This is democracy?

15 years ago

To the editor:
    It has come to the attention of those of us with a healthy distrust of our current federal government that plans are already being laid for the construction of several new border patrol facilities around the state.  One of these is reportedly planned for Presque Isle, another for Houlton, and a third (already under construction — prior to any public comment — in Rangeley. While the purported purpose of this expansion is, of course, to deal with the threat of foreign terrorists entering our borders, these facilities are moving ahead with almost no opportunity for public comment or review.
    Some of us are tired of the federal government, especially the Department of Fath … uh … Homeland Security running roughshod over civil liberties, as well as state and local laws, But this latest example is extraordinarily egregious given the fact that no public input has been possible. Check the date at the top of this newspaper. The public comment period ended on 11-17-08, and no notice of the input period was appropriately rendered to the public.
    Additionally, there is another situation brewing. You may have heard about the plans for a massive new electric transmission system being considered to move all the electric power from these giant new wind farms from Aroostook County to the New England grid — with not one thin dime in reduced KwH charges to Aroostook consumers. It is not yet known how wide this new transmission corridor will have to be, or how many homes will be seized as a result of eminent domain, but the fact that the PUC is reportedly allowing only three days for public comment ought to stir the hackles of every patriotic Mainer.
    No one is against progress. But we all have a duty to be sure that “progress” is truly what this all is, and we have a right and solemn obligation (in our supposed democracy) to have our voices heard and our opinions truly considered on matters of such importance to our county and state.

Steve Martin