I now spend half the year in Florida and the rest on Colcord Pond in the town of Porter, Maine. Porter and other small towns around it are all depressed economically, and so is the rest of the state of Maine, which spends millions educating its young people only to see them move elsewhere to work and raise their children.

Sitting on my porch looking through 28 feet of south-facing windows, I am reminded of the times I have spent the winters here, coming onto this same porch with the temperatures below freezing outside and sitting reading the Portland Press Herald, nothing above my waist but a T shirt, and being perfectly comfortable just so long as the sun remains shining.

A few months ago, the newspaper ran a story about Germany and its many solar power home installations. The article pointed out that Maine gets more winter sun than Germany.

Well! That’s interesting! Are the Germans stupid? Hardly.

The state of Maine has an abundance of empty mill buildings – Kezar Falls is only one instance – and many depressed towns and regions with empty mill buildings Is there any good reason why our state cannot build solar components and systems, install them here and ship them to other areas of the country?

We have the builders and the workers, plumbers, carpenters, sales people, everybody needed. It has been my experience and that of many others that when one believes in something, really believes, then results are often forthcoming. Our state Legislature, senators and representatives in Congress need to become much more active, leading the way in getting the state out of its economic doldrums. There is a solution and a good one!

Charles Churchill

Porter