Question 1 — Just to clarify…


Nice summary of Q 1, Dick.  We are not giving up on getting ranked choice voting for all elections, including governor.  For now, the legislature is insisting on a constitutional amendment to essentially replace plurality with majority as the deciding factor for state elections.  I think constitutional amendments require 2/3 vote of the legislature, hence we’d all better work hard to elect more Dems who favor RCV much more strongly than Reps.    

Martha Dickinson
40 Washington St
Ellsworth, ME 04605
667 5863



On Jun 5, 2018, at 9:12 AM, Dick Atlee <atlee@dickatlee.com> wrote:


I’ve run into a number of people with misconceptions about what passing Question 1 — the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) people’s veto — will actually accomplish. I checked with Ann Luther, one of the principal League of Women Voters people involved with the RCV effort, and she made it clear that

1. RCV will be available for all primaries.
2. RCV will be available for federal offices in general elections.
3. RCV will *NOT* be available for state offices in general elections,
  unless/until a constitutional amendment is passed to eliminate the
  requirement that state offices are elected by a plurality.

This last may come as a shock to some people who were under the impression that Question 1 would resolve our long-standing problem with gubernatorial 3-way elections. It won’t.

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PS: Question 1 wording


Someone wrote me the following:
> Could you clarify further? > Is this part — “and then retain the method only if… constitutional > amendment” etc. — part of the new law we’re rejecting (i.e., the new law > would delay and retain only if), or the alternative to the new delaying > law, that allows us to keep RCV in play? > My understanding is that to support RCV we want to vote yes on 1, right?? > (sheesh! – I even understand the issues, and the wording is ambiguous!) > > On 6/5/2018 9:21 AM, Dick Atlee wrote: >> PS: the reason that understanding the situation is complicated is that >> the wording of the question became entangled with the subsequent court >> decision that followed it. Here’s the wording, and heaven knows what >> people who walk into a voting booth cold are going to make of it: >> >> “Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of >> ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or >> federal office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the >> constitution is amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice >> voting for candidates in state elections.”
If you want to support RCV as far as possible, do vote YES on 1.
The wording of Question 1, as with so many other ballot initiatives, is inherently confusing in the double-negative sense, a problem amplified by the subsequent court ruling. I don’t want to undertake an effort to unscramble that, even with a ten-foot pole. I’ve talked with Ann Luther for several years about RCV, and you can take her word for what will happen if it is passed.
The best thing, if you want RCV, is to vote for Question 1 and then hope for (and work for) a subsequent constitutional amendment.
Dick
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PS: Question 1 wording


PS: the reason that understanding the situation is complicated is that the wording of the question became entangled with the subsequent court decision that followed it. Here’s the wording, and heaven knows what people who walk into a voting booth cold are going to make of it:
“Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or federal office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the constitution is amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice voting for candidates in state elections.”
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Question 1 — Just to clarify…


I’ve run into a number of people with misconceptions about what passing Question 1 — the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) people’s veto — will actually accomplish. I checked with Ann Luther, one of the principal League of Women Voters people involved with the RCV effort, and she made it clear that
1. RCV will be available for all primaries. 2. RCV will be available for federal offices in general elections. 3. RCV will *NOT* be available for state offices in general elections, unless/until a constitutional amendment is passed to eliminate the requirement that state offices are elected by a plurality.
This last may come as a shock to some people who were under the impression that Question 1 would resolve our long-standing problem with gubernatorial 3-way elections. It won’t.
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Palestine from a mental health perspective: Blue Hill June 2



Reminder: Steve Benson will speak and show slides on his recent trip to Palestine:
Saturday June 2, 7 pm, Blue Hill Library. Everyone welcome. Please share.





Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1515
Blue Hill ME 04614


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Presentation on Palestine, Blue Hill June 2


Peninsula Peace & Justice
Blue Hill Library, Saturday June 2, 7 p.m.
Dr. Steve Benson:
How does 70 years of military occupation affect a people’s mental health?
Talk and slides, followed by discussion. All welcome. 



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Fwd: Palestinian Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh to visit Maine June 20 and 21



On May 21, 2018, at 11:42 AM, cm coe <cmcoe2@gmail.com> wrote:


Please Save the Date

 

Palestinian Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh to Explore the Importance of Human and Biological Diversity

 

Brooksville–Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, who teaches and conducts research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in Palestine, will give a talk titled “The Importance of Human and Biological Diversity: Threats and Opportunities in Palestine as Case Study,” at Reversing Falls Sanctuary in Brooksville on June 20 at 7 p.m. Qumsiyeh is a Palestinian Christian, a biologist, and a human rights activist. The Downeast BDS Coalition, Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights, Episcopal Peace Fellowship of Maine, and Americans Who Tell the Truth are co-sponsoring his visit to Maine.

 

Mazin Qumsiyeh explains that movements towards uniformity such as Zionism have threatened the crucial diversity found in the landscape, both social diversity and biodiversity. He argues that restoring our social and natural ecosystems requires challenging ideas of dominance and hegemony. Qumsiyeh will frame his talk with three points of focus: the plants and animals of the Holy Land and the status of nature conservation there; the role fulfilled by establishing museums and botanical gardens in developing areas; and the perspective of a Palestinian environmental scientist.

Professor Qumsiyeh is the founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, and Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (palestinenature.org). He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale Universities and has published more than 150 scientific papers on topics ranging from biodiversity to cancer. He was chairman of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People and currently serves on the board of Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater Center in Aida Refugee Camp. His many books include Mammals of the Holy Land, Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle (English, Spanish, and German) and Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment (Arabic, English, French, forthcoming in Italian). He also has an activism book published electronically on his website (qumsiyeh.org), has published over 250 letters to the editor and 100 Op-Ed pieces, and has been interviewed on TV and radio extensively (local, national and international).

 

Mazin Qumsiyeh’s visit is at the conclusion of an Eastern US tour. On June 21, he’ll be speaking in Portland, Maine. For more information about his Brooksville talk, contact Carolyn at 852-6696.

 



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Coping with life in Occupied Palestine: A Talk by Steve Benson


BLUE HILL — On Saturday, June 2, Steve Benson will speak on his travels early this spring in Israel and occupied territories, researching how the mental health of Palestinians is assessed and treated under current political, security, and legal conditions. A clinical psychologist in Blue Hill, he participated in a ten-day study tour arranged by the USA-Palestine Mental Health Network, meeting with clinicians, support agencies, scholars, and community representatives in multiple cities. 

Along with screening photographs he took while there, Dr. Benson will clarify the history, laws, policies, and practices of the occupation, discussing its complex impact on Palestinians within these areas. He will tell about efforts currently being made there to cope with the effects of military laws, hardships, trauma, loss, humiliation, and hopelessness in their communities.

The presentation at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Blue Hill Library, will be followed by discussion. Refreshments and talk are free and open to the public. For more info: phone 374-2357.

 




Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1515
Blue Hill ME 04614


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Fwd: This week’s Bricks and Mortars column




Of interest:


[bold added by me — J.R.]


From: Lawrence Reichard <lreichard@gmail.com>
Subject: This week’s Bricks and Mortars column


This Stinks


Bricks and Mortars

Lawrence Reichard


To the Mayor and City Council:


On behalf of many of my fellow Belfast citizens, I’m sorry that democracy is inconvenient for you. I apologize.


But you see, we live here. This is our home. And we think we should have a say in what happens here. We don’t think big corporations should be able to do whatever they want while we’re expected to roll over and play dead. We don’t like being handed a done deal.


The decision to change zoning so Nordic Aquafarms can build one of the world’s biggest land-based industrial salmon farms here in Belfast was clearly made well before the formal vote. Why else have the April 17 city council meeting in the tiny city council chamber, which everyone knew would overflow.


To be able to televise the meeting, we’re told. But at least some of you knew it could be televised elsewhere. And why were accommodations not made so Director of Code and Planning Director Wayne Marshall’s presentation materials could be seen by the public?


We implored you to wait until more questions were answered, but this was ignored. Mayor Paradis later told me the Planning Board is “much more poised to do a thorough investigation.” But if Nordic passes the already established Planning Board criteria, the board is essentially obligated to permit the project. Thus you were the last chance to simply say no, we don’t want a huge industrial fish farm in our small community.


In other words, you simply passed the buck to the Planning Board.


There remain many unanswered question, and statements made by Nordic raise serious questions about its credibility.


In promotional material, Nordic says the facility will have no “adverse environmental impacts.” False. Fish produce feces, and Nordic would produce 66,000,000 pounds of fish per year – that’s a lot of feces. Nordic says most of that might become fertilizer – might. But the rest will go into Belfast Bay, and that is an adverse environmental impact. Fish feces produces nitrogen and phosphorus, which cause algae blooms and oxygen deprivation for all marine life.


At a May 9 public meeting, Nordic CEO Erik Heim said salmon production is the most efficient way to produce protein. False. Heim indicated that Nordic’s salmon would be fed primarily or exclusively fish meal and that one pound of fish meal produces one pound of salmon. But that’s misleading. According to Anders Karlsson-Drangsholt, senior aquaculture adviser for the Bellon Foundation in Oslo, Norway, Marine Harvest, the world’s biggest salmon producer, uses 100 pounds of fish meal protein to produce only 31 pounds of salmon protein – a protein loss of 69 percent.


According to Frida Bengsston of Greenpeace, it takes two pounds of unprocessed fish to produce one pound of fish meal. That’s an overall protein loss of about 84 percent. Even within fish-based protein production, farm-grown salmon is not the most efficient protein production – not even close. That prize would go to the original fish stock.


And that doesn’t even count plant-based protein production, which is much more sustainable than any animal-based protein production. Farm-grown fish is not the best protein answer for a crowded planet – not even close.


At the May 9 public meeting, Nordic said it would extract 1,200 gallons of well water per minute. That’s more than 630,000,000 gallons per year. That’s more than 70 percent of all of Poland Springs’ statewide extraction, which comes from several far-flung towns, and it’s almost two percent of Maine’s entire water consumption. It’s not hard to see what that could do to local water supplies.


At the May 9 public meeting, Heim said no fish would escape the Nordic farm; but according to Anders Karlsson-Drangsholt, there is “a known problem” of fish escaping from indoor facilities. “No matter how secure they say the facility is, they don’t know,” Karlsson-Drangsholt told me by phone from Norway. “Even multiple barriers can’t prevent escapes.” According to Karlsson-Drangsholt, land-based fish are less hardy than open-water fish, and when they breed with open-water fish, the offspring are less hardy. Escaped land-based fish also compete for spawning grounds and destroy the eggs of open-water fish. In 2015, in just one incident, six thousand fish escaped from a land-based fish farm in Hopen, Norway.


According to Belfast Director of Code and Planning Wayne Marshall, the city will pay half of Nordic’s dechlorination costs for six years. That’s $120,000. But Nordic is a for-profit corporation – why should taxpayers cover any of its costs? Marshall Wharf Brewing Company dechlorinates its water, but the city doesn’t pay half of that.


At the May 9 public meeting, Nordic showed sketches of an attractive campus replete with a visitor center and modern, state-of-the-art buildings. Nordic hyped the attractive aspect of its proposed reflective buildings. But almost a billion birds are killed every year in this country by flying into buildings, and this problem is greatly exacerbated by this kind of architecture.


The Nordic facility would narrow part of the Little River Trail corridor to 250 feet. At a February 21 public meeting, Heim said he knew the trail was beautiful and important and that he appreciated that. But not enough to leave it alone. The trail is indeed beautiful and important, and it would be violated for the benefit of a for-profit corporation.


Nordic says it will invest $450-500 million in its Belfast facility. Bath Iron Works is a $500 million facility. Do we really want a Bath Iron Works in our community?


There has been much talk of due diligence, but you have failed to produce it. This whole thing has acquired the stench of a backroom, sweetheart deal. Rescind the zoning change, listen to your constituents and get more answers. Do your job.


Most sincerely,


Lawrence Reichard




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Clean Elections funding


If you’re interested in seeing Maine’s Clean Elections law put to use, and are interested in what’s going to happen in replacing Mr. LePage, you might consider going to the Clean Elections contribution page at
www5.informe.org/cgi-bin/online/ethics/cleanelection/home.pl
in the next two days and contributing the requisite $5 to the one Democrat who has put her non-dark-money position where her mouth is and continues to raise the issue of money-in-politics (even if you expect to rank one of the non-clean-elections candidates above her).
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