Say yes to Fiberight

As a new homeowner in Hampden, I’m excited that I can stay in the region that I’ve come to know and love since moving here from Florida. (Yes, even the winters!) I take advantage of Maine’s renowned natural beauty by hiking, biking, kayaking or snowshoeing nearly every weekend.

Protecting our environment is important to me. That’s why I am urging Hampden’s Planning Board to approve the Municipal Review Committee and Fiberight’s new recycling and processing facility as soon as possible. This proposed facility is going to be an amazing next generation facility with minimal environmental impacts.

Plus as a new taxpayer, I particularly like that Fiberight’s $60 million development will be added to our tax rolls.

Danielle Dorrie

Hampden

Support ranked-choice voting

Races with more than two candidates are common in Maine, and they often result in winners elected by less than half of voters. Major parties can react to elections like these in one of two ways: Fight the very existence of third parties and independent candidates, or change laws to handle increased voter choice. Ranked-choice voting represents the more democratic approach.

Maine voters have a historic opportunity this year to restore majority rule, and to curb the increasingly negative character of campaigns. The type of campaigning that this system requires — reaching out for second and third choice support — is precisely the style that prepares our leaders to effectively govern in Augusta and Washington. Campaigning toward the lowest common denominator to just 30 or 35 percent of the electorate does not bode well when the time comes to actually govern and lead. When we require a majority vote, we are instilling the principles of compromise and consensus-building that are vital for a functioning government.

Hundreds of current and former elected officials, business and labor leaders, clergy, local newspapers, and government groups have already endorsed ranked-choice voting. The League of Women Voters of Maine has cited ranked-choice voting as the most cost-effective, administratively efficient and democratic method to get a majority vote and ensure that voters have real choices when they go to the polls.

By supporting ranked-choice voting on the Nov. 8 ballot, Mainers can lead the nation by creating a more representative democracy that restores majority rule and empowers voters.

Julia Fitz-Randolph

Co-Chair

Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network

New Harbor

Collins leads on energy

Sen. Susan Collins deserves to be commended for being one of five Republican senators to address the impact of climate change by encouraging commonsense congressional support for clean energy research and development.

As a lead sponsor of an amendment in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Collins called for the United States to be a world leader in supporting research and development of clean energy technology such as biomass to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The amendment also explicitly recognizes that climate change is happening, and says that human activity is contributing to rising temperatures.

It is imperative that our leaders in Washington actively participate in efforts to promote market-based approaches that welcome and advance more innovative and cleaner energy technologies. These cleaner energy technologies are vital to America’s economic growth, energy independence and national security needs. That’s a victory for Maine.

Collins should be applauded for setting aside partisanship and seeking results for free-market energy reforms that create jobs. Senate Republicans should follow Collins’ lead in supporting new technologies that improve the quality of Maine’s air, water and climate.

James Dozier

Executive director

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

Washington, D.C.