A free-thinking hard worker
Democrats have targeted several Republican senate and house members this year because, they say, those legislators support Governor LePage and, by inference, do not listen to their constituents. Apparently that is a crime for which a legislator should be voted out of office while a history of supporting all issues presented by Governor Baldacci and voting in lock-step with the wishes of the Democratic leadership is a reason to elect someone to a office.
One of those targeted by Democrats is Senator Chris Rector of Thomaston, a free thinking, hard working, legislator who is well known for listening to one and all in his district and on several issues has disagreed with Governor LePage. I want someone in Augusta who listens to the people, not someone who is answers to the strong arm tactics of the Democratic caucus. That is why I will be voting for Chris Rector in November.
Helen A. Shaw
An affirmation of marriage
Our daughter, her spouse and their 3-year-old daughter, our grandchild, live in Lexington, Mass. They have been married for 12 years, first exchanging vows and rings on a beach on Cape Cod — without the state’s sanction — and then a few years later, when Massachusetts made it possible, in a legal ceremony in Boston.
In addition to the world’s most beautiful and talented child, they have a mortgage, a dog, two cats, flower gardens, and grass to mow. Our daughter has a responsible and demanding job, and her spouse, the biological mother of our grandchild, is an at-home-mom.
Life has dealt them a few hard times, particularly an 8-month job loss during the post 9/11 recession and a life-threatening illness. They have been strong and loving through it all and their commitment is real.
Their pledges to love, honor, and cherish one another are as good for our country, as good for our collective soul, as anyone else's vows. No one’s traditional marriage is harmed by their marriage. Their lives are an affirmation of marriage.
A few years back the good people of Maine voted to give our gay and lesbian citizens civil rights protection. After that our legislature spoke for us and acknowledged that the right to marry is a basic human right. But then the Maine legislature’s decision to grant the right to marry to all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, was revoked by a vote of the people.
Of course, this makes no sense to us. We can’t understand why anyone is allowed to vote to deny civil rights to anyone else. We know many people who happen to be homosexual — friends at church, in our neighborhoods both here in Union and where we used to live, in Camden, and in various groups we belong to. They are all lovely people, public-spirited, kind, good at their jobs and good at being friends — pretty much like the general run of people in Maine. They deserve better treatment than they’ve been given by the laws of this state.
It’s also worth considering that the U.S. gay and lesbian population includes many bright, well-educated professionals. Our current discriminatory law discourages them from moving to Maine to start a business or to accept a job when elsewhere they can be valued as whole people.
We hope that in your thoughts and conversations this summer, you will come to affirm that we should grant the gay and lesbian people in Maine the same rights other citizens have and let them get on with their lives. This November please support the Freedom to Marry referendum.
Sherry and Bruce Cobb
Appreciation for community support
On behalf of Oceanside High School Field Hockey, I would like to offer our deep appreciation and thanks to the many local businesses and individuals who supported our recent exchange weekend with the Marlborough, Mass., field hockey team and several other Maine teams. This year was the third year of the exchange. It was a huge success and involved more than 70 girls participating in the play day at Oceanside East.
Members of the local business community have our sincere appreciation for their support of the exchange: Camden National Bank, Hope Elephants, Thomaston Grocery, Rockland Walmart, Shaws, Rockland Hannaford, Key Bank, Kip’s Seafood, Atwood Lobster, McCloon’s Lobster Wharf, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, Jaret and Cohn, Maine Lobster Festival, The First, Port Clyde General Store, Dominos Pizza and the Keag Store.
Special thanks to our own Oceanside High School Lobstermen: Keenan Joyce, McCabe Burch, Ben Parlin, Ross Alex, Logan Jones, P.J. Spearing, Ryan Maloney and Sam Cousins.
Our thanks go out to the following people whose time and efforts made the weekend activities sail smoothly for the 70 girls who participated: Rocky Judecki, Tom Forti, Martha Meyer, Lauren Brown, Muriel and Noah at Station Maine, several Oceanside Field Hockey alumns, and of course, our Oceanside Field Hockey parents!
As we head into the 2012 season, our student athletes will continue their tradition of working hard in the classroom and on the field, grateful to have the opportunity to represent their school and community through field hockey. Thank you again for your continuing support of our exchange and our program.
Oceanside High School Field Hockey
Alive and well
Of all the family reunions that abound in Maine during the summer, one of the most enduring must surely be that of the Camden High School Alumni Association.
More than 200 of our alumni and guests celebrated its 107th year at beautiful Point Lookout in Northport Saturday evening and as always, we ended the evening singing our old high school song ... "we are out today for Camden High..," finishing with its traditional pumping of fists and resounding "Rah! Rah! Rah!" To today's students, I'm sure it sounds kind of corny, but it never seems to fail to bring a simultaneous smile and tears to me.
Although the old school building was torn down years ago and Rockport's high school merged with Camden to become Camden-Rockport, followed by the new Camden Hills Regional High School in 2000, somehow the unique memories formed in that old wooden building standing proudly at the top of Knowlton Street, with its creaky segregated boys/girls staircases still inspires our alumni to gather each year. We know in the not-too-distant future that the association must disband, purely from attrition. After all, our youngest members are in their mid-60s!
But last Saturday evening it was grand to be part of that group and affirm that Camden High School is alive and well and living it up in grand style! Rah, Rah, Rah!
Pat Kelley Ayers, CHS 1950
Treasurer, Camden High School Alumni Association
Local chamber does not endorse
Election season is heating up in Maine, and with it come the TV and radio ads from outside the state, looking to influence your vote one way or the other using scads of money raised beyond the Piscataqua River.
The ads that always get my phone ringing are those sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a national group based in Washington, D.C. It is a common fallacy that Chambers of Commerce are like the Boy Scouts and that we are chapters of a national group. As a chamber director I often hear that surely we all belong and pay dues to this national organization in return for a franchise to use the words "Chamber of Commerce." Actually, along with around 5,000 of the 8,000 chambers of commerce around the United States we are independent of and unaffiliated with the U.S. Chamber and pay them no dues. "Chamber of Commerce" is not a branded movement, but rather a category of business akin to "boat yard" or "jeweler." While we love to hear from everyone, calling your local chamber to complain about or cheer on the U.S. Chamber is akin to calling a Main Street jeweler to complain about or cheer on Zales. We no more have a hand in, or seek to influence, the advertising of the U.S. Chamber that we do for any lobbying or interest group.
But in this busy, modern world, the wrong end of the stick is often just begging to be grasped. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to lay out exactly where your local Chamber comes out on matters political, and what "independent and local" means in practice.
The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce's job is to promote the interests of business and encourage economic development, while functioning in a manner that is compatible with the environment, protects natural and cultural resources, and sustains the heritage of the communities it serves. Given the fact that members of the chamber come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters, the chamber is neutral in matters of politics.
The role of the board of the directors is to implement the above mission and, due to their fiduciary responsibility to the organization and the membership. uphold the neutrality of the chamber. This does not preclude the board from addressing, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant consequences or that directly affect the interests of a clear majority of the chamber's membership.
While permitted to do so under its 501(c)(6) nonprofit status, The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber does not routinely:
- Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms.
- Allow its membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes.
- Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber does:
- Encourage its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections.
- Encourage its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the chamber come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters.
- Request candidates for office not to imply that their candidacy or platforms are endorsed by the chamber without the express and previously obtained consent of the board of directors.
- Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant consequences or that directly affect the interests of the chamber's membership or the communities the chamber serves.
So as we approach a busy election season, make sure you register to vote, inform yourself on the issues and candidates, and make your own mind up about how to cast your ballot in November.
Dan Bookham, Executive Director
Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce