June 06, 2020

Owned by the public

I’ve no interest in Somes Sound, and don’t know any of the people involved in the latest size-matters dock fracas. However, I do detect a few logical lapses in your Dec. 20 editorial, “Pier without peer.”

One of the Bangor Daily News’ greatest reporters, the late Pat Shaw of Skowhegan, wore fingernails almost an inch long, and believe me, she could type. A lapdog may look fragile until it locks onto your ankle; many small dogs are small because they’ve been bred that way to make them better hunters; and anyone who’s seen a small border collie leap from its owner’s lap and bring home the mutton knows that it’s speed and smarts that make a herding dog, not size.

Finally, there’s the matter of property rights. Those who support the enlargement of this dock on the premise that “I can’t see why anyone can’t do what he likes with his own property” should remember that the owner of this dock and float is not the owner of the land or water on which they sit.

The water of Somes Sound – and the land underneath it – is owned by the public, and as such it’s the public that gets to decide what to do with it. So before William Stewart gets all pained about not being able to build a bigger dock, he should remember that if the public someday decides preserving the view is a higher and better use of that piece of the sound than is the tax revenue from his dock he could end up downtown shopping for public moorings for his 11 boats.

David Bright


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