Masters in the Center

Monday, December 26, 2005

Lamenting Maine - Part 1

Originally uploaded by ocellnuri.
Maine is my home state. It's not where I was born, but it's where I grew up. I've got a romantic vision of it in my mind's eye. The sun shining off the tall grass in the fields I ran through during cross country practice. The snow covered trails I hiked through between home and school each winter day. It's a place that's natural. Nature resides in Maine. Industry is sleepy. The pace is slower, and more measured. It's my idealistic childhood comfort fantasy.

This is way the current events disturb me.

I just drove home to be with my family for the Christmas season. I was almost in Bangor, headed north on interstate 95 when I smelt it. The dump. I smelt it last summer, and the summer before. The stench filled my nostrils for the first time two summers ago. I was appalled. It was like realizing that your Dad is not invincible. Like watching your team lose a championship game. I felt like something beautiful had died.

I never imagined that I would drive through a part of the state that stunk of trash. I thought the only offender was the Old Town mill, which puts out a strange sulfur smell. That mill was the only unnatural odor I knew of. Now there were two, the second being the stench of trash wafting in the air, strong enough to be smelt at 70 mph.

What's going on? Why does Maine smell? Who is responsible for this? I don't yet know the answers to those questions, but I hope to find out soon. Someone is responsible for piling the trash so high that it stinks in the wind. Someone is to blame for the excessive pile of waste. My gut feeling is that this site has been mismanaged by the irresponsible in exchange for money. I feel like someone must have had their pockets lined to allow this to happen. What's worse is that another dump is being built in Old Town.

I think the people of Maine are being taken for a ride by their leadership. Where are the protectors of the state? Who is selling out our Natural resources? Who is responsible for destroying my childhood paradise? I think these people have been bribed by a negligent company. What other explanation is there? I know that it is possible to build dumps that do not stink up the surrounding area. This must take lots of money, and drastically reduce the profit on the dump operation. There must be a huge cost and effort involved in making a "eco-friendly" dump, but the cost is dollars is nothing compared to the cost to the environment when a dump goes bad. The environmental costs could be as serious as a contaminated water supply. What if this chemical run-off seeps into our drinking water?

I haven't done the investigating to validate any of these feelings. I have no facts to back me up, I'm sure you could get them by talking to the people of Bangor and Old Town. I don't know what I'm about to do, but I hope to affect a change here. This is serious. I can't sit in inaction while my childhood paradise is pillaged.


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