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David Cyr

Trinkets, and The Reasons They Love ‘Em
By David Cyr
Oct 17, 2005 - 12:28:00 AM

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Another response to Bruce Fleming’s reference to a trinket economy.

Mr. Fleming, you should take the time to study the reasons why MAGIC’s leaders secretly used taxpayer funds to transition Millinocket into a Gateway Community. They were working behind our back for a reason ... “greed”.

There is a nationwide shortage of people who are willing to call a minimum wage job a career, especially on the East Coast. I did my homework. You also can pull up the U. S. website, where you will find over 410 Parks, Preserves, and Memorials, all listed alphabetically. From that list I broke out 136 that are likely to have Gateway Communities around them. Each individual Park or Preserve, comes with a map when you pull it up. From that map you can determine the names of the communities that are likely to be designated as Gateway Communities. Here’s where it gets easy, all you have to do now is Google that town’s Chamber of Commerce and you will meet some very interesting and helpful people. They are very happy to tell you everything: what form of industry they had (as in past tense), the type of manufacturing and how many tourism-related attractions and businesses they have now.

Then you will learn what I learned. The Nature Conservancy has been there too. They will tell you how they used to mine copper, used to mine silver, or used to have a farming industry, but because of environmental concerns, mining has stopped, and farming has ended because vast areas of farmland are now protected.

In every case you will discover a new exciting economy being built around tourism - Visitor Centers, Cultural Centers, Heritage Museums, and some Eco Parks, where wood harvesting used to exist. These are the tools needed to give some form of hope to towns that have had their industry stolen from them. You will find some happy people - they don’t know that the Nature Conservancy closed down their livelihood, because those who lived there during the transition no longer live there. The people who moved in have been led to believe that it was the economy, or competition from China.

No one wants to believe that there are people evil enough to remove small industry and large industry, just because they can. Actually the reason goes back to the trinket job issue. In as many as 20% of the towns you will research, there is still a declining manufacturing base. If you ask about finding work there you will learn that there is a shortage of help in the trinket/tourism market, and you could be hired instantly.

Now you can ask some questions locally, like:

  • Why did MAGIC steer clear of Bob Moscones Boiler factory?
  • Why did MAGIC tell Carla Portwine that they could not give her incubator space in the BRIC building because she would have gotten too big, too fast?
  • Why did MAGIC ignore Mike DiBona until he had to buy a building in East Millinocket to manufacture his wood and concrete products?”

The answers are simple - $20.00 an hour jobs with benefits. If those industries were allowed to exist in a Gateway Community, no one would work in the trinket jobs. It all goes back to greed. If Matt Polstein has to compete with high paying jobs with benefits, his resort project, cabin rentals, and rafting business will struggle to find help and have to actually pay them a real wage.

Bob Moscone has been offered help if he moves to Medway, and if you follow the MAGIC buzzwords and explanations, we are all supposed to be just as happy to work in Medway, because it is better than having to leave the area to work.

What they are not about to tell you is that they have designed Millinocket to be a Gateway Community that will soon have a population of less than three thousand, and will be mostly inhabited by second home buyers. They don’t need schools, or half of the services that we do. They can eventually consolidate the schools, replace the Police Dept with Sheriffs and County protection, and actually replace our full time fire protection with a volunteer system.

Mr. Fleming, I apologize if my first response to your first letter sounded harsh, I just liked the way the title of the song sounded. But make no mistake, this town and it’s residents are painfully aware of the Nature Conservancy’s plan to ship good paying jobs down the pike, and herd us like content sheep into a trinket economy, or out of town.

The problem is, we found out what they are doing, and are not going to stand around to let them “do it to us”. We gave the Wilderness Society the boot in last November’s election, and the Nature Conservancy is about to get a steel-toe right up the wha-zoo in this election.

The bigger problem is that people like you fail to see this problem as it relates to the entire state. In 1994, Maine was # 24 in business friendly climate, thanks to Nature Conservancy trustee Governor Angus King, and his second string quarterback, Baldacci, we are now the most anti-business state in the country. This wasn’t done by accident. This state has been working hard to destroy it’s own economy because they intend to shove tourism right down our throats. To force our population to embrace a trinket/tourism economy they have to kill everything else. Why else would a State voluntarily set it’s workers Comp rate at 14% when the national average is 3.5%?

Again it gets back to the Nature Conservancy, they set up shop here in Maine in 1956, to do a job. In 1967 they promoted the introduction of studies to the 104th legislature, from the info in those studies, they helped to build the second most restrictive land use regulation agency on earth, we call it LURC, 9/21/71.

In 1985, LURC demanded that GNP would guarantee employment levels at both mills before they would receive a permit to build the “Big A” Dam. That demand was the first time in history that a State agency demanded employment levels from a private corporation.

That decision was the beginning of the end of Great Northern Paper. Once the largest landowner in the state, with 19 dams, 2.1 million acres of land, now it has 336,000 acres, no dams and a questionable future.

Because myself and many others know that the paper industry did not fall down, because it was torn down, you will never convince us that a trinket job is what we deserve, because we know, it is what the Nature Conservancy has stuck us with.

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