Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Feb 27, 2014

The world has changed

Laura Billings of Washington had a good point. [Letters to the editor, Jan. 30, Courier-Gazette]. "This quaint little town is in need of a revival. Even the food has expired," whatever that means.

Believe it or not this town in the 1800s was very busy. All sorts of stores, even two hotels. Attend the Historical Society meeting and look at all the pictures of Washington, Putham as it was called. Talk to some of the natives (although most of them have died).

I came to live in Washington when I found work in Washington 30 years ago. There were no jobs anywhere else in Knox County.

I purchased a small house and a 100-year-old building. Like you, I had a problem with the town's big wigs. Two of them came in three-piece suits and ties wanting to know if I had a permit to have water since I had been hauling in old water pipes. I looked them with square eyeballs. NO. I don't need a permit or water. I'm opening a baby shop. I need rods. Go away.

Later I started a book shop, antiques and junk. I have had it since 1983.

We don't even have a general store since it closed, along with the hardware store. The Village Book and prints closed and moved to Searsmont two years ago. Poor Richard Antiques and Baby Shop has no business. The gallery never came back.

We used to have Arthur's grocery shop and gas pumps. He sold and new owners couldn't make a go of it.

First: We do not have the traffic we had 15 or more years ago. Why? No idea.

Second: Listen good. Local people do NOT support local businesses. Never have.

Third: Most people living here are not from here and they like Washington the way it is. Most don't work here and travel to wherever to shop: Union, Camden, Rockland, even Augusta. Let's not forget Wal-Mart.

The world has changed and we have to change with it.

Jackie Steele


P.S. Needless to say I'm not from Washington. I'm not even from Maine.

Don't risk it

News that the Department of Marine Resources has known for eight years that lobsters caught at the mouth of the Penobscot River contain hazardous levels of mercury confirms what PETA has been saying all along: Eating lobsters and other sea animals is like playing Russian roulette with your health.

Mercury is a documented poison that can cause learning disabilities in children and neurological problems in adults. Elevated mercury levels can lead to brain damage, memory loss, depression, gastrointestinal disturbances, and even diabetes.

Eating fish is also risky: During a seven-year study, U.S. Geological Survey scientists found mercury in every single fish they tested. Other studies have found that fish in rivers across the U.S. are contaminated with medications and common household chemicals.

None of us would dream of drinking water tainted by sewage, heavy metals, and other contaminants. So why would anyone risk their health by eating the animals that are pulled from this toxic brew? For a taste of the sea without the risks, try delicious vegan products such as Gardein’s Golden Fishless Filets and Vegenaise Tartar Sauce. To find out more, or for a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit, visit PETA.org.

Paula Moore

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

Questions are essential

There was a recent debate which was greatly publicized between scientist Bill Nye, and a Christian who believes in a very particular understanding of creation. The assumption might easily be made that this creationist view of the Bible is “the Christian” view; it is not. This particular view is one that some Christians hold and is greatly questioned by a wide range of Christians. Even the televangelist, Pat Robertson condemned this limited way of thinking. It is easy to label groups of people by the actions of a very vocal few who self-proclaim their advocacy for the whole, yet only seek to promote a personal agenda. Because of such vocal outbursts of this few, we have seen a great rift between the scientific and faith communities. This is greatly unfortunate and tragic. There are many who work and believe and struggle with both faith and an honest quest to understand our world in an honest and inquisitive manner.

I personally believe that one’s faith, in particularly Christianity, is best served when matched and questioned by scientific inquiry. What is actually before us, what are the assumptions we have taken for granted, and what can we learn are essential and should never be avoided. We only benefit from honest inquiry and faith is only enriched by honest and open questioning. Simply believing what we think, holding onto it at all costs and despite legitimate debate is not an excuse for being faithful, but rather a recipe for extinction. The Christian gospel is greater than any threat of questioning, in fact thrives and grows with more integrity with every new discovery.

The Rev. Peter Jenks



I write this letter in regards to the ongoing issue with the young man named Justin Bieber and I have to ask this question, why is it so important that he gets so much attention in the news? It amazes me that this young man, who in the eyes of the public, has created so many problems for himself and now the news is all over the story and I understand it because he is famous and makes a lot of money. The problem here is he is not just out of control, but I have to say he needs to be forced to face one harsh reality. He needs help and he needs to wake up to the one thing all the money in the world will not save him from; what he is doing to himself.

When I was his age I was serving my country in Vietnam and I had to face problems that at first scared the hell out of me, but at the same time I was a trained soldier being paid to do a job. Money, no matter how much you have, cannot change the way you think. The sad part to this whole scene is that those entertain us, be it male or female end up letting us down because they, like any human being, end up getting into trouble with the law at some point in their life. Once again, as I have said in the past and I will say it again, there is not a human being living today who is perfect in any way. The problem I see is that those who have money in their possession and are in the spotlight, whether they entertain us in public office they end up getting into trouble and a have to pay the same as anyone else. The problem is here is how much money these people have and how much they end up paying out for an attorney and the amount they end up paying in court costs, etc.

To be honest I cannot understand why we look up to these people when they are just as human as we are and they will fail just like the rest of us. I will say this: there is not a human on this planet that we should worship period because in the end they will be in the same vote as any of us and end up paying the same price as a poor person.

It is high time for all of us to face one fact and that is when we worship an human on this planet we will in the end be held to account for our actions.

Robert J. Robinson


Spay, neuter

Each year, thousands of unwanted dogs and cats are brought to local animal shelters. These crowded shelters are left with the task of caring of them, nursing them back to health when necessary, and finding responsible owners to provide loving homes for them. This can all be avoided by having your pet spayed or neutered so that they can’t reproduce, reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens that may end up at a shelter.

Spaying and neutering will not only reduce the overall number of unwanted dogs and cats, but will also reduce unwanted behavioral problems such as territorial marking, roaming, humping and aggression. Risk of certain medical conditions such as uterine infections, cancers of the uterus and ovaries, testicular tumors, and hyperplasia are eliminated by spaying and neutering as well. The overall risk of trauma from automobiles is also reduced since spayed and neutered pets roam less.

Risks and complications from having pets sterilized are minimal. Veterinarians will perform a thorough physical exam before administering safe anesthetics to performing the spay or castration. Most pets recover very quickly and are back to near normal, though restricted, activity within 24 hours, and the addition of safe pain medications eases and speeds the animals’ recovery.

The cost of spaying and neutering is a concern for many individuals. Local veterinarians perform numerous spays and neuters daily to clients, but for those with financial constraints, there is both the Community Spay-Neuter clinic in Freeport (providing low cost sterilization) and financial assistance available through the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County.

Unless someone has a purebred dog or cat and a strong desire to be a responsible breeder, most animals should be spayed or neutered. The unwanted pet population across the country and even in Midcoast Maine is huge, requiring large resources of time and money to care for them at animal shelters. An unspayed cat alone can have up to 3 litters of kittens yearly , and producing dozens of kittens over the course of its life. These unwanted kittens are left to fend for themselves without the aid of overpopulated and underfunded animal shelters. Please do your part by having your pets spayed or neutered. They will live a longer and healthier life as a result.

Glenn A Yovino, DVM

Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital

South Thomaston

Deepest thanks

New Hope for Women extends its deepest thanks to Tremolino, the Waldo County Portuguese Fado Band for hosting and entertaining us at the Jan. 31 fundraiser in Unity. The evening was a roaring success. Tremolino’s talented members include Leslie Stein, vocals and guitar, Jim Macdonald, acoustic and electric guitar and back- up vocals, Chris Marshal, player of many international instruments, and Doug Ronco on bass. The music was enhanced by the beautiful interpretive dance of Shana Silverstein.

The evening concert and silent auction, orchestrated by Tremolino, brought together the business community as well as many residents of the area. Local sponsors of the event included Unitel, the Unity Foundation, and Bangor Savings Bank. Unity College offered the Performing Arts Center for the special event, and guests were treated to tapas and wine upon arrival, with all wine donated and served by Younity Winery.

The silent auction included many exciting items. Local vendors who contributed included Maine Organic Growers Association, Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm and Fibers of Unity, Railroad Square Cinema, Jane Sullivan, Unity Pond Pottery, By Hand & By Foot, AAA Cellular, Chase’s Daily, Coyote Moon, Garden Variety, James Macdonald Woodwork, Mac’s Hardware, and Fiore of Rockland.

New Hope thanks everyone that participated and came out on a cold January night to show their support.

Learn more about New Hope for Women at newhopeforwomen.org or call 800-522-3304.

Barbara S. Sagat-Stover

Director of Development


To the Editor:

Trekkers’ Valentine’s Day Dance rocks the Samoset

On behalf of Trekkers, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who participated in our most recent fundraising event, the Trekkers’ Valentine’s Day Dance recently held at the Samoset Resort. The Knox County Ballroom was nearly filled to capacity with people dancing to the music of Creatures of Habit.

Special thanks go to Connie Russell, Stephen Ames and the staff at the Samoset Resort for the wonderful venue; Rick Johnson and Creatures of Habit for the dancing music; participating Trekkers’ families for selling tickets and bringing appetizers; and to the community for supporting Trekkers by attending this fundraiser.

We are also especially grateful to the following local business that made donations for the evening’s event: the Limerock Inn, Archipelago, the Wine Seller, the Craignair Inn, and Harborside Market. We encourage everyone to support these wonderful area businesses!

And, of course, we want to thank everyone who came to enjoy the event itself. We are grateful to the community for coming out to socialize with friends and dance to great live music, while raising money to support local students in the process. All proceeds for the dance directly benefit Trekkers’ students by offsetting their program costs for the year.

As Trekkers celebrates its 20th year of mentoring youth from the midcoast area, it is through the community’s support that we are able to achieve the Trekkers’ mission of connecting young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. With sincere appreciation I thank this wonderful community for its continued support.

Don Carpenter

Executive Director, Trekkers, Inc.


Comments (3)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 02, 2014 12:30

Excellent insight, Rev. Jenks. Excellent.

Posted by: Kathleen D Daley | Mar 02, 2014 10:03

To Rev. Peter Jenks and Robert Robinson, thank you for your wise words! I hope many read your comments.

Posted by: Kathleen D Daley | Mar 02, 2014 10:03

To Rev. Peter Jenks and Robert Robinson, thank you for your wise words! I hope many read your comments.

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