Save the Montgomery Dam

Are we OK with our town officials deciding to destroy a treasured property that belongs to the people of Camden? No.  As voting citizens of Camden, we need to open our eyes and educate ourselves at what’s going on around us. Our town officials have decided to destroy the Montgomery Dam and waterfall at the head of beautiful Camden Harbor. They tell us there is no other option!!

My family gifted the Montgomery Dam to the citizens of the town of Camden 30 years ago with the expectation that the town of Camden would maintain, preserve and respect this historic gem. Your town officials want to tear it down!

Your voice needs to be heard. Whether it’s a phone call to one of our Select Board members or a letter to the editor or attending a Select Board meeting or joining the “Save The Dam Falls” group. We are trying to get the word out to all Camden voters to oppose the removal of Montgomery Dam. The Montgomery Dam and Harbor Park are treasures and legacies that deserve to be preserved, not destroyed!!

Lee Montgomery


Restoration of the Megunticook River

I’ve been intimately involved in dam removal in one Maine river (the Penobscot — with two removals and one natural by-pass) and installing hydropower in another (Sandy Stream in Freedom). Every river needs to be individually examined to determine what it can best do to contribute to the resilience of our environment.

I believe Camden now has an exciting opportunity, thoughtfully developed by the hard work of the Town Manager and the Select Board, who have thankfully focused on the long-term health of our community, to enhance Camden’s safety, beauty and environment while reducing our municipal expenses.

The discussion of the broader opportunity has been hijacked by a few business owners who do not want to see any change in the Montgomery Dam. (One simply stated in an open forum: “I am against change.”) They have been heard, but their views alone should not determine the future of the entire Megunticook watershed.

Restoration can be accomplished with the help of significant outside resources with no impact on the water levels of Megunticook Lake or at Shirttail Point. However, the whole project will fail if the Montgomery Dam is not removed so as to allow natural fish passage.

The benefits of river restoration are significant:

Flood control: critical protection of properties along the river’s entire course at a time when climate change is causing more frequent and severe flooding events

Species restoration: the return of alewives and other native species to the watershed

Reduction in the town’s costs for continual maintenance

Recreation opportunities along the river

Beautification of Camden Harbor with a return to natural water falls over granite ledges (most people find that a natural waterfall is far more beautiful than a man-made one over a concrete barrier)

Coordinating river restoration with a long-term solution to the issues presented by sea level rise in the harbor.

I anxiously await the completion of a study (by InterFluve) of the Megunticook, commissioned by the town and paid for by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA. That study will lay out the details surrounding each dam site and the costs of alternatives for restoring the Megunticook. The majority of the costs for restoration can be obtained from outside sources with an interest in river restoration. The costs incurred from not restoring the natural flows will be borne by Camden taxpayers.

I support restoration of the Megunticook River (including removal of the Montgomery Dam) and urge Camden residents to get engaged and understand the issues.


Tony Grassi



[Ed. Note: This letter is in response to a letter published in the Camden Herald, Aug. 12.]

CRT Reply Redux

There is a delicious irony of the bleat by Phil Bailey criticizing my admonition to parents regarding the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to their young schoolchildren.

First, he says I present no facts to my argument. Wrong. Sadly, the CRT curriculum is, indeed, a fact. The New York Times “1691 Project” factually exists and is promoted by woke educators. He states that I “claim racism no longer exists.” Wrong. Please re-read my letter, Mr. Bailey, to find that (1) I claim systemic racism does not exist; and (2) that, in fact, the abhorrent early history of slavery should be taught.

Ironically, after criticizing me for no facts, Mr. Bailey gives anecdotal evidence of systemic racism by citing a regrettable telephone conversation with someone who appeared racist. And that, folks, is how this pernicious notion of systemic racism is perpetuated. Someone has a racist experience, and then generalizes from that that the entire country is racist.

Sorry, but, as a proud former school superintendent for large communities, let me again say the problem with CRT is that based upon a legitimate history of slavery it then presents the monomania extension that people should be judged by the color of their skin. That notion supports systemic racism, and, in my humble but professional opinion, is terribly wrong.

Parents have a legitimate basis for enquiring of their school officials if CRT will be on their children’s curriculum this fall..
Ralph Wallace

Thank you, Senator Collins

In the conclusion of your letter to me regarding nuclear weapons, you wrote about a budget that eliminates wasteful and duplicative programs. I couldn’t help but think of the wastefulness of our current nuclear arsenal.

The recently ratified ICAN treaty shows that the majority of the world’s nations think nuclear weapons should be banned.  Please ponder the madness of them in your heart.  Think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, think of our own soldiers exposed to Depleted Uranium in the Gulf…

Don’t get caught up in nuclear madness, dear senator.  Put our men and women at BIW to work dismantling these horrific creations.  We only need one to make a mess of this beautiful planet of ours.  If you need to keep that last one to make you feel safe, so be it, but I dare say, you’re fooling yourself in that way.  In the meanwhile, things like Katrina and COVID happen, and we can’t save our people because we’ve put our resources into killing instead.

With respect,

Mary Kate Small,