Vote “Yes” on Question one

I have something to say to Central Maine Power: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

CMP’s scare tactics in trying to get voters to support its electricity corridor are false, but it seems our for-profit utility has no shame. They warn of politicians becoming too powerful, and “retroactive laws” threatening our livelihoods. Neither of these issues have anything to do with CMP’s corridor, and the Legislature already has the power to make retroactive laws, which in some cases make perfect sense.

What doesn’t make sense is this environmentally-destructive swath cut through the north Maine woods in a project that makes money for CMP, but does nothing to reduce pollution. That’s according to scientists who have studied the project.

Vote “Yes” on Question 1 to halt this fiasco. Show CMP that Mainers won’t be sold down the river with false claims.

Steve Cartwright

Tenants Harbor

Support for Ben Dorr

Ben has proven his commitment to the people of Rockland during his time on the City Council and should be given the chance to continue. He knows how important it is to make housing affordable for the people who live here, not just for those who want to visit. He tied his livelihood to downtown Rockland with his Main Street business, and works with other business owners to make sure they have opportunities to thrive.

Ben’s first term followed through with commitments he made when he first sought a chance to serve on the Council, and has expanded his efforts to solve problems and support fellow residents over the years. Ben has a clear view for his next term; continuing work that has already begun as well as future planning for climate changes and technology advances that will affect Rockland citizens. He is smart, full of energy and he is ready to continue serving Rockland into the future. Please reelect Ben Dorr on Nov. 2.

Maine State Senator Dave Miramant

Our Great Commonality: Fear of the Future and Micro Events 

Anxiety ‒ fear of the future.

We take flight: into addictions, obsessions, compulsions, to hide from what we cannot bear.

We fight: showing irritability, anger, or rage – at self or others; we are on ‘high alert’ – hyperarousal, expressed as restlessness, hyperactivity, emotional excitability; then feel overwhelmed, leading to further hyperarousal.

Or we freeze: suffering depression, numbness, or dissociation. Have you noticed the latter – the splitting off of experiences from conscious awareness, making it impossible to integrate them into an understanding of the world?

Regarding the above, the reader is referred to an article by Susan Rosenthal (“Does capitalism make us crazy? The short answer is YES!” on mronline.org).

The original purpose of this letter was to oppose the CMP corridor – i.e., vote YES on question one. Outside of the environmental and foreign-corporate-influence issues, I oppose the impunity held by the former and current governors, who unlawfully signed corridor leases without legislative approval. (For the NO proponents, support of such impunity equals anti-retroactivity).

Similar impunity was observed at the recent Knox County Board of Commissioners meeting, when proponents of rural broadband were told that adequate public input had already been made, so the mic was given to Spectrum – which, of course, stated its intent to increase rural access.

Around the same time, the Rockland City Council, after public pressure, allowed a public information session on the application of SHM Rockland, LLC, to dredge Rockland harbor, and expand facilities to accommodate transient boats of a length of 26-200 feet. Several supporters said that this is ‘looking to the future, not the past’; another said that the town must have the best relations with SHM, to ensure its good actions in the future, including to not exercise its right to close the part of the boardwalk that it owns.

The latter meeting, inside, with maybe forty people, followed none of the State’s COVID protocols. There were a few council members, the SHM people, and public, especially vocal supporters, without masks, no distancing, seeming to have little respect for the most-at-risk in the room. This is an example of dissociation caused by anxiety.

The tagline of ‘business friendly’ as a path to the future is a myth. It is an argument popularized in the decades after the second World War, and likely learned by its proponents from already older educators: family, school, media.

We have seen where this path leads: to today’s crises of the planet, poverty and economic suffering, a lack of seriousness about the pandemic, and a severe collective dissociation to these most important priorities.

The future, if there is one for your grandchildren, lies not in impunity for elected officials, in favoritism to company owners, in avoidance of the need to wind down use of fossil fuels, or in the prioritization of a tourism model for the small minority at the upper end.

One of Maine’s greatest attractions is its still-existing physical beauty, and its towns, its people, that don’t pretend to try to mimic the global gentrification standard – which would really be a look to the past — and an expensive one.

Rockland could choose to plant trees and convert the many concrete-covered spaces; support small boaters; place at least a little priority on pedestrians over cars; devise an affordable housing plan that does not prioritize only property owners – via some limit on rent increases, new construction, and actual enforcement of rules on the number of allowed BNBs. Instead, one sees, again, the prioritization of property owners, including via impunity.

Knox County needs a plan for the next 30-50 years – check out the maps on predicted flooding and sea-level rise alone. A delay only serves to limit alternatives.

It is clear that citizens cannot rely on the federal government, nor on the state government – no matter which of the two parties dominates.

This is another great commonality we share. As is the anger out there, among people of all political views, at what may be termed political expediency or corruption. This anger is part of the future – and it exists globally. Another global commonality is the increasing role of perceived — not necessarily actual — courage in electability.

Public voices were necessary to be given another public session on the harbor marina. To ensure a future of lessening anxiety, more voices will be needed. Or, the future can be considered as only an issue to avoid, or to view as just another form of entertainment.

Judy Pasqualge

Rockland

Taxes

My husband and I owned a home, and lived in Rockland for many years, but were forced out due to property taxes.

In the recent candidates forum in Rockland for upcoming city council race, liberal democrat incumbent Benjamin Dorr blamed citywide high property taxes on the school funding formula. Perhaps he is not aware that democrats have held a statewide balance of power since the mid 1970’s. In fact, republicans have only held majority balance of power for 3 legislative sessions since 1975.

So, if taxes are high because of school funding formulas, then the democrats are likely responsible. Most people, however, realize property taxes are burdensomely high in Rockland because of excessive, out of touch spending and an abudance of “non-profits” paying lower rates of taxes and receiving special treatment.

It’s a shame a sitting council member is not more aware of these commonly known facts. I suggest he stop shifting the blame and take a look in the mirror.

Linda Bodnar

St. George

Vote no on Question 3

Question 3 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation Maine voters have ever been asked to vote on. Constitutional amendments are drastic measures, especially when their wording conflicts with existing state and local laws. This amendment could allow state laws that protect animals, our environment, or even public health surrounding food safety to be challenged in court if they infringe on one’s constitutional right to raise, slaughter, and eat any animal of their choosing. Nothing in this amendment specifically requires that local laws regarding animal welfare, environmental protection, or public health be adhered to. It is possible that Maine would be unable to pass any additional laws protecting any animal one chooses to eat, because that would infringe on our constitutional right to raise and slaughter animals.

A constitutional “right to food” sounds reasonable, as food insecurity and hunger are serious problems that need to be addressed. Surely everyone deserves access to food, but our problems with hunger have nothing to do with lack of a constitutional right to food. Instead, we need to address the root causes, such as, poverty, inequality, and policies that focus on short-term relief instead of systemic change.

Please vote no on Question 3 this November to protect animals, our environment and public health.

Wendy Andresen

Camden