Pleasant park surprise
A lot of opinions are printed about a proposed national park in northern Maine, many based on personal bias or guesses about how a national park would affect that part of the state. I’ve been living and working in and near Acadia National Park since 1999.
Traffic in the park seems high this year, possibly because for the past several years, a recession has kept people away. Traffic in Bar Harbor, which borders the park and brags about it for economic reasons, also is heavy this year. Area businesses love the income that comes from park visitors.
The environment in the park itself remains quiet and peaceful among the 26 mountains, lakes, ocean- and lake-side trails and mountain trails. There is a well-known restaurant on Jordan Pond in the park and two gift shops at other park locations. Wildlife is abundant.
I have never observed the park attempt to tell abutting or nearby landowners what to do or intimidate them in any way.
I think Millinocket and other nearby towns will be pleasantly surprised if a national park is created in the area.
How nice that the Bangor Daily News finds daily coverage by Reuters with photos. Many sports sections of many papers ignore the daily grind in the lengthy Tour de France and only list the line-up in tiny print each day. The BDN covers this amazing sport for those of us who care about the teams and the individual sprinters each day and how it goes on and on for over 20 days. France is truly beautiful to see if you follow it on cable.
The BDN also had some interesting info on the copper removed from our state capitol. Artists may benefit — how wonderful. Also, the two girls in Waterville earning a big chunk of change toward college through their tireless efforts to help the needy. Thank you to the BDN for covering cycling daily and our local Augusta and Waterville news.
Martha F. Barkley
Clean power support
At the request of state, local and tribal leaders from across the country who have been feeling the devastating impacts of climate change, the administration recently unveiled the Clean Power Plan to protect our communities. The plan is aimed at guarding the electricity supply; improving local planning for flooding, coastal erosion and storm surges; and better predicting climate related risks as sea levels rise and storms and droughts intensify. By investing in the nation’s infrastructure, the administration is proving again that we can boost our economy and create jobs while protecting our communities.
We, the people, deserve protection from the damage caused by climate change, but we also deserve meaningful action to stop it at the source, which is primarily carbon dioxide and other pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants. The administration has shown its commitment to protecting the health and safety of our communities and will continue to do so with the Clean Power Plan by limiting emissions of pollutants by coal-fired power plants, despite self-serving opposition from big polluters and their allies. I urge Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to support the Clean Power Plan.
Congratulations to the University of Maine System board for creating two new jobs. Oops, make that maybe four new jobs because just about every administrative job comes with a staff or at least a secretary. Then there’s office space, parking space, utilities, Wi-Fi, etc., that comes with new jobs.
Meanwhile the various campuses of the system are reducing faculty, dropping programs, cutting course offerings, etc., to cope with revenue shortfalls — shortfalls such as reduced funding from the state, lower tuition revenues because of students dropping out when the academic cuts affect their career goals, and so on.
By the way, how many student credit hour revenue dollars do boondoggles such as those created for former University of Southern Maine administrative officers bring in? Meanwhile faculty numbers are fleshed out by hiring “adjuncts” who are paid by the course — no benefits, no tenure, no living wage — while former administrators get silver parachutes until their contracts run out.
But those are new jobs, and the posts they leave have to be filled somehow. Two more job openings. Hooray!
John F. Battick
It’s mind-boggling that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho’s July 8 OpEd suggests that the same governor who vetoed a study on the impacts of climate change in Maine is suddenly a leader on the issue.
Aho argues the DEP and LePage administration have a track record of success on environmental policies, citing the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as an example. Ironically, LePage has not only tried to water down the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, he’s put it on shaky ground by signing a bill requiring Maine to exit the program should other states begin to drop out. He also has consistently attacked the state’s renewable portfolio standard, which is equally important in the fight against climate change.
It is even more laughable for Aho to tout DEP’s efforts to protect the state’s natural resources, considering DEP forfeited its regulatory authority to do just that with Flagstaff Lake — the state’s fifth largest body of water — by missing a critical licensing deadline. Although the department claims it was a mistake, the missed deadline conveniently benefited Aho’s former corporate client Florida Power & Light, which owns the lake.
This all speaks to what’s actually front of mind in the LePage administration: corporate-friendly policies advanced by outside interests with deep pockets such as the Koch brothers, mining companies or big oil. Despite what Aho claims, the LePage administration is usually the one pushing for those policies, not fighting them. That’s bad for our climate and bad for Maine.