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Friday, April 13, 2018: Salmon farm an ecological risk, St. Clair for Congress, Maine deserves better than Poliquin

Salmon farm an ecological risk

When Penobscot Bay was in fair health, in the decades after the Civil War, it provided a seasonal income to several hundred fishermen from more than a dozen towns around the bay. In the 1880 census, a segment described the bay’s yield and the number of people involved.

This is from a copy of that report, published in the Maine Mining and Industrial Journal of Bangor:

“The total number of persons employed is 406; value of apparatus and outfit, $27,016; total product for 1880 — pounds sold, 770,863; value, $40,514. In the salmon, shad and alewive fishery, 191 men are employed, with 217 weirs, 36 gill nets, 20 dip nets; the apparatus valued at $18,116. The product was — salmon, 9,208 pounds, value $19,752; shad, 800 fish, value $40; alewives, number used fresh, 18,000; smoked, 667,000; barrels salted, 17, value $4,823 — Total value of the three, $24,616. The smelt fishery employs 251 men, with 4 weirs, and 141 dip nets, valued at $8,750. The total product was 266,875 pounds, worth $14,579.”

Salmon farms generate waste and are at risk for viral epidemics. I don’t see why we should risk the health of the bay in order to provide wealth to Norwegian stockholders and hourly wages to local residents. We should concentrate on returning the bay to an ecological bank that supports a large number of profitable seasonal fisheries for midcoast residents.

William Leavenworth

St. Clair for Congress

Despite having reached out to him numerous times over the past 16 months, Rep. Bruce Poliquin has failed to represent me in Washington, D.C. I will be supporting Lucas St.Clair to take his seat.

First, St. Clair was born in Dover-Foxcroft, and he has deep roots in Maine. Next, he has shown his ability to work with people to get things done. His successful work in Maine and in Washington has brought the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument into reality, despite Poliquin’s opposition to it. The economic benefits are already being felt in the region.

St. Clair visited Dexter, and I watched him listen attentively to the details of the work done at the MaineSole shoe company. He understands the problems of the 2nd Congressional District, and he wants to help.

It frightens me to watch what is happening in Washington: the future of health care is in question; the environment is taking a backseat to corporate interests; and there are still no sensible gun policies. All this, and we have a representative in Congress who has sat back and watched it happen. We deserve better.

I am confident that if St. Clair is elected to Congress, my views and the views of residents across the state will be properly represented. Let’s have a real Mainer representing Maine.

Carol Sherburne

No more aid for Israel

One of the rare but consistent areas of congressional agreement in recent years has involved legislation supporting Israel, where many legislators go each year to fundraise. Israel now receives $3.8 billion in U.S. aid each year — one-fifth of the foreign aid budget.

With our huge and increasing national debt, and our decreasing moral standing, why do we continue to bankroll an international scofflaw that routinely blames (and imprisons and bombs) the Palestinian victims whose lands it stole?

Going forward, we must let Israel deal with Iran by spending its own money and soldiers. Not only do our legislators need to hear this message, but so do communication outlets, like NPR, that (subtly) toe the pro-Israel (anti-Iran) line. And the dual-citizenship law has to go.

Melodie Greene

Maine deserves better than Poliquin

How shameful that the BDN printed half a dozen pro-Bruce Poliquin letters, including two on some obscure zoning change. I think this is a coordinated effort by the Republicans to prop up someone who ignores constituents unless they’re rich, white, conservative and bring NRA checks. The 2nd Congressional District deserves far better.

Fortunately, soon we should have someone who actually cares about all Mainers. We certainly don’t now.

Jim Burns


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