Sep 19, 2010

Sears Island. Press Herald editorial gets it completely wrong.

In their ill-informed editorial  Obstacles removed from Sears Island Development, the Maine Sunday Telegram made the call that Judge Jeffrey Hjelm's decision on the three Sears Island cases, "upholds a compromise that could give eastern Maine a cargo port."

Had the editors troubled to actually read the judge's opinion, they would have discovered that Judge Hjelm merely ruled that because the state has failed to find a company willing to exploit the island, there was no actual threatened threat at this time to the island and its critical groundfish nursery shoal. 

Hjelm specifically said his decision did not find fault with the issues raised by the three nature-defenders; only that since there's no port plan, there's no potential harm to be ruled about. Hjelm waited nearly two years to rule on the cases, waiting to see if the state might find a port wannabee interested in building on the island. MDOT didn't.

So, with time passing and no threatening moves by Maine DOT, Justice Hjelm had to dismiss the cases - without prejudice.   This means that as soon a
s soon as the state does move to bring a proposal forward, the challengers who raised  this case will be right back before the court. Stay tuned!

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