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Thursday, July 31, 2014: Penobscot Nursing Home closure, conflict in Israel, sludge odors

All the best

I have worked in the business office at Penobscot Nursing Home in Penobscot for over 24 years. I have been blessed to be a part of our residents’ lives and have had the honor of earning the trust of their families. I am extremely proud of the quality of care that is provided to our residents. We have received many compliments over the years from visitors and families on the cleanliness of our facility and the home-like atmosphere that our entire staff provides.

Recently, there have been many articles on television and in the newspapers about the closing of Penobscot Nursing Home because of substandard care and maintenance issues at our facility. All that I am asking is that the true facts be known before you make judgment. It seems as if the decision to close Penobscot Nursing Home was already made at a higher level because government regulators weren’t amenable to our plans to correct the deficiencies they identified.

To our beloved residents and their families, I wish you all absolutely nothing but the best.

Terri Damon

Former administrative assistant, Penobscot Nursing Home


Sludge odor

Neighbors concerned about Soil Preparation Inc.’s horrific odors should be aware that odor from sludge processing and sludge spreading is not just a nuisance problem. It can be a serious health problem. Hundreds of rural neighbors across the country experienced serious respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses after odors from lime treated sludges were spread near their homes. Odor usually means sludge is destabilizing and producing endotoxins and other harmful bioaerosols that can be blown off site, depending on wind velocity and direction. For example, in 1995, a young New Hampshire man died, and many other neighbors living on his street got sick, after 650 tons of lime-treated sludge had been stored and chain dragged on an adjacent hay field.

Sludge and sludge composts do not only contain human waste, but they contain a vast array of unregulated synthetic industrial chemicals, some of which are highly toxic, persistent and can end up in the food chain. No amount of treatment removes superbugs, metals and other hazardous pollutants that the Environmental Protection Agency has found in its recent sludge sampling program. Sludge and sludge composts do not belong on the land where we graze our animals or grow food and feed.


Caroline Snyder

North Sandwich, New Hampshire

Library vote

In regard to the Rockport Public Library, in the past few months, opposing sides have exhibited divisive behavior unworthy of our small community. The level of acrimony is terrible modeling for younger generations and threatens to scar the well-being of our town for many years. Given the energy and passion around this issue, we should work jointly to create something special.

Let’s come together and use our combined energies to develop a plan for the Rockport Elementary School site that includes a new library that is easily accessible for all five Rockport neighborhoods — one that can serve as a gateway to the harbor while expanding the central village, one that will provide much-needed space for books and computer stations, quiet reading and conversations, small group activities and larger programs, and offices for our librarians.

Let’s build a new library that is manageable for parents with young children as well as for our aging population and the disabled — one that is operationally efficient and architecturally appealing with a cozy, comfortable ambiance, one that protects the playing fields while providing ample, safe parking, and one that can be easily expanded should the need arise in coming decades.

As a united community, we would be better able to seek grants and private donations to make this exceptional opportunity a reality. Most importantly, a new library would draw people to Rockport and signify a vibrant, future-oriented community.

The first step is to allow a vote on the library issue in November so Rockport voters have the opportunity to express their opinions about building a new library on the Rockport Elementary School site.

Ames Curtis


Israel support

As a subscriber to the BDN for many decades, I would like to add my voice to those in support of Israel. How much patience does a country have to have in withholding itself from unleashing its full potential of military might upon those neighbors who continuously threaten it with harm and inflict pain and suffering and death upon its citizens? Would we, the United States of America, tolerate such actions? I think we as U.S. citizens would be crying for quick retaliation if we were subjected to the same type of continued harassment as the state of Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish citizens are subjected to on a daily basis.

Israel will not be taken down. It has said so continuously since its inception in 1948. It wants to live in peace with its neighbors, but several of them have rebuffed this idea of “living in peace” and have continuously forced Israel to protect itself and its citizens. Having watched the TV news broadcasts of this latest conflict, which brings us interior views of the “tunnels” that have been built, we have to ask ourselves: How did these obviously well-made structures go unnoticed?

These Hamas fighters are clever but, as I have just mentioned, they do not realize that the Israelis are tough people — and very patient, I would add, in light of the killing of its citizens.

And what has the United States government done to try to diffuse this latest conflict? I hope it is trying earnestly behind the scenes to quell it.

Israel will once again rebuff its attackers but at a cost of lives on both sides. I will continue to pray the good Lord will bring an end to this latest conflict.

Ed Armstrong



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