During my life, I’ve chosen to live in a number of states across this great country. Maine seems unique because if someone wasn’t born and raised here — and that person’s grandparents as well — he or she is “from away.”
I understand that there is a certain pride of ownership when people can claim to be “from around here.” But, when someone is one of the ones “from away,” it feels like rejection of self and ideas.
When we talk about building a business-friendly atmosphere, I wonder if this issue comes into play? Do people want to settle here if they can never really be a part of Maine’s inner circle?
Stand my ground
Like many people, I was very disheartened but, unfortunately not surprised, that George Zimmerman was completely exonerated in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The “stand your ground” law in Florida made this outcome possible and, in fact, inevitable.
Then, I read about Stevie Wonder’s response in a July 17 BDN story about the injustice of it all: He will be standing his ground and not performing in any of the states where this unfair and dangerous law exists.
It is a law that allows fear, guns and racism to mix in a very toxic way. Now, I am no Stevie Wonder, either in talent or my powers to persuade, but I have made a list of those states where the “stand your ground” law exists.
I intend to “stand my ground” and, wherever possible, enact my own personal boycott: No vacations, no stop overs, no rest stops or purchase of products or services in those states. I hope others will do the same and be vocal about it.
It’s the least I can do.
I urge BDN readers to think carefully about the “simple recipe” offered by July 13 letter-to-the-editor writer Richard deGrasse in response to the economic problems that face the people of Maine.
The recipe is, I am afraid, the same bitter formula that has been offered for decades by the corporate right: Destroy the unions, eviscerate the regulatory agencies and repeal all laws that seek to curb the excesses and crimes of the corporations. We should, in short, entrust our fates to the tender mercies of big business.
Their “simple recipe” will, of course, bring us directly to the bottom, where we may enjoy the same “benefits” as the workers of Bangladesh, China and other “business-friendly” nations: Bad air, bad water, bad working conditions, bad wages and no right to organize and protest.
Make some noise
The excessive noise that resonates in the lower registers — bass and drums — from the performances of the Bangor Waterfront Concerts is a danger to our health. Not only does it resonate in our bodies, but it can affect heart rate and blood pressure.
Anyone who is having a problem with this noise should contact both the police and the city council to register a complaint because the complaints are being logged and submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection. If Bangor has sound ordinances, they are not sufficient to protect its citizens from excessive noise.
My home is in the neighborhood of St. Joseph Hospital, and even 1.8 miles from the stage, I wonder how patients might be adversely affected by the noise. I myself have felt nauseated and felt as if my heart was skipping beats. But the beat goes on, and I don’t mean my heart.
As I was writing this, a bolt of lightning flashed nearby, with the accompanying thunder. This thunderous sound has the same effect as the excessive bass sounds from many of the concerts. Exciting to some, but disturbing to many.
Please, citizens of Bangor, make opinions known, so this sound can come under control, either by reducing it or putting a roof over the stage to enclose it.