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Letters to the Editor - Issue 118

Issue 118

Photo by Dan WestCourtesy Dan West
The Sardine As Sculpture The piece “Long May They Run,” in the Winter 2012 issue of MBH&H was a timely eulogy to the Maine sardine industry. For ten years I had admired a herring weathervane atop a house in Port Clyde, and, inspired, I made a herring sculpture using 450 soda- and beer-can pop-top tabs for scales. Then on a cruise into Port Clyde harbor I realized that the weathervane was gone. Later, it reappeared in an auction catalog. To round out the story, I was able to buy the vane. As a small tribute to the vanishing fishery, I will see to it that this ancient wooden herring always stays on the Maine coast.
Dan West
Friendship, Maine
Three Reminders What an unexpected surprise. I think about your Winter 2012 issue, MBH&H #117, as your environmental-warning issue, and encourage more of the same. In three new articles you touched on sustainability, habitat, and historical warnings from a bygone era and author. Rob McCall—“In the Interest of Saving Kapskuk”—describes and promotes the Cobscook Bay area while discussing elements of habitat with references to the commercial harvest of rock weed (nursery habitat) and associated by catch, and the submerged causeway (an apparent migratory obstruction). I was engrossed in the details and could absorb more. Catherine Schmitt—“Long May They Run”—in discussing the closure of the Stinson cannery delved into elements of biological sustainability in her treatment of the declining sardine/herring fishery. She also referred to eating low on the food chain—a good thing I think. Then Peter Spectre in his continuing remembrances of people who made a difference included the now-famous and highly revered author Rachel Carson. I have The Sea Around Us in my personal collection of special books, and read Silent Spring when I was still wet behind the ears and preparing a term paper at college in—get this—1963, well before I started my career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We readers need reminders like these so as to better engage decision-makers from an informed perspective. I have another book that I find informative, scary, and useful: The End of the Line, by Charles Clover, which addresses over-harvest and by-catch issues, and lists species that are imperiled. It has been cited as the maritime equivalent of Silent Spring.
Roy Heberger
Boise, Idaho
Energy Efficiencies We were pleased to see two recent articles in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors feature homes with solar energy systems (“A Place in the Sun,” Winter 2012, and “Channeling the Great Wall: A Rammed Earth Home on MDI,” June/July 2011). Over the years our company has been fortunate to collaborate with many architects, builders, and homeowners to design and install solar energy systems at new and existing homes all over Maine, including those in the above articles. Many of these projects have pushed the energy-efficiency envelope to new and exceptional levels. Many thanks for paying special attention to these projects that demonstrate renewable energy’s potential in Maine.
Jennifer Albee
ReVision Energy, LLC
Liberty, Maine
Maine Boats, Homes & Chowders? Even though I have limited cooking skills last night I made up a batch of clam chowder using the Peter Hunt recipe from MBH&H on line (www.maineboats.com). We just ate it on this cold and rainy day with yums and seconds all around!
Harvey Smith
Blue Hill, Maine
Matters of Opinion I feel that Peter Bass’s view on why Norman Olsen resigned his position as Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (“DMR Chief Torpedoed,” in “View from the Porch,” MBH&H #117) is off base on two points. Any injury that occurred to Mr. Olsen was self-inflicted. He simply was not the man for the job. As for lobsters on draggers in the same column, allowing lobsters to be landed in Maine by draggers will not be the reason “the fleet” would come back to Maine. Only the recovery of the ground fish stocks off the coast of Maine and more business-friendly policies from the city of Portland will bring them back.
Pat White
York, Maine
UPDATE: The A.S. Fales & Son general store in Cushing has been purchased. The new owners hope to reopen it as Broad Cover Market “as soon as possible.” CORRECTION: The photograph of author Robin McCarthy aboard Wanderbird that appeared in “Inheriting Sailing”on page 26 of the Winter 2012 issue was incorrectly credited. It was taken by Ann Marie Maguire.