Monday, April 21, 2008


Some Maine locals are not happy with a plan to relocate and upgrade a toll plaza which they think will mess up the neighborhood.

Residents opposed to the plan by the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) to "relocate and improve" the 39-year-old York Toll Plaza took their message to the streets (see picture).

Around 100 protesters rallied along U.S. 1 on Sunday to urge turnpike officials to reconsider the plan to replace the existing toll plaza with a $35 million facility supposedly designed to be more motorist-friendly and accommodate new technology.

Four potential locations were proposed for the new plaza, each of which would require the loss of at least one home.

In this day and age where losing homes is an easy thing to do, me thinks we don't need to add another one more way to take people's homes from them.

Amongst those mounting the protest Sunday was Vicki Muscarello, 46, of York, Maine. Muscarello and her Parents, Carol and Lou Potvin, who have lived in town for 45 years, held placards urging turnpike officials to ''take tolls, not homes and land.''

Communists no doubt.

In fact the whole town of York seems to be under commie influence.

At a public meeting the first week of April at York Middle School, nearly a thousand residents showed up to tell highway officials they need to come up with a new plan that better serves the York community.

Last week, selectmen voted 5-0 to place on the May ballot a non-binding resolution stating the town's opposition to the project. A clearly irate Board of Selectmen told the Maine Turnpike Authority in no uncertain terms that it and the town's residents have been hoodwinked, and it is demanding a meeting with the MTA board.

"We feel the MTA administration ... has not been honest with us ... as to why the project has to be as gigantic and destructive and take as much land," they stated in a resolution sent to the MTA.

Even the anarchist Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce recently has joined the signed on and announced its opposition to the MTA's plans.

Marshall Jarvis, a York Harbor resident says, "Every (proposed alternative) site has huge problems. We would like (the MTA) to do what they have to do at the current site."

Jarvis, who is with the grass roots group Think Again which was formed to fight the plan, added, "They need to look at the facts and listen to people. They are just charging ahead like a bull in a china shop and are going to do what they want to do regardless. That's why we've had the letters and the public outcry."

It's hard to imagine the MTA actually proceeding with a project which seems so despised by so many.

And in one of the thirteen original colonies no less.

But then there was that King George fellow back when who didn't take area residents protests seriously either.

Anyway at yesterday's rally protesters wrote letters to the MTA, donated money to Think Again for T-shirts and buttons and waved homemade and official signs with slogans like "Don't move your damn toll gate" and "MTA: Take tolls, not homes and land."

Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce (the anarchist group mentioned earlier) President Cathy Goodwin spoke at the rally of residents losing homes and property and said the potential for further traffic gridlock in the Interstate 95 corridor was very real.

"We're not going to take it on the chin," Goodwin said.

It's plain stupid to mess with these Mainers (Mainees...Mainites???).

Randy Small, one of the founders of the group Think Again, speaking about a public meeting held in early April with the evil MTA said, "This is just a dog-and-pony show."

At that meeting Dan Paradee, public affairs manager for the Turnpike Authority was the target of boos and his lengthy talk was interrupted on several occasion. Paradee obviously angry or perhaps frightened by the crowds response to him told them, "I don't want this to get out of hand. If we're not able to carry on with the presentation, eventually we're just going to have to pick up and go."

During the public presentation period of that meet Katherine Prichard, of Chases Pond Road, worried about the impression the new toll plaza would have on tourists.

"This monstrosity of a (structure) will change the face of York forever," she said.

"This is not what we want for the gateway to the state of Maine." (Note: the plaza is near the border with the great state of New Hampshire.

The following is from WCAX (Vermont).

Maine residents protest toll plaza plan

About 75 Maine residents have taken to the streets to protest the relocation and improvement of a toll plaza near the New Hampshire border.

Members of Think Again, the opposition group, say relocating the York Toll Plaza will destroy a neighborhood. They suggest renovating the existing plaza.

They protested the plan yesterday.

Turnpike Authority officials say the current toll plaza was built on wetlands. It was only meant to last 25 years and is sinking an inch a year.

It cannot accommodate technology allowing EZ Pass users to pay tolls while driving at highway speed.

The new $35 million facility is designed to be more motorist-friendly.

Think Again members have convinced the town to schedule a nonbinding referendum on the issue May 17.

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