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Wednesday, March 7, 2013: Searsport tank, health care and Tom Hennessey


Top 10 list

My top 10 reasons why the Searsport Planning Board should deny the DCP Midstream liquid propane tank proposal:

10. We don’t need it. LPG facilities sit idle in other areas.

9. We don’t want it. The community is united against this project.

8. This is a regional issue. It would compromise the environment and economy beyond Searsport.

7. It would generate toxic pollution. DCP Midstream has an alarming record of pollution violations.

6. It would be incredibly dangerous if a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion happened.

5. It would hurt businesses throughout the region. Would 12 DCP jobs make up for the loss of many more, plus disruption to fisheries?

6. It would reduce real estate values. Searsport would become a depressed and depressing place, with “for sale” signs and no buyers.

3. It would harm tourism for the region. The tourism economy would tank thanks to the tank.

2. DCP would be a terrible neighbor. They have displayed utter disdain for those who live here, and this is DCP on their best behavior.

1. The No. 1 reason to deny DCP’s proposal to build a 22.7 million gallon megatank in Searsport? Size. This tank is ridiculously large and the land for it too small.

Searsport Planning Board should deny this based on their own standard: “unreasonable adverse effect, meaning any unreasonable risk to man, the environment, existing municipal services, property values, natural resources, and historic areas, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of the project.”

Tank? No thanks.

Cathy Melio

Stockton Springs

Extending health coverage

It is essential that everyone has access to affordable health care, and this should include Americans across the nation who have lost their jobs and are currently unable to afford health insurance.

Extending affordable health coverage will help Mainers ages 50-64 who find themselves in this very situation and who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid health coverage.

The Affordable Care Act expands health coverage options for all Americans. This is just one critical element of the law that will give people without insurance access to preventive and primary care.

It would include access to important medical screenings that can save lives and reduce the need for expensive emergency room visits. Over time, extending affordable health coverage will keep costs down across the entire health care system.

States will have access to federal funds that will enable residents to get the coverage they need.

The federal government will pay the entire cost of covering newly eligible individuals for three years beginning in 2014, and then the federal government’s match rate gradually drops beginning in 2017.

This is a great deal for states. We need Maine to follow other states such as Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, New Hampshire and many others who are taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.

Ron Schwizer


Enjoyed great writer

It was with great sadness that I read Tom Hennessey’s last column earlier this month.

There is no column in the paper that I read more faithfully or enjoyed more. It will be sadly missed. It seems that this old world keeps changing and not for the better.

Hennessey is know as an artist; the print he used for his last column was my favorite, but I think he has more effect as a writer. Only the wealthy can enjoy originals of his art, but all of us benefited from his writing.

His effect on the outdoor community cannot be measured. He is one of the last true outdoor writers. Most of what we have now are reporters.

His writing takes me back to Bill Geagan; his use of metaphor is exquisite. He ranks right up there with Gordon MacQuarrie as an outdoor writer, and if you are really a reader of things outdoors, you know that is a mouthful.

Hank Lyons and other Maine treasures are now to be found only in books. We can only hope that Hennessey publishes some more of them.

Bob Mercer


Breath of fresh air

Sarah Smiley’s columns are like a breath of fresh air to me. The thought that she loves Maine, and the positive writing she contributes is wonderful.

She has made many sacrifices to remain in Bangor. With her husband out of state, she’s basically raising three sons by herself to remain where her heart is, in Bangor. Kudos to her. My prayers are with all of them.

I can only hope service personnel can remain where their family desires to be, but I know that takes time and change of all the armed forces.

Thank you to Sarah for all her wonderful stories and thoughts. They are the highlight of my life. Thank you, BDN, as well; I love the paper.

Carolyn Rideout


East-west reality

The east-west corridor needs to be built, and both sides of the controversy need a dose of reality, especially the side saying the road will increase carbon emissions and cause cancer.

It will decrease carbon emissions. When built, vehicles will continue through Maine without slowing to 25 mph in every town and without stopping at red lights on major highways from Calais to the border. A shorter route means less emissions.

Vehicles will no longer travel on the Trans-Canadian Highway around the top of Maine to get from Nova Scotia to Montreal. Comments like the cancer comment are better left untouched, and, yes, it will create jobs.

Canadian highways are privately constructed and maintained, so why not here? But why carve out a section of controversial wilderness area when there is already a substantial section of roadway that could be enhanced to do the same job?

Widen Route 9 from Calais to Bangor into a four-lane road. Connect it to I-95 by I-395. On I-95, just past Newport, make a new exit and begin the four-lane toll highway to the border. A lot less wilderness will be carved up, and it would use more current roadway infrastructure.

It would not cost Maine much more in maintenance either because part of the road structure is already in place.

This makes a lot more sense except to Cianbro, which it seems would be making money from the road. Commonsense should be brought into this discussion from both sides.

Bob Sloma

St. Albans

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