Objects to prominent featuring of flag

Regarding your November 16 news brief, updated on Nov. 19 (Updated: Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Confederate Flag), I'm wondering why the editors of the Gazette decided that this brief police blotter item deserves a huge graphic of the Confederate flag (5×7 inches on my web browser) as an illustration — or why it merits any illustration at all.

Why not highlight the pictures of our newly elected City Council members, who get only a thumbnail image below the enormous-by-comparison "stars and bars"?

I recoil every time I see this flag from another century, which remains a repugnant icon of racism and enslavement — not a symbol of "free speech," as Mr. Mills states, but an emblem of those who would rather fight a bloody Civil War, die, and secede from the Union than give up their "right" to enslave fellow human beings.

Why make this tarnished flag the only eye-catching thing on the front page of the Courier-Gazette's website? A picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words, and choices like this one can serve to perpetuate institutionalized racism, when each of us should be doing everything in our power to challenge it.

Kathy Westra



City hire

I find it almost insulting that the city of Rockland is advertising for a new stockman (not exactly gender proofed) for the Public Works Department, now apparently called the Public Services Department. This position is starting out at $21.74 per hour, or $869.60 per week, or $45,219.20 per year. Add to that all the benefits of health insurance, days off, vacation, sick days, personal days, and you come up with the very reason our taxes will never go down.

I find it hard to imagine any business in Knox County that starts out a stock person at the rate of $45,219.20 per year. When you add the associated costs of Social Security and any other add-on benefits, this is huge. I realize this is not generally someone off the street that can qualify for the position as advertised, but I will certainly bet the rules are very flexible, and there is always the hidden possibility that someone may be waiting in the wings for the process to go through as required, at least by the rules, and whatever else governs the appointment and hiring process.

There is not a bone in the bodies of any person or persons involved to hold the line on escalating pay and benefits for public employees. This is a major amount of money and is handed out every day. I also noticed on the Crime and Court News page, instead of where usual advertisements and bid request generally appear, the city is advertising for a current model year full-size SUV.

I only wonder if we are adding another new cruiser to the PD or is this a new vehicle for the stock person at Public Services Department, or why do we have to buy full-size and what appears to be quite well equipped vehicles? Oh well, that is another subject in itself. Just thinking out loud, I guess.

Dale Hayward



Opportunity for Waldoboro

At the Waldoboro Select Board meeting this week, something really exciting for the town was discussed: An extremely well respected and experienced marine biologist requested permission from the town to explore the possibility of bringing an exciting high-tech, and very fast-growing new business activity to our town.

Tap Pryor is a marine biologist associated with both the University of Maine's Darling Marine Center in Walpole and Acadia Harvest Inc. of Franklin. Pryor has extensive experience developing new and innovative technologies in land-based fish farming and oyster culture. He has been working with George Seaver at the Waldoboro Industrial Park for a couple of years now, and was instrumental in developing an exciting solar-powered new facility at the park, to develop innovative new sources of inexpensive aquaculture feed stock.

Waldoboro is incredibly lucky to have innovators like Seaver and Pryor developing these technologies right here in our town. The conversation with the Select Board last Tuesday revolved around an opportunity for the town to explore the development, on underutilized town-owned property, of a small but cutting-edge experimental facility to develop seed oyster stocks, for resale to the booming oyster-culture industry in Maine. Grant money is available, and Pryor was simply requesting permission from the town to apply for a grant, which has an early December submission deadline.

This grant application would not commit the town to anything whatsoever, but would provide an opportunity to further explore the possibilities of building a small research/production facility at the town's Dutch Neck Marine Park.

As I understand it, this facility would be housed within a modest new building built on town land (with grant money), and leased back to the researchers. There would be virtually no impact on our shoreline or our river, and the facility likely wouldn't be visible from Dutch Neck Road, even during the winter when the leaves are down. There would also be essentially no noticeable traffic increase on Dutch Neck Road, except perhaps during a short period of construction. Some amount of grant funds could likely be used to help the town upgrade somewhat the road leading into the landing, which is badly needed.

Unfortunately, possibly due to incorrect information spread through social media, several residents expressed concern that the facility might lower their home values, and would be inappropriate in the proposed location, neither of which I believe is true. If the Darling Marine Center in Walpole is any example, local home values would in fact almost certainly go up!

There was also concern expressed by some residents that Waldoboro's largest industry, clamming, could be adversely affected. This issue arose because some forward-thinking Waldoboro residents, like George Seaver and Abden Simmons, have expressed interest in whether the oyster seed-culturing technology being developed could potentially be used for raising clam seed too, not only in support of our own local clam fishery, but possibly for sale, for clam bed seeding operations elsewhere, perhaps even statewide, an activity that might generate significant income.

It is time for Waldoboro to wake up and smell the coffee! We must not let short-sighted personal interests by some residents actively inhibit desperately needed business development in our town. With new businesses come jobs, and new taxes, not to mention tourists, and hopefully visitors interested in the rocket science research Waldoboro is becoming known for, all of whom with also spend money in Waldoboro.

This is simply too good an opportunity to miss, and in my opinion, fits perfectly into an evolving vision of what Waldoboro could be. I am grateful that two of our Select Board members, Chairman Clint Collamore and Abden Simmons, seem to share this view of a growth opportunity for our town, especially in an industry that has largely made our great little town what it is today, i.e., our clamming fishery. Charge ahead, I say!

Seth Hall



Misogyny must go

I have been observing, researching and experiencing misogyny ("the hatred of women") my whole life. Misogyny has been in our societies since time began. It's all conditioning; therefore, misogyny has become a conditioned stimulus/response reality (think Pavlov's brutal canine stuff). The recent outcry from women over sexual abuse/indecency is the culmination ("Me Too") of misogyny's mainstay from generations of great-grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, etc., passing their conditioned misogynistic thoughts and actions along to "their boys" and girls. There is widespread misogyny and sexual abuse in every aspect of human life.

There are social, economic, religious and political variables involved in "keeping women down" and doing what men want from them. One pathetic variable is the widespread sexual abuse of our girls and boys. It seems sexual predators feel child sexual abuse is their privilege. Not only do these predators confuse children of their sexualities and innocent sexual needs and desires, it is accepted by officials in all stages of social justice.

These "privilege priorities" grow up with boys in every aspect of their lives. Boys are taught to be strong and "manly." Girls are taught to be womanly and obedient. Sex is a big seller. Women can get good money for sex. Sex slaves and trafficking are widespread, too.

Title IX is a joke. There is widespread college sexual abuse. These abuses grow ever more in professional men's sports. Men's professional sports are beyond brutal, and they get paid millions and billions of dollars to entertain us (that doesn't include taxpayer subsidization). Football players purposely bang their heads together, causing brain damage (what do they think will happen?). Many male athletes take their popularity and learned behaviors to a "Me Too" extreme. Women's sports are nonexistent after high school and college; when women do play "professional sports," they have to pay for most of their travel, accommodations and other "amenities."

Andrea Dworkin was correct in implying that pornography is the root of all women's (and men's) problems. It's what men want, and it's what men get. Pornography is available 24/7/365 on our "instant gratification" internet and glorifies pornographic panderings that give boys (and girls) the pathetic impression that that's all girls/women are good for.

I admire and honor those men and women who won't give in to our society's sexual deviancies. They don't fit into society's pigeon-holed existence. Breaking the misogynistic/sexual predation mold has to become the new reality so all children, including my great-nieces and -nephews, can coexist in peace, love and healthy relationships.

Jackie Freitas


Thanks Pen Bay for 'miracle'

I want to thank Pen Bay Hospital for their urgent care for me recently. It was a miracle that they brought me back. The efficiency they performed was outstanding.

The nurses were so wonderful, beyond the call of duty, for sure, Danielle, Stephanie and John, so great.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

Beverly Boivin



Trekkers thanks community for successful auction

On behalf of the Trekkers staff, students, families and auction committee, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the local businesses, organizations, and individuals who helped make our Nov. 4 student fundraising auction such an amazing success. With the community’s support at this recent event, 88 Trekkers students raised money toward their program dues for this year with the highest revenue ever generated for the auction. The proceeds from our auction will help these students participate in our experiential learning program, which includes ongoing mentoring and academic support, in addition to life-changing expeditions, local community service projects and outdoor-based education.

We thank our lead sponsor, Fisher Engineering, which donated a stainless steel XV2 V-plow, valued at $8,500. We also thank the Owls Head Transportation Museum and its staff for being a key sponsor, as well as providing a wonderful venue for the auction. Special thanks to supporting sponsors ABI Masonry, Cates Real Estate, Doug Curtis and Mike Curtis, Gamage Antiques, Lee’s Electric, North End Composites and Way 2 Much Trucking.

Thank you to the Maine Lighthouse Museum, Samoset Resort and Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce for the use of coffee airpots, easels, tablecloths and bidder paddles for the live auction. And, many thanks to auctioneer Bruce Gamage and his wife, Becky, who did an amazing job keeping the bidding process upbeat, lively and moving right along throughout the evening.

In addition to expressing my gratitude to the Trekkers staff, board members, and all the student and parent volunteers, I also want to thank the auction committee: Shari Closter, Paula Coyne, Kristin Gould, Dyann Peters, Aimee Sanfillippo, Gail Tardif and Alli Young.

And, of course, we thank each and every person who came to enjoy the event itself.

We were blessed with generous auction bidding from more than 350 attendees and delicious hors d’oeuvres and sweets provided by the students’ families. Our sincere thanks go to all the area businesses, organizations and individuals who donated more than 282 amazing items and services to the auction. We encourage everyone to support these local enterprises.

As Trekkers begins another year of mentoring youth from the Midcoast, I am once again amazed by the outpouring of support we receive from the community.

In 2018, Trekkers will work with more than 240 students and offer its six-year core program; our students will explore the country and our own back yard with journaling, reflecting, laughing and building relationships; and we will celebrate the more than 250 volunteers who contribute their time to support Trekkers’ students.

Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s event for the ongoing support of our students, and for helping to make our seventh annual Trekkers auction the most successful in our history.

Amie Hutchison

Executive Director

Trekkers Inc.