Letters to the editor, The Courier-Gazette

Nov 22, 2012

Expand Downeaster

With the expansion of the Downeaster to Brunswick, and the overall success of the train, Amtrak and NNEPRA should look next into the feasibility of expanding service up to Rockland. With relatively little investment, Maine could easily and quickly expand its passenger rail service along the Midcoast to increase tourism, mobility, road safety, and private investment. The Eastern Maine Railroad currently operates on the Rockland Branch (Brunswick to Rockland) with a scenic train during the summers. However, the communities along the line and Route 1 could undoubtedly benefit from regular rail service.

First and foremost, any mass transit that has the ability to take pressure off of Route 1 should be considered. Secondly, the Maine DOT rebuilt the line not that long ago, allowing the current scenic train to operate around 50 mph. The costs of new platforms are relatively cheap and could be built quickly in the communities along the rail line. With upgraded signal systems and rail crossings, the train could be quickly and efficiently whisking people up the Midcoast. With high volumes traffic up the Midcoast, a rebuilt rail line between Brunswick and Rockland, and Amtrak’s resources, expanding daily Downeaster service to Rockland is a natural fit. Eben Sweetser Cumberland


First line of defense

The Area Interfaith Outreach Board of Directors would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all who made our recent Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation event a success.

To our volunteers (and we are all volunteers at AIO): you are the first line of defense against hunger and hopelessness to people in need in our communities. You are the face of AIO and you represent us well and faithfully under sometimes stressful conditions. No thanks can be enough to repay what we owe to the many volunteers who help at the food pantry and at events throughout the year.

To the folks at Nativity Lutheran Church: thanks for all the hard work you did in providing a space for the event, setting up the tables and cleaning up after dinner. No doubt you did many other things that we are not even aware of, to help get ready for this event.

To our speaker, former State Attorney General Steven Rowe: our gratitude for an insightful and heartwarming speech commending our volunteers. You clearly understand what is at stake and what it takes to meet the ever-increasing needs set before us.

We are also thankful for the publicity extended by this publication to make the community aware of this event and its importance.

Linda Pieper, vice president

Area Interfaith Outreach


Fair resolution

Thank you for your pursuit of truth in the dismissal of Audrey Lovering. I have just emailed the following message to the members of the Rockland Council:

Dear members of the Rockland City Council,

I hope to maintain my belief that at least collectively, you are guided by decent principles of behavior and responsibility, and that you serve the interests of the city before your own. In this hope, I plead that you bring the Lovering incident to a better conclusion than that which I witnessed at your meeting last night. Your debate on Resolution 64 suggested that you thought that it was time simply to move on.

Perhaps unlike some of you, I hope that the citizens of Rockland do not simply tire of the issue and allow it to die to our disgrace, and without benefit at least for our future.

I do recognize from the statements made last night that you perceive yourselves constrained among requirements you characterized as imposed by Maine law, Rockland policy, and the non-disclosure agreement. You may also be trying to avoid a larger problem, if not to yourselves officially or personally, to our employees, past and present.

Be these as they may, and particularly if you think the issue resolved, I repeat the suggestion that I made last night: identify and describe what measures the city has taken or will take to prevent repetition of the expense of such a termination under circumstances similar to those that led to the conclusion of the employment of Ms. Lovering.

And I also encourage you to discard the argument made by Mayor Harden, which, if I understood it correctly I would consider as specious as any I have read in Kafka: that he opposed Resolution 64 because Councilor Dickerson had not requested an investigation earlier. Surely you do not think that the lapse of a few days should limit analysis of responsibility, or at least the pursuit of information.

I hope that this plea will be sufficient to bring you to address the suggestion I posed above. If not, there are many more arguments I will advance, each I consider as powerful as the ones I express above, one or two at a time for as long as it takes to obtain fair resolution.

George B. Terrien




Heartfelt thanks

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to the many citizens of Knox County Senate District 22 and House District 48 for the opportunity to have represented them during the past decade in the Maine Legislature. It has been a privilege beyond measure to have experienced the many opportunities that such service has provided. I enjoyed meeting many of you, working with you problem solving and learning about public policy in its many dimensions.

I also want to thank all those who worked so hard on my behalf in my re-election bid. And thanks for those who voted for me in this last election. Your support is humbling and I will never forget it.

As I begin the next chapter of my life, I do so with humility and gratitude, knowing I did my best to represent the many varied interests of the district thoughtfully and in a manner in which you could be proud. Thank you for that chance to serve.

Sen. Chris Rector, District 22



Be in touch

To the good folks of District 47, who voted, and to the people who worked tirelessly at the Knox County Democratic Headquarters, and to everyone who participates in democracy and runs for office:

Thank you. We had a great run, and I'm looking forward to being your state representative in Augusta. Please call me at 596-0028 or email lizzie.dickerson@gmail.com if you have anything you would like to bring to my attention concerning our district, or if you need constituent services. I've got a website, too, elizabethdickerson.com, which I will use for news and updates.

There's not much else to say other than thank you for all your help and support because you would probably want me working on legislative issues rather than waxing lyrical about the campaign, but I want to make sure you know how to find me if you need me, or if you have policy ideas you'd like me to look at.

I am meeting lots more really great people around the state, and doing the work we ran to do: supporting local business, protecting our working waterfront, working for innovative education practices, and new technology initiatives, and working to stop the shift to pay for services at the state level through your property taxes. I joined my fellow Democrats in the house in Augusta Nov. 13 to caucus, and nominate our candidates for speaker, majority leader, and whip. It was pretty amazing to be sitting in there, listening to all the hard-working and dedicated representative-elects who gave speeches, and listening to our leadership candidates discuss their ideas and work that they would like to bring forward.

Thank you again, and please be in touch.

Elizabeth Dickerson



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