Local letters to the Editor

The right move for
the people of Maine

To the Editor:
    Within a few weeks the two hospitals in Piscataquis County, Mayo Regional in Dover-Foxcroft and Charles Dean Hospital in Greenville will receive $4,627,690 and $1,278,222 respectfully. This is payment for money that has been owed to these and the rest of the hospitals in Maine. This is payment for the debt owed for medical services rendered to Medicaid recipients. This debt is several years old.

    Paying this debt and the $490 million that is owed to other Maine hospitals is the result of a renegotiated contract for the state’s liquor business. The revenue from this contract will be used to pay off a revenue bond, or in other words the legislature cannot touch the money. Before the bill to allow this to happen there were many proposals of how to use the money, there was much posturing and counter proposals but the idea that Gov. LePage put forward won out.
    During this time I received countless letters from folks asking me to support the governor’s position. I did and now this infusion of money is coming to two of our largest employers of good-paying jobs. This will do nothing but help the economy of our area. In the end of all the debate in Augusta both Democrats and Republicans came together and did the right thing for the people and businesses of Maine.

Rep. Paul T. Davis Sr.


Assert your rights
to choose

To the Editor:
    On Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Special Town Meeting held at the Sangerville Fire Department. One of the items that will be on the warrant gives the voting residents an opportunity to weigh in on a “Community Bill of Rights Ordinance” designed to prevent the construction of a highway and/or utility distribution corridor, such as the proposed E/W Corridor, in our town.
    This past Wednesday, Sept. 4, a public hearing was held to give Sangerville residents an opportunity to hear a reading of that ordinance (referred to as a Rights Based Ordinance or RBO) and to make comments, express concerns and ask questions.
    Although only a few residents attended, I felt there was a good exchange of comments, questions and concerns. The presentation made by the Sangerville Community Rights Group (SCRG) was informative. Letters were read from the legal counsel, Lynne Williams, who was hired by the town to review the ordinance and who was present for the entire hearing, and also from Gail Darell who represents the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) who assisted the SCRG with writing the RBO. Many concluded that an amendment or two might be needed to clear up confusion about the development of private driveways or access roads, or existing utility and/or telecommunication agreements. The Select Board felt those amendments could be written in time to review and approve them at their September 10 meeting. Once approved they would be added to the Special Town Meeting Warrant and then posted the requisite seven days prior to the date of the Special Town Meeting.
    My purpose for writing this letter is to express how important it is for Sangerville voters to know about the RBO, understand it and vote for it on the 18th. I am a little concerned that there could be low turnout for the Special Town Meeting. Many folks have told me they understand about the RBO and that they plan to be there to vote. I hope so! But just in case there are still Sangerville citizens who have not heard about the ordinance or who need more information to decide I thought I’d offer a brief review of what it is and how it works.
    Sangerville’s proposed Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (RBO) would make a fundamental change in the way the town handles state and federal regulatory procedures. The ordinance involves the claim that we have the right to a final say over what corporate infrastructures are located in our town.
    The way it is now, regulatory procedure can decide not to recognize our town’s existing codes, policies, zoning rules, and other ordinances. This is called the doctrine of preemption. Preemption allows permits granted by the state & federal authorities to override local control. For example, Sangerville has a land ordinance. All of us who live here have to respect it when we build or we can try to get a variance from our local planning board. A corporation [such as Cianbro], once they receive a state permit, does not have to respect our local land use ordinance.
    What the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (RBO) does is change the way it is now by claiming the right of the citizens of Sangerville to community self-government based on the Maine Constitution. It challenges the doctrine of preemption because Sangerville citizens assert their legal standing in regulatory matters. It declares that corporations shall not have the rights of persons under the U.S. or the Maine Constitution. It removes the corporation’s power to use state or federal preemptive law, including eminent domain, in Sangerville without our consent. It claims the right of the citizens of Sangerville to determine our own future. [Rather than sacrifice parts of our town to infrastructure projects forced upon us by someone else.]
    How does the RBO Work? It declares a bill of rights including: Right to self-governance. Right to sustainable infrastructure projects. Right to use and enjoy land. Right to preserve aesthetic values and the environment of our town. It is based on the argument that we reject the E/W Corridor Project on the basis of being unsustainable (unsupported by and unsupportive of our town). How Sangerville works toward a more sustainable future is left for us to determine through our own decision-making approved by a vote of the people at a legal town meeting. The key point here is: This is up to us — not an outside authority.
    I urge all registered voters in Sangerville to attend the Special Town Meeting on the 18th and to assert your rights to choose what is acceptable for our community.

Cynthia Hall


Maine Day of Remembrance
for Murder Victims

To the Editor:
    September 25, 2013 will mark the seventh annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. The Maine Chapter, National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children and Other Survivors of Homicide Victims, (POMC) will commemorate the Maine Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on Wednesday, Sept, 25, from 1-3 p.m., in the Fireplace Lounge, Randall Center, University of Maine, Augusta. This observance will pay tribute to the hundreds of Maine related people who have been murdered.
    The program will include remarks by First Lady Ann LePage, Rev. Kate Braestrup, chaplain, Maine Warden Service, Attorney General Janet Mills, and Maine State Police Lt Brian McDonough. Songs of inspiration and hope and prayers of invocation and benediction will be offered. Survivors and others will again be privileged to have the “Empty Place at The Table” memorial on display, courtesy of New Hope for Women.
    Every murder has devastating effects on our families and communities. It shatters much of what was joyous and valuable in the lives of surviving family and friends, and it’s important for the public to remember that anyone can become a victim.
    The Maine Chapter, POMC has provided support services for surviving family members of murder victims, as well as murder prevention programs for more than 23 years, and is currently working to create a permanent memorial monument, dedicated to homicide victims, for placement in Augusta.
    The event is free, and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program. Those who have lost someone to homicide are encouraged to bring a framed, free-standing photo, and any small personal item of their loved one, for our memorial display table. For more information, or directions call (277-207) 3518, or (207) 623-8642.

Arthur Jette,
chapter leader


Let’s play…
”who’s more informed?”

To the Editor;:
    Who is more informed? Certainly not our local RBOers and their local supporters. This is frightening for many reasons. First, if they are not aware of the intent/mission of the very organization they are being supported by and whose lead they are following, then how can any Sangerville resident feel confident, let alone comfortable, with their proposed Rights Based Ordinance? In a recent letter to the editor from CELDF and RBO supporters Fernow and Frasz, published Sept. 4 on these pages, they accused me of misrepresenting CELDF’s purpose or intentions. Let us all look at the facts.
    The supposed misrepresentation I am accused of presenting in my earlier letter was in fact a direct quote from Mr. Thomas Linzey, chief council and executive director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), out of Pennsylvania. Anyone who fact checks, in order to ascertain who their future bedfellows might be, can easily find the video: CELDF’s “New Frontiers: Building a Grassroots Movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature” on the Internet. Everyone interested in the RBO promoters and supporters should check out this informative video. In it Mr. Linzey states clearly…”This local lawmaking is intentionally provoking controlled confrontations…forcing…lawsuits against communities.”(emphasis on intentionally was CELDF’s). You will find both the screen containing these words as well as Mr. Linzey reading the script 9 minutes and 34 seconds into the presentation. I personally find it interesting that when I began asking questions and investigating the history and mission behind the organization encouraging and organizing our local Sangerville RBO group, they accuse me of being ill informed. Perhaps our community would be better served if some individuals would pull the blinders off and start asking better questions instead of drinking directly from the proffered “punch bowl?” Certainly the community would benefit from individuals who did not “blindly” lead others down the path of the misinformed.
    Round two of “Who’s more informed?” At the public hearing on the proposed RBO for Sangerville held Sept. 4, the proponents stated more than several times in answer to local concerns: “we mean,” “it means,” “it’s meant only for…” etc. I understand the individuals of the RBO group might “mean” lots of things but the bottom line is that this proposed ordinance is a legal document and it will only work so far as the words written on the page. If your intentions can not be made clear, in writing, to those of us that will vote and be required to live with the consequences then you are in fact asking us to approve a document that will invariably shove us over the slippery slope of legal mayhem. Let us consider some additional information.
    The lawyer who reviewed the proposed ordinance in fact stated in her opinion letter that municipal officials should be prepared for the possibility of a lawsuit. She went on to state as well that repercussions of legal fees and the involvement of our insurance company should be anticipated and probably planned for. I’m wondering if in CELDF’s business plans or in their promotional materials advocating these “controlled confrontations” if they adequately prepare and inform the petitioning residents of the possible “real” cost of doing democracy their way? When town officials and the RBO group members were asked if proper or adequate amendments could be made in time to the proposed ordinance prior to the special town meeting vote on Sept. 18, the answer(s) were mixed and questioned as to what was the proper procedure. So much for the informed.
    People can rant on and on all they want. It is their right. Whether they are from our town or not, although for these individuals without a stake in the fight they have less to lose. Some may even have good points. However, to state publicly, “No Compromise”… they really do have an awful lot to learn about democracy and the rights of individuals they purportedly represent in this action. Not to mention, they should try learning and sharing more factual information with the public at large instead of “meaning” to do so.

Irving McNaughton

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