So many positions.
So little time.
What I've drawn from your expansive ponderings is that you have given up the fight and hunkered down with your minimalist view of the world.
I sure hope you can sustain yourself with the dwindling numbers of local consumers that you are servicing.
As soon as rural Maine has succumbed to the economic jihad that's coming from the enviro organizations, there won't be many left to buy from the "creative economy" that they have championed in years past..
The whine and cheese crowd will buy their knick knacks.
I think Woodcanoe is being fair and sensible in his posts. I'm not sayng I agree with him, but he has a valid position (and it doesn't sound like he's locked in).
One correction: Pineland Farms has hundreds of heads of beef cattle being raised in Fort Fairfield, and are expanding all the time.
Which currently existing jobs will be LOST by building this toll-road?
I heard one man testify that manufacturing jobs were not lost due to the lack of cost-efficient transportation concluding that this corridor will have no effect in reviving manufacturing, but I heard no one say that the manufacturing jobs remaining will be lost when this road ultimately exists.
I understand that the construction jobs will be limited in time, (10+yrs) and that the maintenance jobs will be limited in number (thousands during the same ten years?) --- whatever the numbers, compared to what exists today I see a major plus to the economy, not a detriment.
The so-called environmental activists lose credibility with scare tactics and false information. Most appear as uninformed pawns of the Sierra Club. Animals exist on both sides of the numerous tollways/freeways/pipelines/ across the nation, including route 95 in Maine. I just saw a mountain lion at the Walt Whitman rest stop in New Jersey, she was right at home! And yes, there are still caribou in Alaska.
I also think WC has valid points and do not see him as whining nor hunkering down. I don't know where you are getting that information from.
Personally I see it as being straight from the liberal playbook: if you can't discuss it, insult and belittle them.
" Would you care to go on record saying that the Department of Transportation, of the State of Maine, would never use the power of eminent domain in order to acquire property needed for this project.....from a possible "unwilling" seller?
Thanks in advance for your response."
I did not see an answer to this question posed to the Senator.
Given WC's proximity to the proposed route he expresses legitimate concerns and asks questions which need answers. From my perspective in southern Maine my concerns are will the Maine taxpayer be on the hook for any dollars, and will eminent domaine be used to take land from unwilling sellers.
Excellent post, Jeepn. Keep up the good work, woodcanoe.
From my perspective in southern Maine my concerns are will the Maine taxpayer be on the hook for any dollars, and will eminent domaine be used to take land from unwilling sellers
How many times do these questions need to be answered?
"How many times do these questions need to be answered?"
Until they get one they can rant and rave about. There was a very successful deli in Bangor that had five generations of the same family who had worked there. They began as little kids when it was legal and even when it was not legal to work for pay they worked for free. They loved being needed. It's a huge builder of work ethics.
The city took the property by eminent domain so they could resell the property for a new Shaws supermarket. It happens. It is wrong. The state took the old "Sail Inn" restaurant at the west end of the Waldo Hancock Bridge. They didn't need it. The owners were never justly compensated and the property remains unused today. The state should return it to the original owners with a substantial endowment for the unjust infringement of their rights. It would be nice to have a new Sail Inn on the same spot.
Historical note: When we lived on Verona Island we used to pick up Maine Maritime cadets on Sunday nights on Route 3 and take them as far as the Sail Inn. People who lived in Castine or others headed that way would stop and pick up the cadets for the next leg of their journey. Back then, not many cadets had cars. The restaurant would stay open after their usual closing time rather than turn the cadets out into foul weather. After all, most were Maine kids.
How many times do the same questions need to be answered? Until the answers make sense.
WC has posted some information about Private-Public partnerships that I did not know. As of right now the PPP has not been voted upon, but will it in the future? THAT...is a very good question.
It sort of reminds me of when the liberals would decry those who questioned Obamacare. "It hasn't even been voted upon yet, so don't worry about it". Now look at the mess we have to contend with in the near future.
And Doug Thomas saying it won't be used doesn't bring me any solace. Not that Doug is anything other than honorable, it's just that Doug cannot speak for what the whole legislative body will do in the future. He may not know of anything right now and it's not fair to put him on the spot for the actions of others. To say I do not trust the legislative body as a whole would be an understatement. I have attended too many hearings and seen too much to trust them to any degree.
Roger, as a cadet with no car II remember the Sail Inn fondly, thanks for picking up my fellow cadets. When our land was taken by eminent domain, there was no discussion as to a fair price, just a here is all you are getting attitude.
It would seem since we are paying for the study it would be reasonsible for it to address that issue as part of feasibility .
Given this seems to be a major point on concern !
I heard Paul Davis say he would vehemently oppose all attempts to acquire any land using eminent domain, I suspect he is not the only one in Augusta who will speak against any such proposal. Not likely to pass.
Maine's economy is not these "land lovers" priority, they do not fight for people‘s rights to Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. No, they proudly consider it their duty to fight for the rights of the wild animals and plants.
They use every and any possible opportunity they can find to further their Agenda, with tactics that are legal, illegal, and outrageous. Its always a life and death issue. They use what works: … “Stop the Massive Corridor Wall!” … “Life in Maine is over!” … “The Earth is Burning!”
All in play at the moment is a study.
Rather than waiting for the study and stating facts they strategize and use more scare tactics: “SECRECY!!”
We have heard “quality of place” and “sustainable develelopment” before. The Sierra Club and their ilk consider people living here as their pawns, and the East-West proposal as their tool. This E/W “human footprint” steps in the Agenda’s forbidden zone.
Rather than waiting for the study and stating facts they strategize and use more scare tactics: “SECRECY!!”
I don't think this is a scare tactic about secrecy, I think it's a legitimate concern based on past deceitful antics by state government. Let's face it, their track record isn't exactly stellar.
And using similar reasoning to yours, don't you think if the study comes in as an 'ought to build', the proponents will just point to the study and say, "but the study says we should build it", even though the study may not address the underlying issues unless they are brought forth?
After all, you have to 'pass it to see what's in it'.
When they see what's in it they won't like it. Would you accept any person/corporation/partnership plan to build a highway for trucks to drive from Canada across Maine to Canada?
Opponents tell me that there is no acceptable route, not one. - just NO CORRIDOR, not here, not over there, now where anyone can hear it, or see it, not in your back yard or mine, and not where the animals live either. So, regardless of the study's findings -- the opponents do not want to have a corridor across Maine.
A corridor across Maine isn't the issue.
A corridor across their planned wilderness park is the issue.
If this road creates even one penny of economic prosperity for rural Maine, the enviros will be adamantly opposed to it.
It is, and has been, the plan all along to gain the upper edge in the fight to depopulate rural Maine by opposing all things that would bring economic prosperity.
For many of us who oppose this, "keeping the land out of use" has very little to do with it.
I am no friend to the enviros.
I've seen many times where they have hurt areas with their wild ideas of hording land.
I lived a short time in Washington State where whole towns were deserted because of the spotted owl.
Damn shame really, I drove into town seeing all the boarded up buildings.
I stopped at, what I think was the last store to be there, and asked what had happened.
The locals filled me in.
Hearing these things on the news is very different than seeing them first hand.
We own two properties (a couple of towns apart) on one of the proposed routes.
Both are within a mile or two of the route, well we hope that far anyway.
So for us, it is going to be a big deal.
Not just because we choose to live up here, to be away from these things.
But also, the economical impact it may have on our area.
At first, I was all for it.
After some thought, I really can't see the job potential.
They say that this will revitalize northern Maine.
Sounds like a line of crap to me, but let them show us how.
I don't see it, and if this won't help the area in the way of jobs.
I don't want the damn thing down the street from my house.
It looks to me, as a short cut through Maine for the Canadians.
How does that help us?
I think their only going to stop for fuel and tolls on the highway, not for local business.
As far as, a quicker route to Canada, I'm all set with that.
Let the study come back and if it's not bias, we can decide.
Anyway, we opponents of this are being painted as enviro nut jobs.
My wife and I are not.
My friends and neighbors are not.
None that I know anyway.
I'm sure there's a few.
I don't consider the NIMBYs enviro nut jobs, just the BANANAs.
I wouldn't want it in your back yard either.
Unless you're south of Newport I guess, than I have no preference.
The NIMBY comment is a little unfair.
If this was going from local factory's to where the buyers are.
I would welcome it.
They just haven't convinced us, that is the case.
But ok, I'll be a NIMBY on this for now.
Let's, for the moment, assume that this will be one of, or all of these that has been speculated;
Oil pipeline for western US/Canadian crude to Irving's refinery in St John
Nat gas pipeline for Marcellus Shale gas to tie in to existing pipelines in central Maine
Transmission corridor for Quebec hydro power
More efficient route for Canadian trucks from Atlantic Canada to Quebec, Ontario, and the US midwest, and vice-versa.
Intermodal transportation corridor for giant container ships docking at Eastport, St John, or Halifax
More efficient route for Maine goods destined for Quebec, Ontario, and the US midwest and vice-versa
My only question has been and will continue to be SO WHAT?
All of these scenarios seem to be a plus for rural Maine as well as Maine as a whole.
How can you argue with cheaper energy developed
right here in North America? I don't think there has ever been a terrorist attack against us that was financed by Alberta or North Dakota oil producers.
How can you argue with a route that will save the users a fair amount of energy?
How can you be against developing a more efficient shipping route for midwestern and Maine products.
Unless your philosophy is that you would rather things remain on the same downward trend in regards to the rural Maine economy, I just can't understand this opposition.
Or, I guess what I really can't understand is reasonably intelligent people being taken in by the slick hucksters from the organizations that have lined up against this because it will interefere with the master plan of turning the northeast back into an unbroken wilderness.
We choose to live up here for a reason, be away from city life.
The highway certainly infringes on that.
The need to keep some of our kids here and survive through this economy, makes this a appealing proposal.
We just need to be convinced that this isn't just a land grab.
Just as the enviro's are always trying to lock up land to not be used.
We'd like to use it to build up the economy.
If the property and the change of life for us is to be taken, what are we getting in return.
Sounds like a case of firewater and some blankets.
My only question has been and will continue to be SO WHAT?
I would LOVE to see all these items and it makes sense to bundle them together on the project.
No one is arguing with cheaper energy.
No one is arguing with not having a terrorist attack.
No one is arguing it'll save users a fair amount of money.
No one is arguing or against developing a more efficient route.
But you completely MISSED the questions that were asked. THIS is why people are concerned, because you want to argue items that no one disagrees with. That is, unless it truly is a Private-Public Partnership that Sen Thomas says it's not but Vigue says it is. Hmmm, there is a disconnect there that raises questions about what's actually happening.
But let's take your items as a whole. Who, exactly, stands to benefit from the items you listed? Certainly the state to some tiny degree, but it's the owner of the corridor that will benefit from the items listed, not the Maine people. Just playing devils advocate since you listed them. There are a lot of "if's" that need to happen to bring that scenario to fruition.
I am all for incorporating as much into the proposal as possible, don't get me wrong, but as has been mentioned numerous times, I just don't see how it's feasible or possible to build such a project in the manner in which they say they'll build it. No eminent domain, keeping the viro's at bay with their 'endangered' wildlife, their stupid vernal pools, and a plethora of other irrelevant "stop" tactics, and still keeping the towns in place now viable? I'll believe it when I see it.
In all reality I probably won't use it, since the tolls would be higher than I'd want to pay for the time saved using the road. I don't even use the Mass Pike if I can help it, and stay away from I-95 in the mid states due to the toll rates. I am unaffected since I live on the coast and not in the area of the corridor. But, that does not mean I am against the proposal or idea of it, just the way it's being presented currently since there are items to me that do not make sense and have not been addressed. But, that does not mean I wouldn't want it built.
Over the last twenty years, I've seen how the Trans Canada Highway between Fredericton and Quebec has been built, and what its impact has been. It has not really increased the economies of the area in between, as much as it has changed it (more places specifically geared towards tourists; more development closer to the highway as opposed to "downtown", etc.). In some ways it is more of a boon for the connecting points and beyond, than the area itself. (We use Fredericton airport now because it's so fast to get to, for example). It is certainly a convenience to travel on a great road. The trucking companies love it, I'm sure.
(By the way, the last remaining 4 kilometers in New Brunswick will be twinned by 2014. Major work is ongoing between NB and Riviere de Loup, to complete the twinning of that stretch. If Vigue's road is built, it will have some serious competition: a new, free highway connecting all the major towns between Moncton and Montreal).
I made the mistake of calling this a Public Private Partnership early in the process and shouldn't have. I have admitted my mistake and apologized publicly (in front of 600 people). Please let me know when the other side admits they said something that isn't true by mistake or purposely.
This project is not a public private partnership and I will vote against it ever becoming one and lobby others to do the same. I will stand in opposition to using eminent domain to take private property for this project.
"just the way it's being presented currently"
Pssst. It isn't being presented currently. It's an idea worth of study. The folks who might build such a road are thinking about it. No decision has been made. Just the realization that somebody has an idea sends the antis into paroxysms of feigned panic. It's fun to watch.
When the study begins to coalesce, the investors will propose a project. The proposal will say what, where and how this would be done if approved. LURC will hold years of hearings as frantic viro activists report on heretofore unknown and unappreciated plants and salamanders that might be inconvenienced. Treasured ancient sites of red paint people or special fossils must be preserved at all costs.
This pattern just repeats itself over and over again. Few investors have deep enough pockets to endure the process.
I did not know that Doug and have not attended any meetings on the subject. That is good to know though. Thanks.
........"This project is not a public private partnership and I will vote against it ever becoming one and lobby others to do the same. I will stand in opposition to using eminent domain to take private property for this project".......
Thank you Sen Thomas, for these words. I believe you are sincere when you say this. I also believe you are a man who is willing to stand up for what he believes, and I admire that in anyone. I know we disagree on a lot of this but I too, am just trying to stand up for what I believe.
I was lucky enough to be born into a family, with two parents that not only believed that there was no such thing as a "free lunch" but thankfully taught that to me too, and they taught me to question everything that I felt needed to be questioned. I am an original "born cynic" I am sure.
I think that, because of my family background, and my technical training, that I luckily have a mind that is pretty capable of thinking about things in a logical way, and when things happen I often like to ponder them and think about "WHY did this thing happen and what does it all mean". And I think that I have tried to approach this "road project" in that same fashion and have asked myself a lot of questions about why certain things get said, and others get done, and how does all of this fit together, and there are a lot of things to question about just the way this project has ensued, and why and how "other things" seemingly unrelated, may fit into the picture also.
So I am writing this piece to point out the differences between "thinking with your heart (or feelings) as those of the liberal persuasion do, and those of us who try to use "logic and reasoning" in our thinking. As always, I know I am just one person, and can stand to be corrected if wrong. If it can be shown that any or all of my reasoning can be "debunked with logic" than I will give strong consideration to that!
Most all of us of the conservative bent, dislike liberals (progressives) a lot and have an intense dislike for the fact that they mostly think with their "emotions" (If it "feels good" it must be OK) instead of using "logic and reason" as we say/think that we do. Cynthia Dill may well be the "poster girl" for that movement!
The discussion of the East/West highway proposal, here on AMG, has put an interesting twist on this old caveat that we have accepted for some time. Those who are promoting this are claiming this to be a "private venture" with "willing buyers/willing sellers, to produce a "highway" that government cannot build, and that will "revitalize northern Maine" and "bring needed jobs to the area". Those who oppose this project have been painted, here on AMG, as "radical enviros" who have destroyed much of Maine in the past 40 yrs, a very blanket statement indeed. Is it not possible to think that anybody, other than a "radical enviro" could possibly have any questions about any of this? That does a disservice to many of us Maine folk!
So just for fun, lets look at this and try to think logically about all it for the moment.
"Private venture": This is how this is described, and this is what is believed by many of its supporters, right here on this blog. But is it.......truly a "private venture"?
Legislation was passed, a very few years back, relating to "public-private partnerships" as it pertains to "transportation facilities in the State of Maine.
From Maine Title 23, new laws enacted in 2009-2010: ........"A. "Agreement" means a contract between the department and a private entity to create a public-private partnership that allows for private sector participation in the financing, development, operation, management, ownership, leasing or maintenance of a transportation facility and that sets forth rights and obligations of the department and the private entity in that partnership"..........
........""Project" means the initial capital development of a transportation facility".........
........""Proposal" means a conditional offer of a private entity that, after review, negotiation, documentation and legislative approval, may lead to an agreement as provided in this subchapter"........
........""Transportation facility" means a facility that is or if developed would be within the jurisdiction of the department including a highway, bridge, railroad line, pier, airport, trail, ferry vessel, building or other improvement"........
Under the heading of "applicability" it goes on to further describe these proposals as: ........" a proposal or agreement for a private entity to form a public-private partnership when the department estimates that the initial capital cost of a project is $25,000,000 or more or when the proposal includes placing tolls on existing transportation facilities that were not previously subject to tolls".......
Read the statutes yourself, don't take my word for it
Boy doesn't that sound an awful lot like the "proposed" east/west highway? But Senator Thomas, has said here on AMG that this is "not a public private partnership" as the legislature has not voted to make it one, nor, in his opinion, would it pass the legislature right now.
But now there has been an interesing twist in terms of just who is "thinking with their emotions". Supporters of this proposal say that this is needed in order to bring "jobs and new economic developments to northern Maine". Most of us can see that would be a good thing to have happen, but is that what this project will do? No one seems to know. Despite repeated requests, even just for people's considered "opinions" as to what kind of jobs might be "created in this area" from this project........bring no good hard answers just "well we need jobs and this will do it". Is that thinking with "logic" or thinking with 'emotions"? It seems as if the shoe is on the other foot here.
Those who strongly state that "radical enviros have destroyed Maine in the last 40 years" paint any and all opposition to this project as part of that movement. But is that true? What have radical envros actually done in Maine?
They have worked hard to create lots of regulatons/laws that require environmental considerations to come into play, particuarly with, but not limited to, businesses. So what, in reality does this mean? It simply means that those who believe in this enviromental movement have been able to create the "conditions" where the "power of government" is used to enforce those particular beliefs on everyone else. And I am not saying that I necessarily support all of that, in fact I don't.
According to supporters, this latest proposal is "willing sellers/willing buyers" and nobody will have to sell that doesn't want to. This is strictly "private enterprise at its best"!
Logic again: Peter Vigue, the main promoter of this project, and he is very good at it, has said that "we now have the 'public/private partnership laws" in effect, that are needed to build this project! His words, as closely as I can recall them. Yet , when i suggested that this is a "public/private partnership" I was called me out for suggesting such a crazy idea, and told that that argument had been debunked enough already!
So just exactly why was this "public/private partnership" set of statutes passed recently?
It comes from pretty good authority that Peter Vigue had considerable input into the language of the statutes involved. How come he did that if it has "nothing to do with this project" as Sen Thomas implies?
I believe that logical thinking, as opposed to "emotional thinking" compels one to believe that the new statutes, and this proposal, are inextrictably connected together! I believe that the logic of that, particularly its timing, is so obvious, that even I, not being a lawyer, could pretty easily convince a regular jury that this connection is obvious. I believe that what the developers of this project, and their supporters want to do is nothing different from what the radical enviro movement has managed to do in the last 30-40 years as many have suggested, and that is to "use the power of government to help build this proposed corridor" using the power of eminent domain, that the MDOT is able to use, and is addressed in Title 23 (above) to help overcome any "objections" from unwilling sellers!
Ask yourself why, otherwise, would this language in these statutes, and their connection to Mr Vigue, the aknowledged leader of the forces behind this project, have occured otherwise? I believe that Sen Thomas' statment that it is "not a public/private partnership now" is technically correct, but that is NOT to say that it might not become one down the road a bit. I believe that, if this corridor project ever gets developed and the road built, it will definitely be a "public/private partnership" as described in the statutes as I have listed them above. I believe that most anyone, thinking logically about all of this, could conclude no other possibility whatsoever!
So right now, just who is thinking with "logic" and just who is thinking with "emotion"? The supporters, in a strange twist of circumstances appear to be using every "emotional argument" they can come up with (radical enviros have destroyed Maine, private development, willing sellers, willing buyers, northern Maine needs this because we need jobs and economic opportunity) yet when it is asked of people who use these arguments, "just how would this "economic development and new jobs happen" hard data, or even good strong anectdotal suggestion of how this might happen, are notably absent. It seems that more than a few of the "conservative backers" of this project appear to be the ones thinking with their "emotions" rather than logic, a strange twist of events for sure. But this "emotional thought" is exactly what is being used in the ballyhoo employed to sell this project to the people! Promises of jobs and economic opportunity are the standard tactic. It is very easy for those who have something to sell, to try and capitalize on people's emotions and many, desperate for anything that might help the situation, are willing to buy into the arguments without thinking a whole lot about it logically!
I wrote this piece because I am amazed and very moved by how the tables have been turned around on this issue and those who routinely accuse others of thinking with "feelings" rather than "logic" now are doing some of that themselves.
I am willing to be shown that I am wrong on all of this, if someone can come up with compelling arguments to the contrary. Good questions are: 1) Were the "public/private partnership laws passed because this particular proposal was in the pipeline, or is that just a coincidence? 2) Do you think this project will have to be developed under those satutes as already mentioned, or is that not the case? 3) What did Mr Vigue mean when he stated that the "public/partnership laws, required for this project, are already in place? 4) Do you believe that if this project is built, that it will revitalize northern Maine, and just how would that happen and what might it look like? 5) What evidence is there that such a road would bring any new economic development to northern Maine? 6) A 300 ft right of way has been good enough for most of the Interstate Highway system in America. How come this project needs 2000ft or even 500 feet of right of way, if it is ONLY a road (that is the only thing Mr Vigue will talk about!) that is under consideration?
And I am sure that there are lots more questions that one could raise, and try to look at logically, if so inclined.
It is truly amusing to watch some of this. Those promoting it are supposedly "conservatives" yet are using every emotional argument that they can come up with, in order to win support for the project and at the same time, "demonize" any and all opposition. The spiritual leader of this movement has publically stated that the "public private partnership laws" are "required to build this" yet other supporters deny that, saying only "willing sellers, willing buyers", and denying that eminent domain, an inherent part of the Title 23 statutes, will ever be used, yet this is clearly defined in those same statutes.
I am sure that stanger twists of logic and emotion have happened in this state before, but I cannot think of one right off that can rival this one for strange twists and turns.
One final caveat. If this can be built, entirely by private money and private enterprise, without using the "power of the state" in any way, I will be able to bring myself to support it as I believe more in private enterprise than I do in government. But as long as I believe the promoters are being way less than forthright with the people of Maine, and Mr Vigue continues to talk about the "public private partnership laws needed to build this are in place" I am going to stay extremely suspicious of some of the motives, and in general opposition to the project. if they really want to build this then they need to put ALL the cards on the table, not just the road project!
Works for me...
So, onto the bigger issues of "where has all the work gone".
Or "why can't we compete on bids against our neighboring states?".
Maybe, "why am I competing for work with China when I subcontract with a company next town over?
I'm sure this project is no solution, to those.
Also, it's been mentioned a few ties of cheaper energy.
Forgive my ignorance, why did we give up our hydro dams for wind?
What would it take to rebuild them?
I thought we were all about getting off the evil oil companies?
We say yes to sending pipelines through our state with no benefit to us, with this project.
Somehow we say no to hydro dams?
Guess I'm the next generation or just getting my head out of the sand.
I personally would start digging, if I thought there was a dollar down there.
But, unless we gain out of this.
Why give the land to Canadian companies to ship it though our state.
Making a large amount of us Mainers to put up with this fence?
You could look at this another way.
I said earlier, We live here to be away from rat race.
Others come here to get our way of life, on vacation.
Others want us to go, because people are the problem, by locking up the lands with their big money.
Saving some obscure creature we never heard of, no doubt.
I think most of us who live here, along the path, would just say leave us the- you get it- alone.
And, fix the real problem of the economy.
November is coming, maybe we can fix that even in this mostly blue state.
(was going to say purple, but I'm only lying to myself)
I was untying some tree huggers and the rope caught fire.
And well..., I was gone a minute and looked back up and put that to you.
I meant that for Roger Ek