Courier-Gazette Letters to the editor Dec. 19

Dec 20, 2019

The Harbor queen is scolded but not cowed

How does one respond to such a personal editorial? There are so many blatant inaccuracies there is nowhere to start. What I will say is this: we are in a political time when up is down. Down is up. Lies become truths. Truths are ignored. Stories are manufactured. Facts are fudged. Accountability is dismissed. It’s a time of reinventing a history that fits with one’s own bias. The ones who get it, get it. And there are those who won’t get it no matter what.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond.

Louise MacLellan-Ruf


In response to Pearl's column

I feel the need to say 'Uh Oh.'

I appreciated your recent insights published in the Courier and said so. This time...not so much.

You see... I am not even a Boomer.

I am way older than that.

Your comments left me with the feeling that my lifetime of experience... (some of which has lead to wisdom, some of which has not) will, if expressed to you and folks who hold the thoughts you expressed...will lead to a resounding dismissal of not only my opinions and thoughts...but dismissal of ME.

Rejection hurts. Dismissal is insulting.

Some of my opinions/ideas might lead to a new idea on your part.

One plus one CAN make two.

Two minus one is one.

Nancy Warren


Rockland’s Sustainability Coordinator

The City of Rockland has hired a person for the new part-time job of Sustainability Coordinator, which position is to be paid for from increased property taxes. His primary focus will be on implementing the Rockland Climate Action Plan. In doing so, his first task is to tell us how the City is going to pay for it. It is presumed that the plan will be financed from savings and efficiencies, grants, and raising the property taxes of homeowners.

We were told by the RSU13 Administrators that the $30 million dollar school construction bond would be paid for from savings and efficiencies but this is not happening, and probably won’t ever happen.

Paying for the implementation of the climate action plan from savings and efficiencies will in all probability have the same level of success. As for grants, the City has allowed its once successful grant writing capacity to lapse.

This leaves only one viable alternative for financing the plan; that is, raising residential as well as commercial property taxes. But, by how much? The City Manager stated that the average FY20 property tax increase for homeowners was $310. For others, the increase was up to $500.

Because the plan contains a myriad of expensive items and projects, with both definite and indefinite timelines, annual individual property tax increases of up to $300 to $500 or more to support the plan are not unrealistic.

These increases, in addition to the likely annual increases of 7.2% in the combined school, City of Rockland and Knox County property tax bill, will only add to the difficulties of existing in Rockland for those homeowners living on a fixed, nearly fixed, or lower income or wage.

Rodney Lynch


Letter to Pearl Benjamin

I'm a Boomer, OK? Pearl, honestly, it's a toss up between you and Mr. Grima as to where I start reading. You're bright, provocative, passionate and challenging all of us to be better, do better. I have no doubt you'll do great things. You do now.

Yes, I'm a boomer. Seventy one this past year, and this is not my first scolding I assure you. Nothing like a scathing assessment of the group one is a member of to raise his or her eye brow.

I can't help being 71, nor take any particular credit for it. I'm thankful I read to the fourth column of your piece to see you acknowledge, “OK Boomer” doesn't apply to every boomer.

I've thought about this for a few years, since the last election quite often, something I want to say to you and your generation. I apologize. I'm sorry. You see, we thought we could, wanted to, tried and sadly failed to, fix all of the problems and challenges you “kids” have inherited.

We haven't forgotten the fight. Many of us are still in it, we're just not there with the same energy or intensity we had 50, yea 50 years ago! And, sadly things have in many respects gotten worse, in spite of our efforts and accomplishments. (There were some, truly) And could there have been a few boomers in the group that recently voted for Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year? She is surely deserving.

I guess after our time in the peace corps, the military (we had a draft then), serving as conscientious objectors, protesting, civil rights, women's rights and trying to get “back to the land,” discovering organic food and composting, we got worn down. You see in the words of Gibran, we became “encumbered by the bitter fruits of responsibility.”

We had and raised children, while caring of our aging parents at the same time (you've heard of them, “ the greatest generation”) and in some cases we raised our kids’ kids too. Working women helped keep together some semblance of middle class and on we trudged. All those responsibilities took resources many of us didn't have and had to acquire. We took the employment we could find and tried to make it all work.

Most of all Pearl, it took our energy. I can't speak for other “Boomers” but I'm a bit tired. I haven't given up by any means. I'm in the fight and I'll do the best I can but my hope is in you and your generation. We did our best to give your parents the foundation they would need to give you what you would need to keep it all moving forward. Nothing Maine needs more than young people.

Nothing old people need more than young people. This next year, 2020, Maine will, 15 years ahead of the rest of the nation, reach that point where we have more people over 65 than under 19. Maine needs you and we boomers need you as much as anyone. Here's hoping you can succeed where we failed, keep it moving forward and have compassion for us who gave it our best along the way.

Russ Beauchemin


A perspective on towers in Rockland

Regarding the proposed communications tower on Camden Street in Rockland, I need to express facts and concern.

We need better, reliable reception in areas surrounding this proposed Camden Street tower. Having worked in that area, I can attest that the reception is unreliable, a hindrance for businesses, individuals. Any improvement to this is welcomed, no arguments there. When I read about the proposed tower, I supported the step-up in service it could provide. It could only be a good thing, right?

Some individuals are passionately against this. They say this will make us sick and compromise quality of life. These naysayers are educated folks whom I respect, so, I decided to learn exactly what their views were based on.

They are so right, I was so wrong. There is a side to this that is bad, really bad.

Basically, these high load towers work well due to their ginormous density load. They inherently produce substantial radiation. The science behind how these work and their effects in our world is well-documented. Not all towers are created alike and that is pivotal in assessing this proposed tower. It’s shocking to realize the number of documented reports explaining the known health consequences from exposure to this radiation load which cannot avoid affecting humans and other forms of life. I could not believe what I was reading. These are facts, not opinions. Scientists have done the research. The information is out there and plentiful.

Communities world-wide have faced similar proposed projects. They did the legwork to collect the data. Many turned such projects down based on their findings, the choice was clear. Thankfully, Rockland Code Enforcement and the community don’t need to begin at square one compiling the data on this.

I hope and pray that decision-makers tasked with representing the community will do the right thing. Please do not allow this tower to be constructed. None of us would want to live and work in proximity to such a thing as this. The facts make this choice easy, a loud and clear. The right answer to this proposed project should clearly be, "No!"

Janet Bouchard

South Thomaston

Gratitude from St. Peter's

Another Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Rockland is history. Words can hardly express my profound gratitude to all who made its success possible. Thank you to the 48 volunteers who helped prepare and serve the food and clean up, including those who peeled vegetables and roasted turkeys on Wednesday. Thank you also for the donations of food from The Atlantic Baking Company, The Rockport Diner, the students and faculty of The Riley School, and the dedicated members of St. Peter's congregation. The dining room looked wonderful, thanks to Boy Scout Pack #215, who put up all the tables and chairs and set them all with table coverings, napkins, plates and silverware. I am so appreciative of the hard work done by these boys and their leader.

The Thanksgiving Dinner was served to 122 persons on site and sent out to 62 others. This could not have been accomplished without the contributions of you all. I am very thankful.

After 13 years of coordinating the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, it is time to pass the torch. I am willing to mentor anyone who is called to take it up, sharing all I have learned. I can tell you, it is a very rewarding experience.

Lucia Elder

St. Peter's Community Thanksgiving Dinner Coordinator

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Dec 21, 2019 12:59

Thank you Lucia. I remember attending one year and really enjoyed the family atmosphere. Children grow and so do grandchildren and some move away. So to be a part of a community gathering brings joy and comfort. I hope this continues. I wish I could help but am retired and use a cane no so of no use. My prayers are with you all!

Happy Holidays!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever +:0)....


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