To the Editor

To The Editor:

Recently I visited Calais High School with the intention of getting the staff and students interested in participating in our first Bay of Fundy International Marathon.

As a retired educator of some thirty four years I have a keen awareness of the dynamic of a school whenever I enter the building. So it was on the day I met with the school principal Dan Cohnsteadt. Mr. Cohnsteadt was enthusiastic about his school, the staff and student body. After I had discussed the schools possible involvement with the marathon, we toured the building and I met some staff. Everyone I met shared a commitment to the school and the students. Education was evident everywhere. The halls had been decorated ready for winter carnival and Mr. Cohnsteadt indicated that teachers would stay until eight o’clock in the evening to assure well decorated halls. They receive no overtime for this.

The City of Calais should be proud of their high school and the comprehensive curriculum it offers to the student body. It should also be thankful they have a fine principal who has a keen understanding of educational trends.

Currently education has fallen victim to many bureaucrats and pundits who dictate policy and who have never set food inside a classroom. It takes courage to recognize a good school and willingness to fight for its future. I hope the good people of Calais will have that courage and take the time to see what a find job is being done there.

My compliments to the staff and students.

Rachel Rubeor

 

To The Editor:

For those who were unable to attend the March 13 panel discussion on the possible downsides of Cianbro’s proposed East-West Corridor, this is what I learned:

1. The Cianbro/MDOT process is so hidden from public view that the proposed route is still not known for sure, and won’t be until it’s nearly a “done deal.”

2. Based on what is known, Cianbro initially wanted to cut the straightest route between Quebec and New Brunswick’s seaports, to more efficiently move natural resources (including, at some point perhaps, Maine’s water, wood, gravel, minerals, and rare metals) to China and other world markets. Problems with a slightly more northerly route has the new route paralleling Route 1 (with 500-foot right-of-ways) from Calais to Pembroke, then heading west on a path that would cross the Dennys River and go either north or south of (and very close to) Cathance Lake. A much-discussed spur to Eastport may be more of a sales-pitch item than anything else. But even if true, imagine what hundreds of trucks a week would do to Eastport. Needless to say, property values along the route would be significantly impacted.

3. This plan is going ahead despite the State’s 1999 economic impact analysis of an east-west highway, which clearly indicated that such a highway would not be good for the State’s economy. Routes 1 and 9, in particular, would lose a great deal of traffic, which could devastate Washington County.

4. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that private property can be taken (by eminent domain) by a private entity if the State decides it’s for the public good.

5. The fenced Corridor would permanently alter wildlife paths and habitats, damage Downeast aquifers and fishery habitats, bisect communities, and restrict future expansion for local needs. 

6. Public-private legislation enacted in 2008 means that State taxpayers could be on the hook for up to half of the initial capital costs of the Corridor, as well as possible future maintenance or bankruptcy costs if problems arise.

7. Global businesses and transnational corporations (who offer most of their employees low wages and few benefits) would be promoted at the expense of local businesses. Factoring in the number of communities that could become bypassed by the Corridor, the project could actually result in a net job decrease for the State. 

8. The people who presented this information are members of stopthecorridor.org (207-564-8687; stopthecorridor@gmail.com). They recommended that we contact our local and State legislators with any concerns we might have about the East-West Corridor proposal.

Melodie Greene 

Red Beach

 

To The Editor:
Last week at the city council meeting our City Manager announced that Calais had been selected by Fox News to be part of their “Communities of Distinction” program.
This sounded rather exciting. Then came the rest of the story....There was a $24,000 price tag for five minutes of air time! And a copy in DVD form for the City’s use.
Consider this gift as another example of big business attempting to hoodwink small communities.
Joan Perry