March 21, 2019
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Friday, March 1, 2019: Cut back rockweed harvest, new bus is worth a trip, Mills’ NECEC decision

New Gorham bus worth a trip

Six months ago, Greater Portland Metro introduced a new bus line to Gorham called the Husky. I have been using this line since the beginning and I am happy to write that it is awesome!

It is everything I look for in transportation: punctual, fast, clean, and the very best drivers. The Husky Line isn’t your grandfather’s bus line. The buses have soft padded cloth seats and WiFi. I am always greeted with a smile and a kind word and then transported to Gorham or Portland in a flash.

If you are sick of the traffic to and from Portland, and then the lack and price of parking once you get there, my suggestion is try the Husky just once. I am sure you will be surprised then become a frequent pleased rider like me.

Tom Grant

Gorham

Cut back rockweed harvest

The Maine Land Conservation Task Force recently completed hearings on protected lands. One important matter, however, got lost between the tidelines: rockweed beds.

Rockweed, the common olive-green seaweed, is critical habitat for coastal fish and wildlife. Its forest-like structure shelters and feeds 100-plus small fish and invertebrates. They, and decaying rockweed, feed scallops, lobsters, cod, pollack, shorebirds and ducks. Rockweed also reduces wave action that erodes shorelines.

Twenty years ago, most rockweed was used for local gardening and packing lobsters. Cutting has escalated greatly, primarily for marketed fertilizer. At the dock, rockweed sells for nearly 4 cents per pound. Much is cut by machine, producing fewer jobs. So we can have either a modestly profitable rockweed industry that will deplete fishing income, wildlife, tourism, and other values that depend on undisturbed rockweed beds — or protect the rockweed beds and the species and traditional jobs that depend on them.

Escalating rockweed cutting is too much risk, added to ocean warming, acidification, invasive species, overfishing, and loss of eelgrass beds and salt marshes. If we want to preserve traditional fisheries and wildlife, it makes no sense to take away the rockweed base of the food chain.

Ken Ross

Robbinston

Disappointed by Mills’ NECEC decision

I was more than dismayed to learn that Gov. Janet Mills has decided to support the CMP transmission line, which if approved, will cut through 53 miles of pristine, Maine woodlands with a swath as wide as the New Jersey Turnpike. This corridor would cross 263 wetlands, 115 streams, 12 waterfowl habitats, as well as the Appalachian Trail, and a section of the Kennebec River enjoyed by thousands of rafters each year.

CMP headlines this project as a means of reducing carbon pollution, but this is far from the truth. Recent analysis reveals that the project would not reduce carbon pollution but redirect existing generation, enabling Hydro Quebec to “green wash” dirty fossil fuels, or simply, make the project seem much more environmentally friendly than it actually would be.

New Hampshire was first offered a similar proposal, but rejected it, knowing the proposal for what it was, an environmental disaster that would mostly profit an energy corporation. It was then that CMP offered a proposal and then sweetened it for Maine with increased financial incentives, which to Mills, it seems, makes the overture worthwhile.

Those I have spoken to in my neck of the woods — be they Democrat or Republican — are also dismayed by the governor’s lack of judgment. They are my friends and neighbors who are proud of Maine’s environmental record, and who know that our banner, “The Way Life Should Be,” rests with maintaining that record, holding it beyond the reach of monetary lures.

Louis Graceffa

Brooklin

 



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