Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor

Jan 22, 2021

A letter to the City Council, in support

To the honorable Mayor and fellow city council members: I want to give my complete support to Rockland's Planning Board and its chairman, Erik Laustsen, and applaud his position to not sign off on the proposed cell tower at 182 Camden St. on legal grounds —legal grounds based on pre-existing Rockland codes and regulations which preceded the application to build the 120 to 140 foot transmission tower, and therefore prohibit its construction in that location.

The fact the planning board was a named defendant in the lawsuit filed by Bay Communications and not included in the negotiations for this groundless settlement, nor even served as a defendant until way too late in the process is a violation of the law, and should vacate any and all agreements.

Now, I realize decisions were made using certain councils and efforts were put forward. However, they were not done thoroughly, broke existing protocols and excluded, either by design or mistake, the very body who legally had the right to make this decision.

I have heard some opinions regarding how this is a losing fight and we cannot go up against these big companies with big lawyers and deep pockets, etc., and it would cost huge piles of money in a drawn-out process to win this battle.

However, inquiries to private legal council have pointed out that these cases move very quickly because judges do not like to be zoning boards of appeal and just look at the facts. A "simple review of the facts" would then follow and, in my opinion, these facts would show, as the planning board believes, the laws already in place and the timelines for filings were met, and this will vacate this settlement agreement and prevent this tower's being built in this location.

In setting goals for 2021, it is my hope that council not only listens to the people of Rockland, who gave them their mandate to represent their wishes, but to take action which are legal, adhere to existing codes and rules, are inclusive, and done in solidarity with our planning board.

Jack Copp

Rockland

Wake Up, America

I cry for America; Every Nation that forgets God shall be turned into hell, it’s found in the Bible.

America the beautiful, now America the shameful due for Judgement, I cry, send Ye the Lamb to the ruler of the land, the Lamb is the Mercy of God.

Where does America stand that was founded by God for Freedom of religion? It has put God aside, it has let the enemy come in that won’t pledge allegiance to the flag in its true meaning.

America must Pray again or it will be turned into hell. To whom much is given, much is required. Wake Up America, or we will no longer be the home of the Free.

No one has considered God’s Judgment regarding this virus (COVID-19) or anything else. America was founded on God.

Malcom Wadsworth

Union

New Hope for Women says thank you

New Hope for Women, a nonprofit 501c3 and the only fully accredited domestic violence resource center in Midcoast Maine, recently received a grant from Rockland Festival Inc. to assist with sheltering Knox County residents, who are victims of domestic violence.

We know this past year has been challenging on so many levels, and want to let the benefactions committee and the people of Rockland know how much we appreciate this donation.

The annual Maine Lobster Festival, generally a source of fun and a booster to local revenue, is also a source of community enhancement and giving. Surplus money is donated to many local nonprofits and area businesses that serve community needs.

Even without the festival this year, the committee still found it possible to stretch their dollars so that good things happen for people in need.

New Hope for Women provides a full-range of advocacy services including legal services and court support, emergency sheltering, access to safe homes, transitional housing, support groups, hospital accompaniment when injury is incurred as a result of domestic violence, education in local schools and community functions, a liaison embedded in Child Protective Services at the Department of Health and Human Services to assist with domestic violence cases involving children, and a 24/7 helpline.

You can reach us at 594-2128 or by mail at P.O. Box A, Rockland ME 04841. Our helpline is available to everyone at 1-800-522-3304.

Joan R. LeMole, New Hope for Women

Rockland

An open letter to Sen. Susan Collins

senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/SmithDeclaration.pdf

Sen. Collins, please note the link to the transcript of Margaret Chase Smith’s 1950 address to the U.S. Senate where she presents her and other Senators’ Declaration of Conscience.

Now is a good time for all Americans to read or reread her comments and ideas. Then, it appeared as if the U.S. was suffering a crisis of integrity driven by Sen. McCarthy and his accusations of citizens being communists, anti-American, non-patriots and just plain dangerous to America. To him, the truth wasn’t important. Is that the case today?

Our current president has brandished untruths, misinformation and bald-faced lies to the entire country. His loyal followers were finally so emboldened as to charge and break into the U.S. Capitol and Senate Chambers.

With just a few words from the president, his eldest son and his attorney, what had been his followers suddenly became a mob, a large gang of thugs and criminals. They became a dangerous and profound threat to the actual physical well being of more than 535 elected American citizens. We are all still watching the aftermath of Jan 6. There is even today a sense of shock about it.

But here is a question. Did you see something like this coming? Did you see this president was not interested in civil, respectful discourse? Did you actually see this president was not really interested in the rule or respect of law? Did you not see this president was more concerned about his own ego than the well-being of 335 million Americans?

Here is a second question. When is it time for you, as the most tenured of the four spokespeople representing Maine on the floor of either side of the Capitol to speak out more assertively? That time is long overdue but it is not too late.

Please consider making a stand as bold and courageous as your mentor Margaret Chase Smith. Be the bold social studies teacher who grasps the attention of the entire class and says, “Stop what you’re doing! I need your attention, all of you, right now!” By, “all of you” it needs to mean the entire state of Maine, the entire United States of America and even the entire world.

You need to grasp that very large audience. There are a lot of people watching what is happening and a lot of people who need an assertive voice of integrity. You can be that voice of leadership which says, “This is not who we are. This is not the people we want to be.”

As a retired social studies teacher, with over 33 years in Maine public schools I implore you to stand up and speak. Grab the class attention. Speak the truth we need to hear right now. Take an example from Margaret Chase Smith. Thank you.

Kenneth Pride

Rockland

Support for Hope's Planning Board Chairman

At the most recent meeting of the Hope Select Board (Jan. 12), the chair proposed that the board members consider rescinding Langley Willauer’s appointment to the Hope Planning Board.

Last summer, Mr. Willauer was abruptly dismissed from his job as town bookkeeper with no reason, given since it was within his six-month trial period. He subsequently appeared at the town office frequently, demanding to see public records. At that time, he generated a list of changes the town might make to improve its management.

The select board hired a lawyer to investigate the circumstances surrounding this and other difficulties, with which the town faced. The upshot was a list of recommendations to help the town move forward, most items matching those on Mr. Willauer’s list.

In spite of any difficulties he had with the town office, I can attest as a member of the Planning Board, Mr. Willauer’s performance on the Planning Board has been exemplary. He is its chair, and not for nothing. His interpretation of the zoning ordinance is both fair and accurate. He maintains the board’s focus on the job at hand, leaving no stone unturned. He remains cognizant of the planning board’s function and when things must have the attention of the code enforcement officer or the select board. Some time ago he reviewed every detail of the shoreland zoning ordinance and brought it into compliance with state law.

The talent and energy he brings to the table would not come cheap if he was not donating his time. Rescinding his appointment to the Planning Board would not be doing the Town of Hope any favors.

Harold Mosher

Hope

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