April 10, 2014

Letters, Camden Herald

Apr 10, 2014

Abandon association with Fox Hill

Open letter to the Board of Trustees and President of McLean Hospital, Board of Fellows and President of Harvard University and Board of Trustees and President, Massachusetts General Hospital:

You may or may not be aware of the initiative by a group of private investors, known as Fox Hill Real Estate, LLC (FHRE), in conjunction with members of McLean management, to establish a commercial drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the middle of a pristine and quiet residential area in Camden, Maine. Initially this group of “get rich quick” investors, supported by McLean management, attempted to change Camden’s residential zoning laws to allow them to convert a residential property to a commercial property. Fortunately after many months of conflict between the investors and the members of the township, the town denied the exception request, thereby preserving the sanctity of its zoning provisions.

Despite the town’s denial of their request, this group of investors has decided to continue their attempt to open their facility at Fox Hill by resorting to a strategy whereby they are twisting the interpretation of Federal Law to attempt an end run around the town’s decision and the will of the residents. On March 27, a group of residents living in the affected area filed action in Federal Court seeking a Declaratory Judgment to block this latest attempt.

Isn’t it time for McLean to abandon its association with this group of “get rich” investors and protect its excellent reputation and mission to be a good corporate citizen? Does McLean want to be viewed as a predator of properties within residential areas and a destroyer of zoning provisions and the local decision making process?

As a former officer of General Electric, my answer would be to immediately disassociate McClean from this lawsuit. I am hoping that the Board of Trustees and President of McLean will take such action. Similarly, I hope the Boards of Harvard and Mass General will support taking this action.

Robert P. Collins



Enough is enough

So the saga of Fox Hill continues with a law suit against McLean brought by the losers of the zoning debate -- even though McLean's proposed use of the property is legal within the Camden Town zoning ordinance. It seems that for some with more money than sense it's a "my way or the highway" proposition.

I want to thank Gary Oliver for his letter in the April 3 Herald which states so clearly why this battle is so ridiculous and so in conflict with the well being of the town and the majority of its residents. Enough is enough.


Jo Ann Simon



A misrepresentation

I read the opponents of McLean at Foxhill have expanded their argument outside of Camden. I have concern, that while doing so, they misrepresent some facts of the case.

For months they have argued the fabric, integrity, and safety of the neighborhood would be undermined if “alcoholics” resided at Fox Hill. Now, with a wider audience, they classify such individuals simply as “over-drinkers.”

Substantively, these can appear to be two distinct groups of people. The basis of their argument is factually dependent upon this distinction being uniformly accepted. The accurate fact is, the only change in the McLean at Fox Hill plan is the number of these people, not the classification of them.

Further, neither zoning nor alcoholism discriminates on a financial basis. The insertion of the word “wealthy” before “over-drinker” implies that one could not actually progress from being an “over-drinker” to being disabled by alcoholism, while still maintaining material wealth. The fact is, the exact opposite is both true, and, common.

I still contend keeping Fox Hill as one whole property is the greatest value protection for that neighborhood. Misrepresenting the facts hinders this cause and/or wastes federal resources because subdivision of the property would consequentially make their “traffic” argument moot.

Mark Dierckes




A crime against peace

April 12, the U.S. Navy and General Dynamics will "christen" the first of three new destroyers being built at Bath Iron Works called the Zumwalt DDX-1000. This new class of "stealth" destroyer is a weapon of mass destruction capable of launching cruise missiles at targets hundreds of miles away along with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electromagnetic rail guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. The cost of these three war ships will be more than $10 billion.

It is the global crucifixion of Christ today.

We must stop building such naval Aegis weapon systems such as the Zumwalt. We need to look seriously at the criminality behind this foolishness of "christening" such war ships which increase an arms race that the expense of so many other real needs that are not being met in communities all over the world. It is a real crime against humanity and a crime against peace.

The path of justice asks us to find a way to bring about the conversion of Bath Iron Works to peaceful purposes so they can build something that promoted life. Disarmament is our only hope to say no to war. Which is what we must do if we love our mother earth and all who live upon her.


George and Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen



Proud of Maine

In the announcement of her Republican candidacy for Maine Senate District #12, Paula Sutton stated, "I am running a traditional campaign, as I have no tolerance for wasting your hard earned tax payer money." I assume by this that she has chosen not to campaign as a Clean Election candidate.

As one of the tax-payers referred to by Ms. Sutton, I feel more comfortable with Clean Election candidates who are not at risk of becoming obligated to the funders of "traditional" campaigns.

Maine legislative candidates are fortunate to have a Clean Election option as are Maine voters. At this time in our country’s history there may be no issue more important than reducing the influence of money in our election process, and I am proud that Maine leads the way in offering an opportunity for our candidates to do just that. I think it is unfortunate that Ms. Sutton would rather be beholden to interest groups and donors than take advantage of this opportunity.

Daryl Hahn



MOW thanks you

MCH Meals on Wheels thanks everyone who participated in our March for Meals campaign to raise awareness for our program which serves 125 hot meals a day across Knox County.

Our senior clients were delighted to have Congresswoman Chellie Pingree deliver Meals on Wheels on March 24 along with other representatives across the country who participated in the national campaign.

Thank you to Cappy’s Chowder House, who donated half of food sales to MCH Meals on Wheels on March 5, as part of their Community Connections Program.

Volunteers provided by Pop the Change helped deliver a special St. Patrick’s Day meal to seniors across Knox County on March 15th.

Thank you to the high schools jazz band members and directors of Medomak Valley, Belfast and Camden Hills for lending their musical abilities to the Jazz for Meals concert on March 27.

A special thank you goes to Bangor Savings Bank for sponsoring Jazz for Meals and to the Owls Head Transportation Museum, its staff and volunteers, for hosting the event.

The following local businesses donated food, flowers and posters so all funds raised at the event directly benefited MCH Meals on Wheels: Thomaston Grocery, Lincoln’s Country Store of Warren, Domino’s Pizza, Dream Kitchen Studio, Lowes Home Improvement and Long’s Funeral Home in Camden.

Finally, MCH Meals on Wheels is appreciative of our community that continues to support our critical service that helps aging Knox County residents remain safe and healthy in their own homes.

Thank you,

Ann Parent, MCH board member

Lee Karker, Executive Director of MCH

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