LETTERS

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011: LURC, wind power and a leader lost

Posted Nov. 30, 2011, at 4:41 p.m.

Save LURC for all Maine

A special interest group trying to abolish LURC at any cost is now slinging mud at intelligence and wisdom. They are calling Ron Joseph, retired Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, wrong-headed for the stand he is taking for a deliberate, well-thought-out evaluation and plan for the future of LURC.

Ron Joseph is one of the most experienced outdoor professionals in Maine. We are lucky to have his long view, and his commitment to the future of Maine’s forests, wildlife, and efforts to manage them wisely. Dismantling or weakening LURC by “divide and conquer” from special interest groups threatens the Maine woods — an unparalleled resource in the eastern U.S.

We all deserve an equal voice in the fate of LURC, not only those who live in northern and eastern Maine. All Maine residents financially support LURC, a state agency responsible for overseeing the public’s interest in the north Maine woods. Without LURC, this region will be subjected to poorly planned development from stock market companies with CEOs and headquarters located outside of Maine.

Cloe Chunn

Waldo

LURC better on wind

In reading the Nov. 26 Bangor Daily News editorial “A better LURC is close,” one must ask, “Better for whom?”

Certainly, for those of us living in LURC’s jurisdiction, there is nothing “better” about the prospect of the Maine DEP becoming the sole siting authority for all wind turbine developments in the state. Just when we thought the wind development nightmare in rural Maine couldn’t get any worse, we find out that it could.

The DEP has twice allowed wind developers to begin construction without demonstrating the financial capacity to complete their projects, something required by law. It has never allowed public comment on a wind project in a formal public hearing. It has never denied a grid-scale wind development permit. Most disturbingly, it has never enforced the state’s noise regulations when a wind development was shown to be out of compliance.

It seems it would be more cost-effective to not even review wind permit applications in Maine — the outcome wouldn’t be much different than the DEP’s.

Between Maine’s two current wind project siting agencies, the LURC commissioners have shown far greater insight into wind development review than the DEP. If they’re going to hand project review to one or the other, give it to LURC. The DEP is doing little more than rubber-stamping wind development permits.

DEP review of wind projects might be a wind developer’s dream, but it’s a nightmare if you live in the LURC jurisdiction.

Kay Michka

Lexington Township

A leader lost

On Nov. 21, higher education across the country, College of the Atlantic and Mount Desert Island lost a good friend and champion with the death of Dr. Louis Rabineau.

The third president of College of the Atlantic, Lou began his tenure in 1984, taking the reins of a young institution at a critical time as COA struggled to overcome the fire that devastated the campus on July 25, 1983.

His deep experience in higher education, calm presence, ability to create community and his infectious optimism about COA’s tremendous potential led to the thriving institution we know today. Simply put, without his leadership, COA would not have survived.

Lou retired from the college in 1993, but his influence remains strong, not least because our seventh president, Darron Collins, is a COA alumnus who studied and graduated under Lou’s watch.

As we consider the benefits of COA to the Mount Desert Island community, to Maine and beyond, and as we consider the accomplishments of the students and the faculty of COA, we remember with gratitude and affection the contributions of Lou and his wife, Mona. Their steadfast efforts to create a bright future for the college and their commitment to the quality of life on MDI are a legacy that has truly made a difference to so many.

We are proud to have shared the trust of the COA community with Lou and Mona, and grateful to be beneficiaries of his friendship and counsel.

We will miss him greatly.

Ed Kaelber

Steven Katona

David Hales

Andy Griffiths

Former COA presidents

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