra dance since March 2020 because contra dancing — by virtue of its beautiful, inclusive, community-building, face-to-face intermingling with everyone in the entire room — is an ideal vector for COVID-19. We all know that one day we will return to dancing under the disco ball on first Fridays, but until then, Belfast Flying Shoes is only producing lower contact events, such as “(Solo) Dances from Different Cultures” for CASS students or our “Sundays in the Park” events, highlighting various traditions of music and solo percussive step dance.

Join us Sunday, Oct. 3, at Steamboat Landing for Cape Breton music and step dancing, starting at 2:30 p.m. Bring a mask, a chair or blanket, and your inclusive spirit.

And yes, let’s all keep knitting our community together whenever we can!

Chrissy Fowler

Acting Executive Director

Belfast Flying Shoes