Issue 60: Three Short Pieces

By: Joe Steinberger

Les Raye To Join Jerry Sytsma on WRFR

Rockland fancies itself a center for the arts, but who are the artists? Often, those who claim “artist” status are the well-heeled, who have the leisure to indulge this self-satisfying pretension. Native Rocklanders are rarely in those ranks.

Les Raye was born in Rockland. He enlisted in the Navy at 18, worked for a while in Florida as a mortgage broker, went to barber college in Lewiston, studied in San Diego, live in Brazil, studied in Toronto, came back to Rockland, married, fathered three children, and works cutting hair with his wife Nichol at Nichol’s Salon on Main Street.

Les will be the guest of Jerry Sytsma on WRFR’se Rockpile Radio Show on Thursday May 24 at 10 am.on 93.3 fm in Rockland, 99.3 fm in Camden. Les will talk about his life, and how he found his artistic abilities and his inspiration to draw people who make a difference in the world.

Parks Commission Meets Thursday

The public is invited to visit City Hall on Thursday, May 24, at 4:00 PM to attend a meeting of the Rockland Parks Commission and meet new member Kyle Swan.

On the agenda will be a discussion of plans for the city’s newest park, MacDougal Community Park, on Broadway. These plans have included a perimeter pedestrian and bicycle path which was due to be constructed this summer, but which is now delayed by a City Council decision not to accept the offer of local contractor Jake Barbour to install the track. How now to best move forward will be up for consideration.

Another issue for the park is the concern that people are using its large field as defecation ground for their dogs, and some dog owners are not picking up the feces. The presence of this fecal material in some quantity is a deterrent to the use of the park as a play area for children, to which use it was dedicated by the citizens group which gave the land to the city a century ago “for the boys and girls of Rockland.”

One proposed solution is to ban dogs from the park. Another solution might be to find ways to encourage more dog owners to clean up after their dogs. Plastic bags and a trash receptacle are provided, so it is a matter of will.

One commission member visited the park recently and observed a man with a large dog on a leash. The dog defecated and the man did not clean up. The member approached the man and dog. Both were friendly. The member explained the concern, and the man responded by politely and cheerfully taking not one, but two plastic bags, hunting around, and picking up three large piles. The member helped by holding the dog on the leash. Some pleasant neighborly exchange accompanied the exercise.

It was a beautiful experience that reinforced this member’s belief that inclusive community and mutual respect is essential to our future as a democracy. Certainly the work of the Parks Commission depends on active and collaborative public participation.

Summer Youth Sailing 2018

Learning to sail, and to be skipper of your own boat, is a great spirit and character building experience. For thousands of years sailing has connected people with each other and with the elements. For a child it is a wonder, a thrill, and a feeling of power and ability that carries through a whole life.

Here in Rockland we are in a special position. Our grand harbor is the gateway to Penobscot Bay and beyond, the most magnificent island-studded sailing grounds in the world, with hundreds of natural harbors and a cheerful summer climate that makes sailing and cruising a special delight.

While sailing these days is often associated with wealth, and grand yachts, sailing, and sailboats, need not be expensive at all. Small is beautiful. Older sailboats are available for little or nothing. A lifetime of pleasure awaits those who learn how to sail and to maintain their boats. The wind is free.

So it is fitting and worthy that the children of Rockland, whether they be rich or poor, should learn to sail and to enjoy the wonderful resource that our maker has put beside us.

The Apprenticeshop is a non-profit organization located on the water just north of Knight Marine. The Apprenticeshop is dedicated to experiential education, and offers summer sailing classes for all ages, 6 and up.

The youth sailing program offers 9 weekly classes this Summer, Monday through Friday, 9am to 3pm, starting the week ofJune 25.

The cost of a week is $290. Financial aid is available, and no one is left on the dock. For more information, stop by the Apprenticeshop at 655 Main Street, or visit online at

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