Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Mar 28, 2014

CMCA

The board and staff of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art continue to be very enthusiastic about moving to Rockland and becoming an integral part of this dynamic and creative community. This move is a classic win-win for both CMCA and Rockland. We will bring new artistic and economic energy to the city and our new building will provide us the opportunity to grow the impact of our work in the Maine arts community.

As the approval process moves forward for our new building on Winter Street, we want you to know that we have taken all of the issues raised through the planning process very seriously. We understand and appreciate that a project like ours requires a public dialogue among all parties involved. We took all of the issues raised during this process very seriously, and have amended our plans several times to respond to them.

During the last several months all of us at CMCA — including our architectural team and our engineer partner — have worked diligently to address the Planning Board’s concerns. We revised the building’s design and plan, the materials used and other elements to enable us to make our official submission to the Board last Tuesday, March 18.

We feel we have successfully answered all the questions and concerns that have been raised and feel confident that we have made the necessary changes as they relate to the Downtown Zone and the Tilson Avenue Overlay Zone. We have also carefully addressed any issues that were raised regarding the Minimum Architectural Design Standards, while still working to meet our exhibition space needs.

We appreciate the forthright and civil conversations we have had about these issues and having been provided the opportunity to respond. But mostly we appreciate the outpouring of support that we have received from the Rockland community. From the moment we announced our plans to move to Rockland we have been overwhelmed with encouragement and support from the leaders in the arts and business community, local government officials, and Rockland residents who are excited about the prospect of CMCA becoming a part of the Rockland community.

This vocal and enthusiastic support has only reinforced our strong belief that coming to downtown Rockland is both an important step in CMCA’s future and the continuation of the city’s plan to be the creative and cultural center on the mid-coast of Maine.

We are looking forward to the next important step in the process. We are hopeful that we will have your support at the public hearing, which is being held at the Rockland City Offices on Tuesday, April 1, at 5.15 p.m.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art/ CMCA

Ludicrous

Regarding the article, "Politician cries foul" in the March 6 Courier-Gazette, the statement made by Wes Richardson that he is "concerned" about his personal safety from Jeff Evangelos, and Wes calling the police based on a third-party gossip comment, is so ludicrous. It is an additional slur of dirty politics from Mr. Richardson. I vote in another district, however, I have known Jeff Evangelos for many years. Jeff is a highly intelligent person combined with great insight, integrity and working long hours for his district. For many years, Jeff was solely responsible for keeping the SAD 40 budget fiscally balanced and deeply cares about his community. Jeff is passionate about his beliefs and listens to voters with an open mind and takes actions upon their behalf. Jeff uses his words to convey his opinion and to accuse him of physical harm or violence is slander beyond ridiculous imagination.

Wesley Richardson doesn't want to take responsibility for his dirty politics and is, thereby, diverting attention by slandering a man with great integrity and honesty. Jeff Evangelos sets the bar for politicians and you should be ashamed Wes Richardson!

Kate Hixon

Waldoboro

Hoops tournament thanks

During the weekend of March 15, teams from St. George, Rockland, Thomaston, Medomak and Boothbay participated in the 19th annual Mussel Ridge Hoops Tournament. This year’s event was a huge success as usual and would not have been possible without the collective efforts of many, many individuals and businesses. I would like to thank the following for their selfless contributions that allowed more than 80 third and fourth-graders to experience first-rate competition and hospitality, while raising more than $2,000 for the St. George Recreation Boosters who support recreational offerings for the young people of St. George. Thank you: St. George town office staff, particularly Patty St. Clair and Beth Smith; St. George School staff, particularly Jan Letourneau, Allen Craney, Jeff Cushman, Ken Lombardo, Cheryl Worthing and Janet Harjula; St. George Recreation Committee and Boosters — Raymie Upham, Meghan Miller, Craig Gauthier, Katie Crandall, Gary Minery, Tereasa Senay, Katie Cushman, Tania Kingsbury; community members Malta Lee Phelps, Cindy Hall, Michael Cushman, Ann Hoppe and Marguerite Cutroni; Oceanside High School students Sierra Beal and Kayla Morris; and innumerable people who donated food or their time to help. Thanks to business sponsors: The Black Harpoon, Beckett’s Auto Service, Justin Long Inc, Wa2Much Trucking, LKC Lobster, Greg Holmes Snowplowing, Superior Bait and Salt, Maine Coast Petroleum, Brooks Trap Mill, Millers’ Wharf, Morris and Sons, Port Clyde Co-Op, Maritime Farms, J.K. Kalloch, Hammer Down Construction, Falla and Sons Surveying, The First, Hoppe’s Tree Service, Puffins’ Nest, Ponderosa Motor Services, St. George Community Sailing, St. George Property Maintenance, Cushman Creative, J.D. Miller Construction, Monhegan Boat Lines, Port Clyde Kayak, Harbor Builders, Harborside Market and Gardens, DJ Dan Miller, Ponderosa Playland Child Care, G.C. Minery Plumbing and Heating, Midcoast Diesel, Ocean Pursuits Boatyard, The Sugar Tree, Port Clyde General Store, Midcoast Marine, Craignair Inn and Maine Printing. Finally, a thank you to the players, coaches and fans for their efforts. What a great team effort by all involved.

Ben Vail

St. George Parks and Recreation director

Bellows for Senate

U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows offers Mainers an exciting chance to make a course correction. Our state and our nation need to re-order priorities. Shenna Bellows fully grasps the crisis of Maine and the nation's sagging economy, as well as the global environmental threat of climate change. She understands that Congress must shift its priorities to put people first. Our society is increasingly lopsided, with the richest individuals and corporations receiving grotesque tax breaks and subsidies. The rest of us pay the tab. Shenna will work for a more equitable and sustainable society.

Unlike her opponent, Shenna Bellows will not endorse trillion-dollar U.S.-sponsored wars that serve no justifiable purpose. Instead, she will support a foreign policy that brings parties to the table to talk, to shape a more peaceful world. She will support good-paying jobs, health care and educational opportunity for all. She will not support the concept that corporations are people. In Congress, she will reach across the aisle and work with both political parties as well as independents. She has strong ideals, and she has the motivation and pragmatism to accomplish things from day one. She is passionate about keeping government from illegally spying on us, or anyone else.

Shenna Bellows has a strong record of protecting our civil rights and basic freedoms through her work as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. She grew up in a modest home in Hancock, and graduated with high honors from Middlebury College. Her foresight and awareness show in her thesis topic: Economic and Environmental Sustainability. She has lived and worked overseas and in Washington, D.C. But most of all, she knows Maine, from her student days working at Mount Desert Island Biological Lab, to her eight years in charge of the ACLU of Maine. She brought Republicans and Democrats together to support causes such as same-day voter registration and all the rights that belong to a great democracy.

I urge readers to check out this hardworking woman's record of achievement. Shenna believes in our country, in its people, and in our collective ability to make the government work for all of us, not just a select few. She will be accountable to you and me. It's time to elect Shenna Bellows as the next United States Senator from Maine.

Steve Cartwright

Waldoboro

Community dinner thanks

Christmas is a time of joy. One aspect of the holiday I enjoy is looking forward to getting a tree and decorating it with my family. Just as important is the Community Dinner I help coordinate at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland on behalf of Adas Yoshuron Synagogue. For over 24 years, congregants, members of the community, restaurants, and businesses have all pitched in to make this dinner a wonderful time, filled with food, music, gifts, and a merry atmosphere.

When thinking about the holiday, my first thoughts tend to focus on how to reach the community at large. A poster is designed, emails are sent to town offices, schools, etc., and then many people help to place them around supermarkets, shops, and inns and hotels so everyone will be aware that a place at the table is available for them to enjoy the festive holiday with food and in the company of others. I contact various businesses and restaurants from Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, and Thomaston to ensure there is plenty of food to eat and leftovers to enjoy again!

This year I partnered with Kerry Altiero of Café Miranda to streamline and organize the feast. He and his staff took the time to prepare and cook some of the food, he organized chefs from other restaurants to help carve turkeys, and when electricity was lost by a few people who were set to cook 25-pound turkeys and were unable to do so, Kerry volunteered to cook them himself. When his oven stopped working, Sherrie Gibson of Black Parrot & Fog Bar & Café became our backup kitchen and supported us throughout the Christmas Day meal.

The dinner is always a well-attended community affair. I am appreciative of all the businesses and restaurants who year after year donate their time, gifts, energy, food, and peoplepower.

Please help me in thanking the businesses whose donations made this a family affair: 3 Dogs Café, Café Miranda, Camden Hills Dental Care, Cappy's, Dilly Dally Farm, Ducktrap River of Maine, French & Brawn, Fog Bar & Café, Graffam’s, Green Thumb, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hannaford, Home Kitchen, In Good Company, Laugh Loud Smile Big, Lobstermen’s Restaurant, Maine Street Meats, Mainely Poultry, Market Basket, Planet Toys, Samoset Resort, Shaws, State of Maine Cheese, TD Bank, Trillium Soaps, Wallace Tents, Waterfront, Waterworks, and Zanca Orthodontics.

Thank you to Joel Fishman and Mike Dworkin, who schlepped the synagogue’s tables and chairs back and forth so we could seat a full house. Also a grateful shout-out to David Myslabodski for bringing leftovers to the Red Cross Shelter, temporarily set-up for those without power at the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.

I cannot thank everyone enough for the dedication, connection and love they show to the community members who attend our monthly kitchens and community dinners. With them, I am able to make each mealtime special.

Lisa Breheny

Soup Kitchen Coordinator

Adas Yoshuron Synagogue

Medal of honor

The President of the United States will award to 24 members of the military, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Three of these people are still alive to receive this country's highest award for what they did in combat. The sad part to this whole story is  those who are getting this award were placed in a category of being someone who by standard did not deserve it because of their race or religion when they served.

The three who are living were all serving in combat in Vietnam in 1969 when they were recommended by those in their chain of command for the award because of what they did and when they did it. All of the recipients of this award went above and beyond the call of duty and put themselves in harms way to not only protect their fellow soldiers, but also taking on the enemy by going in to hell itself, if you will, by facing a hell of bullets or taking on the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.

Being a retired soldier myself, I have known soldiers who wore the ribbon that is part of the award that the person who is awarded the medal can wear on his or her uniform. When an active duty solider sees someone wearing the ribbon they will salute the uniform itself and not the solider wearing the uniform. This is not being disrespectful in anyway because the person wearing the uniform might be a lower rank than an officer. The reason for this is because a soldier will salute officers at all times when identified as such unless they are indoors and then will only salute when they are reporting to an officer or senior non-commissioned officer.

The award itself is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond what would be called normal duty in a combat environment by giving themselves without thinking about the end result, even if it means dying.

The first medal was given by Congress April 15, 1861 and has been awarded to every member who was put in for it for what they did while serving in a combat situation and putting themselves in harm's way so that their fellow service members would live to come home.

Arlington National Cemetery in Washington now has all of those who were awarded the medal who are no longer living but give of themselves in ways that no one person can truly put into words. Outside the medal of honor all other awards can be awarded through the chain of command from the general, colonel, through the company commander as long as the award is approved to be issued and there are orders to follow it. All awards that are presented to the solider have orders that the solider has to keep with him or her for record.

For the record, any solider who has received one of these awards has demonstrated that he or she earned the award by what they did.

Robert J. Robinson

U.S. Army Retired

Thomaston

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