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.

Sunday, September 26, 2021


Newspaper publisher Mark Guerringue sits in the left chair.

Covid dominates our discussion. Mark believes everyone should be vaccinated. I don't agree that government should force it. We have both been vaccinated for Covid. Mark points to George Washington mandating that all his soldiers be given smallpox vaccine. I point out that he was a general then and not the president. I question whether a president has constitutional authority to force citizens to get the jab.

Mark says this covid vaccine is different from traditional ones like smallpox in that it doesn't transfer weak virus but there's a change in its molecular structure, so it's new. He insists that most nearly all new infections occur in the unvaccinated. I point out that Israel's population is more than 85% vaccinated but also has the most new infections. I point to studies indicating that natural antibodies in someone who got Covid and didn't get sick are several times stronger than those from a vaccine. He thinks it's just the opposite.

Friday, August 13, 2021


Newspaper publisher Mark Guerringue sits in the left chair for this show. First question from the producer asks our opinion of the CDC renewing a ban on evictions by landlords of tenants who don't pay rent. Mark defers to me and I claim it's unconstitutional for the federal gfuovernment to exercise this power, and Biden admits it. Nonetheless, he did it. Governors may have such power depending on what state constitutions might have granted.

I bring back a question Mark asked on a previous show about why Republicans were going after Anthony Fauci. I said it was because he lied under oath at a Senate hearing when he denied using US tax dollars to fund "gain of function" research at the Wuhan Lab. Mark said it was only a small amount and no big deal. He didn't address lying under oath. From there was discuss where the virus might have originated. Mark insisted there was no evidence it was anywhere but from animals. I said evidence was emerging that it possibly started in a laboratory in Wuhan. After first insisting strenuously there was no evidence, Mark acknowledged it was possible. Mark asked me about Governor Cuomo, who at that point had not yet resigned. I cited enormous discrepancies in mainstream media coverage of similar accusations against conservatives Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump. Media was extremely aggressive against Trump and Kavanaugh but played down accusations against liberal Democrat Andrew Cuomo until they simply couldn't anymore. I pivoted to teachers's union support of teaching Critical Race Theory in our public schools. Teachers' unions being the biggest contributors to the Democrat Party after the Trial Lawyers Association. I quoted from a National Association statement at their convention the month before in which they criticize capitalism, claims "White Supremacy" as being inherent in white people, that they're anti-black, and against indigenous peoples as well -- and more. I reiterated Mark's claims that my columns were "anti-black," but he again insisted that didn't mean I was anti-black. I said I stand by what I wrote and would write them again, that they reflect what I believe, that they were not "anti-black" but anti-Black Lives Matter, and other such radical leftist groups.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Left & Right June 6, 2021


Mark Guerringue sits the left chair for this program. We discuss the national debt and how much Trump added to it as well as how much Biden's proposals will add if they're passed. That leads to discussion of what is infrastructure and how much should the federal government get involved. Should it be done with private capital instead. I raise historical precedents like the Erie Canal which New York State paid for entirely. We discussed comparisons between last summer's riots in cities across the country and the events of January 6th in Washington DC. I see parallels, but Mark says they're "apples and oranges." We discussed Mark calling my columns "anti-black" but he denies calling me "racist."

Monday, May 17, 2021


As I ran errands in Fryeburg today, businesses still had their mask mandate signs up. I carried a mask but didn’t put it on. I was waiting for someone to tell me to but that didn’t happen. Fryeburg business owners all know me as a conservative so perhaps that was it. When I asked a few why they still had the mask signs up, proprietors told me our beloved mother, I mean governor, Janet Mills said we can stop wearing masks on May 24th. 

“I assume she informed all the Covid virus particles that May 23rd is the absolute last day they’re allowed to infect us. Am I right?” I asked one woman. She and a clerk who overheard burst out laughing. Everyone I saw in that store had masks on.

My daughter and grandson arrived in Maine last week after driving across the country from Portland, Oregon. They reported that no one was wearing masks in the midwest except for the Chicago area. It’s only on the coasts that people wear them. Should we expect people in middle America to start dying now?

A woman from the CDC told us we can use our own judgement now about whether to mask up, socially distance, wash hands every ten minutes, and all that. What’s changed? How come government now trusts ordinary citizens to make up their own minds? They have no clue how many of us have been doing that right along.

People on the coasts have obviously decided for themselves before the guidance from the CDC. Coastal blue people, when asked why they continue wearing masks respond that they don’t want to be mistaken for conservatives. I’m not kidding. They actually say that when interviewed by reporters. Others say they keep wearing a mask because they want to show how much they care for others. These people are so virtuous! I feel like a sinner in their presence.

Covering up half my face for the past year has improved my looks, I’ll admit, and the elastics that pull my ears forward has improved my hearing. Although that aural gain is offset when other people’s words are muffled from being spoken through cloth and from behind plexiglass.

It was so nice to watch Senator Rand Paul expose the lying Anthony Fauci in a senate hearing room. The previously-sainted Fauci denied funding “gain of function” research during his lifelong career with our government — and said Senator Rand Paul’s accusations to the contrary were completely incorrect. As it came out over the next few days however, that Fauci approved our tax money be given to an NGA that, in turn, gave it to the Chinese in Wuhan, China for that research. So he didn’t fund the “gain of function” research. They did.

I have to look up “gain of function” research to learn that meant scientists were researching how to enable viruses to infect humans. Why in God’s name would they ever want to do that, I wondered. Then I learned that President Obama had banned such research years ago. Well, how about that? Something Obama did that I can actually applaud. Fauci and another scientist, however, found a loophole that enabled them to continue funding it, although indirectly. 

Have you noticed that Fauci’s halo has been removed? He’s not on television every day anymore either. Do you miss him? I sure don’t.

Another thing: it’s no longer racist to call this “The Wuhan Virus” or “The China Virus.” The former head of the CDC told us he believes the virus escaped from lab in Wuhan that got money through the formerly-sainted Doctor Fauci to do that “gain of function” research. Apparently it didn’t come from some Chinese person eating a bat purchased from a wet market. Will anyone who called me racist now apologize? Probably not.

I’ve read where a few brave scientists are suggesting that all the economic shutdowns, the social distancing, the mask-wearing — none of it had any effect. The virus was going to do what it did regardless of all that. We could have avoided all that misery. All the businesses that closed didn’t have to. All the schools that closed didn’t have to. Imagine. Are they right? I suspect they are. If so, will our political leaders ever admit it? You know the answer.

Many Catholic schools remained open throughout, and not a single infection can be traced to a student. Were Catholics immune? Were they holier than Dr. Fauci? Or was it all unnecessary? It sure was necessary according to the teachers’ unions and their Democrat allies — and they’re determined to continue with it all. Have the teachers’ unions ever gotten anything right? Not that I can remember. I should have quit the National Education Association much sooner than I did. I actually paid them dues for over ten years. What a fool I was.

The main road through Fryeburg has been choked by construction for almost two years now. I know the back roads so I can avoid it during my errands, but I don’t see road construction projects taking nearly so long over the New Hampshire border a few miles away. Why is that? Let’s see: Democrats have been running Maine for the entire forty-five years I’ve lived here. Republicans have run New Hampshire for almost all of that time.

Could that have something to do with it?