To the Editor:
Hancock and Knox counties’ crown jewel, Acadia National Park, belongs to the nation, the world and the ages. And in just a few days, its future lies in the hands of Bar Harbor voters.
A fellow Mainer fan of the park, I am also a latecomer to the mega pier issue, a proposed structure jutting out into Frenchman Bay to accommodate two high-rise, sight-line-blocking floating apartment buildings nearly three football fields in length, a.k.a national and multinational corporate cruise ships.
Social historians write about self-limiting goods, something which declines in its appeal the more one partakes of it. One example is America’s system of national parks. A steady and growing phenomenon of individuals setting out to enjoy the parks is one thing. It is quite another when corporations transport small cities of people in huge conveyances whose human populations briefly but continuously double and triple the populations of the communities on whom they disgorge their passengers.
Mount Desert Island is already stretched to its limits. I do my part by not crossing Thompson Island between Memorial Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Parking already is a huge problem.
Maine’s usual bugaboos have been raised. Unwarranted accusations of improper influences against the pier by “people from away” does invite the observation just where the cruise lines are based. A threat has been raised by state legislators that the state might behave irresponsibly with the ferry property it bought from a foreign company after an island authority had sold it for a dollar.
No argument that Bar Harbor’s voters have the power of the vote on the issue. They can protect themselves and the park by defeating Article 12 and passing Article 13. When Bar Harbor’s voters go to town meeting June 13, please weigh carefully decisions you are making not only for yourselves but also for Acadia Park, the rest of Mount Desert Island and your neighbors in Maine.
Hendrik D. Gideonse