Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor Feb. 11

Feb 12, 2021

When looking at A.D. Gray...

I’ve recently paid a visit to the site of A.D. Gray. In its time, I’m sure this was a beautiful building. I know a lot of people have memories of that school, and I hope those are fond memories.

I didn’t grow up here. I didn’t call Waldoboro home until 2012, well after A.D. Gray ceased operations educating our youth. When I look at A.D. Gray now, I see a study in entropy. I see boarded up doors, broken windows, unused sports fields and wasted potential. I feel very strongly that everyone has a right to education, food and housing. We maintain very respectable schools in Waldoboro. The food pantry operated here helps a lot of families. The quality of our area farms astounds me.

What we have in front of us now is an opportunity to help people find good housing. This is rural Maine; we have access to lots of wonderful outdoor activities. We don’t need a park as an alternative to more housing, these goals can coexist.

In fact, a park next to some Senior housing makes a whole lot of sense! If we can do something to help more people find good housing, I think we need to go ahead and do that. The people who would live there would support our local businesses and add to the fabric of our community.

Let’s do the right thing and allow for the creation of more housing.

Reuben Mahar

Waldoboro

An open letter to Sen. Collins

You've often spoken of your admiration of the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, of her courage in speaking truth to power. I have no doubt how she would vote on the charges against former President Trump.  Will you measure up to her?

After the first impeachment trial, where your "no" vote helped prevent his conviction, you said you thought he'd learned his lesson. He learned, all right. He learned he could break any law, shatter any norm, shred any standard of decency and get away scot-free.

After all he's done since, can you finally acknowledge you were delusionally naive? That Trump, with his tens of millions of angry supporters who still believe his shameless lies, remains a danger to our democracy?

In the Senate trial this time, please resist the temptation to join GOP colleagues arguing it would be unconstitutional to impeach a president after he has left office.  That is an open question (with advocates on both sides, but with strong arguments favoring constitutionality), and will remain so until the courts — not the Senate — decide it.  Raising this demonstrably feeble jurisdictional objection to avoid reaching the grave charges in the Article of Impeachment passes the test neither of honesty nor of courage.

Please don't vote to acquit using some variant of your reasoning the first time around, that there wasn't enough proof. It wasn't credible then, and it would be beyond laughable now.

This time, Americans (and all the world) personally witnessed, in live coverage and endless reruns, Trump's actions and words (and their consequences) over the months before and after the 2020 election, culminating Jan. 6.

Speaking of courage, the last time I recall you performing a truly courageous act — when your vote against your party's position made the difference in a matter of consequence — was when you stood with the late Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lisa Murkowski to deny the GOP the votes needed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I was proud of that Susan Collins. I miss her.

This time, your party doesn't officially have a position; Sen. McConnell has said Senators are free to vote their conscience. That said, it's plain enough what outcome your GOP colleagues want, their desire to appease the ultra-right wing, the price they might exact for opposition. We hear that Members of Congress even fear for their safety if they get crosswise with the far right wing. I'm not saying it's easy, but this is exactly when integrity and courage matter most.

Be assured, Sen. Collins: Maine, America and the world (our friends and our enemies) will be watching. We will not forget.

Sondra Wallace

South Thomaston

A message to the Union Select Board

Last night, during the Select Board meeting, my internet was very spotty going in and out.

At the beginning of the meeting when the internet was working, I had my hand raised and was not acknowledged. So, during the time where the public was given an opportunity to speak, I was not acknowledged.

I would have written in the chat, but I am not sure if anyone watches the chat. If you do, I will know for next time. If not, maybe it should be available for hands you do not see. The beginning was not the only time I was not acknowledged, and yes, that could have been because of the difficulties I was having with the internet.

If I was acknowledged, I would have asked the Select Board to allow all who applied be on the committee. As we all know, some members decide to join a committee, but eventually do not commit. Now, you could always go back and and ask those you put down or neglected in the first round of votes to now be part of the TCC committee.

Well, would you now apologize and say you did not mean it? This was a poor way to make a decision on who would participate. You should have aired your dirty laundry in private.

Now, let's discuss the history of the TCC. There are people who are selected and not selected who have history. The initial history was to work to fundraise and be able to improve and save the TCC as it is.

When this became not feasible, the Select Board, including Greg Grotton and myself, worked to find a way to save the essence of the TCC, i.e. the thrift shop, gym, daycare and food pantry. This also included repairs for the building at no cost to the town, by having a private contractor come and use some of the building as low income housing for the elderly.

The town came together and decided not to go through with the plan. This, of course, is the right of the people to decide, but the only people at the meeting were friends and family of those who 'run' the TCC. The town was fed lies, which they believed.

Okay, I can live with that, but what has been done since on the TCC. There have been several committees and many who have joined then quit, and you are back to where you began. Nothing has been done.

Greg Grotton has done more for this town than anyone. He has worked on Memorial Day activities, Founders Day, putting flags up and keeping them properly stored and the star during winter holidays. Last spring, when the senior class of 2020 was denied a proper graduation, he made sure each senior had their day by hanging flags in their honor. Did I mention the desks he made and donated to the children of Union? I think I can go on and on.

Greg at times can be very determined to be heard, some feel that because of this, he is rude and unreasonable. However, he is just the opposite. He is always willing to listen and even change his mind if he hears something that makes sense. Just because you do not like someone is not a reason to not vote them in. You can use the same reason for not voting in the members that were specifically recruited by board members or members of the TCC.

Finally, in closing, I was very disappointed that John Shepard decided not to give me a yes vote. As John and some members know, I have always been fair when rendering any decisions. I have always listened to both sides. I was always in favor of trying to get the TCC up and running.

So, as I was very unhappy as the meeting went last night and all that was said, I am resigning and respectfully have no interest in any apologies or reason for your outrageous behaviors.

James Justice

Union

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