Lively commentary

Rufus Foshee’s commentary (March 17) on the relationship between the Farnsworth [Art Museum] and its John Marin painting, called “The Road to Addison,” is lively and entertaining, but I have some doubts about the writer’s basic premise.

Mr. Foshee strongly proposes that this painting has been kept out of the public eye by the Farnsworth, either through sloth or design, and says that he has never seen or heard of it before. Yet I am quite familiar with this painting, and can only have made its acquaintance through the Farnsworth in some way. Almost certainly I have seen it reproduced in at least one book, or as a postcard, and almost certainly I would have seen this at the museum.

You will notice a certain vagueness on my part in the way I talk about my connection to the painting. I don’t remember this or that fact, etc. But I do remember the painting very well, and my general vagueness about exactly how or where will not surprise anyone who knows me.

Other points made by Mr. Foshee are things I agree with very well. Marin is an extremely fascinating and important artist. His work is delightful, rewarding long periods of gazing, observing, noting, and drinking-in. By all means, bring this piece of wonderful stuff into a public gallery. There is absolutely no need for exhibitions to be so strictly themed that a solitary piece will not fit into some overall master plan. Sometimes the curatorial instinct to educate and display via vast or broad concepts can be taken just a little too far. Once in a while I would welcome the chance to walk into a gallery whose only unifying notion is that it is filled with “good stuff to look at.” I see no harm in that, and predict only joy.
Indeed the Farnsworth did undergo a certain degree of taking over by the Wide World of Wyeth about a decade ago. Some feel it did a deal with the devil; others are not surprised or disappointed in the slightest. In the world of small museums, I suspect, one does what one has to do to get by.

I am very glad the newspaper continues to find space for people to print provocative articles about art. It’s a rare enough thing that it should be treasured. When I had the pleasure of writing for this paper myself for some years, I took advantage of this liberty to be slightly annoying in a quite shameless fashion, and I think I was all the better for it. Others can disagree with me on this, but then that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

David Grima
Rockland

 

Employee will be missed

Carol Rackliff has been with Camden National Bank in Thomaston for several years. It is time to say goodbye. She is a person that you could count on when doing business at he bank. Whatever question you asked her about your account, or a loan on a car, she would have the answer for you. She will be missed by the staff and also the customers. In other words she gave you good advice as do the bank staff she leaves behind, well trained. Good luck and healthy days ahead at your new position.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

Thanks to Hope community

On March 12, the Hope eighth grade held its annual auction and supper to raise money for its class trip to Boston. The evening was a tremendous success.

Thanks must be extended to the Hope community and to all the people who came to the event — while we can’t thank you all individually, we are so grateful for your support.

Thanks, too, to all eighth-grade parents who helped sell tickets, decorate the gym and prepare the fabulous spaghetti supper and brownie sundae desserts.

Very special thanks to the families, businesses and individuals in our community who donated an item or items to our auction. We’re especially grateful that in these challenging times you chose to support the Hope Elementary School.

Thanks to the Berry, Nelson, Laurita, Blakeley, Pearse, Hilt, Bunting, Magdamit, Dow and Kunn families.

And these businesses: the Camden Hospital for Animals, The Chocolate Moose, Western Auto, Lush Soaps, Common Market, the Video Shop, Boynton-McKay, Midcoast Recreation Center, Point Lookout, Hatchet Mountain Publick House, Seasons Downeast, Shepard Motors, Mt. Battie Car Wash, Hope Spinnery, Applebees, Flagship Cinemas, BrimStone Design, Lowe’s, VillageSoup, Penobscot Bay YMCA, Sterlingtown Construction, Amy Wilton Photography, Edward Zanca Orthodontics, Korrin Scattoloni, Flexible Fitness/Allyson Neilson, Hope General Store, Willey’s Dam Coffee, Sherman’s Books & Stationery, KAX Office Center, Badger Cafe & Pub, Lord Camden Inn, Maritime Farms, Blue Sky Cantina, Texas Roadhouse, the Country Inn at Camden-Rockport, The Waterfront Restaurant, Camden Bagel Cafe, Renys, Planet Toys, Winter Wind Florist, Rankin’s, L.L. Bean, Owl & Turtle Bookshop, Leonard’s, Camden Snow Bowl, Bayview Concierge, Midcoast Martial Arts, New England Motorworks, All Directions, West Street Market, HAV II, Camden Riverhouse Hotel, The Strand Theatre, Swans Island Blankets, AllPlay Family Entertainment Center, Camden Shoe Company, Lyana Votey Photography, Roadrunner Driving School and Hilton Garden Inn, Portland.

Also: Dena Davis, Ashley Haskins, Heather Weeks, Eric Pearse, Elizabeth O’Haverty, Dottie Holbrook, Slim Goodbody, Eliza Bailey, Brian O’Neill, Seth Meyer, Adam and Maureen Scott, Maggi Tracy, Debra Benner, Suki Walsh, Dana Cote, Willow Hall, Karyn Goodwin, Jill Glover, Mary Jane Doubleday, Abby Blakeley, Kierra Bunting, Bailey Hilt, Este Underdown, Jane Young, Michelle Billings.

Eighth-graders, families and teachers
Hope Elementary School


Rockland zoning

I thought the voters of Rockland clearly expressed their unwillingness to have the zoning changed in the north side of town in the residential area, and that there would be no zoning changes. However, I now recall that the council indicated that something would be done about that corner section of Camden and Maverick streets, but I had no idea it would take this direction.

The Comprehensive Planning Commission has proposed rezoning that encompasses a much greater area, with this new zoning designation termed neighborhood business zone. Even with my poor map-reading ability, it certainly looks like a whole lot of residences, zoned as such, will go the way of the NBZ. I know that extensive work has been done on at least one beautiful antique home that is for sale in the proposed area, and wonder if potential buyers will be aware that this change may occur.

The proposed rezoning area runs from Main, Cedar and Front to Maverick and Washington. There are two options: A and B, with option A permitting some rezoning straight back to Jefferson Street. But I urge you to look at the city of Rockland Web site, Comprehensive Planning Commission page, for accurate information. This contains the important draft proposal language and terms for this new zoning designation, and maps showing two proposed options:

http://www.ci.rockland.me.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={8BBCF613-33E5-40AB-9897-A0D7D7479CB8}

Regardless, know that these proposals are under consideration, with a public meeting scheduled for April 15, and it would behoove Rockland residents to get involved, prior to that time, regardless of your position on this matter, before it is written as law. And, to consider, yet again, if this NBZ change will be applied to other residential home areas within the city that are not on the “preserve this neighborhood” list.

Perhaps I’m just skittish about people having a place to call home, secure from the angst of zoning changes that will, regardless of degree, have an impact. To the best of my knowledge there is no ordinance that securely protects homes or neighborhoods.

Maggie Trout
Rockland

Reasons for school referendum

On the proposal to consolidate Rockland and Georges Valley high schools and form a junior high school in Regional School Unit 13, there are several reasons why a public referendum is both necessary and fair:

1. A public vote gives the people their rightful place at the decision-making table. It honors the voice of the community and not just the power of a small group. After all, shouldn’t the schools truly belong to the parents, students, and taxpayers who support them?

2. It sets a precedent in the RSU that large-scale changes will be made with the support of the people, not against their wishes. It will ensure that such changes will not be railroaded through by leaders, or small committees, without public knowledge. The referendum provides a check in the balance of power for the public against a superintendent and school board that may make decisions in personal, but not public, interest.

3. The board will send a message with action, and not words only, that they value public input. There is growing public discontent with decision making in the RSU. Many in the public feel that they are not listened to when they speak, and have been told, “You can say your piece, but it won’t really matter.” A public referendum could help soothe the growing anger.

4. This is good for the decision-making process. It forces opposing sides of the argument to get facts and figures out in the open. It allows time for more research to be done, questions to be answered, and discussion to occur. It makes room for more dialogue and allows the public to support changes if they can be convinced that those changes are good for schools and students.

5. If held at the same time as the June budget referendum, it would have very little, if any, additional cost to run. It also separates this issue from the budget issues. If there were no referendum for reorganization, then an angry public’s only recourse would be to vote down the budget in order to send a message to the board.

6. Although the laws technically do not require a vote, this is a change so big that it affects six towns, five schools, and close to a thousand students. If the school board maintains that the public cannot have a vote on school reorganization of this magnitude, then they are effectively saying no to, any or all , public voice in future changes.

I urge you to call or e-mail your RSU 13 school board representatives (addresses can be found at RSU13.org) and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judy Lucarelli. Tell them you want to cast your vote on the school reorganization. Tell them you want a public referendum.

Joshua McPhail

St. George

 

Saltwater fishing registry

If anyone has been aware of the no-fee saltwater fishing registry bill at the State House, they know that it has been an uphill battle for Sen. David Trahan to keep it free for us. The majority party killed their fee-based saltwater fishing registry bill and resurrected Sen. Trahan’s, but with a significant change: they added a fee to it. This is not the bill that Sen. Trahan proposed in the beginning but on record it states that he is the sponsor.

Last week while viewing the Senate debate online my husband and I watched while our senator passionately spoke against his bill that had been twisted into something he could no longer support. In the end he voted against his own bill, which I proudly stand up and give a loud applause to. Thank you Sen. Trahan for thinking of me and not the revenue for the state.

Becky Morrell

Waldoboro

 

Spirit of small business

I would like to commend VillageSoup for Shlomit Auciello’s great online story last week concerning the bustle of business preparation in Camden as spring renovations get into full swing. In addition to the activity on Camden’s main shopping arteries, I would also like to draw your readers’ attention to a flurry of new businesses having opened their doors in Rockport and Lincolnville as well over the winter and this spring. Additionally, the hammers are pounding in buildings from Youngtown Road to Glen Cove as workers renovate spaces in preparation for new businesses and relocations. Factor in also a number of second-floor or home-based startups and it soon becomes apparent that the spirit of small business in Midcoast Maine joyfully survived the recent economic battering.

That’s not to say the economy is completely out of the woods, or that there isn’t the risk of setbacks, failures or hard days still ahead. However, what the confidence and excitement shown by these local businesses demonstrate is that smart planning, hard work and a supportive community translate to a local economy that is coming out swinging as the national picture improves.

Dan Bookham

Executive director, Camden-Rockland-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce