Letters to the editor, The Camden Herald
I was born in and grew up in 57 Chestnut St. just across the street from the Frye House. I knew Mrs. Babcock and also knew several families who lived there after her. It is a beautiful old house and I always loved the kitchen.
Why would anyone want to tear it down?
Please, please, reconsider.
Closed the barn door too late
Concerns about the pending demolition of 58 Chestnut St., an 1892 home that once was Camden’s livery stable, are literally closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. Individual property rights have to be kept in balance with the overall well-being and character of the community.
Although we are not full-time Camden residents, we have rented a home on Chestnut Street for the past three years and aspire to buy one of Camden’s charming, century-old homes, not to demolish and replace it, but to preserve it. We would hope that 58 Chestnut’s new owners rethink their plans, in light of opposition from neighbors and preservationists, and the select board revisits the merits of a preservation ordinance for designated areas such as the Chestnut Street District.
Ron and Polly Bottrell
114 Chestnut Street
O'Briens for Chase
Our family has had the privilege, these past four years, of observing state government through the experiences of our son, Andy O'Brien, as he served as Representative from District 44. It's been truly eye-opening, especially the trend toward ever-more partisan politics, even in Maine.
Now Lloyd Chase of Liberty, a new face in the political arena, is running for this seat. Lloyd is a Maine native and understands what it’s like for working Maine families. His ability to compromise when necessary and to work towards solutions with people who have diverse opinions, backgrounds and beliefs is needed more than ever in Augusta.
Lloyd has seen so much change in Maine during the time he has lived and raised his children here. Family businesses have closed, school budgets have been reduced, and small towns struggle to maintain services with reduced resources. Lloyd wants to put partisanship aside and work across the aisle to build our local economies, energize our communities and invest in education.
We urge voters to consider Lloyd Chase for the House of Representatives. Be on the outlook for Lloyd as he visits the towns of District 44 — Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill, and Searsmont — over the next several months. He'll do a good job for us.
Wally and Diane O'Brien
Although I am a Warren resident and therefore cannot vote to re-elect Rep. Joan Welsh, I urge you all to do so!
I worked with Joan Welsh for a decade when she served as President of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. In that capacity, she was responsible for an educational organization with a $14 million budget, bases in five different states and managed a staff consisting of 75 full-time employees and more than 650 seasonal instructors.
She is an excellent leader: intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken, understands budgets, possesses great common sense, is a tireless worker, and a wonderful consensus builder.
She is the genuine article: what you see is what you get.
Maine’s legislature needs people who can serve with an open mind, who understand that compromise is ultimately the best way to achieve solutions. Joan Welsh is such a person.
Re-elect her, and you will not be disappointed.
I'm voting for Chase
I urge you to vote for Lloyd Chase, the Democratic candidate for Maine House District 44 (Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill, and Searsmont) on Nov. 6th.
I’ve met Lloyd several times (and his three Labrador dogs) over the summer at local events. He strikes me as informed and concerned about the economy, sensitive and caring about people, and conscientiously clear-headed about his priorities to once again restore “balance and cooperation in state government.”
Born and raised in Maine, a graduate of the County’s Ricker College and a Vietnam veteran, serving in the Navy and Air National Guard, recently retired after 30 years with Delta Airlines, long married to Pam, father of two, he’s “too young to whittle, it’s time to give back”, Lloyd tells me. You can learn more from his pretty blue brochure he’ll be glad to hand you at Lincolnville’s parades, the Common Ground Fair, farmers' markets, libraries’ candidates’ nights, and knocking on his seven towns’ doors.
Running for his first elected post, he’s committed to learning what his future constituents think is important. A resident of Liberty, Lloyd pledges to “reach across the aisle” and work with everyone to eliminate fraud and waste, require accountability, restore state public education funding, protect seniors and others most vulnerable, while growing the economy and protecting Maine’s unique environment.
I’m convinced Lloyd Chase is the best person for the job. I hope you’ll run into Lloyd soon and see for yourself. If you do, look for his dogs.
Why I will not be voting for Carole Gartley
Odd as it may sound, my reason for not voting for Carole Gartley has nothing to do with her. In fact, she has many qualities I value in candidates. Candidate Gartley has impressive credentials: she’s a community leader, owns a successful business, served as a teacher, and raised a family.
I cannot vote for Ms. Gartley because Republican leaders Governor LePage, Senate President Raye, and House Speaker Nutting disparage moderate Republican legislators. Therefore, I believe a vote for her would be meaningless in producing any kind of political change. Ms. Gartley says she has high aspirations to change the culture in Augusta by working cooperatively with Democrats. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way anymore. U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who has done an admirable job representing our state, is leaving the Senate because her voice of reason is a minority in her own party. If Ms. Gartley were to vote against the party line, Republican leaders will admonish her. If it happens a second time, she’ll be re-assigned to a trivial, low profile House Committee. I testified six times before the 125th Legislature. I witnessed how badly Republican leaders treated Representative Russell Black (R-Wilton) who dared question a Republican sponsored bill that gutted the Land Use Regulation Commission (LD 1798). He was one of many thoughtful moderate Republican legislators taken to the proverbial woodshed for beatings by LePage, Raye, and Nutting.
I’m voting for Joan Welsh, an experienced incumbent who has well served the interests of Camden and Rockport residents since 2008.
The Republican Party Platform
The party platform, although seldom examined by the general electorate, reveals much about the respective souls of the parties. It is urged that every perspective voter read both major parties’ platforms. These platforms are available by goggling “Maine 2012 “Republican or Democrat” Platform”. Only then can an inquiring mind obtain a fix on what each party stands for and what the consequences are of voting to put a party in power in Augusta.
As a Democrat I find much to be concerned about in the Republican Platform which seen through my biased eyes to be harsh, intolerant and authoritarian. However, I am going to focus on just two 2012 Republican Platform Planks (identical to the tea party inspired 2010 platform) which I feel should be of deep concern to all Maine voters, both Democrat and Republican.
The first is Art. II-b which states, “Reassert the principle that “Freedom of Religion” does not mean “freedom from religion.” This assertion should give pause to a thoughtful person as to what “freedom from religion” actually means to the Republican Party and to its candidates for state office. Does it mean a person must have a religion? Does it mean citizens must be captive to being subjugated to the state preaching religious dogma at civic events? Does it mean that religious dogma will be foisted on our children in schools? What and whose dogma will be state mandated? If and when the Brave New World envisioned by the drafters of the Republican Platform is enacted will atheism and agnosticism be outlawed? The questions could go on and on.
Further, in order to “reassert” a principle it would logically first have to be asserted. Try as I might I cannot come up with a historical assertion that established an American citizen was not “free from religion” or that the state had the right to impose a religion. It would appear the Maine Republican Party wants to eviscerate the portion of the U.S. Constitution (the first amendment) which prohibits the state from establishing a religion.
The second plank which will be addressed is contained in Article V-a which in part states, “Return to the principals of Austrian Economics”. It would be good if one were to know what the “principles of Austrian Economics” are and just when such economics officially governed the U.S. economy. To return to something, that something would logically have had to be there in the first place. Search as I might I could not find an historical instance in which “Austrian Economics” was ever mentioned as the policy of the U.S. government.
My guess is the average Republican, including the drafters of this Platform plank, as well as the average American knows nothing about Austrian Economics and have likely never even heard the term. One then should question just why did the drafters put in this plank and from where did the term emanate. A good guess is the term came from an out of state organization such as the Koch Brothers funded right wing think tank ALEC. A review of the literature in regard to “Austrian Economics” indicates it is a system which would do away with almost all government programs including but not limited to Social Security, Medicare, and heating aid. It appears to be a rather sly way of concealing the true intentions of the Tea Party controlled Republican Party without going on record in their Platform revealing their true intentions in regard to Government programs.
Perhaps the Local Republican candidates for State Senate and House candidates will clarify their positions on these two Republican Platform Planks.
Sage still missed
Beloved and sorely-missed dog Sage has now been missing since late May and after many desperate and exhausting efforts to locate her and bring her home, we have been unsuccessful. It leaves us with many unanswered questions and continued concern for her safety.
At this juncture I would like to take this opportunity to not only provide some comments but also to thank those that have been instrumental in the search efforts, thus far. Thank you first to the team of Sage Responders. You are an extraordinary group of people who have dedicated many months in helping this lost dog and her family in need of help. Many of you have full-time jobs and families, and it is truly inspirational to know of the time you all have invested in the search effort. Early morning watches, late night searches, vacation time spent combing the woods, paddling lakes and shorelines, talking to neighborhoods and posting flyers is truly the essence of getting involved. You all understand the true meaning of teamwork and it has been humbling and inspirational to work alongside all of you. No concerns about the long days, hot humid weather, dangerous areas, and nay-sayers. Never did this stop you from checking and checking again, all with no regrets and only hoping to be of some small assistance. If you hit a wall, you all just climbed over it. It doesn’t get any more significant for me than that. I could go on listing the examples of selflessness but that is not why you do what you do. Getting involved and sticking with it because it was the right thing to do and because we all share a common bond with man’s true best friend.
Thank you to the many individuals out looking independently whom I would come across while walking the woods, paddling the ponds, and walking stretches of waterlines, roadways and trails. To come across someone out of the blue and to know immediately why they were there brought me to tears. More evidence of unabashed selflessness. I don’t know many of your names, but I’ll never forget you.
Thank you to the well wishers as we traveled, searched, hung posters and discussed Sage. So many warm moments of concern and prayers. It seemed impossible to run into anyone who was not aware of this dog. Keep up the prayers and positive thinking.
Thank you to the landowners who allowed with permission our groups to meticulously go through their properties, fields, woods, ponds and out buildings. I hope that it was clear how important it is to thoroughly check areas in the case that Sage was trapped or just hiding away from the heat. Thank you for being courteous and understanding, your kind words of concern and continuing to keep an eye out for her are appreciated.
Thank you to the businesses, chambers and towns who allowed us to post signs and flyers anywhere that we could. We did not want to overlook any opportunities for we believe it will only take one person seeing one of these many posters to recognize her as lost, and to help bring her home. As in the last reported sighting on August 24th at the Union Fair grounds, it was an out-of-towner attending the fair who saw one of the posters on her way out. Had it not been for one of these posters, we never would have gotten the call. It is important to note, that when posting to telephone and CMP poles to not cover up the ID numbers so that in an emergency these can quickly be identified.
Thank you to the town offices and ACOs that helped determine whether the sightings were credible. Meaning that it was checked whether a dog fitting Sage’s description resided in that town of sighting. Every minute counts and having current information quickly is crucial to next steps.
Thank you to Mike and Lisa of Lost Pet Tracking Service. This was an education and I feel very fortunate having been on one of the searches. If I hadn’t already known it I learned very quickly how incredible, intelligent and capable dogs really are. The precision and confidence each of the team members possess is impressive.
A humble thank you to the many who continue to get involved and help with other missing dogs. There seems to be a rash lately which is very disheartening because for so many families, losing a pet is devastating. If you come across a lost pet, take a minute and stop. Make sure that a wandering pet is close to home and headed that way, or make sure the owner is aware that they have wandered out a little too far.
Make a quick call to your local police agency. They are always happy to assist. Many towns now have leash laws, and with the exception of the occasional well-known neighborhood dog who isn’t happy unless making the morning rounds, this is typically unusual and not the norm. It is important to stop and check, make sure that everything is OK before moving on.
Make sure that your pets have their updated shots and medication to protect them if they get loose. Have identification tags, including their name, your name and phone number made and on your pets at all times so that those who come across your pet will be able to make the phone call to let you know that they have gotten loose and are safe with you. If your pet goes missing there are steps that can quickly and effectively be done. Check out the many useful online resources that provide helpful tips that can be activated immediately such as missingpetpartnership.org, findtoto.com, downeastdognews.com in addition to your local shelters and veterinarians.
Most importantly, thank you to Fred and Gail Ribeck, Sage’s owners. In crisis they have stepped up in the most efficient and organized manner. I am amazed at their courage. While dealing with their own personal grief, they never faltered from providing the search team with details and information, concern for our safety and schedules.
We, as a group, have all taken Sage into our hearts as one of our own. Each day is a new hope that someone will call and say that they have her and that she is safe and/or at peace. Don’t give up hope and continue with your good wishes and prayers that we locate Sage and bring her finally home.
Friends of Sage