Our doctors are great

On behalf of National Doctor’s Day on March 30, Pen Bay Healthcare wishes to thank our dedicated physicians who care for the needs of our citizens and community. For the second year in a row, Pen Bay doctors have opted to forgo celebrating Doctor's Day and donate any budgeted funds for nursing education. This year, two nurses, April Totman and Amy Lea, were selected to attend the recent annual American Nurses Association Quality Conference in Atlanta, Ga., in February. Ms Totman and Ms. Lea will be sharing highlights of the conference in a presentation during National Nurses Week in May.

We appreciate and thank our Pen Bay doctors!


Paula Delahanty

VP Nursing Services

Pen Bay Healthcare


Heartfelt thanks

I am extending my heartfelt thanks to two Good Samaritans who stopped to assist my wife, Helen, who had moments before slipped and fell on Pascal Avenue in Rockport.

The accident occurred early on Saturday morning, March 30, while my wife was out walking our dog. She had slipped on some loose gravel and was laying there in great pain (having, as it turned out, severely fractured several bones in her leg) when these two Good Samaritans were driving by and saw her. They immediately stopped and offered assistance, taking our dog’s leash and using my wife’s cell phone to call me.

The lady’s name is something like Krista or Christine. I never did get the daughter’s name. But both should be properly thanked for their assistance.

And, because of their assistance I was able to be there in a few minutes and immediately take Helen to the Pen Bay Medical Center's emergency room for treatment. She is now, thankfully, at home and recovering from the emergency surgery to repair the fractures.

Again, a very heartfelt thank you to these two Good Samaritans. People like you give so much and are your help is both appreciated and a lesson in generosity to us all. Helen and I are so thankful that you live in our community. Actions like yours are what make our town so special. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Bill Chapman and Helen Shaw




Certainly as a mature senior I have lived long enough to realize that life is complex, changing, and we often receive conflicting messages from people. However, this week provided two situations which I consider “jaw-dropping!"

On March 28 the Rockport Library Planning Committee held a meeting to discuss the value of our local library and the need to enlarge the physical space so they can more effectively meet these needs. In fact they have a $15,000 grant for planning purposes.

On April 3 I attended a meeting of the Five Town CSD School Board and learned that it is the intent of the school administration to reduce the role of the CHRHS library. They are planning to limit the position of librarian to part time and utilize the library space for other functions as well as the traditional use.

So which is it? Libraries are vital and growing? Or outdated and unnecessary? True, one is a community facility and the other focuses on a discrete population. The Rockport Library basically is supported by and serves the citizens of Rockport, whereas CHRHS serves the adolescents of the five towns which send their students there. The funding is different too, with the school being totally supported by state and local taxes without benefit of private monies.

However, I think there are more similarities than differences as they both contribute to the intellectual needs of a community.

Am I the only one confused?

Margaret Carleton



Attention Finnish readers

I am working on a project for the the Finnish Heritage House (finnheritage.org) honoring "Finnish-American Veterans of World War 2."  If anyone has any photos or information of any kind regarding Finnish-Americans who served in the armed forces and merchant marines during World War 2 please contact me. The exhibit will be displayed at Finnish Heritage House in South Thomaston beginning the third week in June until the middle of October 2013.

Thank you for your consideration and assistance.

Steven Gifford

4 Park Avenue West

Brewer, ME 04412



More than random acts of kindness

We were truly blessed this past Sunday when someone driving down Mt. Pleasant St. noticed a rapidly growing brush fire right next to our garage and woodshed. They quickly pulled in our driveway, jumped out of their car, yelled for me to call 911, rushed to the area with water jugs they’d just filled at the stream, hooked up our hose and went to work. A neighbor came running, too, with a water pack and extinguisher and then almost instantly, the first firemen, the tank truck, more firemen and equipment were on scene.

Had you seen how how fast the fire started (don’t ask), and spread, you’d know I wasn’t kidding last week about how dry it is, all the way down those layers and layers of leaves and brush. Add to that a brisk wind and you have what could have been a disaster from a really stupid mistake. Luckily, a fire that was quickly turning ugly was quickly extinguished.

Just eight days earlier I’d seen an awesome array of firefighters and equipment as local and further afield firefighters and everyday citizens honored Rockport Fire Chief Bruce Woodward upon his retirement. As I had listened to all the speakers, I’d developed a deeper understanding and even greater appreciation and respect for not only Bruce but all in the firefiighting world – their work, dedication, education and human compassion, no matter the size or seriousness or cause of a fire. After Sunday that admiration, respect and appreciation goes even deeper.

Thank you all – each and every fire crew member (including “retired” Chief Bruce), who showed up so rapidly, those strangers who spotted the fire and stopped to alert us and to help and concerned neighbors/friends who materialized from nowhere.

Stephanie "Stevie" Kumble



Teens questioning sexuality need support

No suicide has a single cause, but verbal harassment by peers was certainly a factor in a middle school student's tragic decision to end their life last week in Troy. The family’s report that this young person was questioning their sexuality underscores this tragedy, highlighting the reality that LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) youth comprise an unacceptably large percentage of youth suicides in Maine.

Middle schools are the newest institutions coping with our changing culture. At increasingly younger ages, our country’s youth are receiving messages about and exploring their own sexuality. Research has taught us that differently gendered or oriented children know they are different before the age of 10. The need for training for our school teachers and administrators in the sexuality issues of this younger age group is considerable.

Maine’s new anti-bullying legislation is an important first step. Yet, helping all of our kids feel welcomed in our schools requires more than anti-bullying policies. All children who are bullied, regardless of the reason, need adults who are willing to take notice, step up and speak out at the first sign of trouble.

For LGBTQ youth, we need to provide visible and audible reminders that LGBTQ people are well represented in our communities: teachers, other community leaders, authors, inventors, bankers, etc. They need safe spaces that provide a place for them to explore who they are and how they can stand tall in our communities. They need help and support in finding their voice and how they can best contribute to our community at large.

Out! As I Want to Be provides affirmation, support, guidance, advocacy, and education to LGBTQ young people and their allies aged 14-22 in Midcoast Maine and its offshore islands. We offer an evening drop-in for members in Rockland every Wednesday and Friday. We are often a lifeline for isolated rural youth through our 800 number: 530-6997.

We grieve that we don’t reach every LGBTQ youth in need. Last Friday, our youth members responded to news of the Mount View student’s experience by initiating the drafting of letters to fellow young people urging them not to consider suicide. As a community, we need to provide alternatives to suicide.

Out! is working to establish GSTA’s (Gay/Straight/Trans/Alliances) and safe spaces in all of our schools. Join us in our grief and in our work to build communities where all of our kids can thrive. Together, we can build on our state’s support for equality for all to make our schools and communities safe, supportive environments for each and every youth.

Dora Lievow,

President, Board of Directors

Out! As I Want to Be