Friday, September 21, 2007

A silver lining

Much ado has been made of Hannaford's plans to build a new supermarket on the site of the old Cony High School. I myself opposed the plan, and voted it down when I was given an opportunity to do so. I feel it violates the spirit of the trust given to Augusta by Mr. Cony over a hundred years ago.

However, I am ever optimistic about the traffic hell that will soon ensue at the East Side Rotary, after reading this today...

Hannaford Bros. Co. said Wednesday it will be the first to build a supermarket meeting a building industry group's highest environmental standard.

The store will be so green that plants will be grown on part of its roof to add insulation and control stormwater. It will be built on the former site of Cony High School in Augusta.


By pursuing the platinum designation, the company commits to a design including features such as solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating and cooling, high efficiency refrigeration, energy efficient lighting and an advanced recycling program, not to mention the vegetation-topped roof.

You can read the rest here. All in all, I still think the whole thing reeks. But this is indeed a very nice silver lining. I look forward to seeing a Hannaford with a grass roof, should be neat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why'd you write that Obama post?

(Cross-posted at Turn Maine Blue)

I'll tell ya. That Obama deal in Portland that I wrote about makes me mad because it is precisely what Democrats don't believe in. They believe in government for all the citizens. Not just who can pay.

And yeah, I know, you see lots of people charging lots of money for stuff these days. But in Kennebec County, we're different.

Earth Day forum: free.
Labor Day picnic: free.
Candidates forum: free. (In Kennebunk, for the same event? $20.)
Fundraising dinner: $25.

Noticing a trend here? Almost always free, and if not free, cheap. We don't stand to make much off the Annual Dinner, unless we come through with a large Host Committee (and I'm trying! Boy am I trying!). And that Host Committee doesn't get "better access", or "more face time". They get acknowledged by us in our printed materials. They get loved by us. And when the elections roll around, you can guess which candidates we'll feel better about helping win their races. THAT is the only quid-pro-quo you'll see from us. Money from you (and as you can spare it, not certain amounts of it!) makes us happy. It makes us like you.

And to me, that dollar I get from the single mom on food stamps is much more valuable than a hundred bucks from a millionaire. Because it takes a special something from us for that woman to part with that dollar. She really has to believe in us to part with that dollar. And in exchange, we'd better deserve that dollar. That woman is the Kennebec County Democratic Committee's "special interest".

So the next time you're at one of our events, and you know you have money you can part with, for pete's sake, give it. You are giving us money to make sure that we don't have to charge that woman to get in. You keep us in the black. The Host Committee makes our dinner cheap, so people can say that they're going out and enjoying a tasty dinner, good company, and not breaking the bank to do it.

And compared to seeing Barack, at least at our event, you get to EAT for that $25. And boy is it tasty!

(P.S.: The Kennebec County 1st CD Candidate Forum is on September 20th at 7:00 PM at Augusta City Hall. Hope you can make it. And if you can spare some scratch, please bring it along and help keep these events free!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A bit of a rant

Yeah. I know I'm supposed to be neutral. But this annoys the hell out of me. ~Ed.

Barack Obama is scoring a plus with me on one side of this coin: he's actually coming to Maine. Kucinich comes here, because he knows this is a place where his support is strong and he can bring in delegates. And love Dennis as I may, he isn't gonna win the election. But I do want his voice heard in the debate, and with the potential of a brokered convention this year, I'd love to see The Menace be able to swing a nomination.

Obama, on the other hand, is a star. One of the top three. Preaching his message of hope for us all. So I hear he's coming to Portland, and I say, hey, I want to meet him. See what he's all about. So I check into it... and I can see Obama speak, for the low low price of only $23.

Now, I skip the Muskie Lobster Bake every year. Why? Can't afford it. I skip the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Same reason. I scrape together the $25 for my county's annual dinner, because I'm the vice chair, for pete's sake. I have an obligation to be there. And I know how poor our county is... I'd never ask for a complimentary ticket. I do get comped to go to the state convention, though.

I'm lower middle class, as the scale of poverty goes. I'm not in poverty, but some poor choices from my past have left me with some debt that I pay off, bit by bit. I'm not looking for pity, here, just a fact of life. But I have been very poor in the past, living in high cost of living Connecticut, family of 3, on one $8/hr paycheck. I know what it is to not eat because I don't have the money. Even today, I sometimes skip meals for that reason. I've been homeless before. I know poverty.

So for Barack Obama to speak of the politics of hope, while charging me $23 for the privilege of hearing him speak about how I need a better deal in the world... that pisses me off. Other candidates do not do this. At least, none I know of.

I will have no issue voting for Barack Obama if he wins the nomination. He's a good guy, has good ideas, and he'll be exponentially better than any candidate the Republicans have to offer. But I'm hard pressed to think of why I'd vote for a guy in the primary who I have to pay for the opportunity to have him influence me.

Senator Obama, please come see us in Kennebec County. We'll find you space to speak. But for the love of everything holy... do it for free.

The anniversary of 9/11

On this sad day, Hunter from DailyKos nails it:

The anniversary of September 11th is a strange and unambiguously American day. By all logic it should be a day dedicated to the victims of those terrible attacks: whether it started out that way or not I can hardly remember, but it quickly shifted into a day being about not the unchanging past, but the glancing present. It was not about the people who lost their lives, but about why we should do the thing as a result of it, where the thing was invade Iraq, or occupy Iraq, or stay in Iraq, or strip habeas rights, or stay longer in Iraq, or conduct domestic espionage against Americans in violation of the law, or re-elect the President, or stay yet longer in Iraq, or torture our enemies, or support the troops by staying still longer in Iraq.


Today Sean Hannity is having a Freedom Concert at a New Jersey amusement park, which has opened on a fall weekday especially for the occasion. The concert will support the troops. I originally thought it was crass -- no, creepy -- to be having a 9/11 memorial at a place with a water park and ferris wheel. But what do I know? We have gone this far, and to great fanfare -- why not make the whole day an amusement ride? It was a horrific terrorist attack that ingrained itself into the national psyche as much as Pearl Harbor: funnel cakes, anyone?

I'd encourage you to go read the whole thing.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Picnic a smashing success!

(Cross-posted at Turn Maine Blue)

To those who were there... you know how much fun it was! Over 80 people showed up to attend the gathering with Tom Allen as our main speaker, including five of the six candidates for his House seat (all but Jill Duson). Thanks to the Winthrop Democrats for putting together such a great event!

The peace activists, too, were out in force. They asked Tom some hard questions about Iraq, and he was very gracious in his response. It was good to see Tom in the "no-spin zone".

Maine Impeach also made an appearance, and it's always good to see them, especially JB. To those who know JB, well, you know why it's always fun to see her. She's a hoot.

All five of the attending candidates and Tom Allen have pledged $100 and joined the Host Committee for the Kennebec County Annual Dinner- the Democrats' Family Reunion (Jill, I'll be stalking you soon!). We have also had a couple other commitments, one of which is Sean Faircloth, the House Whip (or whatever they call him these days). We hope to expand the Host Committee to all our electeds in Kennebec as well.

If you would like to attend the Family Reunion, it is on October 26th at the Augusta Elks Lodge, so mark your calendars. You can order a ticket through our ActBlue page. We also have another ActBlue page for our Host Committee.

Thanks to all those who made our event such a smashing success.