I spend a considerable amount of time taking in news from a number of platforms. Radio, television and online, both local and statewide. For the last week there have been three stories, that while very different, have been ever-present in the local news cycles.

Power

The idea of a customer, or consumer, owned power utility has been floated by a local pol during a couple of legislative sessions in Maine. I am not someone that can defend Central Maine Power. They have been awful to their customers and have rightly earned their dismal customer service rankings that have been talked about in the press.

That being said, is it a really good idea to float the idea of borrowing billions of dollars to own the utility? For better or worse CMP knows their job. Sure, their billing issues have been top of the fold news for more than a year now. Their answers to questions have left everyone from the Public Utilities Commission to the Public Advocate to the customers wanting a better accounting of how the business is run. But, I am not sure that replacing the leadership at CMP with hundreds of thousands of local “owners” will benefit anyone’s interest in the long term.

Then, of course, comes the question of how long will it take to pay off the bonds? And will the bonds be like the Turnpike Authority tolls? Some of you are probably old enough to remember when we were told the tolls would come down when the bonds for that road were fully paid.

Protection

The news about the upcoming referendum question on March 3 regarding whether vaccinations are required has dominated many news cycles. My wife and I vaccinated our boys when they were younger. I believe that those vaccinations have helped to make my children safer and healthier.

If anything I am sure that my boys only wished that there was a vaccine for all of my bad Dad jokes.

Where I am deeply conflicted about this question is in forcing someone to get a vaccine that they do not want. For years we have been told that people are in control of what happens medically to their bodies. Whether it is Roe v. Wade, the use of medical marijuana or Maine’s death with dignity law, we have been told that we have the right to make the determination what happens with our own bodies.

Some of my really good friends have, in the past, fervently demanded that we all live our lives by respecting their own self-determination. Now they are demanding that we dictate to others what they do with their bodies. I don’t quite understand what changed other than now they have the power to dictate what someone else does.

I am not sure how I am going to mark the ballot come March 3. What I do believe is that vaccinations have been good and vitally important for the health of my sons. Demanding that others make the same choices as my wife and I about our children? That is a tougher question to answer.

Pilfered Pachyderms

Don’t steal other people’s stuff. It really is that simple.

If you have not heard by now a woman in Brunswick recently came home to find that one of her large 150-pound cement elephants had been stolen off of her porch. In broad daylight.

This is as shocking as it is sad. This was not a crime of passion or even a crime of opportunity. The theft of this elephant took some planning. It is not like someone would just hoist this pachyderm over their shoulder and set off down the road. No, this person or persons needed a truck or, at the very least, a car with a large trunk (all puns intended) to make their getaway.

The elephants were reportedly custom made and irreplaceable. Whoever did this was not only a thief but a real Dumbo. I mean who is going to showcase the hefty elephant now that everyone in town has heard about it. It is probably too much to ask that the person who is responsible for the heist see to it that the elephant is returned in good condition.

To the woman who lost the elephant, I hope you get your property back soon.

From time to time I have put my game camera out in my yard to catch the animals moving here and there. It never dawned on me to put my game camera out to catch the animals as they stole my fake game.

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]

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