OPINIONS: Potential Adams Memorial Park on Lakeview Drive

The property in question, from Google Streetview.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY

by Janet Preston

To sell or not to sell? That is the question you will be asked in Article 25 on China’s June 8 ballot. The property in question is on tax map 63, lot 008, located on the west side of Lakeview Drive, across from The Cabins.

Q: How did the town come to own the property?

A: The property was donated to the Town of China in 2016, when China residents voted to accept the land. The previous owners had separated the land from the cabins on the lakefront in order to subdivide it (see map) and sell individual lots separately. They were unable to sell any of the lots (it is very wet and not easily developable), and decided to offer it to the town.

Q: How big is the property?

A: The land is approximately 40 acres. The map shows the planned subdivision, which has expired. The property extends from Lakeview Drive all the way east to Hunter Brook.

Q: If we vote “no” and keep the land, what will become of it?

A: The land belongs to the taxpayers, so it makes sense to do something that serves the community. If the voters decide to keep the property, I would propose creating a park with a roadside picnic area and a system of walking trails throughout the property.

Q: What would we call it?

A: I would propose that we name it Adams Memorial Park after Albert and Muriel (“Mother”) Adams, who owned the land and ran Candlewood Cabins for almost 40 years. They were beloved members of the community and very involved and supportive of youth activities.

Q: How would we pay for creating this public area?

A: All the funding would come from TIF District funds and Maine grants.

TIF funds may be used for “Costs associated with the development and/or maintenance of new or existing recreational trails with significant potential to promote economic development. TIF Revenues may be applied to the design, construction, safety, handicap accessibility and ongoing maintenance of a trail system within China … The goal is to develop a recreational trail system which will be eventually interconnected within the Town…”

Also, among the numerous Maine grants designed to increase outdoor activity, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds through the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to develop and maintain recreational trails. (https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/grants/recreational_trails_program.shtml)

Q: How will a park help our community?

A: Green spaces have a significant positive effect on people’s health, the environment, and the economy.

Health: Outdoor exercise and experiences are good for us. Maine people know this and appreciate getting out in the fresh air in all seasons.

Environment: Vegetated and unpaved areas provide a free and efficient way of storm water collection, which is a huge environmental concern for China. Hunter Brook flows into China Lake, so protecting the property near the brook helps to protect water quality in the lake.

Economy: Studies have shown that public green spaces provide a net economic gain to a community. People driving through China would see an appealing place to stop, stretch their legs, or have a picnic. They will buy food and other items at our businesses, and they might even decide to move here because of the variety of recreational opportunities. The 2020-2024 Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) recognizes and highlights that “outdoor recreation is a major engine of economic activity and an incredible asset as communities strive to be healthy, vibrant places where people are excited to live, work, and play.”

Q: We already have two parks – Thurston Park and the China School Forest. Why do we need another one?

A: This past year of COVID restrictions has inspired people to become more active outdoors. Thurston Park and the China Forest are wonderful resources for that purpose. However, the number of trails in these parks is limited, and as the town grows, we will need more trails to accommodate our outdoor recreational needs. One of the goals in China’s comprehensive plan is to “expand opportunities in parks, possibly through non-sport activities for adults, community gardens, and more community events.” Also, neither of these public spaces is visible from the road. The Lakeview Drive property has the potential to provide a visible, aesthetically pleasing green space with a view of China Lake.

Q: If we vote “yes” and sell the land, what will become of it?

A: We don’t know. Someone could buy the land and keep it as it is, or someone could develop it. If the town doesn’t own it, then we have no control over what becomes of it.

Q: How much tax revenue would the sale produce?

A: Revenues from taxes on the property depend on how the new owner uses it. Currently, the assessed value of the undeveloped land is $65,600. Based on the current mil rate, the taxes collected would be anywhere from about $970 (as is) to $40,000 (with a 13-lot development). A $20,000 addition to the town’s tax revenue amounts to about $5.75 per taxpayer. Of course, new development brings new costs as well, so any additional tax revenue would likely be absorbed by these or other costs.

Q: The Narrow Gauge snowmobile trail crosses the property. Will snowmobiles still be allowed to pass through the land? Will hunting still be allowed on the property?

A: If the town maintains ownership, then hunters and snowmobiles would continue to be welcome. If we sell it, the new owner would make that decision.

Personally, I am in favor of the town keeping the property. If we sell it, there is no turning back, and the public land is gone forever. If we keep it, we would have a nice tribute to the Adams family and a park that China residents could enjoy for generations to come.

If you have additional questions or would like to walk the property, please email me at janet.preston@chinamaine.org.

OPINION: Will Palermo choose the path of sustainability?

David Attenborough in the documentary, “Life on Our Planet”

A Maine resolution to take action on climate pollution

by Pamela McKenney

If you need an introduction to climate change or an update on the state of our planet, David Attenborough’s recent documentary, A Life on Our Planet, is a good place to start. After 93 years of work as a British broadcaster, writer, and naturalist visiting every continent on the globe and exploring its wildest places, Attenborough has seen the results of global warming first hand. He contends, “Real success [at reversing the impact of pollution] can only come if there is a change in our societies, and in our economics, and in our politics.”

Palermo town residents will have an opportunity to join others on the path of sustainability and carbon reduction in March at town meeting. An article has been introduced by Maine citizens at dozens of Maine municipalities intending to show support for federal legislation that will reduce carbon pollution – a major cause of climate change. The Maine Resolution to Take Action on Climate Pollution “calls upon our State and Federal elected representatives to enact legislation that will protect Maine from the costs and environmental risks of continued climate inaction.” This article is not a proposed bill; it is communication tool to instigate action. It communicates that the residents of Palermo favor a fee and dividend approach that charges fossil fuel producers for their carbon pollution and rebates the money collected to all residents on an equal basis. Enacting a Carbon Cash-Back program decreases long-term fossil-fuel dependence, aids in the economic transition to renewable energy, and keeps local energy dollars in Maine’s economy. Carbon Cash-back has been championed by US economists (Jan. 17, 2019, Wall Street Journal) as the most effective and fair way to deliver rapid reductions in harmful carbon emissions at the scale required for our safety and to support our environment.

Carbon Cash-back is a proposed climate solution that would place a fee on fossil fuel production and imports at their source (mine, refinery, pipeline, or port of entry). Money collected from this fee would be returned to every citizen equally as a dividend, to put a price on carbon pollution from fossil fuels and return funds from collected fees to all US households monthly, off-setting the potential increase in pricing. As stated in the article, voting for it will spark “our representatives to lead in this critical moment for the health and well-being of our citizens and for the protection of Maine’s natural resources upon which we all rely.” More information is provided on the Town of Palermo website and at the town office.

There are many attitudes people can adopt on the issue of climate change. We might think:

  • Earth belongs to humanity – the superior species – and its resources are at our disposal.
  • Global warming is part of a natural cycle, not caused or impacted by humans.
  • Global warming may be caused mostly by humans, but there is nothing we can do about it.
  • Global warming is real and rapid, and we can take action now in order to reverse the damage.

To what degree do people understand that global warming is happening, human-caused, and a serious risk for human societies and natural ecosystems? According to a study fielded in December 2020 by the Yale Program on Climate Change, Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it is not by a ratio of more than five to one. More than half of Americans (58 percent) understand that evidence indicates global warming is mostly human-caused, although three in ten think global warming is due mostly to natural changes in the environment. The study also states that one in four Americans are “very worried,” however 41 percent feel helpless about creating change. But experts say we can make a difference, if we act now.

David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet details humanity’s impact on the natural world and the devastating changes he has witnessed. Alarming as this film is in its scope and documentation, his reckoning concludes with a message of hope. “Although we are often blinkered by the needs of here and now, we have a path to sustainability. If enough people can see the path, we may start down it in time.”

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Is our country ready to round the corner on race relations?

by Charlotte Henderson

After the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Period in American history (1865 – 1877), many newly-freed blacks took advantage of the right to vote and the right to hold office. As slavery was abolished (13th Amendment to the Constitution), denial of voting rights on account of race was prohibited (15th Amendment), and means were set up for secessionist states (freed blacks, too) to rejoin the nation and vote (14th Amendment), there were as many as 2,000 black office holders. But the successes were short lived as, over only a decade or so, segregationist powers modified rules and carried out personal attacks that drove blacks out.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that they again held significant numbers of public offices. When Barack Obama became our nation’s first black president in 2009, it seemed a huge breakthrough for race relations and a hopeful signal for equality. But as the realization sank in that a person of color could actually get elected, latent prejudices were triggered and a not-so-subtle resistance developed against this black president’s success.

At the same time, people of color took it as inspiration to seek – even demand – their equal opportunities and treatment in our society which provoked more resistance. Many citizens had gut fear that “those people” were not caving in to white supremacy anymore and the fear shows up as anger and hostility.

Early on in the Obama presidency, in a Senate committee meeting, upon hearing a committee member caution that they couldn’t let Obama have a success, Maine Senator Angus King, asked, “Then what the hell are we doing here?” He was asking why the committee even bothered to discuss it if the foregone conclusion was that they wouldn’t push it forward. Many proposals died in committee due to that attitude.

It seems evident that the election of a black president revealed the possibility that blacks – and, by extension, any people of color and other marginalized citizens – might actually have a shot at true equality. So, as in post-Reconstruction times, resistance to that idea signaled a movement to squelch the notion by suppressing their initiative.

It seems likely that we’re all in for another long and rocky lap in the race toward equality. But this time there are greater numbers and more political savvy. And, the American spirit and idealism that led to the Founding Fathers’ dream of a new kind of country is alive and well in a lot of our countrymen and women. We must keep striving.

Community Commentary is a forum The Town Line makes available for citizens to express their opinions on subjects of interest to our readers, and is not necessarily the views of the staff or the board of directors. The Town Line welcomes, and encourages, supportive comments, differing opinions, counterpoints or opposing views. Keep the rebuttals positive, and informative. Submissions containing personal attacks will be rejected.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: China voters asked to amend transfer station ordinances

by Larry Sikora
China Transfer Station Committee

The November ballot will have two questions for China voters on amending the ordinances that describe the operation of the China Transfer Station. The changes are mainly in terminology.

Earlier this year the Transfer Station switched from stickers on vehicles to identifying China and Palermo residents to an electronic tag called RFID or radio frequency identification. The change was brought about with a grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and allows for identification by both sight and an alarm and calculates accurately the traffic into the Transfer Station.

The ordinances as currently written use the terms “sticker” and “decal” which are incorrect. These terms are replaced in the amended versions by the generic term “access permit” that describes properly the new RFID and any other identification marker that may be used in the future. The ordinances will now contain a definition of ‘access permit’.

Another change in the ordinances removes details on the hours of operation of the Transfer Station and substitutes the “Facility shall be open as determined by the Town Manager in conjunction with the Select Board.” The hours and any changes to them or closings of the Transfer Station will appear on the Town of China website and displayed on the Town’s electronic sign.

There are also some minor editorial changes for clarity.

The ordinances with the changes discussed can be found under the Elections tab on the Town of China
web site, https://china.govoffice.com . Please review them prior to voting.

Thank you for being a proponent of the Transfer Station. Your support is appreciated as our facility continues to be a model which other towns use.

OPINIONS: The Covid-19 lock down

by David Reed
Resident of Hope, Maine

A couple of months ago we didn’t really know much about this scourge, but now it appears that the elderly, immune-compromised patients, and nursing home residents are those at highest risk. Like the common cold, this virus spreads by a sneeze, cough, droplet dispersion or contact with a contaminated surface with the virus infecting via the nose, mouth or tear ducts.

Recognizing this, Governor DeSantis, of Florida, targeted nursing homes with strict infection control measures with amazingly good prevention results, as contrasted with Gov. Cuomo’s ill-advised New York policy of discharging coronavirus patients to nursing homes. If you have a high number of automobile accidents at a particular intersection, you fix the problem: install a traffic light, put in a turn around, change the speed limit, whatever. You don’t make everybody in the state drive 35 miles per hour.

How can you foster a tourism industry in “Vacationland” when you impose a 14-day quarantine on state entrants, especially if they only have a two-week vacation? I’m 83 years old with a heart murmur, so I’m highly vulnerable. But why should the whole state suffer because of me? What right do I have to hold the whole state hostage, particularly when suspect forces in government may be exploiting me to promote some pet agenda?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tipped her hand with her trillion dollar relief bill. It’s not really about the coronavirus. It’s about ramming an agenda-driven, outrageous, rape of the treasury spending bill down our throats.

I know what precautions to take: wear a mask, avoid crowds, social distance, hit the grocery store at 7 a.m., and stay out of jail and nursing homes. Will we have cases of coronavirus? Certainly. Just like the flu. Just like an automobile accident on the road not protected by the newly-installed traffic light. If you’ve got to quarantine anyone, quarantine me, not the whole state.

What gives Gov. Janet Mills the right to pull some restaurant owner’s liquor and operator’s license? Did he violate some licensing provision in the way he served alcohol and food? Has he violated some law passed by our legislature concerning the coronavirus pandemic?

And, by the way, where is Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon during all this? We could use the wisdom, expertise, and supposed problem-solving skills of our elected representatives to do some of the heavy lifting during this crisis.

OPINIONS – Question 1: No vote will protect our children and everyone’s health

Community Commentary is a forum The Town Line makes available for citizens to express their opinions on subjects of interest to our readers, and is not necessarily the views of the staff nor the board of directors. The Town Line welcomes, and encourages, supportive comments, differing opinions, counterpoints or opposing views. Keep the rebuttals positive, and informative. Submissions containing personal attacks will be rejected. Email any submissions to townline@townline.org, subject “Community Commentary.”

by Tom Waddell

Question 1 on the March 3, 2020 Maine primaries ballot reads – “Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?”

A yes vote allows religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccinations. A no vote only allows medical exemptions.

Independents can vote on referendum questions. Don’t let a poll worker deny you your right to vote on Question 1.

Cara Sacks, co-chairman of Yes on 1 Maine to Reject Big Pharma – formally Mainers for Health and Parental Rights – opposes the current law, claiming it violates religious freedom. Almost 30 years ago the Supreme Court ruled against the religious privilege argument. The Court wrote the government must protect people from actions taken for religious reasons if that action endangers another’s health. Granting religious exemptions endangers others and provides some people with religious privilege. We can only protect religious freedom for everyone if no one has religious privilege.

The Yes on Question 1 road signs include No to Big Pharma to gain support against a perceived common enemy. Most people revile Big Pharma’s obscene profits and assume a yes vote will lower drug prices, but it won’t. What it will do is increase the risk of children catching a deadly and preventable disease.

Measles is highly contagious because the virus can remain in the air for two hours after an infected person, often without symptoms, leaves the area. Most unvaccinated people who walk into that area will get the measles virus. Caitlin Gilmet, a spokesman for Maine Families for Vaccines, a group that supports the current law, said: “Vaccines are one of the most effective ways that parents can protect their children and help them lead a healthy life. Improving Maine’s immunization rates helps to protect the entire community from preventable diseases.” Maine’s current law joins a growing number of other states that have eliminated non-medical vaccine exemptions to protect their citizens from preventable diseases.

Dr. Laura Blaisdell, co-chairman of Maine Families for Vaccines, reports they just started airing TV ads to expose the dangers of voting yes on 1. She said, “The message is very simple: We have to protect our kids, and schools need to be a safe place for our kids. Every major medical organization in Maine supports the law (and) removal of non-medical exemptions for vaccines protects community health, prevents infectious disease outbreaks, and protects people with impaired immune systems.” Earlier, Dr. Blaisdell said, “Ultimately, it’s about the health of children, the health of schools, and the health of our community” and “If we continue on our current (vaccine opt-out) track, it’s not a matter of if we get an outbreak, it’s a matter of when.”

The Maine CDC reports: “Among kindergartners, the state’s vaccination-exemption rate (is) 6.2 percent, the highest level in 10 years, and is above the national level” and “Forty-three elementary schools (have) 15 percent or higher rates of unvaccinated kindergarten students, putting those schools and the surrounding community at greater risk for the return of preventable diseases such as measles, chickenpox, and pertussis.”

Dr. Meghan May, a University of New England PhD pathologist, said despite decades of scientific research showing vaccines are effective and safe, there is a significant anti-vaccination movement in Maine. Consequently, Maine’s pertussis (whooping cough) infection rate is more than eight times higher than the national average. Refusing to vaccinate children allows the pertussis virus to spread and mutate more rapidly, making current vaccines less effective. Pertussis has a 40 percent mortality rate in infants who are unvaccinated and untreated.

Cara Sacks rejected this scientific evidence when she said: “While we don’t know that all (vaccines) are 100 percent safe for 100 percent of people every time, you can’t mandate a product that has known risks and liability associated with it.”

However, according to the CDC, the “known risks and liability associated with” unvaccinated children contracting measles are: “Ten percent of children will have an ear infection, five percent will come down with pneumonia, and 0.2 percent will die of organ failure or brain swelling.” Are these “known risks and liabilities associated with” not vaccinating children an acceptable risk for your child, especially when another parent puts your child at greater risk of catching the measles by not vaccinating their child?

I urge you to protect everyone’s health and religious freedom by voting NO on Question 1 on March 3, 2020.

Tom Waddell is a resident of Litchfield and is the president of the Maine chapter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. He can be reached at president@ffrfmaine.org.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Question 2 makes people with disabilities part of the election process

by State Representative Bruce White

Election Day is right around the corner. At the polls, you’ll see two ballot questions that come from our work in the Legislature. The first asks if you’d like to authorize a $105 million bond for transportation infrastructure projects, things like road and bridge repairs. The second question comes from a bill I submitted last session and aims to make the political process more inclusive and accessible. This bill had bi-partisan support in the legislature.

Question two will read, “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to allow persons with disabilities to sign petitions in an alternative manner as authorized by the Legislature?” This would allow persons with physical disabilities who cannot sign their own name to use an alternative method to sign citizen’s initiative petitions and people’s veto initiatives.

Alternative signatures for people with physical disabilities are already approved for the purposes of voter registration, change of party enrollment, candidate nomination petitions and Maine Clean Election Act forms. This question simply expands the existing provision and helps ensure all Maine residents are given the opportunity to participate in our political system.

The original idea for this bill came to me from the Secretary of State’s Office, and I was immediately excited and honored to sponsor the legislation. By allowing people with disabilities to use a signature stamp or authorize another resident to sign on their behalf, we’re getting more Maine voices involved in solving the issues our state faces. I look forward to you all having the opportunity to weigh in on this matter on Nov. 5.

OPINION: China firemen do not endorse town’s plans for new emergency services building

Respectfully submitted by,
Chief Dick Morse, South China Volunteer Fire Department,
Chief Tim Theriault, China Village Volunteer Fire Department,
Chief Bill Van Wickler, Weeks Mills Volunteer Fire Department.

To the people of the town of China:

First and foremost thank you all for your continued support. At the June 11, 2019, municipal and RSU #18 election, you will be asked on question 2 to vote on whether or not you want the town to spend $25,000 for an engineering and cost study for an emergency services building and a community building.

The way this proposed project has been presented to the town by the town manager and the select board, by presenting drawings at town meeting and by placing this item on the ballot, has given the impression that this project has been well thought through, and by implication, has the backing of the volunteer fire departments.

This could not be further from the truth. We feel it important to make the residents aware that during several discussions with the town manager and the select board and at two public hearings on the subject, China’s three fire departments have stated unequivocally that they neither need nor want such a building and feel that it would be a waste of the $25,000 to contract for the study since there is absolutely no demonstrated need for an emergency services building.

The China Village VFD has no current plans to move from their station, and if they did they would want to move into a building that they own, not a town-owned building. As we have stated many times, China’s Volunteer Fire Departments are all separate and individual, private nonprofit corporations organized under Maine law and we have no plans to make any changes. As demonstrated by their recent words and actions, the town manager and some members of the current select board appear to want to make changes to this system that has been working very well since at least 1947 and have suggested changes that we cannot agree with. The system we have works very well for the town and there is no need to fix something that is not broken.

By presenting this project in this manner, the town manager and the select board give the impression that we need to start down the road to consolidation or to becoming a municipal fire department. Having had discussions on this topic with the volunteers at each station, we assure you that is the last thing that we would recommend for the town at this time. Such a move would not be a positive change, it would negatively affect membership and would be enormously expensive. Please understand and rest assured that should we have a real need for any major change, the VFDs will not hesitate to come to the town and make it very clear what that change is. This is not that time.

Although supported by the town manager and select board, there was a unanimous vote of ought not to pass by the budget committee and recommendations from the three VFDs not to proceed with this at the budget hearing and budget committee meeting.

We urge you to vote no on this question, thereby telling the town manager and select board that they are not listening and have once again overstepped by putting this on the ballot regardless of the facts.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An opinion on emergency building

by Wayne Chadwick
China resident

I would like to offer up some insight on the proposed warrant articles for the upcoming June 11, 2019 Municipal and RSU #18 election.

You will be asked to vote on whether or not you want the town to spend $25,000 for an engineering and cost study for an emergency services building and a community building. Where is the justification for such an expense? There appears to be a “build it and they will come” mentality with our present town leadership. The town manager stated that there is no town building to meet in that holds 200 people. When asked how often there was such a requirement he gave the annual town meeting and voting as an example. This has historically been done at the school which your tax dollars already pay to maintain. So why do we need another building for a few occurrences per year at best.

Everything we build, even if it is originally provided fully or in part by grant money, still has a tax dollar requirement for maintaining it. You are being asked to pay for an engineering study without being given any estimated cost for maintaining it after the fact. Consider the cost of plowing, mowing, heating, cooling, repairs and preventative maintenance and utilities.

You will also be asked to approve the purchase of land for a potential beach/swimming area and boat ramp. The parcel in question is located slightly north of and opposite the town office. This site is steep, steep enough that it has to be protected by guardrail for the entire length of its road frontage. Here are some potential issues to consider: It was stated at the May 26 select board meeting that DOT did not want to issue a permit for a driveway for the property. The Four Seasons Club has agreed to discuss potentially allowing access across their property for the sole purpose of accessing a boat launch, no swimming area. Additionally, to my knowledge, to date there has been no discussion with the DEP to determine if this site meets requirements for permitting. And last but certainly not least, there is the cost. The extreme grade to this property is unequivocally going to increase the cost of development and maintenance. Issues such as erosion, storm water, etc. These are continuous maintenance requirements that will never decrease in cost.

Here again we are looking at the purchase separate from the potential cost.

I offer this in hope that it will provide a more informed voting public.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An open letter to Gov. Janet Mills regarding the NECEC project

by Bob OConnor
Citizen Town of China
Founding board member of China Lake Association

Dear Governor Janet T. Mills,

This is my Open Letter to you to consider revising your stance on the NECEC project (CMP-Quebec Hydro). Please require that NECEC put the new power lines underground.

Recently the federal “Environmental Protection Agency says Central Maine Power’s permit application now being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its controversial New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project is incomplete and needs a ‘detailed analysis’ of alternatives.”

I want to speak to these alternatives and suggest that the NECEC Change their plan and REQUIRE that the HVDC line be fully put underground.

1. ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

Underground lines are Safer from Environment Extreme Climate events, Wind and Ice Storms. Transmission towers like the proposed came down in a heap during the 1998 Ice storm in Quebec. (Pictured above)

There was even more ice damage in Quebec than in Maine.

Severe windstorms can also take down these towers. See Google for more examples of the vulnerability of these towers and find many recent examples of failure of these towers due to storms. The trend going forward is for more frequent and more severe storms.

Putting the HVDC lines underground will almost totally eliminate Storm damage.

2. SABOTAGE / TERRORISM

Underground lines are much safer from Sabotage from some misguided person or group.

See the current Canes Film Festival winner from Iceland Woman at War to see how easy it is to sabotage power lines using a bow and arrow. (Shown in Waterville Maine).

This movie shows the necessity of police patrols with helicopters, drones and heat sensitive cameras. The new isolated rural 43-mile line is likely to require regular patrols that will further upset the wildlife and people.

Putting the cables underground would significantly reduce the possibility of sabotage.

3. NO HERBICIDES NECESSARY

With the current plan, CMP will be using herbicides that will adversely affect the Maine woods, wetlands, streams and ponds. Putting the wires underground would eliminate the need for herbicides.

4. GO UNDERGROUND

This picture to the right shows the comparison of land disturbance of above ground HVDC towers with underground HVDC lines.

This image from Page 17 of the EuropaCable document attached shows how much less intrusive underground HVDC is. It shows in the first example, 100m (328 ft.) wide path tower path (1) and the 12m (40 ft.) underground path (4). This is an 88 percent reduction in path width.

There is very little electromagnetic radiation from HVDC underground lines (versus AC lines) and light farming can even be done over the underground cables.

Also note that the two alternate route RFP’s from Vermont and New Hampshire proposed using HVDC underground lines to Quebec Hydro.

See attached document that gets into the details of HVDC underground Europacable ‘Introduction_to_HVDC_Underground_Cables_October_2011‘.

Governor, please consider modifying your stance on the NECEC project and STIPULATE THAT THE CABLES BE PUT UNDERGROUND.

Thanks.