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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


J.M. Huber Seeks Letter of Endorsement from the Town to Apply for Increased Trucker Weight Limit


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 30, 2014


   Fort Fairfield town manager, Mike Bosse recently met with Dan Russell, Wood Procurement Manager for Huber Engineered Woods to discuss a variance to the weight limits on trucks delivering wood to their Easton mill.  “Huber is at a competitive disadvantage due to the truck weight limits.  On the U.S. side they have a large amount of wood product coming from Canada.  The weight limit in Canada is 109,000 pounds, the weight limit in the U.S. is 100,000 pounds,” said Bosse.  “Huber can seek, from the Maine Department of Transportation, a variance to the State weight limit that would allow trucks to come in at 109,000 pounds.  Huber is at a competitive disadvantage because they compete with a wood mill in Woodland, just below Calais, and that company does have a DOT permit that allows them to come in at 109,000 pounds.”

   In order for Huber to seek and receive a variance on that permit, they need to have an endorsement from the communities they affect.  Bosse spoke with Fort Fairfield Police Chief, Bill Campbell and Public Works Director, George Watson to seek their advice as to whether or not they had any concerns.  “Neither of them have any concerns about trucks traveling on roads in Fort Fairfield at that weight limit.  The trucks and the path that they use have to be indicated on the permit and all of the roads are either State roads, with the exception of Conant Road which has been brought up recently to State standards so large trucks can travel on them without harming them.”

   The Fort Fairfield Town Council considered the authorization for a Letter of Endorsement at their April council meeting.  Jason Barnes brought forth a motion to allow for a letter of endorsement, Bob Kilcollins seconded.

   During the discussion period, councilman, John Herold spoke regarding the safety issues he was concerned with.  As a retired Customs officer who had worked at the Fort Fairfield Port of Entry, Herold had first-hand experience in seeing the results of some of these safety hazards.   “I have been the unfortunate witness of a few truck wrecks at the border.  I don't know of any recently but in the past, they lose their brakes coming down the hill and keep on sailing,” he said.  “One of them turned over right across from the Port of Entry and one of them nosed into the ditch.  This is a real safety hazard.  In some ancillary experience I've had, a lot of these woods and log trucks are not maintained to the best and highest of highway standards, including brakes and suspension.  While I'm all in favor of the concept here and do not want to see Huber at a competitive disadvantage, I want everybody to know that in my opinion and my experience there are certain safety hazards involved in running those heavy trucks down that hill.”

   Town council Chairman, David McCrea also voiced some of his safety concerns. “It's one thing if somebody is coming by in a little Chevy Nova going by at 35 miles per hour and there's a little wind.  But, boy when there's one of these big trucks  it will take darn near to the border to get it stopped.  I've driven potato trucks and the more loads you can get in the better you're doing and you've got to hurry.  But this is no joke on this Main Street.  These trucks with the weights they're at now, if they're at 25 miles per hour I don't have a problem.  But there is a speed limit on Main Street.  It's like if somebody is going 33 nothing is really going to happen to them with their little Chevy car.  But when they're driving 109,000 pounds at 34 miles per hour that's a real issue.  It's not just those drivers dealing with Huber, there are companies driving through here at high rates of speed because they want to get an extra load in that day.  I think that they [Huber] need to know that we're bending over backwards to make it more profitable for them.  They can take nine percent more, take ten loads and they've got an extra load in.  In return I would hope that they are, especially in residential areas, very mindful of what speeds are because it's only going to take one little kid to step out on that Main Street, I don't care if it's the Post Office or anywhere else - or an old man, if they hit me, I'm going to be mad all the way to Huber on the front of that truck.  I've seen [those excessive speeds] before and every time I see it I just shudder to think how long it would take that monster truck with that momentum to stop.”

   McCrea did qualify his comments, “I speak in favor of the endorsement but I would like it to be known safety is an issue in a lot of ways, maintenance-wise and speed-wise.” 

   “What Mr. Russell said in my office is Huber is very mindful of truckers bending the law,” Bosse told the town council.  “I will include these concerns in the letter.  He indicated to me that on several occasions they have given the companies warnings that they would no longer do business with them if they didn't 'straighten up and fly right,' basically.  Huber does not tolerate that. 

    “Tri-axle trailers can haul 110,000 pounds legally by the State of Maine,” said town councilman, Bob Kilcollins.  “They're not overloaded by any means.  If the truck is not up to spec they'll either have to put it up to spec or the truck can't be registered.” 

   The town council voted to approve the letter of endorsement for the variance to the weight limit with Herold being the only vote in opposition.







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