Camden Herald letters to the editor Oct. 8

Oct 08, 2020

To the man who threw the finger at me

I want to share a story with you. I was horrified with what happened to George Floyd and the ensuing turmoil and unrest. I was happy to participate in the protest in Camden. It was so good so many people felt the same horror I did including our chief of police. One protest was not enough for me, though. I felt it my duty as a white person to do my part to raise awareness of the systemic racism that still permeates our society. Since then I have silently stood outside my house with a sign that says Use Your Voice, End Racism BLM, but then, you know this, because you saw me.

Most people who drive by supportively honk or wave but several times I have had people like yourself drive by and throw the finger at me — every single one of them has been a white male like you. And every single time this happens I can’t help but wonder what you are thinking and feeling when you do that. You must feel so enraged and I wonder why?

For all you know, I could be a Republican. I could be a Democrat. You don’t know what my views are on police reform except for the story I imagine you tell in your own head. I’m not taking away your liberties. You don’t know what I stand for. I can tell you I am a patriot who lovingly flies the American Flag every day. I can tell you that I love my country even though I am severely disappointed in its behavior toward its very own citizens. I can tell you I am exercising my first amendment rights to silently protest and speak out against injustice. The same freedom you enjoy and vehemently throw your finger at while I stand in my own yard.

You didn’t give me the chance to tell you any of that. It was easier to drive by and throw the finger. It is much more difficult to turn into my driveway and have a peaceful conversation to learn about me and give me the opportunity to learn about you. You may find we want the same things. We may both agree to disagree.

I want to tell you that a 70-something woman had that courage. She saw me protesting in my yard, drove past and then decided to turn around to have that conversation. She was nervous to talk to me but she was brave. I was nervous too. She did not agree with me. I did not agree with her. We talked about our differences and what was important to both of us. We listened to each other while holding on to both our beliefs. We each suggested books to read to support our points of view. It was civil and friendly. Did we change each other’s minds? No, but the discourse was good and productive. I even saw her a week later in the grocery store parking lot and we happily waved to each other bonding over our differences. How I wish our exchange could’ve been the same!

Every time I protest in front of my house I am scared. I am afraid of people like you who would rather put rage and hatred out there than do the hard thing to try to understand a different point of view. At the Watershed School in Camden they have a saying: Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It isn’t easy sometimes to be different than someone else. Elie Wiesel said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” I choose to continue my silent protest as you may choose to protest me. I also choose to inhale your hatred and exhale back to you peace, love, and light for I believe that you and I can peacefully coexist if we have the courage to do so. I pray you turn your beliefs into positive action instead of negative displays. It is my fervent wish you find the same courage my elderly friend did to enter into a peaceful conversation to try to understand where another is coming from. You may never change another person’s beliefs but you may end up feeling hopeful for the world knowing you may have planted a seed in someone else and you will never forget it. I wish you all the best this life has to offer.

Your fellow American Patriot,

Rita Buckley

Rockport

Evangelos for Maine House 91

I am writing to voice my support for Jeffrey Evangelos, Independent for House District 91; west Union, Waldoboro, Washington, and Friendship. I have known Jeff for more than 40 years and found him to be intelligent, honest, hardworking and willing to listen to all sides of an issue, allowing for negotiation and compromise. I also know Jeff to be dedicated to civil and human rights, personal freedom and social responsibility. Jeff Evangelos has a proven track record of fiscal conservatism and fiscal restraint.

When I first met Jeff he was Warren's town manager. I remember this highly motivated young man, fresh from UMO with a Master's in American History, willing, even anxious, to make the world a better place. During his tenure, Warren built a new town garage and fire station, built the footbridge across the river at Payson Park and bought a gravel pit, at a bargain price, to provide the town with material for many years. The site is now further utilized as the town's transfer station. Jeff left a legacy of significant, long term improvements for the betterment of the town.

I next had a connection with Jeff through the SAD 40 Superintendent’s office in Waldoboro, where Jeff was responsible for non-teaching personnel, buses and buildings and oversight of the construction of five schools and four gymnasiums. For 16 years Jeff presented balanced budgets while fighting to provide living wages and benefits for the workers. He worked diligently to reduce operating costs of the district's infrastructure through efficiency and planning. Jeff's hard work and vision has saved all the towns in the district huge money AND improved the facilities that our children attend. After retiring from public service, Jeff successfully ran his own small business in Waldoboro for 20 years and moved to his self-sufficient farm in Friendship.

My business, Northeast Transport is located in Waldoboro. As a businessman and major local employer, I know we need Jeff Evangelos; he is someone who understands economics, business and the needs of District 91. Jeff has 100% voting support of the lobster fishery, is endorsed by the Maine Education Association, the Maine Conservation Voters and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Jeff has never lost sight of, or his concern for, those in our society who have experienced discrimination, for which has earned the endorsement of Equality Maine, who praised him for his leadership and 100% voting record in support of equal rights.

For a representative who is intelligent, hardworking, experienced in public government and private business, fiscally conservative and with a proven record of standing for the rights of women and minorities, I strongly endorse independent candidate Jeffrey Evangelos for House District 91, and urge my friends in Union, Waldoboro, Washington and Friendship to support Jeff by voting on Tuesday Nov. 3 or mail in ballot well in advance of that day.

Jeffrey Payson

West Rockport

Support for Sen. Dave Miramant

I have known and worked with Dave Miramant for over 12 years. As a former representative, I saw Dave in action in the Senate: always hard-working, always focused on the needs of his constituents. Due to term limits, Dave is running for his last term and this may be the most important term for legislators to have knowledge and experience. Due to the pandemic, Maine is facing real challenges in the coming two years. We need our senator to have a thorough understanding of the legislative process, the development of budgets and relationships with known colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Dave’s experience both in the House and now his six years in the Senate give him the depth of knowledge to work well and effectively on behalf of Knox County.

Although I have not always agreed with Dave’s vote on every issue, I know that he works hard and stands up for the issues most important to me. He’s stalwart in his support for jobs, job training and development of our workforce as we rebuild our economy. He supports clean energy development that will bring new jobs and opportunities to Maine.

Dave will continue to vote for affordable health care for all Mainers, especially important during this time of widespread COVID disease. He will support our schools and municipalities by finding ways to include these items in the next biennial budget, so important in helping reduce our property taxes.

Dave has served on committees overseeing Maine’s environment and Marine resources, thus having good knowledge about those important issues for our Midcoast economy. He’s also served on the Transportation and the Energy, Utilities and Technology committees. This experience and knowledge can’t be replaced.

Knox County needs to be represented by an experienced, hard working, effective senator.

Vote for Dave Miramant.

Joan Welsh

Rockport

Vote for Sen. Dave Miramant

I am writing to express my strong support to reelect Dave Miramant as state senator in our county, or Senate District 12. I have known Dave personally for many years, and he has always demonstrated a sincere and lasting commitment to the people of our communities, to our best interests, and to helping individuals and families thrive.

Secondly, as a clinical social worker in this area, I have been able to contact Sen. Miramant on numerous occasions for his help with many different client populations. He has always been a caring and listening legislator, willing to dive deep to understand and take action on issues that make a difference to children and families. This matches my personal knowledge of Dave and his commitment to everybody — regardless of their political party or ideological perspective — in our communities.

Lastly, in my role related to educational pursuits in our county, Sen. Miramant has also been extremely attentive and committed to what’s best for schools, for students and staff, and for taxpayers alike. His door is always open, so to speak, to hearing our concerns and to taking action in Augusta to help not only the schools in this area, but to all educational opportunities across the state.

Please join me in both supporting and voting for Dave Miramant in his bid for reelection to the Maine State Senate this November.

Sincerely yours,

Loren Andrews

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Cushing

Supporting Gordon Page

My name is Nicole Poland. I run the Maine Operations for Sierra Peaks Corporation, formally known as Tibbetts Industries. I met Gordon Page over a year ago; we spoke of my career and my needs to move my operations into a more functional building. Soon thereafter Gordon had me connected with all the right people to help put my plan in action. One year later Sierra Peaks was up and running in Rockland.

I have grown to know Gordon on a professional and a personal level, his ability to see all sides of an issue is a characteristic I admire. Community development is a passion Gordon and I share. At Sierra Peaks, our core purpose is “we work to create peaceful and prosperous communities,” I helped author this core purpose at an executive meeting one year ago.  When I think of the people who are going to help me achieve this in the Mid-Coast, Gordon Page is first on my list.

I am voting for Gordon in November and I hope you will join me in doing the same.

Nicole Poland

Site Manager

Sierra Peaks Corporation

Camden

Voting information

In this extraordinary year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our routines have taken a backseat as we work to maintain our members are registered to vote. Many students who typically register at school voter registration drives have not had this opportunity due to school closures. This fall there have been changes in schedules and in who may enter schools to hold events such as Student Voter Registration Day for those who will be 18 by Election Day.

Registering to vote is a simple process. You can do it by mail, but it’s easier if you go in person to your town office. You must be a U.S. Citizen and a Maine resident. You must be 18 by Nov. 3, 2020. Bring your Maine driver’s license or state ID. If these show your current address, that’s all you will need. Otherwise, bring proof of residency with you too. This can be an official envelope you have received in the mail with your name and address on it or a paycheck stub. You can find a full list of documents that you can use to register at the Secretary of State’s website https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/voterguide.html. You will fill out and sign a Maine Voter Registration Application card, and you’re done.

Newly registered voters are advised to bring their ID the first time they go to the polls. If there’s any problem, you can fix it by registering on Election Day. Even if you have trouble on Election Day, if you are a qualified voter, you can still vote on a challenged ballot and it will count when the ballots are tallied.

This year many people are voting absentee due to health and safety concerns. In Maine, you don’t need an excuse to vote absentee. You may go to or call your town office to request an absentee ballot application. If you go in person, you can get your absentee ballot and vote early while at the town office. You can also go online and fill the ballot request form out at https://maineballot.org/vote/.

After your ballot is mailed to you, complete and return it as soon as possible. You can return a completed ballot by mail, in person to your town office, or at a drop box if your town has one. Remember, to be counted, absentee ballots must be received by the municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3). Don’t forget to sign the envelope flap. You can also vote in person on Election Day. Polls will open between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. depending on where you live, and they’ll close at 8 p.m.

The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government. We encourage all eligible citizens to participate in their representative government by exercising their right to vote.

Sincerely,

Linda Zeigler

League of Women Voters, Midcoast

Quarry Hill road closure

Throughout its 18-year history, Quarry Hill has been committed to being an active and welcoming member of the greater Midcoast community. Part of that, of course, is keeping our neighbors in the know about developments on our campus that could affect them. I write to you today about just such a change.

Beginning Oct. 13 and continuing until further notice, we plan to close Quarry Hill’s Route 1 and Camden Street entrances to vehicular traffic. All those coming and going from our campus by car or truck — including residents, staff members, delivery people, etc. — will be asked to use our Union Street entrance instead, which is located diagonally across from the Camden Hammond Lumber store.

We’re making this change primarily to minimize the use of Quarry Hill Road, the private road that bisects our campus, as a shortcut from Elm Street (Route 1) to Union Street, and vice versa. Traffic of this sort disrupts the quiet enjoyment of our campus by our residents, the vast majority of whom are in their late 60s and beyond, and, in some cases creates a safety hazard for those trying to navigate our roads and walkways on foot.

However, even as we make this change, please know that Quarry Hill remains as open as ever in all the important ways. True to our mission, we continue to celebrate the unique gifts of our seniors and do everything we can to see that they’re cared for and protected.

If you have questions or concerns about the upcoming entrance closures, I invite you to call me at 207-301-6275 or get in touch with me via email at llooke@pbmc.org.

Loriman Looke

Executive Director and Administrator

Quarry Hill

A letter to Waldo County Gardeners

Thank you if you were one of the many, many generous gardeners who donated your homegrown produce as part of the Waldo County Bounty Grow a Row campaign. If you drove anywhere in Waldo County this summer you likely saw one of our 11 Give and Take Tables. From Islesboro to Palermo, the tables were stationed at schools and churches, town offices and post offices. Amazing volunteers kept the tables stocked and made sure they were clean and tidy. Volunteers at Waterfall Arts in Belfast designed and hand painted the signage with love. This was truly a community effort, and it was so deeply gratifying that, in this time of division and challenge, Waldo County rose together to meet the needs of our neighbors.

The tables were set up to provide folks with food who had, perhaps, never needed a little extra help before. I think the tables served their purpose well. I volunteered to tend to two tables, one in my hometown and one at my office in Waldo. The day I set up the table in Waldo, I put out the table and a sign, then went off to collect a cooler to keep the donated veggies fresh. To my surprise and delight, there were already three juicy green cabbages on the table by the time I'd returned. By the end of the day those same cabbages had already found homes.

I don’t often see the people who come to take or leave produce, and I think that’s what works about these tables: they are completely anonymous. Because of that anonymity, we don’t know who most of the gardeners are, but, as a gardener myself, I know the love, time and labor that went into each and every tomato, bean and cucumber left on a table. Our team thanks you for taking the time to bring your hard-won crops to a Waldo County Bounty Give & Take Table.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this project for me has been how quickly produce has come and gone from the tables. It’s unusual for anything to remain on the table for more than 24 hrs. (Okay, okay maybe a couple of massive zucchini had longer stays than other items…) On the whole, there was clearly a need, and that need was helped by the efforts of gardeners all across Waldo County. Thank you!

If you want to learn more about Waldo County Bounty’s many projects to combat food insecurity in Waldo County in response to Covid19, please visit https://unitybarnraisers.org/waldocountybounty/.

Viña Lindley, Waldo County Bounty Give & Take Table volunteer

Linconville

 

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