Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Jul 31, 2014

Reed Black trial, conviction

There have been a few times in my life when I felt, psychologically, that a man was smiling at me just before he hit me in the head with a rock and pushed me off a cliff. That is probably the main reason why I chose to witness the Reed Black trial last week. The case caught my heart. Lisa Zahn miraculously lived to bring him to trial and I needed to see how the wheel of justice would turn.

It is a ancient subject of story and song: a man lures a woman to a secluded spot and kills her. The killer's need will be met where no one will see. Its simply a matter of overpowering the weak one and moving on. The criminal justice system calls this sort of intention craven indifference. Craven means cowardly. Indifference means you don't care that the victim has a God given life and in this case, two daughters as well. Mr. Black had his personal needs ( a new woman plus so many essential expenses) that required him to kill .

The five day testimony in the courtroom was an inspiring display of diligence, civility and patience. Both lawyers resisted theatrics.The judge was kind and intelligent. We the people sat still. The jury stayed attentive. Mr. Black got the very best the American justice system has to offer.

I saw his internet girlfriend from Arizona nervously throw him under the bus, perhaps unconsciously. I saw the forensic scientists explain the messages of body trauma and blood spatter. I saw the huge gashes to Lisa'a head. I heard all the detectives and attending physicians.

Mr. Black, described by his ex-wife as charismatic and charming, acted like a weak old man. He said not a word the whole trial. I overheard him say, when were leaving the courtroom, something . He said to his loyal courtroom friend, that dashing older man, winds of the sailing trip still blowing through his gray hair, fitted with the elegant ivy league bow tie, pink oxford shirt, blue blazer, khaki pants and cute tassled loafers: “ I feel like I am in the middle of a woman's support group.” His well bred friend said nothing in reply. I felt a chill that made me shudder. Did his dashing buddy empathize with his pal's plight or was he there to smile as he watched Reed Black fall off his cliff?

On the final day, I felt the love for my mother, sisters, daughters, and all newborn girls surrounding Mr. Black in an embrace. I was told by a witness, upon hearing the verdict, the room was filled with grief and relief. Men and women alike, were mourning the shameful day, glad now the case was over and relieved by the jury's quick decision. Charles Reed Black's conviction was a ray of light and now we can all move on, knowing the sweet sadness of justice met.

Debby Atwell

Rockland

Time for change

In response to a letter by Wayne Leach of Winslow, a member of the Constitutional Coalition, which appeared in the July 24 issue of The Courier-Gazette:

Gov. LePage has never been a shrinking violet when voicing his opinions or in some of his actions regarding governing. He has earned the reputation of being a loose cannon (much to the chagrin of many Mainers). Thus his associates should know they too run the risk of being painted by the same brush.

Mr. Leach is protesting a book written by Michael Tipping, entitled "As Maine Went." I have read on excerpt of this book finding it to be a chronological reporting of Governor LePage's comments and activities from inauguration to present time.

Two things come to mind after reading Mr. Leach's letter.

"If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen."

Me thinks he doth protest too much.

It is certainly time for change.

Jocelyn E. Wilcox

Rockland

Let him go

Mr. President it is time that I ask you to put the fundraising aside for the future elections and pick up the phone and talk to the Mexican president and ask him for the release of the United States Marine who is in jail for making a wrong turn. No one was killed or injured. Let him return to the United States with his family.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

Good investment

Last year my husband and I were able to visit Knox County. Relatives took us for a day down to Port Clyde. The article written by Beth caught my eye, stirred my imagination! [Artistic exit strategy, July 10 Courier-Gazette] When my older daughter was a 2-years-old my dad built her a toy chest out of plywood. She turned 55 years old this July 14.

I certainly understand where Artist Marvon Hupper is coming from. Also, my hat is off to Beth for also sharing her talents so that others might learn. Education should be a lifelong journey! Pine? A biodegradable wood! Such a precious gift to us from him who knows us better than ourselves.

Purchasing The Courier-Gazette by subscription from Rockland, Maine has been one of the best investments my family has made. I certainly learn a thing or two new everyday. Thank you all for sharing so much for so little.

Barbara La France

Westerly, R.I.

20 years for Trekkers

On behalf of Trekkers’ staff and students, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our supporters, sponsors, guest speakers, artists and guests for making our 20th Anniversary Celebration on July 16 such a memorable event. The evening began with a pre-event reception at the Maine Lighthouse Museum where 100 guests gathered to meet travel writer and novelist, Mr. Paul Theroux, who was also our featured speaker for the evening. More than 250 people joined us for his presentation later that evening at the Strand Theatre, where we also auctioned off 10 specially created lobster buoys as part of our B.U.O.Y. project fundraiser.

Many people contributed to the success of this event. I want to begin with a very special thank you to Paul Theroux for emphasizing the importance of travel and cultural exploration during his inspiring presentation about “Rites of Passage.” I also want to thank our three alumni Trekkers, Margaret Hoyt, Amy Choudhari and Taylor Stenger, who shared their travel and expeditionary learning experiences as part of the presentation. Their stories were a touching tribute to the Trekkers organization and how the program has impacted their lives.

I am especially grateful to those folks who supported Trekkers during the live auction and to Kaja Veilleux, who donated his time, talent and touch of humor as our auctioneer. Our sincere thanks go to the following area business sponsors: SummerMaine Classic Vacation Rentals; Crandall, Hanscom & Collins, P.A.; Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital; Café Miranda; and Reflections Hair Salon. Trekkers truly appreciates the generosity of all our sponsors. We encourage everyone to support these local enterprises. And, of course, we want to thank everyone who came to enjoy the event itself.

Our congratulations go to door prize winner, Patrick Wack, who won the framed poster, “The Mosquito Coast - 1986” signed by Paul Theroux, along with two signed books, "The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari" and "The Mosquito Coast." Upon receiving the prize package, Patrick generously donated the signed poster back to Trekkers!

The success of this event was made possible by many people and organizations from our community. Our thanks go to the Maine Lighthouse Museum for hosting the reception, the Strand Theatre for hosting the celebration, and the following members of the business community and other organizations for their support: Archipelago, Farnsworth Art Museum, General Henry Knox Museum, hello hello books, Island Institute, Lowe’s, Lyceum Agency, The Owl & Turtle Bookshop, Owls Head Transportation Museum, Primrose Framing, The Reading Corner, Samoset Resort, State of Maine Cheese Company, Susan Van Campen and Tim Van Campen.

Our sincere thanks go to the following individuals who helped make the event and its planning go so smoothly: Gordon Armstrong, John Bragg, Sydney Brooks, Joyce Burnham, Brandon Caron, Jack Carpenter, Nancy Carter, Emily Carver, Shari Closter, Emilee Cross, Jennifer Denault, Lindsey Evans, Jean Faustini, John Ferguson, Susy Fox, Raegan Goulet, Jan Letourneau, Meredith Lynt, Kaleb Robinson, Misty Start, Jimmy Strong, Erika Tardif, Lily Vachon, Alli Young, Bethany Yovino. Special thanks to Otty Merrill and Jen Mumford for inspiring and helping to coordinate the B.U.O.Y. project. We are also grateful to Maine State Prison Industries Manager Ken Lindsey and the Maine State Prison Showroom for producing the wooden lobster buoys.

Thank you to all of these local artists for their time and amazing talent in creating the 50 one-of-a-kind, amazing lobster buoys that were auctioned off as part of our Building Up Our Youth project: Angela Anderson Pomerleau, Dona Bergen, Geoff Bladon, John Rasmussen, Phoebe Bly, Kate Braestrup, Sam Cady, Jenny Carter, Jane Derbyshire, Kathleen Fox, Nancy Glassman, Victor Goldsmith, Anne Goodale, Raegan Goulet, Alicia Hammatt, Angie Hritz, Cynthia Hyde, Peter Jenks, Kris Johnson, Lydia Kaeyer, Fred Kellogg, Jim Kinnealey, Steve Lindsay, Jo Lindsay, Sandra Mason Dickson, Otty Merrill, Greg Mort, Jon Mort, Jenifer Mumford, Patsy Munger, Sylvia Murdock, Chuck Paine, George Pearlman, Dennis Pinette, Mimo Gordon Riley, Carolyn Jones Rosenblum, Bjorn Runquist, Marnie Sinclair, Wick Skinner, Barbara Sullivan, Kitty Sweet Winslow, Simon van der Ven, Sandy Weisman, Charles Wilder Oakes, John Wissemann, Nancy Wissemann-Widrig, Judith Ziegler and Lucinda Ziesing.

Thank all to all of you out there that have helped in some form or fashion to make all we do possible. Whether you are one of the students who has committed to Trekkers and stayed with the process, a volunteer who has committed their lives to making our community better, or one of the many, many donors who have shared their financial support with us – please know just how grateful we are for your commitment to and belief in what we’re doing.

As Trekkers celebrates its 20th year of mentoring youth from the Midcoast area, we continue to be humbled and amazed by the outpouring of support we receive from the community. 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. The proceeds from our 20th Anniversary Event will help students participate in experiential learning programs this year—including life-changing expeditions, community service projects and adventure-based education. We can’t thank our community enough for the continued support and for helping to make this 20th Anniversary Celebration so successful.

Don Carpenter, Executive Director

Trekkers

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