Montgomery Dam petition drive to begin Nov. 2

Camden citizens will be offered a chance to join the petition drive to save Montgomery Dam beginning Nov. 2. The Save the Dam Falls citizens’ group will begin collecting signatures on Voting Day at the polling station in Camden.

The petition, for Camden residents only, directs the Select Board to place an article on the warrant for the next town meeting. The petition reads, “Shall the Town of Camden protect, preserve, maintain, and repair the existing Montgomery Dam near Harbor Park in Camden?” The purpose of this warrant article is to prevent the destruction or removal of the Montgomery Dam and to preserve the Montgomery Dam, waterfall, and mill pond.

“It will be a long process,” said Meg Quijano, a founding member of the Save the Dam Falls Committee, “but finally the process has started. Finally, the people of Camden will get a chance to be heard.”

“This petition will offer an opportunity and a very clear choice to voters,” said Tom Rothwell. “The petition lets the townspeople express their support for preserving one of the treasures that Camden has to offer. We should be preserving, not destroying, our treasures.”

“Fortunately,” added Ken Gross, “saving the dam does not prevent flood mitigation or fish passage. It’s not perfect but it’s as close to a win-win as we can get.”

Ken Gross, Meg Quijano, Tom Rothwell

Save the Dam Falls committee

Stick with the facts

Mr. Patton should stick with the facts. I do wish that the Democratic Governor candidate in Virginia had not said that parents do not decide what should be taught in public schools. In fact, State Education Departments, not local school boards, determine the core curricular elements. Even parents who “home school” are subject to those requirements. His VA contacts are presenting a less than factual point of view.

Two issues are roiling the community in Louden County, VA.

First an erroneous notion that Critical Race Theory is or will be taught as part of the Louden County curriculum. CRT is something taught in graduate school and there’s no proposal for teaching it in any public school anywhere.

Second, is outrage over a court decision that one student must be permitted to use the restroom facility consistent with their gender identification. There are parents in search of an issue.

If there was a rape, it would be investigated by police not school authorities. For privacy of the possible involved students, there should be no public discussion of the issue in open meetings. The parent was threatened with arrest because he was, unmasked like most of the others, threatening members of the board and was being disruptive. It was not because of what may, or may not, have happened to his daughter.

I spent nine years as a School Board member in Belfast. We did not tolerate student bullying and called the Waldo County Sheriff when citizens engaged in bullying behavior.

If Patton wants to opine on Virginia school issues, he might read the Washington Post to get more facts rather than a small sample of friends with a particular perspective.

John Marshall
District of Columbia, formerly a Belfast resident

Vote no on Question 3

Question 3 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation Maine voters have ever been asked to vote on.  Constitutional amendments are drastic measures, especially when their wording conflicts with existing state and local laws. This amendment could allow state laws that protect animals, our environment, or even public health surrounding food safety to be challenged in court if they infringe on one’s constitutional right to raise, slaughter, and eat any animal of their choosing.  Nothing in this amendment specifically requires that local laws regarding animal welfare, environmental protection, or public health be adhered to.  It is possible that Maine would be unable to pass any additional laws protecting any animal one chooses to eat because that would infringe on our constitutional right to raise and slaughter animals.

A constitutional “right to food” sounds reasonable, as food insecurity and hunger are serious problems that need to be addressed.  Surely everyone deserves access to food, but our problems with hunger have nothing to do with lack of a constitutional right to food.  Instead, we need to address the root causes such as poverty, inequality, and policies that focus on short-term relief instead of systemic change.

Please vote no on Question 3 this November to protect animals, our environment, and public health.

Wendy Andresen

Camden

Yes on Question 1

I write to applaud Sam Patten’s op ed in last week’s paper. I’m so glad to read a politically savvy person, who is also usually a Republican, who supports a Yes vote on Question 1.

In politics unfortunately, money is the thing, and the bloc that supports the CMP/HYDRO – Quebec Corridor has more money to spend than the barely organized Maine voters and legislators who have put together this referendum.

The big money spenders on this one have filled our mailboxes with large glossy mailers from “Mainers for Fair Laws.” Who? I’ve received four of those and only two from Mainers urging a yes vote on Question 1.

The two glossy mailbox fillers urging Yes on One are far simpler. One is sent by Mainers for Local Power. Clear enough. The other one is from John Banks, retired director of Natural Resources of the Penobscot Nation. Now, I really love this one. I support the Penobscot Nation’s political endeavors entirely.

I’m a member of the Knox County Democratic Committee and signed on to the campaign for the referendum. I even went to a meeting last week where a debate was going to take place but heard only a fast-talking spokesperson, Benjamin Dudley, for the Vote No side. He clocked in for more than an hour of our entire ZOOM meeting. His main point, as I heard it, was that Maine voters should trust “experts” and not our legislators. Really?

Yet, we are now in the Biden presidency, who is strongly trending to reverse the popular 40th president who we remember for the by-line, “Government is the problem.”

On Nov. 2, I’ll vote yes on Question 1 and hope the CMP Corridor comes to an abrupt halt.

Carmen Lavertu
Thomaston

Tannery Park as a staging station is an insult to the neighborhood

The town is now using the property of the Tannery Park as a staging station for heavy equipment and fill for bridge, street, and sidewalk projects. The horrendous noise (through spring and summer starting at 7 a.m.) and, blowing dust, and unsightliness is an insult to the neighborhood.

My concern is that this situation continues at the will of town officials. I recognize that it is convenient, probably legal but to me unethical because it ignores the will of town residents. I beg for consideration of other places to stage equipment and fill. What would the town do if any of the four proposals had ever come to a vote? Sagamore Farm is six miles from town, may cost more on contractor bids, but is not in the middle of a neighborhood. In 2014 the town made the close vote that the property be used 51% for commercial, 49% for a park. In 2015 the town paid a facilitator $20,000, plus money to a landscape person, to meet with 14 volunteers to come up with a plan.

After many meetings the ultimate plan with accompanying map showed 1/4 of the space for a possible building, the Farmers Market, with adequate parking space, and a park. In 2017 town officials stated that the plan is just a concept. The plot can be used for commercial purposes of any size. The support letters attached to the E.P.A. Brownfield Cleanup grant, which was granted, does not reflect this bias.

In the town’s Economic Development meeting in April of 2019, an RFD to purchase or lease the land proposal was discussed. Thirty residents sat in on the meeting and voiced their objections. Nevertheless, the town issued the RFD. Two commercial enterprises, plus Habitat for Humanity and Friends of Tannery Park issued proposals. None of these are on the November 2021 ballot.

In reference to priorities, The Camden Herald on Aug. 5, 2021, reported the Select Board members, Falciani, Ratner, and Romana, agree the Tannery property has to be addressed. My request is that they do so.

I appreciate that all involved have many issues to address, perhaps too many, but ignoring the public wishes is unjust.

On another note, probably at another time, I would like public explanation about staging.  My understanding is that a contractor makes arrangements for the staging of its equipment etc. and is part of a contract. Why at the last minute did the town allow the contractor for the 2020-2021 wastewater project on Route 1, going through downtown Camden, to use the Tannery Park property? Were they paid for the use? Why are their large cement culverts still stored there? Are they paying for the storage?

Nina Holland

Camden