Letters, Camden HeraldJune 5, 2014
Clearing up misrepresentations
The Bifulcos of the Windward House wrote a very long and impassioned letter to the editor last week. It is understandable they would be upset that the Planning Board did not pass their zoning change forward. What is not understandable is the misrepresentation of the people in opposition, the misrepresentation of the Historic Preservation Ordinance proposed almost two years ago, and misrepresentation of the health of High Street.
Let’s start with the Historic ordinance that did not get presented to the voters:
1. It was not drawn up by the same people that were in opposition to her zone change; rather a work group made up of Planning Board members and the Historic Resources Committee created it.
2. Most importantly, not a single criterion in that proposal was mandatory. They were only guidelines that were entirely voluntary. No unfunded mandate was proposed by anyone.
The very people denigrated for not contributing to the cause of preserving High Street happen to be the volunteers that worked for two years researching every property on High Street in order to gain recognition on the National Register of Historic Places. These same people, among others in the neighborhood and beyond worked tirelessly with the town and MDOT to insure that the rebuild of High Street maintained its residential character and was not built to Federal Highway Standards. Without the National Register designation, that job would have been nigh impossible.
Who really was in opposition on May 15? Was it really it only a select few residents from High Street? It is a matter of public record that almost every B&B was either there on May 15, in opposition or with a letter of opposition as the Inns feel that allowing B&B’s into the dinner category, while it may helpful to one’s bottom-line, puts unfair stress and competition on an already over-saturated restaurant industry. Also it is unfair to those inns that had to and purposely bought in a zone where this was permitted while The Windward House knew they bought in a residential zone where it was not.
The health of High Street: No question the real estate market has been a tough one. There isn’t a community in the country that has not been affected by the downturn in the economy since 2008. But take a leisurely walk up the street some day and see how the pride of ownership by residents and Innkeepers alike has contributed to the preservation of the whole neighborhood, to the benefit of the whole town. It has not taken a zoning change to make that happen. In fact in the last year, six homes have sold on High Street; a beautiful new home has been built and three recently went under contract. Of the six home sales, two of them are to couples with young children, one of whom moved from Pearl Street. This only reinforces the desirability of this handsome, historic and vibrant residential neighborhood. Again, it has not taken a zoning change to make that happen. Pride dictates the desire to be good stewards to preserve the character and value of one’s property.
It is misleading to characterize a proposal that benefits primarily their Inn as an attempt to enhance the High Street neighborhood. The passion the Windward House owners have for their business is understandable, but it does not justify the many misrepresentations of fact and intent.
Don't need ordinance
On June 10, I encourage all Lincolnville voters to vote “no” on Article 4. The article reads: “Shall an ordinance entitled “Town of Lincolnville Consumer Fireworks Use Ordinance” be enacted?” While the title of this article sounds innocent enough, this unnecessary 3-page ordinance would place an additional regulatory burden on the town, and would require an authorized agent of the town to provide enforcement.
The state fireworks law as written, is sufficient. Lincolnville does not need its own town ordinance which cannot be enforced anyway. Please vote “no” on this ill-conceived ordinance. And when you do enjoy your fireworks this summer, please be considerate of your neighbors and use basic common courtesy. We don’t need an ordinance for that.
Oh no, not again
I read a letter to the Editor in the Free Press [about Pen Bay Medical Center] and it got me thinking “No, not again.”
Let me tell you a wonderful story of the Camden Hospital on Mountain Street where I delivered twin boys in 1954. We had wonderful attention from skilled nurses and doctors. We had dreams of an updated medical hospital and sure enough it was built on Elm Street where Quarry Hills now stands. It was built and paid for by the Camden, Appleton, Lincolnville and Hope communities. It was in the black and self- sufficient. Then a new director came along and decided it was a good idea to join a new Medical Center in Rockland. It seems the old Rockland Hospital was not passing inspection required by the state so they decided to build Pen Bay and have Camden Hospital join forces. Now they were one. Soon the Camden Hospital became a nursing home and then Quarry Hill.
Pen Bay was and still is, as I understand it, in debt. However with a new infusion of CEO ideas Pen Bay will become “a triage station” and the patient passed on to another hospital which will hopefully cure the patient. Did I read this right? Surely it must not be a dream I read about in the Free Press “Letters to the Editor.” Hopefully there will be dialogue in the Courier and more in the Free Press.
Mary “Mickey” McKeever
Help Five Town CTC
Ever felt lost while at the same time feeling like you just don't measure up? I did and it was an extremely frustrating time of my life. My stumbling block was math until Mrs. Hutchins (an angel in the form of a math tutor) showed up in my life. Quickly she smoothed the road by simply saying, "you’re as smart as anyone, you just learn differently." We worked hard together and my fear of math dissipated because I was no longer in a fog and my grades were good enough to be put on the fridge! It was not long after this assistance that I was sailing alone on the math seas with a new confidence that translated to all areas of my life. Thanks in part to Mrs. Hutchins, I graduated Central College in Pella Iowa with a B.A in Business Communications.
Many of us have benefited from the attention of a mentor in our lives. Right now, Five Town Communities That Care is running its Math & Literacy Mentors program, which not only helps kids achieve greater success in these subject areas, but also provides a crucial opportunity for caring adults to check in with the kids they are assisting. As Mrs. Hutchins did for me, so these mentors are doing for kids in our community. They are making a difference that goes way beyond the classroom, instilling confidence in kids who can use a boost right now.
Five Town Communities That Care has done so much for the kids in our community over the past 10 years. I urge you to support their work by making a donation to their spring fundraising campaign today, and help them continue to serve our kids for another 10 years.
Two citizen initiatives
Volunteers will be collecting signatures at some of our local polling places at the Tuesday, June 10, primaries and town meetings in our coastal towns.
One of the citizen’s initiatives is for a constitutional amendment to revoke corporate personhood and money as speech.
Another is to strengthen Maine’s crucial Clean Elections Act, which has been under attack.
Both initiatives are important to protect our democracy from the onslaught of large sums of money influencing our elections.
Please consider signing both.
Beedy Parker, Camden
Carmen Lavertu, Thomaston
Diane Smith, Cushing