Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor July 9

Jul 09, 2020

Our neglected street

I was sad to read that Granite Street in Rockland is still not listed among the streets that are scheduled for improvement this year.

We moved to Granite Street in 2007. No improvements have been made on this street while we have been living here. I invite the Public Work Department director to come and see what a sorry condition the road and pavements are in, especially the stretch between Union Street and Main Street.

I would also like to see the sign "Children Playing" between Union Street and Broadway. We have many lovely children living here. The Granite Street community would like to keep them safe.

Ruth Lockwood


Keep local stores safe

On June 29, I went to a large clothing store in Rockland, which has recently reopened. I observed the following:

There were many, many customers in the store who were not wearing masks.

In the checkout area, carts and people were lined up right next to each other without observing the six-foot distancing requirement.

I immediately asked a salesperson why shoppers were in the store without masks. She answered that they had a sign in front that said that shoppers should wear masks, but it wasn’t a law, and it was corporate policy that they were not the “mask police.”

I asked to speak to the manager, and he essentially told me the same thing — customers wearing masks was not a law, they had a sign up, but if people did not want to follow the suggestion, their corporate policy is that they can do nothing to enforce the wearing of masks. I asked if he would stop someone from smoking a cigarette in the store, and he said he would.

My question is why these stores consider they can be smoking police, but not mask police. Both rules exist to protect the health and safety of consumers in these spaces.

The corporate policy was again reiterated by the regional manager who read a policy statement from the store’s legal department — they consider the use of masks by customers optional and will not permit their personnel to enforce this rule. They put signs up and consider that the signs put them in compliance with the rules.

My understanding is that the policy that masks must be worn is not “optional,” but an enforceable condition which retail establishments must meet in order to open. I have noted that shops in town will not permit people to enter who do not have masks. In a large retail store where people are touching items, trying on clothing and standing far too close in checkout lines, we have a disaster in the making.

I believe that health inspectors need to visit this store to make sure that people shopping there are safe, and that we are not going to have an outbreak of this virus because businesses are choosing not to enforce rules that are clearly not optional.

To me it is regrettable that a retail establishment would jeopardize the health and safety of their customers. None of us want a retreat to meet more stringent lockdown conditions, but that is exactly what will happen if businesses flout the rules.

Angela Loavenbruck


Union Select Board Candidates

On July 14 Unionites will be voting on four candidates to fill two positions.

Martha Johnston-Nash and Jim Justice will both be running to replace Sara Drickey, who will not be seeking reelection.

Bill Lombardi will be running against incumbent Greg Grotton for the other position, as Greg's term is expiring.

Martha is the best qualified candidate to fill Sarah's position based upon her business background, longevity in the community, and the opportunity to bring new fresh insights while stressing the importance of voter input, which at times has been sorely lacking.

Greg Grotton served the community well, but after two terms, it's it is time to bring fresh ideas to the community and Bill is therefore the best candidate for this position being a "professional decision maker believing in outreach to the taxpayer."

At times in the past the board has been marching to their own agenda, not on what's best for the taxpayers. This is not the kind of representation Union wants or needs and therefore, Martha and Bill are the best candidates to truly represent the voters and listen to their interests, concerns and input.

Pritchard and Catherine Meyer


Urgent to all voters; get an absentee ballot!

We, the undersigned, current and former election workers for the town of Thomaston, want to urge everyone to vote by mail in the upcoming election to be held July 14.

To vote by mail if you are a registered voter in Thomaston, you must call the Town Office at 354-6107 and request that the ballots be mailed to you. When you receive the ballots, mark them with your votes and mail them back to the Town Office. If you wish, you may hand deliver your ballots to the Town Office drop box.

In either case, ballots must be at the Town Office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, so don’t delay – please call today.

Muriel Pinkham, Joanne Richards, Linda Kruger, Charles Grover, Hank and Lucy Carey, Nancy Griffin, Peggy McCrea, Sandra Caron, Shirley Hamlin, Patricia J. Smith, Laurel Wigglesworth, Diana Beach, Corinne Ervin, Arlene Woodman and Michael E. Mayo.


Why we all endorse Betsy Sweet for Senate

We heartily endorse Betsy Sweet for the U.S. Senate. It is long past time that Mainers be represented by a true fighter who will work tirelessly for working people, people of marginalized identities, and for a transformed system that no longer elevates profit at the expense of people and the environment.

Among the challenges facing us now are the climate crisis with its rising, warming seas, especially in the Gulf of Maine; the greatest wealth inequality since the Great Depression, which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is now on his way to being a trillionaire while 40 million people in the U.S. are unemployed and many have lost health care); the erosion of the safety of transgender people; the lessening of reproductive choices; and any number of other crucial issues.

Betsy is a fighter, a progressive who won’t sell out. She will work for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal which brings with it well-paying jobs, and will fight for working people. Mainers need bold, creative, progressive representation in D.C. Please make Betsy Sweet your first choice for the Democratic candidate to challenge Susan Collins. Request your absentee ballot ASAP by calling your city, town office or vote in person July 14.

Becca Shaw Glaser, Kendra Denny Arey, Shlomit Auciello, Bridget Buck, Rev. Ralph Moore, Joelle Albury, Susan Wind, Jim Bowers, Thomas Albury, Angela McIntyre, Chelsea Kidd, Rachel Albury, Abi Morrison, Jenna Labbe-Watson, Nancy Galland, Mike Shunney, Rockland City Councilor Nate Davis and Representative Pinny Beebe-Center, House District 93, all of Rockland; Nancy D. Davis and Patrick H. Davis of Owls Head; Annemarie Ahearn, Isabelle Troadec, Sarah Szwajkos, Beedy Parker, Susan M. Corcoran, Frances Wheeler, Matthew Berta, Rachel Nixon, Kelly O'Connor and Lisa Lattes, all of Camden; Sarah Willow Hall of Hope; Jessica Goldfin and Sean Flynn of Lincolnville; Michael Geer of Rockport; Nancy Button of Warren; Hannah Faesy, Garrett Solomon and Lizzie Dickerson of Union; Zoe Armstrong of Woolwich; Carmen Lavertu and Bill Eberle of Thomaston; Carla White of South Thomaston; Lisa Leaverton of Orland; Suzanne Stone of Belfast; Amanda Battaglia and Chris Battaglia of Swanville; David Bright and Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont; and Ariel Hall and Beverly Feldt of St. George.

Help us make an informed decision

When Sara Gideon was speaker of the House, a fellow legislator was accused of sexual misbehavior. That was two years ago. No charges have ever been filed. In America an absence of guilt is the same as an assumption of innocence, until it can be proven otherwise. And yet, the best Susan Collins can come up with in mustering a campaign ad against her opponent is to allege that Speaker Gideon is somehow complicit in that two year old allegation, even though, in all that time and in spite of a thorough investigation, no charges have been filed. I’d like to make up my mind about which of these two is the better candidate based on their positions on the issues. Sara Gideon is laying out the particulars of their political and policy differences. Why can’t we hear something of consequence from Senator Collins or the National Republican Senatorial Committee — something that will help us make an informed decision, instead of them mindlessly repeating two-year old and unproven allegations.

Phil Crossman


Help support program for addicts

Drug addiction is a huge problem in our area, with many people dying from overdoses and much of the crime in this area related to drug addiction and efforts to get more money to supply the nasty habit. Families everywhere are affected by an addict of one sort or another, with many of them being torn apart. Regular 30-day detox programs do not work. Addicts go back again and again; families are willing to refinance their homes, to do whatever it takes to try and get help. These past few days I have seen young men at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 90, trying to collect funds for Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge is a Bible-based program for addicts of all sorts, which uses the truths in the Bible to teach others how to deal with their emotions in a positive way without using; and teaches better ways of communication, being responsible for your family, and new ways to work out the issues that have kept people using for so long. It is not a 30-day program, but 18 months of commitment. They have an 80% success rate. They do not receive funding from the government or state, yet rely on private donations.

Before you just drive away in such a hurry, please consider the cause and give. If everyone passing that way gave just one dollar, that could help many people. You can't do much with a dollar these days; but collectively, they can make a big change in the life of another. Although it is called Teen Challenge, the program is for anyone who needs it.

Having witnessed the outcome, I am a supporter.

Alicia J. Hallowell



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