Camden businessman

The purpose of this letter is to serve as a follow-up to Barbara Dyer’s Feb. 24 profile of Camden businessman Harold Corthell, owner of the former Haskell and Corthell Clothing Store on Main Street. Harold was my uncle. He was married to my mother’s sister Olive. At the end of my junior year in high school my mother passed away and I went to live with Olive and Harold during my senior year and while in college. Consequently, I got to know Harold and Olive a lot better.

In her profile Barbara noted that Harold was a super salesman, a smart businessman and a person who quietly helped many Camden people. Fortunately I was able to observe his salesman skills and business acumen, his generosity, and his ability to help and comfort people experiencing personal and financial difficulties. As for my Aunt Olive, she was always willing to come to the assistance of family members in times of need. Not only did she and Harold ask to take me in after my mother passed away but they also provided a home for two of my older cousins. Olive was also a successful downtown business woman, being the proprietor of the former Women’s Shop on Main Street. Even to this day, former school girls who used to shop at the Women’s Shop comment to me about what a wonderful person Olive was, and how much they liked having Olive’s help in picking out their clothes.

In summary, Main Street and the town of Camden will never again see the likes of Harold and Olive Corthell as the era of “Peyton Place” is long gone. Both Harold and Olive are buried in the family plot at the Mountain View Cemetery off Washington Street near the Millville community where Olive grew up.

Rodney Lynch

Rockland

Georges Valley program

In April at Echo Hill Lodge in St. George, Georges Valley High School held its annual Sophomore Awareness Program on drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors. The ADAPTeam and the GVHS faculty, which organized this program, would once again like to express their thanks to the many people, businesses and organizations that year after year have helped to make this program a success.

Financial contributions were received from GVHS and the towns of St. George and Cushing. Once again Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Eugley generously donated in part the use of Echo Hill Lodge.

Considerable gifts of funds, donations and/or food were donated by the following businesses and/or organizations: Thomaston Grocery, Coca Cola Company, John Sprague (Little Debbie snacks), Domino’s Pizza, Olympia Sports, Rock Coast Sports and Coach Woody Moore, Regional School Unit 13 health coordinator.

The team would also like to thank New Hope for Women, GVHS senior facilitators, GVHS Principal Robert Beverage, Tim Hoppe of the Thomaston Police Department, Scott Hall, RSU 13 bus drivers, Jim Lovett, Dwight Davis, and the group of Georges Valley High School teachers and student service facilitators, RSU 13 health coordinator and other volunteers from the community, without whose help the program would not have been as successful.

If we have inadvertently omitted anyone who assisted, we apologize. This program could not have been successful without the community support of volunteers, businesses, organizations and RSU 13.

We once again thank all of you for your support.

Su Johnson

ADAPTeam chairman

Georges Valley High School

National Volunteer Week

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week, which is April 18 to 24 this year, is an opportunity for all people to celebrate the ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service.

At the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce we are very fortunate to have a group of about 30 core volunteers who help us in our mission to support our members and the economic well-being of our community.

Our volunteers are information specialists who answer the phone and encourage potential visitors to visit our Penobscot Bay region and all that it has to offer. They are also ambassadors who greet tourists and share with them their expertise about the area. According to the IndependentSector.org, volunteer time in Maine is valued at $15.74 per hour. Our volunteers worked 120 hours in March, which is equal to $1,888.80. An impressive figure, although their dedication and enthusiasm are invaluable.

During this important week, our staff and board of directors at the chamber of commerce would like to formally recognize and thank our volunteers for their time and efforts.

Shari Closter
Tiffany Strong
Robin McIntosh
Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce

Open letter to Regional School Unit 13 board

Dear school board members,

I am glad I attended the meeting on April 7 and received a copy of the budget. After looking over the budget, I feel more strongly than ever that we need to fund gifted and talented education at the same level as last year. I do not accept “We can’t afford it.”

The current GT program is working. We need to get a classroom like Georgi Thompson’s into all of our schools, not delete it from our schools. Her classroom promotes academic excellence. Students want to be a part of the Excel program. They work harder at their regular lessons in order to participate in her classes. I urge you to visit TGS and see for yourselves.

The “new, improved” GT program is a budget reduction of 40 percent. I estimate that my daughter will see a reduction in services of about 80 percent. Many children currently participating will be dropped entirely from the program. If we follow the state rules, only 40 children in the entire RSU will be served by the program. Currently, 86 are served on the Thomaston side alone. Isn’t it better to reach out to as many students as possible rather than make it an exclusionary program based on test scores? It’s such a small part of our budget, I think narrowing the program in order to qualify for a small amount of aid from the state is a mistake. I do not consider a teacher stipend for GT at the high school level with a little money for college classes a program. You all speak as if academics are important yet you are giving a program that promotes it the short shift.

My suggestions on finding funding are to cut more out of the administrative budget. I suggested a dual principal for TGS, which is planned for 2011-12 anyway. I was told we can’t do that because it’s only possible when the eighth grade moves to the high school building. I find it hard to believe that an administrator cannot handle one more grade. There seems to be no trouble in asking teachers to increase their class sizes by up to 50 percent. This administrative cut would save almost $100,000. You could fund GT at the same level as last year as well as the Janus Program. I find it unconscientious that you are cutting that program when it is helping our neediest students to save only $20,000. Even after restoring funding to both those programs, you’d still have another $20,000 in savings left over.

I think athletics are important but I would like to point out a few things. The budget for athletics (over $500,000.) is four times that of GT education yet you are cutting out only 8 percent; $10,000 less than you are cutting from the GT budget. Athletics are an after school, nonacademic activity benefiting only part of the student population. The budget as currently written says that cutting services to the top and bottom student layers is acceptable and that sports are more important than academics. Please remedy this situation.

Cynthia McGuirl

Thomaston

New use for Rockport Elementary

My opinion on what should be done with the old Rockport Elementary School in Rockport is the Rockport Public Library should move into that building. That way there would be more room, and there could be a bigger children’s section, and there could be more books. There could also be more computers, and tables to read at. But that is just my opinion.

Jordan Roubinek

Sixth grade, Camden-Rockport Middle School

Former student at RES