Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor July 2

Jun 30, 2020

Support Valli Geiger this November

Here in Rockland/Owl’s Head, we now have two candidates running for the Maine House District 93 Seat. One is Valli Geiger, the other candidate is Michael Mullins.

Geiger is completing her second consecutive three year term on Rockland City Council. She was also elected Mayor of Rockland in 2017 by her Council peers. She has a career in healthcare as a nurse.

Mullins is President of Mullins Management Company, of Boston, Mass. He is listing his potential interests as economic and community development.

After traveling and spending time in many other states, I witnessed "over development," as usually being the case. Communities elsewhere in more “developed” states have been, I have found, more congested. Traffic is often horrendous. Road rage is more apparent. Many people do not know their neighbors, or speak to, let alone their names. Property taxes are higher; Property prices are higher, Crime rate is higher.

Most residents I know enjoy living in Maine for it’s natural beauty. It’s ocean, mountains,  fishing, hunting and uniqueness! It’s not just like "anywhere!"

We benefit much from the tourist industry. People will not vacation to a place that is the same as anywhere else!

Developers have always proclaimed “their projects” will bring jobs and tax breaks to communities. I have witnessed the opposite.

The “development” they bring benefits only the developers. Any jobs, generally, are low paying. These “newly developed” communities require more infrastructure. More road maintenance, more traffic lights, more police and fire personnel, more signage, more, more, more. How is this really paid for? More taxes!

Check out Rockland’s taxes as opposed to towns with less "new development."

I am also very leary of "developers," who after moving into communities, buy up many residential neighboring properties and monopolize whole neighborhoods. This is often done by throwing around money locally.

Another tactic to invest in “their personal concerns," is to get elected in government to ensure these concerns.

At times, this allows for zoning changes from residential zoning to commercial zoning, with legal backing. This allows “over-developers” to do as they please. In turn, availability of housing becomes an issue. Also, these changes often lead to decrease in residents’ property values, to all those left behind. If zoning is a thing that can just be bought, then it’s meaningless! I will not be fooled!

A developer's number one concern is to develop more of their personal assets.

On Nov. 3, I strongly urge the residents of Rockland and Owl’s Head to vote for Valli Geiger. I feel she is a representative we really know and trust.

Brian Fuller


Do not mandate face masks, Rockland City Council!

I am one of those people who has been shamed for not always wearing a mask. I care deeply about the health of others, as well as my own health. I also have great difficulty breathing when wearing a mask I have tried various types of masks. I can and do wear a face shield for short periods of time, but cannot exercise while wearing one.

Does that mean I should not be allowed to go outdoors? Doesn't everyone need fresh air and sunshine?

I do my best to keep my distance. If I am forced to wear a mask my health will suffer. My important human connections will diminish. Even OSHA stated that some people don't receive sufficient oxygen when wearing masks.

Please do not discriminate against those of us who cannot safely wear masks. As with other areas of life, One size never fits all!

Thank you for your consideration.

Mary Jane Welch


Re-elect Minzy for Waldoboro

The citizens of Waldoboro have an opportunity to re-elect Jann (Joanne) Minzy to the Select Board for a third term. She has proven herself to be one of the most informed, hard working and reliable board members I have known.

She researches issues that come before the board, listens to the information provided by all sides and has attended seminars and workshops to increase her knowledge of current matters.

In addition, she has an outstanding attendance record for meetings, seminars and training sessions associated with the select board.

She raised all her four children in Waldoboro and hosted two exchange students over the years. As a local schoolteacher for over forty years, as well as a substitute teacher, she knows many Waldoboro students and had many of their parents in her class. Her calm practical attitude and pleasant demeaner are recognized by many long-time residents of Waldoboro.

I have worked with her on projects for the library, local land trusts and Medomak Arts Project and have a great deal of respect for her ethics, kindness and her dedication to this community. Her volunteer experience includes serving on the board of the Waldoboro Public Library as President, the board of Medomak Arts Project, as a Church Trustee and on the Central Maine Library District’s Executive Board.

Jann supports local churches, businesses, schools and the arts in our community. She is always readily available to help local organizations like the Food Pantry.

She has a positive outlook, is very giving and loves the town of Waldoboro. Having her on the select board, with her common sense and practical approach to issues facing working families, is a benefit to the community. So, re-elect Jann Minzy she is one of the best representatives Waldoboro can have.

Caren Clark


What Betsy Sweet can do for us

Dear Friends and Neighbors, July 14 is an important election day. Many of us have already sent for absentee ballots which will be in the mail soon. We also need to hear from our municipalities about on site voting for those of us who prefer to vote in person on the actual day Tuesday, July 14.

I want to urge all registered voters to study the leadership qualities that Betsy Sweet brings to this race. She was a candidate for governor n 2018 when many of us met her in town halls and house parties. She is a Clean Election Candidate, running against two big money candidates who we see in the expensive TV ads, glossy and big postal flyers and phone calling.

She is presented in newspapers as a lobbyist which may have a negative meaning. Please understand that she is an independent political and social activist on behalf of organizations and people who cannot afford to hire professional lobbyists.

As an advocate in Maine public affairs, she initiated, or wrote, or sponsored and supported some important legislative issues to support families, low-income workers, environmental, community small business and more. She supports herself as a single parent with three daughters through her firm, Moose Ridge Associates. Please read all about her broad experience on the web site.

In the 2018 governor’s race she traveled widely throughout the state and can truly be seen as bi-partisan. She never makes negative points against the other candidates, and she traveled widely in the Second District, winning in 22 of those towns. I love the opening scene of her latest YouTube video where she meets with ice fishing people on Long Lake in Ste. Agathe. (This is personal for me. I was born and brought up in a potato farming French-speaking family.)

So, please look up Betsy Sweet on the Internet, Sweet for U.S. Senate. This meeting with voters at the top of Maine is seen on YouTube, entitled “Let’s Not Just Reopen, Let’s Reimagine.” There are other excellent audios of town hall presentations and social meetings. She is also on Facebook.

Betsy Sweet is mature, friendly, knowledgeable, advocates for people’s basic issues and is truly independent. She and welcomes all the study we can give to her campaign for U.S. Senate.

Carmen Lavertu


Name forts for Maine’s Union generals

Presently 10 military installations are named for defeated Confederate Generals such as Forts Benning, Bragg and Hood. The time is now ripe to rename them for successful Union Generals including the three Maine Civil War Major Generals (MG) who were awarded the Medal of Honor (MOH).

Rockland native MG Adelbert Ames graduated from West Point in May 1861. Soon afterwards, in July he participated in the First Battle of Bull Run in which action he received the MOH. He later commanded the famous 20th Maine Regiment at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862, followed by serving with distinction at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 as a brigade commander.

After the war he served as the Provisional Military Governor of Mississippi where he took steps to advance the rights of newly freed slaves. He was the last surviving full-rank Civil War general when he died in 1933 at age 97!

Ames’s second in command of the 20th Maine was Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain (later MG) who led the regiment at Gettysburg where he was awarded the MOH for holding the extreme left flank of the Union line at Little Round Top July 2, 1863.

In 1865, he was selected by the victorious Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant to command the Union Troops at the surrender of Lee’s Army at Appomattox. After the war he served as a Republican governor of Maine and President of Bowdoin College. He died in 1914 at age 85 from an old war wound.

Another Maine general who fought at Gettysburg was O.O. Howard. Howard was born in Leeds, Maine and graduated from West Point in 1854. At the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862 he was awarded the MOH for heroism and had his right arm amputated. After the war he remained in the Army. He was appointed Commissioner of the Freeman’s Bureau whose job it was to help newly freed slaves with food, clothing and shelter.

However, he is best known for cofounding the prestigious and historically Black Howard University in D.C. The university was named after him, and where he served as President from 1869-74. He retired from the Army in 1894 and died in 1909 at 88.

More than two dozen Mainers served as Civil War generals. Renaming one or more of the forts after them would recognize Maine’s sacrifices in the war to end slavery in which about 80,000 Maine men served, of which an estimated 9,400 died and an additional 11,000 were disabled from wounds or diseases.

Rodney Lynch


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