Letters, Feb. 13

Searsport classes should focus on maritime industry

I was very surprised when I read Faith Garrold's letter of last week. It is by coincidence only that we have very similar ideas. Had I submitted my letter a day sooner, both would have been published the same week.

I applaud the efforts of all who are working to maintain the local system in Searsport.

I believe that when a town loses its schools, it loses a large part of its identity.

I urge all involved to consider establishing a portion of a our high school as a tuition vocational school, one that is geared to the maritime industry. This could possibly be a prep school for Maine Maritime Academy, or similar institution. A class in small wooden boat building has been offered with great success.

Consider expanding these classes to include small boat handling, perhaps with the assistance of a local tow boat company, basic piloting with Pen Bay Pilots, which could include the necessary training for a boat for hire license. I am sure that a graduating high school senior would be proud to have the title of captain before his or her name.

Classes in basic marine biology and offshore wind technology might also be offered, just to name a few.

Our maritime heritage is a tradition in Searsport and we should be building upon it.

John S. “Jack” Merrithew


If you like your wood stove

If you like your wood stove, you can keep your wood stove — until the unconstitutional arm of the Shadow Government, the EPA, gets to Maine.

A headline reads: “EPA’s wood burning stove ban has chilling consequences for many rural people.” The EPA cannot legally enact laws, but they are allowed to issue "regulations" — that have the effect of law. This is how the socialists rule, with a pen, and to hell with Congress, the law and/or the Constitution.

They tried banning all but new air-tight stoves more than 30 years ago. We fought them and won. But they are back. They already have them banned in several places, like California, where if you have a wood stove not “approved,” and you move or want to sell it — you cannot. You must destroy it, and fill it with concrete! (Also, in several places, burning in fireplaces is now outright banned.)

We need to get on our state's reps right now and give them a heads up that we know this is in the pipeline and that they must reject it at the get go —.stop it at the border, per se.

It's all about control. We independent folk who can heat our houses without being dependent on outside fuel sources are hard to control.

As I said, they tried this more than 30 years ago, starting when Carter was president. First they declared an oil shortage — remember the long lines for gas and the high fuel oil prices?

There was no real oil shortage. I still lived in California and had friends who worked in the fields. The government deliberately shut down working wells to create the shortage. They tried to fine people with big cars and force them into buying the new "economy" cars. People like me, without "disposable income" couldn't afford "economy" cars. (This time around, they got rid of hundreds of thousands of good used cars through the asinine Cash for Clunkers program.)

During the contrived oil shortage mess, I moved back home t'Maine. My first job was as Program Director of the ECIP (Energy Crisis Intervention Program) with WCCSA. It was involved with providing safe stoves/furnaces/chimneys for people.

In that capacity, I was trained and met experts in the field, including an expert in wood stoves and chimneys, who apprenticed as a chimney sweep in London (a three year stint).

This was the same time — late ‘70s, early ‘80s — the government was "forcing" people to pay the bigger prices for fuel oil, ala the "fuel shortage" — or freeze. But when they got to Maine, they got a quick education in Mainers' independence streak.

Mainers said, "Hell, no!" They fixed up their chimneys, they dusted off or bought wood stoves and chimney smoke was once again rising from roofs in Maine. (And we never stopped.)

To thwart that, the government tried to impose the old-stoves-have-to-go edict that they are trying again. Back then, we Mainers raised such an uproar that they backed off most couldn't afford the new "air-tights." (Of course, that was the plan. We’d have to go back to fuel oil or propane.)

Now they are trying it again. Forget the reports showing that "airtights," due to cooler stove pipes, create more creosote.

Here's one report excerpt:

"The revolution in stove design in the '70s was the introduction of the “airtight” stove. No more getting up in the night to feed the stove; you just pack it full of wood and choke the air way down so as to produce a long, slow burn. Where formerly, you controlled the burn by limiting fuel to the stove, the new way limited air. The benefit of this was a long nights sleep. The price was a chimney full of creosote."

Trying to keep one step ahead of those in government hell-bent on controlling every aspect of our lives is a full time job, increasingly so.

Time to let ‘em know we Mainers are keeping our independence, thank you — and our wood stoves. Email, phone and snail mail your representatives now.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt