Vote to support Waldoboro library

I’m writing this letter to encourage Waldoboro’s voters to cast a resounding “yes” vote in support of the Waldoboro Public Library (Article 27 on the town ballot).

Article 27 asks whether voters agree to appropriate $78,000 for the Waldoboro Public Library.

Article 27 does not explain that the $78,000 appropriation will cover only 67 percent of the library’s overall annual budget of $116,393. The remaining funding comes from private donations through the support of Friends of the Library and other sources.

Neither does Article 27 explain that the library’s current request is the same amount Waldoboro voters approved last year. There is no increase. The Waldoboro Public Library’s Board of Directors is highly sensitive to the need to work hard for private funds to avoid further impositions on the generosity of Waldoboro’s citizens.

Waldoboro is very fortunate to have a strong base of private funding sources for its library. Those sources reduce the overall tax burden the library would otherwise impose upon the town. The private funding also provides a much-needed cushion for the library in difficult times.

The town’s support covers the salaries and payroll expense of the library’s five employees and insurance for the library building, with $235 left over for water. Without the town’s support, the library could not survive.

Conversely, the library could not survive without its sources of private funding, which see to all of the library’s other needs, including books, computers, reference materials, building repair and maintenance, grounds maintenance, telephone, heat, postage, and a host of other items and services that support every patron who uses the library.

Most towns provide 100 percent of the funding for their libraries. Waldoboro’s combination of public and private support for its library is unique, something in which every Waldoboro citizen can take immense pride.

The Waldoboro Public Library has more than 3,000 library card holders. If all of them voted for Article 27, the article would pass.

Unfortunately, life is not so perfect. So it’s important to remind Waldoboro’s voters that the town’s $78,000 appropriation in partial support for the library represents a fantastic deal for the town. For every dollar the town provides, private funding provides almost 50 cents. That’s impressive.

So please vote! Absentee ballots are available at the Waldoboro Town Office to make the process easier. And, please vote yes on Article 27.

Bob Butler
Waldoboro

 

Egregious behavior

I am writing to apologize to the staff and students of the King Middle School. As a resident of Knox County I was very distressed to read of the egregious behavior of some residents of Knox County. Please believe that this is not normal behavior for all of the residents of Knox County.

My family and I have lived in Knox County for over 28 years and I can assure you that the people that are my friends and neighbors do not behave in this way. The people I know are quite gracious when invited as guests in someone else’s home. If they were to find it uncomfortable in the home of their host they would graciously excuse themselves and leave. They would never vandalize or burglarize the host’s home because they didn’t like what was there. If the people I know were to cause a transgression upon their host, they would admit their error and assume responsibility and not deny the obvious and then imply that the host deserved the behavior.

The people I know in Knox County are fair, open-minded people who are independent thinkers. We come from all walks of life, and accept many different lifestyles. When faced with views or beliefs that may be different or the opposite of their own, the people I know listen and try to understand the differing viewpoints. They would not immediately reject them and declare them “un-American.” Though true “un-American” behavior, such as assailing the president of the United States with racial epithets does seem to exist in the United States.

From what information I’ve seen in the news I suggest Mr. Clifford use this incident as a social studies project. In fact this would be a wonderful opportunity for the social studies class to learn about McCarthyism. They should do this soon since the Texas Department of Education plans to rewrite history and start teaching that McCarthyism wasn’t a bad thing to happen in America. Oh yes, and be sure to include Margaret Chase Smith, a true American and a hero of American democracy, in your studies.

Thomas Woodman
Rockland

 

Mortifying event

What the Knox County Republicans did at the King Middle School in Portland embarrasses all Knox County residents, all Mainers and probably a lot of Republicans. I’m a liberal Democrat, but I know lots of fair minded and respectful Republicans, including my husband. I also suspect that our two Republican senators, who would be forced to resign under new term limits according to the proposed Republican state platform, are dismayed.

It is hard to understand why adults would steal a poster and rifle though a teacher’s materials in a borrowed classroom. I hope this doesn’t make the national news (it probably already has). At least the eighth-graders probably learned a lot about freedom of speech from this whole mortifying event.

Kathleen Fox

Tenants Harbor

 

Thanks from Thomaston library

The staff, trustees and friends of the Thomaston Public Library would like to express our thanks to the sponsors of our second annual Open House Membership Drive. We would like to especially thank Ron Gamage and the Waterfront Market for providing the hot dogs and buns, Herbert and Eleanor Peters of the Thomaston Cafe for donating a $25 gift certificate for our door-prize raffle, and Jo Anne Parker and the Midcoast Community Band for playing a delightful evening concert for us in the Academy Building gymnasium. Thanks again to all our volunteers and helpers for making our open house a day that will be remembered by all.

Brian M. Sylvester
Thomaston Public Library

In good hands

Thanks to the wonderful staff and students at the Watershed School who have demonstrated their caring by helping an elderly couple with yard work and securing a dog pen. This had to be done, but no one came to help until my friend of years ago, Bill Galloway, brought the entire school, staff and students, to help on May 11.

The staff and students did a bang-up job of raking up the leaves, cleaning out the ditches, removing the leaves in a wheelbarrow, trimming the bushes, cleaning out the flower gardens, digging a deeper trench around the dog pen and nailing the boards to the poles and the wire to the boards in order to keep the big dog from going over the fence.

Our appreciation for the work — well done — and the spirit of cooperation by both staff and students who have proven to me this city, this state, this country and this world will be in good hands with our young people of today.

Thank you all!

Semper Fi

Leroy Peasley

Rockland

 

Beheaded, a metaphor?

The winning of a $600,000 grant is an admirable feat. Rockland Community Development Director Rodney Lynch, and all involved, deserve high praise for executing a winning grant application.

Yes — here it comes — but the purposes for which the monies are to be used seem to me to create the kind of control that dehumanizes a place. It is, rather, place as “thing,” not place as a glorious opportunity for discovery and adventure. This is not to say that I do not enjoy having pleasant places to shop, to see people, and to relish a meal in a welcoming atmosphere where I do not have to do the dishes.

Given the various plans, however, one might as well install a people walker and have people load on, upon arrival, to be taken to the various points to which one wishes to direct them. Raised crosswalks (I know I will fall off the edge) and a narrowing of Main Street, which is Route 1, may accomplish crowd control, but I think instill an even more restrictive feel. So too with “open space and park improvements.”

While I’ve been avoiding visiting the Gilbert and Adams Central Park since the plant beheading, as too painful, I stopped by yesterday, to retrieve a personal belonging. Someone has done some things to the gardens, including ripping out established plants. The entrance to the garden has been relocated so that one enters directly opposite the gazebo. “You must now proceed from the sidewalk to the gazebo.”

In the process, a chunk of the garden bed was removed. These things were not replanted elsewhere in the garden.

Elsewhere, the buddleia that I thought I had killed in transplanting it during a hot day last summer, so it would have space, but which flourished (thank goodness), is gone. Oh, the north section where most work was done by the unknown person is quite “right,” and I mean that in the most strict of terms. It is clean and sterile. (Yes. It was I who pinned the “where is the buddleia” note to the soil.)

It’s easier to pave over than to understand. It’s easy to take control of things, and unfortunately people will fall in line and not protest. Not openly. They’ll tell you, all right, given the right moment, but more often, remain silent and withdraw.

“Soul” and “spirit” are tougher to contend with. When I took on the park last year, I contacted everyone I could to see what they had done, to see what their vision might be. If I couldn’t find out, I left what was free and thriving alone, taking my cues from what was the sanctity, serenity and wildness of the place. My sole hope was that I would not, in any manner, squelch the intention and vision of the originators of the park and gardens nor in any manner take away any of its soul.

I would much rather see monies going to supporting dances for adolescents, and small amusement parks, such as the one that was in Rockport, I think, than this attempt at revitalization. “Revitalization” — to bring back to life.

It comes down to this: you cannot construct richness and soul without having things a little dirty, and there must be balance. It is easy to destroy. “New” is easier than attacking the roots. We were a great culture when things were more humane — erring on the side of dirt and wildness.

As with all living organisms, the eradication of weeds — those things we find troublesome — the thrill of wildness and wonder, and even a little danger, are forever lost. And I, for one, would spend my last dime on a soulful experience.

Maggie Trout

Rockland

Large print would be nice

Thank you for the new Fair Point Communications Telephone Book I received in the mail today as did many other customers. You have printed on the front cover of the book and I quote: “We make it easy to spot the good guys,” but only if you printed large names. It’s OK for the young people but for a person getting up in his or her 80 years of age it’s hard to read if the person doesn’t have strong eyeglasses. But thanks anyhow. The contents of the book are very good.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

Under the radar screen

Until we needed the services of a quality funeral home to assist with the loss of a loved one, we knew little about the important role they play in our community. The Long Funeral Home in Camden is an extremely valuable resource for the Midcoast community. They supported our family in every stage of our loss process and we were incredibly impressed with the professionalism and kindness that John Long and Julie Clement exhibited.

We take this opportunity to thank them for their superior service in assisting our family with our recent loss.

Jim and Pauline Patterson

Camden