Letters, Camden Herald
Slow down, Camden selectmen
My name is Tom Resek and I live at 67 Rawson Ave. with my wife and 16-year-old son Ben. We have lived in Camden for four years. We moved to Camden from Minnesota after taking a summer vacation to Maine and inadvertently discovering Camden. We felt at home immediately; a liveable, walkable, friendly town with a beautiful harbor, a good school system and a safe environment to let our 12-year-old son be safely independent.
We made the move but it wasn't easy. We spend a good deal of time during the first three years going back and forth to and from Minnesota trying to sell our old house.
Finally, last year, our Minnesota house sold and we were able to look for a house of our own in Camden. We wanted to be in easy walking distance of the downtown and harbor and live in and friendly and interesting neighborhood with mostly full-time residents. So one day while driving down Rawson Avenue, we found our new home. It was nestled along the Megunticook River and had just been put up for sale. We fell in love with the house and the friendly quirky neighborhood known to some as Millville.
We were especially intrigued by the large open field across the street bordered by the beautiful river, the old tannery site. We knew the town wanted to do something special with it and we started to imagine great possibilities that would enliven the neighborhood and entice the town. It could be an amazing park with a wild flower garden, a farmer's market, a summer festival site, a craft school, an environmental learning center, a sculpture park. It could have a small commercial area containing a neighborhood coffee shop, or doughnut shop or flower shop or a gallery, which would all compliment the existing Megunitcook Market. It would give the Millville neighborhood and the town of Camden a new space, an alive place of pride, imagination and beauty.
Last Thursday, the news broke that it now might be a new home for an ambulance company with garages and sheds and blacktopped parking lots all built close to our existing homes. With ambulances that would need to rush off to emergencies anytime, 24 hours a day, with flashing lights and sirens and speeding through our neighborhood regardless of neighbors walking dogs or children fishing on the bridge or skateboarding down the street.
We know that the town and the select board have been under pressure to get the lot sold, to get this issue settled. The last eight years have been the worst economy most of us have known. It was not a good time to find an imaginative solution for this land. Not a good time to sell any real estate. No one should be surprised that the problem hasn't been solved.
Let's hope our Select Board can have a little more patience, allow for a little more imagination and a little more respect for a neighborhood that's been investing in itself, attracting new families and doesn't want to settle for an ambulance depot. Please let us work together with you on a solution that much better meets the neighborhood's needs.
Some people have said that an ambulance service is "at least better than an old tannery," but we can do better than that. Please give us a chance to have the best possible solution for our community.
Vote Fulford for a green future
Sitting in line waiting for gasoline during the first oil crisis back in the 70s started me thinking about energy. After years of study, what I now know is this: burning fossil fuels must stop, except for some very limited purposes where the high density energy they provide is irreplaceable,. Burning fossil fuels despoils our planet, and is a major cause of respiratory ailments which cause many unnecessary deaths. Climate Change is real, directly related to fossil fuel use, and threatens to cause a level of human suffering and economic impact unprecedented in the history of humans. Despite claims to the contrary (mostly by the far right), the science linking climate change to the activities of man is as convincing as it is inconvenient. It is an ultimate irony that conservatives, who are so concerned with the possibility that our grandchildren might have a large burden of debt due to federal spending, are equally unconcerned that we are leaving them the world so despoiled that survival may literally not be possible. On the other hand, were the US to default on every penny of its debt, life would still go on largely unchanged. Finally, we are running out of fossil fuels. When we have to turn to something like fracking to find the energy we need, you know the resource is getting scarce.
In 1978 I built a house that uses no fossil fuel whatsoever. I can testify that I enjoy all the conveniences and comforts. The cost of construction was basically the same as any other house. If we do it now, while we still have the luxury of some fossil fuel left to help us manufacture the green future, the transition to a renewable energy economy need not be painful. If we wait until our backs are against the wall, as without action they surely will be someday soon, the transition will be difficult. Is this what we want for our grandchildren? They will curse us and rightfully so!
For this reason, I am writing to urge people to put down their traditional political ideologies and loyalties and vote for candidates who support a green future. To this end, I would like to recommend the candidacy of Jonathan Fulford for State Senate. The voting record of Mr. Thibodeau, the incumbent, clearly demonstrates that he does not grasp the necessity of making these changes.
Keith Hutchison, MD
Kitchen Tour A Huge Success
On behalf of Merryspring Nature Center, I would like to thank everyone who played a part in making our 2014 Kitchen Tour the biggest and best ever. More than 600 people went on this year's Tour, visiting nine beautiful kitchens in homes from Rockport to Northport, along the way tasting delicious samples prepared by 19 talented chefs from our Midcoast area. Always a summertime treat, the Kitchen Tour is Merryspring's biggest fundraiser, helping to support our educational programs and 66 acres of gardens, trails, and woodlands.
Of course, we could not put on this annual event without the cooperation and generosity of our wonderful hosts, local chefs, sponsors, supporters, and numerous volunteers.
So please join me in thanking our hosts — Nance and Jim Brown, Betsy Henshaw, Rene Mathews and Dan Neumann, Sue and Mike Kandziolka, Rickey Celentano and Dyke Messler, Karen and Rob Brace, Linsey Low, Adele and Dave Ames, and Jean and Ken Nolan — for opening their homes and showing off their beautiful kitchens.
And a round of thanks to the talented chefs and staff from 40 Paper, Bixby Bars, Blue Sky Cantina, Cappy's, Comida Latin Kitchen, Conscious Kitchen, Delvino's, FOG, French & Brawn, Hartstone Inn, Highlands Coffee House, Inn at Sunrise Point, Laugh Loud–Smile Big, Laura Cabot Catering, Lobster Pound, Market Basket, Salt Water Farm, Vincent's, and Whale's Tooth Pub for providing all of those tasty treats we enjoyed.
Special thanks also go to EBS Style Solutions and Camden Real Estate for sponsoring the Kitchen Tour, to the 40-plus businesses and craftspeople who added their financial support, to Stonewall Kitchen for the gift basket as our door prize, and to Francine Bistro, Shepherd's Pie, and Seabright Pizza for gift certificates as raffle prizes.
Finally, I would like to publicly thank my fellow committee members — Meg Barclay, Barb Bausch, Dorothea Graham, Carol Ann Hendricks, Kathie Kull, Edie Kyle, and Mary Waltz — as well as all of the other volunteers who spent time on or before August 6 to make this year's Kitchen Tour a huge success.
President, Merryspring Nature Center
Miramant will protect Maine’s coast
On July 17th, the Department of the Interior announced a decision to proceed with seismic airgun testing for oil and gas resources off the Mid- and South Atlantic coasts. While testing is not planned off the Maine coast, we will feel the ramifications. The planned surveys will employ loud and damaging technologies, causing major adverse impacts to marine wildlife and the ecosystem. According to the Department’s own estimates, seismic exploration could injure or kill upwards of 130,000 whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals over the next eight years.
The surveys will also pave the way for the expansion of oil and gas development off the Atlantic coast.
The East Coast is fully protected from offshore lease sales in the current Five-Year Plan, through 2017. Whether we're included in the next Plan is a huge point of contention. Dave Miramant is the State Senator I want in office representing Knox County as pressure is needed to urge BOEM to protect Maine’s coastline from lease sales and drilling. Dave championed legislation to protect Maine’s coast in his time in the Maine State Legislature, and will continue to advocate for the ocean when we elect him to State Senate District 12 this year.
Our economy is fundamentally dependent on coastal industries. In 2012, shore-adjacent Maine counties generated nearly $31.7 billion in GDP, which is 59.2 percent of our state’s output. Oil and gas development would put Maine industries, as well as our state’s quality of life, in jeopardy.
We cannot drill our way to energy independence. We need to find sustainable alternatives, we need to invest in renewable energy, and we need to get out and vote on November 4 to elect Dave Miramant. Dave knows that protecting Maine’s coast is fundamental to all Mainers, regardless of Party affiliation. Dave understands that investment in clean energy will not only bring about energy independence but will also stimulate Maine’s economy while protecting our most treasured natural resource – the ocean.
Public input is crucial to protect Maine’s coast. The public comment period for the Five-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program is open through August 15th. To express opposition to the expansion of oil and gas development in U.S. waters and urge the Department of Interior to exclude the Northeast Planning Area from scheduled lease sales in the next 5-Year Plan, visit: http://www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program-2017-2022/. To learn more about Dave Miramant for State Senate, visit davemiramant.com.