On Jan. 19, I read in the paper that Gov. LePage’s idea to increase business in the state is to destroy protections for the environment.

His intelligence on this subject is exemplified by his statements: “We want to address vernal pools. If they are intermittent and dry up after rainfalls, I am going to recommend we ignore them.”

By this statement he either does not know that he defined what a vernal pool is, or he does understand what they are and wants to just not protect them at all. My opinion is that he is both ignorant and dangerous; this to me is the definition of reckless.

This is sad to me, as I have spent countless hours in my town of Cumberland up to my waist in pools counting egg masses and surveying the many species that exist, doing free work for landowners that would have cost thousands of dollars.

I worked toward protecting critical habitat. Now all that work may be for naught. I wonder if that is tea party patriotism?

Paul Weiss

Maine Sierra Club member

Cumberland Conservation Commission member

Cumberland

 

In declaring that he would “ignore” vernal pools based on his own arbitrary criterion of whether “they dry up,” the governor ignores science.

But even if there are legitimate questions about this aspect of the law, the LePage administration also fails to understand that a truly conservative approach to environmental management in the interest of long-term economic vitality is not to diminish our standards, but instead to lead a smart and efficient government that expedites application processing and enforces protection laws.

To do otherwise would be short-sighted.

Michael Boucher

Freeport

 

Please do not roll back the law protecting vernal pools.

They are critical habitat that supports unique and valuable wildlife communities including salamanders, wood frogs, spring peepers and many other species. Years of research led to the discovery of the importance of vernal pools to a healthy forest ecosystem and led to the passage of the 2007 law protecting these special places. Teachers integrate vernal pool studies into their classrooms.

Through the study of these spring ponds, children come to appreciate the beauty and mystery of nature and gain an interest in science.

Dan Keneborus of Camden National Bank complains that the vernal pool law is frustrating builders and developers. The law only frustrates developers if they are intending to bulldoze these special places. Healthy forests and healthy wildlife populations are essential to a healthy Maine economy. It is our brand.

Rolling back the vernal pool protection laws is shortsighted economically and environmentally. It is not a strategy for stimulating job creation.

Furthermore, destroying the homes of salamanders, toads, turtles, dragonflies, fairy shrimp and damselflies is just plain wrong.

Leslie C. Hyde

St. George

 

I am writing to ask the people of Maine to support environmental regulations, such as the protection of vernal pools, which have been put into place to protect fragile species of animals.

This spring I volunteered for the town of Windham to help identify significant vernal pools. I saw firsthand how development is encroaching on the only places where some species of amphibians can develop and thrive.

It angers me when I see that Gov. LePage is supporting developers and other businesspeople who feel that these regulations are burdensome.

He clearly does not have a scientific background, but he is willing to sacrifice critical habitats for the sake of development and political expediency.

We know what happens without these regulations – a 2000 paper published by Drs. Stuart Pimm and Peter Raven lists habitat destruction due to human development and land exploitation as the leading cause of animal extinction and ecosystem collapse.

As citizens of Maine, we must be willing to look to the future knowing that what we lose we will never get back.

Helen Hurgin

Windham

 

Prosecution’s excesses marred Dolloff’s trial

 

I attended the sentencing of my yoga teacher and friend of 10 years, Linda Dolloff. I appreciate Justice Joyce Wheeler’s clarity in explaining her process in arriving at a sentence.

I was surprised, however, that the district attorney was allowed to read the psychiatric criteria for antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, when actually defense attorney Dan Lilley had clarified that Linda does not have these diagnoses according to a psychiatric evaluation. (“Traits” was the word used by the psychiatrist.) It appears to me that much of the case against Linda was built on the prosecution’s speculations and theories rather than proven facts. An example would be the alleged motive, which was “rage” at the “loss of her idyllic lifestyle.”

My understanding is that the couple had reached an agreement that would have allowed Linda to continue as a yoga teacher and craftsperson and enjoy her love of animals and connection with nature.

The members of the jury apparently based their decision to convict on these theories, along with judgments about Linda’s appearance during the trial.

Linda had, in fact, been cautioned against appearing to seek pity or appear unstable. And, by the way, if Linda wanted to “play the role” of a “grieving” woman, as the district attorney stated, why did she wait until the sentencing?

The district attorney described “two Linda Dolloffs. One is a yoga instructor who is kind to animals and enjoys pottery and gardening.”

That’s the Linda that I know. I think the other exists only in the imagination of the prosecution.

Charlene Barton

Cornish

 

If Linda Dolloff were a man found guilty of beating his spouse with a baseball bat, the case would have been tried and settled differently.

Her cosmetic surgery and her “lying” about her long legs to her husband and friends would never have been brought up to damn her.

The “20/20” show relentlessly focused on her large breasts as she did yoga exercises and as she frolicked in a hot tub (in a particularly ghastly re-enactment) with her soon-to-be-bludgeoned husband.

A narcissist she may be, but what does that have to do with attempted murder? I strongly suggest that she is a victim of the worst kind of sexism.

I don’t know if she is innocent, but I believe that she has a right to a fair trial. She hasn’t had one yet.

Lee Myrbeck

Westbrook