Letters, Camden Herald
Save our neighborhood
We are writing in response to the zoning amendment that has been proposed to make it possible for the new owners of the Fox Hill estate, the for-profit Fox Hill Real Estate LLC, to do a business deal with a non-profit, Massachusetts-based hospital so the hospital can run a high-end alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility for up to 16 wealthy, out-of-state clients who will pay tens of thousands of dollars for their four to six-week stay.
We have lived in the Fox Hill neighborhood for 41 years. This residential neighborhood was set up by people who cared about its future and hoped families would live there for generations. And they have. Why are we considering this? We don't understand how this proposal has merit. Fox Hill (formerly the Borden Cottage) has been a very nice home since 1903. It is surrounded by a lot of other very nice homes. We all bought our homes knowing, or thinking we knew, that they were located in a residential neighborhood. How is it that a group of investors can come to town and proposed putting a business in the middle of our neighborhood, threatening the quality of this neighborhood that we love, and the tangible and intangible investments we have in our homes?
We know some of you will say we have a bad case of NIMBY. But really, would you want this type of special interest zoning change made in your neighborhood or your back yard? There are no guarantees in this zoning change. The investors can't guarantee that the hospital they are negotiating with will actually be the final tenant; that the investment group won't sell the property once the zoning change has been received — either to another investment group or to the non-profit hospital; or that the hospital will be successful and not break their lease. The only thing that seems to be guaranteed if this zoning change is approved, is there will be a commercial enterprise at Fox Hill and our neighborhood will never be the same.
Please, do not allow that to happen. Please urge the planning board members to say no to the zoning change.
Ken and Nancy Carlton
Camden and New York
A great team effort
Thanks to a great team effort, the Camden Windjammer Festival blew into town and almost blew out Friday night during the recent Labor Day Weekend. It took many people and organizations to make the festival a reality.
Thanks first to the windjammer fleet, the day tour boats and many private vessels which make the festival the outstanding sight that it is. Captain Jim Sharp provided commentary on the boats as they arrived and filled everyone in on the history of the schooners in Camden. Wayfarer Marine provided the harbor support including an all-comers boat parade to round out the Festival on Sunday afternoon.
The Maritime Heritage Fair was the centerpiece of the land-based events showcasing a range of exhibitors demonstrating and explaining maritime skills and knowledge. Shed City loaned us a lovely shed as an information center and Lyman Technologies provided the solar generator that powered the exhibits and Build-A-Boat contest. Jory Squib organized and managed the Build-A-Boat, providing encouragement and logistical support to all participants. Our thanks to EBS for the building materials and Sika Corporation for the glue.
Seth Silverton and Jessica Manbeck organized and ran the Lobster Crate Race with the help of John Viehman, Harbormaster Steve Pixley and his team (special shout out to Jimmy the crate builder!) as well as sponsorship and volunteer support from Camden National Bank. As always the race was filled with exciting crate navigation and spectacular splashes. And this year we even set a record for the number of crates crossed.
The Camden and West Bay Rotary clubs ably managed a pancake breakfast and Chowder Challenge, respectively. Eight local restaurants supported the Rotary and the Festival by contributing their signature mouth-watering chowders. A highlight was an amazing schooner cake created by Starlight Custom Cakes.
Special thanks to Pete Lammert of Thomaston for the loan of the event tent which came in handy for the breakfast and chowder. P.A.W.S. staged a fun and lively Sea Dog Show. And who can forget the dramatic all-cannons-firing arrival of the Pirates of the Dark Rose ship Must Roos.
A new feature this year was a wet paint auction implemented by Howard Gallagher and the staff of Camden Falls Gallery that featured the auction of 11 works of art created on-site Saturday afternoon.
The Town of Camden was a supportive partner. The Harbormaster’s office, the Fire Department, Parks and Rec Department, Public Works, Police Department, Pat Finnigan and the administrative staff all were major contributors to the success of the event. North East Mobile Health Services provided essential safety support.
Naturally, the big engines behind the Festival are our generous sponsors: Down East Magazine, Portland Press Herald, Camden National Bank, Cellardoor Winery, Courier Publications, Point Lookout, Allen Insurance and Financial, The First, Rockport Automotive, Lord Camden Inn, Fresh!, and Country Inn At Camden/Rockport. Key in-kind contributors were Elm Street Printing & Graphics (rack cards) Adventure Advertising (signs and crate logos), and 5iveLeaf designs for our new website. Terrific coverage of the whole Festival was provided by PenBay Pilot and Courier Publications. Throughout the weekend, a small but mighty team of volunteers helped to keep everything ticking along.
The Camden Windjammer Festival is truly a community event that showcases the maritime heritage that made Camden the lovely harbor town she is today. Be sure to join us again next year on Labor Day weekend with fun for all.
The Camden Windjammer Festival Steering Committee
Emily Lusher, Chairman