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Monday, March 30, 2015: Short beer pints, DIF&W hypocrisy, mining in Aroostook

Aroostook mining dangers

When the governor was in Presque Isle last week for a budget town hall, I had an exchange with him, where he claimed that “every single fracking, uh, operation in the country does not pollute.” With a governor who is this ignorant about environmental damage caused by fracking, how can we trust his Department of Environmental Protection to create mining regulations that would protect the environment from the inevitable damage that an open-pit mine in Aroostook will cause?

We can’t. The DEP was tasked with writing new mining rules, and last year they presented them to the Legislature. Forty-eight people traveled to Augusta to testify against the DEP’s very weak mining rules that would not protect the environment and Aroostook’s thriving tourism industry. Only four people testified in favor of the weak rules. The Legislature correctly rejected them.

The DEP’s reaction was to submit the exact same rules again this year. They did not even correct grammatical errors. This time, 51 people traveled to Augusta to oppose, and only three people, all industry consultants, testified in favor. Ground rules for testifying prohibited mention of Bald Mountain or Irving.

Discussion about mining Bald Mountain must be honest. It is widely understood that the DEP’s rules will not protect the environment. An honest discussion would be about whether we are willing to sacrifice the industries that currently provide sustainable employment opportunities to Aroostook citizens and are dependent on a healthy environment so that Irving, a foreign corporation, can enjoy more profit. Let your legislators know.

Shelly Mountain

Mapleton

Cat cuddle therapy

I really chuckled when I read the article on cuddling in the health section of Tuesday’s paper. I have a cat — I call him Rex — and he is 9 months old. Every evening, when I get into bed, Rex climbs onto my shoulder and presses his forehead into my neck under my chin and purrs — a really serious purr that goes on for a long time. This costs me a little bit of cat food and litter, lots of love and saves me $60 for 30 minutes with a person who might not be so comfortable and relaxing.

I recommend a purring cat for unconditional relaxation and meditation, and it’s easy on the bank account. I don’t have to go anywhere except upstairs in my house, and I don’t have to make sure I’ve showered or brushed my teeth. Rex doesn’t care. If you’re a dog person, I bet a good cuddle with your pooch would work too.

Katharine Evans

Pembroke

Energy savings help

Thanks to a grant from the Davis Family Foundation and work done by Penobscot Home Performance, the Stockton Springs Community Library, located in an 1800s historic sea captain’s home, was able to insulate the attic and exterior walls. Because of this project, we have burned 384 fewer gallons of oil this year compared to last year. We find that amazing, as this year has been one of the coldest winters on record.

We are an all-volunteer library, depending on donations, grants and fundraising to keep this library open 18 hours a week. This is a huge savings in our budget. The final step of this project is to get the basement insulated and weatherproofed. We have just received another small grant toward this part of the project, and we are raising additional funds to complete it before next winter.

Pat Curley

Director

Stockton Springs Community Library

Stockton Springs

DIF&W hypocrisy

The March 19 BDN contained a story concerning a Maine guide who thinks the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife should not increase the number of permits issued to hunt a cow moose in his area. The registered guide made his case, citing how important moose are to the region, using numbers showing how many moose could be hunted, areas where they could be hunted and other statistical facts to make his point.

This letter speaks to the hypocrisy used by Judy Camuso, wildlife director at DIF&W. When asked to comment on the guide’s concerns, Camuso stated neither she nor her biologists would comment on his request. She said, “our rules don’t allow for us [to comment] because the public comment period is still open.” She then said, “we don’t want to sway peoples comments.”

I would like to refer Camuso back to the recent ballot question concerning the baiting, hounding and trapping of bears. Her department had no problem commenting then. In fact, state game wardens appeared in TV commercials, spoke at public gatherings and were quoted in countless news stories. Whether they spoke in favor or against the ballot measure is not the point here. The point is that they had no problem voicing their opinions — or at least the opinions of the DIF&W — and this was done as a deliberate attempt to sway the vote. I agree that they should not be speaking out — especially when they are being paid by my tax dollars — but I fail to see why it is now off limits and was par for the course during the bear vote. What hypocrisy.

Gary Guisinger

Perry

A pint is a pint

Please support passage of LD 122, “An Act To Standardize Pints of Beer Sold in Maine,” which would require all establishments advertising that they sell and charge for a pint of beer to actually serve customers a 16-ounce “full pour” of liquid beer. Otherwise, they would have to refer to it a glass or mug.

In most all establishments in Maine, the advertised “pint” actually is less because it is being served in a glass, which, by design, is barely even able to hold 16 ounces to the point of overflowing, let alone leave enough room to additionally include the recommended space for a head.

LD 122 is about making sure that if the restaurant/bar/beer industry tells you they are selling you a “pint,” that then you actually get what you pay for: a full 16-ounce pint pour, just like when you purchase a full pint of ice cream and/or maple syrup, etc.

Contact your senators and representatives and ask them to support LD 122.

Bumper White

Liaison

Full Pint Association of Maine

Phippsburg


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