Clickback on ‘Staycation’

Posted July 29, 2008, at 12 a.m.

This week, ClickBack solicits the thoughts of editorial page readers on summer vacations, flag flying and state fairs. Registration is required, but the BDN does not share information with third parties.

Maine tourism promoters want you to vacation here. Is this a good strategy?

A promotion by the Maine Office of Tourism aims at encouraging residents to vacation in the state. With high gas prices, the “staycation” would keep vacation dollars at home, rather than have them spent in Boston, New Hampshire or New Brunswick. But is this a wise use of state tourism promotion money? Studies have shown advertising outside of Maine brings in visitors and new money. Should limited tourism promotion money be focused on Maine’ s most lucrative market, southern New England and New York and New Jersey?

Housing authority’ s American flag compromise: a slap in the face?

The Bangor Housing Authority made a Vietnam veteran residing in one of its apartment complexes remove an American flag he had displayed outside his building. Is this fair? How could a flag be offensive? Or would allowing the display open a can of worms, with other sorts of banners then covering apartment buildings? The housing authority has offered a compromise, and would install a community flagpole. Is this a genuine solution?

The Bangor State Fair is in town. Are such fairs good for a community?

The Bangor State Fair and other local fairs and festivals throughout Maine, draw thousands through their gates. Are they economic drivers, bringing new money to town? Or do the increase in traffic and police responses to car collisions and other problems result in a net loss for a town or city? Is analyzing their economic impact the wrong way to measure them? Do fairs and festivals function as a shot in the arm to community spirit?

Some reader responses posted at the ClickBack page at www.bangordailynews.com may be featured on Friday’ s OpEd page. Also, readers are encouraged to post their own questions at ClickBack.

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