Much ado about signs
We think the ruckus about signs has been a little out of control in Camden during the weeks leading up to the election. And are we the only ones that see the irony of using roadside signs to encourage residents to vote against an ordinance regarding signs? While we don't deny everyone has a right to their own opinion and vision for the future of Camden, we disagree that the minor changes to the sign ordinance will turn this quaint Midcoast town into the Jersey Shore.
Not surprisingly, business owners urged people to support the changes. After all, businesses often depend on signs to direct people to their location; who can blame them if they want their signs to be a little more noticeable?
We also can understand the opposing stance — Camden is a beautiful place. Sidewalks are easy to navigate without signs to duck under or sandwich boards to veer around.
The few small tweaks to the sign ordinance will allow small home-base businesses to put up an easier-to-read sign and if business is good, it's good for the local economy.
And speaking of signs, there still remain a number of political signs on roadsides that should already have been removed under state law.
Cooking with gas is not always a good thing
The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office is advising homeowners never to use a flammable liquid to start a wood stove. This advice came following a fire in Augusta Saturday morning, Nov. 10, that seriously burned the homeowner, who used gasoline to start a woodstove inside the porch of his home.
State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said, "Homeowners should never use a flammable liquid to start a wood stove fire because the vapors are explosive and cause a fireball. Only paper and kindling should be used to start a wood stove."
Gasoline has a tendency to explode, so please be careful this winter and use all reasonable precautions. If you have any questions at all, call your local fire chief and ask what you should do. We're sure he or she would rather field that call than come out to your house in the middle of the night to put out a fire.
We have also heard some recent incidents involving carbon monoxide buildups in local homes caused by faulty heaters. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries to keep your family safe and have your furnace maintained regularly.
Don't take chances using an uninspected chimney or unsafe wood-burning appliance because you run out of heating fuel. There is financial help available to help fill oil or propane tanks or even, in some cases, to financially assist with furnace repairs.
Another thing to consider is renter's insurance for those that may not own the place in which they live. Renter's insurance helps replace belongings in a similar way to homeowner's insurance.
While taking precautions can't prevent every fire, steps to protect your family are well worth it.