I am a homesteaded resident of Ocean Ridge living on Old Ocean Boulevard. In the summer I live in the resort community of Ogunquit, Maine. On an average weekend in our 10-week summer season, 60,000 people come to town to enjoy the baby-powder-sand beach that runs from Ogunquit through Wells almost to Kennebunk.
    There are houses along many sections of the beach, and one community sued the state to have its beachfront designated private. The community lost and the result was the high tide line.
    I don’t think we ought to lie to residents of surrounding communities that the beach is private. It is public and everyone knows it.
    The high tide line could be noted as the end of public space and the rules of the beach put on a clear, well-written sign; i.e.  dogs — none; noise — not too loud; sexual activity — none in public; no drugs, etc. Certainly police officers could pass by hourly during hot beach days and weekend or daily nights as part of their routines. 
    It saddens me that Ocean Ridge townspeople seem fearful or negative about outsiders of other cultures whom they see as dangerous or adding an unwanted element. This only creates animosity and leads to more friction than necessary.
    There is nothing wrong with welcoming our less affluent neighbors to the west and north and encourage them to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the ocean without making them feel like interlopers in their own county.
    The next Haitian you see ask him/her Sa passe? — Creole for “how is it passing, how are you.”  He’ll say:  Na bullee.  I’m not burning.  He’s not on fire while being chased by a mob, or the Tontons Macoutes, so he’s OK. 
Let’s not add to the struggle.

Rachel Walker
Ocean Ridge

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