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Letters to the Editor, April 9, 2011

Expansion too costly

Our business, a locally owned small business, is in the process of expanding our service facility as well as our inventory storage area. This is a simple project, creating a 2-acre paved parking area and a 7,200-square-foot service facility. There are no significant environmental issues or wetland problems involved in this project.

Due to the requirements of the DEP permitting process, we have had to hire an engineering firm at the cost of nearly $25,000 as well as pay an application fee of almost $9,000, and even after paying all these costs, there is no guarantee of approval.

These costs are representative of the fees required for any development of more than one acre of property in Maine. If, after spending this money, approval is granted, that approval allows you to approach the local planning board or code enforcement office to seek their approval after paying whatever application fees are required.

While we understand that reasonable oversight to protect our environment is both needed and prudent, doesn’t it stand to reason that this money would be better spent on the actual expansion of a business instead of permission to do so? Wouldn’t it also follow that a business that is expanding would be more likely to hire new employees than a business that can’t expand due to cost of approval to do so?

If this is Maine “open for business,” then I guess I just don’t understand who the customer is! Let’s give Gov. LePage everything he needs to truly make Maine open for business.

Don Harvey Jr.

Harvey RVs


• • •

MPBN unresponsive

For years, I contributed to MPBN. Why? I listened to them.

I stopped contributing and hope you do as well. Why?

We hear “Car Talk” and “A Prairie Home Companion” twice each week. We hear an endless barrage of politics; talking heads saying the other talking head is wrong. The charter for MPBN mentions education. What does it mean to be a Republican or Democrat? It would be nice to hear without “that’s wrong.”

Where in their schedule is “To The Best of Our Knowledge,” wherein each side speaks alone? Where are “Science Friday,” “American RadioWorks” or any of the educational offerings of NPR, APM or PRI?

All decisions appear to be based on money. Is the hockey team at UMaine popular? Let’s do a few stories. Is Ms. Blodgett popular? Let’s do a story. Is the music program at the university popular? Not so much. Let’s ignore them.

Consider Ms. Nance in the morning. MPBN gets the schedule for Minsky Recital Hall. The University Orchestra recently played the Brahms Violin Concerto; the Brahms is a very difficult work. Did Ms. Nance mention it so the citizens might hear? I’ve heard Ms. Nance mention UMaine once: when she was the “star” singing with the Oratorio Society and BSO.

I believe the university system is listed as a founder of MPBN.

Where can you hear the programming listed above? You can get it on the Internet.

So please reroute your money to the originators of the programs you like by contributing via the Internet.

Larry Schneider


• • •

Vacationland snub

Gov. LePage is on vacation this week. I hope that he pauses to remember that time off from work (including vacations) is the result of efforts by labor organizers. It is a benefit for which people worked tirelessly for the good of all who work; it was an idea resisted by business leaders. In fact, it seems to me that Gov. LePage is in a real minority, because very few, if any, of us get vacation time when we’ve been on the job for only a few months!

On the subject of vacation and pausing to think, I wish that Gov. LePage also had paused to remember that “Maine is Open For Business” and that we have hundreds of hospitality businesses in Maine that would have welcomed him and his family. They could have dined, hiked, skied, snowmobiled, played the slots, or seen plays, concerts or sports events right here in Maine. Had they opted to wait for warmer weather, they could have played golf or gone white-water rafting, fishing, whale watching, mountain biking or any of numerous other activities available right here in Maine.

Yes, Maine is open for business, and staying here in Maine for vacation would have shown the governor’s support for Maine workers and businesses and his own stated priorities. His choice of vacation timing and place is another example of his lack of respect for Mainers. Maybe they’re looking for a governor in Jamaica.

Jill Weber

Bar Harbor

• • •

Making lemonade

Barring a last-minute reprieve, a government shutdown this weekend could adversely affect Maine’s economy by closing Acadia National Park, a prime attraction for out-of-state visitors. Fortunately, the state has a countermeasure that could well counteract, and then some, the negative consequences of an Acadia shutdown.

To date, state officials have been reluctant to take full advantage of the fact that Maine now has one of the nation’s best-known governors. From a marketing standpoint, the fact that he has strong admirers and detractors is a plus. (There is no such thing as bad publicity.) A Paul LePage theme park would, I am convinced, attract enough visitors to substantially offset any reduction in tourism stemming from a closure of Acadia.

In fact, when word gets out that the park’s attractions include a bearded lady, a pavilion dedicated to heroes of outspokenness such as Earl Butz and, above all, a “dollar-a-kiss” booth not restricted to NAACP members, I have no doubt that attendance would be phenomenal.

Bob Rackmales


• • •

Big brother reconsidered

Yesterday, I exited 95 onto Stillwater Avenue in Bangor. Just a few seconds after my light turned green, a car ran the red light. Five seconds either way and one or both of us could have been dead.

Next, at the light where the turn is to the mall, the same car ran another red light. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles around.

Had there been cameras there, the violator would have been ticketed for two offenses. This is not about big brother watching; this is about having safer roads. These cameras should be installed at all major intersections. Let’s hold these people who think that lights and signs don’t pertain to them to be accountable for their actions.

John L. Clark


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