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Tuesday, June 4, 2013: Lobsters, Memorial Day and wind farms

Get out, vote

Six towns of RSU 20 will vote on June 11 on whether to withdraw from the district, but a big percentage of the voters need to turn out and cast a yes vote or no ballot. No blanks.

In my town of Northport, we need 389 citizens to vote to have a valid ballot. That is 50 percent of the number that voted in the last election for governor in 2010, according to the town office of Northport.

What that would show is a large extent of agreement among those six towns, if that agreement actually exists, whether for or against.

Residents from Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Northport, Searsport and Swanville have to vote.

Paul Sheridan



Legislation weakens conservation

In my opinion, non-trap gear should not be used to harvest lobsters because trawlers and gill-netters can destroy habitat and target large lobsters. Lobsters landed by draggers are the same lobsters that escaped the trap fishery and grow to a larger size. Large, trap-avoiding lobsters are of special importance to the lobster population – they serve as broodstock and help ensure the future of the lobster fishery.

Large lobsters – critical to long-term sustainability of the lobster resource – are becoming increasingly rare. Large lobsters have proven survival skills, high reproductive output and make large-scale movements. Surviving to large size indicates that a lobster has lived for more than a decade, escaped predation, resisted diseases and weathered various climatological conditions.

We need to continue to protect large lobsters because they contribute to the long-term sustainability of the lobster resource in much the same way large cod used to sustain the cod population. By allowing lobster to be harvested using non-trap gear, LD 1549 opens the door to letting lobsters go the way of cod.

Our federal government allows lobsters to be harvested by ground-fishing gear — a practice prohibited by Canada and Maine. I believe the principal reason Canada and Maine do not allow dragging for lobsters is resource conservation. Dragging is destructive. Dragging destroys habitat. Dragging can maim and kill lobsters. What LD 1549 condones is detrimental to the lobster industry and the overall health of the Gulf of Maine.

The solution is to change our federal law so that no dragger-caught lobsters may be landed, bought or sold anywhere.

Diane Cowan, senior scientist, The Lobster Conservancy


Fort LePage


I just read Gov. Paul LePage’s latest incendiary comment in the May 30 BDN. Should the good governor truly need to grab his guns and move his office to a safer location, there are two possibly habitable forts in Maine, each currently fully funded for maintenance, which might be made available.

One, Fort Western, is a short but healthy walk from the State House, situated just across the Kennebec River. Essentials appear to be in place — stockade fencing or whatever. The other, Fort Knox, is possibly at a safer distance from the dangerous majority, and better fortified, but may need cash infusions for necessary improvements.

Failing that, I think that the people of Maine can afford to supply some sturdy, recyclable tinfoil that could be used to fashion a custom protective cap. This would be an affordable, portable, possible solution to a nagging problem.

Gary Roberts



Honor fallen heroes

As a Vietnam veteran, I do not celebrate Memorial Day, I observe it.

In 1868 the families and veterans of the Civil War started decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers as a way of honoring their service. This practice became known as Decoration Day.

After World War II, the name Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day. When I march in a Memorial Day parade, I am not expecting any thanks, but I am honoring those who gave “the last full measure of devotion.”

The average age of those who were killed in Vietnam was 23, according to the Vietnam Helicopter Flight Crew Network. We should honor the fact that they gave so much to keep our country free, as is fitting and proper.

When I visit the graves of my parents and brothers, I admire the flowers we place on their graves, but I take pride on the flag that flies there, too. So on Memorial Day, remember loved ones, but honor our fallen heroes.

Dan Sullivan



Wind resource

The data surrounding the proposed wind farm in Bingham is impressive — 62 turbines with rotor diameters larger than a football field.

Output, if everything goes according to plan, will equal to one-half billion kilowatt-hours per year, if one considers the number of hours in a year multiplied by the 186 megawatts the BDN story says the turbines produce per hour.

Wind is a dilute resource in the sense that you have to build an awful lot of stuff to get relatively little electricity.

Richard C. Hill

Old Town


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