On the Right Lane: Here comes the solution pollution


“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
President Ronald Reagan.

I began writing this column on Nov. 14, awaiting the start of new Windham town council meeting of which I seriously hope was uneventful.

This same morning I noticed a newspaper article that the Maine Legislature, or should I say their Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, will hear various methods of reducing what us Mainers seem to suffer through when a real bad storm hits Maine. Please let me start by stating these days anything that contains the word “joint” scares me to death. We all know that our government at all levels is totally disjointed, to say the least. It must not be an emergency as I understand that they won’t meet until January. Please don’t call me because I know how the Legislature schedule works.

Even I once thought that burying the lines that carry our electricity was an easy and yes, expensive, solution to our power outages during severe storms. What changed my mind you ask? If the line carrying power to your home is buried and fails, care to guess who has to pay for the repairs? Yep, you. So as far as I am concerned we more than likely would pay the entire cost for all lines to be buried along with any problems that occur. I am sure we did the same after the famous Ice Storm of 1998 and the so-called Patriots Day Storm that damaged my roof. Might as well add the cost of trimming trees along those same lines every five or so years it’s done.

When it comes to the trimming of trees, to me at least, would it be feasible to cut down trees in a wide enough area on both sides of the lines so no tree could fall on the lines? OK, there is no doubt most land owners would be appalled. Look what the Maine Department of Transportation did when the River Road was widened in Windham, and people complained about the amount of reimbursement for the taking of their land and trees as well. I guess we could all have our own wind turbines and solar panels and do away with the power grid that presently supplies us with power while kissing thousands of jobs goodbye. Surely the government wouldn’t want that to happen.

I have noticed that what we have always called telephone poles are getting taller and taller so I have to presume that is to get the lines that carry our electric power to be higher to avoid falling trees or branches. That’s fine and dandy but when the telephone and cable lines get hit by the trees the poles still go down. An easy solution there is have those lines break away from the poles but there goes another cost for all of us. As the joint committee starts to meet on this subject it will be interesting to see what nonscientific brains (using that term loosely) can come up with a solution to the problem.

The “new” Windham town councilors had their first meeting on Nov. 14 and it appears that some gremlins caused a few strange things to happen. Just in case the readers don’t know, Donna Chapman was appointed the council chairperson and Bob Muir was appointed the vice chairperson. They rearranged the agenda items so that the first order of business was to make the new council appointments before any other business. Strangely the gremlins caused some problems, as the councilors’ iPods or iPads had some differences with what the agenda at the town’s website had. Strange indeed but it shows some improvements must be made.

There were two agenda items besides committee appointments (some of which were missing) that the councilors could have voted on, but depending upon which agenda the councilors had in front of them one was somehow missing. What I have to ask is why have two new town councilors vote on something that they more than likely haven’t been brought up to speed on?

Lane Hiltunen of Windham doesn’t like gremlins especially in local government.