The Camden Herald editorial — June 28, 2012
A united front
More Midcoast towns continue to consider sending letters to Searsport's Planning Board to express concerns about the proposed LPG tank at Mack Point — Rockport and Lincolnville approved the idea just this week (see related story), while Camden Select Board members sent a letter several weeks ago. Rockport and Lincolnville boards have approved sending a letter unanimously and had most, if not all, board members sign the letter. We've already pointed out that Camden stands out of the group with its lone select board chairman's signature, but now there is another reason: Camden is the only board with dissenting votes. There are times to agree to disagree, but this does not seem to be one of those times. A unanimous vote presents a united front and a clear message. With missing signatures and dissenting votes, Camden may be the next place approached for such a project; seen as an easy target to divide and conquer.
A safe and happy holiday
As the Fourth of July approaches, we'd like to address fireworks, which are legal in Maine for the first time in a while.
Towns within The Camden Herald coverage area — with the exception of Camden — all allow use of fireworks by private citizens as long as a few rules are followed. There are certain types of fireworks prohibited by federal law and according to the Maine law, nobody younger than 21 years old may purchase, use or possess fireworks. Fireworks may only be used on a person's private property or with the permission of the property owner where fireworks will be used.
In addition, there are time restrictions imposed by state law as well. The restrictions are:
Consumer fireworks may be used between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., except that on July 4 and Dec. 31, when they may be used between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. the following day.
We encourage people to consider safety at all times. According to available statistics, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that “in 1998, 8,500 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. About 5,000 of those injuries occurred during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July.”
Statistics show approximately 55 percent of fireworks-related injuries were burns, and most of the burns involved the hands, eyes, and head/face; more than 40 percent of the victims were younger than 15 and about 75 percent were males.
While it seems the larger fireworks may be the most dangerous, that is not always the case. In a special study of fireworks-related injuries between June 23 and July 24, 1998, CPSC found firecrackers, rockets and sparklers caused the bulk of emergency room-treated injuries from fireworks.
We realize the study quoted is nearly 15 years old, and some people may have learned from their mistakes in the meantime; however, we continue to urge all fireworks users to make sure a good time is had by all and avoid a trip to the emergency room by acting in a safe and responsible manner.
Firefighters join Camden's ranks
At last week's Camden Select Board meeting, five new firefighters were welcomed into the ranks of Camden Fire Department, receiving badges from Fire Chief Chris Farley. The new firefighters range from high school age and up, and represent a diverse group. Welcome, TC, Mary, Scott, Will and Zach. Congratulations to all for completing the 220-hour program successfully.