June 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted June 22, 2010, at 5:21 p.m.

Pesticide hearing

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control is seeking input about the development of a comprehensive pesticide notification registry during two public meetings being held at the Clipper Lounge, 34 Downeast Drive, at the University of Maine at Machias.

The first meeting will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, June 24, with the second meeting slated for 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 25.

A recent law enacted by the Maine Legislature (Public Law 2009, Chapter 584, LD 1547) requires the BPC to develop the comprehensive registry, and incorporate the two current notification registries maintained by the board into a single list of individuals seeking advance notice of outdoor pesticide applications.

Specifically, the board is seeking input on: the scope and operation of a comprehensive registry; the types of applications and equipment to be included under the registry; the appropriate distances from a spray site for determining whether neighbors qualify for notification; the feasibility and advisability of requiring land managers to post signs on properties where pesticides are applied; and the feasibility of developing an automated, Internet-based system for land managers to use in notifying registry participants.

Written comments on the development of the comprehensive notification registry may be e-mailed to henry.jennings@maine.gov, or mailed to the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028.

Paul Schlein

Public information

officer

Maine Board

of Pesticides Control

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Carbon assumptions

Keith Van Scotter’s opinion piece, “The Clean Air Act is the wrong tool to regulate greenhouse gases” (BDN, June 12), correctly notes that forest biomass can be a new source of jobs in Maine and a path toward a clean energy future. But he wanders away from the scientific evidence when he insists that the use of biomass is necessarily “carbon neutral.”

The Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to stick to what scientific evidence shows, which is that the use of biomass can be either positive or negative for the environment. The source of the biomass, the manner of harvest and transport, how it is converted to usable energy, and what alternative energy sources it replaces all factor in to the effect on the environment.

Done right, biomass can be an industry that reduces Maine’s contribution to the climate crisis and puts people back to work in communities that need it the most. Done wrong, it can result in net carbon emissions that are worse for extended periods of time than burning natural gas or even coal.

Carbon emissions from biomass can be minimized by burning waste materials instead of harvesting growing trees. But Maine is already highly efficient in making use of its wood waste, so a spike in demand for biomass will likely be met by harvesting entire trees. All use of biomass is not “carbon neutral.” The EPA is right not to accept an old assumption scientific evidence now reveals to be flawed.

Jeremy Sheaffer

The Wilderness

Society

Hallowell

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Belfast is on the move

I ran for the Belfast City Council with my platform centered on economic development. The sitting council had begun to address our challenges, but I was impatient and wanted to see faster implementation. I want to acknowledge progress.

As we near the end of our 2010 budget process, there is real change that bodes well for Belfast’s economic future. This week marks the start date for our first ever economic development director, Thomas Kittredge, and we are excited at the possibilities and strengths he brings to Belfast.

As we finish our budget, the council voted to fully fund the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is truly beginning to shine for our area. A new program this year is the matching funding for Our Town Belfast, a Main Street Network program that will breathe added life into the small business community. The council also has taken other helpful actions.

I compliment council members on their active support of the health of our local economy. We need to strengthen our local businesses and this council and the administration have taken giant steps this year to do just that. There is still much to do, and working together, we can truly change Belfast and our area for the better. I can tell you I may not be happy with our current economy but I know that our government is actively doing what it can, and working to improve how people earn a living in Belfast.

Michael D. Hurley

Belfast city councilor

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Diluting the votes

The recent primary elections gave us candidates to represent the two major political parties. We now have the independents to add a bit of spice and confusion to the mix.

In all my 60-plus years of voting, I have rarely seen any independent, however well-qualified, win the race for any public office. Most of them sing a good song, but they would like to put aside the fact that politics is a game, like chess, that some play better than others. It is no place for greenhorns!

In the case of the Maine gubernatorial election, should an independent win, the Legislature would have a field day chewing him up and spitting him out like a mouthful of sawdust. Unless the candidate took a crash course in politics, he would be left with a handful of hopes and dreams and, very possibly, a debt which could take the rest of his life to pay off.

The maturity of a person is not measured by the ability to make a decision, but by the ability to follow through and or implement that decision. I wish the independents well, but they don’t stand a dit’s chance in a windstorm. All they have done is dilute the votes for the major candidates.

Rita M. Souther

Camden

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Invest to grow

Conservative Tea Party members have sworn that if they win in 2012 they will reverse the new health care laws that start in 2014. It’s bad enough that suffering and loss of life may continue. Rich, savvy insurance moguls and bankers influence conservative thinking. Don’t they know these businessmen are a collection of highly intelligent, well-educated people intent on talking conservative politicians, and in some cases, religious institutions out of their own ethical and moral values?

Jesus Christ healed people for free and told us to love one another. Why do we allow ourselves to be led into not following His words? Today, because of their national health care systems, Europeans and Canadians are living averages of three years longer than U.S. citizens. Cubans live a year longer than us. Statistics show U.S. citizens are less happy with their lives than people in other countries. Is it any wonder that we are suffering horrible consequences and that we are now a debtor nation?

We seem to have forgotten that growth takes investment and each other. Eisenhower built the world’s largest highway system with taxes of up to 92 percent on income brackets over $300,000. Today’s taxes are about 35 percent on the same income bracket. Conservatives dealing with health insurance companies is much like tea-partiers playing Monopoly with Bernie Madoff.

Curt Fordyce

Ellsworth

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