I read with interest the opinion of Bill Meier in the BDN’s April 8 story on the Waterfront Concert series and the level of noise he feels he experiences when concerts take place on the Waterfront.
I, too, used to live within earshot of the waterfront on Warren Street for many years. I moved to Veazie before the concerts began but remember being able to hear the Folk Festival clearly throughout the days it took place. I actually enjoyed that but was less pleased at the number of car alarms that would go off all hours of the day, as many festival attendees would park all around our home. I realized that was a small price to pay given the cultural and economic boost we receive from the folk festival each year.
Taking a look at the series online, it looks like Mr. Meier would have to endure five evenings this year and I don’t mean to suggest he should have to but it is not as if this is a nightly occurrence. I am also encouraged he recognizes the series has been great for Bangor. He’s right, it is.
Thankfully, there is an easy solution to this problem at our fingertips. Cast your vote to build the new arena on May 4. This facility would offer a great venue for concerts such as these and the Waterfront Concert Series shows have already demonstrated the attendance will be there.
• • •
Real causes of mill decline
It’s understandable that the great folks of the Millinocket area are upset that their papermaking livelihood is in great jeopardy. But to blame it mostly on NAFTA and other global trade agreements is profound.
What liberalizing of world trade has mainly accomplished is cheaper goods for consumers. As long as consumers continue to purchase products based on price alone, developing countries with lower-wage workers and liberal environmental laws will win out. The same can be said for the “Box Mart” type stores that supply such goods.
In order for U.S. manufacturing to survive, productivity must improve and costs associated with said production must be lowered. The sister mills of Millinocket and East Millinocket had an opportunity to replace their reliance on oil a decade ago with the newly laid natural gas pipeline, but they declined.
Reinvestment of capital at the mills has been a huge obstacle ever since Mr. Bedard razed profits in the 1980s. But, to say that trade agreements have left it a skeleton of its former self is ignorant to the fact that a proactive approach may have led to better results than what is looming around the immediate corner.
• • •
Rulon-Miller for selectman
Last week I had a chance to have a long talk with Sumner Rulon-Miller, who is a candidate for the Board of Selectmen of Mount Desert. Since arriving on MDI in 1957, Sumner has been keenly interested in many areas of town governance. He has faithfully attended meetings of the board and various committees, serving on some of the latter. He has an extensive background in finance and considerable experience in the world of education, having served on school boards in both Massachusetts and Morocco.
Citing the extremely low citizen attendance at the recent school budget hearing, Sumner stressed the importance of the media in getting issues like this before the public in a more compelling fashion. He felt that selectmen should be more active in pushing for this kind of coverage.
He also strongly believes that proposed bonds should be thoroughly discussed in public at town meetings, making it clear to all citizens what our past debts are, when they mature, and what our future capital needs will be. He emphasized that such discussion should precede voting on bond issues. He has had considerable experience serving on investment committees and shows a marked commitment to fiscal responsibility.
I believe that his strong financial background would be a definite asset to the Board of Selectmen. With all this in mind, I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Sumner Rulon-Miller as selectman on Monday, May 2.
Anne Stebbins Funderburk