Letters, Camden Herald
Thank you Diane
When my husband, Andy, and I along with our two little toddlers moved to Lincolnville in 1979, one of our first friends was Diane O'Brien and her family. An immediate friendship began. Our children were all around the same age and with several other parents of school-age children began to make plans to start the non-existent Lincolnville kindergarten.
Any family who has lived in Lincolnville for years or only a short time has read Diane's column weekly in either the Camden Herald or VillageSoup. For me, I always have looked forward to Thursdays to read the goings on, school news, bird reports (sometimes from me!), family news and what Wally has been up to (ha!).
So thank you, Diane, for all your loyalty in writing ever so faithfully, every week to us, the people of Lincolnville, who will truly miss your column. I know I will. You are one of a kind.
Obey the law, stop
I am writing because our summer season is fast approaching. We have but a couple more weeks and then Camden will again be very busy. The reason though behind writing about crosswalks is due in fact to an incident that happened last Oct. 13, 2013, on a Sunday morning around 10:47 a.m. It changed my husband's life and that of our whole family.
It was clear and a perfect autumn day. My husband and I were at the crosswalk going east from the embroidery shop to cross and go to brunch. We always stop, look and wave. We did that then. The south-bound car stopped for us. I turned, and not seeing where my husband was, saw the north-bound car. She was not looking where she was going because she was engaged with me. I was pointing at her to stop ... I have now seen that look too many times by motorist who don't want to stop. She was looking at me and the look was "I'm not stopping, I need to get somewhere and you can just wait" as she drove by me. The next instant I see my husband spin like a top and go into the air. Did she stop then? No!
So why bring that up again? Because we have tourist season coming down upon us. Did you know that from the top of the hill at the library to Park street at the other end of Elm Street (or Route 1) we have 12 crosswalks? From Park down to our wonderful blinking light at the junction of Elm and Union we have four crosswalks that are not very clear. Most of the time traffic is moving way too fast to even stop for people standing to cross (especially at Renys). From the crosswalk at Free through town we have beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing to the eye crosswalks that are brick colored, but the white is not showing very clearly. I had a man from Connecticut (saw his plate) that basically did the same thing as the woman who hit my husband, he didn't stop. I had to jump out of the way. I don't know what the law is in other states but in Maine it's a law you must stop for someone in the crosswalk. Oh, then I had a older woman at the crosswalk at the town office as I stopped for another woman crossing the street, who was going south and she flipped me the bird as I honked at her to stop.
Those beautiful crosswalks are that, nice to look at. But for people from away, they don't know they are crosswalks and it doesn't help when people park over the crosswalk. There is no rhyme or reason or enforcement on parking on those crosswalks. In England there is a definite barrier to show those are crosswalks and you don't park on them.
We need our crosswalks highlighted better, and I am sorry but despite the fact that Camden is one of the prettiest towns in Maine, it may turn out to be one of the most dangerous for foot traffic.
In the summer I park so I don't have to deal with driving through our town but risk my life (yes, risk my life) walking.
Another little fact is I have asked for more crosswalks to ensure the safety of the children I run with in cross-country season for the middle school on the side streets. Where I asked for crosswalks, I was told it's a state road, there are certain guidelines and also the more crosswalks anyone has in their towns the more they have to repaint ...
Excuse me if I want my children to be safe.
So it comes down to beauty for the town and money. I know paint costs something but we need all our crosswalks repainted. We also need something other than what is going on to identify the existing crosswalks already there and we need it now. Not next year, now.
Pearl Street massacre
There were 13 trees taken down last week; three more to go. Our 100-plus-year-old sugar maple may be next. Our family has had a house on Pearl Street for almost 25 years. We were not notified beforehand – the tree warden, Bart Wood, told someone on our property last Friday that he didn’t need to ask our permission to take the tree down, he just had to tell us. His crew has already decimated a number of trees on Pearl. I just learned that my neighbor’s glorious 150-plus-year-old sugar maple, a very solid tree, is already gone.
What is going on here? Who has given this man such authority and permission to wreak havoc on our beloved trees? Bart Wood is not paid by the town, he volunteers his time. Admittedly, some trees are hazards and need to be taken down. But I have been told he is taking down trees that could have been saved. How much is this precipitous annihilation of the trees costing? Are the owners given a chance to save the trees? This is the 20th year of the town’s designation by the Arbor Day Foundation as Tree City USA. After this, Camden may have lost its standing. Most of these trees were here long before we got here. We should respect, cherish, value and take care of them.
It makes me think of the beloved Christmas film, "It’s A Wonderful Life." If each one of us would fight to save a tree we might achieve something of lasting value to our community. Once these trees are gone there is no replacing them. Every town has a cantankerous Mr. Potter.
Grateful for reunion
A couple of weekends ago, our beloved mutt, Neo, ran away from his babysitters as we were headed to Boston for a couple of days of fun. Needless to say, we turned our car around and raced back to Camden, hoping to find him wagging his tail at our doorstep. Not so.
Because many of you, hundreds actually, posted his picture on Facebook and kept your eyes open for "Neo sightings" - he finally, after 29 hours in the woods (Camden/Rockport/Warren and Hope areas) was found and is back home.
Thank yous to Jane English for first posting his picture and getting the word out and all of you who "re-posted," Kim Graffam, to kind-hearted Maine State Police Trooper Jeremy Westbrock, all who called with "sightings," Pushaw's Trading Post, and most of all to the two beautiful heroes who caught Neo and gave us directions on how to find him: Farin and Liana Weidman. You are fabulous!
Neo was stiff and sore and in much need of a bath, but otherwise healthy. Once again we are humbled and thankful for living in this caring community - why go to Boston, when we can just stay home?
Kalla and Bill Buchholz
Muchas gracias from P.A.W.S.
Monday, May 5, and Tuesday, May 6, folks throughout the Midcoast hung up their aprons to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner out to celebrate the 3rd annual Cinco de Meow.
Eleven area restaurants served up a creative selection of dishes to take part in the annual fundraiser for P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center. Specials included Mexi Shepard's Pie at Cappy’s Chowder House and Sautéed Gulf Shrimp Quesadillas at Fog Bar & Café.
Each participating restaurant made a generous donation to help care for pets awaiting adoption at P.A.W.S.’ Camden Street, Rockport, location. P.A.W.S. thanks the following restaurants and their patrons for their kind support:
Blue Sky Cantina, Rockport
Boynton-McKay Food Co., Camden
Café Miranda, Rockland
Cappy’s Chowder House, Camden
Comida Latin Kitchen, Camden
Fog Bar & Café, Rockland
Marriner’s Grill, Camden
Offshore Restaurant, Rockport
Park Street Grille, Rockland
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar, Rockland
The Waterfront, Camden
Donations play a vital role in the adoption center’s efforts to house, feed, and find loving homes for the region’s homeless animals. In recent years, P.A.W.S.’ service area has expanded beyond Camden and Rockport to include Lincolnville, Northport, Islesboro, Searsmont, Liberty and Swanville as well. That means more animals to care for — and ever-mounting costs.
In 2013, P.A.W.S.’ expenses on behalf of animals topped $329,000. Some 44 dogs cared for by the center found a new “leash” on life through adoption as did 302 cats and kittens, as compared to 33 dogs and 274 felines in 2012.
To learn more about P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center please visit the center at 146 Camden Street in Rockport, online at pawsadoption.org or call 236-8702.
PAWS shelter board members and staff