Letters to the Editor, Sept. 22
Sewer bond is 'financially responsible'
Soon we all can vote. For Rockland voters, one item is about our old sewers. Voting for a $10 million bond for sewer work would not increase taxes, because the city is retiring the same amount from previous bonding. That trade from one debt for another badly needed repair to our infrastructure seems like a smart and financially responsible way to address long-postponed updates to our old sanitary sewer lines that need separation from the storm drains so we can avoid federal EPA fines and reduce energy costs for the treatment plant. This work is very overdue, and I am not sure why it has been postponed for so long in the past.
As Rockland is being discovered as a desired place to live and work, more people are building here and some are upgrading the housing stock. I just learned that more than a dozen homeowners have discovered some sewer surprises that are a public health issue. Some see a neighbor's sewage backing up into in their basement or sewer lines on their property that neighbors want to dig up to deal with shared sewer connections. Lawsuits are being filed. Messy stuff on many levels. The master plan for the sewer has been carefully mapped, studied and steadily addressed by our wonderful city water treatment manager, Terry Pinto, but surprises still come up that the city needs to address immediately.
I see that our City Council has added $400,000 to the original bond to address the current health hazard and legal mess some residents are faced with. As I understand it, this would put a sewer line in the proper place that then a homeowner could pay to tap into without causing the neighbor a disruption. This seems like the responsible thing to do for the city to correct the casual way pipes were run in the past.
Adding the $400,000 to the $10 million bond is something I will be voting for, because I think everyone who pays a sewer bill should not have a health hazard related to improper location of sewer lines.
How many hats is too many?
Now that the campaigns for the Maine Legislature are cranking up in earnest, it's time we all started thinking about who could represent us best. No matter what one's political disposition, I think we all want to be represented by people that we believe are honest, knowledgeable about the issues and hardworking.
Reading the local papers, I have noticed that no less than three local area selectmen are currently running for higher office, which I personally find highly commendable. A fair assumption is that these individuals have decided to take their sense of political obligation to a higher level, i.e., to the state Legislature, where they can apply the lessons they've learned through their local political involvement to a higher level, thereby potentially making a difference for the better in even more Mainers' lives.
It is also true that at least some of these candidates are local businesspeople, who in addition to their responsibilities as selectmen, simultaneously put in long hours trying to run a business. One wonders how they have enough hours in a day to meet all of their current obligations, let alone add another huge commitment of time and effort doing the people's work in Augusta.
That said, at least one candidate for the Legislature has said that if they win their campaign for state office, they have no intention of resigning from their local select board seat. While I admire the work ethic of these individuals, I think it must be obvious that there are only so many hours in a day, and in the event that they are elected to either branch of the Legislature, simple common sense dictates that there must be some judicious pruning back of their current workload, in order to devote adequate time to their tasks as legislators, including reading and discussing dozens of complicated pieces of proposed legislation, and perhaps even helping writing one or two.
For these reasons, I hope that each candidate running for a seat in the Legislature will make a clear public commitment that, should they have the good fortune to be elected to state office, they will immediately resign from their select board seats, in explicit recognition that they simply can't do both jobs effectively. This is, of course, especially true for those candidates who are running a business as well. A beneficial side-effect of following this course would be to allow other people interested in serving their communities to offer to serve on their local select boards, thereby not only increasing the amount of local citizen participation, but also potentially grooming the next generation of individuals interested in doing the people's business in higher office.
In other words, it'd be a win-win situation for all involved. One of the lessons we all learn in life is that we should pick a few things to do, and then try to do them well. No matter how good our intentions, we should resist the temptation to spread ourselves too thin, and in the process, not succeed in doing even our primary tasks very well.
Beebe-Center has 'strong community values'
For more than a decade, I have known and worked with Pinny Beebe-Center. Throughout, I have recognized and celebrated the strong community values that direct her goals and focus her effectiveness. She gets things done.
Pinny deserves our strongest support to continue to move our community forward, especially among the many distractions and stresses we face.
Pinny has consistently promoted education and training to achieve economic opportunity for our citizens, effective public spending to support living decently, constructive assistance in health, living and sustenance for those encountering difficulty, working programs in substance abuse through education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and environmentally responsible action to enhance and preserve our surroundings.
Pinny has worked hard and successfully in each of these areas. Far more interested in getting things done right than in promoting herself, she shares her quiet achievement with others generously, assisting our community to grow in our effectiveness. Even as we encounter more and more challenges, Pinny supports our ability to create opportunity from them.
Pinny Beebe-Center has earned our support. Please join me in voting for her.
George B. Terrien
Elinore Goldberg has my vote to represent District 95 in the Maine House of Representatives.
When you find a piece of land on a wooded hillside, build a house with your own two hands, live off the grid for a while, grow your own food, create a small business or two or three to support yourself, and befriend those around you, you really know what it is like to live and work in a small town in Maine. You know the challenges these small towns face. And you build a connection to the land. Ellie is one of these people.
Ellie has lived in the same place, in the same house, for 45 years. She is my neighbor in Hope. When I see what she grows in her garden, when I walk the hillsides in Hope with her – all seasons of the year -- I appreciate how she values the clean air and water we all enjoy, the agricultural operations that are expanding in our area, and the many recreational opportunities that abound.
I trust Ellie to make decisions on my behalf when she goes to Augusta. When you get to know her, you will, too. Please vote Nov. 8 to send Ellie to Augusta.
Barbara M. S. Bentley
Wants to re-elect Johnson
Sen. Chris Johnson excels at his job of representing and working for his constituents. One of the many reasons for his strong performance is his accessibility to the citizens he represents. He holds open office hours one Saturday a month year-round at three different locations in his district, making himself available to anyone who has a concern. At the many community events I've seen him attend, he doesn't just make an appearance; he participates, listens, asks questions, and he has time for every person who needs to talk to him. I know. I've brought issues to him both during office hours and at various events. Then he works diligently on solutions to their concerns, just as he did with mine.
I'm impressed by the level of his involvement in all the communities in his district, the depth of his knowledge on a large number of issues, the intelligence of his solutions, and how he truly embodies the role of "public servant." We would all do well to keep him on the job.
I am writing this letter in support of Paula Sutton for representative to the Maine State Legislature in House District 95, which includes the towns of Warren, Appleton, Hope and East Union. Paula and I have been friends for a number of years, and this friendship has afforded me the opportunity to see firsthand her amazing strengths, character and the deep commitment that she has for her community.
Not only do I believe Paula to be the best choice, I know her to be a hard worker, honest and reliable. Her small-business background is especially important, because she knows all that is involved in both earning and signing the front of a paycheck. Likewise, she understands that we need to make Maine a more jobs-friendly state in order to attract new businesses, a talented workforce; and most importantly, the proper incentive to keep our Maine youth employed here.
Paula is an independent thinker, and will not vote along party lines simply to make the right friends and garner voters. Instead, she impartially studies the problems and evaluates the best solutions to those problems, and is known for being no-nonsense in her straightforward approach. Most valuable to this process are the thoughts and opinions of the frontline folks. Their valuable feedback is often ignored, but not by Paula. She’s a friend to all, from the bottom on up. She generously shares her time and looks forward to hearing from all of her friends – no one’s too big, and no one’s too small. She will work diligently to do as she knows best for everyone in District 95.
Paula and I paint together – oil painting, in particular. Upon observation, I’ve noticed that while I disjointedly paint small sections of the canvas at a time, hoping it will all come together in the end, Paula, on the other hand, fluidly paints the whole landscape – deftly, swiftly and directly, while always keeping the big picture in mind. The result is always creative, absolutely stunning, well thought through and exquisitely perfected.
She keenly expends her efforts on just what really matters for the whole, and wisely disregards the minutiae. Paula will bring this same talent with her as representative to the state Legislature in House District 95 – this vision to see the entire landscape and the big picture of how best to serve her community and constituents – and will execute these details in a most effective and efficient manner.
Vote Paula Sutton, House District 95!
Excited about Emery
I have watched Dave Emery in action since the early 1970s . As an aspiring young fisherman, I watched Dave help to craft the 200-mile limit. I fished beside 300-foot vessels from foreign countries. His efforts and others got them out of our waters. So U.S. fishermen could once again make a living.
Dave took the time this summer to listen to to several bait dealers and fishermen to get an understanding as to why there is a bait shortage. He quickly picked up on the fact that it is not a resource problem, but a regulation problem. Causing hard-working fishing families to pay dearly for the bait that is necessary for the $500 million lobster industry .
Dave understands that the best solutions often come from those who are closest to the problem. He listens to all sides of the story before making a judgment .
We need more people like Dave in the Maine Legislature.
That is why I am supporting Dave Emery for state Senate!
Robert B. Norton
With just a few weeks until the election, I would like to ask your consideration in voting for Dave Emery for the Knox County Senate seat. Dave is a local person with tons of experience that works well with both sides of the aisle. I hope, like me, you will cast your vote for Dave Emery. Thank you.
Linda Curtis Brawn
Return Miramant to the Senate
I am writing in support of re-electing Dave Miramant to our state Senate. I want to start with a personal story about the complexities of issues that can come our way and then share why I believe Sen. Miramant is well equipped to address them.
Years ago, three of us gathered around my kitchen table with conversations that manifested in the creation of the Georges River Tidewater Association to clean up the St. George River. Our efforts would soon be stymied by a proposal to downgrade the classification of the river in order to accommodate pollution from a sewage treatment plant. Had it passed, this downgrading would have resulted in harmful algae blooms, a reduction of oxygen in the water, and negative impacts on the ecosystem and subsequently, our fishing industry. In the end, we were successful in protecting the river and the treatment plant plans were revised, accordingly. Our clam industry and the important jobs of clammers survived.
This story came to mind when I recently listened to a nonpolitical presentation from lobsterman David Cousens, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association for well over 20 years. Of the numerous issues he shared from firsthand experience of what is happening in our waters, one is that global warming is real.
Recalling my experience with the St. George River and how, as a private citizen, I realized that I initially knew nothing about oxygen in the water, but came to understand the issue when the threat to the watershed became real. After the Maine Lobstermen’s Association president’s presentation, I only know a little more about the threat global warming poses to our lobster industry and the important jobs that accompany it, from fishing to tourism to our greater local economy. But I know the threat is real and needs to be addressed. I know that to be successful, this will require private citizens, like you and me, to take action, and one way to take vital action is by re-electing Sen. Dave Miramant this Nov. 8.
You may feel as I do that in the fullness of our days, it's impossible to stay on top of every important issue. So when I vote for someone to represent me in Augusta, I want to be confident that person’s values match my own, and that he or she will take the time to understand all the critical issues we need to address to keep Maine strong. State Sen. Dave Miramant has proven to be just such a person: it’s clear that he understands climate change, especially as it relates to our fisheries and the health of the ecosystem and associated jobs, and that he will continue to take appropriate action.
I also want a candidate who is solutions-oriented, welcoming ideas from both sides of the aisle; if you check Sen. Miramant’s record, you will find he has done just that, and done that exceptionally well.
Please join me and send Dave Miramant back to Augusta to continue his good work.
Glad Pritchett is running again
We are very glad that Larry Pritchett has chosen to be a candidate for another term on the Rockland City Council. As a councilor during the last six years, he has provided a balanced and thoughtful perspective during the many changes and challenges of our city's growth. We need his valuable experience as Rockland's government continues to be called upon to serve critical needs of all its residents.
A vivid example of the many projects he has guided to completion is our new downtown lighting. It is being installed during these weeks. Several years ago as a member of the Council's Energy Advisory Committee, Larry led the process of investigating the inefficiencies and expenses of our street lighting. Further research was initiated into cost and feasibility of more economical and enviornmentally suitable options. Over a period of a school year I witnessed how he worked with a team of our high school students in the Watershed School, then located in the Lincoln Street Center. Their persistent study, analysis of data, and surveys resulted in a report to the council that contributed significant impetus for the project that is now coming to fruition.
The same is true regarding the complicated process that has produced the excellent repair and upgrading of Old County Road. Larry was an early advocate of attention to this need. He encouraged those of us who frequently travel on this vital roadway to join together in expressing our concerns publicly. The fruitful collaboration of city and state in the funding and implementation of this project is directly related to his work on our behalf.
These examples typify Larry's commitment to keeping in touch with the people of Rockland. He attends many gatherings and listens to many differing concerns. He asks advice from folks on the street. He knows from his experience where things are, what problems are needing attention, and how important it is for many different viewpoints to be expressed in various local forums, as well as among the councilors during their deliberations. His warmth and his patience are strong features of his leadership style.
To support the continuation of his optimistic and energetic service to our community, we urge our fellow citizens of Rockland to support the re-election to City Council of Larry Pritchett.
Ralph Moore and Bridget Buck
Kruger thanks constituents, boosts Dem slate
I want to thank the citizens of Midcoast Maine for the privilege and honor of serving as representative in the Maine Legislature for the past eight years. It has been a fascinating, illuminating and tiring experience, and I am so fortunate and grateful to have been elected four times by the voters of my district.
I’m not a fan of term limits, because they limit the ability of potential leaders to grow and master the process over several years, but I am very glad to step aside now to transition into another chapter of my life and make room for new people to get involved.
Our region has some very good candidates in the upcoming election. Some I have known for many years, others I am just getting to know, but all of these will make outstanding legislators. We are lucky, indeed, to have these folks willing to work hard for low pay and sometimes crazy and conflicting demands:
John Spear, who is running for District 92, will bring a wealth of practical experience and useful knowledge in the areas of education and municipal government to the House of Representatives. Over various times in his career he has served as member of a local select board, a business manager for a local school district, and a town manager. These life experiences will enrich his own work on policy, and benefit both his legislative colleagues and especially his constituents.
Our incumbent senator, Dave Miramant, has great energy and a real commitment to the concerns of the people of Knox County. His recent service on the Marine Resources Committee serves Knox County well.
Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center is a very well respected incumbent with significant expertise in health and human services issues. As a member of the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government, she has grappled with some very complex issues and I know her colleagues from both parties on that committee are very appreciative of her hard work and insight.
Ellie Goldberg has vast experience in public policy, and will be an amazing resource, especially on children’s issues. She has worked tirelessly and very effectively over many years for meaningful change to help our youngest citizens, and she keenly understands the challenges of our older neighbors, who will benefit from her compassion and acumen.
Kathleen Meil is exactly the type of person that the Maine Legislature needs more of. She is smart, resourceful, and she knows the challenges of raising a young family in Knox County. Her experience and expertise as a working mom, a former teacher, and green energy advocate will benefit Maine and her district in so many ways.
It is Knox County’s good fortune to have such outstanding candidates running for public office. Please remember to vote Nov. 8.
Again, I thank you for the opportunity to serve.
40 Days of Summer completes third year
This August the Thomaston Public Library wrapped up our third 40 Days of Summer Reading Program in high style with a cardboard castle and root beer floats, which have become the signature program finale treat.
We had 146 kids register for the program this summer from 92 discrete families and served nearly 1,000 lunches, lots of great healthy snacks and had a plethora of amazing activities. Some children came from down the block, St. George, New York and Germany! Many thanks for August programming to Nancy Wood from Cooking Matters, Chris Dorman, STEM librarian from Maine State Library, Beth Heidemann and her hula hoops, our own Al Bernier and to our terrific summer staff, Hana Baker, Toby Mergendahl, Caitlin Raye, Sue Schwan and Joanna Hynd and Chris Lane from the library.
Missy Harjula was simply a gem and a dervish of energy and organization and gave the whole program a festive feel. Thanks also to Chris Harjula for bringing us the trailer to use and for helping a number of times in setting up the program (duct-taping our tent together!) and to David Hynd and family for flying our sails for us. Our garden is still producing tomatoes, green beans, sunflowers and a pumpkin or two, thanks to the planting early in the summer by Patty McDonald
We were supported by an amazing grant from Bangor Savings Bank and one from the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust and had the generous support of the Rockland Kiwanis Foundation, Thomaston’s St. John Baptist Episcopal Church and Rockland's American Legion Post 1. Friends and neighbors were also instrumental in funding the third year of this summer program. We are clearly fortunate to have community involvement and commitment to this important program, which celebrates the summer with great projects, lots of reading and summer food for our children. Thanks to all who helped make this another summer of fun.
Diane Giese, Librarian
Thomaston Public Library
60 Main St.,
Thanks for birthday memories
I would sincerely like to thank the 32 family members, friends and classmates who attended my 90th birthday party at the Offshore Restaurant in Rockport Sept. 3.
I would also like to thank Phil Johnson and his staff, who served and made it a memorable occasion.
Women's Golf Association says thank you
The Rockland Women's Golf Association wishes to thank all the local businesses, individuals and more than 100 people who joined us for the sixth annual Midcoast Breast Cancer Golf Classic tournament held Friday, August 12 at the Rockland Golf Club. The RWGA helped fundraise over $21,000 this year with proceeds going directly to the Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation which provides financial support services to breast cancer patients in the Midcoast area. The tournament has been so successful because of the support from local businesses, individuals, volunteers and dedicated players who support our efforts.
We offer special thanks to Keenan Flanagan, pro and manager of the Rockland Golf Course and to Sandbaggers Cafe for the delicious lunch provided. A big thank you goes to all the players and congratulations to all of the winners. We would also like to thank our volunteers- Bob & Diana Sommers, Carl Griffith, Carol Mather, Dave & Bobbie Andrus, Dorcus Zeiner, Gail Robishaw, Helen Plourd, Mary & Ernie Benner and Nancy Eugley and our Committee members who work diligently throughout the year on the event- Bobbie Andrus, Martha Bouchard, Joni Hall, Marty Jones, Helen Plourd, Karen Hardy, Kathy Sprowl, Diana Sommers, Sue Wootton, and Jamie Geretz.
We are most grateful to our Tee sponsors, Par sponsors, Birdie sponsors and Eagle sponsors, enabling us to experience another great year of fundraising! Eagle Sponsors: Mr. & Mrs. Harrington in honor of Llada Flanagan. Birdie Sponsors: Boston Financial, Prock Marine Co., First National Bank and Snow Hill Strategies LLC. Par Sponsors: Fisher Engineering-Douglas Dynamics, In memory of John & Jan Hawthorne, Journey’s End Marina, Mount Pleasant Dental Care and Wells Fargo Advisors. Tee Sponsors include: Archer’s on the Pier, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Bob and Lill Till, Brooks Trap Mill, Bruce Gamage Antiques, Crandall, Hanscom, & Collins, PA, Dante Ravelli Masonry, Eastern Tire, Fitzy LLC, George C Hall, Glen Cove Dental, Grasshopper Shop, Gray’s Heating & Oil, Hamlin & Sons Lawncare/Snowplowing, Hannaford-Rockland, Horch Roofing, In memory of Foster Farrell, In memory of John & Jan Hawthorne, In Memory of Ruth Ferrell, Jo Ellen Designs, K.R. Welt & Sons, Kennebec Pharmacy and Home Care, Lauren Kenniston, Esq. at Strout & Payson, Kenniston Machine Co., Knight Marine Service, Maine Water Company, Maritime Energy, Midcoast Federal Credit Union, Norton and Masters CPA’s, Richard & Valera Rohrer, Rockland Ford, The Off Shore Restaurant, The Pitch, Theo B. Camisole & Co., and Walmart-Thomaston.
A special thank you to our generous Media Sponsors: Courier Publications and Adventure Advertising, Hole-In-One Sponsor: Fuller Chevrolet, Gift Sponsors: Towels from Camden National Bank and pink golf balls from the Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation. Raffle/Prize Donors: Admiral's Buttons, Adventure Advertising, Allen Agency, Andy's Brew Pub, Applebee’s, Becky Gamage, Beth’s Farm Market, Bixby Bars, Bobbie Andrus, Brass Compass, Breakwater Vineyards, Camden Hospital for Animals, Camden Snow Bowl, Center for Maine Contemporary Arts, Computer Solutions, Coppola Salon & Day Spa, Danica Candles, Chez Michel, Diana Sommers, Dunkin Donuts, Eastwind-Wan-a-set, Eclipse Restaurant, Elm Street Grill, Feed Store, Fins & Feathers, Flatbread, Francine, Fresh Off The Farm, Fresh Restaurant, Gelato Rose, Golf & Ski Warehouse, Good Tern Natural Food, Goose River Golf Course, GPI Custom Framing, Hannaford-Rockland, The Happy Clam, Hatchet Mountain Publick House, Hazel’s, Helen Plourd, Hermon Meadows Golf Club, Hidden Meadows Golf Club, Home Kitchen Café, Jan Splaine, Janice Ogier, Jess’s Market, Jennifer Murray, Jewelry by NanSea, Joan Hall, John Paul & Co., Karen Hardy, Kathy Sprowl, Laugh Loud Smile Big, Leonard’s, Level 10 Salon, Linda Leonard, Lobster Pound, Lowe's Home Improvement, Lucy Goulet, Maine Street Meats, Mainely Nails, Mani Q Spa, Martha Bouchard, Marty Darling, Martha Jones, Megunticook Golf Club, Molly Mugler, Moose Crossing, Motifs, Natanis Golf Course, Northport Golf Club, The Offshore Restaurant, Park Street Cleaners, Park Street Grille, Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation, Pen Bay YMCA, Primo, RHEAL Day Spa, Rhumb Line, Rick Franklin, Rock City Café, Rock City Coffee Roasters, Rock Harbor Brewery, Rockland Golf Club, Rockland Cafe, Rockport Lobster, Sammy’s Deluxe, Samoset Resort, Seagull Cottage, Shaw’s- Rockland, Sheepscot Links, Silver Scissors, Slipway, Snow Hill Strategies, Southend Grocery, Squid Ink Coffee, Staples, Sue Wooton, The Home Depot, The Landings Restaurant, The Pearl, The Strand Theater, The Meadows Golf Club, TJ Max, Trackside Restaurant, Trade Winds Health Club, Tropical Nails, Turner highlands Golf Club, Val Hala Golf Club, Wasses, Waterfront Restaurant and Waterville Golf Course.
Thank you to everyone who’s support made the 2016 Midcoast Breast Cancer Classic a huge success! To learn more about the Midcoast Breast Cancer Support Fund, or to apply for assistance, please call Virginia Vaitones in the Oncology Department at Pen Bay Medical Center at 596-8977.
2016 Midcoast Breast Cancer
Golf Classic Committee/RWGA