Courier-Gazette Editorial

Being true to ourselves

By The Editorial Board | Jan 21, 2021

It is disheartening to see locals engaging in the mayhem that has been coming out of Washington, D.C.

Someone spraypainted “Kill Mills” on the pavement and on a State Park sign in Owls Head.

Is this really what anyone wants, for the Governor of Maine to be murdered for doing what she thinks is right in trying to protect us all during a pandemic?

We can certainly disagree about policies and decisions, economic, scientific and political. Part of being a functioning adult is coming to the realization that we can disagree about issues without resorting to violence.

Local Republican leaders need to bear that in mind too, as they promote the discredited view that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, on their social media pages. This ends-justify-the-means rhetoric helped fuel the violence in Washington Jan. 6. We pray that no further violence has transpired as you read this newspaper later this week.

The concerns about the election were properly vetted through the courts, and no wide-spread election fraud was found. We have a system of government in this country with various branches, and we rely on the courts to help in these matters. If we turn to conspiracy theories and refuse to follow the laws and the systems we have in place, we will be rewarded with chaos and anarchy.

As for sending messages of hate and violence, we ask that everyone take a moment to consider one important question: “Who are we?”

We are Mainers, and Mainers are hard-working to the point of being too busy for this foolishness. Mainers are wise, wary of being sold on something, slow to become followers, conservative with money and reasonable in the face of emotional manipulation.

This is the state of Joshua Chamberlain. This is the state that leads, with the motto Dirigo.

Consider what your parents and grandparents went through, and what they expect of you, and remember, we are better than this, far too bright to be sucked into the national hysteria.

Cell tower is going to happen

The Planning Board has raised a lot of good points in the stalemate over a proposed cell tower next to Pizza Hut on Camden Street.

Since that board was named in the suit, they should have been consulted before the City Council opted to settle the matter. Since the decision is out of the hands of the Planning Board, there should be some provision for the settlement to go around the board. It is a matter of integrity for the Planning Board members to stand up to an order to approve findings of fact that they do not find factual and to rubber stamp approval.

However, the issue is now looking like it could cost the city big in court penalties as it goes into contempt of court. The Planning Board is right, but can the city afford to be right on this one?

The Federal Law gives an unfair advantage to those proposing to build towers and interferes with local rule. The city cannot prohibit cell towers, even if it wants to, and ultimately this project is going to happen.

Currently, the company proposing this, Bay Communications, is asking the court to fine the city $1,000 for every day it fails to grant approval for the cell tower as part of a contempt of court proceedings. In addition, if approval is not granted by Feb. 4, the company wants Rockland to pay $77,038 to the company for its costs. We think it is unlikely that a court would be that irresponsible, but ultimately some kind of damages will be awarded which along with mounting legal fees amount to a waste of money and time for the city.

City officials including those on the Planning Board should do what they can to bring this to a quick resolution, accept this loss and move on to the next thing.

Welcome, Highbrow

It was uplifting to see in the middle of economic struggles brought on by the pandemic a new business and industry met with enthusiasm and a line of customers in Rockland.

Recreational marijuana shop Highbrow opened Jan. 16 at 696 Main St.

It has certainly been a widely debated issue, whether to legalize marijuana, but we are seeing a new store succeeding on Main Street and a local company employing 38 people. It was a bright spot this week and we encourage the owners to work to be a responsible neighbor in our community.

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