Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, Aug. 8

Aug 08, 2019

Local parade or political rally?

The Lobster Festival Parade has always been one of my favorite downtown events of the summer and I have been going for years, mostly because of the local flavor. I very much enjoy the creative displays of familiar businesses and organizations, the various bands, the sea goddesses, and especially the excitement of the children. I also like to honor and celebrate our veterans, who are a welcome part of the mix, but this year there was an unusual amount of military display, which in fact stretched the entire length of downtown Rockland for quite a while.

What especially disturbed me was that, along with the usual veterans and waving flags, were interspersed huge, shiny vehicles emblazoned with "Border Control" and "Keep America Safe." At a certain point it felt like our parade had been taken over by political rallying, and as I had just heard beforehand that political candidates were no longer permitted in the parade, it was most ironic to be confronted with such a blatant and controversial political message.

Rosemary Willson


Cure for gun violence must not be political

The American Psychological Association, of which I am a member, has come out clearly after the mass shootings that we must face the fact that gun violence is a public health crisis. It suggests that the combination of easy access, lethal assault weapons and hateful rhetoric are fueling the crisis. It insists we see the unending fallout of ongoing daily fears of our children and ourselves. The latest mass shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

We must take a look at why racism and bigotry have been proliferated and then unchecked by our government and its policies. This epidemic must be investigated and stopped. We need research as to causes and solutions of homicides, suicides and mass shootings and reinforcement for things we know will help, e.g., requiring background checks for all gun sales with effective interagency communication. Prevention, for individuals and communities, is a must. It cannot be political. It must be treated.

Wendy S. Rapaport


Saturday in the park

Saturday, July 27, was sunny and warm, the perfect day for a free community picnic with lawn games and music, and what a great picnic it was for the approximately 175 participants!

The Rockland Public Library and WRFR Community Radio would like to thank the many volunteers and businesses that helped to make it such a special day:

Thanks go to City Manager Tom Luttrell and the Public Services Department for providing extra picnic tables and a grill, to the library for the lawn games and giant bubbles, Jessica Fratello of the Good Tern Co-op for the delectable coleslaw, Beth’s Farm Market for the early sweet corn, Wasses' for the hot dogs, Hannaford for cups, the First Universalist Church in Rockland for use of the kitchen, and Rockland Food Service for plates. Maynard Stanley’s Beanhole Beans and kettle corn demonstrations were a huge hit and we are so grateful to him for the donation of his time and wonderful food.

Music was a big part of the day, thanks to Ukes Rock, Dusty and Joanna and Friends, Miners Creek, and Mike Fletcher on the saxophone.

Thanks to WRFR's Kirk Gentalen, who assisted Maynard Stanley on the kettle corn, and WRFR's Chuck Gifford, who served as grill master, and all-around volunteers Gabe Barter, Peter Lehman, and Rockland librarian Jessie Blanchard. Rockland Parks and Recreation Committee and Renew Rockland shared information, served yummy zucchini lemon cake, and showed people the Community Farm. Special thanks go to Mike Grondin for all of his behind-the-scenes assistance.

Community is essential and we’re happy to have shared in such a big expression of it through the third annual Community Picnic. Here’s to many more picnics and community gatherings!

Patty King, Rockland Public Library

Jo Lindsay and Joe Steinberger, WRFR

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