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Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Nov 04, 2020

Internet service questionnaire

The Washington Broadband Committee (WBBC) is conducting a brief survey to collect information about how Washingtonites are using the Internet – what kind of service they have, how user friendly it is, how fast it is, and so forth. The WBBC is also interested in what service local users wish they had.

Fill out their survey to help the committee figure out what can work best to provide the kind of internet we need for personal and business needs. The survey is available on the town website at washington.maine.gov in the left hand column or at s.surveyplanet.com/_TGjZxncc. Return just one survey per household.

If you would like to find out what kind of speed you are getting from your provider, go to speedtest.net and follow the directions. When you know your speed, include it on the survey which helps the committee’s inquiries.

If you would like to reach out to the committee, email connectwa.me@gmail.com  or call 619-1585.

Feel free to share thoughts about your current Internet Service Provider (ISP).

P.S. on TriCounty

David Stanley, manager of TriCounty Transfer Station, sent me a correction and an interesting bit of history that’s news to me and interesting.

I remarked that recyclables were sent on to reprocessing facilities and that our trash – the green bag contents – went to EcoMaine’s waste to energy incinerator and none to landfills. It turns out that one part of the material processed at TriCounty does, in fact, go to a landfill.

The demolition debris from the five towns goes to a landfill in Topsham. This demolition disposal accounts for approximately 17% of the average annual tonnage (not volumetric measurement). Stanley noted the "light stuff" would, by weight, create a far larger pile than demo. He added that there was an idea some years ago to construct a demolition debris processing facility on the Tri County property.

I don’t know what happened, but that project did not advance. I’m completely unqualified to offer advice on the subject, but it seems like an idea to revisit. I need to find out more.

Election Day reflection

On Election Day, which already seems ages ago, I was lucky to work as a warden at the polls for a few hours. The short version is that it was a really good time.

The team that is assembled for voting has “regulars” who’ve worked on elections many times, and some newcomers who are recruited for the job at hand. It’s always a friendly, bantering group and many voters are friends, so there’s always conversation.

Voters came in steadily, and everyone was cooperative and good-natured about the masks and distancing and all that. The set-up was “backward” this election because of the need to minimize close-contact, so lots of people made comments about being lost.

The vote counting machine slot was hard to find and there were chuckles about that. The most comments came when champion election clerk Linda Luce handed each person their ballot and a pen saying “... the ballots are both-sided and you can keep the pen.”

Because of COVID-19, the Secretary of State’s office provided a pen for each voter so no one would be passing around a “dirty” pen.

So, besides “Oh, thanks,” there were many silly remarks about bribery and whether our taxes would go up to pay for them and (my personal favorite) whether it was disappearing ink that would fade as soon as it went in the machine. As I said it was a good time and a heartwarming example of Democracy: Democracy, literally, rule by the people.

Messy as it is, it’s a beautiful thing.

Thank you, Alex Trebek

“There’s a certain comfort that comes from knowing a fact. The sun is up in the sky. There’s nothing you can say that’s going to change that. You can’t say, ‘The sun’s not up there, there’s no sky.’

There is reality, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting reality. It’s when you try to distort reality, to maneuver it into accommodating your particular point of view, your particular bigotry, your particular whatever — that’s when you run into problems.”

--- from an interview in July in the New York Times.

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