Eternally grateful

The following letter was addressed to John Ford Sr.:

Warren Doersam just sent me a copy of the “VillageSoup Sports” regarding your article about me. You did an excellent job at reporting the facts. Everything was as you said it was. However, you did not report the one factor that made all the difference by my being alive. That is, if it had not been for you coming, there would not have been a rescue. You were the prime “mover and shaker” in that endeavor. And I am indebted to you for saving my life. Whenever I have occasion to relate this story, I never fail to emphasize your active part in this venture. So let’s give credit where credit is due.

Just thought you would like to know my feelings on this. I wish that you would have taken more of the credit as you deserve. Perhaps if you have an editorial page you could print this (or an addendum to another article you write). At any rate, I am eternally grateful for your efforts.

Dick Woehr

Clifton

Lack of criminal proceedings

I do not understand why there were no criminal charges filed against the Camden National Bank employee who allegedly embezzled money from various accounts, and no one that I have talked with seems to be able to give an answer.

I cannot be the only person who is questioning their knowledge of what crime is, and is not, and under what circumstances law enforcement must step in, and when it does not. It appears, at least from the newspaper reports, that only civil lawsuits have been filed.

I am not naive. I know the law often works in a “flexible” manner, but please — might the newspaper address the question of the lack of criminal proceedings. I am certain that many parents, as well, would appreciate assistance in explaining this matter to their children. Thank you.

Maggie Trout
Rockland

 

Travesty of justice

I am writing in response to the recent judgment handed down in the case of the State vs. Vance Bunker and his daughter Janan Miller. The fact that they walked away, free of any charges, after firing at and injuring another person on a public wharf, should send a very scary message to the public at large. It appears that this irresponsible behavior has been rewarded by our courts by not punishing, in some way, these outrageous actions. Before this case went to court all we heard on the news or read in the papers was how Vance Bunker was scared for himself and his daughter, the only armed people on the scene, therefore justifying his hostile behavior. Apparently, our courts that are here to serve and protect the public, or so I thought, agree. Well, Vance Bunker isn’t the only one that’s scared now, so am I. What a travesty of justice!

Emily Rantala

Matinicus

 

Spectacular fundraiser

This year’s fundraiser, the Turnin’ Up the Heat Talent Show, on April 3 at the Rockport Opera House is catching fire and there are people to thank as they continue to help spark the fundraising initiative. It gives me as coordinator a warm, kind feeling to know people like this are out there, believing in our mission of keeping people warm, safe and a part of a larger community during the winter season.

Kudos to Lisa at Pinnacle Graphics who donated all her talents creating Turnin’ Up the Heat ads and posters. The Select Board from the town of Rockport unanimously voted to donate use of the Rockport Opera House for Turnin’ Up the Heat on April 3. Louise McLellan donated an incredible amount of time co-organizing the event. Thanks also to the Rockport Dance Conservatory, which is working extra hard as a part of this memorable event, Rock City Coffee, which is selling tickets, and the Knox County Home Energy Committee, made up of many Knox County residents who are right there by my side. I will see everyone at this spectacular Turnin Up the Heat fundraiser April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House!

Tracy Rescigno
Rockport

 

School budget

As a member of the Lincolnville Board of Selectmen, I’ve been involved in reviewing and helping formulate the town’s budget for FY 2011 that taxpayers will vote on in June. For the past two years, we’ve had to make some difficult cuts to offset increasing costs and the higher percentages of tax dollars used by the schools. Some of these cuts have included: no salary increases for town employees, a moratorium on funding the town’s reserve fund for municipal projects and emergency vehicles, and cutting the funding to many worthwhile provider agencies. While none of us have enjoyed making these cuts, we realize they must be made to keep property taxes as low as possible. We understand the grim economy we find ourselves in and know that many folks are falling farther and farther behind.

For that reason, I have appreciated the information prepared and presented by the Value In Education Committee and applaud the dialogue they have had with local town select boards, school committees and school boards. At the request of the Rockport Select Board and VIE, the Five Town Community School District board compared our local CSD’s budget to seven comparable schools. VIE reviewed these comparisons and has appropriately raised concerns about those areas where our CSD seems to be way out of line with the other schools. I hope townspeople are paying close attention to these differences and the significant impact they have on the CSD budget. It’s a real eye-opener.

I was also stunned to learn that the draft CSD budget was first shared with high school students prior to its release to teachers and even the CSD board. Why was this done? Did the administration want their proposed cuts in academics, athletics and other student programs to upset students and their parents? I sincerely hope the parents, students and educators who are vehemently opposing these cuts to sports programs, classes and student activities can look deeper, below the murky surface, to see what cuts the administration should really be making — not in these programs that directly impact our kids — but in the specific areas where the CSD budget is significantly higher than the other comparable schools, areas like administration, building maintenance, special education, and funding for the Mid-Coast School of Technology to name a few.

VIE’s message all along has been to make cuts as far away from the students as possible — a message that many educators, parents and students agree with — yet it seems the CSD administration has instead chosen to fall back on the strategy that has always worked for them in the past — get everyone so upset about losing their sports programs that they won’t probe any deeper to look at the real areas that need to be addressed.

Let’s not play that game this year. Let’s insist that our schools make some of the tougher cuts that need to be made. Does the high school really need three principals? Why are our CSD’s costs for special education so much higher than comparable schools? Why, if we have brand new school buildings, are our maintenance costs out of line with other similar-sized schools? Let’s address these costs and leave academics, sports programs and student activities alone, or keep them as intact as possible. Let’s also ask our teachers and students to suggest some meaningful ways the budget can be trimmed. They most certainly have ideas and should be on the front line to make suggestions and help provide solutions.

Municipalities cannot and will not continue to cut town services to offset the yearly increases put forth by the CSD. It’s time we as taxpayers stand up and refuse to follow like sheep in supporting whatever budget the CSD proposes.

Cathy Hardy

Lincolnville

 

Kudos to library

Kudos to the trustees and staff of the Camden Public Library for its attractive and informative recently issued annual report for 2009.

The most fascinating facts are in the small charts scattered throughout the report. Each graph line shows growth since 2004 in funding (private and town), circulation, visits, programs and Internet use.

It is an impressive record. And more so when compared with the average of all state of Maine libraries.

The Camden Public Library justly deserved its designation as a STAR library in the Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service 2009.

Anne C. Edmonds

Camden

 

Health insurance reform

Health insurance reform came close to home this week when an uninsured friend received medical test results. A positive outcome is expected; yet the experience allowed us to walk in the shoes of over 40 million uninsured Americans.

Please imagine this person as your friend, because without reform, some day he or she may be. This individual was unsuccessful in past attempts to purchase insurance due to high premium costs. Insurance agents confirmed this week coverage for this individual’s diagnosis no longer exists because it has become a preexisting condition.

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. The recent televised health care summit showed Democrats and Republicans in agreement with 70 percent of the legislative insurance reform. Following a year of ongoing meetings between both parties, the medical community, and the American people, the summit revealed areas where additional common ground is attainable, and the president has put forth ideas to bridge these gaps. While the health insurance industry spends more than $1.4 million a day to kill the legislation, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has urged the industry to instead work with the administration on ways for improvement. Annually, Americans are dropped by insurance carriers because they have become ill. Daily, Americans are denied coverage for preexisting conditions. Every 12 minutes, an American dies because of an inability to access affordable health care.

We, as a country, are better than this. It’s time to pass reform by a majority vote. It’s the right thing to do.

Diane Smith

Cushing