Brunswick plan could turn downtown into construction site

The town of Brunswick is creating a plan to replace the sidewalks of the Maine Street Downtown. In order to do this, they say that they will have to tear out “a majority” or “most” of the trees downtown. This plan seems to be taking shape without much input from the downtown community. Maine Street is the public face of our town, the heart of our community. Shouldn’t there be a wider discussion of this project not only among planners but among local business owners and employees, shoppers, pedestrians, visitors to the downtown and local residents? Do we really want to strip the downtown of its trees (only to replant them with much smaller versions)? Do we really want to turn the downtown into a construction site just as businesses are coming back from the pandemic? What is the downtown that we envision, together? The current project plan seems to approach it as an engineering project, and not a street project, a community project, an enhancing of a vital downtown. This plan needs a lot more conversation, and a lot more imagination. It is not just the trees, it is the image, the feeling, the spirit of our downtown under discussion. We need a wider conversation before tearing up the sidewalks.

Gary Lawless,
Owner, Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick

Wind project will negatively impact Monhegan

The “compromise” apparently reached for the LD 1619 Amendment is no compromise at all if it excludes the New England Aqua Ventus mega-windmill project off Monhegan. Notwithstanding the important and practical concerns raised by the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, it is important to note that this massive piece of industrial infrastructure, situated in such close proximity to the historic Monhegan Island, will severely impact one of the remaining unspoiled and significant sea and landscapes on the coast of Maine and in this country.

Renowned Maine artist George Bellows was quoted in 1911 of Monhegan, “This is the most wonderful country modeled by the hands of the master architect”. For over a century it has been the principal subject and inspiration of multitudes of artists including the greatest of Maine painters, such as Homer, Wyeth, Kent and Hopper. It is this historic connection and the ability to experience this unchanging scene that attracts thousands annually whether to visit the island directly or view it from a passing boat.

Wind can be an important energy resource but so is this masterpiece of the Maine coast. It would be tragically short-sighted if the exception to the LD 1619 Amendment allowing for the New England Aqua Ventus project were to stand.

David Fitch,
Pemaquid

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