Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Apr 17, 2014

Hardy honor

A remarkable woman, Betty Hardy, died Monday, April 7, at her home in the South End, overlooking Rockland Harbor. She died with little notice in the larger community, in the company of a few friends and her son, John. For several weeks leading to her death, she had the daily company of her dearest friend, Martha Clarke, who told me this story.

Several weeks ago, Martha went with Betty to her final medical appointment. Her doctor told her then that she had only a few weeks to live. “In that case,” she said to Martha, “I’d better get my hair done.”

The following week she invited her closest friends, especially the Tuesday morning group, to a party. It was a sad but joyful occasion and many toasts were raised. Martha’s was “Betty is leaving us and she is leaving us as she lived: bodaciously, courageously, and with gusto.”

Betty died as she had lived: consciously and bravely, and thankful for friendship. She would say to Martha, “I just want to look at you, my friend,” and Martha would reply “What an honor it has been to be your friend.”

Betty and her late husband came to Rockland from Houston, Texas. They created a beautiful home in a three-story house overlooking the harbor. Betty to the very end of of her nine-decade life loved to take her ease in the aerie of the top floor. The home was full of light and bright colors, and a major decor were shelves and shelves of books.

Betty was born in a pioneer family in eastern Texas. She told many stories of growing up in the segregated Democratic South, then of her marriage and working life as a progressive engaged in the Civil Rights movement. She would say that she and her husband fled Texas when the Bush family arrived.

Betty was politically and socially engaged her entire life. She was “liberated” herself, working professionally for several decades before it became common for married woman to do so. Her professional work was as a book buyer. Books were her passion — and not only her business career. Friends marveled at her prodigious memory. Among avid readers, she could always call out a forgotten name of author, book title, or plot.

Betty was present and thankful for friends who accompanied her in her last days, especially Martha and Louise. Her son John was at her side at the night hour she slipped out of nine decades of a fully-realized life.

Her memory is cherished for those who loved a lively, intelligent and ardent conversation. Her friends and neighbors will miss her colorful presence, her flamboyant hats and capes. All will remember one who lived a rich and engaged life.

Her story, as told by Martha Clarke, to

Carmen Lavertu


To Maine DOT

Asking the Maine Department of Transportation Traffic Light Division if it is possible to extend the time limit on the traffic lights by the Rockland Fire Station?

The green and red arrows that go on and off for them to turn right or left to Broadway at the present time only allows three cars to go during the green arrow before changing back to red. This would be a great help for the motorists in his or her travel.

But I do not expect an answer from the Maine Traffic Light Division. I would have better results if my last name was Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Trump or Mr. Gates asking for the request.

Gordon Wotton


Dog issue

Yes, we are still here in spite of the few that wish otherwise, ie: people who are complaining about our "sticking our nose in something that is none of our business," and "why did we rock the boat," and a few other goodies that will remain unsaid.

These people do not want to clean up after their pets because it is an inconvenience.

This is the business of every citizen of Rockland. We just happen to be a couple of people who love our community, care about the health hazards to other animals and others who live here. Making waves? To be sure! There are many who are picking up after their animals, however, too many of the supporters are unwilling to be active out of fear of retaliation. They are still telling others to please pick up after their pets, and giving us information on those who are not. Returning the poop to the owner has been one of the ways some people are handling the issue. Others curse and make suggestions as to what they can do with the dog's leavings.

Well, here is something for everyone to ponder. Two veterinarians have suggested that we inform the community that this is a high-risk season when illness for pets and humans are more likely. There is a possibility of newer strains of illness to dogs now in this area. This is being looked into. There are a couple of dogs who are very ill and may die due to their either ingesting or stepping into other dogs feces. Dogs step into the nasty remains, lick their paws and ingest the delightful menace that claims their life. These illnesses are new to this area. Unfortunately, their dogs may be carriers and may be ill, but it could be too late for them. If you see any unusual behavior in your pet, please have him/her checked. This is a serious issue.

We are not making any money or profit with this dog issue. People are being defiant and angry and taking a stubborn stance against picking up after their dog. Whether you like us or not, please make the dog walking areas safer for all of us. Please get involved in a positive way. Don't make this a legal issue as it has to be at times. No one likes to pick up after a very large dog when they don't even own a pet.

At this time we are waiting for results regarding a dog that picked up an illness from another dog's feces. This dog is very much loved; a companion, a friend, a devoted dog. So far it doesn't look good. What if this was your dog? How would you feel? Hurt, angry? What would you say to your children? Yourself? This is part of taking good care of your animal. It just takes less than a minute to bend down, pick it up, and throw it in a trash container.

Thank you to all who support this endeavor. We may need a clean up committee to get things back on track. If you want to help us clean a few frequented areas, please call Valerie or Linda. We will set us a time and a date.

Valerie Hooper

Linda Athearn


Just like smoke

The disappearance of Flight 370 after it took off from Malaysia has brought out more frustration from those who have lost loved ones on the flight and then bring in CNN and they have been hounding everyone for details pertaining to where the flight might have gone.

And now bring in the issue of the black box or boxes and the transponders and also the possible turning off of certain items inside the cockpit, leaving more questions than answers.

Once again the news is asking the same questions over and over as though someone has the answers. The sad part here is no one has the answers and no one will until the plane itself is found.

Now with all the technology that we have in the modern day it amazes me that when it comes to airlines as a whole that they fly around the world and a huge amount of them fly over water and while this is the case the airline industry whoever that may be, might come up with a device that would be able to tell where a plane is if is is in trouble and can be activated by either the use of a switch or button or it activate itself when the plane either hit water or land and could not be located from the air. The device itself would contain two units, one that if the plane went into water one part of the device would be released from the plane and begin sending a signal not only to the plane itself but vice-versa, meaning the second device would be sending a signal to the first device regardless of where it went down and the distance should be made to work up to 20 miles or better. The first device would be made to float even in very rough seas and emit a signal that would be tracked from the air.

The bottom line to this whole issue is the amount of money involved and yes it would take away from what the airlines make off of those flying. But my question here is what is more important, the money made or making sure everyone flying makes it to their destination?

We take chances when we travel everyday no matter if we are walking, running, hiking, driving, swimming or even flying. And the sad part to this whole picture is that nothing we do is ever going to be perfect every minute, every hour or even every day.

Anyway back to the devices that would be able to transmit a signal back and forth to each other and also the signal would be able to be heard by satellite in space also these devices would be secured on the aircraft in such a way that no one on board would have access to these devices and they would be locked up in a way that no one on board would have access to these devices and no one on board could tamper or mess with. The power source would have to be a good one that would last at least three months when activated. Also the power source would have to be independent of any other power sources and this would mean a power source that was not connected to any other power source.

But since I am no expert in this area and I do not fly anymore, I am simply looking at what I have seen and heard on TV and the ongoing issue of what happened to Flight 370.

Robert J. Robinson


Fresh flowers

Thomaston Public Library would like to thank Thomaston's new florist and gift shop, The Flower Goddess, which opened in late March at 144 Main St., for the beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers they have been bringing in to the library every week. These lovely arrangements now adorn our display table and the Spring Fever book sale table in the Hallway Bookshop. Mark Andersen, from the shop, delivers the fresh flowers each week and always checks back within a few days to snip stems and refresh the water, to keep the bouquets looking lovely.

The Flower Goddess, whose tasteful selection of gift merchandise is predominantly the work of Maine artists and craftspeople — pottery, mobiles, prints and cards, ornaments, fabric art, cutting boards, books, and a whole lot more — was where the library chose to go this past week, Volunteer Appreciation Week, to honor our wonderful volunteers. Laurie Lynn Tracy, The Flower Goddess's proprietor, attached a fresh rose to a gift certificate and wrapped each little gift beautifully in paper and ribbon to create the lovely tokens of our appreciation presented to the volunteers who help us so much each and every week.

So, thank you, Flower Goddess, and thank you so much, volunteers, for all you do for us and for our wonderful partnerships with all of you!

Ann Harris

Head Librarian

Thomaston Public Library

Comments (1)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Apr 17, 2014 14:16

In regards to the dog waste problem, it is not just in the park. People let their dogs go right on the sidewalks and leave it right there. I don't relish picking up after my dogs but I do it because it is my responsibility. It really amazes me how many irresponsible dog owners live nearby. If they are this uncaring or ignorant then they shouldn't own a pet. They only way this will stop is for responsible owners to speak up. I think it is a minority of owners doing this and most of them are just plain lazy.

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