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Kathy Gagnon

Adapt & Accept Change
By Kathy Gagnon
Jul 27, 2006 - 9:09:00 AM

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Lately it seems we Mainers can not turn on a newscast or pick up a newspaper without someone telling us we need to "adapt and accept change". More often than not, these words are coming from outside interests wanting to make those changes for us. With the understanding that we already have, due to the economy in Maine, we all know that some change will be necessary in order to improve this. Why, though, must those changes be dictated to us by others looking to make money from the exact things that have drawn them to our state and which we have saved and protected to the point that a lot of what can be found in Maine cannot be found elsewhere? Why must we adapt and accept what the numerous, wealthy outside organizations have decided is best for our state?

We are seeing this happen everywhere, everyday. Walmart officials are telling the residents of Bangor that they need to "adapt and accept change" so that they can build another superstore. Bob Benjamin and Dan Corcoran have told Millinocket residents we need to "adapt and accept change" so that they can build condos. The Nature Conservancy, Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Northern Forest Alliance to name a few have told us we need to "adapt and accept change" so that they can save the North Woods - from us!

Councilor Matthew Polstein is telling us that we need to "adapt and accept change". Why? So he can build a resort at Hammond Ridge and turn us into a gateway community.

Guilds Hollowell and the Katahdin Cultural Center are telling us we need to "adapt and accept change". Why, so they can build their version of what our local culture is, in a neat little package. Forget the fact that Mr. Hollowell and the chair of the centerís board are only recent residents and all the controversy as to whether this project is for profit or non-profit, we need to "adapt and accept change".

Councilor Bruce McLean of MAGIC tells us we need to "adapt and accept changeí in order to have economic development. Considering the amount of time we have patiently and expectantly waited these changes that are supposed to bring economic development and in spite of all of the funding that has been unaccountably spent, we still have no change or any economic development.

Yes, we may need to "adapt and accept change", but I believe the people best suited and most knowledgeable in what those changes should be are those of us who live here and raise our families here, not outsiders or newcomers. After all, we have been the caretakers of our town, the North Woods, and our state for many years and are the ones responsible for it being something everyone wants. Letís agree to "adapt and accept change" - of our choice and bring recovery to our state and our town. If we allow others to make these changes for us, we may well end up with something that we no longer recognize.

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