Letters to the editor - Camden Herald
Shocked at PD loss
As a citizen of Lincolnville for 24 years, I could not believe what the small citizen representation (175 voters) of our town agreed to cut.
I was not at the meeting — I had a previous engagement that would not allow me to attend. However, I sat on the town budget committee for three years, so I feel I have some knowledge of the town and of some feelings of folks in the town. I was shocked to see that the citizenry in attendance voted to eliminate "all" of our part-time police officers to save the town some $37,906. It would seem that some combination of budget reductions could have been made in order to save this important town support. With all issues reported in the local newspapers and on the local news requiring police action, seems to me the citizenry in attendance would have thought this decision over more and realized the need for a police presence around Lincolnville schools. Lincolnville may not have a high crime rate, but having the police presence in town most likely has contributed to this. How can we expect one full-time police chief to handle paperwork and also be able to be available for emergency calls, accidents, robberies and also to patrol the center and beach areas, and what about the increase in response time to be expected now based on this decision?
Would any of you want to do this job by yourself? I surely would not. This isn't fair to the police officer or to the citizenry/town. We have entered onto a very dangerous slippery slope here; we are jeopardizing our security and safety to save $37,906. Seems to me we have gone backward versus thinking in a forward direction here for our town. I only hope that other town citizens that were not able to attend town meeting also voice their opinions on this serious matter. We pay a lot in property taxes to support the various services of the town and the school and of all of these the necessary level of police and fire department support should remain top on our "must have" priority list. This is serious and I think there must have been other budgetary considerations that should have been made here. I know even when I was on the budget committee there was a group of citizens that always wanted to see the police force cut and I saw no reason for it.
Well all I can say is good luck and I hope none of you need immediate police/emergency support, when our full-time officer is off on another emergency. Granted Waldo County police support is very good, but the issue here is their distance from Lincolnville. This decision will have serious quality of life effects on the future of Lincolnville, think about it!
CedarWorks playsets off limits
For years, as many of your readers know, CedarWorks has welcomed families from near and far to enjoy our playset display area on Route 1 in Rockport. Our display area, fields, pond and woods have always existed first and foremost to service our customers and our employees, but we have also been happy to make them available to others as a community service. Unfortunately, circumstances have changed and we will soon install signs throughout our property indicating that use is limited to customers and employees only.
An important factor driving this change is our liability insurance, which provides coverage for use of our facility and grounds for business purposes but not for use by the general public. This has become an issue in recent years as our property has seen a dramatic increase in use by the public including significant exploration beyond the playset display area. In addition to the liability exposure, the increased usage has been problematic in terms of wear and tear on our equipment and parking availability for our customers and employees.
Far more distressing, however, has been the increasingly disrespectful use of our facilities. This includes littering, soiling bathrooms, ignoring signage, blocking our loading dock, and minimally supervising play. Of course, only a small percent of visitors are responsible for these problems, but the negative impact now overwhelms our enjoyment of hearing and watching children play and interferes with the activities of operating our business.
I am personally very sad to see the end of a tradition here at CedarWorks. I am also saddened by the litigious nature of our society that directly drives our insurance expenses and indirectly limits our freedoms. And, finally, I am saddened that the selfish and disrespectful behavior of the few can deny a healthy, happy benefit to so many.
I hope that you understand the reasons for our change in policy. Please rest assured that CedarWorks will continue in other ways to make positive contributions to our community.
Owner and President
Let me preface my letter by saying I have enjoyed sailing and exploring Penobscot Bay for some 30 years. During that time I have been a most lucky chap to not snag a lobster pot and I can mostly attribute that to the watchful eye of my good wife and first mate.
Last Sunday was a most glorious day on the Bay and, when you see one of these days coming, stop everything and get out on the water. On this particular day my time was up — more specifically, I picked up a lobster pot out by Curtis Island not in a quiet area of the harbor but right out front for some of my friends to see Bellamy Eagle stern to the wind.
What to do? Try reverse gear to untangle the thing, strip down and put a knife in my mouth and jump into the fifty degree water or just wait for the next idea? Call the Harbor Master.....he'll know what to do; or call a diver. he'll know what to do. Well, we did both and I must say we have some of the best people on the water if you're in trouble. Chief Deputy Harbor Master Jim Leo was on the spot in a few minutes and towed me to a mooring to put me in a safe spot. A call was made to Rob Isabeyt, Captain of Harvest Moon, to dive on the tangled mess. Rob said, "I'm with the kids swimming, if you wait an hour or so I'll be over to clear things for you." Keep in mind this was a Sunday afternoon and this guy is with his family but will be over in an hour.
Only in Maine do things like this happen and now you know why we all live here.
But wait, there is more. Jim Leo offers to take us off the boat and deposit us on the town dock. We now discuss how we will solve the logistics of getting us back to Rockport. Well, of course, Chief Deputy Harbor Master Jim Leo says without a thought, "take my car, the keys are in it." Again, a gesture you will only find in Maine and especially among watermen. We owe kudos to both these fine men for their unselfish work. Next time you're on the water tip your hat to these two men, they are the real thing.
William J. Leone
The Rockport Garden club would like to thank everyone who participated in our very successful plant sale at Aldermere Farm. Many thanks to Ron Howard and his staff for helping us set up and be our go-to guy! Also, our deepest appreciation to Barley Joe's Nursery for donating many plants and herbs, that contributed to all the member donations of healthy and beautiful plants from their own gardens.
The co-chairs, Penny Baum and Jean Nolan did a wonderful and professional job in organizing and setting everything up . Many hours of their hard work and labor showed with the success of the plant sale. And our members also helped in many ways to achieve our goal, with pride and hard work.
The Rockport Garden Club thanks all who attended and contributed to help us beautify Rockport with colorful flowers around town: At Andre, the two post offices, the Opera House, Memorial Park, the town hall and across our bridge, and to contribute to three scholarships given to local children. This was a community effort in making Rockport look as it's known.."The Prettiest Little Coastal Town."
Rockport Garden Club
150th anniversary celebration
Take the 9:30 a.m. boat out of Rockland bound for North Haven July 10. Walk off the boat, have a coffee, come into Waterman's Center at the ferry landing. There will be a panel of four — Judith Daniels, Susan Minot, Jeannette Sanger and Deborah Weisgall — speaking about Edith Wharton. The celebration will include discussion about her novels; however, the talk will also include EW during WW I — her extraordinary service, her energy, her reasons for remaining an ex-patriot. It's a part of Wharton's life that not many people know about. A rebuttal to Jonathan Franzen's nasty New Yorker piece on Wharton..a great way to talk abut her achievements. Then the necessity for women to invent their own lives as well as their art — the plight of brilliant women in the 19th century. The talk should last about an hour with questions to follow. The ferry leaves at 12:30 p.m. or there is a small restaurant, two galleries, a gift shop to browse in before the 3:45 p.m. ferry. Donations will be accepted.