Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette

Jan 17, 2013

Sarcasm and facetiousness

One of the tenants of writing is that sarcasm and facetiousness do not translate well into writing. Too much facial expression and intonation is lost and with it, meaning. So, what?

A Jan. 10 Courier letter to the editor carried an astute political commentary on gun control. The first argument is the need to take advantage of children dying for political purpose. This of course is wise because President Obama is doing it, so it can't be bad. Joe Biden has been ordered to come up with a legislative proposal before the political advantage of using dead children to promote their cause has worn off. Some find the approach reprehensible, but that depends on who's holding the gun to your head.

Secondly, I'd like to address the writer's line of cars, backed up at a green light while he took long notice of the signs. I was in the first vehicle. I didn't beep for two reasons. I'd been by three other times and beeped. Also, knowing the writer was very fidgety and focused on those signs I didn't wish to jump him, throw him into road rage and have him pull his gun out. We'd never make it through the green light. The next vehicle was a school bus. School employees never, ever, influence kids while on duty. A beep from that driver might cause me to pull over creating an even larger traffic jam and exposing others to even longer beeping or cursing time.

The fourth vehicle was an ambulance carrying a home invasion victim. As someone without a gun, they called 911 for someone with a gun, but they were too late. Unnecessary beeping by ambulance drivers is prohibited.

The fifth vehicle was an elderly driver who is only allowed to drive because weak politicians playing to their vote are not able to do anything reasonable about them. That person couldn't see the signs even with the bumper leaning against the ambulance in front. That's O.K., they didn't know what the signs meant. I heard one say they were anti-abortion protestors.

I could address the other vehicles, but all were too far away to read the signs and they were texting anyway.

What can we do? If the NRA says "right," the opposition screams, "left," and louder.

Expecting local legislators and commentators, I haven't heard of any extreme proposals. Not even by President Obama, yet. You can be sure whatever is proposed will be shouted down as quickly as it is released.

We know it's impossible to improve on current laws or regulations, but as long as we shamelessly use the deaths of children for political advantage, I'm sure that will help.

I do not know when the real nut season is, but a lot seem to be falling now.

A mixed nut.

Kevin Fellows

Rockland

 

Taxpayers should know

"No comment" is all you hear when asked why the warden of the Maine State Prison was fired. If it was management problems why not tell the public, or in other words, taxpayers of the state of Maine who pays the salary. But if it was just management on the warden's part, tell the media and let the taxpayers of the state of Maine know who will be in charge of the prison.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

 

Generous and thoughtful

 

The people of Waldoboro have been amazing once again this year in their generous donations this holiday season! It’s been a rough year for everyone economically. The people of Waldoboro have proven to be amazingly generous and thoughtful. I see it every year, but it still awes me how generous you are. This year’s Waldoboro Toy Program went very well, with a lot of help from you. As always, I feel very privileged to be part of such a wonderful and generous event.

We provided toys, hats and mittens to 173 children (or 73 families) this year. We started the year with $3,085.46 (as of December 2012) in the Waldoboro Toy Program account and we spent $2,132.23 on toys, hats and mittens. We raised $1,914.22. We earned $6.55 in interest for 2012.

I would like to thank the citizens of Waldoboro who helped make this year’s Waldoboro Toy Program come together successfully. I especially want to thank the many children who donated toys so that other children could have a better Christmas; my hat is off to you all.

This year we had an interesting thing happen. Toys and money were donated in memory of Gordon and Dorothy Scott, Alice Sanborn, Patricia Chapman and Wyatt Andrew Hall. Thank you to all the people who thought of the children of Waldoboro in the name of their loved ones, and friends.

I would like to thank the following people and businesses for their donations of money, wrapping supplies, mittens, hats, and moral support: The Methodist Church and the Methodist Women’s Group, The Masons King Solomon’s Lodge, Meenagha Grange 555, Soule-Shuman VFW Aux. 4525, Medomak Valley Senior Citizens, the money that came in memory of Gordon and Dorothy Scott, Judy Nichols, Charles C. Lilly Post 149 – American Legion, Ronald and Martha Barend, Becky Maxwell and the Waldoboro Women’s Club, Ralph and Gertrude Hoffses, Soule-Shuman Post 4525, John and Susan Morris, Doris and Wallace Prock, Shirley Woodcock, Eleanor Smith, Medomak Valley Honor Society, Coastal Christian School students, Medomak Middle School students, Medomak Valley High School students, The First National Bank of Damariscotta Advisors Group, Eagle’s Nest knitted donations, Sue Powers, Elsie Hilton, Mary Logue, James Pyne, Burton and Margaret Smith, Joyce Beaudoin, Maine Antique Digest and its employees, Sierra Sproul, Robert Lipinsky, Pan and John Blamey, Midcoast Shrine Club, Patricia Lambert, Marcie Martin, Trista Tracy, Patricia MaGee, Bill Maxwell, Hilma Foster, Susan and Larry Jackson, Reny’s, Rachel Genthner, Ronald and Lillian Dolloff, Wanda Collamore, Devon Ponsant, Debbie Winchenbach, Ann Bennett, Jan Barter, and Julie Tracy. Lastly I would like to thank Pam Rengle for all her valuable help and moral support. If I missed anyone in the shuffle I apologize and assure you that all the help was needed and greatly appreciated.

As always, I was greatly impressed with Waldoboro’s generosity, caring and giving. Without your support this program would not be possible. Thank you. I hope the coming year brings prosperity, happiness and health to you all.

Melody Tracy

Waldoboro Toy Program

 

Where have they gone

I write this letter to your office to address the ongoing issues facing our nation. For starters let's go backward in time and the removal of the Ten Commandments from our schools and public places and this includes our courts and then at the same time we as a nation have banned prayer in school.

The reason for this is not an easy issue to address due to the fact that there are those who will stay that if God does exist why does he not step in and put a stop to all of this. I will say this: God does not work on our time schedule and there will come a time when he will deal with everything that we face.

The problem we have is what we were given in the very beginning of time and that people is our free will and this means choosing between doing good and obeying God or choosing to do otherwise and suffering for it.

Now do not get me wrong here I am not perfect in any way but I will that I do believe in God, our Father, and I can and will say he has answers to our questions. The problem here is listening to him and, yes, this means praying.

But I will say this: the answers he gives us do not always please our human way of thinking. Now the issues we are facing such as the mass shootings that are occurring more and more and the children at these locations were killed by the use of weapons that fire multiple rounds in a matter of seconds. Then the media comes up with an issue where it involves the Internet, text messaging and so on. That issue is the possible rape of a young lady and two young people openly talking about the same on the web and posting it.

And in the recent past the issue of gun control vs. assault weapons being up for sale and the moment gun control was even mentioned the sale of assault weapons went through the roof in a matter of speaking. I would like to know why in the world someone in the private sector would even want to own an assault weapon anyway.

While at the same time I was made aware of the sale of weapons and thought the means of what I call a street-side buy, namely someone selling a weapon to a friend or someone without having to do a background check. And the end results is we end up with weapons being used for crimes, but with with no way of knowing how many owners it had.

now the question I have to ask to all of this and it goes back to the start of this and that is where have they gone and what I am talking about is our morals. I would say we have thrown them out the door in order to do as we damn well please and damn be the consequences if any. We have become a society hell bent on getting our way at any price and do not tell me no in this area.

We are seeing the end result of trying our best to push God out of our lives and now we are paying for it in ways we cannot understand but this is only the beginning and unless we change direction now we will only see it get worse.

We can try all we want to push God out, but in the end he will be the one saying one thing to all of us "I warned you of what would happen, you just did not want to listen to me."

Weapons will never solve any problem that we have, but seeking God, the Father, through prayer will give us a peace that passes anything we can ever ask for or for that matter a peace that passes any understanding of our human thinking.

But do not take my word for this, instead try praying about this issue and see what happens, but give it time and take time to listen in silence alone with only God present you might be surprised at what you find out.

I will say this: Unless we bring back God into our lives we will in the end only end up hurting ourselves worse that we are now.

Robert J. Robinson

Thomaston

 

Just say no to lobster subsidies

On Jan. 7 at a Department of Marine Resources meeting in Friendship newly-elected Representative for District 49 Jeff Evangelos announced he thinks the state of Maine should subsidize the lobster industry here in Maine. He claimed there was plenty of money in the general fund and that if the government subsidizes the milk industry it should also do the same for the lobster industry. I am greatly disturbed by the obvious inability of the representative to demonstrate a sense of fiscal responsibility to the public. This is a good example of elected officials in charge of spending Other Peoples Money and driving us into debt with no sense of accountability. There is not plenty of money in the general fund.

First, the state of Maine has a $220 million budget shortfall. That means we have $220 million in bills to pay more than we have money to spend and unlike the federal government the state of Maine can’t print money to cover its debt.

Second, our local hospital, Pen Bay is owed approximately $14 million by MaineCare, a program supported by Evangleos who has no plan to repay this past due bill. I feel rather than creating new debt we should pay our existing bills.

Third, the Maine lobster industry is a multi-million dollar industry here in the state and as such should be able to fund its own development. In 2011, total lobster landings in Maine were 106 million pounds and preliminary 2012 landings were around 123 million pounds. I applaud Mr. Evangelos efforts to assist the lobster industry as it is one of the cornerstones of our economy but I do not think a state subsidy for the Maine lobster industry is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.

One thing that would be helpful to everyone is a reduction in the cost of energy. It is a difficult fact that we here in Maine pay an average of 30 percent more for energy costs than the national average and I would encourage plans to extend a natural gas pipeline to ease this burden.

I encourage the Maine lobster industry to work out new marketing plans for their product and for them to develop new and innovative value added uses for Maine lobster, but without our tax dollars. I would add that Mr. Evangleos claimed he was a fiscal conservative during the election, but so far I do not find this to be the case .

Paula G. Sutton

Warren

 

A big thanks

This is such a great community. Our two Kno-Wal-Lin Auxiliary Trees for Warmth located at the KWL office and at the Camden National Bank in Rockland collected a total of 260 items, consisting of hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, head bands, and socks during the three weeks our trees were up for decorating.

We the auxiliary send a big thank you to everyone who contributed to our trees. They looked terrific and festively decorated. The items were distributed to adults and children in this community to help keep them warm this winter.

We also thank Camden National Bank of Rockland for donating the use of their Christmas tree for this project. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Thank you again to this great community for your participation

Susan Towne

Kno-Wal-Lin Auxilliary

Owls Head

 

Demand justice

I often think about a warm February day, unusual for Madawaska, back in 1975 when Dennis Dechaine (Mouse) and I took a very long walk around town and solved the problems of the world. Idealistic youth....certainly. If we had known then what we know now, I'm confident we would have fought hard so that injustice, such as what has happened in Dennis' life would not happen. It is not comprehensible to me that the criminal justice system has continued to bury their head in the sand and ignored the true facts of this case. I wonder how the people involved sleep at night?

I have lived long enough to know that it “usually comes around." Hold your families close because if they are in the wrong place, at the wrong time, maybe they too will be treated as unfairly as Dennis has been. He has been robbed of his life….was he perfect? No! But who among us are? Dennis and I grew up together and to this day, I have never met a more compassionate, gentle, sensitive, intelligent soul. Even if I did not know the true facts of this case, my heart, mind and soul would not, for one instant, believe it possible that Dennis could rob another person of their life, especially a child.

I was raised in Madawaska and although my heart will always belong there, I have to say that I am thankful that I no longer live in a state where the justice system cannot admit their mistakes even in light of overwhelming evidence that prove Dennis is innocent. None of us are infallible but to continue to deny Dennis his freedom when so much proof exists that he did not commit this heinous crime is beyond reason. Citizens of Maine…stand up and demand justice... it could be your sons or daughters! At the very least, allow Dennis a fair trial where all of the evidence is allowed. I assure you it will prove his innocence or, is that what you are afraid of?

Gisele Martin Carbonneau

Essex Junction, Vt.

 

Thankful for this community

Picture sharing a holiday meal with more than 100 people. You are surrounded by poinsettias, musicians, and lots of delicious food. Now sit down, revel in the laughter, the happy faces, and good cheer. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland on Christmas Day is where you are. Many volunteers, businesses, and restaurants made this amazing community dinner possible. Let me paint a picture of this annual Christmas dinner, sponsored and organized by Adas Yoshuron Synagogue of Rockland as a gift to the community.

It is a beautifully sunny, cool day and all is right in our little corner of the world. The room was decorated in poinsettias donated by Green Thumb and Hoboken Gardens. Each has been contributing to the Christmas Community Dinner for more than eight years. Eight eight-foot long tables are arranged in a U shape, family-style, and three rounds tables are added in the middle of the floor for appetizers. The tables are set with tablecloths, place settings, silverware, salt and pepper, butter, and quilted napkins. A give-away table is filled with breads from Atlantic Baking Co. (ABC), French & Brawn goodies, and fruit from a friend — available to all. Annabel Parker, almost 11 years old, begins playing the piano at 11:30 a.m., then Dänji Buck-Moore continues along with Robert Breheny on the baritone horn. Later Annabel sings accompanied by Dänji — truly amazing.

Cooked food and drinks arrive throughout the morning; truly a feast for all. Eggnog, apple cider, iced tea, juice, milk, water, tea, and coffee are available. The eggnog and apple cider are immediate favorites. Appetizers are served on the three large round tables at noon. They are donated by Café Miranda, Cappy's, Ducktrap River, Maine Street Meats, Market Basket, State of Maine Cheese, the Waterfront, and Waterworks. Everyone delves into soups, hummus and tapenade, cheese, sausage, crab dip, winter harvest salmon, and more. Delicious shrimp and cocktail sauce also accompany the appetizer hour. Lots of volunteers help serve, and nobody is left out.

Before we begin dinner the appetizer tables are set for families to sit at, and our numbers are swelling to 90-plus people. Dinner hour begins with helpers distributing food to the tables — rolls donated by Boynton-McKay, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cranberry walnut bread, stuffing, roasted veggies, salad, and more. Then the main star appears — five 30-plus pound turkeys donated by Mainely Poultry. John Barnstein has been supplying “fit-for-a-king/queen” turkeys for many, many years. Additionally we had another gracious patron donate turkeys, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. We were truly blessed!

As dinner is being served, all leftover appetizers are packed for people to take home — this would be repeated after dinner so people could share with friends, neighbors, and family, or have for another meal.

But wait, we aren’t finished; we have a surprise for each person, a gift. These include bags, tissues, and antibacterial soap from TD Bank, chocolates and ornaments from Grasshopper Shop, shampoo and soap from the Tradewinds, conditioner from Hampton Inn & Suites, notepads and pens from Camden Printing, mouthwash from Camden Hills Dental Care, toothbrushes and floss from Zanca Orthodontics, and special gifts for the children, donated by Planet Toys! Also, for more than eight years, Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets have supported our community, contributing to this magnificent meal.

Now we are ready to serve desserts — cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, and meringues, and fruit salad, too — donated by ABC, Cappy’s, In Good Company, Market Basket, Rock City, Sweet Sensations, Sweets & Meats, and the Waterfront.

As you can see there are many people to thank (I didn’t name the 25-plus people who volunteered to cook the turkeys, prepare side dishes, and bring drinks, and extras, in addition to shopping for supplies needed on Christmas Day)!

I am overwhelmed, appreciative, and thankful for this community. Deep gratitude to everyone for bringing a joyous Christmas Day meal to the many who attended. Please support the businesses, stores and restaurants who support us year after year without question.

Lisa Breheny

Soup Kitchen Coordinator, Adas Yoshuron Synagogue

Rockland

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