May 29, 2009

John Muir's ghost warns Maine Sierra Club: don't side with port sprawl!

The spirit of Sierra Club founder John Muir - shown here awarding the Maine Sierra Club Chapter his Rubber Duck Award for "Quack Environmentalism"- joined our band of grassroots activists last week outside the Maine governor's mansion in Augusta. (photos here).

Inside, Governor Baldacci, Sierra Club and assorted hangers-on were receiving the 2009 Down East Environmental Award from the publisher of a local magazinethat is funded largely by real estate developers.

Muir loudly dressed down (short mp3) the present day Maine Sierra Club Chapter and its henchpersons: Islesboro Island land Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and a handful of astroturn green groups for colluding with Big Government, Big Green and Big Trade in an attack on Sears Island, located at the top of Penobscot Bay in Midcoast Maine.

This latest skirmish brought to the state capital our fight to keep the western third of 940 acre wild Sears island from being turned into railyard and container port, and our estuary's nursery shoals from being blasted and dredged to let container ships come close to the island.
Did you know the difference between the old "New England Sierra Club chapter" that protected Sears Island through state and federal courts in the 1980s and early 90s, and the present day "Maine Sierra Club Chapter" that received an award for signing off on the dismemberment plan? As late as early 2008, Sierra Club Maine supported protecting ALL of Sears Island

So we go to Augusta on a hot May 22nd to challenge the Governor's Sears Island "environmental award" ceremony! Nature was on our side: way too hot to close the mansion's windows. Attendees at the Governor's Sears Island whackers award ceremony could hear our power bullhorned taunts and imprecations, and could see the coffined Rachel Carson speaking from the grave and the ghost, too of Sierra club founder John Muir, who gave Sierra Club a Rubber Duck award for "quack environmentalism".
The Kennebec Journal covered our protest as did WBZ TV.  In addition, Maine Public Radio included us in their coverage of the award event,    

May 11, 2009

Downeast Magazine rewards fish nursery smasher-wannabes

Alas the new management as Downeast Magazine hasn't taken long to revert to the old boss' shirley templing of the issues of the day.  

Sugar-coating the story of the selling out of Sears Island by Sierra Club and a handful of greedy landtrust outfits as a case of enlightened land stewardship, and THEN pronouncing this savage act against nature and nature-based Maine busniesses as worthy of  the "thirty-first annual Down East Environmental Award" leads one to be glad that, at the rate its circulation is shrinking, Downeast Magazine most likely won't be around to award a thirty-second one.    Read the have-to-destroy-the-island-to-save-it pablum spewed through the chops of laid off former Downeastling Jeff Clark if you dare.

Watch this space for the coming quisling awards that will bestowed liberally upon the Sears Island  Joint Use Planning Committee's members and their political allies.

May 3, 2009

Sears Island - Massachusetts company plans aquaculture cages off "protected" area.

On April 29th, DMR hosted a scoping session in the Searsport town office for Massachusetts quahog & oyster cage farmer William Vaughan to air his plan to cage farm quahogs and scallops to whichever members of the interested public showed up. Listen to1st half hour of the discussion here.

Vaughan says he found Massachusetts' environmental laws too strict. Maine's must be weaker, as he and his partner now propose to run an operation just like his Massachusetts cage farm operations in Stockton Harbor. His ranch would parallel part of the Sears Island causeway and dominate much of the view from the the NE portion of the island. Remember? that area supposedly under the protective umbrella of sellout land trust Maine Coast Heritage Lost..I mean Trust.

A steel checkerboard within the viewshed of the Maine Coast Heritage Trusts' perpetual conservation easement would conflict with, completely degrade, in fact, the viewshed that both MCHT and Sierra Club declare a national treasure. Was MCHT there at the aquaculture scoping meeting sponsored by Maine DMR, letting Mr Vaughan know of their concerns overpossible impact to the value of their conservation easement? Was Sierra Club there, defending this "precious jewel of the Maine Coast" as they so fondly refer to it?


The true activists were represented there, in the able person of Harlan McLaughlin, who's a Penobscot Bay Watcher and Fair Play for Sears Islander par excellence.

Listen to the discussion on Vaughan's plan, led by the timid - nay - the anti-ecologist John Sowles, formerly the Maine Department of Marine Resources Ecology Director, but in present times cheerleader for the AQ industry, and self descried "Habitat Coordinator" who has learned next to nothing, protected next to nothing in his tenure under Governor Angus King and now Baldacci.

Sowles didn't even ID himself as state marine ecologist. He was there, he said, to keep fistfights from breaking out between the shellfish cager wannabes and public. Following this cryptic statement, he pandered endlessly for Vaughan. Sigh.

I'll post the second half hour tomorrow (Sunday May 3rd)