Public service is an honor

Belfast Mayor Samantha Paradis is whining about her $2,500 stipend as an elected official of her city. She sounds as if she was headed for the poverty kitchen. Since when is an elected member of a City Council in such a small community as Belfast, with its population of 6,700, be so bothered by a salary they are receiving?

Yes, a stipend is right on, but her thinking that she should be getting more is laughable. Public service is an honor, and I’m sure most elected officials serving in such a capacity, without any paycheck, would be just as happy.

Here in Brewer, our population of nearly 10,000 pays our present mayor, Beverly Uhlenhake, $1,250 per year. As she explains it, she’s “perfectly OK” with it.

Having had the great honor and pleasure of serving my Brewer residents for 24 years as a city councilor, I certainly did enjoy the $1,000 year stipend. Perhaps Paradis should look for another line of work to supplement her nurse’s salary.

By the way, city managers carry out the directed policies of the City Council, so just where is all the hard work or excessive time Paradis is spending as mayor?

Larry T. Doughty


King-sized fears

Some thought needs to be put into just how the current president treats his position. By his actions and comments, he acts more like he thinks he is a king. Kings aren’t elected, whether by popular vote or the Electoral College, but have power through their heritage or maybe marriage.

So, if his goal is to circumvent our Congress by not abiding by the requests made by Congress, or by using the judiciary to not abide by the subpoenas he has been ordered to submit to, where is the law that this country was founded upon? His rule or order seems to be all that counts, and apparently he feels everything else is beneath him.

The question is: what happens when his term is up? I can see him refusing to leave office as every other president has done in the past when his term has expired. I believe he will try to use excuses of his own invention to prevent his removal. His lawyers are already pushing a sort of “divine right” as a reason for him not obeying lawful orders. Being “king” is his only hope. Him being king is scarier than anything else I can think of.

Richard Barclay


LEDs and dark skies

Changing present town lighting to LED lighting can save energy, so it seems like a good idea. However, it is important to gather information and know the facts before making decisions. Lighting provides safety. Here in Maine, we have the largest area of dark skies east of the Mississippi River. This enables us to see stars that few can see on the East Coast, including our Milky Way.

We want safety and we want to preserve our ability to see our amazing night sky. When towns make decisions about lighting, there is information that will help with the decision:

Maine recently enacted a law that enables towns to own pole mounted light fixtures. This brings substantial savings to municipalities. It can be much less expensive for towns to own their own lights rather than renting from the power company.

In order to save our dark sky from light pollution, there are three important aspects to lighting. The first is full cut off, meaning that no light is emitted above the horizontal illuminating the sky.

The second is using LEDs with a warm color temperature, which reduces the blue emitted into the night sky. Blue is more easily scattered by our atmosphere obscuring the view of stars, and has been found by researchers to have negative health effect s on people, wildlife and insects. The third is low glare fixtures. Fixtures with inexpensive optics have intensely bright LED sources and can be especially hazardous for older folks with beginning cataracts or yellowing of their eyes’ lens.

Let us investigate before making quick decisions so we can have both safety and our precious dark skies here in Maine.

Nancy Hathaway

Dark sky advocate