Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
To the voters of Waldoboro
The Waldoboro Selectboard has called a referendum-style special town meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 10. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Waldoboro Municipal Building, 1600 Atlantic Highway. There are five articles or questions on the ballot. Articles 2, 3 and 4 address the FY14 Waldoboro municipal budget, while Articles 5 and 6 address two non-budget matters.
Article 2 provides budget authority through Dec. 31, 2013 for the Office of the Town Clerk, the Finance and Customer Service Department and the Police Department should Articles 3 and/or 4 fail to pass.
Articles 3 and 4 address the fact that two departmental budgets, Finance and Customer Support and Police, did not pass at the June 11 referendum-style town meeting. Additionally Article 4 addresses the fact that due to State budget reductions, Waldoboro is anticipated to receive $106,000 less in revenue sharing than was originally budgeted.
Article 3 seeks voter approval for the budget for the Office of the Town Clerk in the amount of $69,874. At the June 11 town meeting this amount was included in the Finance and Customer Service budget. The Selectboard decided to present the budget for the Town Clerk as a separate article at the upcoming special town meeting.
Article 4 is a complicated article and is multifaceted. Specifically it seeks voter approval for a Finance and Customer Service Department budget in the amount of $176,576. This is a reduction of $2,710 from the amount presented at the June 11 town meeting and also no longer includes the $69,874 associated with the Office of the Town Clerk; for a Police Department budget in the amount of $581,585. This is a reduction of $60,000 from the amount presented at the June 11 meeting; to reduce the Public Works Department budget by $35,000 to $669,198. The Public Works budget passed at the June 11 meeting in the amount of $704,198, but the Selectboard decided to reduce it as part of the plan to accommodate the aforementioned $106,000 loss in stater revenue sharing; to appropriate $8,290 from Undesignated Fund Balance. This is also part of the plan to accommodate the $106,000 loss in state revenue sharing; to reduce the sum approved at the June 11 meeting of Intergovernmental Revenues to be applied to reduce the 2014 tax rate by $106,000, to $234,463. This is to accommodate the reduction in state revenue sharing on the revenue side of the municipal budget.
A summary of the proposed adjustments in Article 4 designed to accommodate the $106,000 reduction in state revenue sharing on the expense side of the municipal budget is as follows:
Finance and Customer Support Department, $ 2,710
Police Department, $60,000
Public Works Department, $35,000
Undesignated Fund Balance, $8,290
Article 5 seeks voter approval to authorize the Selectboard to release the Lincoln County Fish and Game Association from restrictions contained in the deed for the association’s 196 Cross St. property, which was conveyed on April 17, 1948 from the town to the association. The restrictions required ownership to revert to the town if the town wanted the property back for school purposes and also prohibited major renovations to the building.
Article 6 seeks voter approval to designate certain areas of town that are frequented by children, such as parks, as drug free safe zones. The areas include Friendship Street School, Waldoboro Public Library, Waldoboro Recreation Complex, including Clyde L. Sukeforth and Charles “Chuck” Begley Memorial Fields, John Foster Little League Field, Waldoboro YMCA including Philbrook Field, Medomak River Picnic Rest Area, Quarry Hill Reservoir, Veterans Memorial Park, Pine Street Landing, and Dutch Neck Marine Park.
I hope this explanation helps and I urge all Waldoboro voters to cast their ballots on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Waldoboro Town Manager
Make way for intergalactic highway
City planning and zoning is complicated business, so complex that residents entrust those decisions to city commissions, boards, and committees, and those that own property and live in the area year-round, tend not to participate actively in them to know what’s really going on until, that is, they receive a notification that change is afoot, or they notice after the fact and are very unhappy.
There is an area of Rockland to be rezoned from Rural Resident I, to Rural Residential 2, covers 1,580 acres, including 197 properties, representing approximately 16 percent of the total land mass of Rockland. The target area is that which lies west of Old County Road. It is not part of the “core” of Rockland as determined by the city or its commissions, boards and committees.
Property owners who don’t own land in affected areas do not receive notification. The idea is that no one else would be interested, and, certainly not people who do not own any property but just live and work here and pay rent.
Members of the Comprehensive Planning Commission, Planning Board, City Council will tell you that ample opportunity is given to residents to participate in all the various divisions, as well as in public hearings. They’re right.
It may have be overused at this point, but Douglas Adams being a great writer, may he be busy at rest, and me being a poor one, and far more like the befuddled Arthur Dent than not, I offer this quote from Adams' "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy." The Planning Council is about to destroy the Earth to make way for an intergalactic highway.
“People of Earth, your attention, please... This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.
"There's no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now...
"What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.”
Important stuff these plans and meetings and documents.
As the sun came up over Penobscot Bay Aug. 17 as 38 intrepid swimmers and their paddler escorts strode into the water at Ducktrap Beach to swim the 3.1 miles from Lincolnville to Islesboro to raise funds and awareness for LifeFlight of Maine. This inspiring and powerful event saw the shores of Islesboro lined with well-wishers cheering the swimmers in and $23,000 raised to date for LifeFlight. It is fair to say that the first Islesboro Crossing event was a success.
One of the themes of the Crossing was that "we are all in this together." Nothing highlighted that sentiment more than the incredible support provided by individuals and organizations who pitched in to help, all for free. On behalf of LifeFlight of Maine and the LifeFlight Foundation, we'd like to thank:
Capital Ambulance; Northeast Ambulance; Islesboro EMS; Islesboro Public Safety; Camden Fire Dept; the towns of Islesboro and Lincolnville; the United States Coast Guard; the Maine Marine Patrol; the Maine State Ferry Service; course boat crews boat owners Ann Montgomery, Peter Clapp, Ben Wolcott, Justin Ford, Flint Decker, Chris Gilday, Mike Davis, Peter Berke, Henry Haselton, George Haselton, and Sarah Hatfield; All Aboard Trolley & Limo; Courier Publications; The Islesboro Sporting Club; Maine magazine; The Penobscot Bay and Bangor Area YMCAs; Hannaford; Waldo County Emergency Management; the Camden Snow Bowl; Quicksilver Marine; Cleanwoods Portable Toilets; Boardman Cottage; Elise Brown; Sally Smith; Deidre Dority; Allie Wood; Owen Howell; Jennifer Whyte; Mary Hauprich; Betsy Saltonstall; Carl Zenk; Beth Mazerolle; Shannon Thompson; Hodding Carter; Helen Carter; Anabel Carter; Eliza Carter; Angus Carter; Mark Munger; Kate Bourne; Scott Arndt; Brandy Dupper-Macy; Christine DeLorimer; Renee Johnson; Nancy Krusell; Hanna Wood-Krusell; Melissa Cushman; Jazmyne Schoppee; Will Schoppee; Dr. Norman Dinerman; all the experienced swimmers and event organizers who patiently consulted and advised; and of course our swimmers and paddlers who challenged themselves in support of this vital service.
While the 2013 iteration of the swim is over, there is still time to donate, either in recognition of these swimmers or in support of LifeFlight's ongoing operations. Giving is easy: simply visit the website at lifeflightmaine.org. LifeFlight’s vision for Maine is a place in which every person, in every community, has access to critical care and medical transport when they need it. Thanks to the efforts of the folks above — and thanks to your continued generosity — this vision can be realized every day. Thank you.
Islesboro Crossing organizing team
Having taught teens for years in another state may I suggest that the headline accompanying Beth Birmingham’s fine reporting on the organization “Out!” was very unfortunate and misleading: “Out! seeks to ease burden of lifestyle issues.” For many years our LGBT friends and fellow citizens have tried to teach us that being LGBT is not about choosing lifestyles, as so many still think, but it is a matter of birth. Being LGBT is not a conscious choice as Jeanne Dooley, Lis Clark, Lindsay Parker and Jeff Alexander explained in the article. Congratulations to OUT! and lets all donate. These teens are ours; they belong to our community.
Judith Church Tydings
Breast Cancer Classic raises $15,000
The Rockland Women’s Golf Association wishes to thank all the local businesses, individual sponsors and more than 80 people who joined us for the 3rd Annual Midcoast Breast Cancer Classic Golf tournament held Aug. 16 at the Rockland Golf Club. Your donations and direct support helped make it a great success. Special thanks to Keenan Flanagan, Pro and Manager of the Rockland Golf Club for access to the course and Sandbaggers Café for the delicious lunch. A big thank you goes to all the players and congratulations to all the winners.
Thank you to the generous donors: The Admiral’s Buttons, Athen’s Pizza, Bangor Municipal Golf Course, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust Co., Nancy Barnwell, Beauty Mark Spa, Bixby & Co., Brass Compass Café, Brian King, Camden Deli, Richard Carver, Chez Michel, Coastal Fuel, The First, N.A., Madolin Fogarty, Rick Franklin, Fresh, Fresh Off the Farm, Good Tern Natural Foods, Goose River Golf Course, The Green Thumb, HAV II, Hannaford Rockland-Camden, Home Depot, Janet & Cohn Real Estate, Jewelry by Nan-Sea, JoEllen Designs, Key Bank, Lakeview Veterinary Hospital, Lyn Snow Watercolors, The Landings Restaurant, Lowe’s Home Center, Mace’s, The Meadows Golf Club, Megunitcook Golf Club, Mt. Battie Car Wash, Natanis Golf Club, Northport Golf Club, Janice Ogier, Park St. Cleaners, The Pearl, Penobscot Bay YMCA, Penobscot Valley Country Club, Quilt Divas, Reflections, Reny’s, Jill Ricker, Rockland Café, Rockland Golf Club, Rockport Lobster, Samoset Resort, Shelby Robben Cote Millinery, Sisters Two, Small Wonder Gallery, Smiling Cow, Janice Splaine, Staples, Theo B Camisole & Co., Timeless Treasures, Trade Winds Motor Inn, Tropical Nails, Val Halla Golf Club, Wal-Mart, Kathy Wilson and Wilson Lake Country Club,.
RWGA’s organizing committee: Martha Bouchard, Linda Durrell, Helen Plourd, Kathy Sprowl, Jan Staples, Connie Welt and Sue Wooten, worked diligently to make this event enjoyable for all. We are most grateful to Pen Bay Women’s Imaging, Fuller Chevrolet-GMC, The First Bank, N.A. Frost and Bryant, Mount Pleasant Dental Care, Prock Marine, THE PITCH and Needful Things and Services for their generous support.
This year, the Midcoast Breast Cancer Support Fund at Pen Bay Healthcare raised over $15,000 to provide Midcoast residents with financial assistance for breast cancer items or services. We appreciate your help with the support of tee sponsors Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, Bruce Gamage, Jr. Antiques, DC Hamlin & Son, Dead River Company, Dr. Philip W. Higgins Jr. DMD, Eastern Tire & Auto, Ruth Farrell, Glen Cove Dental Associates, Goose River Women’s Golf Association, Hannaford- Rockland, Hope General Store, Kennebec Pharmacy & Home Care, Mahogany Hair Salon, Maritime Energy, Marriner’s Paving, Offshore Restaurant, Pen Bay Healthcare, Pen Bay Healthcare Patient Accounts, Plants Unlimited, Rockland Ford, Rockland Savings, Richard and Valera Rohrer, Seacoast Security, Maine Water Company, Thomaston Grocery, Thorndike Creamery, Village Builders & Remodeling, Walmart and West Street Automotive.
Rockland Women’s Golf Association
No question climate science is complicated, but I'm skeptical that we have time for a lot of discussion. Panels, lectures and study groups too often disguise apathy, callousness and lukewarm denial — states of mind that tend to paralyze action.
Climate decision and climate action are clamoring for attention right now. We know what the choice is: will we aggressively cut carbon emissions or not? This is the only viable, sure way to slow and mitigate climate chaos. If you think the price of energy descent, hunkering down and making new arrangements is too high, have you looked at the price of business as usual lately?
Paul Mayewski has stopped using the term climate change. Mayewski, longtime head of the University of Maine's Climate Institute recognizes that our rapidly altering climate is both background and frame for that decision. In common with other scientists he's striving to convey that this is no small thing. "The age of climate decision is here, and our actions will define the course of civilization and the health of our planet."
The Bangor Daily News on Aug. 28 ran an op-ed "People just aren't afraid of climate change yet," a reprint from Bloomberg News that seems a ploy to excuse apathy, callousness and denial in the US. More to the point, fear doesn't motivate.
Fear paralyzes. Courage, joy, and the spirit of "can do" motivate. As we create the new foreground of a cultural story of a cleaner, healthier, more just and respectful way of human life, we can get there from here. We know what to do. We have a wealth of creative, innovative people. We have the hardware. Isn't it odd that many claim it's the fear of "doing without" when we are practically overwhelmed with wretched excess?
350.org, the global climate movement organized in 188 countries may seem to be merely another environmental group. It's not. 350 is a true movement, and history clearly shows it's movements that create change. 350 is highly organized and active in Maine, one of the states on the front lines of climate decision. Ask any fisherman or farmer. The signs and troubling probabilities limn harsh against even recent memory. Think back to how things were just five to 10 years ago. 350 is for all. It's a leaderful movement, more akin to traditional indigenous models than our typical hierarchical structures. It's lean, supple and in the words of co-founder Bill McKibben, "Joyful and unyielding."
While I was organizing in New Mexico I'd often tell people about the Hurricane Island community I'd lived in and what excellent models of frugal resource use, sustainability, caring and cleaning up after yourself islands are. I tried to pass along the sense of lean and light, clean and green, swift to respond and solidly valueing community I remember so well.
Let me end by busting four climate change myths. One, it's not happening. Ask a fisherman, ask a farmer, ask a scientist, ask 10-year old Thor Gabrielsen, who spoke for his generation at the Aug. 26 +Do the Math PLUS 350 event at The Strand. Two, it's not us. Ask the 97 percent of climate scientists who say, "Yes, it's human caused." Three, It's not bad. Unless reduced food crops, contaminated water, and increasingly polluted air (10green.org) in your backyard are OK with you, it's bad. Four, it's too hard. Please, do your own research. Don't just take it from me, or the fishermen, farmers, scientists and school kids who want a future on a liveable planet.
As a wise old Daoist said, "If you think something's impossible, please don't disturb the people who are already doing it."
That's where we want to be when the next 350 event in Midcoast comes 'round next spring. Already doing it.
Sal's Birthday Bash
I would like to thank my family and many friends for helping to make "Sal's Birthday Bash" a big success.
Special thanks go out to Karmo Sanders(aka Birdie Googins) for her comedy, the musicians of the country, folk, gospel jam group for the wonderful music during supper, Donna Dennison for designing the posters and helping to get the word out, the St. George Fire Department for the use of their tents and all the help they gave us. Many thanks to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hannaford and Shaws for their contribution to our fundraiser.
I would especially like to thank all of those who donated to the St.George Ambulance Fund.
Sally R. Long
Grin and bear it
What a change has come about in TV Land in the last five years. I predict the anchorman or woman on a TV station talking about the world news and if the world was coming to an end, the station would stop and have four or five commercials before he or she ended his or her statement on the newscast.
TV has become advertising TV. I realize the businessman of today has to advertise his product to help bring the customers in his store or shop.
Isn't much the TV viewers of today can do about it. Grin and bear it.
This letter is response to the public hearing held in Waldoboro on Aug. 27. Waldoboro is facing the same needed cuts that every other town in the state is facing. When the moneys aren’t there you need to compromise. If the taxpayers can’t afford to pay for it we have to make cuts. The Board of Selectmen and the budget committee’s duties are to make recommendations to the voters. The final decision is up to the voters. You are the ones that pay for the services in the town.
In June the voters choose not to support the budget that the police department presented. The selectmen are only trying to deal with what the people voted. The recent resignations of two police officers is not that unusual. We have always had police officers move on to other jobs and for a number of reasons. If someone can benefit themselves from changing their job, you can’t blame them for doing that. I am confident that our police and highway departments will continue to give us all the best services they can with what they have to work with. Property taxes pay for our services.
We need to promote more industry and business in the town. When that happens maybe we can afford to have all the services we need. Our town has not grown at the same level that our current services have. Until that happens, we must make do with what we can afford.
Is the board’s recommendation the right one? Only you decide. The voters are the only ones that can make the final decision. We need to show some compassion to the less fortunate that may lose their homes because they are unable to pay their taxes. Delinquent taxes have hit the half million dollar mark in Waldoboro. Without that money we cannot pay the bills. Your vote does count. Everyone has a voice and it should be heard at the polls or by absentee ballot.
Keep in mind that without a budget we cannot set a mil rate. Without a mill rate, we cannot send out tax bills. Without tax money coming in, we cannot pay our bills. I recommend a yes vote on all. If any of the articles should fail, we will have to do revisit the situation again as the shortfall will not go away however you vote. This could make it very difficult to function.