By David E Myslabodski | Jun 05, 2014




Some of us remember when Pat and Susan arrived to Rockland in 1992 when few people believed in our town. Am still not sure what they saw, but they dropped their anchor [so to speak] and decided to open Second Read Books & Coffee. In 1999, dissatisfied with the quality of the available roasted coffee, they decided to establish their own roasting house. Fast forward to 2014. Not only Rock City Café [& Roasting House] is a successful local business with 25 full-time employees, but they have fully integrated into our community and become a unique social and cultural institution in our town.

Some of us also remember when one of their neighbors threatened their existence by complaining about the roasting aroma coming from their stack. Regretfully, City Hall played along and created “The Smell Police.” [Remember we made national news?] Friends and good neighbors chipped-in to raise the smokestack. We thought that was the end of the issue. I remember being told “You just wait; City Hall is not done with us.”

So here we are in 2014 and their existence is being threatened and, again, City Hall is being used by a neighbor as the muscle against Rock City. During a recent Planning Board meeting, the Chair of the board told Lyman-Morse’s representative “To come back on June 10 with an agreement with Rock City regarding their smokestack.” What the planning board should have done is quite the opposite. They should have demanded from Lyman-Morse that, as part of their building permit, they must sign an agreement with Rock City never to complain about the roasting aroma.

Some people [like me] love the roasting aroma, while others may get bothered by it. But let us keep things in perspective. Has City Hall done anything to reduce the stench coming from the dump? Nope! Mind you that the Hydrogen Sulfide fumes are toxic. Has City Hall done anything when downtown smells “funny”? Nope! By the way, the small comes from FMC’s seaweed processing plant and not from our wastewater treatment plant. Also, what about people smoking in multi-unit housing. Sorry Bob, but we have to toughen it out!

Lyman-Morse bought the old Hollydachs building fully aware that a coffee roasting house was their next-door neighbor. Rock City is a law-abiding enterprise that roasts coffee and they must have a stack to vent the roasting machine.

Please talk to your Councilor and request from them to stop the Planning Board from being Lyman-Morse’s muscle against Rock City Café!

Comments (1)
Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Jun 05, 2014 23:17

I love the smell of roasting coffee also and I feel sorry for Rock City Cafe but I don't think the building of this hotel can be stopped unless all the citizens of Rockland who oppose the hotel chain themselves to the that wooden fence around the building site and refuse to leave until the City votes not to allow the hotel.  Unfortunately things are different now and people are really afraid to fight for what they believe.  Back in my day civil disobedience was acceptable but things have changed.  In reality so much money has been spent by Mr. Lyman already and you know the old saying, MONEY TALKS so I am sure he is going to get his way and build the hotel.  In Charleston, SC in 1960 I got arrested along with a bunch of other people for picketing the Woolworth's Store because they would not serve black people at the lunch counter in their store.  We caused to much hate and discontent Woolworth's finally decided to serve black people at their lunch counter.  Things sure have changed.

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