Editorial — What's a Harbor Walk for?
On Friday, Sept. 6, Belfast hosted two wonderful events in its regular farmer's market and the annual MaineFare event. Both events promote business activity in Belfast and support farmers in Waldo County and, in the case of MaineFare, all around Maine.
While these events are both positive for this area for many reasons, we wonder if the locations they are held at are the wisest choice. On Friday a section of High Street and Main Street were blocked off to accommodate each event causing traffic to back up. This location forces vehicles onto roads that normally see much lower traffic volume and draws pedestrians out into the streets. It also limits parking in a city that already has limited parking space available.
This situation is unnecessary. Belfast has many beautiful parks within its downtown area. In fact it is putting the finishing touches on the Harbor Walk, a $1.5 million project that paved a path through many of those parks. Surely these are exactly the types of events that would make the Harbor Walk a useful addition to the city.
In the interest in keeping traffic flowing, parking spaces open and utilizing a new and expensive city project, let's move these events from their currently disruptive locations to an appropriate location like the Harbor Walk.
The school year has started
It is time to slow down and pay attention driving to work for your morning commute. Schools in Waldo County have started back up this week and children are waiting at local bus stops, and some are walking to their daily classes.
Be especially careful in school zones and around school buses.
Avoid distractions like your cellphone, programming your GPS, doing your makeup or eating breakfast. Kids horsing around at a bus stop can make sudden, unpredictable moves, so it behooves adults to stay alert.
While this is a busy season, we hope the teachers, students and parents are approaching it with excitement and enthusiasm. Parents are urged to take time in the evening to ask students about their school day, find out what they learned and help with homework. You are your child's best advocate and first teacher.
It would also be a good idea for children to get to bed early, have a good breakfast and come to school properly dressed for the weather. Take time to prepare them for each day.
The Syria question
There is an unpleasant sense of deja vous when we hear the reports that the U.S. is considering a military attack on a Middle Eastern nation and now lacks the support of an important ally.
Britain has decided not to participate in a missile attack on Syria. Maybe that is the right decision, and our proposed attack is wrong.
While President Obama has taken some criticism for being slow to respond with military force, we think it was the right call to seek the approval of Congress. After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should be very slow and careful as we consider dedicating the military to more action in the region.
While we are considering supporting the rebels trying to overthrow a corrupt government, what guarantee do we have that these rebels will not be a new corrupt government in the future?
While the use of chemical weapons is deplorable and impossible to justify, our idealistic side wonders if more missiles are really a solution. We have seen enough war since 2001 to last a lifetime and do not want to start any new adventures in Syria or anywhere else.
As we wait to see what will happen, perhaps the best we can do is hope for peace.