Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, July 25

Jul 25, 2019

Blues Festival coverage lacking

As stated in the July 18 issue of the Courier-Gazette, the North Atlantic Blues Festival did indeed rock the waterfront. I enjoyed all the performers, but especially Keesha Pratt and her band and Ruthie Foster and her band. Both singers have great voices and exhibited dynamic stage presence, bringing the crowd (myself included) to their feet, singing along and clapping to the rhythm.

The news coverage by reporter Ryan Martin detailed in long paragraphs the bands and song styles of every artist but one—the headliner, the artist on the cover of the festival program, Blues and gospel legend Ruthie Foster. She received a total of 12 words, not even a paragraph, and no mention of her band, who harmonized with her perfectly. Ruthie Foster’s song styling and beautiful smile kept me mesmerized, and her seemingly effortless soaring vocals brought tears to my eyes more than once. What a talent!

I understand that newspapers have deadlines and column length limits, but giving short shrift to the headliner is inexcusable. So did this reporter simply run out of space? Or time? Doubtful. He found space and time to wind up the article with two more paragraphs about the success of Paul Benjamin’s festivals.

He threw in that she’s a Blues legend, so he should have explained why. It was all there in the festival program—her Blues Music Awards, her Grammy nominations, her magic with blues, rock, and gospel—where he probably found the information on the other artists. A little editing would have shortened other sections of the article so Ruthie Foster’s performance received its due. Maybe a review of Journalism 101 is in order.

Susan Vaughan

St. George

Masons say thanks

May I, through the medium of your pages, offer belated, but no less heartfelt, thanks to the people and organizations who made financial contributions towards the chowder and strawberry shortcake lunch that the Eureka Lodge of Masons served at the “Boots on the Ground” event at the Knox Museum in Thomaston May 25. While the Masons were privileged to do the work in honor of the nation’s military, it would not have been possible without this financial backing, illustrating how we are better working as a community towards our common goals.

The list is quite long. In no particular order, sincere thanks to: Bug Catcher Inc. (Gerry Cushman), Maine Coast Petroleum, Justin Long Inc., Kinney-Melquist Post 34, Granite Gardens Inc., Eastern Tire and Auto Service Inc., Logan Woodbridge Construction, Monhegan Boat Line Inc, Happy Clam Pub and Eatery, Dick Nixon, Port Clyde Fresh Catch, Nathan Russell, Hoppe’s Tree Service, Way2Much Trucking (Greg Holmes), Beaver Stimpson.

Anthony J. Garratt-Reed

Secretary, Eureka Lodge No. 84, AF&AM

Tenants Harbor

Land trust says thank you

On Sunday, July 14, Georges River Land Trust held its 28th annual Gardens in the Watershed tour in Union, Appleton and Warren. We are grateful to the nearly 400 patrons who came to the upper Georges River watershed to appreciate the amazing flower and vegetable gardens, and to listen to talks on the "Importance of Pollinators" and "Shade Plants." Thank you, Jean Vose of Knox-Lincoln Bee Keepers, and Rick Sawyer of Fernwood Nursery and Gardens.

There are so many people to thank, but most important are the gardeners who graciously opened their special places to us, and without whom there would not have been a tour: the gardens of John and Kathy Fromer in Appleton, Bruce and Sherry Cobb in Union, Judy and David Brogden in Union, Irene and Richard Maxcy in Warren, and Tom and Alice Schultz in Warren. Their dedication, hard work and love of the land were evident. We are indebted to them for their gracious hospitality and invaluable contribution to the land trust.

Plants Unlimited and Monhegan Boat Line were our major sponsors for this event, and we are grateful for their financial support and interest in our work. We were also pleased to have Maine Home + Design magazine as our media sponsor for the event. Thanks also to Roberta Baumann for photographing the gardens. Thank you to the nearly 50 other business and individual sponsors who generously helped to fund this event and support the mission of the land trust. We encourage everyone to patronize these wonderful businesses listed on the Georges River Land Trust website. James Hatch and his staff at the Home Kitchen Café deserve our grateful thanks for once again preparing delicious lunches for our hungry patrons. Nine local ticket outlets also helped spread the word and provide convenient locations for purchasing pre-event tickets – thank you for your help!

Michael Good Gallery, Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars, Penobscot Island Air, 250 Main Street, Port Clyde Kayaks and Marianne Buehler provided wonderful items for our raffle.

As always, volunteers on tour day kept things running smoothly, from helping to park cars and directing traffic to taking tickets, handing out lunches, selling raffle tickets and assisting the gardeners in various ways. We are grateful to the many volunteers who gave up a good part of their weekend to help us.

The Gardens in the Watershed tour is one of our biggest annual fundraising events, and its success is crucial to our work of conserving ecosystems of the watershed and providing recreation and education opportunities for the public. It also introduces participants to the diversity and traditional character of the Georges River watershed as they travel from garden to garden.

And with deep gratitude, we recognize the members of the Garden Tour committee, who have worked tirelessly all year to make this event successful: Debbie Rogers, chair, Pat Ashton, Mary Ann Carey, Leslie Fuller, Sandy Retzlaff, Karen Jordan, Heidi Lyman, Kathy Wellen, Marcia Turner, Ginny David and Katherine Cockey. Special thanks to Sharon Gilbert, office manager, for keeping the committee on track. Please mark your calendars to join us for the 29th Annual Gardens in the Watershed tour next summer.

Meg Rasmussen

Executive Director

Georges River Land Trust

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