Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, May 10

May 10, 2018

Friends of St. George endorses Cold Storage project

The Friends of St. George values, and advocates for, the protection and enhancement of access to the special places and resources of St. George.

FOSG endorses the stabilization and development of the Cold Storage site as proposed by the Harbor Committee and urges those with concerns about ongoing costs and usage to participate fully in the public process to develop a flexible use plan.

FOSG supports:

Protecting open community access to the waterfront vs. restrictive private ownership uses;

Developing a flexible plan for a mix of working waterfront and community uses, through an ongoing, participatory process, open to all;

Stabilizing and safeguarding this deteriorating site; and

Managing the project costs by combining the stabilization and basic site development into one phase.

FOSG supports safeguarding this rare and important resource for its short- and long-term benefit to the quality of life of residents, as well as visitors to St. George.

Wende McIlwain

Chair, Friends of St. George

Artifical 'berries' harmful to birds and wildlife

While walking in a cemetery near me, I noticed many small, pebble-like white spheres on the ground. Upon a closer look, I noticed these were "berries" from artificial flower arrangements in the cemetery; these "berries" are actually made out of Styrofoam. Birds and other species were picking these Styrofoam "berries" out of the artificial flower arrangements. Please do not choose these arrangements in the future. They are poisonous, and birds and other species that frequent cemeteries and other flowering places can't safely digest them.

Jackie Freitas

Friendship

Let politicians march in Lobster Festival parade

Well, well, well, here we go again. If only we could find some way to further divide the good folks who love all aspects of a parade. Not only the onlookers, but the participants. Politics is a part of our nation and our heritage and deserves the respect and attention it draws, be that popular or not to some individuals. Politics is everywhere, every day and shapes this nation.

Taking the position of treating politics as a nasty kind of intrusion or promoting something out of our dark side is shallow, belittling and way, way beyond the foundation of this nation. Running for political office is what many people see as their civic duty, and for that they deserve to be seen and heard. How does this become a private event, when the general public are begged to participate with their cars, boats, trucks, bikes, floats from so many reaches of the community far and near? Fire trucks blasting their horns, while the ears get covered, but the children relish the noise. So be it. Should we ban the honking of horns because someone is offended by the sound?

Is the Rockland Lobster Festival, its legal name, in a position to have to take a stand on politics? What do they have to gain, except a few people have a different personal agenda than did the directors for the first 69 years, who apparently never felt the "p" word was such a demeaning part of the festivity? Ms. Powell, I respect your opinion and thank you for your hard work, but you make the statement: "We want to celebrate the lobster industry, celebrate the community and not necessarily make a political statement." Pray tell, just exactly what is the political statement presented by politicians marching peacefully, colorfully, happy, asking for support for their constitutional right and privilege to represent you and all the rest of us? My feeling is that you do not appreciate their putting themselves forward to the task at hand of running this city, county, state, and nation. They are a part of our process, just like the firemen, policemen and all the rest of the folks who take the time and effort and expense to enjoy our parade.

When we start to separate one group from another or others in a public forum and gathering, we start to divide our classes of folks. Politicians may not be your best friend, but they are your best representative to run this nation, built on all of us working together for the betterment of all of us. Excluding anyone from a public forum is wrong. Profiling any group for any reason for any degree is wrong.

If the Yarmouth Clam Festival does not want some group, let them make that decision on their own and be responsible. I recall in almost all parades I have watched in my 35 glamorous years in Rockland having seen many religious floats, well crafted, happy people and spreading their beliefs in good taste. Controversial subjects are only in the minds of those that make them controversial. Please do not rule our community by the short-sighted personal faults of another. Show that we are better and more accepting of everyone. Have you not learned from our City Council that diversity is the cornerstone to a happy community? Reverse your decision and stop showing the prejudice of your organization. For the sake of correctness it is called the Rockland Lobster Festival, as incorporated by the Maine Secretary of State's Corporation Division.

Dale Hayward

Rockland

Child Protective Services bill not needed

After reading all the concerns about bill LD 1874 for Child Protective Services, I decided to give House District 95 Rep. Paula Sutton a phone call regarding her vote -- and I am so glad I did. She explained to me that the bill was not even necessary, since an agreement had already been reached with local groups -- those that were contracting their services to DHHS.

Paula further explained that no funding was going to be lost; rather, it was to be managed differently -- by one branch of government, instead of many, like it is now. Logically, this makes sense, in that more controlled oversight and accountability would be the end result. Another reason that she opposed the bill was that it would have impaired the ability of the department to properly manage its contract services. And finally, she explained that the tragic deaths of the two children had absolutely nothing to do with this bill, although she recognized that the optics were not favorable.

After my discussion with Paula, I am very comfortable with her stated position and pleased that she had a chance to explain her stance. It is obvious to me that Paula Sutton votes for good public policy and not popularity. She is not agenda-driven, like many legislators who simply wish to be reelected and are, therefore, reluctant to make the hard choices.

Debra Andreasen

Warren

Trekkers says thanks for successful Trekkapalooza

On behalf of Trekkers, I extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who participated in our most recent fundraising event, “Trekkapalooza: Road Trip” Friday, April 27. It was a fun and talented set of Maine-based acts in a captivating and energizing Battle of the Bands. Almost 150 attendees watched and voted as The Tune Squad earned the first-place spot of “Bus Band of 2018,” with The Extension Chords taking second place in this epic Battle of the Bands!

In true Trekkers’ style, a community of volunteers and dedicated supporters contributed to the success of this year’s event, with attendees filling the seats of the Strand Theatre.

Thanks to the amazing musical talents of the six bands who entertained us in this year’s fundraiser: Drive by Todd, The Extension Chords, The Good Guys, The Tune Squad, Group Therapy and The Once Over. Special thanks go to the Strand Theatre and its staff for the wonderful venue and technical support behind the scenes. Thank you to our judges, Adam Bullard, Elias Edwards-Jenks and Delia Saastamoinen.

Thank you to all the volunteers and student planning committee members for making everything run so smoothly and for jointly handling the emcee responsibilities for this year’s event. This year’s four student planning committee members included Committee Chair Amber Johnston, Krista Butler, Alex Mahar and Sam Miller. Thank you to Philomena Marsh for designing this year’s Trekkapalooza logo, which we used on our event poster, T-shirts and program cover. Thank you to Michael McGuire, who did all of the photography for the event and to Peter Jenks for supplying the pizza.

We wish to thank our amazing sponsors. Our lead sponsors included Applewood Dental, FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, Fisher Engineering, Grasshopper Shop, Harbor Builders Associates, Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital and Horch Roofing. Our supporting sponsors are the following: AJ Works LLC; Atwood Lobster LLC; Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - The Masiello Group; Brooks Trap Mill; Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home; Eastern Tire & Auto Service Inc.; Epifanes, NA; Glen Cove Dental Associates; Jeff’s Marine; Lonza Rockland Inc.; Monhegan Boat Line; Mount Pleasant Dental Care; Mr. Tire Co.; Ocean Pursuits; Once A Tree; Rockland Savings Bank, FSB; and the Schooner J. & E. Riggin. We encourage everyone to support these wonderful area businesses.

We are sincerely grateful to all of you who helped us determine this year’s “Best Bus Band” by casting your votes, enjoying some great local music and raising money to support local students in the process. Our congratulations go to the members of The Tune Squad, who were crowned “Trekkers Bus Band of 2018.” An extra thankyou to The Tune Squad for donating their first-place prize of $250 to Trekkers!

Amie Hutchison

Executive Director

Trekkers

Thomaston

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