Monday, February 8, 2016

Geez! It’s only a damn shed!

Supporters of the construction of the Brunswick Maintenance and Layover Facility have used all sorts of rhetoric to demean those who opposed the NNEPRA project in support of a bizarrely unsustainable Downeaster passenger rail service.

“Historic rail yard.”  “Whining NIMBYs.”  And the most ludicrous at this very moment, “it’s only a shed.”  We don’t know if councilor Kathy Wilson has used this specific comment, but we remind you that she decided to relocate her business/personal residence once construction was given the final go-ahead.  Does relocating your back yard make you a NIMBY?  Afterall, the net result is that the project is no longer in her immediate neighborhood (back yard), is it?  (earlier post can be found here:

Some time ago, we took the dimensions of the proposed MLF and attempted to find existing local structures of similar scale in an effort to give some tangible perspective for those who have trouble grasping its magnitude from engineering plans and dimensions.  We recommend reviewing these past items to reorient yourselves:

Now let’s travel back to the present.  Several days ago, we decided it was time to see what we could see of the now quickly erecting MLF.  We wanted especially to get a sense of its overall scale, as close up as possible.  We chose to drive into the parking lot of the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Pleasant St, and as soon as we did, we knew we had picked a useful vantage point.

Driving to the back of the lot, the scale and sweep of the facility up close was jaw-dropping.  “Just a shed?”  We defy anyone who does the same thing (or equivalent) to hold on to that rather bizarre and quaint view.  Especially if you get a glimpse of humans working on the structure, as we did, to help you with the scale.  Simply put, 37 ft tall is one damn big building, and when you’re up close, 600 ft plus long is eyes full left to eyes full right.

This is not a ‘shed.’  This is a monster industrial facility that Brunswick zoning regulations were created to preclude.  But you know those from Government that come to help us; they find a way to create laws that allow them to preempt the petty restrictions of the little people.

Go to this web page, and you’ll find full-throated documentation of NNEPRA’s pride in the scale of the building.  Pictures nearest the top are the newest.

For example, take this one, which clearly shows the ‘human scale’ of the building (or ‘shed,’ if you insist.)

Or this one:

And this one, with snow more prominent to give it a “winter wonderland” look:

And a few more just for grins….

A nice cozy interior, don’t you think?  Imagine such a ‘shed’ built downtown near Maine Street Station.  Hannaford and it’s parking lot would disappear, more or less.  All for a ‘shed.’


We recognize at this point that we’re beating a dead horse, in a manner of speaking.  But you must admit, it’s a horse of Trojan size.



On a personal note, we’re sad to report that one of our mascots, Maggie, affectionately known as ‘Sweetie Bitch’ and shown at the side of our ‘front page,’ passed away on New Year’s Day with her ‘family at her side.’  It was not a fun way to begin our new year, but she had a good long life, and we cherish the memories.  Her brother ‘Boo-boo’ (Boomer) is doing OK at present.  One of these days we’ll change the side notes; but for the moment, we’re honoring her by leaving it as is.

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