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Alumni get into the swing of things while playing potato croquet at the Black Fly Festival,
held at the college May 1 5, 1 999. (See story page 1 0)

Anatomy of a Public Policy

by Catherine B. Johnson '74

For years, I listened to the news: the state buys the Allagash Wilderness Waterway,
or passes the billboard removal law or the forest practices act. Never did I have the
foggiest notion of all that led to these state actions.

Then, after 20 years of work as a small town trial lawyer and for the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Sendee, I joined
the National Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) in 1990 as their North Woods
Project Director. There I learned the many and varied roles needed to make good
public policy happen. As an example, come with me on an unfinished journey to
establish an ecological reserve system for the state of Maine.

In the late 1980s, NRCM convinced the Maine legislature to allocate funding
for an ecologist in the State Planning Office to design a proposal for an ecological
reserve system for the state. This system would protect representative examples of
all of the state's approximately 100 different natural community types. This is con-
sidered by many the most efficient and cost effective way to prevent the loss of bio-
diversity, by protecting both those species we know about and those we have not yet

The reserve proposal was completed in 1990, but during diat year's severe bud-
get cuts, the issue stalled. The report languished on the desk of a state official.

The first step to get the issue moving again was to have the report printed and

continued on page 4

In this Issue:




■ Anatomy of a
Public Policy p. 1

■ Human Ecology in the
Legislature p. 3

■ Nuts and Bolts at a

City Attorney's Office p. 5

■ Policy of the People p. 7

■ Legal Services for
Migrant Workers p. 8

■ Black Fly Festival and
Alumni Meeting p. 10

■ Personal Notes p. 12

A Note from the Editor

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Get into the game and stay in it.
Throwing mud from the outside won't help. Building up from
the inside will." College of the Atlantic alumni who are working
in law and public policy are building up from the inside. Their
paths range from roles as corporate, environmental, and gov-
ernment attorneys to those of legislator, police officers (at last
count, there were four COA alumni working in law enforce-
ment), and policy developers. They are providing representa-
tion for those who have no one else to turn to, making laws
which protect the environment, and successfully prosecuting
spousal abusers and drunk drivers to get them the counseling
they need.

I am thankful to COA President Steve Katona for suggest-
ing law and pubic policy to me as a possible Peregrine focus dur-
ing a visit on campus last July, months before I got involved
with The Peregrine. That conversation started me thinking about
a way to contribute time to the college even though I live
approximately one thousand miles away. When I was asked by
COA Alumni Association President Vicki Savage to be the edi-
tor of our alumni newsletter in January 1999, I eagerly agreed.

My desire is that each issue of The Peregrine will provide a
forum for COA alumni to share with fellow alumni and the
greater college community what we are doing with our lives.
My wish is to not just show off the stars, but to give voice to
those of us who may not be as well known; all of whom are, I
believe, making our world a better place in our own unique
human ecological ways.

Elena Tuhy '90

Of the


is published by the College of the
Atlantic Alumni Association.

Summer 1999

Editor: Elena V. Tuhy '90

Design: Z Studio

Printing: Downeast Graphics & Printing

■ COA Alumni Association
Governing Board

Victoria Savage '81,

COAAA President, Alumni Trustee

207 667-9845
[email protected]

Kelly S. Dickson, M.Phil. '97

207 288-3483
[email protected]

Edward E. Monat III '88

207 288-3483
[email protected] or

J. Clark Stivers '84

207 288-9408

Elena Tuhy '90

740 344-4656
[email protected]

Becky Buyers-Basso '8 1

Ex officio, COA Alumni Relations Manager
207 288-5015
[email protected]

Upcoming Alumni
Association Events

on Mount Desert Island


Harvest work
party and picnic


Bonfire and skating party

Cabin fever party

Dates and details
to be announced

Human Ecology in the Maine Legislature

by Chellie Pingree "19

I am a lawmaker. Until I decided to run for office seven
years ago, there was never a time in my life when I would
have anticipated a career in politics. At fifteen I was busy
joining the anti-Vietnam protest marches on the streets of
the University of Minnesota -just outside of my high
school. When I reached twenty-five I was anticipating the
birth of my third child while selling vegetables, milk and
eggs from my island farm.

By thirty-five, I was worrying about meeting the pay-
roll, designing the next catalog and traveling the country
marketing the yarns, patterns and sweaters from our grow-
ing island business.

Now, as I anticipate my 45th birthday in the first year
of the new century, I will do so as the Majority Leader of
the Maine Senate. If there is one lesson I have learned, it is
that life is unpredictable, and that everything you learn will

serve you well
in life's next
When I was a
student at Col-
lege of the
Atlantic, I
never knew
how an educa-
tion in "Human
Ecology" would
find a practical
application in
my life. In fact,
I often hoped
no one would
ask me what
the words on
my diploma
meant. I
better now and
know that the
study of
Human Ecolo-
gy—taking a
broad look at
the issues and
problems facing the world around us— was great prepara-
tion for the work I now do.

Each day in this job is different. For nearly six months
of most years we legislators convene in the state house in
Augusta, Maine. We attend committee meetings, listen to
the arguments of the lobbyists and advocates who line the
halls, and, on the regal Senate floor, debate everything
from putting a chickadee on the license plate instead of a
lobster to whether Maine should have a single payer health
care plan to banning clear cutting in the northern Maine
forests. On any day I could be in a community I represent
either attending a town meeting or speaking to a fourth
grade class, or I could be answering a telephone call from a
senior citizen who is concerned about the treatment his
spouse is receiving at the hands of a HMO, or from a lob-

Chellie Pingree 79 is the Majority Leader for
the Maine Senate.

one we face.

-Chellie Pingree

ster fisherman who is worrying about the supply of herring
for bait.

It is public service; we are low paid, always in the public
eye, and frankly, not the in most respected profession. In
fact, in this era of term limits we are hardly allowed to view
our work as a profession. We are merely expected only to
pass through and move on,
presumably before we are
fully corrupt.

in spite of the difficui- 1 he challenge

ties— including the long

hours and the challenges of f 0T a lawmaker Is
a job that requires endless J

decision-making-I love this f 1J71/ j pr cf nri f1 h mn
work. I feel privileged to iU unutlMUilU tlUW

have been elected four 7 . .

times to represent the 17 every deClSlOU We

towns (which includes 5

islands) of Knox County. I make Will have an
started as a long shot candi-

date-a woman Democrat impact OR the next

from one of the smallest 1

towns (on an island no less)
in a very Republican dis-
trict, not even sure myself
that I was qualified to be a
senator. In seven years I

have moved into a position of leadership and, even better,
into the confidence that comes from knowing that I work
hard and do my job well.

What I really enjoy, even when it isn't easy, is the
opportunity to look at the broad view of the issues that face
Maine. The challenge for a lawmaker is to understand how
every decision we make will have an impact on the next
one we face. If prescription drugs are too expensive and
senior citizens don't take their medicine, we will pay even
more in nursing home costs when people get too sick to
take care of themselves. Even worse, it is hard to feel good
about being a part of a culture that doesn't care for its
elders. If we don't support small schools in rural communi-
ties, then we may find more and more small Maine towns
emptying out, with the residents migrating to the overde-
veloping south, thereby becoming a state we no longer rec-
ognize. If we skimp on environmental regulations now out
of concern that they are too expensive for businesses, we
may find later that the cost of cleaning up the messes tax
all of us much more than the few dollars that we thought
we couldn't afford today, leaving us with unproductive
rivers and air we can't breathe. If we do not set aside land
now, someday our people may not even want to live here
because the hunting, fishing, and camping that used to be
such an important part of the Maine experience will be

These are the simple examples, but they all have given
me a great lesson in how complex the relationships are.
And through those lessons, I truly do understand what
attracted me to the study of Human Ecology twenty-six
years ago. ♦

j\ll3.tOiny continued from page 1

distributed. If the report is not public, it might as well not exist.
.Along with other colleagues in the environmental community. I
repeatedlv called and met with the state official who had the

Catherine B. Johnson 74 speaks at a Forestry Bill hearing as part of
her duties as the North Woods Project Director for the Natural
Resources Council of Maine.

report on his desk and his supervisor, stopping just short of
camping out in his offices. Eventually, finishing the report got
to the top of his priority list and the report was finally pub-
lished in 1993.

If onlv implementation were so easy!

Significant opposition from the paper industry', concerned
about the impacts of an ecological reserve svstem on their com-
mercial foresdands, was virtually guaranteed. So, in 1994,
another environmental colleague, a paper industry representa-
tive, and I convened a group of over 100 people, including sci-
entists, public land managers, sportsmen, ordinary citizens, and
representatives of environmental groups and die paper indus-
try, to consider and hopefully come to consensus about the
establishment of an ecological reserve svstem for Maine.

For four years, this collaborative group debated, some-
times hody, the scientific merits and requirements of a reserve
system. As a lawyer and activist, not a scientist, my role was to
prod the process and keep it moving in the right general direc-
tion. That wasn't easv. In one meeting the paper industry rep-
resentatives threatened to walk out because thev believed the
environmentalists were just using the process as a way to take
millions of acres out of timber production. Six months later,,
the environmentalists considered walking out because many
thought that the forest products industry was simply using die
process to delay any action at all.

I spent hours on the phone with the environmentalists,
convincing them to stay. Davlong meetings with impartial facili-
tators were required just to design fair procedures for our
twice yearly conferences. There were frequent conversations
with the scientists -botanists, ecologists, conservation biolo-
gists, silviculu lists, p: >botanists- trying to convince diem
to speak their minds. Coming from the academic world of peer
renewed papers, thev were uncomfortable with die notion that
policy decisions would be made using incomplete data - but it
was better for them to speak their minds than remain silent.
After four years, this collaborative group issued a report detail-

ing and mapping potential reserves on existing public lands. It
was supported by most, if not all, of the members. Then, this
year, one disgruntled participant tried to derail the entire pro-
cess by requiring legislative approval of each individual reserve.
So I found mvself testifying in front of a legislative committee,
lobbying legislators as to why such a bill was a bad idea.

The bill was tabled for a year— so now we have time to turn
our attention back to the actual implementation of the system.

With the scientific design of die reserves completed, it is
time to look at the economic impact of establishing the svstem
and at how the svstem would be integrated into existing state
agencies. The state agencies that manage public lands are cur-
rentlv doing an economic analysis of the financial impact of
taking approximately 180,000 acres of state land out of timber
production: an ad hoc subset of the now disbanded collabora-
tive is watchdogging die state agency and discussing which
agency and what parameters should guide the establishment of
the svstem within state government.

Once that work is completed, the legislature will have to be
convinced that the svstem is a good idea. As part of diat effort,
NRCM will begin a public education campaign. A brochure on
ecological reserves and biodiversity will be distributed at fairs,
during speaking engagements and as an insert into newspapers.
We will encourage newspapers to write feature articles on eco-
logical reserves and will lobbv editorial writers to write support-
ive editorials.

The final, and perhaps most difficult, job will be to intro-
duce a bill in the Legislature proposing the establishment of a
reserve svstem, build support for it and shepherd it through to

Throughout this process, I "I repeatedly

have filled many roles: aggres- ,, , ,

sive watchdog, conciliatory CCllteCl C171CI Viet

coalition builder, impartial -,i ,i , ,

meeting convenor, legal wvuio liv^ jm*^

draftsperson, hard-nosed lobbv- official who had

ist. rnendlv cajoler, lay scientist, JJ

writer, editor, public spokesper- fog yepOTt 071 his

son and the endlessly squeakv r

wheel. Some of my work has desk. . .Stopping just

been highly risible and public;

some has been completely invis- Sll )'t OJ CO, lllp I Ug

ible and behind the scenes. ■ j ■ rr- »

Sometimes I speak up forceful- Olll In fl'lS OJJlCe.

ly; sometimes, such as in legisla-
tive work sessions where the -Cathv Johxsox
public is rarelv permitted to
speak, I sit silendv. affecting die process simply by my presence.

Public policy making can be frustrating, and often seems to
move at a glacial pace. On die other hand, there is a lot of vari-
ety to the work, and there is nothing more rewarding than see-
ing an issue you have worked on. agonized and lost sleep over
become state policy, even if what becomes state policy is less
than perfect. Every small step forward adds up. ♦

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is a non-profit member-sup-
ported environmental organization dedicated to protecting, conserving
and restoring Maine's environment, now and for future generations.
It is an advocacy organization that works for the protection of Maine's
North Woods, clean water, clean air and for the elimination of toxics
in the environment. Catherine Johnson, the North Woods Project
Director, can be reached at (207) 622-3101 ext. 209 and
cjoh nson @ n rem. org

Nuts and Bolts in Portland, Oregon
City Attorney's Office byBen waiters si

I first became interested in going to law school while taking a
law and policy class from Dan Kane. The class mixed philosophi-
cal questions of law (Should trees have standing to assert legal
rights?) with practical applications (a field trip to Ellsworth,
Maine to research county property records on tide to land
around a millpond). My response to the class, driven mostly by
Dan's infectious, unbounded interest in the world and its means
of functioning, was to decide to go to law school. After graduat-
ing from COA in 1981, 1 took a year off and went back to New
Jersey to work at a stained glass studio. I applied to law schools
in New Hampshire and Oregon. In the end, I decided to head
out to the west coast to go to school, knowing that if I stayed in
New England for graduate school I'd remain there the rest of my
life. So I packed my meager belongings and boarded a plane for
Pordand, Oregon.

During law school, I bounced around in clerk positions: a
summer in Alaska on the Kenai peninsula doing appellate
research for a lawyer while he worked die more lucrative salmon
runs; a stint at the U.S. Attorney's Office; a summer doing insur-
ance defense, working on die aftermath of a forest fire in South-
ern Oregon; and wrapping up at the Bonneville Power Adminis-
tration in the general counsel division. After graduating from
law school in 1985, 1 had no job lined up and no possibilities on
the horizon. I picked up work on ad hoc projects for small law
firms and solo practitioners as an independent contractor. After
several months of living hand to mouth, a friend of mine left a
part-time clerk job at die Portland City Attorney's Office and rec-
ommended that I apply. I gradually worked my way up from an
entry position as a part-time law clerk to full-time employment.
After approximately one year, I was offered a deputy city attor-
ney position when one attorney left to join the mayor's staff.

I have now worked as a Deputy City Attorney for approxi-
mately thirteen years. In Pordand, the City Attorney serves as in-
house counsel for die City Council and the municipal bureaus

and agencies. The City Attorney does not handle any criminal
prosecutions, as the municipal court was merged into the county
district court in die 1970's, and the Multnomah County District
Attorney was given that responsibility.

Because I came into die office as a junior lawyer with no real
specialties, I took on whatever projects were given to me, or
what other attorneys wanted to hand off. In essence, live served
as something of a utility infielder.

I've handled animal control, enforcing the city's regula-
tions on keeping bees and chickens. This responsibility put me
into the middle of a debate about beekeeping in an urban set-
ting, and how to handle crop pollination in the middle of a
infestation causing a collapse of the domesticated bee popula-
tion. It also put me squarely in the middle of a dispute between
neighbors, when an elderly man had become perhaps a bit too
feeble to handle the responsibility of properly maintaining his
collection of pheasants, pigeons and other birds in a sanitary
manner, free of rat infestation. I handled a collections case for
copying costs for obtaining police accident records. The defen-
dant was a constitutionalist who asserted that it was illegal for
local governments to charge citizens for copying costs as these
charges were not specifically authorized by the federal constitu-
tion. I have represented the City's Bureau of Licenses. The
Portland City Charter authorizes the Council to issue licenses
for regulation or revenue raising, or both. My experiences in
business regulation have included whether the city could
impose requirements for disabled access in excess of federal
requirements, as well as the fitness of certain individuals to
serve as cab drivers. Finallv, and most recendy, I have repre-
sented the Citv's Bureau of Buildings, which is responsible for
regulating both construction and maintenance.

In particular, I have developed a sub-specialty on franchising

continued on page 6

Letter from Melita

The following letter was sent to COA Zoology professor John Anderson in April by Melita Peharda, a
native of Croatia who graduated from. COA in 1997. John had asked her to comment on what was
happening in her region of the world while NATO forces were bombing the area in part to prevent the
ethnic cleansing ofKosovar Albanians by Yugoslav President Milosevic. This is Melita 's response.

April 1, 1999

Dear John,

Last night I went to the movies to
see the Italian Oscar-winning film "La
vita e bella" (Life is Beautiful). Unfortu-
nately, prior to going to the movie, I did
not know what it was all about. After a
funny and rather amusing start, the
movie was dominated by scenes from a
concentration camp (WWII). If I had a
chance to leave the theater and stop
watching it, I would do so. Last night
many children were without their home,
without their parents, without safety.
Even possibly, in concentration camps

organized by Serbs (that possibility was
mentioned last night on the news).

Here, nobody knows how it will
end. There are so many possibilities.
Milosevic has very litde to lose, for him
it does not matter how much destruc-
tion NATO makes. What is important is
that they started the bombing, and now,
Milosevic can play a victim. Serbs are
very stubborn people; you have to know
them to understand it. In many ways
they behave as a 'tribe;' they are enough
to themselves. Therefore they will most
probably play it to the end, so that they
get out of this drama as 'moral winners.'

continued on page 6

Peharda '97

LCttCr continued from page 5

However, it is very hard to say much, because it even might
not be a Serb game. It is very obvious that Russia is 'black-
mailing' the U.S. and international community, with the sit-
uation in Kosovo so that they can get financial help. Big
people, big game.

Kosovo will have many impacts on Croatia. On the first
night the bombing started, I realized how close we are to
Montenegro— Dubrovnik is about 20 miles away from the
border. Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, is also very close. We
do not hear the bombs or planes because they do not fly
over Dubrovnik, but they hear them in other parts of Croat-
ia. Dubrovnik is very old town, without any industry and
majority of population lives from tourism or navigation
(males spend most of the year on transoceanic ships). For
the past eight years tourism has been very poor. Right now
all reservations have been cancelled. The Croatian govern-
ment strongly counted on a better tourism season when they
voted this year's budget. The economic situation is very bad.

But at least we are safe.

I have been thinking a lot about COA. When the situa-
tion gets very bad I cannot help myself to think that maybe
I should have stayed in the U.S.. It is not hard to say what is
important in life: it is sure health and safety. I really wish
you could come to Croatia one day. It is very pretty and
although it is hard financially here, I still think that I have
made the right decision. There is an initiative to make
Dubrovnik an international college town. Maybe; it will
have to wait for better times. But we can still dream. Right
now I am trying to push the idea of summer courses at Poly-
technics of Dubrovnik, and hope that we might teach Intro-
duction to Marine Ecology to undergraduate students of
different European universities in summer of 2000. There is
no end to the possibilities.

— Melita

Melita came to COA in 1993 after graduating from the interna-
tional high school in Zagreb, Croatia. She can be contacted via e-
mail at melita((i

NutS and BoltS continued from page 5

utilities and other users of die public right-of-way. When I first
started in the City Attorney's Office, a small cable operator serv-
ing slighdy more than 500 subscribers in an isolated area of
northwest Portland decided to call it quits and filed for
bankruptcy. The company announced its discontinuation of ser-
vice by pulling all of its television signals off its system, and
replacing them with a text message giving the name of the City's
regulator and his telephone number to contact with any com-
plaints. One of my first research projects was whether die city
could ask the bankruptcy court to require the company to con-
tinue to provide service until a successor was identified.

This inauspicious beginning has led into a career of working
on complex negotiations, both in franchise agreements and at
the Oregon legislature. I worked on negotiating the merger of
the cityis cable regulatory commission with die joint agency rep-
resenting the other cities in Multnomah County. Most recendy, I
served as the legal advisor for die local countywide cable regula-
tory commission that recommended that the City of Portland
and Multnomah County impose an Internet open access condi-
tion on TCI and AT&T in a cable franchise transfer proceeding.

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