“Timing is everything” or so the expression goes. I’m not sure where this bit of wisdom originated from, but it rings true today. Allow me to reflect once more on the Polar Dip and Dash from New Year’s Eve 2011 and how lucky I was with timing. On the day of the Dip and Dash, it was a balmy 30+ degrees. Now, two weeks later as I type this, it is -2 degrees outside. I feel very lucky with my timing! Even if the temperature had been hovering below 0, I was committed to going in no matter what. There is no turning back once the gun has sounded and you’re facing the ocean!
Enough with metaphors, but timing and commitment remain relevant and are resonating right now. NRCM’s first board meeting of 2012 took place on January 17, and one of our big agenda items was to finalize and approve our strategic plan. This document, produced by the staff and board after hours of productive meetings, began last summer. The final document will be our compass now through 2014. All staff departments and the board have set goals, strategies to achieve them, and benchmarks to measure our success. As supporters of NRCM, you should be proud, as these goals are ambitious but achievable if we all pitch in and take our personal commitment up a notch (or two).
Speaking of pitching in, I had the pleasure of collecting signatures for the Clean Energy ballot initiative. NRCM is part of a coalition that has made it a priority to get this initiative onto the November 2012 state ballot and then working hard to ensure its passage. The governor has already come out against it, asking Maine citizens not to sign the petition. However, Maine people think for themselves, as my experience collecting signatures proved, with 100% of those I asked eager to sign on. In fact, many were dismayed that the renewable portfolio mix for 2020 was only 20%.
Remember in my December blog, how I discussed testifying at the BEP hearing on “moderate value” wading and shorebird habitat? Compelling testimony given that day by NRCM’s Nick Bennett encouraged BEP to seek further comment by wildlife biologists, and the outcome was a win for the environment, Maine’s wildlife, and all who appreciate the importance of protecting this valuable habitat. Strong work, Nick.
The last bit of news is from Maine Superior Court. I attended the appeal of the court’s previous decision to remand back to LURC its decision on Plum Creek. Although the arguments can sound arcane to those of us not fluent in “legalese,” our attorney Russ Pierce again made a clear, logical case for sustaining the Superior Court’s initial decision. The court’s final answer is expected sometime this summer.
Finally, I want to alert you to an important date, Tuesday, Feb. 28th, which is NRCM Citizen Action Day. This is your chance to be briefed first-hand by NRCM’s experts, get a primer in citizen lobbying, and head to the State House for some persuasive conversation with your legislators. It is a privilege and honor to serve you and our great state. I hope to meet as many of you there as possible.
Tony Owens, MD
NRCM Board President