Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

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Editor
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

[i]Editor's Note: Yes sir! When I want something done I go to a 50-member committee.[/i]

Republican Journal

Sears Island planning effort in the balance

By Peter Taber
(Created: Friday, November 3, 2006 4:13 PM EST)

A meeting next week in Searsport might well confirm success or failure for the state-sponsored planning effort to determine the fate of the largest wild island property in public hands along the East Coast.

The approximately 50 members of the steering committee for a planning effort initiated last spring by Gov. John Baldacci independent of DOT control come to the table with sharply varied persuasions.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/03/waldo_independent/local...

Naran
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

It's well-known that even five people will have trouble deciding where to have lunch. Six people are unable to figure out who should sit where in the mini-van.

Fifty people on a committee????

Look for some results in the year 2010, when they will have revote the original proposals.

Country
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

From the article -

[quote]The planning initiative steering committee meets next Thursday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. at the Searsport Lions Club on Prospect Street.[/quote]

Anyone know what happened?

Dan Billings
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The whole point of the committee was to put off controversy until after the election.

Mission accomplished.

Jon Reisman
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

At several points this fall I advocated for opponents of the environemntal left to make Sears Island an issue in the Governor's race. No takers. Now I understand.

Anonymous
Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

The Baldacci administration appears to have perfected with the help of their 'planner/facilitator' consultants the skill of concensus building using very large groups. The facilitator seeks to accomodate the views of dissident factions in some manner so they appear to be included. When the final report is publicly aired it usually puts their concerns in the background...how many remember the citizen's groups meetings held around the state where those of us who took serious issue with DIRIGO were listened to, yet ignored. That was a good half day I waste at USM. well over half of us picked apart Dirigo. Votes were even taken, and not found in the final report which was compiled and edited by the Governor's political liasion to DIRIGO....hmmmm.

I've been to education forums on private school regulations where the concerns of private schools were parsed and picked apart, and barely mentioned in the final report. That's why facilitators make the big bucks as consultants and all of them are Democrats.

The SEARS ISLAND group has all the earmarks of one of these appeasement committees where dissidents get 'listened to' and then their arguments dissected and eventually ignored.

Jon is right, a candidate could have made an issue out of this so-called inclusive democratci process.

rklindell
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

It is pretty clear that two factions have developed. One for a reasonable compromise that creates recreational space and preserves much of the island, while ensuring that a future deep water port facility remains feasible, and another that wants no development whatsoever.

It doesn't help that Lance Weddell, the newly elected State Rep for District 41, has publicly sided with the no-development crowd.

Editor
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Ellsworth American

Committee Moving Toward Decision on Sears Island Uses

Written by Nick Gosling
Thursday, November 16, 2006

SEARSPORT — The Sears Island Planning Initiative Steering Committee...will make its recommendation to the Governor, Searsport and the...[Legislature’s] Transportation [Committee].

Committee members are moving toward a consensus on what should be done with the island, said [MDOC deputy commissioner] Karin Tilberg, host of the planning initiative.

“I think that now is a very delicate time, a very important time and we’re very hopeful,” said Tilberg. [T]he committee meetings will probably continue into January.

[url=http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id...

Editor
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Sears Island group reaches consensus on port 
By Tom Groening
Friday, December 15, 2006 - Bangor Daily News

SEARSPORT - A tenuous deal between two camps on a divided planning committee considering the future of Sears Island would allow for the possibility of a port facility, while also protecting a significant portion of the 941-acre state-owned island from development.

Since spring, a 42-member Sears Island committee convened by the state Department of Conservation has been working at reaching a consensus on a set of recommendations for the island, linked to the mainland by a causeway.

The committee will meet — perhaps for the final time — on Tuesday in Searsport.

[url=http://www.bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=144179&zoneid=...

Editor
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Searsport: Panel aims to draw port, conservation boundaries
Thursday, July 12, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

While the planning committee came to terms on several key issues, including calling for 600 acres to be conserved and 341 acres to be set aside for a possible port, it left several important tasks for the joint use group.

The most difficult task the joint use committee faces is drawing boundary lines between the 600 acres and the 341 acres, something the earlier group could not achieve.

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/midcoast.aspx?articleid=151954&zoneid=...

Editor
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Sears Island wetlands may affect port plans
Friday, September 21, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

SEARSPORT, Maine - A committee charged with delineating acreage on Sears Island for a possible port/conservation area may run into the same obstacles that led the state to drop a port proposal there in 1997.

At its meeting Thursday the group heard from state agency officials. There are 73 identified wetlands on the island - 223 acres. The impact a potential port on the island would have on those wet areas could create permitting hurdles.

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=154479&zoneid=500]...

Bruce Libby
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The failure of this was apparent from begining since it was a committee
instead of a task force!

Note it was not even a "blue ribbon" one at that!

The Distributist
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Earth, with more than 70% of its surface covered with water, is a wetland.

God is accruing one heck of a fine.

Editor
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Sears Island is Maine's elite enviros and their friends in government giving Maine taxpayers a Royal Screwing. Maybe it's a biodegradable screw.

skf

knucklehead
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That island has had heavy equipment crawling all over it, been scraped and excavated and paved, and allowed to grow back in, and now it's "wild"?

I still think it's an awesome site for nuke plant. Road's in, pier started. Nice Oak for lumber and firewood, too. Didn't really stop to consider what kind soil there was, but with a little fresh water and some livestock contributing to the "circle of life", it could grow edibles quite well.

Sounds like a good place to homestead.

Editor
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Sears Island future could include Maine Coast Heritage Trust
By Tanya Mitchell
VillageSoup/Waldo County Citizen Reporter

SEARSPORT (Jan 30): The committee charged with determining the future of Sears Island accepted Maine Coast Heritage Trust as the potential conservation easement holder at its meeting Friday, Jan. 25, at the First Congregational Church.

The easement holder would help draft the language for the conservation easement. That document would be used as a guideline for management of the 600 acres of the island to be set aside for conservation, light recreation, educational purposes.

http://waldo.villagesoup.com/Government/story.cfm?storyID=108177

Bruce Libby
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Given the sad state of affairs of our budget how about we just sell the
thing and get it overwith! The trees on it look just like the trees I can see on
Little Diamond island from Eastern Prom, the water looks the same
and probably seaweed is also! Let's soak some out of stater with a island
of his own! Enough of this already!

rklindell
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That might have worked two years ago.

Editor
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[i]Editor's Note: The Transportation Committee unanimously adopted an amendment to this agreement that says the conservation easement will go into effect after the permits for the port are in hand.[/i]

From: Cole, David A [mailto:David.A.Cole@maine.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Subject: Regarding Sears Island Joint Use Planning Process

Dear Transportation Committee Members, 

In preparation for the Transportation Committee's meeting scheduled for November 18th, attached is the final report from the Sears Island Joint Use Planning Committee (JUPC), as well as the Committee's recommended language for the proposed Conservation Easement.

I am pleased to report that the JUPC has unanimously endorsed both documents.

Please give me a call if you have any questions or concerns prior to the November 18th meeting.

Dave

Download:
Sears Island JUPC Final Report
http://www.asmainegoes.com/finalreport.doc

Sears Island Conservation Easement
http://www.asmainegoes.com/easement.doc

Bruce Libby
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Sears Island & Baldacci's 50-Member Steering Committee

Let's see if I can simplify this matter.

It is suggested that we give up 2/3rds of the island as a conservation easement,thus protecting
trees etc. like those on mainland!

We take 1/3rd for a future cargo port estimated to cost about 200 million dollars for cargo that noone
knows if it exsists to support such an activity if and when it would be built, probably following years of
court fights by Brownie Carson and his gang! :shock:

Yep, sounds like one heck of a proposal to me! Wasn't it Angus who bought it for $50 million? :roll:

The sad thing is gov. 38 will try to implement it!

Note: 50 member steering committees worked well in slave ships w/ 50 on each side rowing!
It appearrs the left side took a break on this ship and it was propelled left!

rklindell
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Without this process there would be no hope of any productive activity on Sears Island. The remarkable thing is that through this process some of those those who previously opposed any development are now endorsing a future cargo terminal. Perhaps one day some enterprising big corporation will come along and actually build something productive there.

Bruce Libby
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Wasn't there , isn't there an island in region that is about 2/3rds protected
and has established business/economic activity?

Something with a name that starts w/ "Mt." ? :roll:

rklindell
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I don't think a cargo port on Somes Sound would be possible.

Bruce Libby
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When was the dream of a new cargo port born?
My recollection puts it in the early 90's if not earlier.

This leads to the question of viability of any expansion away from present facilities
and the sufficient supply of shipmemnts to sustain the level of investment
required?

Portland has been unable to produce a successful cargo operation consistantly as a feeder service point
as a publically funded enterprize!

Sprauge energy aka Merrills private wharf works due to capabilities to store coal
for Sappi mill and other users as well as imports of pulp etc..
The bottom line is there are more customers for these services in Southern Maine at present.
What is the likelyhood of enticing private investment of $200 million plus in todays' or future enviroment?
My quess nill!

My quess is if never developed and remains as is the great promise of eco-tourism
will never even come close to recouping what has been spent by the tax payers of Maine on this folly.
As for other tourism lets' face it I am going to Bar Harbour enjoy the park , my hotel and
a choice of adult beverages in a comfy spot!

Maybe Angus would like to buy it? Nahhhh! I forgot he is only adept at spending others money!

Naran
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I think they should put the island on Ebay.

(hey, if Baldaccio can sell off the state booze biz for pennies, why not an entire island?)

knucklehead
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Put in a nuke, that's what God put that island there for.

Doug Thomas
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There's a lot wrong with this agreement, but it just might lead to a container port on Sears Island in my lifetime. It was a risk worth taking.

Bruce Libby
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Doug, see Portland container port !

Empty!

Doug Thomas
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Baldacci questions committee’s delay

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci remains committed to a “positive and productive future for Sears Island,” his office said Thursday.

The governor expressed his disappointment with a unanimous decision by the Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Tuesday to leave temporarily unsigned a negotiated agreement that balanced industrial and environmental concerns over the island’s use.

http://www.bangornews.com/detail/93712.html

Editor
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[i]Editor's Note: MST wants to give the upper hand to the elite enviros. Is the MST willing to bet on the odds of enviro lawsuits against port development if the MCHT is deed the conservation easement before port building permits are in hand?[/i]

mainetoday.com
Sears Island plan should move forward
Formally linking port development and conservation is a fair way to proceed.

November 23, 2008

Last week, the Legislature's Transportation Committee...added the caveat that the conservation of the 601 acres shouldn't be made official until a permit for developing the port could be issued.

This doesn't sit well with conservationists, who say negotiators working on the issue went out of their way not to link a formal conservation easement with formal approval of the port development.

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=223583&ac=PHedi]source[/url]

Doug Thomas
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If the conservation easement on 2/3 of Sears Island is conveyed before the permits are in hand to build a port facility the port will never happen.

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