Camden Herald Letters to the Editor April 4

Apr 04, 2019

Limit the destruction, keep off the grass

We are grateful the Rockport Select Board, at its April 8 meeting, will consider reducing the number of planned parking spaces in the lot along Limerock Street.

We continue to be very concerned that the current plans include a library building three times larger than the prior one. We learned last month that the planned building assumed a new Limerock Street, and it will be only five feet from the current Limerock Street. We are told it is too late to consider other options.

Limerock must be pushed away from the planned building and into the park. Limerock must cut through the lower park, across the park where the largest monument and one of the largest and healthiest trees now stand. In fact, the current plan moves both monuments and destroys every tree in the park.

An additional $370,000 beyond the voter-approved $3.5 million is required to implement the planned 14 parking spaces, the street work and the park destruction. And the new amount of $3.87 million does not provide money for re-landscaping the park. We are spending money on asphalt rather than plants and trees. More money will be needed to provide more than grass on the library grounds and park.

It is time to make a real change, rather than a tweak, to the parking lot plan. It is time to find ways to minimize black and maximize green within the constraints presented by this late public awareness.

The 14 perpendicular parking spaces planned should be reduced to six. These six spaces plus those planned for Russell Avenue and Union Street yield 16 parking spaces:

6 perpendicular spaces on Limerock

1 perpendicular handicap space on Limerock

2 parallel drop-off spaces on Limerock

3 parallel spaces on Russell

4 parallel spaces on Union

16 parking spaces within 75 steps of the new library (many more close by)

The library staff gathered parking data over the last six months of 2018. Their data show, assuming library visits average 15 minutes, that an average of three cars were parked at the library during the day. Clearly, the two drop-off and six perpendicular spaces will provide adequate space even if the traffic to the new library doubles to an average of six cars parked during the day. Parking for programs averaged 11 cars per program in the last six months of 2018. The 16 parking spaces within 75 steps of the new library would meet this need. The 16 spaces would meet the need 92 percent of the days. And for those 24 or so days a year when the need for program parking exceeds 16 spaces, there is abundant close-by parking, just as there is for Rockport Opera House events.

The library staff kept track of parking use between June 2018 and December 2018. Details of the study found that the average number of cars parked, based on total visits per day, was three cars; the maximum number of cars parked at one time on a given day was 30; the mid-point of daily maximum cars parked at one time was 10;  the most frequent daily maximum number of cars parked at one time was eight and the average of maximum cars parked at one time on a given day was 11.

The study factored in the maximum number parked at one time on a given day, the number of times this maximum occurred and the percent of times the maximum occurred. The results indicated that 16 parking spaces within 75 steps of the library would meet demand 92 percent of days the library is open.

Please contact our Select Board members now and ask them to approve six perpendicular parking spaces on Limerock Street at their April 8 meeting. Six perpendicular parking spaces on Limerock would preserve the maximum amount of green space, given the current building plan, and accommodate the parking needs of those visiting the new library.

Urge the Select Board to solve the matter of parking with six perpendicular parking spaces on Limerock Street so we can focus on building a library. Ask them to limit the destruction, keep off the grass.

Here is the contact information for our Select Board members:

Doug Cole: dcole@town.rockport.me.us

Debra Hall: dhall@town.rockport.me.us

Jeff Hamilton: Jhamilton@town.rockport.me.us

Mark Kelley: mgkelley@town.rockport.me.us

Ken McKinley: kmckinley@town.rockport.me.us

Richard Anderson, Rockport

Respectfully, Bjorn Lee; Tracy Wheeler; Nina Lynn Wheeler; Maureen Egan; Tim Seymour; Linda Lewis; Phil Lewis; Jim Ruddy; Jenni Ruddy; Ni Rong; Dorsey Gardner; Tom Laurent; Rosemarie Nervelle; Mark Swarzmann; Chris Swarzmann; Ann Keefe; Richard Anderson; Kathrin Seitz; Betty Bates; Tony Bates; Barbara Bausch; Leon Bausch; Caryl Kolkin; Stephen Earle; Bill Freeman; Susan Freeman; Mitchel Gross; Bob Jackson; Gwen Jackson; Stephanie Lash; Harrah Lord; Don Flock; Judy Flock; Lisa Morgan; Deniz Ovecoglu; Mary Stevens; Melody Schubert; Warren Schubert; Anne Surovek; John Surovek; Louisa Van Baalen; Mark Van Baalen; Pete Forster; Susan Forster; Ruth Graham; Jen Porter; Colleen Lowe; Shawn Moran; Patti Peace; Linda Sink; Tom Young; Mary Ann Young; Linda Lesher; Grif Lesher; Tori Willauer; Tony Fitch; Larry Lehmann; Marcy van der Kieft; Peter van der Kieft; Stephen Antonson; Kathleen Hackett; Michael Hampton; David Kantor; Lorraine Streat; Phil Streat; Jeff Kauck; Susan Kauck; Barbara Brooks; Malcolm Brooks and Samantha Appleton

 

Ed. note: The following letter refers to a story and an editorial comment that were published in the March 28, 2019, issue of the Camden Herald.

Keeping track of corporate sponsorship

In response to last week's Stephen Betts article and the closely-related editorial, both of which call attention to Rep. Chellie Pingree's remarks on climate change at a recent Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting, which included several tables filled with high school students, I have a question for those at the kids' tables (because I believe the children are our future):

Did Rep. Pingree mention that the giant WMD corporation General Dynamics, which owns Bath Iron Works, was her second biggest corporate sponsor in 2017-2018, at least according to watchdog website opensecrets.org? Over the course of her career, according to the same website, Pingree has enjoyed over $39,000 in sponsorship from this corporation that manufactures warships, nuclear weapons systems, and private jets, among other products which are also environmentally destructive.

By lending her brand to this corporation, it seems that Rep. Pingree is helping to greenwash and otherwise legitimize U.S./corporate war-making. While nobody is likely to accuse Pingree of being the muckiest person who frequents the Swamp, her continued acceptance of funding from this WMD corporation over the years is nevertheless inexcusable. Both the Betts article and the Herald's editorial quote her as saying, "I don't want [my young granddaughter] asking me years from now why I didn't do anything." In fact, Pingree has been doing something: she's been accepting money from a WMD corporation that manufactures huge, fossil-fuel guzzling war machines.

Young people, please consider joining us from 8:30 on Saturday, April 27 at Bath Iron Works as we protest yet another "christening" of a multibillion dollar Zumwalt "stealth destroyer" made by General Dynamics, a corporation which also sponsors Sens. Collins and King, as well as Bernie Sanders, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump. You have the most to gain from action, the most to lose from inaction.

Jason Rawn

Lincolnville

 

Controlling invasive pests

This spring, Maine’s Midcoast area is experiencing an increase in invasive and destructive insects. The hemlock wooly adelgid’s presence is expanding in our native hemlocks, the browntail moth is now prevalent in our red oaks and fruit trees and the emerald ash borer, though not yet in the Midcoast, has been documented in northern and southern Maine.

There are various controls, including ones that have been certified organic, available to control these pests. However, as invasive pests become more prevalent it is inevitable that there will be some people offering pest control services even through they are not legally licensed to do so.

Homeowners need to be aware that, according to Maine law, any individual or company offering any pest control service for compensation (and that includes the use of organic controls) is required to be commercially licensed to do so.

Maine law states that one individual within each company or branch office is required to have a master commercial applicator license.  The licensed master applicator is the person responsible for pest management decisions, establishing policies related to proper pesticide use, employee training and work practices, and is generally the owner, supervisor or manager of the company.

Each individual employed as a technician under the supervision of a master commercial applicator is required to have an operator’s license.  The operator’s license is in effect only if the employing company has at least one master commercial applicator.

The exams for both the master and operator licenses are rigorous. In order to apply controls for trees and shrubs, for example, individuals must pass both the core and ornamental horticulture exams. This ensures they possess the proper knowledge of how to safely apply pesticides, so as not to damage trees and shrubs or endanger people and animals. It is rather costly to maintain the licenses, therefore not many tree companies take the time and afford to get these required licenses.

When hiring a company to care for your trees and shrubs, be sure they are properly licensed for ornamental horticulture. It is your right to ask to see their licenses. This will protect your trees and shrubs, as well as protecting the tree-care professional from opportunistic predatory practitioners.

If you know or suspect that an unlicensed company or individual is providing these serives, please contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at 287-2731. You may also contact them for a list of licensed pesticide applicators.

Nancy Caudle-Johnson

Camden

Support for transportation bill

I support the Maine Bill LD1142 to provide transportation to senior citizens needing help. Many of us in small towns, as well as rural areas, do not have cars. Depending on friends and family is not always an option.

A report from the transportation for America states that seniors make 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor. They make 65 percent fewer trips to shop and visit friends. We need help from the state for all counties in Maine.

Nina Holland

Camden Maine

 

A few minutes walk versus a lifelong dream?

For most people, owning their own home is a major goal, a cherished dream. Some choose the vibrancy of a big city, others look for a small town such as Rockport with its preserved open spaces, like Memorial Park.

Now with the parking space proposal, the serenity of that open space is threatened, as well as the quality of life and the dream it represents. For our two neighbors who live next to the park, using Memorial Park for car parking brings concentrated noise (car radios, people talking, car doors slamming, motors running), as well as gasoline fumes and the loss of flowering shrubs, trees and the open grassy areas.

Yes, for the neighbors it represents an impact for every hour of the day for a lifetime.
Can we compare that to the impact on a library patron having a few minutes of walking versus a lifetime of a broken dream?

Respectfully,
Ruth Grubman Graham
Rockport

 

'A kind and gentle soul'

The Midcoast lost an extraordinarily kind and gentle soul last weekend with the passing of Charlie Allen. He lived for many years with his wife, Lynn, and their two sons, Graham and Miles, in Union, and he taught elementary school.

My younger daughter, Sybil, who grew up in Union, shared that "Charlie must have been a fun and loving role model to many kids. I will remember the great sense of humor the Allens always have and the message not to take life so seriously all the time".

Charlie was also a musician and great gardener who, among other things, usually had a most generous crop of basil each year. I will miss him.

Bill Patten

Falmouth

Ed. note: Mr. Patten formerly lived in Camden and Union.

 

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