There’s a lot that frustrates me these days, and I don’t mean my illness, ALS.

Let’s start with Central Maine Power’s destructive corridor through western Maine. They know that most Maine residents, and all the folks in western Maine, don’t want them to do this.

But they’ve worked hard to stop us from having a say, including setting aside our petition in a court case. And while thousands of us are launching a new petition to give all Maine residents a say in the project, CMP has announced that they will begin building their destructive corridor in November.

Nope, they’re not going to let us stop them. By the time we get to vote next year, they’ll have already destroyed a lot of that beautiful forest and important brooks and streams. Frustrating.

Then there’s our president, whose nasty and insulting comments are frustrating, as was his refusal to wear a mask and follow other safety rules. But then he gets the coronavirus and makes light of it, even taking off his mask as he entered the White House. Days later dozens of people in and around the White House had the virus. The president has spread his virus far and wide. Frustrating.

And the dysfunctional Congress is frustrating too. When I worked for Congressman David Emery in the 1970s, people in both political parties were friends and worked together. Not anymore. We put a sign for legislative candidate Deborah Emery on the edge of our woodlot on Route 41, and someone took it. Frustrating.

And all the horrible nasty ads in the Collins and Gideon U.S. Senate race are disgusting. Dale Crafts ran an awful ad attacking Congressman Jared Golden, which was frustrating, but I was very grateful when the news reported that Crafts ad was not true. But of course, it’s still running on TV.

A lot of us are unhappy about the poor condition of our roads. Neither local governments nor the state has enough money to repair our roads. The state says it’s going to remove the small bridge in front of our house because they don’t have the money to make necessary repairs. This will be a problem for lots of people, including our school bus drivers.

My wife Linda and I enjoy a couple drives each week, and one of our favorite rides was through Fayette. But the road is so bad that we had to stop driving it. Frustrating.

A lot of people have been frustrated by the heavy winds we’ve had, knocking off a lot of leaves and diminishing our fall foliage. Linda and I were lucky to take our annual fall foliage drive to Rangeley and Oquossic just before the heavy winds arrived. All the way from Farmington to Rangeley the foliage was stunning. And if you’ve never been to Height of Land just south of Oquossic, put it on your to-do list. Even without the fall foliage, the view from there is amazing.

Well, to put our frustrations in perspective, read Joe Owen’s On This Date stories in this newspaper. On the day I wrote this column, Joe told us about a fire in 1866 that destroyed more than 50 buildings in Wiscasset. Now that must have been frustrating!

I want to end this column on a positive note. The day I wrote this column, there was a story in this newspaper about 10-year-old Lianna Hartwell of Madison who made bracelets and bookmarks, after her spring softball season was canceled, to raise money to help people in her community who were in need. “I felt bad for the people that don’t have as much as me,” Lianna said.

She hoped to raise $100 but she actually raised $525. Her money went to the Madison Junior High food pantry that serves needy families in her area. No frustration there!

George Smith can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at

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