Apr 3, 2008

Sears Island - who gets to carve it up?

Like the West divvying up the Ottoman Empire, the players aboard the Sears Island Joint Use Planning Commission are poised to slice up Sears Island .

Today's Republican Journal's article today
"How will Sears Island be managed?" by Tanya Mitchell, describes how on March 28th, the
Sears Island Joint Use Planning Committee
"wrestled" over how the 600-acre conservation area will be managed once the planning ends and any activity there begins.

The ever-more-tightly-closed-circle of 'deciders' making up the Joint Use Committee have consensed on giving Maine DOT -big winner this go round of attempts to slag the island- two presents: a free hand in port configuration, and an iron hand over the conserved part of the island.

Expect commissioner Cole's post DOT future to be most richly rewarded, should he deliver Sears island to the global industrial transportation network.

How the mighty have fallen! Observe the state to which even once visionary Earth First! activist extraordinaire Jim Freeman has come. This formerly indomitable defender of natural Sears island, and to this day an implacable opponent to the E/W highway, the Transamerica NAFTA highway and all those global corporate byways and highways strangling our planet, has consensed and signed off on a port configuration for Sears Island that will double the amount of cargo containers entering and departing Maine by rail and truck! A port that will stimulate the East West Highway, and will tie neatly into the NAFTA highway from Mexico to Canada. But that is just what Mr. Freeman has done. According to Mitchell's article:

"JUPC member Jim Freeman said if a group like Friends of Sears Island was interested in occupying the island, it would need to draft a use plan and meet with the council to discuss its intentions. would go through a bid process that would spell out details on intended uses for the island and associated construction costs. Once the final proposals and bid information is compiled, Freeman said, DOT will make the final decision."

While Jim is unarguably a contractor par excellence who has played a role in the revitalzing of downtown Bangor, turning use of Sears Island into a biddable competition is not likely what the Great Spirit had in Mind for Wassumkeag's shining sands.

Perhaps a Sears Island live call-in show should be organized on WERU Community Radio which has featured Sears Island in earlier years There, Freeman and others of the Sears Island Joint Use Planning Committee can explain their new plan for Sears Island to the local Maine environmental community.

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