Letters, May 8
Support Coastal Farms and Foods
I hope reading Peter Wilkinson's letter about Coastal Farms & Foods has alerted people to the plight of this extraordinary enterprise. Here is the perfect example of a relevant and visionary business model that reflects the economic, agricultural and social needs of our region.
It provided jobs, supported small farmers and large scale producers, provided food storage, food safety, incubated new businesses and promoted the time-honored tradition of Maine's self-sufficiency. How can it lose?
Well, apparently, it can, and we, as a community, can lose a lot: all of the above, plus autonomy. “Food hub” seems to be the apt description of its function but its mission is guided by a social conscience and intention to foster regional economies. These are the bases that enable people to find work, live better and create small enterprises which keep our farms from going under.
It's a pretty basic principle which is frequently disparaged as being “naive” or too “optimistic.” As a small-scale entrepreneur, I can assert that starting a business is not for the faint of heart or dreamy-eyed altruist, but it will never succeed without that optimism, naivety or bravery.
What Jan Anderson has brought to the region is exactly the right concept at the right time and in the right place. Let's keep this rare opportunity alive and contribute to its survival in whatever way possible so that in the future each of can say, “I am a part of the solution.”
The friends of Coastal Farms has opened an account at Down East Credit Union, 92 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast, ME 04915. Please consider helping this valuable establishment.
Phyllis W. Sommer
Condemn racism in all forms
It’s good to know the National Basketball Association players and the commissioner who oversees the league, Adam Silver, are condemning the racist comments of NBA team owner Donald Sterling.
But what about the millions in Maine and this country who mouth the same attitudes but aren’t caught on tape, or think these nasty ideas but don’t say them? And what about millions more who believe in equality but benefit from discrimination against people of color? Shouldn’t we condemn them and the advantages they derive also?
In favor of welfare reform
It is not often I can agree with Publisher Reade Brower, but his recent For the Record columns hit the nails on the head, more or less.
Most recently (April 17, 2014), Reade suggested changes to the Maine's EBT food stamp welfare benefits system, including drug-testing recipients. Excellent idea! I've heard from reliable sources that those benefits have been used to purchase drugs from drug dealers, so testing could reduce those abuses and more.
Prohibiting the use of EBT cards out of state or at irrational retail locations also makes sense, as would the authorized user's photo on each card, plus strict enforcement.
So does requiring retailers ensure those cards are not used except for proper purchases by authorized cardholders. Retailers ought be liable for aiding welfare fraud. And, with modern digital technologies, it's not difficult to track fraud for later prosecutions.
It would also make sense to use civilian assistance organizations to distribute many of these benefits — in hand — to the documented needy rather than trust unfettered use of electronic benefit "ATM" cards by clients potentially scamming the welfare system. This could be very useful for protecting children at risk of neglect or abuse.
The week before, Reade lamented over the problems "Obamacare" creates for businesses like his own, just as I knew it would. That's why I proposed "UniCare," a sparse but universal HMO-style healthcare program. Individuals, businesses and government would then be free to add enhancement packages on top of "UniCare" mandates.
My "Gross Receipts Tax" program would have paid for the UniCare essentials and more, and fixed common-business-world abuses. And Mr. Brower could instead just buy his choice of commercial healthcare enhancements — if he wished — for his family and employees from and extensive body of marketplace options and various "exchanges."
So, Reade, I agree. But I also know better than to trust government duffers to design and run UniCare or Obamacare. Yes, 'nuff said.
Maine State Prison
Thank you from Spectrum Generations
Spectrum Generations Waldo Community Center held an auction with our Local Advisory Council on Saturday April 12, 2013 and was able to raise more than $2,100 to benefit Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Break and area programs for seniors and disabled adults. Spectrum Generations staff and Council members would like to thank the numerous community organizations, individuals and businesses for their help and support to make this possible. Thank you all for your time and various contributions to our event! We unfortunately missed some folks who contributed to the auction. We apologize for overlooking some of those who were a part of all this. It is our hope that this list now includes everyone:
The following all had a helping hand in the auction’s success: Greg’s Auto Sales; The Barber Shop, Belmont; Dutch Chevrolet; Steamboat Partners, Searsport; Tire Warehouse; Darby’s; Michelle Morrow, dentist; McDonald’s; Rachel & Shannon Pet Grooming; Lisa Nichols Salon; The God Table; Dairy Queen; Lemire Photography; Mermaid Restaurant; Belfast Variety; Searsport Antique Mall; Nancy’s Sewing Center; Permanent Expressions Tattoo; Republican Journal; Waldo County YMCA; Swan Lake Grocery; Pizza Hut; The Bacon Tree; Bell the Cat; Tozier’s Market; Maine Fuels Inc; Andy’s Auto Repair; Nautilus Seafood & Grill; Out of the Woods; Searsport Motor Co.; Ming’s Restaurant; Rent-a-Center; Holmes Greenhouse; Angler’s Restaurant; Dunkin’ Donuts; Fireside Inn & Ocean Edge Restaurant; Chase’s Daily; Barbara Cook Massage; Fiddlehead Artisan Supply; Young’s Lobster Pound; Creative Catering; Kristen Burkholder Therapeutic Massage; Penobscot Marine Museum; John Slaughter, dentist; Colburn Shoe; Dino’s Pizza; Seabreeze Family Eye care; Tabasco Training Stables; Aunt Judy’s Uniforms; Colonial Theater; Alexia’s Pizza; Belfast Vet; Bay Area Fitness; Consumer’s Fuel Co.; Hands of Healing; Red’s Automotive; Relaxed Nails; Bobbi’s Barber & Beauty; Waterfall Arts; Riposta Funeral Home; Bay View Physical Therapy; Penobscot Bay Dentistry; Merry’s Attic; Matthew Brothers; Maine Integrative Chiropractic; Wanda Owen; Melissa Veilleux; Faye Roy; Norma Littlefield; Joyce Littlefield; Pat Woodbury; Marion LeBlanc; Ivy Kinney; Delores Merithew; A&M Wood Products; Grindle and Son Wood Products; Judy Dinsmore; EBS; Dodi Jalbert; Mainely Pottery; Army Navy Store; Dirigo Glass; Car Quest; Green Store; Brambles; Front Street Shipyard; Vinolio Foods; Belmont Boat Yard; Yo Momma’s House; Neal Parent Gallery; Coyote Moon; The Purple Baboon; Sunset Beach; Front Street Pub; Rollie’s; Trustworthy True Value; Nickerson work gallery; Out on a Whimsy; Roger Blake; Lisa Light Barber Shop; Heavenly Socks and Yarns; Town of Searsport; Perry’s Nut House; Larry Thomas; Sandra Otis-Anderson; Steve Galatti; Roselyn Bean; Allen Yeaton; Jean Lawlis; Barbara Cataldo; Jewel O’ Donnell; Joyce Fenner; and Patricia Hustu.
Allison Wood, Meals On Wheels Nutrition and Volunteer Coordinator
Spectrum Generations Waldo Community Center, Belfast