Friday, September 15, 2017

A ROBBERY AND CIRCLE K's SHOCKING REACTION TO IT

This past week the Circle K on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, Maine was held up and robed.  The robber got behind the counter and pulled out a large knife and demanded the clerk hand over the money out of the register, which the lone clerk on duty did.  Because of the details the clerk gave, the robber was quickly located and arrested, great ending to this story, right?
Not so fast.....the manager of Circle K told the clerk he could take the following day off to recover from the armed robbery, which the clerk did.  Upon showing up for work the following day, the same Circle K manager informed the clerk that he was fired.  According to the manager, the clerk "Had not done a money drop prior to the robbery."  This was a bit shocking since Circle K's policy regarding money drops is that "if you are dealing with customers, you hold off on the money drop until you are free to do so."
When the clerk reminded the manager of Circle K of their policy on this matter, her response was that it was not her who did the firing, but the firing came down from the company's main office.
What is even more shocking is that by their actions, the Bar Harbor Circle K and its manager have made this clerk a double victim, he was a victim of an armed robbery at knife point, and than a victim of being punished by the Circle K for doing his job.
Firing the clerk for doing his job is no way to reward an individual who came was doing his job, and in doing his job could of easily lost his life that night, and Circle K and its manager, and all those who work for circle K in the main office should be ashamed of themselves.   I plan on continuing to shop in downtown Bar Harbor, but the cottage street Circle K. will not be one of the places I will be spending my money, I will not reward such reckless behavior. 

UPDATE: 

 Circle K employee fired after robbery
by Samuel Shepherd

When the clerk at the Circle K store who had a knife pointed at him by Sept. 12 returned to work two days later, he was informed he was being fired.
On Sept. 12, Dillon Libby, 21, was the clerk on duty who reportedly was robbed at knife point.
"The guy came in and he was looking around with his back pack open," Libby told the Islander.  "He went to get two Nasty Daddies and put them down on the counter."
"He said 'one more thing'"
"He walked over with a knife and he demanded the monet."
Libby said the robber moved toward him a few times with the knife to make him open the cash register quicker.
"He had the hoodie on (when he first came in) but when he came back, it was off," Libby added.
Libby reported the robbery to the police and than the store.  The store gave Libby a night off and offered to speak to him about changing his hours.
When he came back on Thursday, he was told by the manager he was fired because he failed to remove money from the register that night.
"There's only suppose to be $100 in there at all times.  But it was busy every time I was going to do a drop, people came in," he said.
Libby also said he has been having trouble sleeping since the robbery.
Officers arrested Sean Lavorie, 26, of Bar Harbor, shortly after leaving the scene.  Lavorie has been charged with a Class A Crime and faces up to 30 years in prison.
Management at the Circle K did not comment on Libby's firing or on procedure relating to employees who are threatened by customers.  Attempts to contact the regional offices of Canadian parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard were not immediately successful.

The above story ran in the Islander, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.  Dillon did everything he was suppose to do that night, he handed the money over without putting up a fight, and he waited until the robber was gone before reporting the robbery, following the companies and Circle K's policy.  Dillon could of easily been seriously injuried or even killed that night and the stores behavior is nothing short of shameful.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DOES THE PUBLIC HAVE A RIGHT TO WALK ALONG THE COASTLINE?

So a few days ago I had a local kid ask me if a landowner could prevent him from walking along the shoreline in the area between the high tide mark and low tide mark.  I laughed and replied that the area between the high tide mark and low tide mark is open to the public - case closed, right?
Not so fast.......I got to thinking about it, and not wanting to get a kid in trouble by giving them bad advice, I decided to play it safe and look up exactly what the law says concerning the shoreline at low tide.  Was I in for a surprise, in 44 states the public does indeed have the right to access the area between the high tide mark and the low tide mark, but six states, including Maine, hold that the area between the high tide mark and the low tide mark belongs to the homeowner.  In other words, the people who live in six states have no legal right to walk along the shoreline, period, if the landowner tells you to leave.
But it is not as clear cut as it sounds, because there are a few instances where you can indeed walk along the shoreline and have the law on your side.They are as follows;

1.  When the tide goes as low as it can go, you can put on a pair of waterproof boots and walk along the shoreline as long as your feet are in the water, that would place you below the low tide mark, where the public has a right to access.

2.  Your bird hunting - the law says anyone who is hunting foul can walk along the area between the high tide mark and the low tide mark, it is anyone's right as long as they are bird hunting.  Note; this does not include bird watching.

3.  You have a right to access the area between the high tide mark and low tide mark if your in a boat, and have a need to beach your boat along that stretch of shoreline.  In one court case a suba diver placed his boat along the shoreline and went out into the water to scuba dive, the homeowner took him to court and the scuba diver won the case, since he arrived at the shoreline in a boat.

4.  Anyone in Maine has a right to walk along the coastline between the high tide mark and the low tide mark as long as they are doing so to fish.  For you to not run into trouble with the law, make sure you are carrying a fishing pole as you cross the shoreline by someone's property, and make sure you paid a $1 registration fee with the state of Maine to fish in salt water.  Under fishing, the law allows anyone to fish from the shoreline as long as you are within the high and low tide mark, or to cross a stretch of shoreline as long as your heading to a place further along the shore to fish.
Note;  the law does not allow you the right to cross over private property in order to reach the shoreline of coastline.

So in theory one could walk along the shoreline, or coastline, carrying a fishing pole and staying within the high and low tide marks, and have the law on their side.  I would suggest if your simply crossing some one's property along the high and low tide marks, and they do call the police, tell the officer you are walking along the shoreline in search of a good place to fish, even if your not.  That is exactly what the kid I was talking about said he was going to do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A PARK PASS IS NOW REQUIRED IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

The title may sound a bit crazy, after all - if your going into Acadia National Park of course a park pass is required.  But up until now, other than when you went through the entrance fee station out by Sand Beach, no one ever asked you to produce a park pass.  That all changes now with the new park policy concerning vehicles only.  Your car must now have a park pass visible in plain sight and if the pass is not in plain sight, rangers will now ask you to produce it, throughout the entire National Park.
Right now, the park service says they have no intention of stopping walkers or hikers and asking them to produce a park pass
This kind of goes hand in hand with another new law enforcement police where throughout the year park rangers will be setting up check points, as rangers check on drivers to determine if they have been drinking or using drugs.  This gives them a perfect chance to also check each car passing through the check points to see if a park pass has been purchased.  As far as people riding bikes goes, we will have to wait and see how or if a policy regarding bikes is put into place, or if bikers will be treated the same way as walkers and hikers.
The way the statement from the park service came out, it is unclear how cars parked in parking lots in the park, or parked along the side of the Park Loop Road, would be treated if the car was empty and no Park Pass was visible.  It at least appears your car could be in danger of being towed if no pass can be seen in an empty car.  The Park Service was very clear on saying visitors to the park should leave their park pass in their car and in plain sight at all times.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

NEW POLICY CONCERNING BAR ISLAND

There has been a major policy change concerning Bar Island which everyone should be made aware of.  The  National Park service has had a policy in place that if anyone got stuck or stranded on Bar Island they would go out and get them and bring them back to shore.  That will no longer be the case. 
New signs are going up on both sides of the sand bar letting people know that if they get stuck on Bar Island, they will have to call a local water taxi to go over and bring them back to shore.  This may not seem like a big deal, right?  After all, how much can a water taxi cost for such a short distance?  How about $150.00 - that is what the local water taxi has said it will charge to bring people from Bar Island to the Bar Harbor pier.  For that kind of money you may be better off swimming back across.  And for your convenience, the phone number to the water taxi is on the signs.
But as hard to believe as this new shift in Park Policy is, most people will have no idea of how much they will be charged when they call that phone number for the water taxi, because a very strange thing happened when the signs were being put up.  It seems someone placed the large screw and washer so it covered up the $150.00 price of the taxi.  Strange how that worked out.
The Bar Harbor Police Department has stated that they will not leave anyone stranded on Bar Island and if anyone calls the police for help, they will try and get them a boat ride back, but it may take some time.  There is also the Harbor Master, but i do not believe his phone number appears on the new signs.
So while your stuck on Bar Island, you can fork over $150.00 to get back across, or call the police, or do a little math.  Once the sand bar goes under water, you have about 5 to 6 hours before you can cross it again, so you could wait for the next low tide.  But if you came around the corner and can still see small stretches of the sand bar, your best bet is to roll up your pant legs and rush across, the water can get a little deep in a few sections, but ending up with wet pet legs is far better than forking over $150.00 for a two minute taxi ride.
Now someone stands to make a whole lot of money off this new policy, after all, nearly every day someone gets stuck over there. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

LAST NIGHTS CRUISE SHIP MEETING

Last nights Cruise Ship Meeting went off very well, however there was a couple of points of interest that came up.  Exactly how many cruise ships are we talking about?  For years the limit on cruise ships has been set at three, however last night the number five came up a number of times.  How did we go from three to five?  The math doesn't add up, and Paul only seemed to confuse this by stating we should not be looking at the number of cruise ships, but at the cap number. 
So looking at the cap number, or number of passengers allowed off the ships at any given time, it was pointed out that the two large ships docked at the old ferry terminal would pretty much cover the cap.  If that is the case, why have three other cruise ships setting in the harbor idle, with no one coming ashore?  It just doesn't make sense.
Back years ago when the town first began talking about taking over the ferry terminal, the thinking was back than was to take the cruise ships out of the harbor and place them at the ferry terminal, which would make the harbor safer.  That made sense, however, somewhere along the way plans seemed to have been changed, and now we seem to be looking at keeping the three cruise ships per day in the harbor, and adding two new ones to the old ferry terminal. 
The people making their presentation only seemed to confuse the issue, with Paul at one point stating he thought we were only looking at having two ships at the ferry terminal and one perhaps at the town pier, but the number five kept coming up and would not go away.  The bottom line is that it does appear that five cruise ships are new number the town is working with, and not three as was the case. 
Another question that was raised, at least in my mind, was exactly what counts toward the cap?  Someone asked if the small cruise ships that dock at the end of the town pier - did their passengers count toward the cap?  Paul answered that he believed they did count toward the cap - however someone else seated by him jumped in and added that they were not so sure about that.  Why does this even matter?
Let's assume that the wording is such that cruise ships that are docked, and that do not require tendering, don't count toward the cap.  If that were the case, than one could easily see why we have moved from three cruise ships to five - if that were the case than we would still have three cruise ships out in the harbor funning people ashore, all under the cap, and two new larger cruise ships at dock which would be outside the cap.  I am not saying this is going to be the case, but when members of the town council aren't certain of what falls under the cap, it is something that needs to be looked into.
But the biggest stunner of the night, at least for me, was a question which came from the balcony.  Some one asked if the town intended to still use  Argonaut Park as a drop off point, or was the town looking at using different drop off points around town?  Councilman's Paul's answer was that they were going to be using drop off points in different locations around town, which should give everyone a cause for concern.  Anyone who lives in Bar Harbor knows there are currently no places for such drop off points along any of the busiest streets in town - none along cottage Street, none along Main Street, none along Mount desert Street or West Street, so where are these drop off points going to come from?
The only place they can come from is where you currently find parking stalls.  Parking stalls are going to have to be converted into drop off points, or places where a number of buses can pull up into, drop off passengers, and pick up passengers to return them to the cruise ships.  You simply can't do it any other way, space is extremely limited and taken up by parking stalls so a number of parking stalls on some of our busiest streets are going to have to be eliminated.
And that brings us full circle  to a pet project the town council simply will not let go of, that parking garage.  If the town eliminates a large number of parking stalls to create these new drop off points for buses, the town is going to have to build a parking garage, its just hard to see any way around it.
In my own opinion it just seems the town of Bar Harbor is moving way too quickly on too many fronts, all in an effort to get increased amounts of cash flowing into town.  The town council wants a parking garage, they want the ferry terminal, they want five cruise ships instead of three per day, and they want parking meters placed throughout town.  It's time to put the brakes on and take a hard long look at what we want the town to look like ten, twenty or fifty years down the road.  Do we want five cruise ships here each day?  And what is that going to do to the character of the town?  And do we really want unsightly parking meters placed all around town, is that what we really want? 
As for the parking garage, the same question has to be asked, do we really want or need one?  No one ever looks anyplace else but to a parking garage to deal with downtown parking problems.  One alternative is buying up valuable space that is currently available and creating a new large parking lot close to the center of downtown.  I am talking about that old in slightly barn next door to city hall - buy that property and build a parking lot there.   It may not get you the numbers a parking garage will get you, but it would add a large number of new parking spaces, and maybe that is all the town really needs.