Camden Herald Letters to the Editor June 18

Jun 18, 2020

Select Board should not issue RFP for park

The Camden Select Board should not issue the RFP being considered, to seek a developer to decide the future of Tannery Park.

Tannery Park has become an invaluable public space as a community park and home of the Camden Farmers Market. The Camden Farmers’ Market in Tannery Park has been a huge success and has become a great community meeting place. Even without any improvements Tannery Park is in constant use by young children learning to ride their bikes, families walking their dogs, parents and their kids having a catch and people social-distancing themselves while having a cup of coffee on opposite ends of a picnic table. Neighborhood kids even had started to create a complex mini mountain bike circuit on the big dirt pile before being chased off by the police.

For three years, the town of Camden offered this property to a developer for free. That was followed by an attempt by the Select Board at the time to sell the Tannery property for an ambulance depot. After the ambulance proposal was scuttled because of a neighborhood protest, a decision was made by the Select Board to finally have a community-based committee come up with the best possible use.

The Tannery Work Group was appointed and represented a cross-section of the Camden community; it was funded by the Select Board and spent more than two full years working through all of the possible concepts, with the help of a town-hired facilitator and landscape architect consultants. The option of selling the property to a developer was among the many options thoroughly weighed. After more than two years of monthly meetings and three community forums, the TWG came to a consensus report with a multi-use, park, farmers’ market, and possible commercial space solution in which the town of Camden would retain ownership. On March 21, 2017, The Tannery Work Group’s final report was presented to the Camden Select Board.

At the Camden Select Board meeting on July 17, 2017, the Camden Select Board voted 5 to 0 to name the former Tannery Site “Tannery Park.” The application for the $200,000 grant the town received from the EPA states: “Because of the Site’s optimum location, the Town of Camden envisions it being redeveloped into a park or community space, as well as a year-round farmers market. It is likely that a portion of the property will also be separated and redeveloped for commercial use, such as restaurants, boutique retail stores, or small local business.”

Any RFP that is issued should follow that formula and therefore only include a portion of the property, leaving the larger balance of the property for “park and community space” to be developed by the community. The $200,000 EPA grant funds appropriation needs to be discussed by the community before any negotiation with a developer for their use. I also feel it is inappropriate to issue any RFP at this time until the newly discovered environmental issues remaining have been further evaluated and presented to the neighbors and community.

Thank you for carefully considering my comments before voting to issue an RFP for the possible sale of “Tannery Park.”

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Resek

Camden

 

Betsy Sweet for Senate

As someone who has been following the race very closely, and has partaken in hosting a forum at their school with all the candidates, it is disheartening to watch TV, where it seems as if the race for Senate is just Sara Gideon versus Susan Collins. When multiple outlets have attempted to get her to debate, she has backed out every time, citing “scheduling concerns.”

As potentially a future constituent for Sara, it is very disheartening to see her run away from talking to her people and opponents, and not hear where she stands on the issues.

I’m emailing Village Soup, because I know that the purpose of news outlets is to spread the news. If voters have no way of knowing there is a Democratic primary by just watching commercials, then that’s when their local newspaper should step in. I would like Village Soup to contact the Gideon campaign, and join in with other outlets to discuss the importance of discourse between the candidates, which is to inform voters about their stances on the issues.

If voters aren’t informed at all about an election which they participate in, then our Democracy is in shambles.

Julian Blohm

Camden

Betsy Sweet for Senate

If you watch the news, you may have noticed battling ads for Sara Gideon and Susan Collins.

Many people do not realize that we still need to hold a primary and there are two other candidates running against Sara Gideon.

I am writing to ask you to let your readers know and to encourage Sara Gideon to debate the other two candidates. She has been unwilling to do so. The voters deserve to hear her views on the issues and to be able to make an informed decision about who we want to represent us. There are many issues facing us and I still don’t know where the candidates stand on them. Ms. Gideon continues to cite “scheduling conflicts” as the reason for not being able to debate the other two candidates. If she cannot find the time to show her constituents where she stands on important issues prior to being elected, I have a hard time believing she will find time for us if she wins.

Bonnie Blohm

Camden

 

USA! USA! USA!

Wavelets shimmer, like Fourth of July sparklers.

A shadow-breeze sweeps across Alford Lake –

a loon wails. But mostly, it’s just ringing I hear

that comes when I am quiet.

 

Yet all is not quiet in America this morning.

Our noble endeavor – a more perfect union,

has gone wanting. CoVid-19 has halted mass murder

in schools, churches, malls, and Las Vegas,

 

but the virus of hatred continues unabated,

invading, reproducing, moving across this land.

I can’t breathe, moans a 46 year-old Black man.

Handcuffed, face hard to the street – a White police officer

 

kills him in broad daylight, kneeling on his neck,

already crushed by generations of oppression.

Crying out for justice, Americans of all races

rise in protest. But the powers that be – as usual,

 

search for outside villains to blame.

The President of the United States,

unable to express empathy, is advised –

do not address the nation. And yet he does.

 

Tough-guy talk from the Rose Garden – inflaming

national outrage even more. Upon conclusion of his talk, armed forces

on foot and horseback clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square.

The President walks to Saint John’s Episcopal Church,

 

and without a word, brandishes a Bible.

 

Matthew Eichenlaub

Rockport

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