Jul 31, 2009

Sears Island - Lobster festivalgoers scorn sellouts

A great time today at the Maine Lobster Festival. I get there around noon, check in at the volunteers office, then head down to the marine life tent.

Sally Jones and family are already there, enthusiastically working the passers-by at the Sears Island table.

I make the rounds of the tent's occupants, greeting old friends, knocking on the giant bluefin tuna's noggin for good luck at the fish display, and record an interview with Muriel Curtis, director of Station Maine, which offers "boating opportunities at no cost to youth of all ages in the mid-coast Maine area" a splendid thing indeed in this time of virtuality.

Visitors to the Sears Island table are inquisitive. Nearly all are surprised to learn of Baldacci's foolish port plan for Sears Island, and are shocked to learn that Sierra Club and other moderate shallow ecologists support trashing half the island as long as they have dibs on the other half.

Time and again we explain the importance of the island and its estuary for the ecology of greater Penobscot Bay and those who enjoy it and/or make a livelihood in fisheries or tourism from the bay. It's a no-brainer! There is general scorn among all the visitors for team sellout and the
"silence is consent" types who would look the other way as Baldacci ravages the bay.

Jul 29, 2009

Sears Island - the rats revealed - via FOIA!

I went to Maine Governor Baldacci's office today and copied around 100 pages of FOA stuff - Most of the other 150 pages were replicated in the recent FOA of MDOT (FOA= Maine Freedom of Access Act)

Baldacci FOA January, February & March 2009

Baldacci FOA April, May and June 2009

A few choice excerpts:

February 10-11, 2009 "Bullets for Tea" Baldacci's team works up one liners for a quick get together with the sellouts. Example: "Joan Saxe and the Sierra Clubt underwent some of the most trying attacks by naysayers for their willingness to be flexible in an ultimate outcome for Sears Island."

March 3, 2009 A "Progress report: Sears Island Port Development."

April 16, 2009 Steve Miller of Islesboro Island writes to Cole and Baldacci - uneasy about MDOT's build-on-the-island PR spin. What about Mack Point? he asks. Even with his misgivings, however, he closes his email to Cole and Baldacci with: "Thank you for your service to Maine!"

On May 18th Jim Freeman of Maine Earth First! tips off Baldacci's Senior Policy Advisor that a demonstration is planned for outside the Governor's celebration. Freeman forwards the governor an action alert from the Maine Earth First list serve.

....only hours ahead of Becky Bartovics of PBA/Sierra Club doing the same.

On May 19th, note how NRCM - which has had no known involvement of any sort, gets itself invited to the Downeast mag Baldacci award ceremony.

Lots more fun & creepy things at those two links

Jul 26, 2009

Sears Island - A guilty Sierra Club flees the spotlight

WERU's recent effort to convene a Sears island panel in Bucksport featuring supporters and defenders of the state's divide-the-island initiative fell flat, when Sierra Club (and other NGOs who facilitated the state's "deal" splitting the island) fled in all directions, unavailable for speaking engagements or even for comment!

Sierra Club of Maine's leaders are suddenly all "too busy" with other concerns to spend time justifying their incredible sellout of Maine's biggest undeveloped island. Ditto for Steve Miller and Becky Bartovics. Not available for comment.

Why? Because the one hope, the one thin straw that Sierra Club of Maine, Islesboro Islands Trust & the other sellouts clung to, banked on - that the state of Maine would take a loooong time to decide if Mack Pt was container-portable -has been dashed.

Since June 15th in fact, when these eco-yups were told "No, it isn't suitable unless Irving Oil and Sprague Energy move out" at a secret MDOT mtg in Belfast where engineers from Fay, Spofford and Thorndike did a presentation on their report to MDOT.

To their dishonor, these guardians of the public interest did not then see fit to alert the public as to this fact. and to the looming assault on the west side of the island and its adjoining fish nursery shoals.

So will these three greenish groups honor the agreement they signed with great fanfare alongside of Governor Baldacci and the shipping industry? That agreement endorses a "marine transportation project" on Sears Island, if Mack Pt didn't fly.

Mack Point didn't fly. This was the entirely predictable result of the study, carried out by MDOT's hired consultant Fay, Spofford& Thorndike.

So what do Ken Cline and Joan Saxe of Sierra Club (Maine chapter) do? What will Steve Miller of the Islesboro Islands Trust do? Becky Bartovics who repped both Sierra Club and tiny "Penobscot Bay Alliance" at the Sears Island meetings with government and industry; what will she do? All three signed the agreement. Will their honor make them stand by as the state attacks the western side of the island and its wild groundfish nursery? Or rather, their cupidity.

They ARE busy. Still meeting monthly with government & industry. Money is starting to flow. Judging by the vigor with which green sprawl on Sears Island is moving ahead, the Sierra Club, Islesboro IslandsTrust and their greenwash entity called "Friends of Sears Island" are okay with the industrial port plan. They are getting each their pound of Wasumkeag's flesh.