Every once in a while our government does something so stupid and ridiculous that I have to laugh out loud. This week it was the Maine lawmakers rushing to push through legislation that allows bars to sell alcohol beginning at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day when it falls on Sunday. Supposedly pub owners lamented they would lose big bucks by not being able to sell alcohol between 6 and 9 a.m. “It would boost Maine’s economy,” they supposedly said. I am not a teetotaler, but this argument seems just plain stupid. There are plenty of other things we can do to really boost Maine’s economy. For example, what about allowing car dealers to sell cars on Sunday? Did you know that in Maine you can’t buy a car from a dealer on Sunday?
I never thought much about this until last month when my beloved fifteen-year-old Honda began to fall apart. The problem with car hunting is not only finding the right car at the right price, but also finding the time to look and test drive. My problem was my work schedule. One option for people who work on Saturday is to go across the border into New Hampshire. Car dealers there are open on Sunday, and they do a booming business selling to Mainers.
But I wanted to buy a car in Maine, to help boost my state’s economy. Unfortunately, most of the dealers I contacted tried to sell me vehicles way above my price range. “Surely, you can afford a thousand dollars more,” one of the six dealers said. “It’s a great car.” I have no doubt it was a great car, but I couldn’t afford it.
Then I found Kevin Milligan, who works at Rowe Auburn. I e-mailed the dealership asking about a vehicle on their website. Kevin called me and we talked about what I could afford. We both agreed that the vehicle I inquired about was not a good fit. I figured I would never hear from Kevin again, but the next morning he called me again and said, “I will help you get a car. I will get it within the price range you want and with a payment you can afford.” He scheduled an early morning meeting with me. When I arrived, he had a vehicle waiting for me to test drive. Three hours later, I drove off in my Saturn SUV with all-wheel drive, low mileage, and $1,000 under what I had set as a maximum price. I still think car dealerships should be open on Sunday, but since they aren’t, the next best thing for me was Kevin Milligan. He went above and beyond to help me get an affordable car.
More car-related news. Gas prices are going down slowly. In the past week the price of a gallon of gas slipped 5 cents. Maine is still above the national average with a price of $3.77 per gallon; the national average is $3.65. The rate at the CITGO station on Railroad Street is still above average at $3.78 per gallon. In Maine the lowest costs are in the southern part of the state. On St. Patrick’s Day, gas was selling at $3.49 a gallon in Cape Elizabeth. The highest price for a gallon of gas was in Livermore Falls, where one gas station was selling gas for $4.05 a gallon.
The Bethel United Methodist Church will host a Maunday Thursday service at 12 noon on Thursday, March 28. A soup and bread lunch will be followed by communion and a short service. Everyone is welcome. The church is located at 79 Main Street in Bethel.
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