Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Monkey and the Engineer

I think after a long day of contemplating this, the Grateful Dead cover song, the Monkey and the Engineer most effectively sums up what has taken place with the Maine Department of Transportation and the more than $100 million of federal funds they are looking to dole out for passenger rail improvements in Maine.

What a shame they are already planning to earmark this federal taxpayer money for rail improvements to serve the wealthiest portion Maine, while leaving the rest of the state's working poor sitting at the station.

A real sad commentary on the power structure here and as some, not me, have said cronyism that's taking place in our state government.

You do have to wonder when these kind of mis-guided proposals come down the track -- no pun intended ...

"Ready to go and has to go since the Governor made promises in closed door meetings.

With no commitment from PanAm Railways to invest, we will give them 100s of millions of our tax dollars. I may make it my mission in life to ensure his legacy is this cronyism."
-- Androscoggin County Commissioner Jonathan LaBonte. (facebook comment)

The monkey in Maine, apparently does have the "main line sewed up tight ..."

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ca-ching, ca-ching ...

Today's hot topics were a casino and cell phone 9-1-1 calls.

Go figure.

There's a new proposal being floated to build a casino at Bate's Mill No. 5 in Lewiston. The idea has a lot of hurdles to overcome as we saw in the 2008 campaign by Seth Carey in Rumford.

It's a new twist on a relatively old story in Maine politics. Voters have rejected almost all of these attempts in Maine in recent years.

Not to mention there is already a competing measure heading for the ballot in 2010 -- which, if approved, sites a casino in nearby Oxford County.

This is sticky local politics, there are a lot of good people involved on both sides of this issue and remarkably they all seem to have what they believe to be the best interests of the people of Maine at heart.

My hope is the community will have an open, civil and informed discussion on this.

When I saw the online sniping, I thought one way to vent is to vote, so I set up this twit poll. It's totally non-scientific. But I promise it is not rigged but you can only vote once from any isp address.

That's the gist of the poll in long form.

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Here's a map for a bit more detail.

View Bates Mill No. 5 in a larger map

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