Both the timing and the plan to provide handicapped accessibility to the old Brewer City Hall are not good ideas. These are austere times at both the local and state level, and spending more than $600,000 ($300,000 from the state and $300,000 from a bond issue) to raze the old library for a parking lot and install an elevator on a building that is too small for the offices it houses doesn’t make fiscal sense.
Upon completion of the new elementary-middle school, the three remaining elementary school buildings and the middle school building will be available. The city hall should be moved to one of these handicapped-accessible buildings. Using Washington Street School or the middle school for this purpose would provide ade-quate parking, additional office space for future growth and meeting space for community functions.
Renovations to the existing City Hall will not satisfy current administrative requirements, and there is definitely no room for growth in the current facility. Some administrative offices are scattered all over the city — e.g., superintendent of schools, planning and zoning, city engineer, etc. There are only one or two unisex bath-rooms for the entire facility.
It seems that it would be more cost-effective to renovate one of the schools and sell the existing city hall to a nonprofit organization.
Issues such as this resulting in the expenditure of large sums of money should be decided by public referendum.
Fair is fair
Time Warner had a state-wide outage with its telephone lines for an hour and a half Monday morning, and the Bangor Daily News puts the story at the bottom of the page in the business section. If it had been FairPoint, the paper would have run it as a front page headline.
My stomach turns each time I read a letter to the editor ignorant of the bigotry and anti-Semitism that has been directed toward Israel and the Jews.
Israel deserves American support because it supports the United States. When the 9-11 terrorist attacks occurred, Palestinians in New Jersey and other places in the U.S. and the world were shown on television celebrating the attack on innocents.
Israel had its flag at half-staff and asked how it might assist us.
Israel, although imperfect as we are, is our only true democratic ally in the Middle East as shown by history.
Since Israel was declared independent in 1948, not one day has gone by during which Israel has not been attacked by bombs or suicide bombers. Another historic fact often overlooked about Israel is that 20 percent of its population are peaceful Arabs who wish to work and live there with equal citizen and opportunity status and do so.
Finally, Israel never has initiated a war, only defended itself against destructive wrongs committed against it. Let’s stop making Israel and world Jewry the scapegoat for mankind’s problems.
Soma for everybody
In Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel “Brave New World,” he imagined and wrote about an “ideal pleasure drug” he called Soma. “There’s always Soma to give you a holiday from the facts … that’s what Soma is.”
What Huxley failed to realize was there was no need for Soma to divert us from the facts. We are deluged daily with trivia. We are entertained throughout our waking hours, precluding any opportunity to think, to reason, to understand civilization’s dire situation, to say nothing about attempting to look for answers.
The Roman Empire collapsed because it became too over-stretched to maintain itself. President Eisenhower warned, “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Today his warning goes unheeded. The “military-industrial complex,” like the Roman Empire, has spread its tentacles worldwide. Our democracy has become a mere shell of what its founders had envisioned. Our military has, probably illegally, invaded two countries, and is preparing to invade two more. It is spending many bil-lions of dollars a month and is, like the Roman Empire, arrogantly and ignorantly leading to its own collapse.
Eliot J. Chandler
Since relocating to Maine, I have been struck by one noticeable feature of Maine’s towns, cities and highways: the noise of loud motorcycles. Most of the offending vehicles are Harley-Davidson motorcycles with straight pipes.
I have learned that the state of Maine has no laws concerning permissible noise levels from motor vehicles, unlike many other states, including New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I don’t understand why a small minority is allowed to subject the majority of people to unreasonable noise levels for no good reason.
Don’t dismiss vote
As a constituent of Sen. Joe Perry, I am very displeased by his recent comments in the BDN article, “Voters soundly reject tax reform measure” (June 9).
All along, Sen. Perry, head of the taxation committee, worked hard to muster up support for the No on 1 campaign. Then, after Yes on 1 won with a convincing 60 percent of the vote, he tried to play it off as we, the people he represents, don’t know what we voted for.
I am disgusted that he didn’t give the people he serves more credit for recognizing poor legislation. We have had enough of his deceitful tax and spend methods.
We don’t need a senator who is an Augusta insider, and represents special interests. We need a senator who represents us. We need to let Joe go!
Poor memorial showing
To some, this may seem inappropriate for this letter. The Gulf spill, Israel’s blockade, Afghanistan, Iraq etc, etc. But even with all of the above, every Memorial Day prompts me to wake up the public about the dwindling attendance at our cemeteries every Memorial Day.
The paper the day after Memorial Day featured a front-page story along with a photo which reported that 20 people showed up for a ceremony at a vets cemetery containing over 12,000 veterans. On top of this, our president (aka commander-in-chief) didn’t show up at Arlington and instead went to a cemetery in his home state. Sure, he sent the vice present to Arlington, but it’s not the same.
So that’s it. No wonder people just take a three day holiday and to hell with the real meaning of Memorial Day and now, of course, they have an excuse. Hey, if the president doesn’t think it’s important then why should us mere citizens bother to go and show our respect for those who served?