The View From Here (10)

Elephants Don’t Forget — Neither Should We

On March 9, the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry heard LD 396, An Act To Prohibit The Use of Elephants in Traveling Animal Acts.Some 43 people testified either in person or by written comments. Most were in favor of the bill and represented a wide range of individuals and organizations, including the Global Sanctuary for Elephants, WildWatch Maine, Maine Friends of Animals, the Maine Animal Coalition, the Maine Federation of Humane Societies, and…

Who Speaks for the People? You Do!

This is the Maine legislature’s busy season, and with more than a 1000 bills to be heard, those who represent the state’s citizens are busier than ever, which, in turn, makes it difficult for ordinary folks to keep up with important issues. That’s why LD 11 which will be heard by the Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Thursday, April 20 at 1 PM in room 206 of the Cross Building next to the…

Redefining Refuge – Maine Senators Back Inhumane Wildlife Law

The human race is pretty strange.   What other species writes poetry, frames its thoughts in words, and performs wonderful acts of kindness while, at the same time, condones cruelty to each other and to other creatures who occupy the planet?    Just recently, the United States Senate passed S.J. RES. 18 by a vote of 51 to 47 to allow the killing of denning wolves and pups, hibernating bears and other predators on national…

Get the lead out!

“Get the Lead Out" no longer means just "Get a Move On." It is also an important directive to maintain and preserve good health, for both human and animal, not to mention the environment in general. That’s why you won’t find lead in canned goods, something that would have been news to Sir John Franklin, a mid-19th-century British explorer whose ship was lost in the Arctic and whose crew died of poisoning brought on by…

These new bills will make the Maine citizen initiative process more complicated and restrictive

Along with snow, chilly temperatures, and a muddy road or two (or three or four) it’s the season for Legislative Documents (LD’s) to be introduced in Augusta, even though they’ve been introduced before (more than once) and defeated (also more than once). This reference is to bills that would suppress the right to sponsor citizen initiatives and eliminate the option to override by popular vote. In other words, the failure of our elected officials to carry…

The View From Here: Bill Blitz and Sunday Hunting

The title of this piece does not refer to Mrs. Blitz’s son Bill. In fact, so far as I know, there is no such person as Bill Blitz. The reference is to legislative bills and blitz is short for ‘blitzkrieg”, a term that came into use in the early years of WWII and is German for ‘lightning war” – a swift, stealthy multi – pronged sustained assault that catches an enemy unawares. In a civilian…

What's a captured agency? Part 2

Note: This is the second part of a two-part article. If you missed part one, it can be found here http://portlandphoenix.me/columns/item/6408-the-view-from-here-what-s-a-captured-agency Captured agencies are a form of government failure that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Part one raised the following question: since trapping creates very little revenue and…

The View From Here: What’s a Captured Agency?

The View From Here — Animals, Politics, and the Great Outdoors The word ‘capture’ is a fairly common English word that all of us know. and, Like a lot of language, it can be used in different ways – capturing the thought of a treasured moment, capturing the image of a crimson sun sinking into a mountain lake, capturing an idea by writing it down before it slips out of our brain. There’s also the…

The View From Here: Looking back and looking ahead

The recent arrival of snow – dusting and storm alike – are unmistakable signs of winter’s advent. One result is that people everywhere tend to band together a little bit more, knowing that while there may not be peace on earth, home at least can be a place of security and reassurance. While world events seem sometimes as if we were all afloat in the same small boat on a white-capped sea, our own personal…

Double Standards

This column transitioned from a blog called The View From Here, which, after more than sixty postings over nearly a year and a half, was discontinued by the Bangor Daily News on October 11, 2016.  No reason or advance notice was given, other than that the newspaper had been reviewing its network “to ensure our contributors are aligned with our goals and content standards.”    For nearly three weeks then, this voice was silent, felled…
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