Camden Herald Letters to the Editor May 2

May 02, 2019

Opposing the sale of the former tannery site

On March 21, 2017, the Camden Select Board unanimously accepted the Tannery Work Group's findings that the consensus of Camden citizens was that the former tannery site be kept as a community property for a park/green space; playground; leased space for the farmers' market, festivals, acoustic concerts or other events; a river walk; and a small portion to be allocated for a commercial or nonprofit building. It was also agreed that the property would be leased, not sold, to users. The farmers' market moved there that summer and it became a wonderful place for community gathering.

So how is it that there's now talk of sending out RFPs for selling this property? Did I miss a vote on reversing the Select Board's action? Or is the Select Board abrogating its duty to preserve this community property?


Jane Babbitt



Make climate change actions personal

I rambled on down to see “Anthropocene,” a documentary about climate change. I had been warned that it was a 90-minute bath in despair, but I wondered if I might come home with a new insight. Although the movie may have some role in many people’s path of waking up, for my journey at this time, it was a terrible movie, simply because it leaves you feeling overwhelmed and powerless.

At the bottom of this powerlessness, is the assumption that this issue is a matter of numbers, of the actions of large groups of people and that taken on an individual basis, action has little meaning. Yet in both the Buddhist and Christian traditions, our action is the action, the very centerpiece of meaning.

In this public forum, I won’t go into how, in both these traditions, we daily promise to do what is rationally impossible, how we defy what is logically despairing. But we do. And this conundrum, this tension, is the quietly satisfying energy-ball of living.

I wish all of us in that theater were being given a step-by-step practicum in empowering projects. No more wringing of hands. No more overwhelm. I wish we were taught for 90 minutes how to make four immediate changes. Everyone’s four are a little different, but here are mine:

Get an energy audit of your home and start in cutting your heating bills. We spent $2,600 on improvements—attic, basement, windows -- and cut our oil bill in half, paying for the improvements in a single year.

If you are a two-car family, make one of those cars electric. We bought a used Nissan Leaf for $8,500, and use it for all needs within its 80-mile range.

This summer a neighbor is installing solar panels on our south-facing roof. This will pay for itself in 12 years, but since these panels last for decades, the gift is really not to us, but to the Earth.

Find something personal that you can happily do, an outward sign of change that starts a snowball of thoughtfulness and humility. For me, right now, this is cutting way down on meat consumption. You may find something else.

Do these puny individual actions change the planet? My mind tells me they don’t. My heart tells me they do.

Jory Squibb  


With apologies to David Letterman:  Ten Reasons to Read The Mueller Report for Yourself.

1) So you can form your own opinions about matters covered in the report rather than rely on your usual talking heads.

2) So you can see the amount of material that is redacted and determine for yourself whether our senators and representatives should have access to the full report.

3) Because you need to know the extent to which the Russian government went to influence our 2016 presidential election.  (With the 2020 elections looming, you may want to urge your senators and representatives to do something significant to prevent future foreign influence.)

4) Because unless we all stay informed and involved, there’s no guarantee our current freedoms will be ours forever.

5) Because it is so simply written and devoid of legal jargon that the average eighth grader can read it.

6) Because it is beautifully and classically organized, with summaries at the beginning and end of each section, topic and concluding sentences in each paragraph, etc., making the report very easy to read or even skim.

7) Because when eliminating wide margins, spacing for headings, footnotes and redacted material, it’s really only about 200 pages.

8) Because you paid for it and waited nearly two years for its release.

9) Because it’s widely available. Download it for free online, or buy it in book form.

10) I’m sure there is a 10th reason, but I’m not quite finished reading.

Just do it.

Read The Mueller Report!

Mary Orear

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