Letters, April 15

Apr 15, 2021

Nonviolent?

Overdose deaths on the rise. Drug arrests on the rise. Increase in illegal drugs entering the country across southern borders. Solution? Let all the so-called nonviolent offenders out of jail. If it's drugs that are killing people, are not the deliverers responsible for the "nonviolent" deaths? Who comes up with these stupid ideas?

If you want to solve the drug problem, why not look where it has been solved? Singapore has no drug problem because they eliminate dealers, and users are severely punished. I would bet that if the penalties (incarceration) are reduced, we will see an increase in drug trafficking, drug use and probably deaths.

Leo Mazerall

Stockton Springs

Climate committee is a sideshow

Three years ago this month, on April 3, 2018, the newly formed Belfast Climate Crisis Committee asked the Belfast City Council to approve and support a list of priorities the committee had identified. Number 3 on the list was Nordic Aquafarms.

Councilman Mike Hurley spoke. "When I saw reviewing the Nordic Aquafarms aqua project, my hair kind of stood on end."

Councilwoman Mary Mortier followed. "When I saw this agenda and item #3, not only did my hair stand on end, I had a few choice comments."

Then-councilman, now Mayor Eric Sanders: "I think the goal of the committee is at some juncture down the road, three to five years, with a history ... when the city, or if the city, is looking at an idea or a thing, or thinking about a policy or something, that one of the final steps, having built up the trust of the committee ... is what would climate committee say about this idea, or what input would they have — does it pass their sniff test, and I think that is the goal."

The message was clear: hands off Nordic.

The vast $500 million industrial fish farm Nordic Aquafarms has proposed for Belfast is without question and by good measure the biggest climate issue facing Belfast, and yet Sanders and the City Council have barred any consideration of Nordic by the climate committee.

The climate is indeed in crisis. Not in three to five years, but now. Various council members praised the climate committee's qualifications, but if the committee's qualifications are so praiseworthy, why must the committee sit on its hands for five years?

The climate committee is serving exactly the purpose Sanders and the council wanted. It is a sideshow to distract from Nordic's plans to destroy dozens of acres of mature forest, wetlands and wildlife habitat while it annually extracts at least 630,000,000 gallons of water from our limited aquifer and watershed and daily dumps 7.7 million gallons of effluent and 1,600 pounds of nitrogen into our bay.

The climate committee allows the mayor and City Council to say they are addressing the climate crisis while they completely ignore and indeed cover up the 800-pound Nordic Aquafarms gorilla.

The committee has been reduced to a juggling act, a three-card Monte game, while pickpockets work the crowd — and it fails the sniff test miserably.

Lawrence Reichard

Belfast

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jay Davis | Apr 17, 2021 10:36

To the Editor,

In 2019 the Legislature created the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations to research the often startling disparities in income, health outcomes, incarceration, Covid-19 cases and other markers among the state's races and classes. The commission was also charged with making recommendations to address those disparities.

 

That these inequities still exist after centuries of bad treatment is an indictment of a state that prides itself on being welcoming, inclusive and fair. The Permanent Commission has a big job ahead though, typically, it may be doomed to fail because the Legislature that had such bright hopes in creating it has not seen fit to fund it. Last week LD 1034 was heard before the State and Local Government Committee. In voices strong and clear, representatives of numerous organizations that work closely with Maine's disadvantaged populations gathered to support adequate funding.

 

LD 1226, which has a hearing this week before the Judiciary Committee, asks the Permanent Commission to study Restorative Justice practices across the country and bring ideas for its expansion in Maine to the Legislature in the fall. The commission is the appropriate agency to deliver those recommendations, provided it has the staffing it needs to do the work that is needed.

 

I urge all Mainers to contact their legislators and insist that they support LDs 1034 and 1226 when they come up for a vote this spring.

 

Thank you.

 

Jay Davis

Belfast

338-5025



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