2011-12-12 / Opinion


Food trucks keep rolling

In late September, Kimberly Gates, who spearheads the monthly Good Shepherd Food Bank truck deliveries to Bath, worried about how she would fund the project into the new year.

Recently, Gates told The Times Record that philanthropists, big and small, had stepped forward in such force as to fund the deliveries through the end of 2012.

As a result of this quiet — but profoundly moving — generosity, hundreds of local children will eat better next year.

Gates and her benefactors are a blessing in our midst. They affirm the best aspects of humanity.

Hostility trumps hospitality

Peter Anastos of Yarmouth, a partner in the firm that operates hotels in Bath and Brunswick, believes the Brunswick Town Council erred in agreeing to a tax-increment financing (TIF) deal with the developer of the Inn at Brunswick Station.

Anastos has made his displeasure known in court cases, at Town Council meetings and in letters to the editor.

He certainly has a right to voice his opinion, but it’s time for Anastos to end his long-running tantrum.

In agreeing to the downtown TIF, Brunswick’s town councilors simply followed through on a commitment made by their predecessors. Their predecessors included the TIF, a common economic development practice, in a plan that successfully achieved development of a contaminated, decades-old eyesore in the heart of Brunswick.

While Bath city government used a different form of TIF during development of the hotel that Anastos’ group built in that city in 2009, his firm gained a $387,000 contract to design sidewalks and streetscapes around the hotel. That’s a very similar government-aided competitive advantage to the one for which Anastos lambastes Brunswick officials.

It’s disingenous for Anastos to blame the Brunswick TIF for hard times at local inns while ignoring the Bath deal. He would be better served by devoting his energy to touting his own properties.

An angry innkeeper alienates guests.

Counter productive

For an increasing number of businesses, charity begins in the checkout line. Stores and restaurants take advantage of customers’ face time with cashiers to solicit small donations to nonprofit organizations.

A dollar from this customer and two bucks from the next quickly adds up to a meaningful infusion of cash for medical research, mentoring programs or other worthy causes.

Being asked to kick in an extra dollar when picking up a bag of burgers at the drive-through window certainly poses no imposition. Nor does a clerk’s request for a charitable contribution at the supermarket checkout represent an undue intrusion.

However, a reader from Bath recently noted that a chain pharmacy recently hit her up for a charitable donation when she went to pick up a prescription. That crosses a line, and pharmacies should find other means of community support.

Medication costs aren’t disposable income, and the pain felt by those who need them ought not be exacerbated.

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