Real Mainers blow horns whether in Millinocket or Kennebunkport

A horn atop the fire station in Millinocket. Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN

A horn atop the fire station in Millinocket. Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN

Cynthia: Percival Baxter was a Republican, Mike. What do you suppose he would rather hear atop Mt. Katahdin, the pop of a champagne bottle or the wail of a fire horn?

Mike: We know Gov. Baxter wanted the park kept in a forever wild state, and we know he didn’t want the federales showing up. So if I were guessing, I’d say he would be more concerned about television crews and champagne than a horn 20 miles away.

Cynthia: Parks and recreation politics are all over the map. Gov. LePage claims a national park or monument is a threat to workers who rely on the state’s natural resources, meanwhile the head of Baxter State Park says people who rely on our natural resources for work are a threat to the park.

Can anyone seriously claim state government is a better steward of resources than the “federales” when Maine is on the hook for $16 million to a company that left a shuttered mill in Millinocket, and state tax dollars are being wasted up the street prosecuting a guy for spilling champagne on the rocks and having a couple sponsors?

Republicans believe corporations are people and should enjoy unlimited “speech” in elections. Why shouldn’t they enjoy the great outdoors, too?

Mike: Cynthia, I don’t think I can keep up with your ultra-marathon train of thought. If losing taxpayer funds to bad investments disqualifies a level of government from running a park, then wouldn’t the Quimby National Park you support be disqualified by the Obama administration’s $535 million Solyndra folly? Or can government simultaneously run parks and make bad decisions?

As for corporate sponsors, I have no issues with organizations supporting causes of their choosing, like Bangor Savings Bank supporting MPBN. But MPBN sponsors do not get to veto news coverage they don’t like, nor should business donors have special rules in Baxter. “Equality before the law” and all that.

Cynthia: You aren’t the first guy who can’t keep up with me, Mike, and hopefully not the last.

Look, Maine has lots of problems, and one of them is that people harshly judge others by where they’re from — except if that’s rural Maine. Anyone north of Augusta can sneer with impunity that I am “from away” and live in Cape Elizabeth and therefore know nothing about Maine values, but geography-judging from south to north is blasphemy.

Well I’m feeling fast and feisty, and putting the shoe on the other foot: It’s really dumb that Gov. LePage and the Maine delegation (except Chellie Pingree) are basing their decision on whether to support a national monument or park on the outcome of a “vote” by the same tiny handful of people who took to the streets over a fire horn and are taking an athlete from Colorado to court on charges he spilled sparkling wine.

Southern Maine for Fiscal Sanity! You with me?

Mike: You can keep running — I’m not joining that race. The vote of the local communities isn’t the determining factor for park opposition, although it is a piece of the puzzle. Some can object to a massive transfer of land to the federal government on principle; that doesn’t make it dumb.

But if you think folks in Millinocket are rubes for decrying the loss of a horn, I hope the rural, backward folk in Kennebunkport earn the same scorn. After all, they objected to the changing of foghorns by the Coast Guard.

I actually agree with Eliot Cutler on the “One Maine” thing, and that starts with a strong “pro-horn” position. Connections to our past are important — how else will people from away understand what makes Mainers “us”?

Cynthia: Real Mainers blow horns? I thought we were open for business?

The massive piece of land that would be transferred to us is now privately owned and not located in Millinocket.

What about my right to receive a gift, visit a park and blow my own horn?

Mike: If you want to exercise that “right,” I suggest you get a like-minded person to win the Blaine House, one of the U.S. Senate seats, or try to bump off Bruce. And if you want to blow your own foghorn, I support your right to do so in sunny seaside Cape Elizabeth. Of course, I also think a 60-year old Rod and Gun club shouldn’t be shut down, so my support probably won’t get you very far.

Cynthia: People from the north including you and the Katahdin Region Folk can bring your guns to Cape Elizabeth while you visit our state parks and hear our horns, thanks to the NRA “from away.”

But anyone traveling to Baxter has to leave their guns, their bubbly and their opinions about a neighboring national park at home, forever.

That’s wild.