Letters to the editor — The Camden Herald

May 18, 2017

Keep ACA protections

As a physician, practicing in Maine for years, the Affordable Care Act is of particular interest. I will say up front that I find the efforts to repeal and replace this program tragic. The ACA has been such a help to my patients who can now come to the office for care, purchase the medicine and other treatments they need, and generally know that they are protected.

The replacement proposals will not do this. They will not protect the basic health needs of Maine's women, children, ill and vulnerable.

We need to keep the ACA protections!

Stephanie Lash, MD


Vote for Fischer

I am pleased to learn that Anastasia Fischer has submitted papers to run for one of Rockport’s Select Board three-year seats. Anastasia will bring a wealth of expertise and experience as Rockport moves forward to address many challenges and opportunities.

She will bring a fresh perspective and abilities that I believe will serve our town well. She has lived in our area for 17 years and has served on many state and local boards and committees (watch for her Facebook page). She is a single mom with a son who has gone through our local school system and is now attending Camden Hills Regional High School. She is a successful small business owner with national and international clients. She attended Bowdoin College.

Most of all, in her professional and volunteer work, Anastasia is experienced in uniting diverse stakeholders, managing collaborations and reaching goals. She keeps her focus on solutions. She will bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to our town governance. I encourage you to meet her, talk with her, give her your thoughts, and vote for her on June 13. I will.

Joan Welsh


Middle school support

My name is Will Gartley and I have been a Rockport resident most of my life. I have had the privilege of being able to return to the area after college to raise my children and grow my engineering and surveying business. I have participated professionally and personally in the planning and construction of the high school.

I have a unique perspective on the middle school, I went to fourth grade through high school at what is now the Camden-Rockport Middle School, my two children went there and my wife taught there. I have also been involved in the Building Committee since the fall of 2013, most recently as the co-chair. My main reasons for getting involved are the impact the schools have on my taxes and the impact the schools have on our community’s ability to attract and keep our young families here in Maine, and more importantly in Camden and Rockport.

I strongly support building a new middle school. I joined this committee with an open mind and certainly not convinced of the need for a new school. However, after closely inspecting the facility and reviewing the engineering studies, I have concluded that a new school is the best financial option to provide our community the facility it deserves without wasting taxpayer money.

For me there are three main reasons: 1. Renovating or patching the existing facilities would result in spending a significant amount of resources on building and energy code issues that have no real benefit to the educational use of the facility. 2. We are currently maintaining and heating more than 30,000 square feet of space that includes long corridors, connectors and stairways that could be eliminated with a new efficient layout. This would reduce operating costs and greatly improve safety and student supervision. 3. There is a point with most old structures, especially those no longer being used as originally intended, that it is time to stop spending good money after bad. I feel we have reached that point, no matter what we do to this facility it will still be an old, inefficient building that is not ideal for the education of the children of our community. The cost of new construction and the cost of borrowing money will continue to rise, now is the time to act. Please join me in voting yes for a new middle school on June 13.

William B. Gartley, P.E.


See you around

After five years as a founding partner of Bleecker & Flamm, Maine Street Meats, I’ve left the business to pursue new projects. It’s been a fantastic journey and joy to have nurtured and witnessed our small shop become a vibrant food destination. Serving this community and sharing my passion with like-minded people fueled its growth and I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments and recognition the shop has achieved, within Maine and beyond. In addition, one of the core drivers of the shop’s success has been our talented and dedicated staff, who have also helped to shape the shop’s variety of offerings while providing exceptional service. Thanks to all of our customers and staff that enabled our shop to take root and become an integral part of the community. None of it would have been possible without your help and support. I’m confident that Sarah and the staff will continue to bring you a unique variety of the best quality food and service, for many years to come. I am excited about what the future holds and look forward to seeing you around town. Please keep in touch. My new email address is Flamm207@gmail.com

Andrew Flamm

Maine Street Meats


Involuntary memory at work

I’ve had a nagging sense that I’ve been overlooking something in my day-to-day life…Proust-like. My “madeleine,” turned out to be the “Access Hollywood tape” trotted out on behalf of our "esteemed" president, and then brought to the fore by my own Combray: years of experience as a Washington County (Maine) school superintendent dealing with many children born into families where abusers held sway. Men or women abusers  —  it matters not.

A child growing up in a family where abuse is extant, grows up in psychological pain, and is marred for life in one way or another, just like many desperate folk who voted for Trump looking for some reprieve from their desperate circumstances in life.

Think on it fellow Americans. Can you even believe how many men and women (and many well-educated women at that) voted for this scourge, knowing that this is the kind of man he is, but still hoping against hope to gain assistance from life’s unfortunate circumstances through him, in spite of the obvious fact he was lying through his teeth throughout his sorry campaign?

So then, something that had been gnawing at me, suddenly came into focus, as I watched the travesty-of-justice unfurl through James Comey’s firing. All-of-a-sudden it dawned on me, this is but another iteration of Trump’s assault on womanhood; but this time, his victim is none other than Lady Columbia herself!

Our country is being ravaged by this sick-o-wacko, Queen’s snake oil salesman, while McConnell and Ryan stand by and say/do nothing! This is the very definition of obstruction of justice!

My conclusion is that this crook, masquerading as President of the United States, is violating us in broad daylight by firing our FBI Director because he was well on the path to disclosing our president’s nefarious connections to Russia and Putin, and educated people know this to mean that obstruction of justice is the simple definition of his work.

Nero Fiddled while Rome burned. Oops, I’m sorry. I mean McConnell and Ryan dithered while our Constitutional way of life was further imperiled. So much for swearing to uphold our Constitution.

Do you plan on doing anything today about this matter?

I strongly suggest you let Poliquin and Collins know exactly how you feel. I feel pretty certain that Pingree and King already agree with my analysis. Further, if you are a well-connected Republican, you might even consider actually contacting McConnell and Ryan, but I fear they have irrevocably settled into their own gas-chambers of ideological deniability.

If you do nothing, you truly deserve living with the ultimate consequences of this dangerous man’s presidency.

J Brian Smith, PhD


Consider a 'yes' vote

On June 13, we have an opportunity to vote to approve funds to replace the middle school facility at the existing property of Camden-Rockport Middle School. When this proposal came our way a few years ago, I didn’t understand the need to spend millions on a new building. I am embarrassed to admit that I naively voted no. After seeing the extent of the damage, deficiencies and safety concerns at the current CRMS building, I am definitely voting yes this time! I encourage others to consider doing so as well.

I was also impressed to vote yes on June 13 when I realized that if we don’t choose to invest now for a safer, healthier and more fuel-efficient building to support the fantastic education our fifth- to eighth-graders enjoy, we will be spending much more later. It will cost two-thirds as much to bring this old and frail building up to code as it will to build a new one —  then we’d need a new one much sooner.

A new building will have safe fire escapes, safer drop-off and pick-up, disabled parking, elevators and walkways — all of which the existing CRMS don’t have now. The new one will not have water leaks, chipped paint, cracks in the foundation, outdated equipment and electrical. The new building will cost less to heat, waste less energy, have up-to-date access to technology, safe doors, stairways and fire exits. The new building will not be an accident waiting to happen.

I will vote yes on the new CRMS building to provide a safe and healthy building for the nearly 500 students, teachers, administrators and staff that call the middle school home. In addition, if we pay now, we will pay a lot less in the long run than if we pay to repair now and rebuild later.

Please consider voting yes on June 13. Thank you!

Dr. Barbara MacDonald-Rodgers



Megunticook Triathlon thanks

A thank you to the many organizations and individuals that made the 2016 Megunticook Triathlon possible is long overdue. We hope the community will allow us to apply the rule of “better late than never” and indulge us here.

The first Megunticook Triathlon, held on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in Camden, was a success! The event, formerly known as the Maine Sport Triathlon, was a fundraiser for the Camden-Rockport Middle School Japan Exchange Program. A sunny fall day greeted the 51 athletes and 30-plus volunteers at Barrett’s Cove for a full day of competition.

Thank you first and foremost to the athletes who participated in the Triathlon — from first timers, to 36th-year-in-a-row veterans, we appreciate you coming out and supporting the race! Thank you to our volunteer crew — especially Tyler and Kristin Smith, Don Masius, and the Japan Exchange students, parents, and siblings. You put in a full day of steady work and the race could not have succeeded without your efforts!

Thank you to Camden-Rockport Middle School and Camden Hills Regional High School for various equipment borrowed to run the event. Special thanks to Maine Sport for the use of bike racks for the Triathlon. To the Camden Police Department, a “thank you” shout out for traffic assistance at the Molyneaux/Route 105 intersection.

Thank you to Side Country Sports for donating winner prizes and for setting up onsite to assist racers with last minute tune ups, fixes, and details. To Ellen Curtis, photographer extraordinaire, thank you for adding our event to your photography to-do list for the day and taking some great action shots! Our appreciation extends to Camden National Bank for donating goody bags and Rafi Baeza for donating graphic design services.

We are pleased to announce that the Megunticook Triathlon will continue as a Midcoast Labor Day tradition, under the experienced leadership of Scott Layton and a dedicated crew of triathlon fans. The 2017 Megunticook Triathlon will be held on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Barrett’s Cove and will be in partnership with One Community Many Voices. Athletes can register at TriSignUp. Stay tuned for more information or contact Scott Layton at fireocean8@yahoo.com.

Thanks again for all the support and hard work back in September,

Hodding Carter

Heather Mackey

Japan Exchange Program Parents

2016 Triathlon Coordinators


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