Friday, May 8, 2009

Gay Marriage, A Governor's Race?, Dump Day, Goodbye, Dom

Surprise, surprise! We have sunshine this morning. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately rain or showers are heading our way once again.

As we mentioned earlier this week when the Maine Legislature passed the gay marriage bill and within moments signed by Governor Baldacci, a petition drive would be coming to overturn the new law via a people’s veto. Minutes after the governor signed the bill, the people’s veto option was put into high gear.

By yesterday a formal application for petitions had been filed with the Secretary of State. A coalition of opponents and opposition groups needs to get more than 55,000 signatures of registered Maine voters within 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature, sooner to make the November ballot.

In 29 other states, according to the Wall Street Journal, popular vote has defeated the same sex marriage bill which is why the gay community turned to legislative action and the courts to get such measures passed. They have been successful in four New England states, via courts in Connecticut and Massachusetts and the legislatures in Vermont and Maine, with a bill pending in New Hampshire. Rhode Island has yet to join the fray.

Courts in Iowa and California also legalized gay marriage, but a popular vote in California overrode the courts. I hate to mention what polls show as polls generally only show what the pollsters want them to show, often depending on who’s paying for the poll. But at least one poll shows 54% of Americans oppose gay marriage which may be why the gay community chooses not to go the popular vote route. But please take that poll result with the same grain of salt I take all polls with.

Nevertheless, if the petitioners are successful, we can look forward to a very active, loud, contentious off-year election season. This issue would totally overshadow absolutely anything else the voters will face.

Speaking of elections, we’re still more than a year and a half away from the next governor’s election. Yet one Republican has already announced his candidacy. With no previous elected office experience, Matt Jacobson has tossed his hat into the battle that doesn’t yet exist. It’s probably a good thing as I’ve never heard of him and I’d bet many Republicans haven’t, either. He may need all this time to get us to know who he is.

We have learned from the news that he is a CEO of a private management company that specializes in bringing jobs to Maine. We certainly do need jobs in this state. But, Holy Smokes, this is just a wee bit early in my opinion. I suspect all Republicans, and Mainers in general, will wait until we know who else, if anyone, will be up for consideration.

Governor Baldacci will be termed out and cannot run again.

Tomorrow is what I guess one might call “Open Dump Day” when all residents in our town can tote any unwanted trash, such as appliances, dead TV’s, toasters, and such stuff to the dump. Prove you’re a resident of the town, pay a very small fee, and your stuff is made gone. Yard brush, well, just about anything non-hazardous can be eliminated.

The town will have a hazardous dump day I think next week or the week after. I didn’t jot down the date because we don’t have anything we need to dump in this one, but three towns are participating in the hazardous day.

Gator Wife has been doing some spiffy cleaning for the past week. I don’t think there’s a dead stick, bush or tree remnant, or weedy things left anywhere on our property. Yesterday afternoon and today she “packaged” the stuff up in lawn waste bags so we could easily pack it in the back of her SUV. Those bags will make it easier to unload the car as well, but they will have to be individually dumped as I don’t think the town will accept the yard waste in the bags.

We’ll also be putting a dead TV and a broken folding chair in the vehicle for disposal. We’ll pack the car tonight and have it already for early tomorrow morning. We’ll head for the dump long before it opens as past experience has shown us that it will be a very long line of cars/pickup trucks taking advantage of the day.

Last year, the facility was extremely well-organized and there were ample workers there to direct us to the various dump areas. One drives into the facility and is directed on the route to take to get rid of all that’s in the vehicle as each of our three items will be discarded in different places. If my memory is any good at all, there were about six different areas last year.

And that will be how our weekend begins tomorrow morning.

Before I go this morning, I’d like to say goodbye to one of my heroes when I was a much younger lad. Boston Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio passed early this morning. He played in the shadows of his brother Joe of the New York Yankees and fellow Red Sox great Ted Williams, but those of us who were around remember him as one of the Red Sox’s great outfielders.

Dom DiMaggio was 92 years old. May he rest in peace.


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