New childcare option

Great news for the families who have been waiting for quality childcare openings in the Midcoast. The Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department announced in December that it will be providing 50 childcare slots for infants and toddlers, hopefully starting in March.This is also great news for employers who are desperately seeking workers to fill positions within their businesses.Access to affordable childcare means more parents become available for Maine’s workforce.Finally, leaders in Maine’s law enforcement community applaud this step because statistics show the positive impact of high-quality childcare on boosting long-term public safety. The national nonprofit, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, has research showing that high-quality childcare can lead to better school preparation, as well as fewer behavioral problems when they reach their teenage years, greater likelihood of graduating from high school, and better salaries as adults.This early investment in quality childcare saves us all down the road when these children become adults. We hope other communities and Maine’s legislative leaders continue to work towards providing affordable, high-quality childcare for Maine families and Maine employers.Scott Stewart,Brunswick Chief of Police

Risks of turf

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Brunswick Planning Board voted on Bowdoin College’s proposal to install three artificial turf fields. At its previous meeting, the Board approved the project, pending an expert assessment of the risk of PFAS contamination due to the turf. I am glad that the Board is taking the risks of PFAS seriously.

Unfortunately, the risks posed by the turf extend beyond PFAS. Plastic turf has the potential to shed tiny fragments (“nanoplastics”) directly into streams and waterways. In our case, this could endanger the native trout in Mare Brook and the important shellfish beds in Harpswell sound. These toxins would not be filtered by the proposed drainage system. At the very least, the Planning Board should mandate a monitoring program to test for the presence of nanoplastics in the outflow from these fields.

Our current understanding of both PFAS and nanoplastics is limited. It is because of a referendum, passed in 2006 by just six votes, that Brunswick banned spreading sewage sludge on town fields. Only later did we learn that we had avoided polluting our groundwater with PFAS. This narrowly averted catastrophe should lead us to approach future development with caution and humility. The absence of a regulation does not mean the absence of a threat. The members of the Planning Board must look beyond simple compliance with existing codes. It’s their duty to the protect the citizens of Brunswick and our environs.


Mark Battle,

Taking power public

Pine Tree Power supporters are going around saying our electric bills will be much cheaper if we vote for their $10-plus-billion experiment to put politicians in charge of our electricity. That’s quite a campaign promise. How do you take on billions in debt and then promise lower rates?

Also, Pine Tree Power won’t be able to do anything about the cost of electricity supply. It’s based on natural gas prices controlled by fossil fuel companies only too happy to gouge us. They negotiate with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, not the electric utilities.

I suppose it’s not surprising Pine Tree Power’s rhetoric is purposely misleading. Politicians do that whenever they want to sell us an overly optimistic piece of propaganda.Larry Davis,Hallowell

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