Letters to the Editor
Readers respond to Where in Maine and other articles.
As you mentioned in your March article about fireplaces, they can greatly help or hinder one's attempts to lower energy usage. When we built our house two years ago we wanted a fireplace, did our research, and installed a Tulikivi stove, which you mentioned in your article. Tulikivi fireplaces are made from soapstone and retain and generate heat for long periods of time. Ours also has a bake oven that we use for bread and pizza.
I cannot say enough good things about our fine fireplace.
The excellent fireplace article in your March issue begs for a comment. There is a very effective remedy to prevent heat loss: airtight fireplace screens are available at most fireplace stores. In our family room the fireplace is so big I had to make my own from aluminum sheet and extruded angle and piano hinges.
You put the screen up before bed, and in the morning there is a ten- to fifteen-degree difference as compared to no screen.
The reason feng shui ["North by East," March 2008] hasn't gotten a toehold in Maine is because it's not Maine. It's Chinese. To say that Mainers could use an energy boost in the winter to get through Mud Season (a proper noun) is once again imposing the out-of-state or new southern Maine mentality. Nothing makes me more energetic than to seasonally decorate my first deer or the 1,200-pound head of my moose, lovingly named Remington.
I can't imagine how my grandmamere lived to ninety-five with a stack of debarking firewood by the back kitchen door - so un-feng shui. The prettiest tree in my backyard is a "wildlife" tree, a large, dead, hollowed-out one. I would rather view and hear the pileated woodpecker feeding on my dead tree than watch moss grow on a stone garden. The most welcoming homes seem to be the ones with the self-storage-container mudrooms. It shows people are more important than "things."
The article in your March issue about paying for college is highly inaccurate at best and disingenuous at worst. I have a son in college presently, and while there is money available, just arriving and staying in college is incredibly competitive these days, and the need and competition for available funds is daunting. The federal pool, the largest source of aid, has a low-income cutoff that eliminates most families. Your writer states that "students do not have the time to be bothered to fill out scholarship applications" and that to fill one out can pay large dividends, but in reality, thousands of students are competing for this money and students must fill out endless applications with little or no chance of qualifying by dint of sheer numbers.
Yes, it is true that many sources of money such as fellowships lie untouched, but for the sole reason that the requirements for the grantee are too restrictive. And let's be realistic about loan money: it is offered all day, any time, but at rates that are unattractive and with debt service that begins immediately. Why aren't Maine students attracted to expensive schools? Get real.
I wish to offer a correction to the article accompanying the "What's in a Picture?" photograph in your February issue. The records of the city of Saco for the years 1881 and 1882 establish that the lot of land now known as Eastman Park was the property of Frederic Yates, Esq., rather than the Eastman family. When Isaiah Milliken and thirty-three others petitioned the city asking that it require the property for use as a park, Yates offered to sell it for $2,500 or lease it for a period of five or ten years. Ultimately the case went to the municipal court and a price of $1,250 was settled on. Though the city offered only nine hundred dollars, interested parties contributed six hundred and fifty and the city six hundred dollars.
Where in Maine?
The mystery scene in your March issue is Chauncey Creek in Kittery. I take my boat, a Duffy 35, to the Chauncey Lobster Pier at least a dozen times over the summer. I can moor at the restaurant from an hour before high tide until an hour after high tide. It is a real treat to transit the beautiful creek and have a nice lobster onboard my boat. The owners, the Spinneys, are great people and make boaters feel very welcome.
Stratham, New Hampshire
Stratham, New Hampshire
What a wonderful surprise to see the beautiful view across Chauncey Creek and the shore of Gerrish Island featured in the March issue of Down East. We are very proud of the Kittery Land Trust's recent conservation of this "gem of Chauncey Creek." The Fairchild property, as it's called, supports important vernal pools and intertidal habitat as well as magnificent views from both the land and water. I'd like to make one correction: while the owner of the property has been exceedingly generous, the conservation easement was not a donation. The Kittery Land Trust purchased the development rights to the sixteen acres. More than half the funding came from the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative, a coalition of ten local, state, and federal conservation organizations working together to create a mosaic of conservation lands extending from the forests around Mount Agamenticus to the York River and Brave Boat Harbor Estuary to the largely undeveloped forest interior and coastline of Gerrish Island. We also received public support from the town of Kittery's Open Space Account, and we are raising the remainder from people in our community who care about the conservation of special places. We welcome Down East readers to learn more about our work at www.kitterylandtrust.org.
-Melissa Paly, President
Kittery Land Trust
Kittery Land Trust