The time for debate over the proposed library and its parking is over.

The town has spent years discussing and planning the new library. We have been told the town plans to start construction at the end of April on this $3.5 million community project.

The volunteers who have given their time and the many who have donated money for this project do not need it undermined at the last minute by a fight over the plan for a small parking area across Limerock Street.

Of course the new library needs a parking area more than a small lawn across the street. It is unreasonable to build a beautiful new public asset and then provide no place for  people to park to access it. We do not want parents with small children or senior citizens having to walk up a steep hill from far-away parking places to get to the library.

The land referred to as a park was originally donated to the town to serve the library project, and this is in keeping with the original plan.

The town should be celebrating the new library and seeking to support those who have been working hard to make this a reality. Greater celebrations await us in the near future, with the breaking of ground and the opening of the new library yet to come.

Support the parking plan and get this done.

 

Student protesters inspire us

To the 20 or more students, mostly from the Watershed School, who organized a protest for action on the environment, we thank you for lending your voices to the debate, and urge you to keep the pressure on.

The students joined young people from all over the world March 15 for the climate strike, demanding action on climate change, which they expect will negatively impact their futures.

Young people have become outspoken. They have called out adult leaders on this issue and on that of school gun violence. This generation is a large one, and if it can be galvanized to speak out and eventually get out the vote, it could bring about positive change.

It is inspiring to see young people writing columns in our newspapers, making speeches at the State House and marching in the streets. We want to see young people engaged, informed, vocal and taking advantage of their rights as citizens. In the past, young people often saw politics as boring, but democracy requires robust debate and engagement from citizens.

It is unfortunate that stories about student protests often draw negative comments from adults in the community who feel their political status-quo agendas are threatened by these activities.

To the young people we say, "Keep at it! Don't give up! Don't lose interest!"

You can accomplish great things, and we are ready to act as partners, providing you a space to speak out, both online and in print.

 

A good bill from Bill

Rep. Bill Pluecker, I-Warren, is to be commended for presenting "An Act To Require Ingredient Lists at Certain Retail Food Locations."

While he has taken some heat for this bill, he did this to help constituents like 10-year-old Daniel Forcillo of Hope, who lives with life-threatening food allergies every day. Daniel often has to miss out on enjoying a meal or snack at a store, or enjoying himself at an event or party, because he is not sure the food there is safe for him. Even small particles of allergens can threaten his life or lead to sickness and missed school.

Forcillo went all the way to Augusta to testify about the need for this bill.

The bill would require commercial food producers with retail locations to provide, on request, a list of all of the ingredients in all of the foods offered. A tall order, but totally worth it to give a boy like Daniel a better life and perhaps save his life.