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Pedestrians need to be safe, too

At least one article hits the local papers every year decrying the heartless drivers versus the hapless pedestrians. “We need to be more careful in our driving!” “We need bike paths!” Balderdash!  We need a little common sense!

If someone has ever walked along a road at night, they may have felt that traffic behind them would pick them up in their headlights. Wrong! If the walker is wearing dark clothing and doesn’t even turn around so the driver might at least see a face, they will not see them until it’s a last-minute swerving with screeching tires. Is it asking too much for walkers to attempt to be visible?

Like everyone else, most of my walking on roadsides has been where no one thoughtfully provided me with a safe space; I kept an eye and an ear out for traffic — but I too assumed that they could see me until I learned otherwise as a driver. It’s a lose-lose situation when taken so casually. The walker may end up paralyzed or dead and the driver forever haunted with guilt.

It’s a darned small thing to ask of them, but absent common sense, couldn’t someone remind pedestrians that no, the driver most likely will not see you until it’s too late? Putting all of the onus on drivers is unfair.

The  law says you must walk facing traffic, but I’ve almost never passed anyone who bothered. Squirrels and chipmunks may get too confused to make the right choice, but surely we have an intellectual advantage.

Alice Jones

Machias

Opposed to Frenchman Bay fish project

The mission of Seaside Grange #567 in Corea is in part to advocate for farming and farmers, including support of aquaculture endeavors in Frenchman Bay. After deliberation, however, the members of Seaside Grange voted on Sept. 7, to oppose American Aquafarms’ planned construction of a salmon farm in Frenchman Bay and its accompanying fish processing factory in Prospect Harbor.

We believe the large-scale fish farm and factory proposed for Gouldsboro is incompatible with the fabric and character of the Gouldsboro community, with the existing aquaculture in the bay and with the mission of Acadia National Park, whose land would be on two sides of the proposed fish pens. Potential damage to Frenchman Bay and the industries it supports could be devastating and irreversible. It could destroy the quality of life and livelihoods of people in the surrounding towns, and the impact on the health of the nearby islands and national park could be disastrous.

There are many unanswered questions about the large-scale fish farm and factory proposal and the technology applied on this level is unproven. We believe the potential costs to the surrounding communities far outweigh any potential benefits: in addition to devastating existing marine resource-based occupations in Frenchman Bay, this large-scale “farm” could substantially lower our quality-of-life indices and would likely have a chilling effect on the tourism revenues that benefit the Schoodic region. For these reasons, Seaside Grange #567 stands in opposition to the proposed “farm.”

Joan E. Moore

President

Seaside Grange #567

Corea

Protect the ‘American Serengeti’

Snow gently falling on the mountains, a grizzly bear nudging her cubs across a stream, a herd of caribou galloping across the tundra. Growing up in Alaska, these were all scenes that I had the privilege of experiencing. There is something surreal about being witness to the extraordinary natural world, and my time in the state left a permanent mark on my heart.

That’s why, when I learned that Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was opened up to oil drilling, I was overwhelmed with emotion. This piece of land is one of the most incredible wild spaces in the country, remaining largely untouched by human activity. It is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, enough so that this coastal plain has come to be known as the “American Serengeti.”

Despite such distinction, Congress reversed decades of protection in 2017 and passed a provision that requires the Department of the Interior to offer at least two lease sales for oil and gas development in the coastal plain of the Refuge. This destructive policy places the wellbeing of countless species of animals at risk, as well as the timeless landscape.

While the Biden administration has placed a  temporary halt on drilling plans, the north slope of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be off limits to drilling forever. Protecting our wild spaces is our responsibility as citizens, whether we’re in Alaska, Maine or anywhere in between.

Julia Geskey

Field Organizer

Environment Maine

Portland