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Letters

February 28, 2013

In our readers' opinions

(Continued)

William De Sena

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

 Origins of Redskins

By chance I ran across a reference to the origins of the terms “red men” and “redskins” in an historical account of Newfoundland. In 1610 a group of British “planters” known as the Merchant Venturers encountered native Beothunks covered in red ochre. They reported this in doccuments to their backers in England. The terms became fairly widely used.

Ironically, the name of their settlement was called Cupids but relations turned sour very quickly.

The use of red pigment is common in portraits that I have seen of Native Americains. Apparently the term “redskin” had nothing to do with racial differences in the beginning. Its negative connotations didn’t come about until much later.

By the way, I kind of like the name “Pathfinders.”

Pete Farmer, CCS ‘74

Lancaster, Mass.

 

Lessor’s Regret?

Many landowners in our region leased their properties for gas drilling five to 10 years ago when there was scant, hard evidence of the risks and dangers of unconventional, horizontal, high-volume, hydraulic fracturing. Every month now there is a new study issued on the negative impacts of shale-gas development on public health, water safety and long-term climate health. People who participated in the recent DEC public-comment process know just how flawed and flagrantly unprotective the proposed regulations are.

Even if a leased landowner is unconcerned about the risks, the prospect of lucrative royalties has evaporated with natural gas prices at an all-time low. The argument for energy independence is also moot if our finite supply of shale gas is harvested, liquefied and exported overseas. The more time that passes, the more reasons there are for anyone to come to the conclusion that high-volume, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing is simply a bad idea. More and more landowners are having lessor’s regret.

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