Thankful, but keep it going
We are lucky to live in northern Penobscot County. We have glorious natural resources in our backyard: Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park, whitewater rafting on the Penobscot and endless opportunities for skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. It is a natural wonder rich with outdoor activity and possibilities.
We have a strong community — one that has been strengthened when we have gone through difficult economic times.
And we are a short drive from Bangor — a city that has seen growth in entertainment options for everyone. Summer has offered a multitude of activities, such as the Waterfront Concerts, American Folk Festival, the free Outdoor Summer Concert Series and KahBang just to name a few.
In November, we have the chance to vote on the addition of table games at Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway. A yes vote will increase revenue annually by $1 million for state and local governments at a time when tough decisions regarding budget cuts and aid in creating new jobs in the face of staggering national unemployment rates are being made. Those fortunate enough to live in Penobscot County will benefit from a yes vote — adding to recreational opportunities right in our backyards.
We have seen some tough times just as the rest of the country has seen. But, every once in a while we should stop and consider how lucky we are to live in this amazing place and to support growth opportunities in our region.
Rethink park idea
Before I read Jim Robbins’ Op-Ed (“North Woods park unhealthy for Maine forest and economy,” Oct. 6) I thought that a new national park in Maine was a good idea. Now I think those of us who automatically favor parks or are dedicated tree-huggers need to take a second look.
Bamboo is currently favored as a building material because it is renewable. Pine trees, even though slower growing than bamboo, are also a renewable resource, providing jobs and income from land.
Modern lumbering practices are no longer synonymous with clear cutting, but are regulated to ensure that lumbering does not negatively impact the health of the forest. This crop, if wisely managed, is a renewable resource, providing jobs and income from land that is too rocky for vegetable crops but perfect for growing pine trees.
Let’s not change the current usage of the Quimby acreage as a source of lumber and a place for recreation and concentrate our conservation efforts on taking care of every acre in the state. If the only way to protect our environment were to turn land into national parks, we would have lost already because we cannot turn the whole state into a national park.
Fortunately parks are not the only means of keeping both our forests and our economy in a state of sustainability. Intelligent regulation and self-disciplined cutting are the best ways to keep our forests as a valuable and sustainable resource, for us and future generations.
Bright, rich and a woman
The Bangor Daily News seems to be of two minds in its treatment of Roxanne Quimby.
One month she’s being lauded on the Editorial page as a magnanimous visionary whose only interest is improving the quality of life for northern Maine. This week she’s portrayed on the Editorial page in a myopic editorial cartoon as some sort of Ill-tempered she-devil and a brain-dead flat-earther. Which is it?
The sad reality of all this vitriolic abuse that’s now raining down on Ms. Quimby is the result of her observations about Maine — a welfare state populated by obese and elderly people and young people with few prospects but to flee — are accurate. Maine has its many charms, as we all know, but it also has many problems, including those Ms. Quimby characterized, assuming she made these comments in the context portrayed.
I think the real issue here is that Roxanne Quimby is bright, she’s rich and, most importantly, she is a woman. I’m convinced that, had these same observations been made by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, former Maine Gov. Angus King or a contemporary male Maine visionary like Cianbro Chairman and CEO Peter Vigue, there would be very little hand-wringing, teeth-noshing and character assassination taking place.