Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
More police needed
Our new Super Wal-Mart is on the horizon on Thomaston's Route 1. Asking the question: Does the chief of police consider maybe he should add to his police force, noting there could be a problem at times at the new store, which we hope this does not happen?
Also the Board of Selectmen and the town manager should perhaps give this some thought in the weeks ahead.
While members of the Rockland City Council are not prohibited in any manner from exercising their political rights as private citizens, there is a question as to whether Council exceeded the limitations placed on it in proposing and passing Resolve #47 as a legislative body strongly opposing the passage of the RSU 13 budget.
Rockland City Code states that, "No City Councilor may use his official authority or position for the purpose of influencing or interfering with or affecting the results of any election..." (Rockland City Code, Ch. 2, Sec. 2-208 (10).
Furthermore, Resolve #47 "directs the City Manager to take all steps necessary to help ensure that the citizens of Rockland are aware of this special school budget referendum and the negative impacts the proposed budget would have on the property taxes in the City of Rockland." In so directing the city manager, the council directed that the city manager perform duties which are inconsistent with his duties and the City Charter, which are well-defined in Section 304 Powers and Duties of the City Manager.
While I believe this Resolve, or any other such Resolve, exceeds the limitations placed on the City Council, and such an action does, indeed, serve to influence and affect the results of an election, it is unlikely that the Rockland vote was so heavily influenced that the result would have been altered, nor that the referendum need be invalidated due to these irregularities, as the popular will, the rejection of the RSU 13 budget by Rockland voters in June did not vary with the the Referendum outcome of Aug. 13, 2013.
Nonetheless, these are dangerous waters. City Charter Article II Sec. 204 Powers and Duties of the Council (C), Residue of Powers states: "All other powers now or hereafter vested in the inhabitants of said City and all powers granted by this charter, except as herein provided, shall be vested in the City Council." This cannot be interpreted as disenfranchisement, and the Council, and readers, would rightly protest that there was absolutely no intention of usurping residents in any election. All the more reason for the Council to refrain from actions and language that could conceivably suggest otherwise.
Out! Thanks Rock City Rollers
On behalf of Out! As I Want to Be, I’d like to extend my gratitude and heartfelt thanks for the support of the Rock City Rollers. At their Out of this World bout in late July, the wonderful women of RCR highlighted Out! as a local organization in need of support and promotion. We were pleased to have our youth at the event to experience the magic of this fun sport, and also to have the opportunity to share with the audience the work and goals of Out!
The only group serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Midcoast area, and only one of several remaining programs of its kind in Maine, Out! As I Want to Be supports and empowers LGBTQ young people and their allies in the Maine MIdcoast and inland areas. Through affirmation, advocacy, education and guidance, Out! assists LGBTQ youth, 22 and under, in their journey from adolescence to adulthood. Based in Rockland, Out! relies primarily on individual donations and does not receive state or federal funds.
In the coming year, Out! will be working more intensely in local schools through Gay Straight Transgender Alliances (GSTAs); enhancing its website to improve accessibility and utility for those in rural settings; and providing leadership skill training for its youth. We are looking forward to an amazing year of growth and opportunity and we welcome all to join us in this effort to make our schools and communities safe and encouraging environments for all youth.
The Rock City Rollers both helped get the word out about this important work and also donated a portion of the proceeds from the evening to Out! It’s community support like this that makes it possible to help this at-risk group.
Thanks, RCR, for your support and encouragement! We wish you the best in the closing of your season this year!
Out! As I Want to Be
Shellfish conservation is a practice that is common for virtually every shellfish town up and down the Maine coast. It requires a clammer to do six hours of conservation to obtain a license. The conservation is to help flourish the shellfish industry and can vary from moving seed clams to trash cleanup. 99 percent of clammers support this practice and feel you must give something back to the industry or it won’t survive. In Waldoboro all license holders are required to do their conservation. Because I am on the Shellfish Committee I am not required to do conservation. However, I have done it every year. My 15-year-old daughter does her conservation and holds a Waldoboro shellfish license. I feel conservation is a good lesson for her. I want her to know life isn’t just about “taking." I commend my fellow diggers that due their conservation in hopes of a better fishing industry every year. Recently, a Waldoboro digger filed a grievance about doing conservation. They feel they are “entitled” to a license without doing any conservation. If doing six hours of conservation a year to preserve your industry isn’t worth your time, maybe clamming isn’t the job for you.
A huge thank you
We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the city of Rockland and all of its citizens for once again hosting the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show on the second weekend in August. Some 7,500 people came to the show and the city from all over the state, New England, and far beyond. We are grateful, as always, to everyone who has helped to make it an ongoing success, and were thrilled to orchestrate the event, which was the 11th annual.
The weather was beautiful Saturday and Sunday, and even Friday’s rainy deluge did not deter visitors, clad in foul weather gear of all kinds. Nearly 250 exhibitors set the scene, including more than 60 boats in the water, plentiful land exhibitors, and 150 exhibitors in tents for a tremendous display of the breadth and diversity of fine, Maine-crafted products. Great crowds turned out and healthy sales were reported by vendors, from boats to furniture commissions.
We are pleased to recognize the following sponsors of the 2013 show: Awlgrip/Interlux, Bangor Savings Bank, Baxter Brewing Co., Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, Cannell, Payne & Page, the City of Rockland, Custom Float Services, Dock Works, Epifanes, Fixtures…Designer Plumbing Showroom, Hunt Yachts, Loyal Biscuit Co., Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, Marsh USA, Sea Bags, Time Warner Media, and US Harbors. As always, the show was presented by Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine.
Many organizations also deserve special thanks. The Maine Lobster Festival was once again instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition between our two events. Rockland’s Harbormaster, Ed Glaser, and his team on the waterfront were stellar. Thanks to all the Harbor and Buoy Park businesses for sharing the waterfront space: Paul Benjamin of the North Atlantic Blues Festival and Time Out Pub, Captain Jack, Morning in Maine, The Pearl Restaurant, and Two Toots. Rockland Police Department, Chamber of Commerce, and Maine Lighthouse Museum were helpful as always. West Bay Rotary again ran the entrance gates with professional ease and a welcoming spirit. Joe Nelsen and his Knox Legion baseball team did yeoman duty as our recycling and trash picker-uppers extraordinaire. Redzone Wireless assisted with the Wi-Fi.
More thanks go to the young sailors from the Rockland Community Sailing program for a Saturday appearance in the inner harbor. Bay Chamber Concerts, the Coastal Children’s Museum, Dena’s Barefoot Books, Farnsworth Art Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum, the Apprenticeshop’s Rockland Community Sailing Program, Sweet Tree Arts, and artists Beth McKinney and Trelawney O’Brien, all provided hands-on activities for the younger set.
World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials thanks go to: Sea Bags of Portland for recycled sail cloth tote bags; Loyal Biscuit Company of Rockland for toys and treats to fill the bags; Jeff’s Marine for the Nor’East Boat used by the judges; Custom Float Services of Portland for a float for the trials; and Bell’s Furry Friends Photography of Hermon for capturing the canine antics. Parade participants included the Puffin Project, P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center, Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, and the newly crowed Maine Sea Goddess and Crown Princess. Thanks also to our judges: Dr. Bjorn Lee of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates in Rockport, and Dale Dyer of Custom Float Services; and to our emcees: Mike Joyce and Alan Sprague of WERU FM’s monthly radio show “Boat Talk.” Heidi Vanorse Neal from Loyal Biscuit Co. wrangled dogs, and Scott Perrow of Perrow Audio provided the sound system. And a warm round of applause to our canine contestants and their handlers as well!
Countless individuals pitched in to help the show run smoothly, from our grounds crew and dedicated individual volunteers. We couldn’t do it without the whole team, so if we neglected to mention anyone, please know that we appreciate all who helped.
Last, but far from least, we’d like to thank ALL the community members and visitors who welcomed us, the 250-plus show exhibitors and their crews, and all of the show attendees to Rockland. Many folks from afar make this event a destination each summer because they find such a warm welcome here, and we heard so many compliments about the midcoast, the show, and our community.
We look forward to seeing you all around town this fall and for many years to come. Folks are always welcome to stop in and see us at our offices at 218 South Main Street… once we’re back from vacation! Happy summer, all.
The Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors team