Letters to the editor — The Camden Herald

Oct 06, 2016

Experience matters

Would you take your pickup truck to a novice or to a certified mechanic? Would you ask someone on the street or a skilled jeweler to repair your wedding ring? Wouldn’t you call a trained technician to repair your home’s oil burner?

Experience matters. It is usually based on training, education, working with skilled mentors and time on the job. Along the way, we usually make some mistakes, but we learn from them and get better. Two months from now, we will be voting to elect the next president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world; someone who literally has their hands on the nuclear launch codes.

I believe we need to elect the candidate who has good, deep, meaningful experience in and detailed plans for fighting terrorism at home and abroad, improving the economy, fighting for equal rights, and who knows how to get things done in the wacky world of U.S. politics.

I believe that Hillary Clinton is that person and hope that when we vote Nov. 8, we will put aside partisan politics and vote for the candidate with the right experience to lead this country and the free world.

Roy Hitchings

Camden

Miramant understands environmental challenges

I urge you to vote for Senator Dave Miramant for Senate District 12 on Nov. 8. This is a critical time for our environmental and societal values in Maine, which have been the targets of negative actions by certain other Maine politicians during the last legislative session.

And why are these values important for Knox County and our Midcoast? It bears repeating that we are all directly dependent on the land, air, and water where we live and work. Here in Maine, these natural resources provide the very underpinning for our traditional economic bases: fishing, tourism, and food production. Yet the Gulf of Maine and subsequently all of our most vital industries, are demonstrably threatened by things like climate change and ocean acidification.

Sen. Dave Miramant understands this and has been working both to address the effects of decreased fish populations and lobster migration due to warming waters, and to reduce the pollution that causes these impacts. He's also working to secure a more sustainable job market by leading the way for Maine to invest in renewable energy, which will help us protect the environment while attracting new business and creating good-paying, long-term jobs for Mainers.

Recently, Dave and his colleagues in the House and Senate unveiled their vision for "A Better State of Maine," which (among other things) directs public investment to improve transportation infrastructure, expands access to reliable high-speed broadband internet, and diversifies our energy portfolio with clean job-creating renewable energy sources, such as solar power. Working for renewable energy helps safeguard the ocean and all of Maine's natural resources, and therefore also protects the livelihoods that depend upon those resources to thrive.

Let us keep Dave Miramant in the Senate so the goals outlined in A Better State of Maine can serve as guideposts for us all.

Vivian Newman

South Thomaston

Gerritsen is community-minded

When Lincolnville was celebrating its 200 birthday over a decade ago it was mentioned at a celebration gathering that Maine’s greatest export was its children. Many of our sons and daughters in the Midcoast area leave the towns they were brought up in to pursue education and careers away.

But this historical trend may be changing. Over the last few years I’ve noticed many young people who have left the area are returning to pursue a life in Maine. They are community-minded. One returning native son to Maine is Josh Gerritsen. He was raised in the Midcoast and is now living in Lincolnville.

Josh is running for a Lincolnville selectman position and interested in our town and its future. He wants to work on issues regarding our harbor, dealing with municipal waste, and our energy needs.

In November please vote for Josh Gerritsen for selectman to bring a fresh perspective to the town of Lincolnville. He’ll be knocking on doors this October. Please invite him in.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton

Lincolnville

Vote yes for a new Rockport library

For approximately six years the citizens of Rockport have wrestled with the future of their library. After much discussion and compromise a plan is in place. It is now time to move forward and create a new library that will strengthen our community. On Nov. 8 Rockport voters have the opportunity to approve a $2 million bond which will trigger a $2 million private capital campaign. (A median valued house of $340,000, will see an increase of about $54 per year for that particular house.) Both funding sources will allow the construction of a library designed by the experienced architects of Reed and Associates. The new library, built on the current site, will provide book and programming space that enriches the lives of old and young alike and be a welcoming space for all.

We and our committee have spent the last two months talking with potential donors in town. The message is clear. They recognize the importance of a modern library that enhances our town of Rockport. With the passage of Question 4, our committee stands ready to raise the private funds which will match the public commitment of the town. In many ways this community effort epitomizes the best of a private/public partnership that is so often talked about.

A public library speaks volumes about the kind of community it represents. In Rockport we have five neighborhoods that need a library that serves us all. Our library will be welcoming, modern, and equipped to meet the needs of residents and visitors alike. We have plans for such a library as approved by our Select Board. Please vote yes on Question 4 to assure a new library will continue to enrich the lives of our citizens for years and years to come.

Charlton Ames

Joan Welsh

Co-Chairs of the Rockport Library Capital Campaign Committee

Rockport

Meil skills will serve us well

I’m voting for Kathleen Meil for State Representative of Camden, Rockport, and Islesboro.

For the last 5-plus years, I’ve been privileged to represent my neighbors as a member of the Camden Select Board. I take this commitment seriously, and invest significant time preparing for and participating in the work that strengthens and supports our town. I know what it takes to serve my town well, and I know how fortunate Camden, Rockport, and Islesboro are to have Select Boards full of dedicated town leaders.

The work of a State Representative is fundamentally different than that of a Select Board member. It demands strong statewide collaboration and deep understanding of the issues that affect all of Maine, rather than a laser focus on one’s hometown.

One of the many reasons I support Kathleen Meil for State Representative is that I’m confident that she’ll represent our entire district well. I've watched her campaign closely and have been impressed with how she has connected with her constituency.

I first met Kathleen when I invested in home energy efficiency improvements with the company where she serves as marketing and customer relations manager. Kathleen’s understanding of the process, interest in my experience, and insight into state incentives and financing options made my experience easy and rewarding. She is an excellent listener, an articulate speaker, and a pleasure to work with.

Kathleen may live in Rockport, but she’s demonstrated real interest and responsibility for Camden and Islesboro as well. Her intelligence, compassion, and communication skills will serve us all well. I urge you to join me in voting for Kathleen on Nov. 8.

Jim Heard

Camden

A vote for Casas is a vote for action

The first time I met Owen Casas was in 2014 while he was going door to door on the campaign trail. Immediately I liked him, he was down to earth, easy to talk to and it was apparent that he cared about the people of this community. Just a few minutes into the conversation I discovered he was a veteran and cared about veteran’s affairs. I mentioned that my brother-in-law, a disabled vet living in Rockport, was having some difficulties getting the services he needed. Owen spent the next few weeks making phone calls to Togus, Sen. Angus King and others until my brother-in-law got what he needed. Owen’s tenacity, hard work and drive for this one resident of Rockport made it evident to me that Owen would make an outstanding representative and work equally as hard for this entire community.

More recently I have had the privilege of working with Owen on improving the Marge Jones baseball and softball fields in Rockport. The fields had fallen to such disrepair they were unsafe to play on. The Babe Ruth Season almost came to an abrupt end when opposing teams refused to play on the field for fear of player injury. Owen orchestrated a quick repair in under 48 hours, saving the season. As a town Select Board Member, Owen then revitalized the Recreation Committee and convinced the town to invest money to repair all three fields to their original state.

I know that sending Owen Casas to Augusta means not only a voice for the people of Camden, Rockport and Islesboro, but action as well!

Suzanne Johndro

Rockport

A vote for Casas

I met Owen Casas outside of his house, where he was simultaneously making wooden campaign signs and playing with his kids (who thought his signs would be better if they were purple, but I digress.) I was there taking an PSAT/SAT prep class through the Study Hall, a business run by his wife, Marci. I had arrived early, so he and I had plenty of time to talk about all sorts of topics, ranging from his time in the Armed Forces to what we thought about the current events of the Middle East.

When he came to Islesboro, where I live, to campaign, he gave me a call. We enjoyed meeting people and they enjoyed hearing more of what Owen Casas thought about issues that Maine faces, hearing his personal philosophy and his vision.

Now attending Harvard University, I still look back on the time we spent driving around in his pickup meeting people and distributing signs. It wasn’t that we agreed on everything, in fact many of the conversations that I remember the most were discussions on things that we did not agree on. Through meeting him I learned what I thought both a politician and a member of any community should be.

Jacob Howell

Islesboro

Will help lead state in right direction

I am writing to express my strong support for the candidacy of Owen Casas for Representative, Maine House District 94, Camden, Rockport, and Islesboro. I have known Mr. Casas for many years now as a friend, neighbor, and town selectman. We have worked side-by-side in his father-in-law’s vegetable gardens and hay fields. I have enjoyed observing him as the devoted father of three young children and the supportive husband of a local successful businesswoman. He has never hesitated to help me, even without being asked. He is one of those rare individuals that will truly “give you the shirt off his back."

I have always been impressed with his sharp intellect, curiosity, creativity, and unrelenting enthusiasm regarding public policy and representative democracy. Although he and I do not agree on every issue, he has always shown an openness to a critical analysis of his views, a desire for understanding the facts rather than adhering to strictly party-line perspectives, and has demonstrated a remarkable command of complex topics and philosophies. He has a consistent willingness to work with others, regardless of political persuasion or background, for the betterment of our communities and the state as a whole.

In this regrettable era of partisan politics and polarization, I cannot think of anyone else I would entrust with finding common ground in Augusta. I would not hesitate to contact him with questions or concerns and know he would take them seriously and do his utmost to address them. He would be indefatigable in his efforts to find workable solutions to the challenges Maine faces. I can readily envision him working dawn to dusk and beyond in the State House on the floor of the Legislature and in committee chambers.

The citizens of Camden, Rockport, and Islesboro – no matter the political philosophy – can be confident that if elected, Owen Casas will help lead Maine in the right direction regardless of the obstacles. Without reservation, I encourage you to vote for him on Nov. 8.

Hartwell Dowling

Rockport

A big thank you

A big thank you from members of the Camden-Rockport Historical Society for supporting the "Bean Hole Suppers" that benefited the restoration of the buildings on our Conway House property. Special kudos go to Maynard and Norma Stanley, chief cooks; and all our dedicated pie bakers. And, a huge round of applause for the musicians, The Rusty Hinges, for providing supper music. Without the dedicated, all-volunteer teamwork from the board of trustees and society members, these events would not have happened.

Brenda Barrett, president

Camden-Rockport Historical Society

MCSW info nights planned

Over the next month and into November, as manager of your Mid-Coast Solid Waste transfer facility, I and a representative of ecomaine will be meeting with the public and our member Select Boards to discuss the benefits of a “yes” vote on Nov. 8 for the proposed ecomaine contract recommended by the Board of Mid-Coast Solid Waste.

This proposal evolved as a compromise after voters in three of our four towns turned down a 20-year commitment with ecomaine. The compromise provides a sufficient level of surety to those on both sides of the issue. The result is a three-year contract with two one-year re-up options, which would allow MCSW to evaluate the performance and viability of other proposed options which may be available to us at the end of this term in Hampden. This compromise also protects MCSW from the risks so frequently associated with startup projects and it does so at the least overall cost of all the proposals on the table. This is achieved by a tip fee of $57.85 per ton, the lowest tip fee offered by 11 vendors albeit for a limited period. Even with additional hauling requirements during the term of this contract, our cost would be the lowest possible should we approve working with ecomaine for our waste processing needs as recommended.

ecomaine has been reducing the volume of the trash it processes by 90 percent while generating electricity in its waste-to-energy facility since 1989. It generates enough electricity to power its operations plus up to 15,000 homes annually. The company also operates single-sort recycling facility in Portland near the jetport. Originally founded under the Regional Waste Systems in 1976, the community-owned and operated 501(c)3 nonprofit was re-organized and renamed to ecomaine 10 years ago to better reflect its ISO 14001 certified environmental commitment and mission. That mission remains today: to provide comprehensive long-term solid waste solutions in a safe, environmentally responsible, economically sound manner, and be a leader in raising public awareness of sustainable waste management strategies. Since then, ecomaine’s extensive education and outreach programming has become a cornerstone service for schools, transfer facility operators, businesses, and member community residents alike. MCSW will be able to avail itself to all of ecomaine’s programs; including application for school recycling grants valued at up to $5,000 each, participation in the ecomaine eco-excellence awards, waste-reduction programs in schools, facility tours, and more.

Please plan to attend any of the following scheduled meetings in each of our four towns:

Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. — Rockport Select Board, at the Rockport Opera House

Monday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. — Lincolnville Select Board, at the Lincolnville Town Office

Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. — Hope Select Board, at Hope Town Office

Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. — Camden Select Board, at Washington Street Conference Room

If you or your organization would prefer another time or venue, please call me at 236-2467 to discuss. Thank you very much for educating yourself on this matter. I believe you will find the compromise reached is in the greatest good for our community.

James Guerra, Manager

Mid-Coast Solid Waste Corporation

Rockport

 

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