From the editor

We can do better ... and will

Posted:  Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 8:45am

This week some of our critics took a swipe at us on our online commenting service, Disqus, as well as Facebook and, perhaps, on the street, regarding our coverage of the feud between Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and those who are watching its expansion project very closely because of pollution concerns. Some of the criticism has been fair, but some of it has not.

The Boothbay Register has a small staff. Bill Pearson, who covers Boothbay, and the newly hired Joseph Charpentier, who covers Boothbay Harbor, are our only full-time beat reporters.

Bill has covered this issue from the beginning — attending planning board meetings, appeals board hearings and getting comments from the people involved. In response to last week's letter from Kevin Anthony, I say he was not totally correct.

It's all well and good when the Portland Press Herald swoops in with one of its better writers who covers environmental issues in the state. Did that reporter cover all the meetings this spring? No. He wrote an initial story about the feud in December of 2016 and didn't write about it again until this week. Bill wrote about the earlier violations the week before. From a late June article Bill wrote: "...a third party representative for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection warned about erosion damage and stormwater runoff contaminating the Knickerbocker Lake Watershed. One incident resulted in the project being delayed for several days by the DEP following a May 26 report issued by the representative."

When the DEP issued its Notice of Violation last week, Bill had started his first day of a well-deserved week's vacation. Yes, I agree we should have perhaps made arrangements to stay in contact with the DEP regarding the issue, but with such a small staff, and others keeping busy with their own beats and wrapping up school news, the Windjammer Days Festival — among other things — it slipped our mind.

We admit that this is a complex issue and we could do a better job. We are getting conflicting information from all involved and finding the truth has been hit or miss sometimes.

We will continue to cover the issue and Bill has said he is going to do a better job from here forward.

Our water supply is of vital importance and we commend all who are watching out for its safety.