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Sally Bouchard

Speaking Out In Millinocket
By Sally Bouchard
Aug 20, 2007 - 12:24:38 PM

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When Councilor Busque spoke out about the logging practice of one of the big land owners, he was threatened that if he didn't apologize, access to the trails would be taken away.

When it comes to the woods of Maine and the rights being taken away from the people, Councilor Busque speaks with passion and he speaks from the heart. He also has the courage to speak out and, in that regard, he is in the minority.

Too many people in this area do not have the courage to speak out. Camp owners on leased land will not speak out because they are afraid their leases will be taken away from them.

Business owners will not speak out because they are afraid of the power of the clique formed around the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC).

Many others will not speak out because they are afraid of losing their jobs or a member of their family will.

There is much fear in Millinocket, and too many are silent due to that fear. They will not speak out and because they won't speak out, our town will never survive. Through their silence they are giving the clique more power, and only in the ballot box can they ever dare to express their opinions.

Councilor Busque is in trouble with the people who are making money with snowmobiles; those who want trails for the ATV's and other uses of the trails, as they want access to this land, and that is being held over their heads.

After all of these years of being betrayed by the big landowners, and all the owners of the paper mill, the question is why are they still putting their hopes in people who have never put the interests of the people who live in this area at heart. Rather, it always has been about money and it is still all about money.

Millinocket is a divided town and Jimmy Busque speaks for the people of the area. He is a speaking for all of us and for our heritage that we have in northern Maine.

We do not like the big land owners taking away what we have had for hundreds of years. We do not like people from away buying up the land and closing it off to the people who have always used the woods for hunting, fishing; and even to all of the camp owners who have lost their camps because they have been priced out by the people with money.

Jimmy speaks for us, and he also speaks for the people of Northern Maine who are fighting for access to the Allagash River, the hunters who don't hunt anymore as another big land owner clearcut the land from Ashland to Fort Kent, resulting in deer leaving the area.

Jimmy is speaking for us with courage and conviction. Well done Jimmy; you are a voice of the people and you are for the people.

Matt Polstein speaks for his friends in Augusta, who have, time after time, lied to us, and betrayed our trust. Matt Polstein speaks for those who have only their own self interest in mind.

It was a friend of Matt's who, as president of Bowater, sold land to the Nature Conversancy; and is now on the board of the Nature Conversancy and was president of the organization called MAGIC.

That friend of Matt's, who was president of Bowater, also resigned before the mill went bankrupt so that he, unlike too many of the mill workers, didn't lose anything. Of all people, he has much to apologize for, yet he has never apologized for his actions as president of Bowater, nor has anyone else who was involved with the mill going bankrupt.

Millinocket is divided, and it is thanks to the clique that started the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council that this town remains divided. The only growth that might happen is up on Hammond Ridge, which is not in Millinocket, and is Matt's project; which he got by buying land from his friends on the hill; the same people who will not sell to any of the camp owners who would also like to be given the opportunity to buy up their leases.

Being on the town council paid well for Matt, as he was able to help his friends when they needed help with annexation and getting a TIF.

It is Matt's friends who gave us the Katahdin Land Swap, that same group which planned to give us the Backcountry Project which did not want any motorized vehicles on the land. That means no snowmobiles and no ATV's, and it will come to pass if the people do not get involved.

Jimmy Busque was born and raised in Millinocket. Matt wasn't, but it is Matt who has the political connections and says he will create jobs. Matt is a business man, while Jimmy is a millworker.

Matt has friends and knows how to play the game, Jimmy is Jimmy and, like many of the people of Millinocket, he is trying to do his best for his family, his town and his heritage.

If you are afraid to speak out, thinking that if you don't, you'll get what you want, how is that working out for you? If you won't speak out for yourself, at least listen to what others are saying. Follow the money.

Money talks and we the people of Millinocket, and our country, are being sold down the river by the very people who are in power and are supposed to preserve and protect our town and our nation.

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