Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
Justice not served
There is no justice for Dylan Gold or St. George after the DA's decision not to prosecute. They have the black box to the Infiniti which details every precise moment of the vehicle's acceleration, deceleration and speed. It is obvious that Ms. Torgerson accelerated prior to striking Mr. Coggeshall because the throttle pedal was 100 percent 4 seconds before the airbag deployed. She struck a vehicle, a building and Mr. Coggeshall in the four seconds before airbag deployment.
I think stomping on the gas after striking objects and a person shows criminal negligence — a gross deviation from the standard of conduct. In fact, she did the exact opposite of what a reasonable person would do. She accelerated and then struck the Gold family. That is a conscious disregard for the life of Mr. Coggeshall, and the Gold's. The DA has enough evidence to reconstruct every detail of this accident and prove the recklessness of Ms. Torgerson. Dylan Gold, the Gold family, Mr. Coggeshall and the St. George community deserve justice and a DA who is willing to seek it. Saying there is a six-year statute of limitations is a worthless, spineless, threat.
An outside prosecutor with a track record of winning tough cases should be brought in to prosecute this horrific crime.
Hold Richardson accountable
I’ve read in disbelief the recent press reports regarding the unethical conduct of former Rep. Wes Richardson. His clear attempt to destroy the reputation of our State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos has certainly backfired. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. In this negative political environment, Rep. Evangelos does the very things that make Richardson and his Tea Party hacks mad — he works hard, he’s honest, and he tells it like it is. When I last wrote the Courier in October 2012, I endorsed Evangelos and predicted he would represent us well. I haven’t been let down. As a selectman I appreciate he fights to protect our municipal revenue sharing to keep our property taxes down. He represents the interests of our lobstermen and our clammers, and when he comes under unscrupulous attacks, the only thing he’s guilty of is self defense.
But there is something more troubling about Richardson’s conduct besides political chicanery. Making a false report to the police with intent to do harm is against the law. First, he attempted to violate Jeff’s First Amendment rights, his freedom of speech, because he doesn’t want people to know that he was a decision maker for a PAC that sent vicious attack mailers out. In my 2012 editorial endorsing Jeff, I wrote that I condemned this particular attack mailing as crossing the line. In a March 4 press report, Richardson said that he “wants Evangelos to stop bringing up the subject.”
It would be comforting if Richardson had stopped there. Even more troubling is the fact that he also told the sheriff that “he felt personally threatened.” He did not tell he truth. Backed into a corner, he finally admitted the following to the Bangor Daily News on March 4: “But the candidate who lodged the complaint, former Rep. Wes Richardson, a Republican from Warren, later acknowledged that there was no threat." “Richardson acknowledged Saturday that Evangelos made no threats against him.”
Filing a false complaint is against the law. That Richardson would take such a reckless chance in an effort to destroy a dedicated public servant is reprehensible. I give credit to Jeff’s statesmanship, all he’s asked for is an apology. But Title 17-A, Section 509 says this:”False Public Alarm or Report,” a person is guilty of false report if:
A. “He knowingly gives or causes to be given false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent of inducing such officer to believe that a crime has been committed...knowing the information to be false.”
Mr. Richardson’s admission to the Bangor Daily News that his threat complaint was untrue is serious business. Why hasn’t he been held accountable?
Changes in downtown Camden
I would like to congratulate Bill and Liana Dickey on the sale of the embroidery business. I can remember very clearly the day Bill called me to say he would be coming back to Main Street to start an embroidery shop , in the old End Shop. I could not have been more surprised. After the closing of Haskell and Corthell, I figured Bill would stay home on the farm.
E M B R O I D E R Y?
What did i know? Bill and Liana built a very prosperous year-round business that became a model of how to run a Maine downtown store, clothes for the summer trade and embroidery for commercial accounts in the winter. Raincoats and ponchos hung on the open door in the summer when it rained.
Bill has plenty to say about the future of downtown Camden, as well he should. He is a stakeholder who knows what he speaks of. We would be wise to listen to what he has to say .
I have no doubt the new store will be a big success.
Think about the future
Let me start by saying thank you to Jackie Steele for your input of the town of Washington and filling in some of the disappointments that have become a part of this town and its history.
Now let's get on with some good for the future. I think that a Big Apple store would help right there on the four corners of Routes 220 and 17 and the old store become a Washington diner or take-out. That would slow down some traffic.
Get some new people in the town seats and a town manager. I think that would start waking it up from its dormant 50-year past of going downhill. It's too bad the art gallery had to leave, I think they brought a lot to the table and the historical society is a nice touch. I really like the book it put together, "Welcome to Washington village — formerly Putnam est. 1811." I just hope that is not the last of its kind and someone can get the people of the town together and made some new history.
I hate to point out, but I think that the people in the town management are having a hard time running the town and its business properly.
I also think that we are the only town in Knox County without cable for our televisions. We really have to start to catch-up with the rest of Maine and get out of the Dark Ages.
Some of the businesses I think would have made a go of it if they had maybe a tax break in some way. Just a thought.
No to Defense cuts
Citizens of the United States: What is our president thinking cutting our defense? With half of the world in an uproar, fighting each other, it takes more than talking to other foreign leaders. Keep America strong in case we have to help our allies and protect our own country. What's happening is the foreign countries are calling America weak.
There are dark clouds on the horizon and these days the only thing American citizens can look forward to is that spring is around the corner.
I call on the Senators and Congressmen in Washington to vote not to cut the defense budget.
Share the Love
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland is so happy to announce the results of the 3rd annual Share the Love Community Auction held in early February. Through the warmth and generosity of our community and supporters, more than $15,000 was raised.
We have been blessed with a community of businesses and supporters that donated items and purchased advertisements. A total of $20,000 worth of goods and services were auctioned off including Cape Air tickets to Boston, New Hampshire Motor Speedway tickets, Celtics tickets, museum passes, a Lyn Snow Original Watercolor along with other local and out of state artists who donated their paintings and many, many more items.
All the money raised from this auction goes right back into the community to support people who are in immediate need of food, heat and health assistance. This time of year is very tough on many families, and also on the organizations that are working to support these families with food vouchers, oil deliveries, and rent or health assistance. That is why three of our main recipients this year are the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry, the Salvation Army and the Rockland District Nurses Association.
We are also very grateful to have had Bruce and Becky Gamage donate their exceptional skills as auctioneers.
We are so thankful to the entire Knox County area businesses for your support as well as all the auction enthusiasts who bid on our items that evening. If you missed the event, stayed tuned for next year, we have even bigger things planned and we hope you can join us Share the Love with our community.
Since I have developed a peripheral neuopathy (inclusion body myositis), I can no longer navigate even one step without an adjacent railing or handle. While most stores, restaurants, and other businesses recognize that even mildly handicapped individuals need such assistance, one great restaurant apparently does not. We had an excellent meal at Rustica the other evening, once I was able to get in by pulling on the window frame while eventually climbing the one step. A simple vertical handle bar on that window frame would have solved the problem. I spoke to our waitress about this and a gentleman who seemed to have some authority. Both brushed off my remarks. Sure hope this letter incites some positive action so we can continue dining there. This particular situation is indicative of obstacles that mildly handicapped people face frequently and business owners are apparently not aware of their impact.
Post Office conundrum
Accumulated mail that was held for us while on vacation recently contained 47 pieces of various correspondence. In the batch were one personal letter, two bills and an assortment of bulk mailed items including advertisements, nonprofit and political requests for donations and magazines. (While we appreciate and support the work of non-profit organizations, we cannot afford to give to all that send requests.) Most of our bulk mail goes directly into the trash can unread.
When I send mail it costs a minimum of 49 cents. For most bulk mail the cost to send is not noted. Occasionally the cost is noted. One item I received this week cost the sender 10 cents to mail. When I forwarded a magazine to a friend recently it cost me $2.98. The publisher had paid 13 cents to mail it to me. It seems to me that we are subsidizing the political parties, advertisers and nonprofits to send us mail that, for the most part, we don’t read or want!
It is my understanding that bulk mail must be pre-sorted by zip code when delivered to a post office. Further sorting within a zip code must still be done by postal workers. Delivery of mail to my home costs the same whether an item is bulk mailed or not. So why does bulk mail cost so much less?
The United States Postal Service is under heavy financial pressure because our Congress requires it to fund pensions at a higher rate than other government agencies. USPS faces competition from Fed Ex and United Parcel, businesses which are not subject to the restrictions set by Congress and are not required to handle bulk mail.
USPS has been reducing costs, e.g. shorter hours, fewer workers. Postal employees are doing their best to continue to provide services to the public. I would hate to see any reduction in the quality of service that we expect. Shouldn’t we be charging bulk mailers a rate that reflects the actual cost to handle their mailings?
Thanks for a great launch
We represented Coastal Opportunities at the Pop for Change launch party at the Waterfront restaurant last Thursday, and were very impressed. For the past few years Bettina Doulton of the Cellar Door Winery and Lani Stiles of Megunticook Market have been remarkably successful in raising funds for local nonprofits with their Pop the Cork extravaganzas. This year they shifted to a new model, called Pop For Cause, to raise awareness of the needs of local charitable organizations. With the help of Devon Salisbury, event coordinator for Cellar Door, they have also developed a platform to generate a new volunteer force in the region, called Pop for Change.
The launch party provided the opportunity for local residents to learn more about this year’s charitable recipients and sign up to support them as volunteers. The space was filled with a lively group of folks talking with representatives of the charities and registering to work, while an array of delicious hors d’oevres and wines was passed. We appreciated the opportunity to share our story and add a number of workers to our roster. It is exciting to be a part of such an innovative and effective program. Thank you, Bettina and Lani for being driving forces for good works, and to Devon for helping to make the program take flight.
Joe Curll, executive director
Ann Bex, Board president