The Forest Avenue buildings that may be razed for a CVS house small businesses that include David Munster’s TV. His story hasn’t been told.

My grandfather William Munster opened Maine Radio on Munjoy Hill in the 1930s. His son (and my dad), Bill Munster, owned and operated United Television, a sales and service center on Congress Street, for 40 years.

The family business is now owned by my brother, David Munster. His son works in the store, making it a fourth-generation business servicing Portland for more than 80 years.

David is knowledgeable and friendly. Through advertising and donations, he has supported many other Portland businesses. He repairs televisions, keeping them out of landfills. He does the TV repair work for Portland’s hospitals.

The CVS developer has met with great community resistance. Portland has about 20 pharmacies. Are we willing to close long-established businesses with historic ties to Portlanders for yet another unattractive strip mall drugstore? Corporately owned stores tend to pay workers less, and have minimal contact with local employees. Small-business owners are in the neighborhood every day.

In an ideal world, city planners and those with exceptional financial resources would realize that the life and vibrancy of a city are found in its residents doing the work they love and know best, sharing it with their community.

If these entrepreneurs had financial support and city backing, their achievements could be admirable. It takes foresight, political will and generosity to achieve the right combination of diverse businesses that fuel the city’s economic engine while maintaining artistic elements that make life worthwhile.

Displacing established successful businesses with no affordable place to relocate is damaging and irresponsible. Portland shouldn’t do it.

Elizabeth Manduca


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