April 20, 2019
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Friday, March 5, 2019: War on climate change, treatment facts, Middle Dam renewal

Wage war on climate change

It is heartening that polls are showing that a greater majority of Americans, including Republicans, believe in global warming. There is, however, precious little consensus on what to do and even less political will to do it. Notions range from us all living simpler lives, to a techno-fix that will save us, and to planting trees and gardens. The answer probably includes all of the above and much more.

You would think that curbing one of the greatest carbon polluting entities on earth, the U.S. military, might be on the list. But no, we go on increasing its budget and christening another warship built at Bath Iron Works on April 27. When are we going to come to our senses?

The United Nations’ overly conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives us less than 12 years to take aggressive actions to have any chance at all of climate conditions not going beyond survivability and most non politically constrained scientists following the actual accelerating conditions give us half that. Yet we merrily christen yet another death ship, when, instead, we clearly and desperately need to be working to achieve global cooperation in decarbonizing our world in some sort of green new deal on steroids.

Come down to Bath on April 27 and join us in advocating for converting BIW into crafting more life-affirming and helpful products, like non-carbon cargo ships and underwater turbines. Please ask your state and federal delegations to advocate for conversion as well.

Peter Baldwin

Brooks

Get Middle Dam renewal right

It is time for the Land Use Planning Commission to decide whether or not to accept Brookfield’s renewal plan for Middle Dam on Lower Richardson Lake in Township C “as is” or delay issuing a permit until such time that Brookfield adequately addresses the issues raised by testimony given by interveners and the concerned public. Final comments and testimony have been submitted and are now closed. The public and interveners have spoken overwhelmingly.

In my opinion, the LUPC should not grant Brookfield a permit until such time as environmental, recreational, fishing access, habitat restoration, and scenic restoration remediation deficiencies are resolved.

The restoration efforts of Upper Dam clearly demonstrate that keeping cost down is Brookfield’s priority. That is understandable — they need to make a return for their investors. But when cost containment victimizes the public’s traditional use and the pastoral draw of this historic area, it goes too far.

Brookfield makes its money from use of public water resources. We trust them to be stewards of this resource and safe management of the reservoirs and water levels and flows.

What do get in return? A failed Upper Dam reconstruction. A very safe, well-built ugly block of cement. Ineffective pool restoration: what looked good on paper for Upper Dam did not work. Conceptual fishery access points that did not materialize.

Brookfield can do better. It must prove to the citizens of Maine that it can be a responsible corporate citizen. Regain the trust and respect of residents of the great state of Maine. Take positive action to implement the public’s recommendations for Middle Dam to the full extent possible.

John Preble

Camp Owner, Richardson Lake

Rumford

Treatment facts

In early February, Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order to extend accessibility of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to our incarcerated population. Challengers of this executive order argue that MAT is unsafe to use in correctional and reentry facilities because of potential for abuse and diversion. However, that debate can be put to rest with the facts.

Suboxone, a common form of MAT consisting of a partial opioid agonist and a receptor blocker, can be prescribed in various forms including pill, sublingual film, and monthly injections. While concerns of pill diversion will always be present, the same cannot be applied to a strip that melts under the tongue or monthly injections.

As someone who works in residential care, I understand that even through the most stringent directions and observations, pills can be diverted, but if we eliminate access to MAT in pill form, this concern is no longer valid.

Through proper supervision, diversion and abuse of MAT can be mitigated in correctional and reentry facilities in Maine. For, as we know, our incarcerated population is not immune to the opioid epidemic and they should not be excluded from accessing effective substance use treatment based on an argument that holds no validity.

Katherine Cronin

Belfast



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