Saving Earth

In case you missed it, the Trump administration announced a proposal that opens up large areas along the coastline of the East Coast, which includes Maine, to oil and gas drilling.

I don’t know how many Mainers know that we have 3,478 miles of coastline—that’s more than California (3,427), and over 5,000 miles of coast if you include all of the islands as well. Only Florida and Louisiana (mostly bayou) have more miles of coastline.

The Earth looks better without drilling rigs. [Old Orchard Beach, ME]

I thought that there was going to be an opportunity to offer public comments at the Augusta Civic Center today. I was planning to attend.

This morning, I found out that members of the public wouldnt’t be allowed to speak at this “listening session hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Instead, advocates, like Friends of Casco Bay are urging activists and other concerned parties to submit comments via the BOEM website set-up for that purpose.

There will be future opportunities to speak and “lend our collective voices,” as well as other actions. In the meantime, I’d urge you to submit your own comments. Continue reading

Birthday blog-34

[Note: I spent much of the weekend thinking and writing about the bond Mark and I shared around writing. We certainly bonded around sports and simply from spending time together when he was in his formative stage. But that doesn’t always guarantee a closeness later in life.

The driver who hit and killed Mark robbed his parents of many things. She robbed me of my only son, and a relationship I’ll never replace. She also took the brightest of personalities, one with passion (and compassion) from a world sorely in need of people like him.

As difficult as 2017 has been, one of the things that keep us going is knowing that Mark had a passion for Earth, other people (and bringing them together), and of course, writing. We founded the Mark Baumer Sustainability Fund earlier this year. We’re happy to announce that we are now a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We also have a brand new website that just went live. Check it out. Also, today would be a great day to remember Mark by making a contribution to the fund. It’s now tax-deductible and a great end-of-year gift to give for a cause that will support causes and organizations that cultivate traits that were part of Mark’s philosophy of life—love, kindness, and working towards building a better and more equitable world for all people.-jb]

 

Birthday Blog, Thirty-four (34)

 

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Developing any craft requires diligence, attention to it, and maybe more than anything else—a dogged determination in cultivating it—regardless of how many people flock to your doorstep. I think this an apt application for both writing and music, too.

I’m not a musician, but I’ve had a passion for various kinds of rock-rooted musicology dating back nearly 50 years. I know a thing or two about it, and what I don’t know experientially, I’ve gleaned from a longstanding tradition of reading what once was known as “rock journalism.” While no longer as prevalent as it once was given the demise of print, there are still outlets where this genre of writing resides.

Since we’re on the topic of writing, I think I can weigh-in on this with definite ink stains on my hands, or perhaps better, a worn keyboard on my laptop. It was 2001—I had read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Afterwards, I decided not to be some occasional dabbler. I set a goal—I wanted to get published. Following King’s prescription, I got up early before work and wrote something every day. After a year of doing this, I got an essay published in Casco Bay Weekly just like King said would happen. I’d really become a writer. Continue reading