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We are a passionate group of individuals with a goal to preserve the Magurrewock Wetlands of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge against the greed of special interest groups who put making money before the environment! Eagle photo courtesy of PDImages
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{ else }   Blog: Good Old Boys Win over Environment...  
Well, we fought the good fight, but greed and corruption has won.  Our only hope is to keep signing our petition to never widen Rte One through the Magurrewock Wetlands.  In court, MDOT's attorney stated they NEVER would.  We shall see. 
Due to construction, etc., Canadian Geese and bald eagles are absent from nesting grounds this year.  So Sad!
If you have not already signed petition, please do so now. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/925517279
My thanks to all of you for your support.
Judy
Here is the press release from Friends of Magurrewock.
 

August 6, 2007

 
Final Statement from Friends of Magurrewock and our decision to drop our lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers and the construction of a 3rd international bridge in Calais. 


Maine DOT’s selection of Calais as the site for building a badly needed 3rd international bridge in the Calais-Baileyville area and the actual building of a bridge there was and is a destructive, self serving and moronic act. It was an act steeped in greed, stupidity, lies, and deceit. It was an act founded and led by MDOT a member of that scourge on our society: “the good old boy network” that network of power hungry bureaucrats and politicians along with well connected greedy businessmen. A network that supposedly operating within the law imposes its self serving will and desire over the will of the general public at the expense of the taxpayers all for their personal gain. After personally, along with others, having wasted four years of my life dealing with the treacherous and mafia-like, "good old boys,"  I write this one last epistle. Hopefully others will do the same.

 

The single most important document prepared for use by MDOT to determine the selection of this 3rd bridge location is a Draft Environmental assessment (DEA) dated Dec. 2001. This lengthy document was ordered by MDOT and others and paid for by the taxpayers. Its purpose was to follow the selection process from beginning to end in governing and determining the 3rd bridge site. The purpose for building this 3rd bridge is set forth on Page I-5 of this (DEA) and reads as follows: (1) to relieve traffic congestion at the Ferry Point Crossing while providing for the safe and efficient movement of current and future traffic, goods and services. (2) To provide a GSA owned inspection facility that would facilitate the efficient inspection and processing of vehicles and people at the border crossing. (3) To create a gateway between Maine and the Canadian Atlantic Provinces as part of an overall east-west transportation corridor.

 

With regard to the east-west transportation corridor/highway, Pg. I-6 of the DEA states: (4) the strategy for this section of Maine’s east-west link has four parts. The first part includes the construction a new international border crossing in the Calais-St. Stephen Area within the next five years. 

 

With regard to Routes 1 and 9 from Calais to Baileyville through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Pg. I-7 of the DEA states the following: (5)  Route 9 has been designated as part of the East-West Highway in Maine. The purpose of the East-West Highway is to designate a primary link between the Canadian Atlantic Provinces and the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and the Midwestern United States. (6) Route 9 is the primary east-west highway through downeast Maine and is part of the National Highway System connecting the region with Interstate 95 at Bangor. The purpose of the National Highway System is to provide an interconnected system, of principal arterial routes which would serve major population centers, international border crossings, ports, airports, public transportation facilities, and other intermodal transportation facilities and other major destinations; meet national defense requirements; and serve interstate and interregional travel.

Bound by and with this Draft Environmental Assessment in hand MDOT selected Calais as the site for this 3rd bridge and proceeded to apply for and receive permits from every

agency from whom a permit was required. Not in one permit application did MDOT ever include or mention the fact that building a 3rd bridge in Calais would result in the future widening of the narrow 2-lane Route 1-9 from Calais to Baileyville through the Moosehorn NWR. By eliminating this future widening from their permit applications MDOT deviously and deceitfully was able to circumvent the environmental laws and requirements of thoroughly examining practical alternatives and the secondary impacts and cumulative effects that building a 3rd bridge in Calais would have on the Magurrewock Wetlands and the Moosehorn NWR.  

Throughout the permitting process and to the present, MDOT continues to make the following moronic statements with a straight face. (1) We have no short, intermediate or long term plans to widen the 2-lane Route 1-9 through the Moosehorn NWR. (2) Building a 3rd international bridge in Calais will not increase traffic through the Moosehorn NWR. 

Other than the greedy money and power hungry good old boys out there with something to gain with a third bridge in Calais, can anyone of common sense and average intelligence imagine the 2-lane Route 1-9 as it passes through the Moosehorn NWR today serving the purposes as set forth in the Draft Environmental Assessment on pages I-6 and I-7 as recited above in paragraphs numbered 1 through 6? In your wildest dreams could anyone imagine the present 2-lane Route 1-9 through the Moosehorn NWR meeting national defense requirements, serving ports and airports and serving major population centers?  The proponents of a third bridge in Calais apparently believe this as well as does a Federal Court Judge. Does any of this tell you where America is heading and why? 

For the past four years Friends of Magurrewock, with the facts and truth on our side has been confronted with an artful and deceitful plot led by Maine DOT. Because of the lies, deceit and hypocrisy involved from top to bottom and finally as the result of the Federal Courts recent loathsome and environmentally disastrous decision of allowing Maine DOT to continue building a 3rd bridge in Calais laying the groundwork for approving the dishonest permit given to MDOT by the US Army Corps of Engineers allowing the construction of a 3rd bridge in Calais FOM has made the decision to drop our lawsuit filed against the US Army Corps of Engineers. We will leave the cowardly Federal Court Judge, the deceitful MDOT and the water downed  political and shameful Corps of Engineers to explain one day how in 2007 a 3rd international bridge in Calais and a 2-lane highway through the Moosehorn NWR meets National Defense Requirements and has the ability to serve ports, airports and major population centers.

 

From beginning to end the process of selecting Calais as the site for building this 3rd bridge and the process of obtaining permits to build a bridge in Calais was a shameful farce a fraud and a sham. Friends of Magurrewock never had a chance. Many told us this years ago but we never believed that all of America had been polluted by the good old boy network. We were wrong and now even Washington County, Maine has gone down the proverbial tube.  Wake up Maine and America before it’s too late if it isn’t already.

 

Friends of Magurrewock

  

William L. Szirbik, Sr. President

 


Posted: Aug 11, 2007 11:19am | (0) | (0) |  
Tags:   
{ else }   Blog: FOM Halts Construction of International Bridge  
To all of you who have signed our petition and who have been following our fight against special interest groups to save the Magurrewock, I have good news to share!

As you know, we have been fighting against the special interest groups that would seek to profit millions from constructing this bridge in what would arguably be the MOST environmentally damaging area of the three choices offered.  This handful of profiteers has managed to get this abomination of a bridge passed through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers). These are all Federal as well as State level agencies that are supposed to protect us and protect the environment, but thus far it would appear that big business is more important.  There were three alternatives to choose from and, in spite of thousands of signatures from citizens of the State of Maine and thousands of national signatures here on Care2 by way of petitions in protest of this construction site, they  they pushed it through.  The voice of the people fell on deaf ears.   So much for democracy!

Friends of Magurrewock is a grass roots group of Maine citizens (and an open group here on Care2...120 strong!) who have gathered to form an alliance to protect our wetlands and our environment so that future generations can enjoy the pristine beauty of the Magurrewock Wetlands of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, which was designated long ago as a national flyway for migratory birds including the bald eagles who have called this home for decades. We have managed to get an environmental attorney to take our case before a Federal judge who halted the construction in May and has called for a public hearing on this environmental issue to be held this month. You can bet we will be there!!!

We have managed to halt this environmental crime so far, and now we need to raise money to fight on.  Building the bridge in this location will cost over $75 MILLION unnecessary tax dollars and cause the ultimate destruction of the Magurrewock Wetlands...all for the profit of a few. 

Friends of Magurrewock is a non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.  I implore you to look deep into your hearts and send what you can.  We need your help to stop this corruption that would ultimately cost every single US taxpayer, as this is a federally funded bridge.  Time constraints made it impossible for us to register as a tax deductible non-profit corp. (We ARE, however, a registered non-profit organization, just not one that can be used as a tax deduction in the time needed to raise the$10,000 attorney fee).  So, if you wish to make a donation that can be used as a tax deduction you will need to make your check out to Forest Ecology Network/FOM   
For small contributions that do not need to be claimed as tax deductions, checks can be made out to Friends of Magurrewock or "FOM".  
 Donations should be mailed to, Friends of Magurrewock,  P.O. Box 21, Baileyville, Maine 04694-0021

If you have any questions, you can contact us via email or telephone. 

William Szirbik, Sr. -  President and Co-founder (
wlszirbik@aol.com) - (207) 427-3817
Lily Desjardins - Vice President/Founder
Nancy Diadone - Secretary (
ndiadone@prexar.com)

We need your help!  Every single dollar will help!  We have raised $4,000 so far (locally) and need to raise $6,000 more.  This amount is just to cover expenses incurred by our attorneys.  They are donating their time free of charge.  Please, help us save our wetlands and save millions in taxes as an added incentive.  With the cost of the war and all these expenses, surely we should be more careful about squandering millions of dollars in this reckless and destructive manner, and only we can save our planet.  This is a step in the right direction.

I thank you for your consideration....from deep within my heart.

Sincerely,

Judy Elliott, Director
Friends of Magurrewock

Posted: Jun 6, 2007 4:36pm | (0) | (0) |  
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{ else }   Blog: “We the People” vs. The US Army Corps of Engineers  
Friends of Magurrewock
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
 
P.O. Box 972

Baileyville, Maine 04694
 
 

OPEN  LETTER  TO  THE  PUBLIC

 
 “We the People” vs. The US Army Corps of Engineers:
 
At 9:07 AM, Friday September 22, 2006 we were notified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Civil Works) had they had issued a permit for Maine DOT to build yet a 3rd International Bridge in Calais, Maine. Such a decision by the Corps has made it known to the American people that we had and have no say in what happens in this process, despite the thousands of signatures on handwritten and electronic petitions and countless emails and letters expressing our outrage at the obvious duplicity by other state and federal agencies that have elected to be part and parcel of an environmental crime.

 
Big business drives this Country today and power-wielding individuals and agencies who, in order to have their own self-serving disastrous ways, force the will of a select few on the general public ignoring the will of the majority and taking away from them the rights, power and privileges given to them by law.

 
We realized on 9/22/06 that the Corps of Engineers Civil Works had been compromised and corrupted. This is something that we never believed was possible and never believed would happen. While our military, including the Corps of Engineers fights and dies in foreign lands helping to protect and preserve our rights, freedom and liberty, the CE Civil Works here at home ignores the environmental laws that they are bound to protect and preserve and ignores the will of the overall public in favor of the corruption of big business, politics and special interest groups.        

 
On September 22, 2006 when the Corps of Engineers approved the building of the 3rd International Bridge in Calais Maine they knew beyond a doubt, (among many other things), that building it there will necessitate the widening of six miles of US Route 1 that passes by an active Bald Eagle nesting platform and on through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and the Magurrewock Wetlands from Calais to Baileyville. Today this section of US Route 1 is a narrow 2-lane rural highway. Granting this permit will necessitate it being widened into a major 4-lane highway, adversely affecting the nesting of Bald Eagles, the aquatic ecosystem of the Wildlife Refuge, and adversely affecting the wetlands and destroying in general the environment of the entire wildlife refuge affecting every animal and creature that calls it home. Building this bridge in Calais will destroy the Moosehorn NWR as we know and enjoy it today. The USACE very well knows that this 3rd bridge belongs elsewhere at a practical alternative that they have chosen to ignore. Elsewhere refers to a location for this 3rd bridge six miles away in Baileyville that would NEVER necessitate the environmentally disastrous, unnecessary and unconscionable widening of Route 1 through the wetlands and the Moosehorn NWR.

 
By approving this permit, the Corps of Engineers has let us know that they have put special interest groups and politics before the environment and the will of the people and they will slowly destroy themselves in the process. In doing so the Corps has not only let down the people of Maine, but they have also let down the citizens and taxpayers of the entire United States, the same people who pay their salaries, the same people whose money is spent and wasted as the result of the decisions of the Corps and the very same people referred to by our Forefathers as being "We the People."

 
For two years, all to no avail, we have dealt with the US Army Corps Engineers proving to them that the facts, the studies, the projections and the environmental laws along with logic, common sense and sound reasoning prove that this 3rd international bridge belongs elsewhere other than in Calais, Maine where it would be built virtually on top of two international bridges already located there. The USACE is bound by mandate to select a bridge site based upon it being the Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative (LEDPA) and based upon it being a site that is in the overall public interest. By virtue of their decision to permit the building of yet a 3rd international bridge in Calais, Maine, the US Army Corps of Engineers has thumbed it’s nose at the public and blatantly told us all: “To Hell with the LEDPA and To Hell with the overall public interest.  If you don’t agree with our decision, take us to Court.”

 
This cowardly and corrupt decision of the Corps must be reversed and this has left us no alternative other than litigation in Federal Court. It is therefore that the people of Maine through Friends of Magurrewock now ask for help from the people of the United States. If the Corps of Engineers is allowed to get away with wasting $100 million of our taxpayer dollars here in Maine and committing an environmental crime, how many more hundreds of millions of dollars will they attempt to waste next in New Orleans, New York, Chicago, California or anywhere committing other such crimes? Right Now is the only time to stop these disastrous goings on. Right Now is the only time to expose this for what it is and Right Now is the only time to take away the power from these corrupt people who without conscience ignore our will, take away our power, and waste our tax dollars all to satisfy their own corrupt and devious self-serving needs.  LATER  WILL  BE  TOO  LATE.

 
The US Army Corps of Engineers is the primary wetlands permitting agency in the United States. When they are willing to go so far as to compromise that which they are mandated to protect and preserve, and compromise that which is the reason for their very existence, We the People are in deep and serious trouble. We cannot and we must not allow such destructive conduct that violates the laws of our land and violates the will of the majority, the American People, to continue without us doing whatever it takes to stop it.

 
For further information, questions or comments as to how you can help please contact us through/or join our group, http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/friends_of_magurrewock.

Please continue to sign and forward our petition to ensure that road through the Magurrewock Wetlands will never be widened. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/925517279.  The more National signatures we have, the better our chances will be in litigation.

 
Respectfully yours,

 

Friends of Magurrewock

 

Posted: Sep 28, 2006 9:26am | (64) | (0) |  
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{ else }   Blog: Wetlands at risk - the Battle Continues  
Friends of Magurrewock has invited the press on several occasions to attend our public meetings and report our findings.  None have done so thus far.  I recently emailed Jay Clement the head of Maine Dept. of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  He responded that they had still not reached a decision as to what would have the least environmental impact.  In spite of this, these were two articles in last week's local Calais newspaper, The Calais Advertiser.  This newspaper is not online, and although I scanned the articles, they came up in pdf files, which I cannot copy/paste onto this site (yet).  I am determined to find a way to do so as there is so much documentation in support of our position against the building of this bridge on the site the Maine Dept. of Transportation has "chosen" along with special interest groups who will make millions of dollars on this deal should it go through.  Here are excerpts from these articles in the September 14th edition:



Pagles Says Ground Breaking will Take Place Before Election

By:  Carol-Ann Nicoholson

CALAIS - Calais City Council held its first meeting in September on Thursday evening and among other things it discussed the controversial Nash's Lake Issue.  It also heard from City Manager Linda Pagels on the proposed third bridge.

Pagles told the councilors that she anticipates a major announcement about the bridge within the coming week and she also hinted that she feels the ground breaking on the bridge will take place before the November election.


Bridge Proposal Moves Another Step Closer to Reality

By: Carol-Ann Nicholson

BAILEYVILLE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied the request for a public hearing that was requested by the Friends of Magurrewock in May.

In a letter to the Friends, dated Aug. 23, Jay Clement of the Corps of Engineers says the Corps looked at the request for a public hearing on the application by the Maine Department of Transportation to fill waterways and wetlands in order to construct a third bridge crossing of the St. Croix River and an international border station at Calais.

"Based on an evaluation of the issues and findings outlined in the attached Determination of the Need for a Public Hearing, we have determined that there is no valid interest to be served by holding a public hearing," reads Clement's letter.

He also states that the Corps is now conducting a review of the project "to determine whether issuance of a permit is in the overall public interest.  After we make our final decision, we will send you a copy of the Statement of Findings, the document upon which our decision is based."

Included with the letter is a document, signed by Col. Curtis Thalken, who heads the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the New England District.  It outlines the reasons behind the decision to deny the public hearing.
"The pre-application planning for this project as been on going since at least 2000," he states. "Public involvement to date includes a public scoping meeting, nine public advisory committee meetings, two public meetings, and a public hearing all of which were held locally.  Additional opportunity for public comment was offered through the Federal register notice (Presidential Permit Application to the US State Dept.), the US Coast Guard public notice (US Coast Guard Bridge Permit Application), and the Maine DEP public notice (NRPA application). The administrative record contains much of this information.  Combined with the opportunity for comment in the Corps public notice, there is little likelihood that a public hearing would yield new information."

According to this article, "Thalken also notes that 'The Corps will not evaluate the concern for apparent bias or conflict of interest.  We are prepared to address concerns for secondary and cumulative impacts to aquatic resources to include the potential widening of Route 1 through the Magurrewock Stream and marsh system.  Similarly, we are prepared to address the practicability and overall environmental damage of each alternative.  This can be done with the information within the administrative record."

 

Posted: Sep 20, 2006 1:55pm | (1) | (0) |  
Tags:
{ else }   Blog: The Perfect Environmental Crime MUST be Stopped!!!  
As we come down to the wire, I want to share with you some of the latest information in the form of another letter submitted to Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, Commanding General of the US. Army Corps of Engineers.
Not only does an environmental crime need to be stopped, but all Americans need to be made aware of the corruption that often goes unnoticed by the people as these issues are slipped by under our very noses without our ability to have a say in where our tax dollars go and how they are spent. 
PEOPLE OF AMERICA, WE MUST CHANGE THIS!!!

We cannot allow big business and special interest groups to run this country!  This goes against what our forefathers fought and died for… so we could be FREE!

So, this tiny town in Calais, Maine is a place to take a STAND and say NO to this type of behavior on behalf of big business and the government going along with whatever they want.

Here is the latest letter from Bill Szirbik, Co-Founder of Friends of Magurrrewock (FOM), who has worked tirelessly on behalf of our cause to save our wetlands from this environmental crime!  This could happen anywhere…in any State…in YOUR back yard.  Don’t for one minute thing this doesn’t concern you if you don’t live in Maine.  YOUR tax dollars will increase to cover the extra $40-$50 MILLION DOLLARS it will cost if the permit to build this bridge here is granted, because it is a Federally funded project!  Please keep in mind that the Maine Dept. of Transportation went ahead and spent millions of dollars buying up property (some elderly people were told they had no choice but to leave their homes) and this was done PRIOR to ANY application for a permit to build here.

Please read the following letter from Mr. Szirbik to Lt. General Stock on behalf of our concerns.

If you have not already done so, PLEASE sign our petition to save our wetlands and millions of taxpayer dollars!!! 
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/925517279

Letter:



August 26, 2006

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers                                          
441 G Street,
Washington, D.C. 20314-1000
Attention Lieutenant General Carl A. Strock,
Commanding General U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Re: Maine DOT Chicanery and the integrity of the USACE    


Dear Lt. General Strock:

I write to you once again not because I expect you to read this letter and act upon it personally. However, I do believe that you will pass it down to someone in the chain of command in Washington DC who cannot be compromised. Someone who believes in the Corps as much as you and I both do. Someone who puts the integrity and honor of the Corps above and beyond political pressure that forces the will of a few on the will of the majority (the common everyday grass roots public). I believe that whomever you personally turn this letter over to can and will honestly affect the decision making process pertaining to the construction of a 3rd international bridge here in DownEast Maine. This Corps decision, what ever it will be, will reverberate certainly throughout Maine and New England and also everywhere else in America that we can reach out to. Before I go further with this letter, I would first like to share with you a quote from a conversation I had recently with a Maine law enforcement official: “Bill, because of the position I am in, I cannot take sides and comment on issues that even remotely might be considered political. However, I can tell you that I hope and pray that there is still at least one Federal Agency out there that stands above the rest. An agency that is above reproach and still respects the law and looks out for the interests of the general public, people like you and me.” General Strock that was a heart-warming statement that I wish could have been heard by more than just me.
If you or whoever reads this letter in your behalf finds it to be partially repetitious of my letter to you dated May 23, 2006, please forgive me.
Maine DOT is in the process of committing an environmental crime here in DownEast Maine. With the help of several state and federal agencies, this crime is on its way to becoming a “perfect crime.” Maine DOT is planning to build yet a 3rd international bridge and state of the art- border crossing in Calais, Maine at a site known as (Alternative 3). This new bridge will be connecting that tiny city with St. Stephen, New Brunswick in three places, all within
Virtually on top of the municipal water supply wells of the City of Calais and: (2) The construction of this 3rd bridge in Calais will necessitate the widening of the present 2 lane U.S. Route 1 through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and the Magurrewock Wetlands located there into a 4-lane highway. Maine DOT is progressing with these environmentally disastrous plans even though there is a practical alternative six miles away that completely avoids (1) and (2) above. Maine DOT is progressing under the nose of the USACE. They are progressing even though the CE has yet to issue a 404 Clean Water Permit for this project. Worse yet, MDOT has progressed to this point having gone through the Pre-Application Process of the Corps without the Corps ever having raised any Red Flags.  Because of receiving no Red Flags from the Corps, Maine DOT has progressed so far as to spend millions of dollars in Calais developing this 3rd bridge site, purchasing 12 residential properties and 2 commercial properties and displacing the occupants. Maine DOT has gone so far as to convince the Province of New Brunswick that building a 3rd bridge in Calais is a done deal, prompting NBDOT to start building a roadway towards this un-approved bridge site.
Enclosed herewith is a copy of a recent news article from a local Calais newspaper setting forth the situation that MDOT has created as the result of all they have done to date at this 3rd bridge site before ever receiving a Clean Water Permit from the CE to build a bridge. They are making a mockery of the involved environmental process with the USACE right in the center. MDOT has created a disturbing and sickening story with four sides to it. As you can see from this article: (Side 1) The New Brunswick DOT has been told by Maine DOT that this bridge will be built in Calais and the Canadians are therefore actively and happily building a highway towards that site. (Side 2) Maine DOT is telling the public that: Everything is right on line with the scheduling process. Land has been purchased, and design plans are in progress for this project and that permits have been approved for both highway work and work on the Customs Facility. (Side 3) Jim Porter, the Assistant City Manager of Calais, (kept informed by Maine DOT) is telling the public that: “The project is just awaiting the final permit approval from the Corps of Engineers and he believes that was held up because additional information was needed but he anticipates that process taking place in the near future.” (Side 4) Friends of Magurrewock (FOM) is telling the public absolutely nothing more than what we are being told by the Corps of Engineers, that being: (A) The bridge location is not a done deal. (That a decision was to have been made by the Corps by the week ending August 18, 2006 as to whether or not the Corps would grant a Public Hearing for this bridge project.) Apparently this decision has not been made because FOM has not heard from the Corps one way or the other. (C) That if a public hearing was granted, it would take Approx. 30 days to set it up and that it would be held somewhere in the local area. (D) If a public hearing was not granted that the Corps would continue to review public input before they approved or disapproved MDOTs permit application and there was no specific time frame to do this. This information was told to me recently by Mr. Frank DelGuidice from the Corps Regional Office in Concord, Massachusetts. As far as Friends of Magurrewock being quoted as saying that they are “fairly” confident that the site will be changed from Calais to closer to Baileyville, that is not exactly what we have said. What we have said is: Because Alt. 3 in Calais could never be considered as the LEDPA that we are fairly confident that Alt. 3 in Calais will be dismissed by the USACE.

In a letter dated August 10, 2005 from the CE (Jay Clement, Manchester, Maine) to Friends of Magurrewock (FOM), we were told the following: We have determined that Alternatives 2A (Route 9), 3 (industrial park), and the no build must be more fully analyzed before determining the Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative (LEDPA). Although ME DOT has identified the industrial park alternative as the preferred, the
Corps has made no such determination and will not do so until after we’ve conducted a full public interest review. In this same letter we were also told: Our public interest review and our final determination on the LEDPA rely heavily on the comments received from the public, resource agencies, and from groups such as yours.
General Strock, it is becoming more and more apparent here in Maine that the amount of time and money that Maine DOT has squandered developing Alt. 3 in Calais (without having a permit from the Corps to build a bridge) will become the influencing factor in convincing the CE to approve Alt. 3 giving final approval to the perfect environmental crime. Should this happen, the public review process will be exposed as a sham. It will become obvious that input from the public will have been input after the fact that the decision as to where this 3rd bridge should be built was a decision already made by Maine DOT and rubber stamped by the Corps during or after the meaningless and time wasting public review process. A process existing only in writing for the purpose of placating the unassuming and unwitting public. Certainly by the words and actions to date of Maine DOT, New Brunswick DOT and the City of Calais it appears that this purported public review process is in fact a sham. MDOT has been and still is telling the public, the City of Calais and the New Brunswick DOT in a more than convincing way that building this 3rd bridge in Calais, Maine IS a DONE DEAL, is RIGHT on schedule and construction will commence as soon as “additional information” is furnished to the Corps. In a roundabout manner however the Corps has told FOM otherwise. Regardless, in light of the tremendous controversy surrounding this 3rd bridge issue and in light of the public not being truthfully informed by MDOT, THE CORPS HAS NEVER MADE A PUBLIC STATEMENT INFORMING THE PUBLIC of the EXACT status of this 3rd bridge location process. To me personally, this is not a good sign. I believe that the Corps owes the public an official simple and short statement. In the absence of such a statement the Corps is leading the public to believe what MDOT is officially telling them. The public has been watching MDOT spend money and progress with their actions in Calais paying little or no attention to this controversy that has been going on for two years. Their actions in doing so make it apparent that they know, or at least believe that there is a rubber stamp of approval from the Corps awaiting their permit application.  Only the USACE can prove to the public otherwise today.
General, you and I are both full grown mature men and we are nobody’s fool. It is very likely that at 73 years of age I have as many and possibly a few more gray hairs of old fashioned wisdom on my head than you do. I am well aware that one stroke of a pen in Washington, DC can make something that is blatantly WRONG taking place out in the hinterland RIGHT. I know (99.9%) beyond a doubt that the powers to be, whether from our Maine Federal Delegation, the FHWA, the GSA and or others have been and are right now attempting to influence and compromise the USACE at one level or another for the purpose of approving Alt. 3 in Calais, Maine as the site for this 3rd international bridge. Their reasons are not and could never be because Alt. 3 is the LEDPA, because we have proven it is not. Their (back room reasons) revolve around how much money Maine DOT has already invested in Alt. 3, how far MDOT has progressed towards starting the construction of a 3rd bridge at Alt. 3, and in the name of “Homeland Security” how badly Alt. 3 needs to be built at this time even though it could never be considered the LEDPA).
Sir, the construction of a 3rd bridge in the Calais Maine area has been discussed and under consideration for 30 or 40 years. Delaying the construction of this bridge for one or possibly two more years in order to build it in accordance to where the environmental laws in place today dictate it must be built is absolutely NO threat to Homeland Security. It is only a threat to the promises, deals and favors that were exchanged in order to select Calais, Maine as the preferred alternative. However, building this bridge at a location that violates the mandate of the CE as well as violates the environmental laws in place today would render our process (your process) of environmental protection useless and meaningless. Allowing this 3rd bridge to be built in Calais Maine for any reason other than because it beyond a doubt proved to be the LEDPA would prove that Maine DOT and others like them have the ability to circumvent environmental laws at will along with the ability to circumvent the procedure and mandate of the USACE with impunity. It would prove that the Corps could be compromised. In this relatively small Calais, Maine border crossing matter, (considered a $100 million dollar project) we trust you will never turn your back on the will of the public, on our environment and on the environmental laws that protect our environment. We trust that you will never degrade the integrity and honor of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Unless Alt. 3 in Calais Maine proves beyond a doubt to be the LEDPA, it can never be selected as the LEDPA. Anything short of this would be disgraceful, tragic and unacceptable.
Certainly if the Corps makes the proper decision and rejects Alt. 3 because it is not the LEDPA there will be egg on some faces but it is for certain one of those faces will never be the face of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And finally, with regard as to why Maine DOT made it through the pre application process as set forth in the Highway Methodology Workbook of the Corps without receiving any “red flags” from the Corps, I believe it was because Maine DOT cleverly and deceitfully failed to include the future widening of US Route 1 through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge as part of their permit application to build another international bridge in Calais, Maine at Alternative 3.
Respectfully yours,
Friends of Magurrewock
William L. Szirbik, Co-Founder
Cc: USACE, Concord, MA
      USACE, Manchester, Maine
      USEPA Boston, MA

Posted: Aug 26, 2006 2:06pm | (0) | (0) |  
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