Opinion

Watching from the grandstand

To the editor:

I listened: I was told I wrote about something about which I know nothing. Okay, I can accept that I’m not on the inside track when it comes to operating a paper making machine.  Neither am I now on the inside track when it comes to operating schools. The law has changed from the day that I was on the inside track there.

I’m a voter. I can choose to vote for the school budget. I can choose to vote against it. Or I can abstain from voting.

History repeats itself, but never exactly. Get that — never exactly.

I must be careful. I can not serve two masters. A retiree flashed a $5 bill in my face and said: “I know you won’t believe me, but This is god!”  Moses and the Golden Calf came to my mind.

I don’t have all the facts. I’m trying to understand. Sometimes I use history to help me understand. Sometimes the understanding of history can be completely off the mark.

I’m watching the game from the grandstand — not from the umpire’s stand behind the plate. Imagine me — calling the shots for two opposing teams? No way! I can’t. Especially when from the grandstand I see three teams, or three kinds of money vying to call the shots: federal money in Van Buren; private capital in Madawaska; and state money in Fort Kent.  Each has a handle on taxes.

February-March 2015 I wrote two long letters on school consolidation. I have seen no evidence that anybody listened.

I have not taken an active part in the tri-district study on school consolidation. I have my thoughts but the planning committee may see matters in a different light.  I can respect this different view.

I see the 1920s being repeated, but the difference now is that the blockhouse is in Van Buren. No not the old log historical artifact on the bank of the Fish River but the federal power that came into that blockhouse has moved to Van Buren.

Van Buren has been the seat of federal power here since 1943. The Whigs brought federal power to Fort Kent in 1841. They set the international boundary at the St. John River in 1842. By 1844 we had three municipal plantations here, Hancock Plantation on the Fish River, Van Buren PLantation at the east boundary of the state and Madawaska Plantation in-between the two others.

Let’s call these plantations by their modern names: MSAD 27; MSAD 24 and MSAD 33 in-between them.

I haven’t mentioned the Town of Madawaska! How come? Different kind of money. That’s why.

The State of Maine built the blockhouse – Democrats – John Fairfield, eh yeah! But when the Whigs took over, the Feds took over the blockhouse: Edward Kent, Whig: Tippecanoe and Tyler too!

When  Tyler took over, the Whig, Daniel Webster, held on and drew the boundary at the river. The Feds left the blockhouse. Only Whig, Col.l David Page was left to battle with the Democrat Maj. WIlliam Dickey. That history has never been taught, but the State of Maine took over the blockhouse again and the Fish River people have had a great handle on state funds since then.

Van Buren bounced from the Great Depression with federal money: the Van Buren-Madawaska Corporation in 1943. Loring Air Force Base circa 1953. Van Buren Housing Authority – what kind of money was that?

From the paper mill in Madawaska I hear the call for tax abatements. The business professionals there are saying: consolidate the school districts. Three plantations will not be bossed around by the town. “It’s not our kind of money!” they say. But remember the song from the old broadway play, “Oklahoma”: the farmers and the cowhand can be friends!

This is a ball game with three teams on the field and the umpire is trained to bring peace between two teams. Watch ALENA and the Blockhouse in Van Buren.

In 1852 when Father Antoine Gosselin left St. Bruno parish in Van Buren he left his power of attorney to his sexton in Cyr Plantation then called TL,R2. That’s where the power of attorney has been since then. But I had better not open that door — better leave it shut like the Holy Door at Ste. Luce in Frenchville.

Well if I keep watching the game from the grandstand maybe the fire from the field will catch on to the rafters and the grandstand will come crashing down. And when I begin to feel the heat from the fire below, I may hear Paul Cyr’s voice from the public speaker saying: “And Guy, which god do you worship?

Guy Dubay

Madawaska

 

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