State of the State

36

“It’s a sad state of affairs when I’m the one bringing sanity to the equation.” M.A. George, author of “Relativity,” young adult sci-fi series.

I have no idea where Maine is presently heading and it’s sad to state that I believe that it is going down the tubes these days. My best guess is that crime and politics play a huge part in the way I feel. Sadly, sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the two since both parties in play desire only one thing—our money.

Take for example the State of Maine Legislature failing to pass a bill to help fund local education. It is often said that our children are our future so in this case, it’s obvious the legislators are definitely in the past-ure. My hope is that what they step in stays with them. We’re only talking about a billion or so dollars so I guess it’s no problem for those of us that own property to pay more taxes.

Of course, all of us should know that dysfunction is the standard operating procedure not only in Washington but Augusta as well. It is more than apparent that the two major political parties across not only Maine but also the nation as whole hate each other so much that we, the taxpayers, are left out of the equation unless we stand up to nonsense and finally elect someone with a brain. I will admit that I believe that there are a few elected officials with brains but a minority these days can’t accomplish much of anything. I must state that the Town of Windham might just be one exception that I have seen lately but that prediction could be on thin ice as well. More on that thought later.

I am saddened by the amount of crime or should I say reported crime. Robberies and murders, especially of a law enforcement officer, are becoming scarier every day. I have always had hope that the government could help the lives of all us but it’s now obvious that thought has disappeared or at the minimum, diminished.

Somehow I have the feeling that the legalization of marijuana isn’t going to improve the situation and might add increased mayhem to it instead. We should be trying to figure out how to improve our brains instead of frying them. Heck, there’s even talk in some parts of our country where dope addicts can go to “safely” shoot up illegal drugs like heroin. That’s like trying to help alcoholics by sending them to the “church” where alcohol is used to cure alcohol addiction. Somehow I don’t think we’re going in the right direction to become smarter.

When it comes to Windham, I am sorry to state that poor planning only provides poor performance. Our town should never have to be forced to institute moratoriums on quarries or development, especially in any area that contains a watershed. Ordinances or whatever should have prevented those problems decades ago. It’s like the saying that I heard many times in the military until it became drilled into my brain. When you are standing waist deep in alligators remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp. That’s the nice way to say it and hopefully someday Windham will adopt it. At least the town councilors haven’t battled each other like in the recent past so I feel that there’s hope for this town. Windham’s three representatives seem to work well together and often hold sessions for people to attend, and I think that is great.

Unfortunately, at the state level, the legislators appear to not get along so well— especially, even more so, because of party politics. That’s unfortunate as well because the biggest losers are the citizens of Maine. And as always, if one is not part of the solution it probably means that they are part of the problem. Then when one throws in a governor who has become the great disruptor the problems are only exacerbated. Somehow, someone has to find a good middle ground instead of accomplishing little or nothing.

Lane Hiltunen still lives in Windham.