Friday, September 26, 2008

Looks like a doozy of weekend ahead!

It would appear this weekend, actually beginning today, will be a proverbial pip. We could see some weather like we haven’t had around here for several years. According to the weatherman on Ch. 6 this morning, three to five inches of rain, possibly even more depending on Kyle’s ultimate track, could hit here by Monday morning.

Kyle, as I’m sure you all now know, is a tropical storm way down in Southern waters but projected to pass either through or extremely close to Maine sometime Sunday. Between today and when it arrives here, it could even become a class 1 hurricane. Rain from part one of this weekend’s double blast, this one not connected to Kyle, will strike Southern Maine today. Somehow I don’t think this weekend will be a pleasant experience.

The Red Sox won, the Tampa Bay Rays lost so the Sox are now just two games out of first place with three games remaining. The magic number, though, remains at just one. In these three games, any Sox loss or any win by the Rays completes their bid for first place in the American League East. Both teams, however, will be in the post season play which begins next week. The Rays are in Detroit so they shouldn’t have any trouble playing their games, but the Sox are at Fenway in Boston. It’ll be fascinating to see how this weekend’s weather affects those games against the Yankees. If the Rays win tonight, the Sox games won’t matter. But in the extremely unlikely chance the Rays lose all three, any Sox rained out games will have to be made up.

So much is going on in Washington about the financial crisis that I hesitate to mention it this morning. What had been billed yesterday as an agreement wasn’t. Senate Republicans blocked President Bush’s proposal to spend $700 million to bail out failing financial institutions. They called the plan far too expensive for American taxpayers and put the long arms of government too deep into the control of businesses. Negotiations should be continuing today and by the time you read this, who knows where those negotiations will be. So I’ll just stop this one right here.

Speaking of today’s events, the first Presidential debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama is scheduled for tonight in Mississippi. It is a debate that may or may not take place. McCain says being in Washington working on the crisis facing America is more important. Obama says the people need to know how leaders will lead. I think this just might be an indication. One candidate is attempting to work on the problem in the Senate, and after all, both are U.S. Senators, where voters in Arizona sent him to work for them. The other candidate wants to tell us how he would lead if elected. McCain says he’ll be in Mississippi if conditions in Washington take shape. Obama, who was elected by voters in Illinois, says he’ll be at the debate anyway. That says a lot to me about how each will face crises. One will meet them head on; the other will tell us what he is going to do. Of course, there’s always the possibility McCain will bend and go so his opponent won’t get advertising material.

UPDATE: Republican John McCain has now said he will attend tonight's debate in Mississippi. He said there has been significant movement in the financial crisis so he will meet with Democrat Barack Obama for the debate and then return immediately to Washington to continue work on the financial situation.

As if we don’t have enough taxes already, the Cumberland County Commissioners are looking at a proposal by one of their own to establish a one cent sales tax in Cumberland County to finance a new Cumberland County Civic Center. If one is ever built, it’ll probably have a new name. The current facility is growing quite old and it is small. I’m sure a new facility is needed. Paying for it is another story. I wouldn’t support another tax for our already overtaxed people. The proposal probably won’t make it to this year’s general election ballot as lots of study and planning will need to be done. That’ll give us time to hone our feelings and recommendations for a new county tax.

It appears we’ll have to wait a while longer to get our roads and bridges fixed. The state has been unable to sell bonds to pay for the improvements. Financial institutions tell the state the time isn’t ripe for making big investments like the state’s bonds.

A few days ago I had a post about cruise ships coming to Portland. Six of them are scheduled to be in Portland next week. These giants are really spectacular as they sit along the Portland waterfront. If you’ve never seen one, take a ride to the Commercial Street end of the Franklin Arterial. You’ll be amazed at the size of these beauties from the outside as they tower over much of the waterfront. You’ll just have to take my word for the insides being just as spectacular.

We’re in for a fun time for the next few days. Unless the storms deprive me of electricity, we’ll be here tomorrow for our weekend edition. I hope you are able to stay safe and dry through this stormy period.



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