Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
Rockland hotel support
I am writing this letter in support of the proposed new hotel planned for 250 Main St., Rockland. By way of background I live one block from the hotel site on Main Street. I have worked in Rockland for the past 31 years for two different banks as a commercial loan officer retiring in January of this year. I have known Cabot Lyman, the hotel developer, for over 35 years when he and his wife, Heidi, moved to Thomaston and established their home and business, Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, in the mid-70s.
Having attended the recent two Planning Board meetings to review the project permit application, I have the following observations:
— I commend the members of the Planning Board for their impartiality in reviewing the project permit application given the apparent organized opposition displayed at the most recent May 20 meeting.
— I was surprised at the number of opponents to the project who expressed either concern for the proposed building height and/or its mass/size. My understanding of the zoning requirements reviewed during the past two Planning Board meetings clearly showed no special exceptions or variances needed for either the height of the proposed hotel or the mass/size of the hotel. Several opponents raised concerns over on-site parking and dedicated parking spaces near the hotel when, in fact, there are no parking requirements for commercial developments of this type in this particular zone. In sum, there are no special zoning exceptions being requested by the developer for this project as no exceptions exist.
— Some opponents to the project expressed concern that the proposed new hotel would negatively impact nearby residential neighborhoods. If you live next to train tracks you should expect a train and if you live next to a commercially zoned district you should anticipate the possibility of commercial development.
Over the past 31 years of my commercial banking loan officer experience in Rockland I have seen a number of proposed commercial real estate development projects. Given Cabot Lyman’s successful boat building experience at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, I would suggest that he could be making investments in other opportunities carrying less business risk than a new hotel in Rockland. I firmly believe the motivation for his new hotel project is a sincere commitment to Rockland and its future. I welcome him to Rockland and encourage its residents and business owners to do the same.
Missing the point
When is the last time a developer wanted to commit nearly $3 million to a downtown development? With our city strapped for funds and as it struggles to be affordable for working people we need new development to calm the pain of our increasing tax bills, dump fees, sewer and other much need capital improvements — not to mention our schools.
While our downtown zone is ripe with history and character, our city is much more than the height and make-up of its buildings. So when we talk about the need to maintain the history and character of a community and neighborhoods we should be talking about more than than just our historical look to our buildings; rather we should be also talking about the character of its people and whether or not the city’s families can afford to stay in their homes and neighborhoods. Many of the longstanding working class families young and old of the South End have been forced from their homes once their tax bill eclipsed all others, heat, water, etc. Its been fairly well documented that many families who have given our community the grit or "salt" that is celebrated by newcomers have left or are leaving town because 1) taxes 2) schools/budgets in disarray.
The proposed hotel(s) are far from the reckless development that those in opposition have tried to pigeon hole the projects in. Instead, as I see it the proposals, seem responsible and respect the various zoning ordinances while providing the city with much need taxes dollars.
May be things come full circle here — because if the city hadn’t extended the downtown zone for the nonprofit Maine Coastal Island Refuge Center we probably wouldn’t be having a conversation about the height of this 250 Main St. project.
James A. York
A great loss
What is happening to our wonderful PBMC hospital? We had the very best radiologists who took excellent care of our medical needs and were most compassionate.
We also had an expert oncologist who treated and followed many cancer patients.
Both of these are a great loss to the community.
What's next? Have we lost all control as to what can be done?
We still have no PBMC chief executive officer who has been sought after, interviewed and elected by the hospital Board of Trustees. This CEO should be available to make these very important decisions for PBMC.
We are no longer the excellent, caring, community hospital that we should be.
It seems that we have become a corporate entity.
Thanks to all
I would like to thank the many people that helped me to get better during my stay at Miles hospital and Pen Bay Medical Center. They all took very good care of me. I also want to thank the staff from Break of Day in Wiscassett and Edgecomb animal shelters. They took such good care of my Pug, Bandit. Also my landlady, who took such good care of Kit, my cat. And last, but not least, the two officers that were on call to me that day. And my dear daughter Susan and my dear brothers and sister-in-law, Joan. Bless you all.
I would like to share this poem with everyone that was written just for me during my stay at Pen Bay:
"A rose by any other name"
Every minute of every day it took this to grow
every drop of water that made it blossom so
every ray of golden sunshine
that warmed the little rose
is half the love I hold for you
and every day it grows.
— by Charles “Chuck” A. Kane
On June 10, the citizens of Waldoboro will have an opportunity to vote on several issues, one is to fill two vacant seats on the Waldoboro Town Select Board.
A candidate I know
I have known Clint [Collamore] for over 30 years, and served with him on the Waldoboro Select Board. In all these years I have never questioned his integrity, or interest in coming to the best decision for the town. Regardless of his personal feeling he was an anchor of doing-it-by-the-book. We need his integrity and local knowledge on the Board now!
Makes things better
There is always a small town that I keep coming back to. I have moved in and out of Waldoboro through the years. There is something that keeps me here. It is the feeling of the neighborhood, the people and the caring feeling of the town as a whole. In order for this to happen there is the consistent and heartfelt dedication of the people. One of these people is Clint Collamore.
As long as I can remember he seems to be always trying to improve the neighborhood. He is the one who will help his next door neighbor. Along with what he has contributed and advocated for his local clammer/lobsterman, he listens to people. He hears their concerns with sincere interest. He not only listens but he tries to make their things better. I don't know about you but if I had to pick someone that was making decisions for my town, Clint Collamore is my choice.
I know he has my interest at heart as my neighborhood is his neighborhood, hisfamily’s neighborhood and this is his legacy. So elect Clint Collamore. He has our interest at heart.
Volunteers will be collecting signatures at some of our local polling places at the Tuesday, June 10 primaries and town meetings in our coastal towns. One of the citizen’s initiatives is for a constitutional amendment to revoke corporate personhood and money as speech. Another is to strengthen Maine’s crucial Clean Elections Act, which has been under attack. Both initiatives are important to protect our democracy from the onslaught of large sums of money influencing our elections.
Please consider signing both.
For more information, call 236-8732 or 354-9556 and check wethepeoplemaine.org and mainecleanelections.org.
Beedy Parker, Camden
Carmen Lavertu, Thomaston
Diane Smith, Cushing
Deserving of vote
Having seen Jann Minzy in action as she served as president of the library board of trustees, I feel confident that she would make an excellent select woman. I have witnessed from her many years on the board that Jann is: intelligent, competent, respectful of and attentive to all viewpoints, involved in many community activities, willing to take the time to become educated when needed (from her attendance at library workshops and conferences at her own expense), even-handed, level-headed, and fiscally conservative. She is also very fond of Waldoboro and its people.
Jann is deserving of my vote and yours.
It has been a pleasure to serve with Craig Cooley three years on the School Administrative District 40 board and two years on the Board of Selectmen.
Craig has done an excellent job as chairman of the Board of Selectmen, as he gives everyone the opportunity to speak with no time limit, as he wants to hear from the people of this town.
This is something that didn't happen in the past. The room was full of unhappy citizens who were not allowed to speak and were unable to get answers. This created a lack of trust from the citizens because in three years the undesignated fund balance had gone from $1.5 million to less than $65,000.
Vote for incumbent Craig Cooley Tuesday, June 10, absentee ballots are available until Thursday, June 5 by calling the town office at 832-5369.
What ever happened to Camden Hospital? What is happening to Pen Bay?
I read this letter to the editor in the Free Press and it got me thinking of “No, not again." Let me tell you a wonderful story of the Camden hospital on Mountain Street where I delivered twin boys in 1954. We had wonderful attention from skilled nurses and doctors. We had dreams of an updated medical hospital and sure enough it was built on Elm Street where Quarry Hills now stands. It was built and paid for by the Camden, Appleton, Lincolnville and Hope communities. It was in the black and self-sufficient. Then a new director came along and decided it was a good idea to join a new medical center in Rockland. It seems the old Rockland hospital was not passing inspection required by the state so they decided to build Pen Bay and have Camden Hospital join forces. Now they were one. Soon the Camden Hospital became a nursing home and then Quarry Hill.
Pen Bay was and still is, as I understand it, in debt. However with a new infusion of CEO ideas Pen Bay will become “a triage station” and the patient passed on to another hospital, which will hopefully cure the patient. Did I read this right? Surely it must not be a dream I read about in the Free Press Letters to the Editor. Hopefully there will be dialogue in the Rockland Courier and more in the Free Press.
Mary “Mickey” McKeever
Kudos to Kiwanis
My name is Megan Rogers and I am the Program Coordinator for the Coastal Children’s Museum in Rockland. I am writing today to publicly thank the Rockland Kiwanis for their service to the community and specifically the wonderful event they held at the museum May 3.
The fourth annual Kiwanis Children’s Festival had something for everyone, fantastic face painting done by local high school Key Club members, balloon animals headed up by Rockland’s own John Batty, crafts and pumpkins headed up by club President Katie Tarbox and cereal necklaces facilitated by event organizer and past Kiwanis President Amy Pease. More than 100 people visited the museum from 9 a.m. to noon for the free morning and a good time by all was had. Not only did the Kiwanis staff this event and supply all the materials, afterward they presented the museum with a donation to go toward future programs and events!
I want to express my gratitude for Rockland Kiwanis and their dedication to their mission to change the world one child and one community at a time and for the hard work Amy and her crew of volunteers put in for the enjoyment of the visitors and members of Coastal Children’s Museum. The Kiwanis Children’s Festival is a highlight of our year and I hope it will continue for years to come.
Outreach and Program Coordinator
The Coastal Children’s Museum