Let Augusta ‘speculate’ elsewhere

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” — Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”

The Little Foxes in Augusta are salivating at the prospect of industrializing Sears Island and Penobscot Bay under the guise of “Green Energy,” using highly speculative, enormous, floating offshore wind turbines as their Trojan Horse.

These are the same folks in Augusta who looked the other way while tons and tons of mercury were dumped (and continue to leach) into the Penobscot River. The same folks who assured us that toxic sludge would “improve” the fertility of our farms. The same folks who encourage multinational firms to raise Frankenfish in every community naive enough to squander vast amounts of our precious fresh water reserves and polute Penobscot ay with nitrogen plumes and diesel fumes. The same folks who wanted to place a nuclear power plant on Sears Island, then an oil refinery, then an LNG terminal, and recently a 22.7 million gallon LPG tank on U.S. Route 1 in Searsport to EXPORT LPG to enhance the profits of DCP Midstream.

Why obliterate a highly successful tourist/lobster/native (and permanent) aquaculture-based economy with visual, sound and chemical pollution? Save the eel grass, from which most life sprints in our bay. Save Sears Island, the jewel in the crown of Penobscot Bay, and let Augusta “speculate” elsewhere.

Christopher Hyk

Belfast

Unenrolled voters can vote in Green Independent primaries

As a Green Independent Party House of Representatives candidate I urged Governor Janet Mills to sign the open primary bill passed by this year’s legislature.  LD 231 became law without her signature in April. Voters who are not enrolled in a party will be able to vote in primary elections starting in 2024.

However voters in my district don’t have to wait until 2024 to cast a primary vote because the Maine Green Independent Party has allowed unenrolled voters to participate in its primaries for four years now. Current state law allows political parties to open their primaries if they wish and  Maine’s Green Independent Party has regularly allowed that option in our continuing efforts to expand the electoral process to as many participants as possible.

I am running in House District 38, which covers the towns of  Brooks, Thorndike, Unity, Jackson, Waldo, Monroe, Swanville, and part of Frankfort. I want unenrolled voters in my district to know they have been, and will continue to be, welcome in our party primaries, and to know that in future races there may be multiple candidates and unenrolled voters could play an important role in who goes on to the November ballot.

Thank you and I look forward to speaking with each of you as I campaign around the district this summer.

Heather “Betsy” Garrold

Knox

Democrats on the right track

Though I mostly disagree with Sam Patten’s opinion pieces, I look forward to reading his perspectives and appreciate the column.  His most recent opinion (June 2, “Time for a Mental Health Screen”) about sensible gun legislation was an instance where I largely agreed with Mr. Patten’s stance.

He pointed to Maine’s 2020 legislation known as the “Yellow Flag” law, which has received national attention since the Uvalde shooting.  What was discouraging was the fact that he made reference to Susan Collins’ recent touting of the law, but omitted the fact that this legislation came from the Janet Mills’ administration, and was a bipartisan compromise to a Democratic caucus proposal.

Susan Collins has never stepped out front in any meaningful way to try and restrain reckless gun violence and death.  And, nationally, it is Republicans who stand in the way of any real change.  Is Mr. Patten such a partisan that he can’t give credit where credit is due?  It’s time we all concede the fact that Democrats are on the right track when it comes to commonsense gun legislation that adequately protects our Second Amendment rights.

Prentice Grassi

Freedom, Maine

The world can’t wait!

Three times over the 28-year history of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Belfast, the congregation has spoken out about a social justice crisis: the War in Iraq, the murder of George Floyd, and now the desperate threat of climate change. At our annual congregational meeting on May 22, members voted unanimously to support a resolution endorsing the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act (H.R. 2307 currently before the U.S. House).

EICDA would create a carbon fee and dividend system that promises to reduce our carbon pollution 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. It would also spur innovation and sustainability in energy production. Fees charged to fossil fuel producers would be returned in monthly checks to all Americans, especially helping middle- and lower-income families.

More than 45 countries price carbon, and the U.S. is one of only two developed countries that does not. We at the UU Church of Belfast plan to actively lobby our federal legislators in support of H.R. 2307 and we urge all Mainers to do the same. The world can’t wait!

The Rev. Amy Fiorilli and the Climate Action Team on behalf of the congregation of the UU Church of Belfast