Saturday, June 18, 2011
Capitol for a Day
The Governor was running around the Midcoast yesterday, being ferried from business to business in his Capitol for a Day program. Had I been in Maine, I could have caught him at Windjammer Cruises in Camden, Dragon Cement in Thomaston, O'Hara Corporation in Rockland, or even in Owls Head at the Breakwater Vineyards. I would not have seen him at a land trust office, a half-way house, a hospital, a homeless shelter - people there would be, well, inconvenient, and worthy not of help from the state but of as much new legislation as possible to deny help.
While he was away from Augusta, the Maine House (no debate) and Senate (31-3) passed a non-binding resolution, to be sent to the US President, Secretary of the Interior and Congress, stating opposition to the idea of a national park in the Maine woods. No explanation, little discussion, overwhelming support. I'm dumbfounded - do these legislators really represent the people of Maine? Or is it a case, once again, of special business interests influencing the process? Which group drafted the resolution? The paper companies, with their out-of-state owners? The developers, also from out-of-state? Roxane Quimby, with her stated desire to seed a national park with her 70,000 acres, must be a scary woman to inspire this resolution, more nonsense from an Administration (you just know LePage was behind it) much more interested in the negative than the positive.
Or maybe I'm just dumb, out of touch. Maybe the people really don't want it, maybe the legislature really is doing its job. I think it's more likely that a way of life - logging, hunting, independence - is doing battle with a quality of life - clean air and water, perpetual forests, mystery - and neither side admits that their ultimate goals are the same. How about Capitol for a Day at Big Niagara Falls in Baxter State Park?