Risking the future

Letter to the Editor:

On the surface, creating a port authority to appropriate funds ($30 to $40 million) for a new ferry dock in Bar Harbor might seem like a good idea. Greater ability for cruise ships to dock means more customers for restaurants and shops. However, with 180 ships expected to travel to Bar Harbor this summer, would this small town really benefit from more tourists? Does this help the residents more than big business trying to make a buck off of a beautiful area? Will this create high-wage jobs for Mainers?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.”

As the oldest state in the nation, with stagnant economic growth in the 2nd Congressional District, Maine is at a historic crossroads. We can put our eggs in one basket by investing in tourism at the cost of exploiting our natural resources and our own people, or we can invest in better education and proven industries to revitalize our economy. More tourism is a Band-Aid and won’t drive the kind of economic growth necessary to deliver good-paying jobs to Mainers and help us beat our recent economic woes.

Since no environmental study has been conducted to comprehensively understand the impact of this new ferry dock, we can only assume that more sulfur and nitrogen toxins emitted from the cruise ships will damage Acadia National Park.

My opposition to LD 1400 is not against the idea of development itself but against big business getting more say than local residents. The majority of residents would favor a multi-use marina open to the public that wouldn’t require exorbitant amounts of outside money. LD 1400, however, wasn’t crafted to benefit the public. It was crafted to benefit the multibillion dollar cruise ship industry.

State legislators, please don’t risk the future of Bar Harbor by passing LD 1400. We need new economic development, but not at the expense of our natural wonders and the futures of hard-working Maine people.

Zak Ringelstein

Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate



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