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. Parks.com 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
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
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,
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