There doesn't seem to be very many people around who share Gene Conlogue's confidence in MAGIC's ability to bring development to the Millinocket area.
This should come as no surprise, since the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) is headed by a member of the board of The Nature Conservancy, one of the most anti-development organizations on the planet, and because the opportunities in this area have decreased dramatically since MAGIC has been at work robbing us of our future.
Certainly, this pessimism was borne out in the Millinocket Area Housing Assessment, presented to the council during its March 25 meeting.
Noting a population drop of 3,290 people in the Millinocket, East Millinocket, and Medway area between 1980 and 2000, and a decline of more than 50% in manufacturing jobs between 1980 and 2003, the study predicted that "these trends are almost certain to continue indefinitely."
The proposed solution to this drastic problem was not, as you might expect, to find a way in which to increase employment opportunities in the area, but to cut back on the number of available housing units - or reduce the size of the towns by demolishing 20% of the available housing.
For many years, area children have been unable to find work in the region after graduation. For the past couple of years or longer, many of our friends and neighbors have had to find work elsewhere, putting their homes up for sale, or abandoning them, this despite the fact that these were people who desperately wanted to remain in their own homes and to grow old in the town in which they were raised.
Thousands upon thousands of dollars have been eaten up by the gang at MAGIC, yet we are led to believe that nothing has been accomplished, and to accept that the Katahdin area will continue in decline indefinitely.
The folks at MAGIC aren't nearly as incompetent as they might appear. What we are witnessing is MAGIC at work, doing precisely what they intended to do from the very beginning.
Several years ago, RESTORE held a meeting in Greenville, in which they presented their plan to depopulate the North Woods. Communities slated for a decrease in population of from 20-60% include East Millinocket and Medway, as well as Brownville, Island Falls, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag, Patten, Sherman, Sherman Mills, Sherman Station, Stacyville, and more than fifty other towns. Forty-one northern Maine towns and communities are slated for 100% depopulation.
We should not be surprised to find that this list includes the towns that we've invited under the larger MAGIC umbrella, through a CDBG Public Service Grant for an Enterprise Facilitator position, in which MAGIC will be a member. In other words, expanding MAGIC's non-development agenda to other Maine communities.
No, MAGIC is doing just what it was intended to do, which is to implement the sustainable development portion of Local Agenda 21 by reducing the population of rural Maine through a collective effort to destroy its economy and reduce the number of opportunities for the people who live here.
We can anticipate that the only development that will be permitted to occur in this area will serve to reward a small circle of friends, while the big payoffs will be to the real stakeholders in the MAGIC enterprise, some of whom may already be involved in a scheme to develop Black Cat Mountain and Hammond Ridge at the expense of our only radio station.
We may never learn who is behind that one, as their identities may be hidden behind an LLC, but it's a safe bet that they're on the board of MAGIC.
There will be some jobs created, and there will be some development, but it will be severely limited, and will serve to reward a larger circle of friends, and to enrich the stakeholders in the scheme.
MAGIC is all about enriching a small circle of friends with the assistance of the green movement, including RESTORE, The Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, and others, including some within our state government. MAGIC board members, including at least one who sits on the Millinocket town council, have traveled to meet with these groups, to make alliances, and to plan strategy.
Together, MAGIC or its allies have killed our paper industry and they have worked hard to block any opportunities for recovery.
To accomplish this, they have used our tax money as well as other funds intended for development in this region, and they have used it against us.
MAGIC is very good at what it does.