The Working Waterfront

A ‘common’ mistake, island schools

Letters from readers

Posted 2023-11-16
Last Modified 2023-11-16

A common mistake

To the editor:

While I always enjoy reading The Working Waterfront and Tom Groening’s Rock Bound column, the one in the October issue has an error that I couldn’t let pass.

The praise of Belfast Summer Nights is certainly justified; however the name of the “flat expanse of grass along the waterfront” is not “Belfast Commons.” The name of that park is Steamboat Landing Park. The park above Steamboat Landing on the hillside between Front Street and Union Street is called Belfast Common (no “s”).

Even though the Belfast mayor and an occasional city councilor will make this mistake, we usually try to pass along the proper names of these parks which are clearly identified on park signage.

Sending thanks to you for your work and hoping you enjoy some more leisure fun before tackling that living room!

Carol Good


High quality education

To the editor:

I read Kim Hamilton’s “From the Sea Up” column in the October issue, “Rewriting the storyline of island schools” (a great title), with much interest. I wholeheartedly agree with her observation that “Schools play an undeniable role in the ecosystem of a thriving island community… [they] are essential to sustaining our islands.”

In 1980, as a visiting English teacher, I spent a special day visiting the one-room school on Isle Au Haut and was much impressed and engaged by the high quality of education that the eight mixed-age group of students were receiving from their resourceful, devoted teacher.

I noted the cited “interventions” that the research literature advocates to support remote schools. Though my own teaching, research and writings about literacy in rural schools was on a “bridged” island, I found that the same interventions were crucial.

Now retired from the University of New Hampshire, I’d be pleased to give Island Institute a copy of my book, Time to Write: The Influence of Time and Culture on Learning to Write. In an ethnographic study from 1984-2010 (second edition, 2015), I explore the shifting relationships between the time values of a fishing community, those of the school, and of the digital age. I ask how time values inform and shape students’ responses to becoming literate.

I support your own valuable work with small island schools, and I much enjoyed reading about your father’s experience in the Chebeague Island school district.

John Lofty
Deer Isle


The Working Waterfront welcomes letters to the editor, which should be sent to Tom Groening at with “LTE” in the subject line. Longer opinion pieces are also considered, but should first be cleared with the editor.