Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
Clearing a few points
In his letter of Oct. 3, Greg Grotton, a Union selectman, criticizes the Union Committee for Protective Ordinances ("a new committee...not a town committee but one made up of a few citizens (10 as indicated on its initial notification of existence by means of an appeal)" for opposing the siting of a cellphone tower in the small neighborhood of east Union. Please allow me to clear up a few points here.
First, Greg, we are the same people who have been fighting this tower all along. The name, TCPO, is a convenience for writing checks to the lawyer and, hopefully, receiving donations for the same. We are the same people you praised after one of the last planning board meetings for stepping up and getting involved, including many more volunteers who have collected signatures, made phone calls, and helped in a hundred ways. Now, however, you claim that we really shouldn't appeal the planning board approval because we didn't participate in the early stages of writing the town's telecommunications ordinance 10 years ago, or otherwise participate on committees and volunteer positions in the town. In a perfect world, it's true, we would all have the time and inclination to take on these responsibilities. The reality is that we all can't keep our finger on the pulse of everything, even in our town. Most of us get involved when there is an issue that affects us, i.e. a cellphone tower. In my book, better late than never. We have given our entire attention to this issue for the last three months, in spite of work, families, illness, deaths in our families, etc. If that isn't volunteering, I don't know what is. Speaking of involvement in local affairs, you might be surprised to learn how many citizens do not even register to vote.
You claim that the earlier meetings were rife with anger, belittling and accusations directed at members of the planning board. I must object. First of all, except for the public hearing, we were instructed not to speak at all, and almost always we sat quietly and respectfully. There was one meeting, well attended, when a few tempers were running a bit high and some, who felt their rights, health and property values would be damaged by the placement of the tower, spoke up or walked out. I personally felt that some of the comments by Bay Communications' lawyer were more offensive than anything from our citizens, i.e. "Your property values will probably go UP because you'll have such good cellphone reception." (In point of fact, almost all of the 126 people who signed our initial petition of protest said they were happy with their current cellphone reception.) We accept that life demands cellphones and electronics and, therefore, towers, which must be sited as safely as possible. Towers sited at ground level pose much more health danger from EMF radiation, especially to children and pregnant women and those with heart problems, than those on mountains, and in a densely-settled neighborhood like ours, those dangers, as well as aesthetic considerations, are unacceptable. According to Union's town information, appeal to the appeals board is the right of every aggrieved citizen. So we are appealing and asking for a moratorium for more time to find a better solution, especially as Rockport is considering, on Oct. 9, an application from Verizon to build a brand-new tower on Ragged Mountain with lots of room for co-locaters. How this can possibly result in "tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars being spent on attorneys and stenographers" is beyond me. So far, the only costs I'm aware of are ours — a lawyer, a hefty application fee for the appeal and a bunch of xerox.
We think Union is a pretty nice place to live or we wouldn't be here. I don't think we have illusions of maintaining the status quo any more than you do, Greg; we, too, want to make sure that change and growth happen in the fairest , healthiest way for everyone. Please recognize our fight for what it is — the concern of committed citizens of Union for the place we love. Our appeal will be heard at the Union Town Office on Oct. 17, at 6:30. All are welcome, as is help with petitions or contributions. Thank you.
At least some good
It should not have happened. She is an experienced rider with a well-trained horse and they have been out and about on roads and trails throughout Warren for years. But it only takes one incident and this was a very serious encounter on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.
They were attacked by dogs, much damage was done.The horse sustained injuries to her neck, chest, and belly. What should a person do when this sort of thing happens? Does one need to carry mace or learn how to pack a pistol and use it properly? What are the answers?
Thankfully there were folks who could step in and help. Several citizens stopped, the vet was called and the sheriff’s office. They were escorted home as Janice walked her horse Molly back to the safety and comfort of their barn and waited for Dr. Benner to arrive. Molly spent days at Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic and is now home once again.
So what lies ahead? There will be veterinary checkups, wounds must heal, bills add up. They will need extra bedding, ample hay and grain, perhaps a fly sheet and sprays and ointments and of course meds. There are emotional scars as well. People are asking how they can help.
We are establishing a Molly Fund. If you want to contribute, please contact the Damariscotta Bank & Trust Company in Warren at 273-4030 or mail donations to Molly Fund, Damariscotta Bank & Trust Co. PO Box 1067 289 Camden Rd. Warren, ME 04864
Hopefully the worst is over and the healing process is well under way. When things like this happen, and folks step up to help in any way they can, that’s when you realize that even in horrific scenes, some good can come out of this.
Nancy T. Jones
Friend, neighbor, horse owner
Improve driving habits
This letter is in response to Holly Morse's letter to the editor: Police Presence Needed, Oct. 3, 2013.
In your letter you commented about the homeowner who is just trying to back out of his driveway. It is very unsafe to back out into a roadway. This backing out puts all of us speeding motorists at risk because not only are you crossing a traffic lane backward, you are also driving the wrong way in the traffic lane leaving us not much time to respond in an already dangerous area as described by you. Do the right thing and turn around in your yard and pull into the roadway property and safely. Not only will you be able to see better, you won't be making a dangerous situation worse. A lot of times in life we can start with our own actions before we complain about everybody else's!
Have a great day and pull out into the roadway, don't back out!
Heard through grapevine
The grape vine states that Dr. Vickers is on the retirement list in the near future, which has become a sad notice for many of his patients.
A well-liked doctor over the many years and a person that speaks to his patients so they understand — not only using those big words in the medical field. Yes he will be missed, but there are many younger doctors coming along at Pen Bay Medical that have the know-how that Dr. Vicker's has.
Dr. Vickers enjoy your retirement that's on the horizon for you. You shall be missed by many that you have cured over the years to good health.
Hungry hollow, now called Sleepy hollow.
When its spring time in the hollow and the mill starts up again, the smell of logs and slab wood, a new sawdust pile begins, the mill ponds full of water, that turns the water wheel, when it’s spring time in the hollow, and the mill was no longer still, the man and his oxen pull logs across the bridge, the scoot was loaded heavy, that the logs were carried in, the sound of the running sawmill, put its solo in the air, it had its own extension, in the day that I was there, some men used pipe tobacco, and threw their cans around, us kids when we went fishing, put worms in from the ground, when its spring time in the hollow, now it’s not the same, when men worked for a dollar, to live, and not for gain, the sawmill runs no longer, now it’s just a shell, and the memory of it, in passing it will fail, the sawmill in the hollow, had its place in time, but time has passed over it, and now what do we find? All we got is time, there’s a picture of the hollow, hanging on the wall, about 1930 as the man recalls, you would see the difference, if you rode that road today, you would not see the view, that the picture betrays.