Synagogue mourns Muslim deaths in New Zealand

Congregation Adas Yoshuron of Rockland joins the world in recoiling from the horror of Christchurch. The people of the Midcoast were immediately with us at the time of our tragedy in Pittsburgh, a kindness that we will never forget and one that will resonate through the ages. Now we are one with Muslims throughout the world.

We know Islam as a religion of peace, and so this abject violence is even more stunning to us and to all who seek peace, reconciliation and happiness.

We mourn those who were lost. May Allah, peace be upon him, give them an easy and pleasant journey, and shower blessings on their graves.

Clifford C. Dacso


Adas Yoshuron Synagogue



Rockport Library street and parking design

On March 14, the Select Board for the new library project delayed approval of the street changes and parking facilities to allow for community discussion of alternative design options.

This was a necessary step. More than the library, the changes to the local streets, park and redistribution of parking spaces that support the library will directly affect the surrounding community and those users of the library who have special ambulatory needs.

The Board chose March 25 to release a final street/parking design and to allow a town review of this part of the project. The Board has determined the parking/street work will not begin until later into the project. This timing allows for a more thorough review and comment period. Can we extend the approval deadline beyond March 25?

Most people I have spoken with believe they approved the spending of $1.5M for a new library only, not changes to parking or street access to the library. This begs the question, was the library initiative unclear or improperly worded? And if so, should the street/parking design be considered in a separate initiative?

There does not seem to be a finalized budget for the parking and street changes. I understand from the March 14 meeting that the budget was once $330,000, but is now $150,000. Without a budget, how can a design plan move forward?

Furthermore, some research on library construction suggests that there should be one square foot of parking for every square foot of library structure. That would mean 10 parking spaces for the new Rockport Library, not the proposed 14 spaces. Doesn’t it make sense to allow time to consult with experts in the field?

Finally, nine children live on Huse and Limerock streets, which are narrow one-lane streets. These children range in ages from three years old to teenage. For their sake, shouldn’t we make the time to adequately design for a safe environment for these children and the many children who will visit the library in the near future?
Mary Stevens


Camden's LED lighting

I hope that there will be the opportunity for public input on this issue, because many of us are not wanting these lights.

The cost savings are not worth the risks for our health. I think there are many people who see this as saving money, but are not aware of the negative health effects of blue lighting at night.

The human circadian system is sensitive to the spectrum of light visible to the eye, especially the blue wavelengths.

In the morning, waking is helped by blue wavelengths of daylight triggering releases of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, and the hormone cortisol. In the evening, as natural levels of blue light drop and are replaced by dim red light, melatonin hormone is produced to help us fall asleep. Blue light at night, including that from screens and electronic devices, signal the brain to stop producing melatonin. This has a wide effect not only on our health, but also on other species and the environment.

I live on Pearl Street and there is a light that shines directly into our bedroom and that of our neighbors, which is annoying as it is, but the blue light would make it much worse. Personally, at home, I use the Chromalux full spectrum incandescent bulbs from Lumiram Electric. They cost more but the ones in my lamps are now still working after at least six years' use. Local health food stores usually have them, and I get mine on line where they are much cheaper.

Silvia Shanahan




Scandal! Rich parents used money to scam the system of college admissions. Not the best behavior to model for one’s child. The media is really bashing the famous-name Hollywood mothers involved. Quite frankly, I know many mothers who would go to great lengths and do whatever they can to help their children; I am not defending their actions, but I get it in a way. I also find it interesting that the media is focusing only on the mothers involved, ignoring fathers and members of our first family who certainly gamed the system (I know that was in the past).

However, I am concerned that we are missing a bigger, more important issue in this story. 

By focusing on how some cheat to get into prestigious name institutions, we continue to foster the notion that going to a ‘good school’ is essential to one’s well being. We ignore the reality that all education has value. Why is society still obsessed with a few universities as the “good” schools? In the past I have asked high school students, who were stressed and obsessing about getting into a ‘good’ school, “Tell me the name of a ‘bad’ school.” I never got an answer.

Research shows that graduation with a diploma from an Ivy League school will give a graduate an edge right after college. However, five years after graduation, there is no difference in income and success between graduates of ‘good’ schools and other colleges and universities. Going to Harvard does not guarantee success and happiness. Lest we forget, Ted Kaczynski (the famous domestic terrorist. aka ‘Unabomber” who killed people using letter bombs) was a Harvard man.

Life is unfair. That will never change. What should change is our devotion to the false belief that some schools are ‘better’ than others. Life is what you make it. If you choose, you can get a good education wherever you show up and do the work. 

Penelope Ray