December 12, 2018
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Monday, Nov. 12, 2018: Mills fighting for Moosehead region, fish farm questions, stop ‘smurfing’

Fish farm questions

My husband, daughters and I moved to the Belfast area because we needed a rest. After years of fighting in New York against every big issue coming against our quality of life, like big propane and electric pipelines traveling side by side 100 feet away from a nuclear plant, we had seen too much of big corporations greed and moved three years ago.

It was looking like Belfast and the people were conscious humans and had the quality of the life of its inhabitants and businesses at heart. We love the small businesses, the center of town, and have decided to only buy local from businesses. Belfast showed us what a healthy, small-scale town looks like. We wanted to be part of it.

Reading about the proposed Nordic Aquafarms project, it is hard to believe that people nowadays aren’t realizing what multi-million dollar corporations are all about. Think about the water, the fish and the neighbors, or just us, the people living close by and enjoying the sea. These fishes aren’t even going to be for local consumption.

Since moving, we got involved with the rowing organization in town, another reason to look deeper into the fish farm. What could the water in Penobscot Bay look like in five years? Will there be some GMO fish? Could the company be sold to another one, less environmentally friendly? So many unanswered questions.

Nancy Durand Lanson

Monroe

Mills fighting for Moosehead region

In case anyone is counting, winter begins very soon.

For many years here in northern Piscataquis County, winter meant bluebird ski days at our very own ski resort, Big Moose Mountain.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. The current owner has let the property fall into disrepair, choosing not to adhere to the requirements included by the state of Maine in the deed when it was sold. The deed was designed to require the new owners to keep the resort viable in exchange for a well below market acquisition price. Instead, if you are lucky enough to live or visit here, our mountain looms in the skyline, not as a ski resort generating income and jobs, but as a sobering reminder of a missed opportunity to grow our local economy.

The principal purpose of the property has indisputably always been to serve as a fully functioning ski resort. Thankfully, Attorney General Janet Mills is leading an effort to defend our interests. She filed a lawsuit in 2016 against the owner, Moosehead Mountain Resort, and has successfully beat back the owner’s attempt to have the case dismissed. The case is likely now going to be headed to trial.

Hopefully, the result will be a change of owner to one who recognizes the value of operating a viable winter sports facility. The future of the Moosehead Lake region is at stake, and we are extremely grateful to Mills for her steadfast commitment to righting this wrong.

John Wentworth

Monson

Stop ‘smurfing’

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen multiple meth lab seizures by Maine law enforcement, including a recent bust in Ellsworth. While meth abuse continues to be a problem in our state, it’s important to recognize the efforts currently underway in Maine to combat the drug’s prevalence and production. This year’s anti-smurfing initiative is a perfect example.

“Smurfing” may sound like a funny term, but in reality, it’s a very serious criminal activity that not only carries harsh legal penalties but plays a role in our state’s substance-use problem. Smurfing happens when meth “cooks” approach pharmacy/retail customers to purchase certain cold and allergy medicines for them, which they then use to make meth. Our lawmakers have put smart laws in place limiting the amount of those medicines people can buy, causing criminals to turn to smurfing. The campaign’s goal is to educate Mainers and prevent upstanding citizens from unwittingly getting themselves into trouble.

Over the past five months, advocates of the campaign have met with more than 30 police departments, 20 pharmacies and numerous community groups around the state to spread the word and raise awareness. Pharmacies have been distributing campaign materials to customers and our posters have been displayed throughout the state. With the support of law enforcement, lawmakers, retailers and pharmacists, this campaign is not only playing an important role in the fight against meth production, but it serves as an example of the good that can be accomplished when communities work together to solve a problem.

Amelia Arnold

Lewiston

 


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