Maine's island communities are not living history museums reflecting a subsistence economy of salt water farms. While many islanders are employed in marine related endeavors, some of us are able to raise our families in the same community our ancestors settled 250 years ago, because improved boat service allows us to commute to mainland jobs creating economic diversity.

As taxpayers, we have every right to ask for assistance when all of our other options have been exhausted. Our mainland neighbors sometimes fail to understand that often islanders' needs are centered around mainland access so that we can buy food, go to the doctor, attend school or engage in a myriad of activities other folks take for granted.

To sustain viable year-round communities and contribute to the cultural diversity of the Grand State of Maine, islanders need safe, reliable transportation and associated facilities. From time to time we may benefit from State or Federal tax dollars or we might ask Maine voters to support bond issues, just as we support services which we rarely use. It's just neighbors helping neighbors. After all isn't that the way life should be?

AIRED 4/27/97 and 4/28/97