Letters to the editor — The Camden Herald
A smashing success
Youth Arts would like to thank everyone involved in making our Annual Auction and 10-by-10 Art Sale a smashing success! Held Saturday, Nov. 3, at the beautiful High Mountain Hall in Camden, guests were treated to delicious food catered by Maine Coast Catering and were offered a plethora of both silent and live auction items. In additions to these items, guests were given a unique opportunity to purchase beautiful pieces of art created by local artisans. It was a great way for us to celebrate our 40th year in the community!
We are grateful to the many business and individuals who donated thousands of dollars of amazing items and experiences for our guests to bid upon. We say thank you to Bruce Gamage Jr., our auctioneer, and to Christine Buckley for being our 10-by-10 Sponsor and beautifully framing the artwork!
Our business sponsors provided great support. Many thanks to: Norton and Masters, PenBay HealthCare, Bank of America, The Study Hall, The First, Over the Rainbow, Brimstone Consulting, FMC Biopolymer, CedarWorks, Camden National Bank, Glen Cove Dental Associates, and Vision Builders. And finally we thank everyone who attended and gave so generously. Everyone’s donations to this event will help to enrich the lives of our children through art through the school year 2012-2013.
Youth Arts is a private, nonprofit, all-volunteer organization which for 40 years has provided arts enrichment in the public schools of Camden and Rockport, including the Five Town High School (serving also Appleton, Hope, and Lincolnville) through art residencies and performances. Visit us at youthartsmaine.org.
Sara Rademacher, President Youth Arts
Cate Monroe, Chair Youth Arts Auction Committee
Everyone is important
Thank you, Camden and Rockport voters, for electing me to a third term in the Maine House of Representatives. Thank you for welcoming me at your doors and talking with me about your thoughts and concerns. Thank you, too, to Carole Gartley for her hard work and dedication to the election process.
I realize that many of you did not vote for me, and I will do my best to listen to your concerns as well, and to work to represent all of the constituents in our district. It is important to hear from everyone as the legislature struggles with many challenging issues during the next two years. There are no easy answers and it will be a time for Democrats, Republicans and Independents to come together to compromise and find solutions. I will continue to do this work and to represent our needs to the best of my ability during the process.
I also thank Linda Greenlaw and Katrina Oakes, our town clerks, as well as their staff and all the volunteers for making the election process run smoothly. It’s no easy task, but it is the foundation of our democracy at work.
Thank you again, and please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Rep. Joan Welsh
District 46 Camden/Rockport
When my wife Jan and I moved from Dover-Foxcroft to Camden back in 1998, my primary focus was my new professional role as the executive director of the, then-Camden Area YMCA and now Penobscot Bay YMCA. As many will remember, the challenges were numerous for the Y and certainly within our Midcoast communities at that time. Many times that first-year many of my own challenges would require me to call upon my faith in God and to rely upon my inner desire to succeed with the many tasks at hand.
One evening after celebrating my first Thanksgiving in the town of Camden I witnessed my first sense of community within the Midcoast Region — the giant star on top of Mt. Battie. What a wonderful and inspirational sight that beautiful star provided on a dark and lonely evening.
The challenges I was facing, along with many other people in the community, for the need to have a YMCA that would serve thousands of others throughout a much larger region and without the necessary financial resources was a tremendous burden. I, for one, will be ever so grateful for the work of the Camden Lions Club membership, especially individuals like Bob Oxton who maintain the daily vigilance of keeping the light burning every night and during all types of weather and adversity. This star brings my faith in God into something that at times I cannot explain. Each of us who benefit from this beacon during the holiday season probably see the star in a different and special way.
One thing I can say is that when the star appears for my first sighting of the season — I feel at home and connected with my community.
This year when I come upon this spectacular lighted star, atop Mt. Battie for the first-time and throughout the holidays, I will be reminded of three heroes of our community that have served each of us in many different ways over the years. These individuals, that I would call shining stars, shared the love of community and the people living within the Midcoast by sacrificing their time, talents and sometimes treasure, while making a difference that will be felt for generations to come. These individuals have passed-on during 2012 and now have become part of my memory; a memory that will now be sparked by the light of a single star on top of Mt. Battie and made possible due to the efforts of dedicated community volunteers each night. I pray that others will join me this year, when seeing this star, and give thanks for the work of these three remarkable community leaders — Don Gross, Ken Bailey and Jeff Kuller.
Elephant-sized thank you
Last Saturday evening my family had the opportunity to meet Rosie and Opal at their new home in Hope. First of all, I think their last names need to be Laurita. The care and compassion displayed by this family toward these elephants is something we can all learn from. These animals are happy, calm and truly seem to enjoy people. My grandsons were in total awe with wide eyes and open mouths! They fell in love with these two girls right from the minute we stepped into the barn. When I say that Rosie seemed to smile I am being sincere. To Jim, Carrie, Louis and Henry I say thank you. I say this for many, many reasons. For your persistence in bringing them here, your devotion to this cause, and the countless hours of love and care you are providing to these wonderful girls. I encourage everyone to take time to meet these wonderful animals. Be sure to thank this family for showing us what love and support is all about. Rosie and Opal are going to have a wonderful retirement in Hope. Please continue to support his wonderful effort.
Remembering Jeff Kuller
We are blessed in Camden with beautiful treasures — our hills, lakes, river, harbor — and people like Jeff, who recognized these special attributes. Jeff enabled others to enjoy and explore our natural gifts — and encouraged and assisted others in their quest to protect and enhance this legacy. Jeff, a sturdy, experienced, and seasoned outdoorsman walked the talk.
For example, he would ride his bike a couples of miles to come to Conservation Commission meetings. He stunned our group with the coordination of a tree planting in the middle of the public landing - what a coup for the environment! Together, with several Commission members, he tagged 100-year-old oaks to preserve along the new skate/ski trail - and then saw to it that they were protected during trail construction.
When volunteers worked to remove invasive species from the Megunticook Riverwalk parcel, Jeff made sure a driver and vehicle were there to haul away the numerous loads of brush. When diseased American elms at the parcel needed special handling so the disease wouldn't spread, Jeff figured out the solution - a bonfire at the Snow Bowl!!
And when a naturalist and Conservation Commission member reported rarely seen (in Maine) breeding common buckeye butterflies feasting on the ski slopes' fall flowers and wondered if mowing the ski slope trails could be delayed to preserve the butterflies' food source, Jeff was momentarily quiet and the replied, "Yes, I think we can."
That was the pattern - Jeff thought we could. And together we did!
Let's carry on this tradition of working together, thinking we can — believing we can — to honor Jeff Kuller.
Chair, Camden Conservation Commission
The end, sort of
Well, it's over. The elections of 2012, that is. We are all tired of the advertising, signs and after the vote analysis. Now it is time roll up our sleeves and get to work.
I wish to thank all who took the time to do their duty and vote on Nov. 6, whether for myself or not. Your involvement is important to this process which we as Americans are able to have. I thank all that supported me through letters to the editor, phone calls, signs on their lawns, driving me on my door knocks and giving me verbal encouragement constantly.
It would be impossible to thank each of you personally in this letter, but I do need to single out Sarah Martin, my treasurer, and, of course, my wife Diana for all the work they did.
I will do my best to listen to arguments of both sides of the issues. Then my decisions will be based on my personal values, whether, the subject is addressed by the Constitution of the State of Maine, your input, and fiscal responsibility today and in the future. As I was campaigning I made no commitments to any person or groups, as it seems that too many in the past made promises without knowing all the facts and implications of their decisions on our children and grandchildren.
I am sure the folks of the Morrill General Store Caffeine Club and the Drakes Corner Store table gang in Lincolnville will do their part to humble me and keep me grounded.
Again, thank you all,
Jethro D. Pease
Representative-elect Maine House District 44
Learned a lot
I write to say thank you to the families of Waldo County who welcomed me into their towns and homes these past nine months. I learned a lot about your interests and your concerns. I also appreciated your interest in probate matters - not a subject that usually excites a whole lot of folks but a subject that you seemed to know was important nonetheless. And whether you voted for me as judge of probate or not, I am honored to have the opportunity and responsibility to continue to serve you.
Susan W. Longley
Pantry needs support
The Camden Area Christian Food Pantry needs your help this holiday season and in the year ahead to help those in need. The pantry's resources are being stretched thin by decreased availability of low cost food from the Good Shepherd Food Bank, increased need to buy food at retail prices and an ever-increasing client base.
Up until this year, our major source of food has been the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn. Volunteers have been making weekly trips with our late model van to pick up supplies. It was not unusual to pick up 1,500 pounds or more of canned goods, cereal, frozen meats and other food at 16 cents per pound. However, due to the increased usage by more than 600 agencies, food bank supplies available per agency have diminished considerably. Food at 16 cents per pound is now a trickle of what it used to be.
We have been forced to buy food from local sources at an increasing rate and at retail prices. As a result our food costs have skyrocketed. During the last year, we have seen food costs increase by more than 36 percent.
Thankfully, other sources of food have provided support. Erickson Farm's Teen Ag Program provided 2,000 pounds of fresh produce this season. Coastal Mountain Land Trust gave us many quarts of blueberries. Hope Orchards gave us apples. Ducktrap River of Maine gave us smoked fish. Every Saturday and Sunday, volunteers pick up donated bread from the Rockland Hannaford store. Camden's Hannaford store has sold the most Helping Hands food boxes of all Hannaford stores, two out of the past three years, and all those boxes go to our clients. The U.S. Postal Service food drive in May provides major additions of food to our shelves. Every year, local schools and Scout troops bring in hundreds of bags of food. The importance of individual food donations cannot be overlooked. We are most grateful.
Other costs are kept low with our 100 percent volunteer staff. The pantry is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Please consider sending donations to the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, P.O. Box 337, Camden, ME 04843. Food donations can be brought to us at 128 Mt. Battie St. in Camden. People in need who reside in Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, Rockport, Searsmont, Union and Washington can visit us on Tuesdays, from 8 to 11 a.m. and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, please visit our website at camdenfoodpantry.org, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 236-9790.
Jane Bennett, President
CACFP Board of Directors
A thank you from Carole Gartley
Thank you to all the people that helped me in my campaign for the Camden and Rockport seat in the State House of Representatives. A political campaign is a long road. There are many people behind the scenes, volunteering their time and expertise because they believe in you. It is humbling and I am grateful.
I could not have done this without the support of the Knox County Republicans led by Jan Dolcater and volunteer coordinator Paula Sutton. The two of them tirelessly put together teams to call voters, hand out literature, send out mailers, put out signs and write letters to the editor. They offered support, encouragement, and conviction.
My friends, neighbors, and community members stood by me as I took on this challenge. They saw how hard I was working and helped in any way that they could. They had coffee for me to meet voters, they drove me around Camden and Rockport for hours so that I could knock on doors, they “liked” my posts on Facebook, they waved signs for me on Election Day, and gave me a “thumbs up” when it seemed I needed it most.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Joan Welsh for running an upstanding campaign. Early in our contest, we met and agreed that we would do our best to keep this endeavor above board. I feel that we accomplished this and at the end of the day we both want what’s best for our district. I wish her the best and look forward to her leadership in this complicated role.
Finally, my husband, Will, and sons, Taylor and Cameron, kept me moving forward. It was their enthusiasm and confidence that inspired me to run. Without their energy, unflagging support, and shoulders to lean on, I wouldn’t have had this amazing experience. I have no regrets and look forward to continuing to work for the best interests of the people of Camden and Rockport.