Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Dec 19, 2013

Smells like Christmas

Recently, I made the trip to Rockland from Florida to care for my sister, Cathy Lake, who is recovering from a serious illness. When I stepped outside of the Rockland airport, I was overcome by the wonderful smells of Maine — the evergreens and the wood-burning aromas! The whole area smelled like Christmas!

Even though I will not be there for the holiday, as my sister is almost back to her old, healthy self, the trip up there certainly jump started my Christmas season. As we say down south, "Y'all" smell like a big Yankee Candle!

Charlene Lord

Largo, Fla.

Field hockey thanks

On behalf of the student-athletes and coaches of field hockey in RSU 13 I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the local business community for their continued support of Oceanside Field Hockey. Their generous donations to our successful 2013 calendar fundraiser will help expand and strengthen field hockey opportunities for girls in grades 1-12 in the new year.

The following businesses donated goods or services featured on the 2013 calendar raffle: A Bella Vita at the Samoset Resort, Camden Snow Bowl, Creek Hill Auto Repair, Dairy Queen, Domino’s, Fuller Auto Mall, Grasshopper Shop, Park Street Grill, Planet Toys, Rockland Golf Club, Trade Winds Health Club. Bricks Restaurant, Café Miranda, Terra Optima Farm.

Also, F/V Extreme Measures, F/V News Boy, Camden Snow Bowl, Candy Harbor, Lobster Shack, Thorndike Creamery, Thomaston Lil Mart Car Wash, Mr. Tire, Maritime Farm, Maine Chefs, McMahon Builders LLC, and last but not least, the fantastic Fiore Fridays!

The strong support of our local community is truly appreciated by all of us involved with Oceanside Field Hockey. Again, many thanks for supporting our girls. Go Mariners!

Joanna Hall

Oceanside Field Hockey

Rockland

Giving continues

I just wanted to give you an update on our wonderful son Garrett. The other night my husband and I attended our annual Christmas party for my husband’s work at Steel Pro, Inc in Rockland. We always do a gift for the owners and this year they said it was hard to think of a gift so at the end of dinner the other night they did a speech and said that they were inspired by a story they had read in VillageSoup (Nov. 28 edition) about a 12-year-old boy and how he wanted to help others this holiday season. They said it touched their hearts, so they went around the shop and collected money to give a check to Chris Beebe, the owner. Chris was so overwhelmed by Garrett and what he was doing for others he turned the $500 check over to Garrett. So for Christmas he has raised another $600 in cash and three full Christmas baskets. He purchased three jackets and several hats and mittens for the Salvation Army. It has been amazing; he has received many cards of thanks for what he has been doing from people we don’t even know. It's really crazy how many people are so thankful for what my son is doing for them.

Michael and I are so super proud of our guy.

Rebecca French

Warren

Trekkers thanks Rockland Elks Lodge 1008

On behalf of Trekkers, I would like to thank the Rockland Elks Lodge 1008, and three of its members, for volunteering their time to rebuild a roof rack for Bessie, our 1989 International Thomas Bus, and building storage compartments for Lucy, our newest mobile classroom. My sincere thanks go to Bill Bachofner, Clayton Collins, and John Crabtree, who spent several days making the necessary improvements so that Bessie and Lucy are well equipped for their next student expeditions. These men volunteered their time and skillfully made the necessary changes.

This year’s expeditions for Trekkers’ students will begin after the new year. Our buses will be transporting students as far away as Washington, D.C. during the coming months. Knowing that our equipment is securely stowed away helps improve the safety of our students and staff on the many miles we cover each year.

It’s great to live in a community with wonderful groups like The Elks, and wonderful people who support local nonprofits. As Trekkers celebrates its 20th year of mentoring youth from the Midcoast area, it is through the community’s support that we are able to achieve the Trekkers’ mission of connecting young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. With sincere appreciation I thank the volunteers from Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 for sharing their time and skills with Trekkers.

Don Carpenter

Executive Director of Trekkers

Thomaston

Help Heat Homes

Yesterday morning with an outside temperature of 4 degrees, I stopped at the Burkettville Country Store. A Help Heat Homes donation canister on the counter caught my attention. After making my contribution, I realized I wanted to thank the people who sponsor this program. Jan Dolcater, the former Knox County Republican chairman started the program two years ago when he learned that LIHEAP funding (low income heating energy assistance program ) was going to be cut and that the impact to residents in Knox County was going to be a problem.

A bit of research revealed that the money collected over the past two years totals over $65,000. The funds, which have benefited people in 246 homes, are raised from churches, private donations, individuals, businesses, and the outreach canisters that are currently in place in dozens of locations throughout Knox County such as the store in Burkettville. I encourage everyone to consider making a donation to the Help Heat Homes program, especially since 100 percent of the funds are used directly for heating oil assistance, and administered through PENQUIS.

I wish to thank Jan Dolcater and the Knox County Republicans, who assist and support his efforts, for their spirit of generosity and genuine care for the residents of our area.

With the cold weather here and funding from the federal government for assistance benefits reduced, it is more important than ever to help our neighbors.

Victoria Bucklin

Appleton

Speed

Although I am a bit late I would like to follow up on the July 11 letter to the editor from residents Marty Schindler and Kathy Meehan as well as, a recent Nov. 21 letter to the editor in The Courier-Gazette, on the topic of speeding through Rockland. It has been the long standing policy of the city to move cars and trucks through Rockland on Park Street, Broadway, Main Street, South Main Street and Union Street as fast and as quickly as possible with pedestrian safety a secondary concern. The chances of getting nabbed by the police for speeding on these roadways is somewhere between nil and none. So if you want to speed through Rockland (or even skateboard) on one of these through ways you are essentially free to do so.

In their Free Press letter the authors called for a study of traffic patterns in the city with an eye toward reducing speeding. If such a study was performed the City Council and city administration would endorse and embrace its recommendations but not implement any recommendation that could be drastic and effective. For example, the City Council had originally approved the installation of raised speed tables at the Main Street entrance to the Ferry Terminal road and at Lindsey Street as part of its downtown revitalization plans. After the completion of the Maine Department of Transportation paving project the speed table at the Ferry Terminal road was not raised to its former elevation as promised by the city administration thereby making it ineffective. Prior to the MDOT paving work the speed table was helpful in controlling speeding on this section of Main Street. Also, the city manager unilaterally removed from the downtown revitalization plans the speed table at Lindsey Street without the Council’s specific approval. If implemented the two speed tables would have worked in tandem and substantially slowed down the speeding traffic on Main Street.

In summary, any effective or dramatic measures to slow or calm traffic in Rockland will be thwarted by the city. For this reason Rockland residents must continue to do what we have always done — resign ourselves to the fact that Rockland is a predominately vehicular-oriented community and adjust our walking habits to accommodate vehicles and to avoid being hit; particularly, at designated pedestrian crosswalks where vehicles usually have the right of way. This is just how it is and no policy change is anticipated for the distance future.

Rodney Lynch

Rockland

Gratified by response

Recently I called on neighbors in Owls Head and asked them to donate to the Philippines Disaster Relief Fund to assist those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. Many died and many lost their homes in the Philippines as a result of this terrible disaster.

I was gratified by the response. Not one Maine neighbor refused to give. Their gifts which I sent to the Episcopal Relief & Development's Global Relief Fund were matched one to one. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines is currently mobilizing volunteers, particularly youth, to collect and distribute relief supplies such as food, water and other necessities. Church buildings that were not heavily damaged by Haiyan are being used as centers of operation. These activities are part of a larger ecumenical effort being coordinated by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

May God bless my neighbors!

Donald F. Hunt

Owls Head

Lights out

Myself not being a resident of Rockland would like to make the following statement, regarding Family Dollar Store. The lights are out that light up the parking lot for the customer that enters and leaves the store after dark with their arms full and the items they purchase could easily fall on the ice and snow, going to their car. The managers of the store should look into this matter soon because the story is busy with Christmas shoppers. Thank you!

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

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