Friday, Nov. 30, 2012: Salmon, political power and women’s health

Posted Nov. 29, 2012, at 3:50 p.m.

Fishy info about salmon?

The Yankee Chef in the BDN on Nov. 21 states that he uses “wild Atlantic salmon because the flavor is twice that of farm-raised.”

Wild Atlantic salmon in Maine are an endangered species. Commercial harvest of sea-run salmon (Salmo salar) in Maine ended in 1947, when weir fishermen in the Penobscot River caught a grand total of 40 fish.

Recreational angling for salmon is prohibited because of their endangered status. Commercial salmon fishing is banned in Atlantic Canada and Greenland. Wild Atlantic salmon are not available in retail markets.

Salmon available to Maine consumers is either farm-raised Atlantic salmon (some of which is grown in Maine and eastern Canada) or wild Alaskan salmon.

To help consumers learn more about salmon and other local seafood, consumers can visit the Maine Seafood Guide, seagrant.umaine.edu/maine-seafood-guide.

Catherine Schmitt

Communications Coordinator

Maine Sea Grant College Program

Bangor

Political parties with too much power

Is America about to fall off a fiscal cliff of $16 trillion? No. Isn’t it around $100 trillion including liabilities? Fingers point to Medicare and Social Security as places to cut. Older Americans would benefit more if Congress didn’t have a law forbidding Medicare to negotiate lower drug fees. Let’s ask our elected officials for a change in the law even if it means less political contributions.

The truth is our nation is in far greater danger from the paralysis and the power of the parties than any other external or internal threat. Sen. Olympia Snowe sadly is leaving over this paralysis. These private organizations called parties have their hands on the throat of the American Republic. They violate the Constitution at their convenience. What’s part of the solution? Open primaries and open general elections to all, not just party-picked candidates.

Eliminate their power to change legislative districts. Impossible? No, other states are doing it. Why not Maine? Aren’t we “We the People,” too?

Joe Pickering

Bangor

2012: A victory for women

As a volunteer for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and a resident of Maine, I am deeply grateful that November’s elections proved a victory for women in the state and nationwide.

I know that with the leadership of Sen.-elect Angus King, the support of incumbents like Rep. Chellie Pingree in Washington, and the commitment from state legislators such as John Cleveland, we can continue to protect a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decisions, without interference from politicians.

In Maine in 2011, five different bills were introduced that would have restricted a woman’s access to health care or reproductive rights. Nationally, the dialogue on women’s health was increasingly threatening.

When she was my age, my mother fought for the passage of Roe v. Wade and joined American women in progress toward the freedom to make our own choices. Decades later, I had never felt those choices so in jeopardy.

On the morning of Nov. 7, with the election of a president who will protect my voice and the mirrored victory of candidates in Maine who support women’s health, I felt true relief.

This election was an overwhelming rejection of an anti-women’s health agenda that some in our state’s government and in the U.S. Congress have pursued for the past two years. In the two years to come I will continue to fight for access to crucial health care and hard-won reproductive rights and to ensure that we elect candidates who will stand with women in Maine.

Claire Hortens

Portland

 

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