Neighborhood feuds are not uncommon in the Midcoast, as we are sure they crop up all over the world and have throughout recorded history.

However, it is important to take care to be considerate of those who share your town and especially your neighborhood or even your street.

The Camden Planning and Code Office is to be commended for its thorough and strong response to an instance of homeowners using herbicide on a neighbor’s property, killing trees. The goal of the action was to clear a view of the water, but the results could be far-reaching.

People have trees on their properties for any number of reasons and one can be to maintain a sense or privacy. This can be very important.

Aside from that, this action involves use of a herbicidal chemical that is marked “not for residential use” not only in a residential setting, but very close to the ocean and a town park and public beach.

People have different comfort levels when it comes to issues like this. Some people can lose enjoyment of their property as they contemplate the use of chemicals and possible impacts on their health. For some a tree is a mere matter of decoration. For others, trees are beloved treasures.

Beyond these factors, the town, the state, the Department of Environmental Protection and other entities have very clear rules about what can and cannot be done near the water, on other people’s land and in close proximity to public parks used by families.

Laite Beach is frequented by people with small children and dog walkers, among others, who will likely be very concerned by this issue.

This kind of behavior erodes one of the great strengths of the Midcoast area. We have a sense of community. This is a place where neighbors greet each other by name and check up on each other. We want to maintain that and build on it, because there is a tremendous value to spirit. It is one of the things that sets Camden apart from so many other places people could live, work or visit.

It is everyone’s job to be a thoughtful good neighbor and to strengthen our sense of community.

We hope this issue will be resolved to the benefit of the property owners and the environment. We also hope the town government in Camden will remain committed to enforcing the laws and ordinances that protect the safety of our coast, our pets, our children and ourselves.


“Take this remark from Richard poor and lame, Whate’er’s begun in anger ends in shame.” — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

This day in History, Dec. 8, 1941

“On December 8, as America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan,” reports.

“Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at noon to request a declaration of war from the House and address the nation via radio.”

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”