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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


Fort Fairfield’s Annual Community Blight Survey


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 11, 2014


Fort Fairfield Code Enforcement Officer, Tony Levesque and Public Works Director, George Watson recently conducted the annual town blight survey to compile a list of problem areas.  Of the 108 miles of roads in Fort Fairfield, they covered approximately 104 miles.

"I didn't see a lot of junk like we had in the past, along the road.  There have been a lot of times where we saw many appliances, tires, computer monitors," said Levesque.  "However, as for the perception that we're getting a lot of junk accumulating, it's not happening."

"There are a fair amount of vacant structures in Fort Fairfield.  That's obvious to anybody who takes a ride around town.  Fortunately for us I think the vacant ones that are being foreclosed on are being partially kept up.  We have three or four vacant structures that are just dilapidated structures and we have a couple that we have complaints on."

Of the current list of problem areas in town, there are 22 names of property owners who have been on the list for at least two years.  Some of those 22 names have been on the blight list for as long as 15 years.

As for vehicles stored in a yard, three or more unregistered vehicles in a yard will classify it as an "automobile graveyard" however, litigation can stem from just one unregistered vehicle if it is deemed a nuisance and/or a hazard.

In 2005, the town's blight investigation process generated 83 letters that had to be written for violations.  This year there were only 41.  "Forty-one is a fair amount but we've got over 1,600 structures in Fort Fairfield and if I only find forty-one properties that have some issues I think our neighborhoods are fairly well kept up."

"We've had a late Spring; some of the things might have been impacted by the garbage fees, but I think as a whole our community is a nice looking community still."

"We're trying to recognize the conditions.  I try to be consistent.  If I say to so-and-so that barn fell down five years ago and it's now in a heap of wood I send a letter to everybody who has a structure in that condition."

Levesque has prepared a letter of notice in which he attempts to be very amiable.  "I know some people are going to be very upset when they get my letter.  They're going to say, 'why didn't you give me a phone call?'  I don't have time to give everyone a phone call."

The process is a three letter process with each subsequent letter being more forceful.  Levesque has noticed that in most cases the problems are rectified after the first letter and matters rarely have to go to litigation.







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