Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
We the People OR Me the People?
Recently a new committee was organized in Union — the Union Committee for Protective Ordinances. This is not a town committee but one made up of a few citizens (10 as indicated on its initial notification of existence by means of an appeal). I feel it’s time to say it like it is and point out a few facts as I see them.
This all stems from an application to erect a cellphone tower in the town; all criteria for the tower were met and ultimately the application was approved by the planning board. This was a long and contentious process with lots of anger, belittling, and accusations directed at members of the planning board. Everyone has a right to their opinion or to appeal, but I would like to ask those on this committee why they didn’t participate in the planning phases of ordinance proposals, public hearings and adoption if there is such concern about cell towers? Vacancies existed and still do on the boards involved! But as usual when it doesn’t seem to affect someone or their property then, “it’s not in my backyard” so why get involved (as my mother used to say: if the shoe fits wear it)? Now with an approved celltower due to be placed in the backyard of some of the members on this committee, there is concern and they will challenge the decision of the planning board resulting in tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars being spent on attorneys and stenographers. When this ordinance was written a moratorium had been imposed to hold up an application, everyone was heard, and information was taken into account from every available source to ensure the town had an ordinance that would protect all residents’ concerns. In reviewing minutes of these meetings no where do I find any of the names of the members of the Union Committee for Protective Ordinances attending or offering assistance or input.
I’m not one for rapid change myself, but we all must face the reality that change is going to happen. I think Union has held its own pretty well and is still a nice quiet community and the best we can hope is that we, as a community, can manage it well — and that will only happen when We, the People, work together on issues that affect all of us. How many of you have attended a public hearing on a proposed ordinance, volunteered on a town board, actually even read a proposed ordinance? Our system will only be as good as the level of participation from our citizens. A knee-jerk reaction after the fact is of little value to any of us.
Like many communities in Maine, when Union was established in 1786 it was the ideal “Little House on the Prairie." If your picture of a desired way of life means “no change” or “status quo” I believe there is still a lot of undeveloped territory in Northern Maine. But, you better hurry…
My point to this letter: get involved, join a committee, and help plan our future instead of fighting it.
As the motorist travels around the state of Maine we notice there are many cars that do not have the front number plate. I have thought every motorist had to have a front plate. Isn't this a state law? I could be wrong — what's the answer Maine police officer?
Threat to democracy
A great many of us are very concerned about the ever increasing amounts of BIG MONEY in politics that has greatly diminished the value of the constitutional worth of our individual votes. We saw the role of the SuperPacs made possible by the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC in Election 2012.
Yet this increased influence of wealthy individuals and organizations in our government has not satisfied the 1 percent. They want more.
On Oct. 8, the supreme court will hear a case — McCutcheon v. FEC — seeking to increase the limits that individuals can contribute to candidates for federal office. According to the Maine Peoples Alliance, if the supreme court rules in favor of McCutcheon, a single wealthy donor will be able to contribute more than $3.5 million to political party candidates and committees. The current limit is $123,200 (twice the average annual income of an American family).
On Oct. 8, I intend to sit on Main Street in Thomaston to talk with my neighbors about this hard-to-believe growing menace to our democracy. I hope others will join me. I hope there will be others on other Main streets.
Voters, we must inform ourselves on this threat to democracy and take back our constitutional right!
Our first Walkathon for AIO, which was held Sept. 7 was a success. We would like to thank all our walkers for their participation, and to all who sponsored them. A special thanks goes out to our volunteers Rick & Sue Thurston for all their hard work in putting it all together. Thanks also to our other volunteers who kept the cross streets safe and handed out water for our thirsty walkers.
The pantry serves more than 325 families each month with food and emergency financial assistance. Hopefully this will be the first of many walkathons in the coming years to raise money for our needs.
For further information or to volunteer please call 596-1043 or visit us at 70 Thomaston St. in Rockland Mondays, Wednesdays or Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
AIO Food Pantry
Police presence needed
This letter is to all you ignorant people who travel Thomaston Street numerous times a day. FYI: the speed limit is 35 mph, not 55-plus. This road has been turned into a freakin' speedway. You people are putting my family and my animals in danger. I'm so sick of you people flying by by house going 50-plus mph. There are five hidden driveways and one road at the top of the hill and we can't see you speeding up or down the hill. Pulling out of our driveways is dangerous because of you people. Semi-trucks, buses, dump trucks, box trucks, all come barreling down by our house going just as fast as they can.
The one and only reason that people are even on this road is that there is never any police on this road and everyone thinks they can go as fast as they can. The police come by maybe once a month to do a drive by or sit at the turn around for a few minutes where of course there is no speeding because they can be seen. I have repeatedly complained, but of course nothing is done about this huge problem. I have also asked them to sit in my driveway or on Kermits Lane, but once again they refused. Nothing will be done about this speeding problem unless someone gets killed, but then they can just blame it on the homeowner who is just trying to back out of his driveway. The police need to be over here on Thomaston Street addressing this problem instead of over on Route 1 all the time making sure that people go only 40 mph.