Oh, to be young again! I was so proud of 8-year-old Phoebe MacDonald, the young person who recently caught the ear of Portland city officials. Our city manager, Jon Jennings, stopped the use of plastic straws at the City Hall cafe, based on her concerns for the health of Casco Bay.

I am just a retired taxpayer, on a fixed income, who seems to have no voice.

Our elected officials have erased almost 15 percent (and climbing) of my Social Security. Part of that increase is the “rain tax,” which just went up. I call it the “rain tax” because, in our complex, almost all of the rain drains into the woods (not the sewer) and nourishes the trees.

Our city officials have made it near impossible to abate. We were told, at an earlier meeting, that the sewer tax would decrease, but when our elected officials at the Portland Water District got wind of that, they announced an increase. It is too bad our elected officials can’t get together and be on the same page.

Each July Fourth, we celebrate with fireworks that add a pollutant to Casco Bay called perchlorate. The debris washes up on East End Beach and trash is thrown into the rocks, to be cleaned out by volunteers. So, if we add pollutants to Casco Bay, how will we clean the bay with the 35-year tax?

If you believe the tax will end in 35 years, I would like to sell you the Casco Bay Bridge. If you have asthma, please do not go near the Eastern Prom during the fireworks, as the smoke is harmful to you.

While we have an Environmental Protection Agency that does nothing about this, the EPA is not really needed. A little common sense would tell you that, locally, we can do a lot about water and air pollution.

Art Sears


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