Letters, Camden Herald

Nov 01, 2012

Elect Carole Gartley

With all of the partisan politics common place today in Washington and Augusta it is surprising that anyone would be interested in running for elective office. Every so often a person comes along who is so concerned about the future of our state that they are willing to make a commitment and can make a difference. Carole Gartley is such a person. Her achievements as a mother, teacher and successful small business owner have proven that she has the courage, intelligence, integrity and experience to make an outstanding state representative. As nice a person as our current representative is, Carole can do an even better job of representing us because she has the enthusiasm and drive to make meaningful contributions in Augusta. I urge Camden and Rockport voters to vote for Carole Gartley on November 6 — she will make a great state representative.

Bill Freeman

Rockport


Education plus business equals jobs
State House emphasis on these two critical components is exactly what we will get to produce jobs for Mainers if we elect Carole Gartley. This was perfectly obvious in last weeks quorum at Rockport Opera House. Gartley taught high school math and science and along with her husband she runs a successful small business locally.  She emphasized that education and business must fit together to produce citizens who can get quality jobs, and citizens who like Carole and her husband have the business "chutzpah" to startup businesses that provide jobs.  Carole Gartley is just the right person to come along at the right time. Joan Welsh is a good person, but her qualifications and energy level do not match Carole Gartley's. By the way, Dan Bookham did a stellar job moderating this forum. Vote for Carole Gartley!

Jon and Helen Kuhl
Camden


Appeal for Money

Recently an article appealed for money to preserve two more farms for the string of hayfields currently cut by Aldermere. The idea of preservation and space is munificent by a sector of the population — giving their money to the powerful conservation groups. The return is a no brainer, open land is more attractive and beneficial to the drive-by public. Forever Farm signs dot the landscape, in theory reducing rampant development, or once rampant. The only rampant development is the exodus to the city for jobs as the construction industry and jobs for people is reduced to an idle stream.

What is more important as you write the check, is the energy of thoughtful regenerative neighborhoods for families is reduced by your charity. No big deal, one or two farms in the midst of thousands of acres is moot, plus the ocean nearby, we have space to dream upon. What we don't have is a belief in the future.

People generally don't want change anywhere, any people anywhere. The preservation dominates good future thinking and planning, especially in Maine where the natives have always lived tight to the bone, riding out the storm is a practical advantage. Once again, after the peaks in a flamboyant economy before the recession, we are thinking how to generate wealth.  Preserve Land forever? Or sit down analyze the situation and work to build a society that engenders the future.  Many people live in sub-par homes, virtually tear downs, except the rich people, who can afford to preserve land.

There is no system of replacement, of financing and support for development — and that is not exactly true, there are many help organizations, but the desire to raise the standards is lost to preservation. Now, the natives don't say, "Go home, flatlanders, bring business and development to help pay for schools and standards," the people from away say it!

My vision before Maine Farmland Trust swept-in to create an easement on Rokes Farm was to create a neighborhood of small highly efficient homes, with shared services, garden responsibility, cooperative creation of a young family neighborhood, off the main thoroughfare with a community center. A place for children to play and families to help each other. Call it what you want, I think a citizen pod of family. We need many pods, just as we have senior citizen centers to serve elderly needs, we are dead in the water until we make pods for young families.

Camden and its lovely rich people will stuff themselves this Thanksgiving on Forever Farm, and what will the real people think as they drive-by?

Bill Anderson

Camden


Vote Mazurek

I urge everyone to vote for Ed Mazurek for the Knox County Senate Seat.

Ed Mazurek has served four terms in the Legislature as a member and co-chairman of the transportation committee, member of the Marine Resource Committee and Legislative Liaison for Zone D Lobster Council. He also knows Knox County well as a former member of the Rockland City Council and mayor in 2003 and 2004.

Currently, Ed sits on the Rockland Coast Guard Committee and Maine Lighthouse Museum Board of Directors. He is also a member of Elks, Knights of Columbus, Friends of Rockland District Nursing Association, and is co-founder of Knox County Energy Committee.

I appreciate Ed's commitment to Knox County and the citizens of Maine.

It is high time we had a State Senator that represents the citizens and interests of Knox County.

I hope everyone will support Ed Mazurek for the Knox County Senate seat.

Diane Cowan

Friendship

 

Mazurek has my vote

Rep. Ed Mazurek has been there for the people he has represented, both as a member of Rockland City Council, as Rockland Mayor and a member of the Maine House of Representatives. He will represent the residents of Knox County with commitment to our needs and do his job for us and not because he has signed on to a national agenda.

Ed has demonstrated his commitment to the people of coastal Maine and I am confident he will continue to do so in the Maine State Senate.

He has my vote. Please vote and elect Ed Mazurek as our next Knox County State Senator.

Linda Hay Crawford

Camden

 

 

Check the facts

I urge you to vote for Ed Mazurek on Nov, 6 for the Knox County Senate seat.  He has spent a life time working for our community, as a classroom teacher, coach, as member of the Rockland City Council, Mayor of Rockland and most recently as Rockland and Owl's Head representative in the Maine House of Representative.

We want someone who will represent the people of Knox County..

Kenneth Wexler

Owls Head

 

Successful representation

Rep. Ed Mazurek has represented Rockland and part of Owl's Head for the last eight years, and did so successfully. As a member of the Marine Resources Committee, and later as chair of the Transportation Committee, Ed has worked tirelessly and effectively in Augusta.

He has sponsored bills to reduce taxes paid on fuel used by fisherman and parts purchased by windjammers; to start a pilot program to help schools serve local produce and seafood to students; to allow military personnel permanently stationed in Maine to qualify for the Homestead Tax Exemption; and various legislation pertaining to our roadways and other modes of transportation.

Ed does not speak for special interests and he does not support the LePage agenda. Ed will bring the perspective of Maine's hard working middle class back to Augusta.

Please join me in voting for Ed Mazurek for Senator for Knox County Senate District 22.

Ann Donaldson

Union

 

Thank you, voters

I write this campaign closing letter mostly to express my deep gratitude to the voters of Waldo County for your welcoming reception at your town meetings, at your town gatherings and at your doors this past winter, spring, summer and fall.  You fill my heart with reason to continue along the often hilly campaign trails that hopefully lead to my re-election as your Waldo County Judge of Probate.  Thank you.

I also write to explain how I have chosen to run this campaign:  In a word, I have run a “positive-only” campaign.  On purpose, I have led a positive-only campaign because I have heard this is what you wanted and because I have positive accomplishments from my years serving as your judge that I am happy and proud to share with you, accomplishments that I truly believe have helped me provide a fair, frugal and effective probate court.

As examples, on purpose, I have started a mediation program and offer it to families as a first and often final step in contested proceedings because I know getting a family that is fighting to learn to talk and resolve saves not only the family but the families and the taxpayers lots of time and money.  On purpose, I made Waldo County Probate Court a pilot site for a senior care program designed to maximize the independence of those for whom protective proceedings are filed.  On purpose, I have brought the appointments budget under control while also giving families a way to be proud to pay their own way by starting a monthly payment program for them and have kept the total fees much lower by enforcing a maximum fee policy for court appointees. On purpose, I have also gotten the number of ex parte communications under control, thereby insuring many more families that no one side of the family easily can have time talking to the judge about the other side without the other side also receiving notice and able to be present.  Finally, on purpose, I have made this job my one and only job and therefore my one and only professional priority.

Finally, on purpose, if honored with your vote this Election Day, I will continue to serve you as your Waldo County Judge of Probate in a positive manner and with my ongoing very best efforts.

Respectfully,

Susan W. Longley

Liberty

 

I support Mazurek

I am supporting Ed Mazurek for Knox County’s Senate seat, because I believe he will bring a sense of fairness to our legislature.  He knows that many Maine citizens have been harmed by Gov. LePage and the Republicans’ policies. Ed will work to make life more secure for all Maine people.  I hope you’ll check out both records and join me in voting for Ed Mazurek.

Katie Syrett

Owl’s Head


Rector is a strong leader

Maine is blessed to have leaders that bring people of all persuasions together to promote sound policies and conservation and management of our natural resources and outdoor heritage. Senator Chris Rector is one of those leaders.

As a former State Senator and Executive Director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, I am pleased that Senator Chris Rector has earned our endorsement. Throughout his legislative service, Chris has worked with SAM and other groups to maintain the healthy balance that is required to ensure our natural resources are available now and in the future.

Chris Rector has received plenty of attention for his leadership on the job creation front, but his work on environmental preservation and wildlife issues  is equally important to all of us. Chris Rector recognizes both the need to earn a living, and the need for families and friends to spend quality outdoor time. Please support Chris Rector.

 

David Trahan

Executive Director

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

 

Vote Mailloux

My name is Connie Reynolds and I live in Burnham. I first met Randy Mailloux when John Ford was running for the state senate and I took note then that Randy was clearly an experienced and knowledgeable attorney when it came to probate, family law and estate planning.

I’ve gotten to know him over the years and saw him serve us well as our judge of probate. Then when the Judge of Probate race began to become such a major issue in Waldo County, I wondered why and what the issues were. After I looked into it myself it became clear who the most qualified and better candidate is. What else matters?

Randy has almost five times as much legal experience in our courtrooms and probate law as does his opponent and the same amount of time as our judge.

The choice seems very clear this year.  What could be more important than who is more qualified?!

Connie Reynolds,

Burnham


Supporting Mitt Romney

I supported John McCain in the last presidential election.  While disappointed that McCain lost, I was heartened that Barack Obama’s victory clearly confirmed that the highest office in our nation is truly open to all, regardless of race.  I was also hopeful that the new president would yoke his oft-proclaimed commitment to bring a different tone to our political conversation to tackling the nation’s most important issue – resolving the economic crisis.  The high level of cooperation during the transition from the Bush to Obama administrations – publicly acknowledged by both leaders – was a promising first step in that direction.

However, once in office partisan considerations took over, starting with the announcement that Guantanamo would close within one year and quickly followed by the Democrat-crafted $875 billion stimulus bill.   Bipartisanship beat a hasty retreat and, with few exceptions, has not resurfaced.

More important than the partisan tone itself have been the consequences for our nation.  Although the economic crisis that threatened the total breakdown of our financial system was averted, the country has paid a huge price.  Our national debt has skyrocketed and been accompanied by a miserable job climate in the weakest economic recovery in modern memory.   Rather than meld the best ideas from both political parties for reigning in the federal deficit and fostering strong and sustained private-sector job growth (as set forth and urgently recommended by both the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles and Rivlin-Domenici commissions) President Obama chose to turn his attention to other divisive issues, most notably a government-driven reform model for our healthcare system. The result was the passage of another largely Democrat-crafted and Democrat-supported piece of legislation signed into law in 2010 and opposed by a solid plurality of the American public ever since.

Now, amidst a backdrop of 23 million Americans out of work and a still-swelling and potentially crippling national debt of $16 trillion, and having offered no credible comprehensive plan to fix our economic woes (Congressional Republicans and Democrats have overwhelmingly rejected budgets submitted by the White House the past two years), President Obama seeks reelection on the promise that the outcome will be different if he is allowed four more years.  Yet, rather than outline a comprehensive plan that holds the promise of yielding a different outcome, the Obama campaign has spent most of its time attacking President Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, much of it centered on his character and personal integrity.

A sustained and robust private-sector economic recovery is the essential foundation for resolving virtually all of our other domestic and foreign policy issues.  Mitt Romney has demonstrated throughout his career a capacity for solving problems – helping businesses become successful as the head of Bain Capital, leading the turn around of the 2000 Winter Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts collaborating with a Democrat-dominated legislature to repair that state’s broken health care system and improve its schools.

I am proud that the Republican Party chose Mitt Romney as its presidential standard bearer in this crucial election.   We urgently need a leader with his skill set and experience to get our economy back on track and, by so doing, dramatically reduce both unemployment and underemployment and put us on a path to reducing the national debt.

John Bird

Spruce Head

 

 

Longley an angel

My mother always told me that there were angels on earth but she never told me that one would be a judge! I am telling all my friends to vote for Susan Longley.

Lorelei Erskine

Liberty

 

 

Casting a vote for Longley

In the run-up to the election we have seen a number of letters in support of Susan Longley for Judge of Probate of Waldo County from social workers, educators and family members who have recently taken part in probate proceedings. I think there is a simple explanation for their heart-felt endorsements. In her eight years as Judge of Probate Susan Longley has instituted a mediation procedure and other measures that help turn what could otherwise be a costly litigation nightmare into a helpful family opportunity. I am casting my vote for the person who has made this happen, Judge Susan W. Longley.

William Nelson

Belfast

 

Lawyers support Mailloux

I, like many local lawyers so far, am endorsing Randy Mailloux for Judge of Probate. There’s a reason that the vast majority (maybe close to 80% or more) of the local lawyers are supporting Randy. Ask them and they will tell you about their experiences and then you can make a decision.

I will tell you one of mine. It is all a matter of public record and you can read it for yourself at http://caselaw.findlaw.com/me-supreme-judicial-court/1536141.html. I represented a father who was fighting to keep custody of his child. Judge Longley announced at the beginning of the case what law she would be deciding the case on. After the case was concluded, it was very clear that my client had won and should have been reunited with his child based on the law that the case would be decided upon. There was no evidence that he could not safely take care of his child and the only real issue was that the child might have to transfer from one elementary school to another one down the street. That was certainly not enough of a reason to separate a child from a parent. Judge Longley said that she needed some time to think about it and that she would let us know her decision soon.

A short time later, I received the decision and was shocked when it decided against my client, but then absolutely blown away when the Judge decided the case based on an entirely different (and incorrect) law that was promised to us in court! I had never seen anything like that before and my client had lost his child unjustly. So we appealed the case to the Maine Supreme Court.

The Maine Supreme Court agreed with us that Judge Longley had violated the law and immediately vacated the guardianship in our favor. They did it unanimously and without the need for oral argument. This court rarely flips family law decisions like this unless the error was so blatant and clear that it has no choice. That was the case here. The sad fact was that a father lost his child for over a year because of this case and that kind of damage can never be undone. This should have never had happened with such a simple case.

This decision is just one example of why we need to return an experienced and qualified judge to the bench. It is major reason why I support and have been working so hard for Randy Mailloux. This never did and never will happen with him on the bench and we need to put aside the politics (name recognition, how nice someone seems to be, political party etc.) and vote for the most qualified person. With over 34 years in our courts (compared with several years around 20 years ago) that person is overwhelming Randolph Mailloux. He’s not a politician but he’s a great judge. Please consider voting for him on November 6th.

Aaron Fethke, Esq.

Searsport

 

Re-elect Longley

I am supporting Susan Longley for re-election to the position of Waldo County Judge of Probate.

Susan has helped many families with the difficult issues including those of guardianship, adoption, name changes and administration of decedents' estates in a very respectful and caring manner during her term as Judge.

Waldo County has many lower income families who are unable to afford high lawyer and legal fees for matters referred to Probate Court and her initiation of negotiation instead of a trail has saved numerous families. I have personally had a situation to appear in Judge Longley's court and felt the matter was dealt with in a fair and respectful way for all parties.

I urge you to vote in November and to re-elect Susan Longley as Waldo County Judge of Probate regardless of your political party affiliation.

James White

Burnham

 

 

No ALEC

On Nov. 6, I am voting against ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council wages war against our democracy. Funded by huge corporations, such as Exxon, Monsanto, oil baron Koch brothers, and big tobacco, this secretive, powerful group writes model legislation to benefit their own bottom line. And state legislators are wined, dined, and brainwashed into sponsoring these bills.

Just of few of their policies, out of over 800 model bills, would begin the gradual process of privatizing Social Security, Medicare, and public schools. When you hear the word “voucher”, that is the beginning of the end for these historically successful programs.

ALEC promotes inequality for minorities, opposes women’s rights and bargaining rights for workers, and offers “stand your ground” bills like Florida’s. But perhaps the worst threat to our democracy is voter suppression, aimed at making it difficult or impossible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote. In Maine, Charlie Summers brought us voter suppression; our people’s veto threw it out.

The following state legislators are, or were, tied to ALEC as of Oct 12, 2012, as listed online by www.Sourcewatch.org:

1. Sen. Richard Rosen (R-Dist. 31, Hancock)

2. Sen. Debra Plowman (R-33, Penobscot)

3. Sen. Brian Langley (R-28, Hancock)

4. Sen. Christopher Rector (R-22, Knox)

5. Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-23, Waldo)

6. Former Sen. Carol Weston

7. Rep. Ryan Harmon (R-45, Palermo)

8. Rep. James Hamper (R-100, Oxford)

9. Sec. of State, Charlie Summers, candidate for Snowe’s Senate seat

When ALEC was exposed last summer by the mainstream press and Bill Moyers (see his documentary, The United States of ALEC, on www.Democracynow.org) over 50 corporations and 70 legislators resigned ALEC, denouncing it as un-American. Not one Maine legislator quit.

Time to throw these babies out with the ALEC bathwater.

G. Bridges

Freedom

 

Who Do You Represent?

The voters of Waldo County should be aware of the possible allegiance of two of their legislators, who are up for re-election. As independent voter in Waldo County, I recently discovered that Mike Thibodeau and Ryan Harmon are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is an organization that brings state and federal legislators, and even their families from around the country, all expenses paid, to four star hotels and resorts for conferences and workshops. ALEC is funded by many corporations and billionaires such as the Koch brothers. Their conferences and workshops consist of educating the legislators regarding ALEC’s political agenda. ALEC provides the legislative members with templates (“cookie cutter bills”) of legislation to be used to create bills to introduce in their respective state legislatures. These templates address many aspects of current laws and proposed laws that ALEC favors. In general some of the legislative areas being focused on are:

1. Privatization of Schools – creation of for profit schools to displace public schools. This benefits corporations such as K12 (NY Stock Exchange: LRN) and Connections Education LLC owned by Apollo Management (NADAQ: AINV). Privatized schools would take taxpayer funds to run these schools with 25 to 30% going to the corporation’s profits. The strategy to justify creating these schools is already in motion. The consistent cutbacks in school funding are affecting students’ performances. This in turn is used to justify displacing public schools with private or charter schools.

2. Creating legislation to privatize government functions such as child welfare programs, prisons, water and waste treatment, all at a profit.

3. Legislation to reduce corporate liability (tort reform) for unsafe and environmentally hazardous products and processes which benefit such industries as pharmaceutical , tobacco, energy, and many more.

4. Divorce restrictions and elimination of “no-fault” divorce which create more profits for legal firms.

5. Opposition to minimum wage and removal of employee collective bargaining rights.

6. Further deregulation of the banking, health, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries (no rules).

7. Further deregulation of industries overseen by the FDA, EPA, etc. (no rules).

8. Elimination and restriction of women’s reproductive rights such as access to contraception. The results of this effort has generated legislation is states such as Virginia.

9. Disenfranchisement of voters through voter id laws which make it more difficult for the poor, elderly, and people in rural areas to vote. Interestingly, voter fraud is virtually non-existent.

10. More tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

11. Legislation to block health care reform.

12. At the federal level privatization of Social Security and Medicare.

13. At the federal level more jobs going overseas by supporting legislation for free trade agreements with Columbia, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Due to recent rising interest in ALEC, consumer pressure has caused 44 corporations to leave ALEC, such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Pepsi, General Motors, GE, etc. Efforts are also under way to remove the tax exempt status of ALEC and classify it as a political lobby. For more comprehensive information google ALEC. It is sad to see placards supporting these two legislators in front of the homes of people who would be harmed by the results of ALEC’s legislation.

When two of Waldo County legislators are members of ALEC, I have to ask, ” who do you actually represent?” , the citizens of Waldo County or the corporate/billionaire funders of ALEC.

Rich Roughgarden

Palermo

 

I can't vote for Chris Rector this year

Every two years we get to decide whether the legislators that represent us in Augusta are doing a good job of representing our views. I can tell you that this election I will be sending a message to Chris Rector that his constant support for the Governor LePage tea party positions does not reflect my beliefs or views.

As a Senator he voted for the Republican’s partisan health insurance rate hike bill that is causing health insurance costs for small businesses and individuals to rise across Maine. He refused to close property tax loopholes for the rich,and he voted in favor of tax breaks that largely benefited Maine’s top 1 percent. Then he voted against a tax cut that would put more money in the pockets of middle class and working Mainers.

For years, I thought of Chris as a moderate who proudly thought for himself and had the best interests of his constituents at heart, but a close look at his voting record tells me something quite different. He voted in support of Governor LePage 92 percent of the time. Two years ago, I was part of the 61 percent majority that did not vote for Governor LePage, and I still believe that he and his supporters are not what is best for Maine.

We deserve a lawmaker who understands that doing what is right for his constituents is more important than scoring political points in Augusta. That’s why this November, I am supporting Ed Mazurek for the Knox County Senate Seat.

Sincerely,

Paul Gaudreau

Union

 

Thank You for Support

On behalf of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thank you to many individuals and businesses for the collective efforts that took place in Harbor Park and the City of Rockland over the past few weeks in preparation for visits of Oceania Cruises MS Regatta (September 28 and October 15) and the maiden voyage to Rockland of The World – Residences at Sea (October 12 – 14). The MS Regatta carried 632 passengers and 398 crew members on the October 15 port visit. The World­ – Residences at Sea had 56 Residents, 33 Guests and 240 crew onboard during their stay.

The Chamber of Commerce Visitor & Hospitality Services team of Alicia Bagnall and Sarah Shepherd, the Camden Chamber office volunteers Judith Tarbox and Fran Moore, and Lorain Francis, Executive Director of Rockland Main Street Inc., coordinated our overall volunteer shifts in both Rockland (Public Landing and Main Street) and Camden (Village Green). The following volunteers were invaluable in our efforts to assist these visitors by sea during the three port of call visits: John Allbee, Barbara and Leon Bausch, Phelps Bristol (who was onboard the two vessels assisting their concierge staffs during their port calls), Sally Bristol, Ann Bacon, Susanne Carey, Barbara Cizmazija, Stan Elliott, Priscilla Granston, David Harden, Lucinda Hathaway, Renee Hutcheon, Evelyn Kalloch, Dottie Liberty, Mark Masterson, Ann Matlack, Martha McCann, Fran Moore, Pat O’Brien, JoAnn Peace, Leona Pierpont, Fred Reinke, Karyn Rizzo, Tom Rizzo, Judith Tarbox, Bob Williams, Arlene Woodman and Jennifer Woodman.

I would also like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their contributions and overall assistance: Dottie & Bob Liberty (décor); Woody Emanuel of Admiral’s Buttons (two–sided map of downtown businesses in Camden and Rockland); All Aboard Trolley – Jim Gamage & his staff; Schooner Bay Taxi – Chris & Renita Merritt and their staff; City of Rockland – City Manager James Smith, Mayor Brian Harden, Harbormaster Ed Glaser and the Public Works Dept.; Amy Powers – CruiseMaineUSA; Frank Isganitis – Board President of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce (and mini-lobster trap tree set-up); Farnsworth Art Museum; Owls Head Transportation Museum; Schooner Appledore – Capt. John McKean; Cellardoor Winery – Bettina Doulton; Plants Unlimited – Hammon Buck (décor); Green Thumb – Alice Schultz (décor); Brooks Trap Mill – Stephen Brooks (lobster traps for mini-lobster trap tree); Adventure Advertising and Rock Coast Sports- Mike Czosnek (signage); and Muriel Curtis (assistance with set-up).

During The World visit, there was a maiden voyage private ceremony and presentation of gifts aboard the vessel with the Captain on October 13. Thank you to the following individuals who participated in this welcoming ceremony and private tour: Amy Powers – Director of CruiseMaineUSA; Frank Isganitis – PBRCC Board President; Brian Harden – Mayor, City of Rockland; James Smith – Rockland City Manager; Lorain Francis – Director of Rockland Main Street Inc.; Representative Ed Mazurek and Maryellen Mazurek; Ed Glaser – Rockland City Harbormaster; Carol Maines – County Commissioner; Martin Cates - Select Board Chair, Town of Camden; and Deborah Tobey, Development Officer – Farnsworth Art Museum.

As an active member of CruiseMaineUSA since 2001, we had been actively working with our partners within this Coalition for many years in support of the development of a responsible and sustainable cruise ship program for the Midcoast region, including additional vessels like the privately owned residential yacht, The World – Residences at Sea. As a Chamber of Commerce, our vision statement and mission have been aligned with elements of the City of Rockland’s Comprehensive Plan (2002) in working together to engage community stakeholders and foster careful and responsible economic growth in the development of a sustainable cruise ship program, while staying mindful in our endeavors of balancing the area’s business growth and development with our natural attributes, heritage and exceptional quality of life.

A number of milestones have been achieved through these collective efforts. 2011 was Oceania Cruises first visit to Maine and the North Atlantic in their history. Inquiries about Rockland by Senior VP of Operations of ResidenSEA’s The World – Residences at Sea, led to a FAM tour of Maine in the summer of 2005 that was very well received, with a confirmation that Rockland should definitely be part of their future itinerary planning in their next visit to Maine. The selection process for a given destination for this privately owned residential yacht is based upon a vote taken by their Residents two or more years in advance, so we continued to build our relationship over the years, and ultimately we received confirmation in August of 2010 that The World – Residences at Sea would be calling on Rockland in the fall of 2012.

Cruise ship visits to the Midcoast have been steadily growing, with the retention of multiple sailings from American Cruise Lines and the return of Blount Small Ship Adventures in August of 2012 (three port visits), resulting in 29 cruise ship visits, our highest number ever. The 2013 season is looking very strong, with three port calls confirmed for the MS Regatta (September 15, October 3, October 9) and 28 port calls from American Cruise Lines from June through October.

We are looking forward to our continued collaboration and partnerships in the community as we build on our success in carefully growing this industry as one element of the economic sustainability of the entire region.

Shari Closter

Director of Operations, Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce


Vote NO on both Camden Zoning Changes

The conservative majority on the Camden Select Board (Martin Cates, John French Jr. and Donald White) have voted to present a package of amendments to the Camden Zoning Ordinance to Town voters on November 6. If enacted, these changes will have serious negative impacts on the town of Camden.

The first question is titled ‘Article 2’ and it seeks to alter Article XI of the current zoning ordinance. This amendment would allow certain businesses that have enough private land to use a freestanding chalkboard sign instead of one of their existing signs. Simply put, adopting this change would be absolutely unfair because it would give some businesses an unfair signage advantage over others. This amendment would also allow larger signs to be placed in residential districts. Study after study has shown that when residential communities loosen their commercial signage ordinances, they rapidly become less desirable places in which to live. And, of course, that causes property values to substantially decline. Finally, ‘Article 2’ would allow businesses to utilize an illuminated ‘Open’ sign. ‘Open’ signs are absolutely classless and for the most part are highly ineffective. I ask you to picture yourself walking down Camden’s Main Street on a future rainy evening. Imagine the lurid purple glow emanating from the neon “Open’ signs that adorn every window. Now, ask yourself, ‘Is this really what you want for Camden?'

The second question is titled ‘Article 3’ and it seeks to alter Article VI of the current zoning ordinance. This amendment would allow CERTAIN ‘nonconforming’ businesses to expand up the 30 percent in their current locations. ‘Nonconforming’ means that these businesses are currently operating in zones in which their use has now been banned. However, these businesses have been allowed to continue to operate because they were already established when the new zoning regulations took effect in 1992. When the town ‘grandfathered’ these businesses in 1992, it was assumed that when and if the owners decided to expand, they would have to do so in a legal zone. Now, all these years later, the conservative majority on the select board is attempting to change the deal that the town’s voters agreed to in 1992. And to add insult to injury, John French Jr. actually owns a businesses that stands to benefit from this substantial change! Allowing these industrial business operations to inappropriately expand their operations in residential districts will cause property an home values to decline, and will make our residential neighborhoods less enjoyable to live in.

I urge all Camden residents to vote no on article 2, and no on article 3. These two amendments to the zoning ordinance are being relentlessly promoted by the conservative majority on the Camden Select Board and have not been endorsed by Jim Heard and Leonard Lookner, the board’s more progressive members. By voting no on November 6, you will be stating loud and clear that the Camden Select Board should be focused on ensuring that residential property values increase and that a high-quality downtown business climate that we can all be proud of is maintained.

Gian-Angelo Gallace

Camden

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