Reopen our government
We deserve a government that’s open for business and working to deliver the services that keep our nation healthy and strong. Instead, we are witnessing havoc on public lands, and bearing the effects of a further crippled Environmental Protection Agency. Without funding, the agency’s essential work to monitor the quality of our air and water, and protect the health of our children are on hold.
In Maine, Acadia National Park is operating with a skeleton crew. If the shutdown continues, we could see delays to maintenance projects and an impact to summer tourism.
It’s time to end the government shutdown, and the House has passed a spending package that would do just that. I am thankful Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, along with many of their colleagues, have been voices of reason on this matter. It’s unfortunate there are still many in the Senate who continue to stonewall. I urge them to place the more than 800,000 unpaid civil servants, the right to clean water and air, and the integrity of our federal government above politics.
Let’s get back to work.
Alewives can be a benefit
Alewives, whether anadromous (sea-run) or landlocked, are actually likely to increase the size of the landlocked salmon and trout in any pond. Alewife and their spawn are planktivores — they consume tiny phytoplankton and zooplankton — while bass, trout and salmon are, at least partly, piscivorous — that is, they consume other, smaller fish.
Quantabacook Lake in Waldo County provides an example of the alewife benefit, although Quantabacook’s alewives are anadromous (at least when water levels provide egress over the dam and access to the sea via the St. George River). Since alewives have regained access to the lake, bass and lake trout have doubled and tripled in size. The alewives and their fry provide a much greater section of the trophic pyramid between plankton/algae and top predators — bass and lake trout.
When most Maine lakes and ponds had alewives (at least seasonally), the freshwater, inshore and nearshore fisheries provided more nutrition by weight and variety than the more glamorous offshore fisheries. Even freshwater fish were caught commercially and sold in local markets or shipped to Boston and New York City.
For more than 200 years, our election process has been in place without a lot of problems. One vote per person and the most votes wins and except in special instances it works. Our last two governors were elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, which was no problem.
Now, because some cry babies didn’t get their way, we are supposed to change a tried and true system. I believe ranked-choice voting sets a bad precedent and sets up the opportunity to steal an election.
Bagel Central a Bangor anchor
The retirement of longtime Bagel Central owner Sonya Eldridge, as reported by the BDN on Jan. 2, is certainly well deserved. Eldridge may want a quiet departure, but she deserves endless praise for establishing what, in malls, are called anchor stores.
Her purchase of the Bagel Shop from founder Richard Zabot and her moving it to its more attractive and spacious Central Street location was a crucial factor in reviving downtown Bangor. The eateries and other establishments that have followed ever since owe a huge debt of gratitude toward Eldridge, as do the thousands of patrons of Bagel Central.
May she have a wonderful retirement.