February 20, 2019
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Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019: Water is life, Collins should support the wall, fair news needed

We need more info from Hydro-Quebec

The article by BDN reporter Josh Keefe provides important insight on the issues being raised before the Maine Public Utilities Commission on the transmission line Central Maine Power wants to cut across western Maine.

The question is, “What’s in it for Maine?” The power is going to Massachusetts. New Hampshire already said “no.”

CMP wants to cut a wide power line across some of the most beautiful, unspoiled mountains and rivers east of the Rockies. The value for Maine has to be that increased use of hydro power will help cut global warming. We are already seeing the effects of warming climate in Maine, from ticks in the woods to crabs in the sea, and so much more.

The opponents to the transmission line are asking whether the power being sent to Massachusetts will be “new” power from “spillage” Hydro-Quebec is not now sending through its turbines, or power that Hydro-Quebec now generates that will be “diverted” from elsewhere.

Some environmentalists worry about the effect that hydro-power dams have on freshwater supplies to the oceans, but common sense says hydro is cleaner than power plants that burn coal and petroleum fuels. Maine clearly loses if Quebec power sold to Massachusetts results in more power being produced with carbon-based fuels in Ontario.

Hydro-Quebec is notoriously secretive. If Hydro-Quebec wants the American dollars from cutting a big power line through Maine — and they do — they should come clean. The PUC should insist that this question be fully and fairly answered.

Paul Weeks


Water is life

In response to the Abigail Curtis article on the proposed industrial salmon factory farm that is slouching toward Belfast:

As I understand it, the Delaware-registered Norwegian corporation Nordic Aqua Farms wishes to extract hundreds of millions of gallons of local water per year for their proposed operation.

An estimated 7.7 million gallons of polluted industrial fish tank wastewater from the facility would flush daily into Penobscot Bay. Never mind that other industrial aquaculture corporations want to access our waters in Bucksport and beyond, or that industrial aquaculture is risky business. Or that the Belfast City Council is already being sued over Nordic-related problems. Or that there are at least four pieces of legislation pertaining to industrial aquaculture being introduced in Augusta this session, including one by Democratic Rep. Jan Dodge of Belfast.

And then there’s the controversial nomination of Jerry Reid to be the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner. On this matter, I know that many of us stand with the Penobscot.

Water is life.

Jason Rawn


Collins should support the wall

The article about Sen. Collins being pressured by the Maine GOP to support building a southern border wall, as per President Trump’s request, and the imbedded criticism of her quasi support for “physical barriers but not what Trump envisions” show the Bangor Daily News and Collins have little concern — other than political correctness — for the situation along the southern border.

Having read the letter to Collins, placed as an ad a few days ago, that related the real-life experiences of the elderly parents of former state Rep. Paula Sutton, whose ranch was routinely being trespassed on by illegal aliens and likely drug smugglers as well, this situation really is not open for debate. Because there is no permanent physical barrier along much of this border, the chaotic and dangerous situation created on the southern border that victimizes both property owners and law enforcement has got to end. This is not a political football, and all the groups that are trying to make it so should stay out of this. I would urge the good Senator to support building the wall.

Paul Ackerman

Tenants Harbor

Caregivers make a difference

My wife suffers from dementia and is severely disabled. She has no speech, lacks balance when standing, and must be fed. At age 72, she currently receives excellent care in the Presque Isle Rehab and Nursing Center. Fortunately, I am able to spend four hours each day with her: feeding, walking with her, and socially interacting. I try to make Kaye’s day meaningful, even though she does not know who I am.

Through 10 years of caregiving, I know that the task is inherently challenging. My availability to help my wife each day is uncommon; many institutional and at-home residents do not have equivalent support.

Improving the ambient environment is vital for effective elder caregiving. Here are three suggestions to consider.

First, allow their living spaces to receive ample sunlight and daylight. Open those curtains and shades! Sunshine elevates mood and reduces melatonin production.

Second, allow music to permeate their living areas. Music is a remarkable universal language.

And third, provide daily stimulation to eliminate boredom. Activity in the daytime results in restorative sleep at night-time.

Each day 10,000 people turn 65 according to the Pew Research Center. Becoming an effective caregiver will pay dividends to society.

Todd Russell

Presque Isle

Fair news

I am writing to encourage the BDN to print a fair news story article to correct the recent one titled ” Students Mock Native American After Rally” from Jan 21. As it turns out, this 64-year-old man crossed a significant distance up and across the stairway at the Lincoln Memorial to plant himself in front the group of school children while pounding his drum in the face of one boy. You should also have researched enough to have made readers aware that the man had reportedly tried to disrupt a Holy Mass at a Catholic Cathedral in Washington that weekend.

The article’s passages regarding the man’s wife’s death from cancer four years earlier were so much overkill apparently intending to feed the vitriolic fire torching these students. In terms of identity credibility being white, male, Christian, pro-life and wearing that red Make America Great Again hat made the accosted boy too “deplorable” to be given any benefit of the doubt, even for a kid, while the antagonistic grownup is an identity-identified hero. The BDN constantly refers to hate and bigotry while the shoe is often on the other foot. And, this comfortably fits this “news” story printed by this paper, complete with quotes from tearful, brokenhearted celebrities, and scorching rebukes of the children by hip-shooting lawmakers.

Expect the other side (including the White House) to overplay its hand by continuing to use the school kids as pawns in this mind-bending focus on extremely divisive and militant identity politics.

Donald Mendell



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