Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette
The departure of Lovering
This afternoon, I sent an email to the members of the Rockland CIty Council asking them to respond in three ways to the departure of Audrey Lovering as director of community development.
I communicated to the council my distress in learning that the city of Rockland was not able to provide Audrey Lovering with employment that would continue to engage her values, energy, and perseverance. Though she has only been working here for a relatively short time, her success in what she was hired to do communicated and proved her effectiveness.
Though I do not know about the particulars surrounding her departure, I can only conclude from the report of a substantial settlement in the Bangor Daily News of Oct. 18 that her departure was not voluntary, or for cause from her malfeasance. And though I also recognize that the city manager is responsible for personnel matters, including the administration of Ms. Lovering and her work, I expressed my hope that the members of the council take responsibility, at least indirectly, for her departure.
I base my view on the size of the settlement, which goes well beyond usual payment of accrued time, etc., otherwise routine for departure, and on the suddenness of the decision to end her employment. I can only conclude that the decision was made by the city. But whether Ms. Lovering chose to leave, or the city fired her for cause, we, the taxpayers, should not in either case be paying four months of compensation and benefits, plus lawyers fees, after scarcely a year's employment.
If the city failed to provide an appropriate place of employment, then we have other problems that must be addressed.
So, first, I asked the council to determine and explain publicly the reason for termination.
Second, I urged the council to maintain its priority of community development in the broad sense, with economic development as no more than one component — albeit important component — of building community.
Third, beyond the immediate issues related to Ms. Lovering's departure, and probably more important in the long term, I urged the council to exercise its duty in setting and administering policy to verify that the values of community development reflected in the way in which Ms. Lovering performed her duties will be maintained.
Especially in these times that are so difficult for many of our citizens, the values of community development should be reinforced by policy decided by the council. Hiring the replacement of Ms. Lovering to direct community development I presume will be the duty of the city manager. But I also presume that the council collectively oversees the performance of the manager.
Far from parenthetically, I hope that the council does not see the meaning of community development turned into the singular pursuit of economic development, an activity we should see as but one means to a larger end: the well being of our community and citizens, where vision and compassion temper and even determine fiscal policy.
George B. Terrien
Lack of transparency
The city of Rockland, by actions of the Mayor, the city council and administration have created a situation that is void of respect, accountability, responsible and reasonable transparency. They agreed to pay salary and benefits for the next four months to a person for which we, the taxpayers, will receive absolutely no benefit of (one-third of a yearly salary with benefits) at a time we can least afford it.
That amounts to an average property tax for 15 homes, that pay an average of $2,000 per year. Total may vary upon final computation.
Are you one of the taxpayers that this city has totally ignored the sacrifices you made in order to pay your $2,000 tax bill?
Harold "Dale" Hayward Jr.
Candidate for city council
Treasurer should be appointed
The town of Union has a local referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot regarding the changing of the treasurer's position from elected to appointed. After our public hearing on Oct. 16 there were some very good questions and comments regarding this referendum and I felt it was imperative to get this information out to all voters in Union.
The Board of Selectmen made a very difficult decision based on facts and history that this proposal was the best way to secure the financial security of the town. They realized that this would be controversial, but believed once everyone understood the dynamics and facts the majority of taxpayers would approve the article. Much of this may be found on the town of Union’s website at union.maine.gov.
First and foremost this is a referendum about a position and not a person. In fact the same person who is now elected will be offered the position as an appointment. So the rumors that this is only being done to replace a person is totally inaccurate. As a manager I have great faith the current treasurer can overcome the issues with assistance and training.
During my annual reports to the Board of Selectmen I apprise them of what I call “significant weaknesses” in areas of our municipality one of these being the treasurer department. My concerns has been the lack of anyone trained to take over in case of illness or injury and the lack of accurate up-to-date financial records. The board and manager can request these issues be addressed but have no authority to require them to an elected treasurer.
Unfortunately circumstances talked about above have come true and the town was left without a treasurer or any deputies more than once during the past year. Recently, the board has had to take emergency measures to keep the town running and be able to meet our financial obligations. With our elected position and line item budgets the board and manager are powerless to order deputies be appointed and have no funds to pay for such if the absent treasurer still takes their salary. At present a treasurer can leave the position for any reason, still receive full salary and the taxpayer has to pick up the tab for another person to come in to meet the town’s financial obligations. This will cause an overdraft in the account and the taxpayer will be asked to cover it in June.
The town of Union needs to become as efficient as possible in all departments, we must consolidate, collaborate and cross train in most of our departments. Presently our treasurer's office total taxpayer cost far exceeds the state average for a town our size. In the next two years we must reduce our hours in this position, have other office staff trained as temporary replacement for the treasurer so we don’t incur additional expense with a replacement. We can’t do this presently the way the treasurer's office is structured by being elected, it is an easy transition with appointed.
Although it seems like every day we citizens are losing more and more privileges and many people look to this elected-to-appointed request as one of them. But I ask you to think about how you know an elected person is doing their job? There are no evaluations, they do not answer to the town manager or the board of selectmen. I would urge you to look at the recent audit letter that is on the town’s website, it shows many concerns that we need to address, some of which have been perennial problems. The board and manager can make request that these be rectified but they can’t be required in an elected position.
One misnomer that has arisen many times is that an elected treasurer is a “fire wall” between the board and manager and that they can choose what to pay and what not to. That is totally incorrect; the treasurer is obligated by state statutes to pay the bills on a lawfully-signed warrant. They have no authority to change, decide who gets paid and who does not, this is the sole responsibility of the board of selectmen.
I will ask all Union residents to think about this: Do you want someone in the treasurer's position that answers to nobody, can come and go as they please and can shut the town down by leaving at anytime and is not required to have anyone to take their place. Or would you like the same person to be evaluated on performance, cross train with other employees, have an in-house replacement and be protected under the town’s personnel policy? Yes, you lose your right to vote on this position, but would you rather the town be efficient, cost effective and not have one person be able to shut the town down, or continue the right to vote for a position that nobody else runs for anyway?
Having been involved in municipal government in Union as a selectmen, school board member, appeals board, Pullen Committee, Little League and more, I can truly say: This is the most important thing the taxpayers of Union can do for the long term financial safety and security of the town. I believe this is so important and agree with a recent blog that it would be better for the town manager position be elected than the treasurer.
I urge all voters in Union to get the facts, look on the website, call or come in to visit me or the board, keep the personalities out of it and vote yes on local question 2 to change the treasurer from elected to appointed.
Union Town Manager
Spirit of togetherness
As an independent voter in Senate District 22, I am excited to have a candidate who has an established record of public service and the ability to think independently. That is why I support Ed Mazurek for state senator for Senate District 22.
I find it disturbing to witness Gov. Paul Lepage disparaging different populations in Maine and blaming them for the all the problems facing Maine. It is equally disturbing that the Republican political establishment supports the divisiveness that Charlie Webster and the Maine Heritage Foundation generate by slamming the reputations of various groups of Maine people. It is hard to sit by and see the majority party do so little about such negative politics. How does all this negativity create jobs?
We need a Senate candidate who will step up to the plate and bring everyone together to solve Maine’s problems. Coach Mazurek has a very long history of bringing together, as a team, many young people with different abilities and talents. He is a good man, and he understands that only when people work together can we succeed. Ed Mazurek knows both the problems and potential of Midcoast Maine. As an educator, city councilor, and state representative for Rockland and Owls Head for the last eight years, he understands the plight of the lobster industry, the employment roller coaster, the changing technology in industry, and the need for an educated and skilled labor force. He knows that real jobs enable workers to provide for themselves and their families, not merely provide profits for out of state corporations.
I am asking all voters in Senate District 22 to vote for Coach Ed Mazurek. We can change the culture in Augusta from divisiveness and negativity to a positive atmosphere and spirit of togetherness and success. Coach Mazurek can lead the way.
Among the trees
I spent a couple of my early enlisted years during World War II aboard minesweepers. Our main job was to clear paths along the coast for the ships in the convoys that followed. Radio protocol for the military was absolute silence except for possible encounter with the enemy. Back then, war regulations had forced many a seasoned merchant mariner to conform to the required radio protocols. The independence of these seafarers caused many of them to chafe bitterly and they often openly violated protocol. They were categorized as “quasi-military” and had to be tolerated. Today there is smooth properly coordinated cooperation between the military and the merchant services.
One such “tolerated” group were the small patrol boats whose owners were or had been fishermen especially off the New England coast. These fellows were granted some larger fuel allowances, had to paint their craft a dull gray and patrol the waters too shallow for military craft. Up here in Maine it meant patrolling betwixt and between the islands. Not infrequently we would pick up reports of German subs doing some manner of business between some islands. The captains of our little ships would tremble at the prospects of having to chase down such inter island traffic. Not that we feared the enemy so much as having to negotiate the waters which the charts told us were replete with all manner of natural hazards. Trepidations were heightened the more by our inability to do any follow-up communications with the original fisherman/spotter. Understandably, they were unfamiliar with the formalities of our military radio jargon. Often, to our request for a line of bearing, the response was a crisp — “ovah theah” which often caused us to wonder if we were speaking to fellow Americans.
Needless to say it was several patrols before we came to realize that we were dealing with that unique, colorful American known as a “Mainah.” Little did I realize then that decades later I would immerse myself in retirement amongst their numbers and become totally enamored with it all. Unfortunately, for many a “flatlander” the accent and brevity of expression does not belie the innate ingenuity, intelligence and talent of our native “Mainah." Coming from the academic scene of my professional world I have developed a healthy respect for the basic intelligence here abouts. I also revel at the color and succinctness in the native expressions.
To my view, such a “Mainah’s” expression, not to mention frustration is expressed in a colorful six-word piece of political poetry that rhymes beautifully, though sharply. Its on a sign on the north side of Route 17, not visible to the west bound driver but glaringly obvious from across the road to anyone going eastward. One needs to go out westward on Route 17 to Route 131, make a 180-degree turn and travel just about 200 yards eastward with a sharp eye out to the left beyond the north shoulder of Route 17. It’s on a 4-inch-by-6-inch foot piece of plywood, painted white, with hastily painted black letters. Its nailed to a tree just outside the tree line. Editorial neutrality dictates that the presidential candidate referred to not be named herein.
In our plethora of autumn colors, the 25 miles on Route 17 from Route 90 makes the trip the more pleasant for the curious of mind. Its classical “Mainah."
A better choice
I will not be voting for Republican Chris Rector for the Maine Senate. I strongly recommend all voters opposed to the Gov. LePage’s agenda and excesses also not to do so.
Sen. Rector has passed himself off as a moderate but the record of the past two years all too often shows the opposite. Many Democrats and unenrolled voters supported Rector in the past based on the illusion he is a moderate and a nice guy. Although he may be a nice guy he is certainly not a moderate.
Sen. Rector has supported the LePage agenda 92 percent of the time and he is neither a moderate nor a senator who can oppose the LePage agenda and his scorched earth policies. Reviews of Chris Rector’s votes clearly establish this assertion.
1. Rector voted to gut the Informed Growth Act, which required developers of retail stores larger than 75,000-square-feet to perform studies showing how they would impact surrounding communities (LD 322).
2. Rector voted against the bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.50 to $7.75 (LD 447).
3. Rector voted to allow money to have a greater influence in our elections by doubling the amount people can donate to candidates for governor from $750 to $1,500 (LD 856).
4. Rector voted to eliminate the right of workers to form a union at the notorious DeCoster Egg Farm (LD1207).
5. Rector voted to allow health insurance companies more freedom to charge customers what the market will bear, raising the cost of health insurance for those in who are elderly or live in rural areas (LD 1333).
There is a much better choice — Democrat Ed Mazurek. While he was in the House of Representatives he voted against those same bills that Rector voted for.
When you go to the polls this November, don't vote for the LePage/Rector agenda. Please vote for Ed Mazurek for the Knox County seat in the Maine Senate.
Pingree for Congress
This is an election year and its time that we mention the name of U.S. House of Representatives' Chellie Pingree. A lady from a small island home and former owner of a small business and a mother of two girls and a son, then one day came along and she said to herself, and I quote, "I think I will run and be a candidate for Congress" and the voters gave her the chance to go to Washington and now she is asking the voters of the First District to send her back to Congress while she works hard for the fishermen on the Maine coast. Also she tries to be help to the farmers and if she receives a letter from someone that lives in the First District, you will receive an answer from her office. It all boils down to the old saying " A small town girl makes good."
I read the Boston Herald for its sports page, not its politics, but I couldn't help but notice they had claimed that Romney had routed Obama in the debate. Routed? In the debate I'd watched, Romney had flip-flopped on almost every issue and I had kept waiting for Obama to turn to him and ask, "who are you and what have you done with Mitt?" But he didn't, so after an hour of this Romney performance, I switched channels to watch The Soup.
Before I switched Mitt had been saying he was all about jobs and that Obama was responsible for the 8.1 percent jobless rate. No surprise there, from the get-go the Republicans opposed any legislation that would boost the economy. The idea being that a poor economy would seal Obama's fate in the election. Unfortunately, for them, the jobless rate dipped to 7.8 percent after the debate.
This was met with disbelief and outrage by the far right and they had accused Obama and the labor department of fixing the numbers. The Democrats response had been that he controlled the numbers why did he let the jobless rate read 8.1 percent.
As an independent builder, small business owner, and former school board member (chairman at Mid-Coast School of Technolgy for 13 years) I strongly endorse Chris Rector for re-election to the Maine State Senate. There are two main reasons for this: Sen. Rector's support for small business and his creative and steady support for education. While a member of the Midcoast Builders Alliance, I worked with Chris to help develop uniform building codes and independent contractor definition. The work that Chris has done for contractors has established clarity in the building field. Clarity is good for employers, employees, and independent contractors. The outcome of Chris' efforts helps to assure clarity in the building trades where question arise.
In the area of education, Chris is one of the initiators of the Many Flags/One Campus concept that continues to move forward in the Midcoast. Chris has long-focused on the integration of vocational training through the career and technical education programs at Mid-Coast School of Technology with the academic programs in the sending high schools. Chris Rector has long taken a leadership role in driving education solutions. He deserves to be re-elected to the State Senate on Nov. 6.
Owner of Murray Builders
Elect Ed Mazurek
I recently received a legislative update from Chris Rector touting a number of purported legislative accomplishments and in particular reforming Maine’s health insurance laws.
This might be an accomplishment if you are naive enough to believe the following:
That expelling 27,000 needy people from insurance coverage is an accomplishment. (this cost will be transferred to all of us through the cost of emergency treatment);
That giving health insurance companies the unfettered right to raise premiums up to 10 percent per year without a hearing or any government oversight is an accomplishment;
That allowing insurance lobbyists to write the legislation is an accomplishment;
That requiring all policy holders to pay a $4 per month tax for each person covered under their policy for a reinsurance pool for older and sicker people is an accomplishment;
That permitting insurance companies to charge premiums based on where a person lives is an accomplishment. (Rural participants are already paying increased premiums as a result).
It is strongly suggested the LePage/Rector accomplishments are doing great harm to the social fabric of Maine and we need new and different voices in the Senate.
This is why I am recommending we elect Ed Mazurek as our next Knox County senator.
Ann M. Bex
Seen him in action
Recently I had a problem that needed to be solved at the state level with the help of Sen. Chris Johnson. I was very impressed with how promptly he and his staff responded to my situation, and how quickly he understood the complicated details of the problem. I was also very appreciative of his time, his effective efforts, and his support. After helping me to work with state officials on a resolution, the very next morning he began the process of remedying the ambiguity in the regulation to prevent future problems such as mine.
Chris Johnson is a hard-working, intelligent man who means it when he says he's there to work for his constituents. I know; I have seen him in action.
Let him continue
Rep. Ed Mazurek has represented District 47 (Rockland and part of Owls Head) for the last eight years, and has done so quite successfully. As a member of the Marine Resources Committee, and later as co-chair of the Transportation Committee, Rep. Mazurek not only thought of the needs of the people in his district, but of the state as a whole. He has sponsored bills to reduce taxes paid on fuel used by fisherman and parts purchased by windjammers; to start a pilot program to help schools serve local produce and seafood to students; to allow military personnel permanently stationed in Maine to qualify for the Homestead Tax Exemption; and other important legislation pertaining to our roadways and other modes of transportation. He also served on committees concerned with the groundfishing industry, the working waterfront, and rail.
His experience on the Rockland City Council, the Penquis Community Action Program Advisory Board and his service in the House gives him the breadth of experience we need in the Senate.
Please help send Ed Mazurek to the Maine Senate so he can continue to his work representing the people of Knox County.
Lisa Miller sat for four years on the Health and Human Services Committee, the committee of oversight for the Department of Health and Human Services, which grew to such a shambles and was in dire need of serious reform and then she sat two years on the Appropriations Committee.
During Miller's term the debt to our hospitals grew phenomenally, MaineCare grew to an unsustainable level, and our rainy day fund, continuously robbed, was diminished to the point that the state's yearly audits began to speak to these factors needing addressing. This is one reason I do not look favorably upon Miller's style of representing. DHHS serves critical functions for the most vulnerable in our society. During Miller's terms DHHS was allowed to grow to the mess it had become while she sat on the committee of oversight.
During Representative Sanderson's first term comprehensive insurance reform was finally enacted, resulting in decreasing premiums and increasing affordability and choice for the people, MaineCare experienced major overhauls including capping the controversial endless methadone “treatments” that invite perpetual addiction on the taxpayer's dime, repayment of our hospitals had substantially begun, while certain bureaucrats' wasteful spending was actually addressed. This is the kind of representing that I applaud; the kind that shows a real understanding of the serious business that governing entails.
I will be voting to re-elect Deb Sanderson; for the respect she has shown by her frugal, thoughtful and effective representing.
My point is that moderator Martha Raddatz could of done a better job as moderator. She did not ask the candidates to speak one at a time and I felt that the vice president was allowed more time to Congressman Paul Ryan, who was cut short several times. I could be wrong but I think Ms. Raddatz was taking on the side of Vice President Biden. Myself I would have enjoyed the moderator be a newsman. Also I think that the vice president should not be laughing.
Citizens' interests at heart
I am supporting Ed Mazurek for the Knox County seat in the Maine State Senate. Rep. Ed Mazurek has proven himself an excellent public official. He represented Rockland and parts of Owls Head for eight years in the Maine House of Representatives. He is a former member of the Rockland City Council and Mayor of Rockland. He was an excellent and caring teacher. He taught and coached at Rockland High School for many years. He is also a warm and active citizen. He is a member of the Rockland Coast Guard Committee, on the board of directors of the Maine Lighthouse Museum, and a member of the Elks and the Knights of Columbus. Ed is a graduate of Xavier University and has masters degree from Fairfield University. He and his wife Maryellen have four children and four grandchildren.
By electing him to the Maine Senate, the people of the rest of Knox County will quickly learn what those that live in Rockland and Owls Head already know – that Ed will keep their interests and those of rest of the state at heart.
Vote for Ed Mazurek for Senate District 22.
Crossed $3 million mark
As honorary chairman of the Snow Bowl Capital Campaign, I am thrilled to tell you we have crossed the $3 million mark! This certainly reflects many contributors making this unique community resource a priority.
This project has been in the works for a number of years and plans have been made that include a new lodge, chairlifts, and trails for year-round uses such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding.
The history and development of the Snow Bowl has been a joy to be part of and there’s something so wonderful about seeing generations of families enjoying outdoor activities in our beautiful Camden Hills.
Dave and I go back more than 60 years and four generations of great moments at the Snow Bowl. I’ve known other longtime skiing families as well as newer families now enjoying all sorts of year-round activities.
It’s been great fortune to have a $400,000 private matching “challenge” pledged to help our committee complete the campaign. How wonderful it would be if we could all pitch in and help reach this immediate goal by Thanksgiving.
To learn more about the challenge and campaign feel free to contact Campaign co-chairmen Erin Flanagan at 785-5240 or Mort Strom at 236-3052. You can also find extensive information about the redevelopment plans overall by going on the Snow Bowl website camdensnowbowl.com.
A liberal for Rector
It’s that time again. Every two years I step out of the closet and let the whole world know that I am indeed a liberal Democrat through and through. And this year, as in the past, I am declaring that I am once again supporting a moderate Republican, Chris Rector, for the state Senate.
Now, more than ever, we need a true moderate representing us in Augusta. Chris Rector is that moderate — fiscally conservative and socially progressive. In the mold of Olympia Snowe (and George Mitchell for that matter), Chris Rector presents a balanced and reasoned voice in a tempestuous sea of highly-polarized partisan yelling.
Chris is thoughtful, knowledgeable, independent and energetic. As a long-time member of the non-partisan and highly respected Maine Economic Growth Council, Chris has perhaps the most in-depth knowledge of the complex business and economic issues facing Maine of any legislator currently serving in Augusta.
In case you have forgotten — here are a few reminders of why we all sent Chris to the state Senate in the first place:
Stood up to LePage — Chris was one of only eight Republicans to publicly reprimanded the LePage administration for inappropriate comments and the Governor’s “tone” early in his administration;
Supported Same Day Voter Registration — Chris was one of only three Republicans in the entire Legislature to vote with the Democrats against the ban on same day voter registration;
Resisted Union busting efforts — as committee chairman, Chris resisted the LePage administration’s attempt to rush anti-union legislation through;
Bipartisan support for R&D Investment in Maine — along with House Minority Leader Emily Cain (D), Chris introduced a bond bill to invest in Maine’s R&D future (a bill that was strongly opposed by Gov. LePage and many of the leaders of the Republican party);
Supported same sex marriage – Chris was one of only two courageous Republicans in the state Senate to stand up in favor of same sex marriage (he has been in the cross hairs of the far right wing and Tea Party ever since);
Supported a woman’s right to choose — Chris has consistently supported a woman’s right to choose and was one of only five Republicans in the Senate to vote against his own party’s bill to criminalize offenses against a fetus — a measure that was designed to erode abortion rights in Maine;
Worked with Democrats to re-write Gov. LePage’s energy bill — Chris joined with Democrats to rewrite Gov. LePage’s energy bill. When it came to this issue, Gov. LePage is quoted as saying, “I hope the people in November remember his name,” meaning the Governor would rather see Rector replaced by a Democrat. As Bill Nemitz sarcastically noted in the Portland Press Herald, “and they say LePage isn’t bipartisan!”
So I urge all Democrats out there to think independently — beyond party labels — and consider supporting Chris Rector — a true moderate with a bipartisan track record.
And to my fellow Democrats who wisely voted for Chris in the past, I say, “fear not.” While Maine’s Republican Party certainly has drifted ever farther to the right — Chris Rector has not. You remember why you voted for him in the past — he’s the same Chris Rector now that he was then. We need his energy, his knowledge, and his independent voice of moderation — now more than ever.
Thank you for support
On behalf of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thank you to many individuals and businesses for the collective efforts that took place in Harbor Park and the City of Rockland during the past few weeks in preparation for visits of Oceania Cruises MS Regatta (Sept. 28 and Oct. 15) and the maiden voyage to Rockland of The World – Residences at Sea (Oct. 12-14). The MS Regatta carried 632 passengers and 398 crew members on the Oct. 15 port visit. The World – Residences at Sea had 56 residents, 33 guests and 240 crew on board during its stay.
The Chamber of Commerce Visitor & Hospitality Services team of Alicia Bagnall and Sarah Shepherd, the Camden chamber office volunteers Judith Tarbox and Fran Moore, and Lorain Francis, executive director of Rockland Main Street Inc., coordinated our overall volunteer shifts in both Rockland (public landing and Main Street) and Camden (Village Green). The following volunteers were invaluable in our efforts to assist these visitors by sea during the three port of call visits: John Allbee, Barbara and Leon Bausch, Phelps Bristol (who was on board the two vessels assisting their concierge staffs during their port calls), Sally Bristol, Ann Bacon, Susanne Carey, Barbara Cizmazija, Stan Elliott, Priscilla Granston, David Harden, Lucinda Hathaway, Renee Hutcheon, Evelyn Kalloch, Dottie Liberty, Mark Masterson, Ann Matlack, Martha McCann, Fran Moore, Pat O’Brien, JoAnn Peace, Leona Pierpont, Fred Reinke, Karyn Rizzo, Tom Rizzo, Judith Tarbox, Bob Williams, Arlene Woodman and Jennifer Woodman.
I would also like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their contributions and overall assistance: Jess's Market, Dottie & Bob Liberty (décor); Woody Emanuel of Admiral’s Buttons (two-sided map of downtown businesses in Camden and Rockland); All Aboard Trolley — Jim Gamage and his staff; Schooner Bay Taxi — Chris and Renita Merritt and their staff; city of Rockland — city manager James Smith, Mayor Brian Harden, Harbormaster Ed Glaser and the public works department; Amy Powers — CruiseMaineUSA; Frank Isganitis — board president of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce (and mini-lobster trap tree set-up); Farnsworth Art Museum; Owls Head Transportation Museum; Schooner Appledore — Capt. John McKean; Cellardoor Winery — Bettina Doulton; Plants Unlimited — Hammon Buck (décor); Green Thumb — Alice Schultz (décor); Brooks Trap Mill — Stephen Brooks (lobster traps for mini-lobster trap tree); Adventure Advertising and Rock Coast Sports — Mike Czosnek (signage); and Muriel Curtis (assistance with set-up).
During The World visit, there was a maiden voyage private ceremony and presentation of gifts aboard the vessel with the captain on Oct. 13. Thank you to the following individuals who participated in this welcoming ceremony and private tour: Amy Powers — director of CruiseMaineUSA; Frank Isganitis — PBRCC Board President; Brian Harden — mayor, city of Rockland; James Smith – Rockland city manager; Lorain Francis — director of Rockland Main Street Inc.; Rep. Ed Mazurek and Maryellen Mazurek; Ed Glaser — Rockland harbormaster; Carol Maines — County commissioner; Martin Cates — select board chairman, town of Camden; and Deborah Tobey, development officer — Farnsworth Art Museum.
As an active member of CruiseMaineUSA since 2001, we had been actively working with our partners within this coalition for many years in support of the development of a responsible and sustainable cruise ship program for the Midcoast region, including additional vessels like the privately-owned residential yacht, The World – Residences at sea. As a Chamber of Commerce, our vision statement and mission have been aligned with elements of the city of Rockland’s Comprehensive Plan (2002) in working together to engage community stakeholders and foster careful and responsible economic growth in the development of a sustainable cruise ship program, while staying mindful in our endeavors of balancing the area’s business growth and development with our natural attributes, heritage and exceptional quality of life.
A number of milestones have been achieved through these collective efforts. 2011 was Oceania Cruises first visit to Maine and the North Atlantic in their history. Inquiries about Rockland by Senior Vice President of Operations of ResidenSEA’s The World – Residences at Sea, led to a FAM tour of Maine in the summer of 2005 that was very well-received, with a confirmation that Rockland should definitely be part of their future itinerary planning in their next visit to Maine. The selection process for a given destination for this privately-owned residential yacht is based upon a vote taken by their residents two or more years in advance, so we continued to build our relationship over the years, and ultimately we received confirmation in August 2010 that The World – Residences at Sea would be calling on Rockland in the fall of 2012.
Cruise ship visits to the Midcoast have been steadily growing, with the retention of multiple sailings from American Cruise Lines and the return of Blount Small Ship Adventures in August 2012 (three port visits), resulting in 29 cruise ship visits, our highest number ever. The 2013 season is looking very strong, with three port calls confirmed for the MS Regatta (Sept. 15, Oct, 3, Oct. 9) and 28 port calls from American Cruise Lines from June through October.
We are looking forward to our continued collaboration and partnerships in the community as we build on our success in carefully growing this industry as one element of the economic sustainability of the entire region.
Director of Operations
Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce
Why I'm voting for Jeff Evangelos
I rarely write letters to the editor, but the recent vicious smear campaign against Jeff Evangelos has motivated me to speak out. I've known Jeff for more than 20 years and he is not a politician. A politician is someone who does things for his own benefit and who is willing to smear someone to gain advantage. This describes the recent conduct of Jeff's opponents, who are conducting one of the dirtiest campaigns against Jeff we've ever witnessed in Maine. Jeff, on the other hand, is running an honorable and clean campaign. Jeff is not a politician; he's a statesman, which means he makes decisions based on the public's behalf, even when it runs counter to his personal interests. In other words he's fair and cares about other people.
After graduating from the University of Maine, the town of Warren took a chance on a 23-year-old and named Jeff their town manager. Jeff served admirably, and oversaw the construction of the Warren Fire Station, town garage, and Payson Park footbridge, among his many accomplishments. In 1980, he became business administrator for School Administrative District 40, a position he held for 15 years. His sharp business acumen and fiscal conservatism saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jeff also oversaw the construction of SAD 40s building program, which included the addition to our Friendship Village School, Miller School addition in Waldoboro, the Prescott School addition in Washington, and the new school on Route 17 in Union. He also appeared before the State Board of Education on behalf of the town of Warren and insisted that Warren receive state funding for their new school that replaced the old Frank Rowe School.
In 1991, while living in Warren and serving as SAD 40s business administrator, Jeff surprised a lot of people when acting against his own personal interests, he rose up in defense of the people in Friendship. He courageously supported a compromise that fairly-balanced the cost of education in SAD 40. The people of Friendship have never forgotten his leadership and courage and his insistence on fair play for all. We will never forget this in Friendship. That is why I call him a statesman.
In 1996, Jeff moved to Friendship. He lives a quiet self-sufficient life on his small farm, cutting wood, growing beef and tending a large vegetable garden. He shares his produce with his neighbors. As he had done in Warren for 21 years, Jeff became involved in our community. As an unpaid volunteer, Jeff has written a variety of grants for the Friendship Museum and the town of Friendship. One of these grants, written for the museum, resulted in the production of the book “Friendship Homes." This book received Maine's highest award for historic preservation in 2008. Jeff's experience and knowledge as a public administrator also helped guide the town of Friendship through a serious financial crisis in 2005. We will never forget this in Friendship.
Recently, Jeff and I were chatting in front of Wallace's Market. I told Jeff I was outraged by the vicious attacks that have appeared in our mailboxes. The latest attack featured a bomb going off under Jeff's picture. While we were talking, a lobsterman pulled up beside us in his pickup truck and hollered, “Don't worry Jeff, we've got your back covered.” I think most people in the towns of Cushing, Friendship, Warren, and Union would agree that these attacks have crossed a major line. As I said, the people of Friendship have long memories; we will never forget what Jeff has done for us. Despite the attacks, Jeff has refused to retaliate and continues to run a clean campaign with a positive message. On Nov. 6 the voters will have the final say about the tactics used against Jeff. He will serve our towns in the Legislature with distinction and honor.
Arthur “Bubba” Thompson
Truly special event
The Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston was transformed for two hours into a cabaret during Saturday’s (Oct. 13) concert featuring The Sweetest Sounds led by producer/pianist John Mulcahey and singers Andrew Fenniman and Nancy Durgin. The church’s Outreach Program benefited from these wonderful musicians who donated their time and talent singing songs of Richard Rogers and Irving Berlin. All associated with St. Johns are sincerely grateful to John, Andrew and Nancy for their generosity. It was an evening that will long be remembered as a truly special event.
St. John Special Events Committee
Out with the bathwater
On Nov. 6, I am voting against ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council wages war against our democracy. Funded by huge corporations, such as Exxon, Monsanto, oil baron Koch brothers, and big tobacco, this secretive, powerful group writes model legislation to benefit their own bottom line. And state legislators are wined, dined, and brainwashed into sponsoring these bills.
Just of few of their policies, out of more than 800 model bills, would begin the gradual process of privatizing Social Security, Medicare, and public schools. When you hear the word “voucher," that is the beginning of the end for these historically successful programs.
ALEC promotes inequality for minorities, opposes women’s rights and bargaining rights for workers, and offers “stand your ground” bills like Florida’s. But perhaps the worst threat to our democracy is voter suppression, aimed at making it difficult or impossible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote. In Maine, Charlie Summers brought us voter suppression; our people’s veto threw it out.
The following state legislators are, or were, tied to ALEC as of Oct 12, as listed online by Sourcewatch.org:
Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Hancock; Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Penobscot; Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock; Sen. Christopher Rector, R-Knox; Sen. Mike Thibodeau, R- Waldo; Former Sen. Carol Weston, Waldo; Rep. Ryan Harmon, R-Palermo; Rep. James Hamper, R, Oxford; Secretary of State, Charlie Summers, candidate for Snowe’s Senate seat
When ALEC was exposed last summer by the mainstream press and Bill Moyers (see his documentary, The United States of ALEC, on Democracynow.org) more than 50 corporations and 70 legislators resigned ALEC, denouncing it as un-American. Not one Maine legislator quit.
Time to throw these babies out with the ALEC bathwater.
Newcomer for Rector
Since moving to Maine in early July, I have had the good fortune to meet State Sen. Chris Rector in a number of situations: church group discussions of how we can support homeless people through the winter months, chamber of commerce presentations supporting local business entrepreneurs, and a range of other community efforts in Knox County, Portland, and Lewiston.
Chris’s generosity of time, information, and introductions for me as a newcomer has far exceeded anything I might have expected from a busy friend, much less an erstwhile stranger and an active state senator.
After meeting Chris I examined much of his record. Although I may not yet have deep familiarity with many local issues as long-time residents, I can state unequivocally that I found his work to be socially principled, financially sound, and reassuringly future-oriented.
I have also asked many people about candidates, and both local and state-wide issues. Remarkably, but not surprising, virtually every one I’ve talked with has vigorously confirmed my view that Chris’s constituents have been superbly well-represented in Augusta.
Given the choice to cast an absentee ballot in Oregon, where I lived for 18 years — and still feel intimately connected to candidates and issues — or in Maine, where I have chosen to start a new life and am still adapting to its ways, I am convinced that casting a vote for Chris Rector is a great investment — for success with my new life here, for this region I now embrace, and for the state’s economic and environmental vitality.
Chris Rector has my vote, and I fervently hope voters in his district, moved by experience deeper than mine, acknowledge his passion for serving, his consistent and reliable leadership and the positive results he has delivered by sending him back to Augusta for another term.
Protect all families
We, the undersigned are called to raise our unified voice in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry in Maine. Though we may have diverse theologies, all our religions hold up the universal values of tolerance, compassion, equality and love; all our religions teach that there is no religion without justice. Religion is about what holds us together as individuals, as loving couples and as a community. So, our faith requires us, not only, to speak of human dignity, but also to work to ensure that every member of our community is treated fairly. Our religious values, our professional responsibility and our basic ethics insist that we embrace and nurture and protect all families and allow all Mainers to care for and make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.
Our vote and our advocacy is grounded in our faith in a just and loving God and is inspired by the teachings of Jesus who ministered to those who were wrongly marginalized in his own time, and who called us to give a voice to the voiceless, to widen the welcome table and to love our neighbors as our selves.
As religious professionals with the responsibility of knowing and naming our religious history, we also clearly recognize Question 1 as an issue of the separation of church and state. That division has been important to each of our traditions; and we applaud the clear intent in this law to protect the religious freedom of those still struggling with this issue. No church will be forced to marry any couple. Question 1 addresses issuing marriage licenses to all couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation. This is a civil right that should be extended to all Maine citizens.
Finally, as citizens, we are moved by the transformative values of our country’s founding; and we are still inspired by the idea of a self-evident truth that we are all created equal and that we are all entitled to the basic human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This dream has not yet been realized but with each widening of the welcome table, with each extension of rights to those who have wrongly had them denied, we take one step closer to this ideal.
Take this step with us.
Vote yes on 1, so Maine can be the state and the shining example that, in the words of Langston Hughes, “lets America be the dream that dreamers dreamed.”
Rev. Mark Glovin, Rockland, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Kevin Pleas, Camden, United Church of Christ
Rev. Nancy R. Duncan, Rockland, United Church of Christ
Rev. Peter Jenks, Thomaston, Episcopal
Rev. Dr. Susan Stonestreet, Lincolnville, United Church of Christ
Rev. Juni Shepardson, Rockland, Retired Local Pastor, United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Diana Lee Beach, Thomaston, Episcopal
Rev. Joan Smith, Rockland, United Church of Christ
Rev. Ralph Moore, Rockland, Episcopal Priest, Retired
Rev. Judy Mullins, Owls Head, United Church of Christ
Rev. Peter T. Richardson, Rockland, Unitarian Universalist, Retired
Rev. Jeffrey T. Belcher, Tenants Harbor, United Church of Christ, Retired
Rev. Theodore Kanellakis, Camden, Episcopal Priest, Retired
Johnson for small business
Small business is in my blood. As a third generation pharmacist and business owner I support Chris Johnson for the Maine State Senate.
The Maine Republican Party recently put out a mailing saying that Chris Johnson is anti-small business. That is a gross distortion and claimed Chris would do away with the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement. He never considered such a foolish thing. It is an out-and-out false claim. Take a minute to think. Why would any politician say they were anti-business in the state of Maine? Almost all of our businesses are small. Chris works for a small business. He knows that nearly 70 percent of our jobs are in small businesses. If you want to know more about this honorable and reasonable man go to his web page senatorchrisjohnson.org and learn the truth.
Please join me, a conservative business man and vote for Chris Johnson.
Maine can be proud of its clean air and the vast majority of us would be against anybody who would do anything to pollute it. Why ruin a good thing and go against our best interests? That’s why I’m so upset that our state’s Clean Election Act has been stripped of its teeth and that State Sen. Chris Rector voted to do it.
The Maine Clean Election Act was approved overwhelmingly in 1996 and it leveled the playing field so that candidates who can’t afford to spend large amounts of their own money could run fairly against more wealthy opponents with ties to special interests.
Senator Rector has voted to turn the clock back on Maine’s Clean Election Act despite the fact that recent polling shows that nearly 80 percent of us were totally fine with things they way they were. Now, we can thank Rector and his Republican colleagues for making it easier for the wealthy and special interests to outspend their Clean Election opponents.
Candidates in Maine have traditionally knocked on doors and met with community groups to get their message across. That’s how elections work best and it’s what we had here before State Sen. Rector voted to change things and take us back to the days when private money spoke too loudly and gave an unfair advantage.
Even a couple fellow Republicans bucked Gov. LePage and their party to do the right thing and vote against the weakening of Maine’s Clean Election Act. Regrettably, Chris Rector didn’t join them and voted instead for special interests over our best interests. We need Ed Mazurek as our state senator. Just as he will protect our clean air, Ed Mazurek will fight to restore clean elections.
Does not reflect his values
I can't vote for Chris Rector this year.
Every two years we get to decide whether the legislators that represent us in Augusta are doing a good job of representing our views. I can tell you that this election I will be sending a message to Chris Rector that his constant support for the Gov. LePage Tea Party positions does not reflect my beliefs or views.
As a senator he voted for the Republican’s partisan health insurance rate hike bill that is causing health insurance costs for small businesses and individuals to rise across Maine. He refused to close property tax loopholes for the rich and he voted in favor of tax breaks that largely benefited Maine’s top 1 percent. Then he voted against a tax cut that would put more money in the pockets of middle class and working Mainers.
For years, I thought of Chris as a moderate who proudly thought for himself and had the best interests of his constituents at heart, but a close look at his voting record tells me something quite different. He voted in support of Gov. LePage 92 percent of the time. Two years ago, I was part of the 61 percent majority that did not vote for Gov. LePage, and I still believe that he and his supporters are not what is best for Maine.
We deserve a lawmaker who understands that doing what is right for his constituents is more important than scoring political points in Augusta. That’s why this November, I am supporting Ed Mazurek for the Knox County Senate seat.
Get the facts
Some recent letters to this newspaper have said that Chris Rector, Knox County's Senator, is bi-partisan and moderate. I wish this were true — the facts show a very different picture.
To get the facts, go to the pro-LePage conservative PAC Maine People Before Politics. This conservative PAC gave Chris Rector a 92 percent approval rating. (Source: People's Report Card for the 125th Maine Legislature at mainepeoplebeforepolitics).
With this record, how can he be called a moderate and bi-partisan? The truth is that in the last two years, Sen. Rector has been a strong supporter of Gov. LePage. Because I don't support Gov. LePage's agenda for Maine, I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who stands with the governor 92 percent of the time.
I am happy to have Chris Rector as a neighbor. When it comes to representing Knox County, I am voting for Ed Mazurek for the Knox County Senate seat.
Evangelos for District 49
I am writing to you today to voice my support for Jeffrey Evangelos, independent for House District 49, representing Union, Warren, Cushing and Friendship. I have known Jeff for nearly 40 years and found him to be intelligent, honest, hardworking and willing to listen to all sides of an argument, allowing for negotiation and compromise. I also know Jeff to be dedicated to civil and human rights, personal freedom and social responsibility. I served on Union's budget committee for 21 years, 18 as its chairman; I understand the need for fiscal restraint in municipal budgets and know that Jeff Evangelos has a proven track record of fiscal conservatism.
When I first met Jeff he was Warren's town manager. I remember this highly motivated young man, fresh from UMO with a master's degree in American History, willing, even anxious, to make the world a better place. During his tenure, Warren built a new town garage and fire station, built the footbridge across the river at Payson Park and bought a gravel pit, at a bargain price, to provide the town with material for many years. The site is now further utilized as the town's transfer station. Jeff left a legacy of significant, long-term improvements for the betterment of the town.
I next had a connection with Jeff through the SAD 40 superintendent’s office, where my wife was the bookkeeper and Jeff was the business manager. In this role Jeff was responsible for non-teaching personnel, buses and buildings. For 20 years Jeff presented balanced budgets while fighting to provide living wages and benefits for the workers. He worked diligently to reduce operating costs of the district's infrastructure through efficiency and planning. Jeff's hard work and vision has saved all the towns in the district huge money and improved the facilities that our children attend.
Jeff understands what it takes to earn your way and provide for a family. After retiring from public service, Jeff successfully ran his own small business in Waldoboro for 20 years and moved to his self-sufficient farm in Friendship. He has never lost sight of, or his concern for, those in our society who have experienced discrimination.
For a representative who is intelligent, hardworking, experienced in public government and private business, fiscally conservative and with a proven record of standing for the rights of women and minorities, I strongly endorse independent candidate Jeffrey Evangelos for House District 49, and urge my friends in Union, Warren, Cushing and Friendship to vote for Jeff on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Support for Carter
I have been acquainted with Bob Carter for the past 35 years. He is loyal, honest, compassionate and knowledgeable about our district's needs.
Bob is not a complacent person, but rather someone who is proactive when problems arise. Therefore, I urge District 49 residents to vote for Robert Carter for state Legislature on Nov. 26.