Saturday, June 21, 2014: Coffee roasting, east-west highway, national park

Posted June 20, 2014, at 11:47 a.m.

Rock city

We remember when Susanne Ward and Patrick Reilley arrived to Rockland in 1992 and opened Second Read Books & Coffee. In 1999, they established their own roasting house. Today, Rock City is a successful business with 25 full-time employees. It also became a social and cultural institution in our town.

We also remember when a neighbor complained about the roasting. Regretfully, City Hall created “The Smell Police.” (We made national news.) Friends chipped in to raise the smokestack.

The existence of the roasting house is being threatened, and City Hall is being used as muscle. During a planning board meeting, the chairman told Lyman-Morse, “Come back June 10 with an agreement with Rock City.”

What the board should have done is quite the opposite. It should have demanded from Lyman-Morse that, as part of its building permit, it sign an agreement never to complain about the roasting.

Some people love the aroma, while others may get bothered. Let us keep things in perspective. Has City Hall done anything to reduce the stench from the dump? Has City Hall done anything when downtown smells “funny”? What about people smoking in multiunit housing? Sorry, but we have to toughen it out.

Lyman-Morse bought the Hollydachs building knowing that a roasting house was its neighbor. Rock City is a law-abiding enterprise that roasts coffee and has a stack to vent the roasting machine.

Residents should talk to their councillor. Request to stop the planning board from being Lyman-Morse’s muscle against Rock City Café.

David Myslabodski

Rockland

 

Give me a break

According to the Department of Labor, the majority of job growth has come from small and large businesses since President Barack Obama took office.

On May 15, H.R. 3474 failed to pass in the Senate because Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, rejected it.

This legislation was to restore more than 55 tax breaks to small and large business that expired at the end of 2013. Also included in the bill were over 200,000 clean energy jobs.

Collins has credited the University of Maine’s project for wind power, yet she didn’t vote to end debate on this legislation.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, voted to end debate because he has a vested interest in Maine’s wind power energy.

Small and large businesses needed those tax breaks to continue operating or to keep them afloat. The GOP’s rejection of this legislation means businesses may have to lay off employees, not give raises in pay, or not give bonuses for good work.

Denying clean energy jobs will affect Maine’s future to not depend on fossil fuels.

By following the GOP’s political agenda to curb jobs, Collins is hurting all small and large businesses everywhere by denying them those tax breaks that ended in 2013.

She will never get my vote again.

Joan Gilbert-Croteau

Skowhegan

 

Dreaming

So Gov. Paul LePage thinks he can persuade the Chinese to build railroad cars at the former Loring Air Base — which no longer has a good rail connection?

Maybe he also could issue a no-bid contract to have locks and a canal built around Aroostook Falls, so container ships could come up the Saint John, Aroostook and Little Madawaska Rivers to carry the product back to China. Hundreds of jobs could be created with an executive order to construct squirt dams on all the tributaries to maintain water levels in dry spells.

 

Carroll B. Knox

Caribou

 

Property protection

On June 16, I was part of a sidewalk picket, held in front of Cianbro headquarters in Pittsfield. Cianbro has a vision, but it is not the vision of the people. It says it is committed to an east-west corridor as if it owns the state and without putting forth much information. In spite of the fact it has been contacted by folks with concerns, it has yet to respond. Hence, we went to its front door in hopes that it might start paying attention to us.

In a report aired on WABI TV 5 about the protest, Andi Vigue, president of Cianbro, made comments about investments it has made in Brewer, and the jobs it has created. So he therefore believes the people will understand that the company is looking for the betterment of the whole and that this highway will create a tax base that will provide for the people of Maine. Cianbro’s operation in Brewer is fine. It was put in an existing facility, not destroying people’s homes and livelihoods in the process.

I found it ironic while at the protest that some folks from Cianbro headquarters were upset that an elderly woman was sitting in a chair in a grassy area abutting the sidewalk, and a few water bottles were placed there, so they asked that they be removed from their property. It was causing no harm, and it was temporary. Perhaps that should give Cianbro some idea how it must feel for property owners to have their property permanently destroyed by outsiders.

Carol Gorecki

Orneville Township

 

Live and thrive

Thank you to the BDN for publishing the Katahdin-Area Chamber of Commerce’s OpEd in Tuesday’s paper. The chamber represents the interests of 140 members, their families, clients and hundreds of thousands of others who are interested in a new park in Maine.

Secretary Georgia Manzo expressed why her organization supports the proposal to create a new national park and national recreation area east of Baxter State Park. She said that a park would revitalize the region’s economy and help economic development.

Also important is Manzo’s observation that the park would give area children a reason to “live and thrive” in their home communities.

There is significant support from area residents, and our household is a strong supporter of the proposal. There is very broad support for this proposal from many Mainers and those who own land or visit Maine.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said that her opinion of the park proposal will be guided by local opinion. I hope Collins hears the Katahdin-Area Chamber of Commerce’s ringing endorsement loud and clear. Someone who represents Maine understands very well the needs of local people for a strong community with a solid economic base — something that can come from a new national park.

Diana Bell

Fryeburg

 

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