Camden Herald Letters to the Editor Feb. 6

Feb 06, 2020


Opposed to Ordinance changes

In 2017, Rockport voters approved changing the Land Use Ordinance to allow hotels in Rockport Harbor. The Ordinance requires developers to provide adequate parking spaces for the size of the hotel. We didn’t think that the 40 hotel rooms allowed by the amendment, awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, would mostly go to one massive hotel — bigger than the hotel in Camden. Sixty-six percent bigger.

We rely on our Planning Board to apply the Ordinance without regard to the applicant. We didn’t think the board would allow a developer to use spaces already assigned to Central Street restaurants to meet parking requirements. Hotel guests will be parking on our already overcrowded streets for hours and days at a time.

The review process for the hotel proposed by 20 Central, LLC has revealed a dangerous pattern of the town of Rockport’s Oversight Boards to bend or break our ordinances for the benefit of a single developer, Stewart Smith.

Now, the Select Board has dealt the last blow to village residents by pushing to eliminate any requirement that developers in the downtown district have to provide their own parking. Clearly designed to release Smith from his obligation to provide any parking for his hotel, and foisting the parking and traffic problems onto the residents and taxpayers of Rockport to solve and pay for. Yes, you read that correctly – He will not be required to provide any parking by the acts of the Select Board of Rockport.

The Select Board is extremely irresponsible to be considering removing parking standards when the new library and the hotel are poised to put unprecedented pressures on our downtown.

I encourage you to contact the Select Board and the Ordinance Review Committee (on which Mr. Smith’s engineer sits) to loudly voice opposition to these proposed changes. No parking standards should be lessened until a parking and traffic study is completed to determine the real impact of these developments.

I ask that the engineer and all the other interested parties do the right thing for our town and not put their personal interests and “buddy” before the Rockport taxpayers.

Kimberly Rehmeyer


How to Teach Patriotism

I read with interest the Another View commentary “Is patriotism important to you?” The author’s premise is that patriotism continues to wane in our country. He posits that Millennials’ lack of patriotism results from poor parenting and a failure of history education in schools.

I agree wholeheartedly that we as a nation lack awareness of the details of our country’s history and civics. Where I depart is the premise that better education in these areas would instill, in today’s divisive environment, a stronger sense of patriotism.

George Washington, in his brilliant farewell address to the nation, articulated a premise that national unity should be the primary objective of patriotism. We as a nation must instill unity and reject attempts to alienate any of our people. Without national unity, patriotism really cannot exist.

Washington forebodingly warned of the dangers of the rise of parties of the state; “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” The existence of extreme party loyalty is in direct opposition to unity.

I am a U.S. Air Force veteran and have spent 25 years working with industry in support of the military. I travel extensively and have witnessed many discussions on the demise of “patriotism.” My perception is that the concept of patriotism has been largely co-opted. Too often, “unpatriotic” is deployed as pejorative and alienating. Exercising the right to argue the merits of universal health care makes you no less a patriot than flying an American flag or taking a family trip to Washington D.C. makes you one.

Another View identifies as “conservative” and often deploys the divisive rhetoric so prevalent in our national discourse. With self-identification they set themselves apart from the whole. Is this unity?

Patriotism is vital to the strength of a nation. We are fortunate people living in a nation that is capable of correcting its wrongs. In addition to teaching history, teaching unity and civil discourse will remedy a waning sense of patriotism.

Rich Tranfield


Protect our health -- Vote "No"

Universal vaccination protects public health by preventing the spread of communicable diseases that can cause death or disability. Knowing this, the people of Maine wisely decided to eliminate “philosophical” and “religious” exemptions to vaccination.

Question One on the March 3 ballot would overturn this decision, for reasons we think are irrational.

Evidence and experience show that any risks from vaccination are dwarfed by the disease-based risks of not vaccinating. Areas of the US that let their vaccination rates drop have seen a resurgence of serious diseases like measles — illnesses that had been eliminated. We don’t want Knox Country — which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Maine — to become one of them.

A “yes” on Question One is a vote against public health.

Vote "No" on Question One.

Jeff Zurkow, Mary Winchell, Todd Kirchgessner, Ph.D., Anne Minnich, Ph.D., Paula Coyne, Bill Coyne, Peg Pickering, R.N., Susan Blau, John Shane and Tracy Lord


Appalled at impeachment complicity

It is alarming to see Republican Senators bow to the demands of a corrupt president who has engaged in abuse of power and who pressures them to refuse testimony from witnesses at his own impeachment trial!

This obstruction of justice upsets the checks and balances put in place to preserve and protect our precious democracy.

By abdicating their role as impartial jurors in the impeachment proceedings, Republican Senators are complicit in weakening our democracy and enabling a power hungry, overbearing president to tip the scale of power.

Maine's Senator Susan Collins needs to take a stand to defend and uphold our democratic principles at this important juncture in our country's history.

So far, she has not.

Douglas Johnson


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Comments (2)
Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | Feb 06, 2020 14:41


I appreciate your time of service and taking the time to express your thoughts. I do not believe that my article expressed divisive inferences and in no way did express any opinion re Medicare for all. That is your personal opinion and although we differ in this in no way does that involve patriotism. Family influences and education at all levels are both important influences for young people. I thoroughly agree that unity of thought and purpose are important ingredients for patriotism to flourish and perhaps given some time after the impeachment discord declines we may have the opportunity to work together for the benefit of all our citizens.

Jan Dolcater, Rockland








Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Feb 06, 2020 08:45

Ref How to Teach Patriotism; Thank you Rich for this, Patriotism, like many things, must start at home.  Thank yu for your service.

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