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Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014: Solar power, Searsport selectmen race, wind power legislation

Camden zoning

The precedent that would be established by allowing any spot zoning in a residential zone would change the protection and value of residential real estate and thereby alter the very fabric of our community.

Let’s be clear about the longer-term implications of violating our residential zoning ordinance for Fox Hill. Legally, a town granting spot zoning in a residential zone for one commercial drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility cannot deny anyone else who wishes an exception, for almost any use. The Federal Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act forces a municipality to treat all applications equally.

Residents, before considering this zoning change further, should ask themselves, “How would I feel if this proposal were placing a 24/7 commercial business next to my residence?”

It is an unwanted intrusion to the affected neighbors whether on Bay View Street or Pearl Street.

I am a strong supporter of growth and, along with others, welcome the opportunity to evaluate new commercial development to our town; however, commercial business belongs in approved commercial zones, not forced upon residential neighborhoods.

This issue is much, much larger than one property on Bay View Street; it is nothing less than a conversation about what we wish for Camden’s future: to continue as a desirable place to live, or to turn into a small city of mixed-use areas.

I hope we remain the charming town by the sea that welcomes newcomers, longtime residents and visitors, and that these unique qualities will be preserved.

Philip Fowler


Bring Jack back

I’m writing to express my support for Jack Merrithew for selectman in the town of Searsport.

Merrithew previously served as a Searsport selectman for nine years. He is motivated to serve again to work toward bringing balanced development to Searsport — development that will bring jobs while preserving the beauty and character of Searsport.

I believe he will, once again, be an excellent selectman. He will proactively work toward ensuring that Searsport remains a vital midcoast town. Merrithew studies the issues, listens to other points of view, and is willing to compromise. Merrithew is very knowledgeable about issues in Searsport and will be able to make a significant contribution from the beginning of his term.

For these reasons I encourage you to “bring Jack back” by voting for Merrithew for selectman on March 4.

Joanne McNally


Solar energy

We read that “now Maine is the only state in New England without any policies specifically designed to foster solar energy.”

Maine is the poster boy for corporate America.

You can’t have it both ways.

Robert Skoglund

St. George

Re-elect Norman

On March 4, Searsport residents will have an opportunity to vote for two selectmen. We are most fortunate to have four candidates vying for these two positions. It is gratifying to know that there are people who are willing to devote their time to a demanding and sometimes thankless job. All four candidates deserve our thanks for their willingness to run for this office.

I have contacted the incumbent, Doug Norman, many times regarding local matters and have always found him to be very approachable and a careful listener to my concerns. He is dedicated to the town of Searsport and its residents and always has our best interests in mind as he makes decisions in his capacity as a selectman.

Searsport has been fortunate to have had Norman as a selectman for the past six years. It would be advantageous to the town if we continued to use Norman’s expertise and dedication by re-electing him as selectman.

Marjorie Knuuti


Restore our rights

We represent honest citizens living in Washington County. We write in support of the OpEd written by Alan Michka in the Feb. 8 BDN. This piece speaks of an expedited permitting process created by state law in 2008. This law provides a special interest group the gift of automatic rezoning of large parcels of land for industrial purposes with no opportunity for residents to participate in the decision-making process. We in the Unorganized Territory lost our right to a due process, the right to be heard. What we would like to see accomplished by the passing of LD 616 is to restore the rights removed from us in 2008.

Opinions on wind development in Trescott, Marion and Edmunds Townships vary, but LD 616 is not about this. It allows residents, especially those living full-time in these townships, the right to meet openly in a formal public meeting and have a voice about this issue. There is no emergency or critical need being addressed by wind development that justifies the denial of the rights of residents to participate in their communities’ futures.

LD 616 does not prevent a developer from pursuing wind development within any UT community. It does provide the opportunity to come together in a formal public meeting conducted by the Land Use Planning Commission. We ask for our rights to be restored.

Janet Weston


BDN entertainment

I have been entertained recently by Susan Dench, who has a blog on the BDN website and whose postings occasionally appear in the printed BDN. What I find entertaining is the disparity between her blog byline, which says, in part, “Susan Dench is the founder and president of the fast-growing non-profit, non-partisan Informed Women’s Network” and the reality of her blog posts.

Her stated “nonpartisan” point of view differs from what she actually writes. For example, her three most recent blog postings were entitled: “Michelle Obama proves my point by tearing her husband down,” “Misunderstanding or not, Dems violated public’s trust voting sans GOP,” and “Obama puts the bully in bully pulpit.”

Do those blog postings sound nonpartisan or do they all target “Dems?”

To me, this simply follows the idea used by Fox News when it states that it is “fair and balanced.” The goal behind this is that if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it, even if a closer look confirms the opposite.

My mother always told me that you learn more about a person’s character by paying attention to what they actually do, rather than by what they say they do. Now I’m beginning to wonder if there is a similar disparity surrounding “fast-growing?”

Duane Hanselman



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