Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
Why doesn’t Rockland have a city planner?
Ever wonder why streets get dug up multiple times?
Ever wonder why we as taxpayers pay multiple times to dig up utilities?
Ever wonder why new sidewalks crack?
Ever wonder why some neighborhoods have a sewer smell?
Ever wonder why we tried speed bumps that weren’t done right but cost a lot?
Ever wonder why we have so many one-way streets?
Ever wonder why some curbs are granite and some are tar?
Ever wonder why some sidewalks have lampposts smack in the middle?
Ever wonder why some sidewalks abruptly end or shrink in size?
Ever wonder why some businesses leave Rockland because of multiple construction projects that are not coordinated?
Ever wonder if we will be getting more big box stores?
Ever wonder why Rockland lets franchise businesses build cheap buildings then have them close, leaving them empty?
Ever wonder why we don’t have more harbor-trail walks and water-view parks?
Ever wonder why there are not more crosswalks on Route One?
Ever wonder why Route 1 north of MacDonalds looks so unplanned?
Ever wonder why we have traffic jams?
Ever wonder why there is not more affordable housing?
Ever wonder why we put down fake cobble stone crosswalks that were much more expensive but didn’t last any longer than painted ones?
Ever wonder why we as taxpayers pay multiple times to dig up utilities?
Ever wonder why we don’t have more money for education?
Ever wonder why we pay $700,000 a year just to treat storm water?
Ever wonder why we seem to jump from bond issue to bond issue without a long-term plan for bonding?
Wouldn’t good planning make better use of our tax dollars?
Can’t Rockland get its planning act together?
Isn’t it time we had a dedicated, professional city planner?
Let’s ask for one.
We could spend a penny to save a dollar.
In the announcement of her Republican candidacy for Maine Senate District 12, Paula Sutton stated, "I am running a traditional campaign, as I have no tolerance for wasting your hard earned taxpayer money." I assume by this that she has chosen not to campaign as a Clean Election candidate.
As one of the taxpayers referred to by Ms. Sutton, I feel more comfortable with Clean Election candidates who are not at risk of becoming obligated to the funders of "traditional" campaigns.
Maine legislative candidates are fortunate to have a Clean Election option as are Maine voters. At this time in our country’s history there may be no issue more important than reducing the influence of money in our election process, and I am proud that Maine leads the way in offering an opportunity for our candidates to do just that. I think it is unfortunate that Ms. Sutton would rather be beholden to interest groups and donors than take advantage of this opportunity.
Fair bear hunt
I support the efforts by Maine citizens to advance a ballot measure to protect Maine's bears and hounds. Although it has been referred to as the "bear-baiting referendum," this ballot measure also seeks to outlaw trapping our iconic black bears and chasing them down with dogs.
Most people would agree that cruelty to animals is wrong. So how can leaving a frightened bear to suffer in a 2 1/2-inch foot snare for up to 24 hours be thought of as anything but cruel? And how can allowing hunting dogs to chase a terrified bear for miles, possibly separating her from her cubs and leaving them to starve, be thought of as moral? The dogs are sometimes severely injured or killed by a cornered bear. I eavesdropped on a couple of hunters describing how they lost their dogs in the woods and finally had to go home without them, returning days later to find the dogs freezing and starving. Where is the reverence for life? As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Bear baiting actually increases the bear population through high-calorie supplemental feeding, which helps more cubs survive. The bear population remained fairly stable until bear baiting began in earnest, in the early 1980s, at which point it grew rapidly.
Inhumane hunting methods are not necessary to manage the bear population. When hounding and baiting were outlawed by referendum in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado (trapping had already long been banned), the bear population in these states stabilized. If Maine's bear population did need to be decreased, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has stated that increased opportunities for still-hunting or stalking, including lengthening the hunting season and increasing the bag limit, are ways of managing the bear population.
Supporters of the referendum are encouraged to watch the newspapers for information about a hearing to be held in Augusta in the near future. You may respond online at fairbearhunt.com/hearing.
To Ernest Martin, DOT Project Manager, Route 1 Warren:
Well Ernie, all of us were evidently told a big fat fib or your right-of-way department is incompetent, as my husband, Eric, spent over two hours Thursday evening studying the old Town of Warren records with an original map and found out that there was not a 4 Rod Road laid out here, no land was "taken" and no compensation was given in 1783 or 1803, although other roads in Warren were given a width as 4 rods, 3 rods, 2 1/2 rods etc. Therefore the only parts of Rt 1 that the DOT owns are the sections they bought in 1929-1931 when Route 1 was laid out.
Using the years YOU give as proof: a 1783 plan and accepted 1803, Eric found the exact map and record for this road, which was actually laid out as "to the east of so and so's barn, to the west of so and so's house, to a stone, to between 2 trees", and so on-NOTHING about a width anywhere, just a squiggly single line. Where did you find it says 4 Rods?
I was suspicious to start with, as your right-of-way department for Phase 1, had used the 4 Rod Roads that Samuel Waldo had laid out prior to the 1735 settlement, as PROOF there was a 4 Rod Road here. However, I disproved that theory when I researched and found out those 4 Road Roads started at the river and ran inland. The DOT called this road during Phase 1 an ASSUMED 4 Road Road and ASSUMED Right-Of Way, but dropped that verbiage for this project. After the Phase 1 construction I called your right-of-way department and told them their research on Waldo was incorrect and they told me, "We don't even want to know." But I see they dropped Waldo's plan as "proof" for this project. As I wrote in my last editorial, I have family deeds back to 1792, and there is no mention of a right-of-way given to anyone, let alone a 4 Rod Road.
So what are the ramifications of this? Unfortunately, we know you can condemn and take our land by eminent domain but you need to compensate us for all of the 4 Rods you claim you already own when you do not. Unless you can show us some REAL proof to the contrary! Although, personally, I don't care anything about your money and would much rather continue to own my front yard, and have all my trees and gardens.
Diana Overlock Sewell
Its time that Gov. Paul Lepage takes a day from his office in the statehouse and takes a ride in the 16 counties of the state of Maine. I'm sure he will get gas mileage and and he will enter the "Pothole Season" of the state of Maine. The DOT claims they don't have the money in their budget to repair the roads around the state.
The only one that enjoys the potholes is the man that has the repair shop for the cars and trucks that drop into the potholes and rough roads are hard on a person and their old and new cars.
Can't they take money from when a person registers his or her car and use for repairing the roads? This has been the worst winter and spring weather in years.
Photo Treks thanks
On behalf of Trekkers, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Photo Treks program. This expeditionary learning program took our students to three of Maine’s largest cities and allowed these young people a chance to experience the cultural diversity that exists within our own small state. After learning photography techniques from a professional photographer and capturing digital images during their visits to Lewiston, Augusta and Portland, the students processed their work and prepared for their gallery exhibition. We are grateful to all the talented and generous people who helped make this program so successful.
Our thanks go to the people who shared their lives and stories with our students during the five-day expedition last October, when the group learned about various social justice issues here in Maine. Specifically, we would like to thank Tree Street Youth Center in Lewiston, Bread of Life Ministries Soup Kitchen in Augusta, Paul and Mary Nolt of Corinna, and the Nagaloka Buddhist Center in Portland. We are also grateful for the facilities at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, which served as home base for the students and mentors during their expedition.
Special thanks go to everyone in the local art community who opened our students’ eyes to the power of telling a story through digital images. We are grateful to professional photographer and Photo Treks mentor, Kari Wehrs, for sharing this journey with the students and providing both technical training and artistic encouragement throughout the program. Thanks also to Maine Media Workshops for allowing us to use their facilities to process the photos, to Margot Kelley and Jenifer Mumford for curating the exhibition, to Jared Cowan of Asymmetrick Arts for matting the photos, and to Jonathan Frost for holding the opening at his newly-relocated gallery.
The program could not have happened without grant support from the K2 Family Foundation, mentoring support from Shane Lavoie, Sarah Young and Lindsey Evans. We are also grateful for all the wonderful student artists who participated in this year’s program. Of course, we appreciate everyone from the community who attended the gallery opening on March 14, and supported our students by admiring their artwork, which was showcased at the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland.
If you have not had the opportunity to experience the students’ artwork firsthand, their photos will be on display and will be available for sale at the gallery until the end of March. One-half of the proceeds from any sales will benefit the Photo Treks program; the other half will go to the student. Thanks to the community for supporting this year’s program.
Pies on Parade
For the past ten years, a major source of income for Area Interfaith Outreach has been the annual Pies on Parade, sponsored by the Historic Inns of Rockland. Once again this year, people from all over New England and beyond flocked to the frozen streets of Rockland armed with forks and maps, to discover the rewards of eating pie for a good cause.
The importance of this event to AIO cannot be overstated. It is a huge help as we strive to meet emergency needs for individuals in our local communities.
The Historic Inns, local businesses and AIO work together for weeks to make it happen and the results benefit us all. But it is the Historic Inns who organize Pies on Parade and pull it all together into the wonderful event that it has come to be.
So it is with deep gratitude that we at AIO say “Thank You Historic Inns of Rockland for ten wonderful years of working together for our community.” We can only hope for ten more!
Area Interfaith Outreach
Loaves & Fishes
2014 started with a bang! Melissa Kelly and Price Kushner, owners of Primo Restaurant in Rockland, began their 12th year hosting a kitchen with us at St. Peter’s in Rockland. Along with their staff, they prepared and served a feast, wrapped leftovers, cleaned and organized the kitchen/pantry/main dining room. Everyone looks forward to them coming each year and needless to say, we all enjoyed a delicious lunch and brought home lots of food to enjoy for another meal!
February brought a delicious meal from Brian Hill of Francine Bistro. Brian also began his 12th year with us and the meal was scrumptious! It was Super Bowl Sunday and our feast included chili, corn bread and salad. Not only did one and all love it, they were sent home with leftovers!
March brought Moody’s Diner. Dan Beck has provided a delicious meal for three years. We served their famous fish chowder, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies. To round out the lunch, our congregants and friends from the community brought drinks, green salad, fruit salad, and desserts.
Before we served lunch, Kerry Altiero of Café Miranda distributed recipes and demonstrated how to make a one-pot meal called Café Miranda’s Nosh n’ Nourish 30 Minute & 3 Buck Recipe #1. This is part of a new venture Kerry and I are starting called Nosh & Nourish. We are hoping to provide additional nutritious resources to feed the many people who are in need. Thank you to French & Brawn for donating all the boneless/skinless chicken thighs, Hannaford for the cans of beans and Market Basket for the food we provide monthly for people to take home. Additionally, thank you to the generous donors who made it possible to purchase the balance of the recipe, which allowed each person to go home with the ingredients to make this meal on their own.
If you know anyone who could benefit from our outreach and/or would like additional information, please contact Adas Yoshuron at 594-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally more information on Nosh n’ Nourish will be available soon.
Soup Kitchen Coordinator
Adas Yoshuron Synagogue
Caring for the earth - one tree at a time
This year marks a milestone for TREEKEEPERS LLC - as we celebrate our company’s 20th anniversary! For the past 20 years, since founding the company in 1994, we and our wonderful and skilled employees have worked hard to fulfill our company’s mission of caring for, preserving, and protecting Maine’s trees. We are proud that TREEKEEPERS LLC has earned a reputation for delivering knowledgeable tree care and arboricultural consulting services of the highest quality.
Unfortunately, our celebratory mood was dampened upon discovering (while leafing through Down East magazine’s April issue) that a person named Robert Stanley has begun advertising in the Maine media as a consulting arborist under the business name “Tree Keepers.”
Since 1994, we have done business throughout Maine as “Johnson’s Arboriculture- TREEKEEPERS LLC” and “TREEKEEPERS LLC” and both trade names are registered with the Secretary of State. We are deeply concerned about this infringement, the obvious confusion it will cause, and the potential harm to our company.
We wish to make perfectly clear that Mr. Stanley and his company (including his website and email address) are not affiliated in any way with us. We know nothing about him, his claimed professional qualifications, what services he offers, or the quality of those services. He has no authority to speak for or to act on behalf of our company. We have not authorized him to use the trade name “Tree Keepers” and we have requested him to cease doing business in Maine under that or any similar name.
For two decades, TREEKEEPERS’ licenced arborists have hand climbed, pruned, cabled, braced, and artfully shaped countless Maine trees. We have preserved cherished trees on historic sites and private landscapes; written specifications to protect trees during construction; planted thousands of trees, both large and small; worked (carefully) in Maine’s shoreland zones; appraised trees damaged by storms and vandals; sensitively designed and constructed beautiful walking trails; inventoried, evaluated, and pruned thousands of municipal trees; and preserved trees throughout the state after Maine’s 1998 Ice Storm.
Our senior arborist Douglas N. Johnson is Maine licensed, certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, the first Maine arborist to become ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, and a member of the Maine Arborist Association, Tree Care Industry Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, Society of Commercial Arborists, and Society of Municipal Arborists.
We are grateful to live and work in Maine, for the opportunity to care for a valuable Maine resource, and for the many wonderful people we have met throughout this beautiful state while engaged in our projects. We love our work and our company. We look forward to continuing to bring you the very best arboricultural knowledge and skills while “Caring for the Earth - one Tree at a Time.”
Finally, we would sincerely appreciate your help in making this distinction and spreading the word. We are Nancy and Doug at TREEKEEPERS (one word) LLC. We can be reached, as always, at 236-6855 or 1-877-TREEKPR.
Douglas N. Johnson