Monday, Dec. 19, 2011: Occupy movement, Waterfront Concerts and national park proposal

Posted Dec. 17, 2011, at 3:10 p.m.

Occupy’s message

Sarah Smiley’s anti-Occupy column of Nov. 28, and Don Lodge’s “me too” of Dec. 2, need rebuttal. Just because they don’t get the message of OWS doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

The messages of my local Occupy group are clear and easy to understand: Get the corrupting money out of politics; stop the looting by Wall Street; and make our government work for the people, not just the wealthy or corporate interests.

It’s remarkable that Smiley and some other disparagers cite their relatives in the military. Our military is being used not to defend our right to peacefully protest, but to defend the corporate interests of this country, the plutocracy. That is why we fight these unnecessary wars that seem to make no sense. This is a huge shame and perversion. There are many veterans involved in the Occupy movement who do “get it.” Why don’t you try listening to them?

OWS is a work in progress. People may be puzzled because it is leaderless, grass-roots and evolving. People may disagree with some of its tactics, such as the encampments, but do not let the tactics obscure the message. You can’t evict an idea whose time has come!

I am tired of hearing OWS participators and supporters being characterized as deadbeats, losers, whiners, etc. We are your neighbors and our common denominator is that we care deeply about our communities, our country and the planet. Think for yourselves and then, as Gandhi said, you must be the change you want to see in the world.

Nancy Glista

Franklin

The Mozart solution

I have no quarrel with the Bangor Chamber of Commerce nor with the local businesses whose special interests I’m sure it ably represents. Unfortunately, for as long as I can remember Bangor has had two Chambers of Commerce. The second is pleased to call itself the Bangor City Council, but its tacit motto is “if it’s good for business, it’s good for Bangor,” whether or not it improves the quality of life for the majority of our citizens.

A case in point is that of the summer waterfront concerts. Never mind that staging and parking for these concerts pre-empts a waterfront that belongs to all Bangor citizens. Never mind that the blasting sound systems disturb the peace of residential neighborhoods and generate numerous complaints from citizens living within two miles of the stage. Never mind that an easy solution would have been to deny permits to groups (especially hard rock bands) unwilling to commit to reasonable decibel limits.

After the charade of a public hearing on Dec. 7, the council predictably set aside such considerations, including Bangor’s noise ordinance (which seems to only apply to ordinary citizens), and voted to allow these concerts to continue unabated.

As a long-range solution, I urge my fellow citizens to stop electing councilors whose priorities are indistinguishable from those of the Chamber of Commerce. In the meantime, I plan to escape the cacophony by sipping red wine while listening to Mozart on headphones.

Phil Locke

Bangor

Wimpy was worse

David Farmer’s recent BDN column sadly is nothing better than the standard left-wing fare that those who follow politics have come to expect. Basically, Farmer resorts to two tried and true tactics: push the big red panic button and call names.

Farmer fails, and here’s why.

If he was serious about maintaining credibility with his new-found concern for Maine’s most vulnerable, he would have dusted off that panic button when he was an official in the Baldacci administration. His colleagues were proposing across-the-board cuts and rather than prioritize, Baldacci chose to make sure everyone, no matter how vulnerable, was hurt equally; the perfect opportunity for Farmer to sound the alarm.

They were, as shown by the cuts, not champions of the poor, but politicians whose callousness and unwillingness to prioritize hurt those who could not help themselves as much as those who could.

In typical name-calling fashion, Farmer compares LePage to Scrooge. In other words, LePage is too cautious with Mainers’ hard-earned tax dollars; a curious analogy to be sure. Does Farmer think those people who are being protected — those whose survival depends on state aid — will liken LePage’s frugality to Scrooge? Probably not; they’ll more likely sigh with relief.

If Farmer favors comparing politicians to fictional characters, why not compare Gov. Baldacci to Wimpy, a character from the Popeye cartoons? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” is an appropriate summary of the Baldacci administration.

Ann-Marie Grenier

Maine People Before Politics

Cumberland County Field Director

Snowe’s park view

Regarding the BDN’s Dec. 13 article, “In poll, 60% back study of Quimby park

plan,” I would like to clarify the section discussing Sen. Olympia Snowe’s opposition

to the park. Sen. Snowe has clearly and rightfully opposed a feasibility study for a

national park. With her staff and others, the town of Millinocket has been coordinating

efforts to develop a plan to conduct a comprehensive economic development study of the

Katahdin region. She and her staff have been supportive of this effort, as have the offices of Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Mike Michaud.

The scope of the study is being developed locally with input from the delegation.

From the beginning, Sen. Snowe and her staff have supported our efforts, rather than

telling us what we should or must do. This proposed study is the area’s proposal, not the

senator’s.

As several communities have indicated discomfort with including the proposed national park in such a study, the Millinocket Town Council has given me direction to proceed with a revised study effort that will not include the park concept. This effort will entail new letters of invitation to the area’s towns and Penobscot County in the near future to join in developing an economic plan for the region’s economy.

Eugene J. Conlogue

Millinocket Town Manager

Less TV time

Given the financial crisis the state is in, why is the secretary of state on TV practically every night during prime time, which we all know is the most expensive, telling us what types of ID we need to renew our driver’s licenses? Why isn’t putting this information into our renewal applications adequate?

This is just another example of our tax dollars being wasted. When is our state government going to wake up and stop wasting our tax dollars? Is being seen during prime time more important to state leaders? I hope not, but it sure looks that way to me.

Stop the nonsense and think before you spend our dollars. This alone would go a long way to help balance the budget.

Robert Beaulieu

Mapleton

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