Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thankfully, It's over!

The voters have spoken and I’m happy with one outcome and disappointed with another. The gay marriage law was repealed and I’m pleased with that one. I’m a little surprised with the outcome considering all the out-of-state money (99% of the total) that was spent by the “no” side, but marriage as I know it has been preserved, at least for another two years. It may have been the elimination of all gender language in the new law that led to its repeal. After all, gay or straight, there are still males and females.

My disappointment came with the defeat of TABOR, the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. Maine voters have said they want to continue uncontrolled spending and taxation by state and communities. On this one, I think it was money raised and spent that determined the outcome. My only real surprise was the margin.

Although all my other votes were losers, there were no real surprises. I had expressed reservations on the excise tax change which was defeated. I had said the repeal of school consolidation should be left up to the communities involved and mine wasn’t. I’ve can’t remember a time when I was on the winning side of a bond question and the medical marijuana results will be interesting to follow. I don’t think anyone understood or really cared, including me even though I voted yes, on the constitutional question to change time frames for initiative drives.

I am very happy that this election is over. Yes, I know I’ve done my fair share of using this space to comment on the election while at the same time proclaiming my disdain for all the advertisements that caused me to want the season to end. Generally, it was a piece of that advertising that raised the hair on the back of my neck to cause me to rant. This was among the dirtiest of campaigns that I can remember in Maine. Thankfully, I hope, now it’s over.

Now we can turn our attention to the upcoming June primaries when we choose our candidate to run for governor. Oh, wait. Not everyone has to participate in the primary. There will also be conventions. There are a whole flock of people from Republicans to Democrats to Greens to Independents attempting to be included. There’ll be many changes between now and next June so I’ll attempt to refrain from commenting until we approach that time.

Also in June we could be facing another citizen initiative. A group has turned in enough signatures to force a referendum to repeal a major tax increase passed by the last legislature. Actually, proponents of the measure call it a tax reform and will try to convince us that it will actually lower taxes for most people. It won’t, of course.

The group seeking repeal has gone to court to force the Secretary of State to act on the petitions submitted in September in the constitutionally required time. The Secretary of State has not met the legal time requirement to accept or reject the signatures. Interesting to note is the Secretary of State would not have accepted the petitions if they had been just seconds late.

We’ll go into that referendum in greater detail when June approaches and if the petitions are approved.

The Gator Bunch is now just one week away from beginning its annual Christmas Village construction. We have developed a display of Department 56 © Dickens and Victorian Village pieces that we erect each Christmas season. Actually, I think the Victorian Series has become primarily the Dickens Series as most of the Victorian pieces are now also labeled as Dickens.

Our project begins each year on Nov. 11th, a combination of Veteran’s Day nationally and the Gator Mom’s and Pop’s wedding anniversary and we set the Thanksgiving Weekend as the completion date. Since we’re going to be using the same framework as last year, it might not take the full time period, but we like tradition here.

Once lit sometime between Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday, it will stay in place until shortly after the New Year.

But that all begins next week and I’ll be spending quite a lot of space here describing the progress and probably even showing it to you in pictures.

I’d sure like to see all the leaves down by this coming weekend as I’m getting just a little bit tired of cleaning my yard. It seems like after each cleaning, the leaves take an even stronger revenge on my eliminating their kin. A goodly portion of my yard is now just about completely covered with leaves but I haven’t done any vacuuming since last week because it seems to be so futile. I’d love to end it all this coming weekend when we will have to vacuum whether it is the last time or not.

And then, of course, there’s my other nemesis, the acorns. Have I ever mentioned here that I hate acorns?


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