The Not So Divine Comedy

If Maine’s environmental integrity wasn’t at stake I would be laughing in my Moxie. I mean, the whole NECEC (New England Clean Energy Connect) debacle is just a perverted comedy of errors.

Back room deals about Maine Public Lands – check. No need to involve the legislators because clear cutting Public Lands doesn’t qualify as a significant change in use?

Four of our legislators recently visited a site in Segment 1 (the new 53.5 mile swath) and verified a 102 foot wide right of way, a clear violation of the contractual agreement with CMP. Maine Department of Environmental Protection said that they would “disregard” the report for the time being. Huh?

A “local foreman” who recently arrived from Wisconsin and was hired by CMP/NECEC. This “local” foreman was unaware of Maine’s sedimentation rules; knew nothing of Brook Trout or Salmon habitat concerns, and knew nothing about the CMP Permit conditions under which he was working.

This comedy just continues week in and week out. More exciting episodes follow: “The Thorn in Your side”; the lobbying “NGO” Clean Energy Matters changes its name to Clean Money Matters More; MDEP Commissioner Loyzim is Still Searching for Her Spine; and CMP Finally Learns How to Use a Tape Measure are just some of the tantalizing new episodes. So, grab a bucket of popcorn and a case of Moxie and stay tuned. I am still working on the grand finale: “Facts and Honesty Defeat Money and Power.” Now, wouldn’t THAT be the last laugh?

Richard Aishton,
Farmington

Maine must address child care deserts

Sincere thanks to Gov. Janet Mills for signing into law and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) for proposing and sponsoring LD 1712, “An Act to Create an Early Care and Education Program to Support Children’s Healthy Development and School Success,” ensuring more Maine families will have access to affordable, high-quality child care. This is important to Maine for many reasons, including reducing future crime. It is a smart investment in Maine people and our communities.

High-quality child care programs help kids get a healthier, stronger start in life. For many Maine kids—especially those in economically disadvantaged families, or who are considered at-risk—these programs help develop key foundational skills that make a big difference in the trajectory of their lives. Helping children build important learning and social-emotional skills that are crucial to their success when they start kindergarten gives kids a better shot at doing well throughout school, graduating on time, continuing their education beyond high school, and being successful as adults. When kids get a strong start that helps them do well in school, they are more likely to see positive life opportunities and make healthy and wise choices, and are less likely to participate in criminal behavior.

Maine needs more high-quality child care programs, especially in rural areas that are considered “child care deserts,” where there are not enough slots for the number of eligible children. This new law is a step in the right direction, creating up to five new child care programs across Maine that are modeled after a successful Somerset County program. I hope that this new funding will mark the beginning of an even deeper commitment to investing in affordable child care.

That’s because it’s so important to reach children early in their lives. High-quality child care programs can have a profound and long-lasting impact on many Maine kids, the safety of our communities, and Maine’s quality of life. This new law is one of the smartest investments Maine can make. Thank you to all who prioritized Maine kids by supporting LD 1712.

Joel Merry,
Sagadahoc County Sheriff

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