Monday, January 23, 2023



I don't usually get a chance to photograph winter scenes in South Portland because I need to be in Lovell to clean up the snow, but here are a couple:

The old man in the photo would see these old fish houses if he looked slightly to his left:

This is from Willard Beach about a mile from our South Portland house. I think I like the beach even better in winter than in summer. Very few people around.


Were you worried about Monkeypox? The vast majority of cases in the USA are among homosexual men, so meet Dr Demetre Daskalakis, the man President Biden appointed to spearhead the fight against it:

I wish I were making this up, but I'm not.

What could go wrong?

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Left & Right Show Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Again, newspaper publisher Mark Guerringue sits in the left chair. We discuss Congressman McCarthy running for House Speaker, Trump's candidacy for president, and the possibility of Ron DeSantis running against him for the Republican nomination. We discuss the immigration debacle, that millions have snuck into our country or have just been allowed to cross over and are then shipped to cities all over the country for local taxpayers to support.

Friday, October 28, 2022

DEMOCRAT DISASTER NOVEMBER 8 Left & Right Show 10-26-22

Newspaper publisher Mark Guerringue again sits in the left chair for this episode as we discuss the forthcoming midterm elections and other issues of the day. I predict a Republican sweep and a skeptical Mark asks why. I cite a recent town hall meeting by mask-wearing Democrat Congressman Tim Ryan who is campaigning for the US Senate against Republican JD Vance at which only 19 people showed up!

Democrats like Ryan can't let go of Covid because they have nothing else in their quiver. Trump is bad! They shout, but that's getting old. Voters have moved on but Democrats like Ryan have not. Thus they will get blown away on November 8th. The only question is how badly they will lose.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


This is Sam Brinton, the person in charge of dealing with high-level nuclear waste for our country.

As announced on Yahoo: “It seems President Joe Biden made history last month: That's when Sam Brinton announced the administration had hired them as deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the office of nuclear energy for the Department of Energy.”

Mr. Brinton wants everyone to use the pronouns “They” and “Them” when referring to him — although he is one person, not many as “they” is understood by us non-woke Americans out here in rural America. This is our world now as long as Democrats control our country.

In 1986, I was thoroughly engaged in a grassroots political fight to prevent the US Department of Energy from disposing of spent fuel rods under the ground here from Lovell to Westbrook, Maine. We declared victory only when Chernobyl melted down the Ural Mountains of Russia. That incident caused the US DOE to scrap their plans for burying spent fuel rods in Maine and instead plan to hollow out Yucca Mountain in Nevada for a nuclear waste repository.

That was thirty-six years ago, but nothing has been done in Nevada or anywhere else yet. That’s because the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada prevented that from happening in his state. As of today, the nation’s highly-radioactive spent fuel rods are still kept in pools at our remaining nuclear power plants all over America until either Sam Brinton or his successor determines what to do with them. Don’t worry though: spent fuel rods are only dangerous for a few thousand years.

According to National Review: “[Brinton] has bragged about participating in kink relationships as a ‘pup handler’ — a person, typically a gay man, who enjoys taking care of other typically gay men who pretend to be dogs.” Sam Brinton doesn’t seem to know he’s a man, yet President Biden thinks Brinton knows what to do with America’s most dangerous nuclear waste.

This is America under the Democrats. Think about that when you go to the polls in November.

Friday, February 25, 2022


Those for and against the proposed solar fields in Lovell, Maine do not reflect traditional party lines. Not all left-leaning people who support renewable energy in principle support the local solar fields project, recognizing that multinational corporations profit from them and don’t always care what ancillary effects they have on a little town like Lovell. Not all the conservative-leaning citizens are against commercial solar projects either, recognizing that, while landowners should be free to lease their land to huge solar companies, they want zoning ordinances to regulate it.

As a fairly well-known local conservative who has publicly opposed the huge solar development proposed by Walden Renewables for Lovell, I’ve been criticized for going against conservative principles. After all, don’t conservatives believe landowners should be free to do what they like with their property? One critic emailed me recently claiming: “[A]n unexpected disappointment was to see you apparently lose your compass. I expect hypocrisy and false outrage from the left but not from a conservative [who] would want to own other people’s property communally.”

Richard inherited a good-sized piece of land near me and agreed to lease it to Walden Renewables for about half of their proposed solar project — some tens of thousands of solar panels. I don’t know how much Walden promised to pay him but it must be a good chunk of change because he’s pissed at me for helping organize Lovell’s opposition to the project “[I]t appears you got fearful that your view would be impacted and you were off to the races . . . spreading mis-information and publishing fake news like you were a Rachel Maddow staffer. … You’re waist deep in with the mob as a hero of the revolution.”

As a board member of Our Eden Association, the principal organization opposing the project, I helped get a proposed ordinance onto an upcoming Lovell Town Meeting ballot that would discourage multinational companies from building large scale solar developments in Lovell while encouraging projects for a homeowner or a small business. Richard compares that to Bolshevism, writing: “

“It is truly scary what is happening in Lovell. The phenomenon of how social media can be used in a malicious way to gather support to trounce on landowners’ rights. Mobs don’t need to walk the street with torches now, they just use Facebook.  Anything this group wants to do from seeding the boards to putting in new ordinances they are able to do with their apparatus in place.”

Well yeah, those are some of the things we’re encouraging through the Our Eden Association, but isn’t that constitutional democracy at work? Not in Richard’s mind apparently: “Lovell has gone full on socialist and heading for communism and you’re in there leading the movement,” he wrote. “Republican leaning folks focus a lot on big government at the state and federal level but the absolute tyranny comes from towns and neighbors. Are you working on the 5 year plan?”

Well, sort of. I know Richard was referring to Lenin’s and Stalin’s five-year plans for the Soviet Union, but it so happens that Lovell is preparing to update its Comprehensive Plan and recently canvassed citizens about what direction they want Lovell to go in. State law requires towns to do that but evidently Richard considers it tyranny.

Within days after word got out about the Walden Solar project, Richard contacted me, evidently to feel me out about my position on it. I knew who Richard was at the time, but didn’t know him well. I was still researching it and hadn’t made up my mind and I told him so. Now I’m wondering if Walden had asked him to contact me. Did the company consider me a potential adversary who writes newspaper columns? I don’t know.

My wife, Roseann in the yard

“This was a good if not great project for Lovell, the country, and the world,” he wrote last week. “It never even got a hearing because a mob sprung into action that could be compared to all the great dangerous mobs of history.”

Mobs led by me I guess.

“Lovell is lost to me,” he continued. “It gave me a great childhood but with Berta’s passing my last emotional tie to the town is gone. Good luck with whoever buys all my land.  I won’t tell them that they have many co-owners that will not share in the taxes. 

Richard was referring to Roberta Chandler, a mutual friend about whom I recently wrote a tribute for the Lovell Historical Society Newsletter. Roberta was a great lady who loved Lovell.

Monday, December 27, 2021


“Too cheap to meter” was a claim made by proponents of nuclear power plants to generate electricity in the 1950s. We’ve since learned that was wildly optimistic. Since then we’ve heard similar pie-in-the-sky claims made by proponents of “renewable energy” touting wind and solar electric generating projects in Maine and just about everywhere else. “It’s free; it’s limitless; it’s clean," and so forth.

Those power sources can work so long as the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. They don’t generate anything during calm, still nights, however, when people still need electricity. The old-fashioned, nuclear and fossil-fuel generators have to back up production of electricity at these times. Wind farms can also be very noisy, kill a lot of birds, and they can be unsightly as well protruding up to 650 feet above the hilltops on which they’re usually sited. The same people who enjoy looking at paintings of quaint, Dutch windmills can be put off seeing hills covered by enormous, modern windmills.

Lately we’re learning the drawbacks of industrial solar farms already built, under construction, and proposed in Maine. They’re noisy. They’re huge: The one proposed for Lovell would cover and area twice the size of the one in Fryeburg. Walden Renewables, the firm that got the enormous Fryeburg project approved, has sold it to a Canadian firm while it’s still being built. They promise, however, they wouldn’t do that to Lovell and we can trust them, right?

Lately we’re learning that solar panels are built in China using slaves. Even those built in Vietnam and elsewhere have in them key components like polysilicon produced in Xinjiang Province using Uyghur Muslim forced labor. Just this week, President Biden signed a bipartisan bill banning imports from Xinjiang Province that was opposed by Apple and Nike. Good for him. Does that ban include solar panels? I certainly hope so.

Back in 1986 we here in Lovell learned about one of the downsides of nuclear power when the US Department of Energy proposed burying highly radioactive spent fuel rods in the granite “batholith” that underlies southern Maine between Lovell and the City of Westbrook. However, within three months of the DOE’s proposal the Chernobyl nuclear power plant melted down in Russia’s Ural Mountains. That was only seven years after the Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania and the nuclear industry took a big hit. Within weeks, the US Department of Energy scrapped their plans for a nuclear waste dump in Maine.

One thing I don’t understand about Maine leftists is their opposition to the Clean Energy Corridor and their orchestration of its defeat on a recent referendum. The now-defunct corridor proposal would use an already-existing passageway for its power lines over most of its route and bring surplus hydroelectricity from a facility on Canada’s Hudson Bay. Quebec Hydro is a renewable power source. Yes, some additional trees would be cut to expand the corridor, but the operation produces no emissions. Isn’t zero emissions what the left wants?

We all depend on a reliable supply of electricity and we’re rudely reminded of that every time there is a power failure. It is in our interest to keep the supply steady and we should understand that renewable sources, with the possible exception of hydroelectricity, are not reliable. They’re intermittent and we need back-up sources. Nuclear power is close to 100% reliable and while it too has its drawbacks, like how to safely dispose of the waste, but it may well be our best choice at this point.

Meanwhile we have Walden Renewables LLC posing as Lovell’s best choice. It will produce no emissions; it will reduce our electric bills; it will provide tax revenue. But we have so ask ourselves: Is Walden really an industrial wolf in environmentalist sheep’s clothing?

“My, what big fields of solar panels you have,” we say. “The better to serve you with,” says Walden. “How ugly they are,” we say. “They’re only visible from 0.14% of the town,” says Walden. “What huge piles of waste you’ll leave when you’re gone,” we say. “We’ve included decommissioning costs in our proposal,” says Walden. But we don’t know what those costs will be in thirty years,” we say. “We’ve planned for that,” says Walden. “But there are toxic materials in your panels,” we say. “We’ll take care of those,” says Walden.

“And then three’s this,” says Walden. “Sheep can graze under our solar panels. We’ll even plant special, nutritious grass for them! It’s all in our proposal.”

Walden Renewables. It sounds so Thoreau-like, doesn’t it? With a name like that, we can trust them, right?

Monday, December 13, 2021


Lovell’s old Town Hall was packed, standing room only. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived but energy permeated the room. If any present supported the proposed location of 170,000 solar panels in rural Lovell, Maine by Walden Renewables LLC, they were silent. Five people representing the company were the only ones to utter anything positive, but then they were paid to do that. No one spoke in favor. 

From the Portland Press Herald

No one spoke against solar energy either. Rather, they objected to where Walden Renewables wanted to put row after row of their big, ugly, black panels. In the 100 square miles of Lovell, the company chose a venue that would ruin one of the nicest mountain views in our picturesque town. One hundred eighty acres of carbon-consuming trees would be clearcut and replaced with 170,000 solar panels, ostensibly to mitigate climate change.  It would also mar the vista along Christian Hill Road where I happen to live. The photo above depicts only 30,000 panels. The one proposed for Lovell would be five or six times that.

My backyard - Solar panels would fill the hillside below the mountains

It was gratifying to hear how many people describe how beautiful the views are from Christian Hill — how when traveling north or south through Lovell, they choose to drive our road instead of Route 5, the main north/south thoroughfare through town. It’s a slower, less-direct path but more scenic and relaxing. That path would also would take one over Hatch’s Hill, which is part of the old “‘Scoggin Trail,” an ancient north/south path used for centuries by the Pequawket Indians to go from the Saco River Valley to the Androscoggin River Valley. The views from Hatch’s Hill have not been tended and are being gradually obscured by vegetative growth.

Looking at 180 acres of hillside covered by 170,000 solar panels would render the viewer an entirely different feeling than what it would replace — hillsides of forest that change with the seasons and with the time of day. Walden Renewables tries hard to balance that with hollow verbiage about forestalling global warming and providing clean energy, but it doesn’t wash. Aside from the visual ugliness there are other issues. An acquaintance recently sent this along:

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Posting the above paragraph in a web search produced several links. Typical was a link called: “Debunking the debunkers/Andrew Tobias” in which Tobias contended that some of the article from which the paragraph came contained errors. The errors he cited, however, were minor and he was forced to let most of the article’s claims stand on their own merit.

All 170,000 solar panels Walden Renewables would erect here would be made in China, America’s biggest enemy. Although Walden promises to fund the decommissioning of their panels after they’re obsolete in 20-30 years, what happens of they go bankrupt in the meantime? Would the landowners who leased their land to Walden be stuck with them? Would the Town of Lovell be? Would China take them back? Fat chance. According to an article in Discover Magazine: “It often costs companies more to recycle a solar panel than to produce a solar panel.”

Particularly grating on me is that I’m involuntarily paying for the solar panels that Walden would install to destroy my view. The solar industry is heavily subsidized by state and federal tax credits, tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions, rebates, and grants. Do you pay taxes? Then your money goes into these things whether you like it or not. If it didn’t, Walden Renewables wouldn’t exist. Without taxpayer subsidies, solar arrays like this wouldn’t be viable business ventures.

People testifying at the Lovell Planning Board meeting overwhelmingly said they were blindsided by this project. Many, including me, were angry about that. When a moratorium was called for to give citizens more time to consider the 600-page application however, the board voted 3-2 against recommending the moratorium — not on its merits, but because the board lacks legal counsel at this time. Citizens in opposition to the siting of the solar project are afraid the Planning Board will vote to accept the 600-page application and thereby commit itself to a specific timetable for acting on it.

Lovell citizens felt blindsided by this huge, Walden Renewables application and declared they need much more time to consider it. Commensurately, Lovell’s Planning Board seemed taken aback by the vociferous citizen reaction. Now we'll have to see what they do at their next meeting January 5th.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


Flyer going around town

Solar energy is disturbing the peace here on Christian Hill in Lovell, Maine. Residents are angry because they didn’t know anything about a huge, multi-million-dollar, 171 acre, solar-panel project that will be visible from our hill. What really ticks them off is that, by the time they found out about it, it was already too late to do anything about it. Locals have been calling me and knocking on my door wanting to know what to do. According to what I have been able to learn so far, not much, because Lovell doesn’t have an ordinance to regulate these things and I suspect the solar company knew that.

I'll be seeing solar panels just to the left of the birdhouse

I knew nothing either until about two weeks ago. Even though the site abuts my property, I was never notified. To say that annoys me is understatement. A friend and I purchased 30 acres of overgrown former apple orchard enclosed by stone walls on Christian Hill over forty years ago. The land slopes down from the road, which is a big disadvantage in every way but one: there’s a beautiful view westward toward the White Mountain National Forest in neighboring New Hampshire. 

From my back porch
Solar panels would replace pines & hardwoods on the bottom

After splitting the thirty acres down the middle, my wife and I built a home on our half and moved into it in 1988. For the next several years, I personally reopened the view by cutting down enough trees for eight cords of wood every summer. I split it by hand and burned it to keep us warm each winter until I had cleared my half of the overgrown apple orchard.

Solar Panels would be under the cloud in the center

I had stabilized the disturbed soil around our new house with a conservation mix but our gravel driveway remained a challenge. Thunderstorms opened gullies every summer until we figured out where to install ditches and culverts. Then I hired an excavator to remove the stumps left in the former orchard and stabilized the disturbed soil with more conservation mix. I get it bush-hogged each year now to maintain the field and preserve our vista. It’s been a lot of work and expense, but the scenery always made it worthwhile.

My granddaughters Solar panels would dominate the view to the left of the birch tree

Lovell’s proposed solar project, however, will ruin that view. If it goes through as proposed, about half our panorama will be of hundreds black solar panels. My forty years of hard work has increased the value of our property, but whatever it’s worth will be considerably diminished if our view is spoiled by acre after acre of ugly black solar panels.

The solar company that would destroy my vista calls itself “Walden Renewables,” probably to conjure bucolic images a la Henry David Thoreau. However, row after parallel row of fifteen-foot-high, black solar solar panels is anything but bucolic. The 600-page Walden Renewables application to the Town of Lovell suggests we visualize sheep grazing beneath their black monstrosities and promises to decommission them after thirty years. Then, they say, the land would be open pasture. But if I live that long, I’ll be a hundred years old. Maybe I’ll get to watch them finally disassemble the monstrous things from a rocking chair on my back porch.

This view would be ruined

These huge collections of panels not only look ugly, but their transformers are noisy. It’s not a loud noise, but it can be annoying because it’s a “Pure Tone.” According to Michael Bahtiarian, a sound engineer at Acentech: “In my opinion, when a person is bothered by sound, it is more likely the presence of a Pure Tone that is bothering them rather than just the sound level. At the wrong frequencies, a Pure Tone can be a highly annoying sound” It’s about as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Solar panels would replace the snow-covered pines

Lest you think this is just a local problem we’re dealing with, check out a November 2nd New York Times account: “Approximately 0.5 percent of U.S. land would need to be covered with solar panels to achieve the decarbonization goals proposed by the Biden administration in April, according to a study by the Energy Department." That’s 190,000 square miles, folks, and they’re not going to be built in cities. Expect to see them just about everywhere you look when you go for that nice, peaceful ride in the country.

Solar panels would replace the pines in the mist

Walden Renewables started quietly buying up leases in Lovell last February, but didn’t submit their application until October after all the summer people went home. Sneaky, huh? From what I can gather, the project will be visible from Kezar Lake where most of them own property. They have deeper pockets than us locals and have always helped enormously during previous fights against a nuclear-waste dump, a series of GWEN towers the Pentagon proposed to help generals communicate after a nuclear attack had killed the rest of us, and several other battles against huge projects by outsiders.

The area lit up would be all solar panels

Lovell’s Planning Board will consider the Walden Renewables application at its regular meeting Wednesday, December 1st. It will be at the Lovell Town Hall because they expect a lot of people.

 I hope they’re right.

Saturday, November 13, 2021


How long before you call 911 and hear elevator music interspersed with a robot voice saying: “Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and an operator will be with you shortly.”

That’s what we’re coming to. Some places are there already. Next time you have a medical emergency, you may not get the treatment you need. After waiting for your 911 call to be answered, you might wait a long time for an ambulance. A health care professional who worked in hospitals around the country for the past few years is telling me that our emergency rooms are so jammed, patients they used to be able to save are dying.

There aren’t enough nurses. There aren’t enough doctors There aren’t enough aides. There aren’t enough EMTs. It was a critical situation almost everywhere prior to onset of Covid. Writing three weeks ago in US News & World Report, ER physician Sharon Anoush Chekijian said: “Even before the pandemic, it felt like the emergency department was shouldering the lion's share of primary care: We'd provide treatment for hypertension, refill prescriptions when calls to the doctor's office went unanswered and manage chronically elevated blood sugar. Behavioral health patients with nowhere else to go would arrive one after the other by ambulance… Now COVID-19 has laid bare medicine's house of cards.”

Our ERs are teetering on the edge. The recent vaccination mandate from Maine Governor Janet Mills caused a surge of staff resignations, as have similar mandates across the country. According to the October 1st Lewiston Sun-Journal: “‘It has a huge impact on the existing labor shortage,’ said Dr. John Alexander. Central Maine Healthcare is the parent organization of Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital, as well as Maine Urgent Care and a primary care network. ‘In addition, to be honest, a lot of the people, a lot of frontline caregivers who have worked through this pandemic are tired,’ he said.”

I asked the health care professional who first alerted me to the problem why hospitals don’t just hire more staff. She said they’re just not out there and nursing schools aren’t graduating them fast enough either. Neither is there enough staff qualified to teach nursing students. Salaries at all levels are way too low. Hospital administrators. However, are paid well. Ten years ago the CMMC CEO was paid over $857,000 for fiscal 2011. What is it today? I wasn’t able to find data. My guess would be over a million per annum.

The Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) passed in 1986 mandating that emergency rooms treat everyone who shows up. They must be screened, stabilized, then passed on to an appropriate hospital or they stay in the ER.

ER staff see patients suffering and dying every shift for lack of care. They see loved ones grieving too. CEOs do not see these things. They see spreadsheets of profit and loss. Kate Wells of Michigan Radio writes: “Inside the emergency department at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, staff members are struggling to care for patients showing up much sicker than they’ve ever seen.Tiffani Dusang, the ER’s nursing director, practically vibrates with pent-up anxiety, looking at patients lying on a long line of stretchers pushed up against the beige walls of the hospital hallways. “It’s hard to watch,” she said in a warm Texas twang. But there’s nothing she can do. The ER’s 72 rooms are already filled. “I always feel very, very bad when I walk down the hallway and see that people are in pain, or needing to sleep, or needing quiet. But they have to be in the hallway with, as you can see, 10 or 15 people walking by every minute,” Dusang said. …“I cannot tell you how many of them [the nurses] tell me they went home crying” after their shifts.” 

Dr. Chekijian in US News says: “The bottom line is this: The house of medicine in the U.S. is a house of cards that has already started its crashing descent into collapse.” 

I just turned seventy last spring and this is a disconcerting scenario for my demographic, the cohort most likely to need health care. Prone to chronic blood clots, I’ve spent many hours in emergency rooms over the past thirty years, the last few times on a stretcher in a hallway because the ER was overcrowded. I watched nurses scurrying about trying to tend to us all and hated to add to their stress by asking any more of them.

The last time I did that was three years ago. What will it be like the next time? I hate to think.