Support for Pelosi
Maneuvering has begun in Washington among the Democrats to choose the next speaker of the House. I am not a big fan of Rep. Nancy Pelosi and neither is our Rep.-elect Jared Golden. He indicated during the campaign his intention to try to vote for an alternative candidate for speaker.
A couple of weeks ago I sent him an email where I suggested that Pelosi might actually be the best choice. Even though the Democrats will have a majority in the U.S. House, they’ll be navigating a political minefield sewn by the Republicans and President Donald Trump. Mistakes could seriously jeopardize Democrats’ chances at the polls in 2020.
So I’m urging Golden to elect an experienced, shrewd and battle-hardened politico like Pelosi to deal with the Republicans over the next two years. She knows how to stand up to Trump and even turn the tables on him. If Golden wants to vote against her for the position of speaker, wait until 2020.
David P. Frasz
From Brunswick to Rockland, nearly all the good-sized towns are strung along Route 1. Only one, Boothbay Harbor, sits near the end of a peninsula. It’s a challenge, and so the Boothbay region puts on a series of great festivals — Windjammer Days, Harbor Fest, Festival of Lights and more — to keep visitors coming down the peninsula all year.
The Festival of Lights runs through December in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. The Harbor Lights show, on Dec. 1, has been going on for 33 years and shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy the festival, but please don’t go to Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
Why? Because Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, without engaging the community, began a $30 million expansion to become a massive Disneyland-style destination. Because when the gardens suffered a setback at the local appeals board, they sued Boothbay in both federal and state courts rather than simply improving their plans. And because the gardens clear-cut 24.8 acres of coastal forest — all of it habitat for vernal pools — and built 849 parking spaces, much of it uphill from the Boothbay water supply. Parking lot runoff must now be monitored for years.
A boycott will remind the gardens that they are a “public-benefit” nonprofit in service to the community, not a corporation that rules the town.
Costs of family separation
Has anyone given any thought to how much taxpayer money is going into paying for President Donald Trump’s ill-conceived ideas of how to keep desperate people from bringing their children to relative safety in the U.S.?
One of the qualities needed in a leader is a degree of empathy, not just for people trying to escape unbearable living conditions but also for we non-millionaires who are forced to pay for the separation and reunification of these children with their parents.
Sheila C. Stratton
No to new fire station
Orrington residents, since the 1940s, have depended on volunteers for fire protection. With taxpayers support for vehicles and equipment, they have provided valuable and appreciated service.
With no public hearings or comments solicited, a committee has been exploring construction of a new fire station. Citizens now are confronted with a $3.5 million proposal for a new facility to house both the fire department and our modest police operation.
Orrington is very much a residential community, depending on homeowners to fund our tax base. Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., our only significant business taxpayer, is facing the loss of business from 115 municipalities to Fiberight in the spring. Who knows what its future holds?
With no time to explore other options, Orrington residents are being asked to approve, on Dec. 3 at a special town meeting, an expense of $3.5 million for an extravagant and inappropriate new facility.
A “no” vote on Dec. 3 will provide the time needed for new ideas and alternative proposals.