I'm no huge fan of Joni Mitchell but it is interesting to watch the lyrics of Big Yellow Taxi come to life in one's back yard. Two stories from Maine that illustrate the chutzpah of those who move here seeking a rural paradise while having no intention to share our rural purgatory:
First, from my neck of the woods, an editorial (in its entirety) by a local lobsterman who was "successfully" sued by his neighbors demanding he remove his fishing gear from his property:
"Hello this is Jed Miller and I am responding to the decision in my case. I am frustrated by the fact that the Judge doesn't fully grasp the foolishness of this situation.
He doesn't realize that the piece of my property is smaller than my house foundation. He doesn't realize that my neighbors can't see my traps from their house (they live one-quarter a mile down the road.) He doesn't realize that one neighbor involved in the lawsuit keeps his 40-something-foot sailboat in his yard. Also the judge decided that this was irreparable damage to the community and neighborhood, lowering the property values of my neighbors. My response to this is, what community does the judge think we live in? This isn't Newport Beach California or even Newport Rhode Island. This is Midcoast Maine! This is a lobstering/fishing community.
The fishing part of this community is what brought these people here. The same people suing me for having lobster traps in my yard are the same people who came here from out of state and "just loved this cute little fishing village." The same people that would go down to the harbors and ogle at the "adorable" little lobster boats and lobstermen. The same people who come up to my boat trying to buy lobsters from me for a cheaper price. The same people who supposedly respect the lobstermen's blunt independence. These same people are trying to stop us from starting our boats before 7 a.m. Well, what these people have to remember is, if they want their precious lobster dinner, then they have let us do our jobs! Remember the reason you moved here was because you liked the way it was! We don't need you to save us from ourselves, run our lives, or to change everything to how it was where you came from. That is why you left there remember?
There is a law against wet storage of lobster traps. That means in the winter when you spend more money than you make lobstering, it makes more sense to bring them in and store them than to fish them and lose money. One of my neighbors involved told me that he doesn't want to look at the traps when he drives by them because they are an "eyesore" to him, and "they remind me of New Jersey." Well sir, I guess that means you shouldn't have moved to St.George where there are lobster traps in almost every other yard on the way to your house.
With all that is going on in the world today, you would think that people would have more important things to think about. When our founding fathers drafted the Bill Of Rights, I don't think they were trying to protect property values.
Jed Miller, Spruce Head"
Second, a story from Maine's over-development sacrificial lamb, York County:
"Southern Maine timberlands give way to housing development .....Although it has attracted little notice, the pace of land conversion has doubled over the previous decade, bringing changes to an area defined by forests that supply local lumberyards and provide recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.
'It's the forest we live in every day, but it's kind of invisible,' said Lloyd Irland, a Winthrop-based forestry consultant. 'We`re losing a lot of what makes Maine the way it is.'..."