The Camden Spyglass, Jan. 18

Jan 18, 2018

Camden Selectperson Alison McKellar's hard work as a self-proclaimed "waste geek" has earned her some well-deserved recognition.

Ecomaine, a Portland-based waste-to-energy plant, presented an eco-Excellence Award to McKellar Jan. 11.

She has actually taken the time to learn about the town’s options for solid waste disposal and rallied participation from fellow Camden residents. She put together the "Waste Watchers" committee of concerned citizens, which we appreciate as fans of clever names for things.

We have also written about her efforts several times, not only as a select person, but for all that she has been doing to collect donations for Syrian refugees.

She is an example of tremendous community spirit and compassion for those in need.

 

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The Huffington Post is apparently a fan of Camden, Maine. The library's Children's Garden, the park and the harbor all show up in an article about "35 worthy Instagram subjects" in the Northeast, but not much real information is provided. Still, if you like to "ego surf" as much as we do, check it out at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/35-worthy-instagram-subjects-renowned-to-obscure_us_5a5cec5ee4b01ccdd48b5e98. Have fun typing all that in, print readers!

 

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"On January 18, 1778, the English explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu," History.com tells us. He "named the island group the Sandwich Islands, in honor of John Montague, who was the earl of Sandwich and one his patrons." This was probably one of the least creative and appropriate place names in history. We're glad they changed it.

Cook was a surveyor in the Royal Navy famous for exploits including taking scientists to Tahiti to chart the course of the planet Venus, exploring Australia, New Zealand and circumnavigating the globe.

He ultimately would die in a fight with a group of the island people in Hawaii after the Europeans had spent some time exploiting them.

 

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Also on this date in 1919, "in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War," History.com tells us.

"Leaders of the victorious Allied powers–France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy–would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over the next six months. For most of the conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson struggled to support his idea of a 'peace without victory' and make sure that Germany, the leader of the Central Powers and the major loser of the war, was not treated too harshly. On the other hand, Prime Ministers Georges Clemenceau of France and David Lloyd George of Britain argued that punishing Germany adequately and ensuring its weakness was the only way to justify the immense costs of the war. In the end, Wilson compromised on the treatment of Germany in order to push through the creation of his pet project, an international peacekeeping organization called the League of Nations."

Ultimately anger and resentment in Germany over the resulting Treaty of Versailles led to the rise of Nazi extremism and exactly what Wilson had wanted to avoid, another world war.

 

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Monday, Jan. 15 was Martin Luther King, Jr. day, a time perhaps that offered us a chance to reflect on our values and on who we want to be.

“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America,” wrote his wife, Coretta Scott King, as reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune “We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.”

His words possibly apply even more today than they did 50-plus years ago:

“I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of goodwill. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy, and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.” -- Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963

Send in your Camden-area observations. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email. Email spyglass@villagesoup.com or regular mail to 91 Camden St., Suite 403, Rockland, ME 04841. Follow on Twitter @CamdenSpyglass.

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