Why are we still waiting for a debate among the three candidates for governor? The issues facing Maine are complicated, and the candidates approach these problems from very different perspectives.
As things stand, there may be one or more debates shortly before Election Day, but that remains to be seen. Even if the candidates attend some debates, holding them a few weeks before voting takes place means voters will end up with nothing more than a few soundbites as the basis for their choice.
No one benefits from this situation, except possibly the candidates, and certainly not the voters.
The Department of the Interior recently announced a decision to proceed with seismic airgun testing for oil and gas resources off the Atlantic coast. The surveys will cause major adverse impacts to marine wildlife and the ecosystem. According to the department’s own estimates, seismic exploration could kill upwards of 130,000 marine mammals.
The surveys will also pave the way for the expansion of oil and gas development off the Atlantic coast.
The East Coast is fully protected from offshore lease sales in the current five-year plan. Whether we’re included in the next plan is a huge point of contention. Dave Miramant, D-Camden, is the senator I want in office representing Knox County as pressure is needed to urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to protect Maine’s coastline. Miramant championed legislation to protect Maine’s coast in his time in the Maine Legislature and will continue to advocate for the ocean when we elect him to Senate District 12 this year.
Maine’s economy is dependent on a healthy coast. In 2012, shore-adjacent counties generated nearly $31.7 billion in gross domestic product, 59.2 percent of our state’s output. Oil and gas development would put Maine industries, as well as our state’s quality of life, in jeopardy.
Miramant knows that protecting Maine’s coast is fundamental to all Mainers, regardless of party affiliation. He understands that investment in clean energy will not only bring about energy independence but will also stimulate Maine’s economy while protecting the ocean. We need to get out and vote on Nov. 4 to elect Miramant.
Circle of life
You know the Disney classic featuring the lyrics, “It’s the Circle of Life, and it moves us all”? This probably conjures the iconic scene when Rafiki lifts Simba to the Pride.
I’m asking you to think about our own Maine woods. Here, it’s still legal to bait, hound and trap our bears. We’re the only state to still allow all three practices.
The song from the Lion King describes the reality that animals die so that others may live — the cycle of birth and death and of predation. This way of thinking about death makes it easier to abide; there’s a fairness to it.
Today, though, most of the hunting of bears has lost that fairness — lost what makes it sportsmanlike. We used to hunt bear for food. Now more bears are hunted for a trophy — for a bear skin rug.
The loss of this fairness makes even a supposedly painless death, with head buried in doughnuts, a devastating death to accept. I’ll be voting yes in November.
Wisdom and lies
I write this letter to offer wisdom to a friend’s granddaughter and any other teen or adult dealing with bullying.
There are two reasons a teen will tell lies and bully another: Jealousy and disagreements.
My advice to teens is to stay strong and remember words harm the bully, in the long run, more than the victims. I hope this quote is helpful: “Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things and small people gossip about other people.”
Joseph Riitano Sr.