Be safe, Belfast

Belfast is a wonderful and safe place to live. The crime rate in Maine is one of the lowest in the United States. We do, however, experience some crime in our community. There are bad people out there and they do sometimes prey on unsuspecting citizens. But there are things we all can all do to keep ourselves from becoming a victim. Many of these things are easily done.

Never leave your doors unlocked. A locked door may be enough to discourage a burglar. They will move on to an easier target.

Never advertise when you are going to be away from home. Put a stop on mail or newspaper deliveries if you plan on being away from home for more than two days. Or you can arrange for neighbors or other family members to mow the lawn, turn lights on or off, or collect mail when possible.

Remember to keep the garage door shut and locked. This will make it more difficult for a thief to predict when you are home or away.

Encourage neighbors and friends to look out for each other. Encourage your friends and neighbors to call the police if someone or something looks strange at your home or property.

Do not let strangers into your home. If someone knocks on your door whom you do not know, please do not hesitate to dial 911 on your telephone. The Belfast Police Department will always respond to a 911 call. We would be much happier to respond to your residence and find the stranger knocking is a legitimate salesperson or a census worker rather than you not calling and having the situation turn into a home invasion.

If you need repairs done inside your home, but you are unsure of who to call to find a reputable service, check with the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, or friends and family regarding the reputation of any business that sends service employees to your home. When possible, make sure someone can be there with you. Try to keep all of your valuables and money out of sight.

Whenever possible, try to vary your daily routines. Many of us are creatures of habit. Being unpredictable will make it more difficult for a potential burglar to enter your home.

Keep the outside of your home well lit. This will help your neighbors spot someone or something that just doesn’t look right. And please encourage your neighbors to call the Belfast Police Department on our 911 line. An officer will quickly respond to make sure all is well.

If a citizen has any doubt at all about a situation that just does not look right, the Belfast Police Department will always be glad to respond, even if the suspicious circumstances turn out to be nothing. We don’t want any citizens to feel they are bothering us or that we have more important things to do. Please do not hesitate to dial 911.

Lastly, the Belfast Police Department is a member of the Waldo County TRIAD organization. TRIAD is an organization whose sole purpose is to help senior citizens feel safe in their homes. If you have any questions at all about safety or what the Waldo County TRIAD can do for you, please contact me at the Belfast Police Department at 338-5255.

Chief Jeff Trafton,
Belfast Police Department


Chris needs your help

On Saturday night, Jan. 23 our friend and loved one Chris McKee of Lincolnville was involved in a devastating accident resulting in an emergency surgery and many months of recovery. We can let you know he is of sound mind and has a very positive outlook for the future.

Although Chris is an employed carpenter by trade he has no health insurance, and with many impending months out of work and quickly mounting hospital fees, we now ask for you to help.

Donations and cards of encouragement can be sent immediately. Although we hope Chris will be home soon you may mail your cards to: Houlton Regional Hospital, Attn: Christopher McKee, Room 301, 22 Hartford St., Houlton, ME 04730.

To donate in person: You may go to any branch in the state of Maine of either Camden National Bank or Union Trust and donate to the “Christopher McKee Benefit Account”.

To donate by check by mail: Send your check in care of Camden National Bank, P.O. Box 310, Christopher McKee Benefit Account, Camden, ME 04843-0310.

To donate by wire transfer: Contact JodyAnn or Randy McKee at 354-6934, and leave voice mail; we will contact you with account details. You may also e-mail your questions or contact information to

JodyAnn and Randy McKee


The fight for freedom

[Editor’s note: This letter was received late Jan. 19, following Republican Scott Brown’s victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election held that day for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts that was formerly held by Ted Kennedy.]

Without a gunshot, without riots in the street or even threats of violence, we have just witnessed our country’s rejection of Socialism as presented to us in the disguise of free health care by those who would pervert our Republic and rob us of our freedom.

Our founding fathers would be proud of us. Here, here, conservatives! Take care, liberals. Stand tall again, Massachusetts. And God bless America.

David Huck



Keep the faith

There is a lot of joy amongst the tax-oppressed refugees from Massachusetts who moved to New Hampshire during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s in order to find affordable housing (that may not be as affordable today).

Tuesday, Jan. 19 marks the date that Scott Brown won the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat held for so many decades by the Kennedy family members Ted, and John before him. This had been considered an insurmountable task. It goes to show that anything is possible! Keep the faith!

Richard Lenfest


The music of Christmas

‘Twas recently the season, and in listening to the music of the holidays, several thoughts occurred to me:

So much of what I would call popular Christmas music, not the traditional carols, springs from times of war and global violence.

Further, an awful lot of it dates to World War II and the years immediately following it, as people remembered Christmas absences of the war years.

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is the quintessential example of what I mean. Even “White Christmas” came to us through Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, playing two World War II veterans reuniting their outfit at an inn in Vermont run by their former commanding officer.

Traditional carols sing of “peace on earth and goodwill toward men,” while we live in an era of global terrorism, much of it with roots in a second holocaust visited by Israel on displaced Palestinians since 1948.

In this new decade, the American world presence sits atop the spear of preemptive warfare, a military concept that was introduced to the U.S. arsenal by George W. Bush, with shock and awe, in Iraq.

And lest we excuse preemption in Iraq as an isolated incidence of barbarism, Sen. Joseph Lieberman urged us to consider the use of “preemption” against Yemen on a Fox Sunday news program in December 2009. This was in answer to the discovery of a man with explosives on a flight originating in Yemen.

So while we ended the year of 2009 singing that the “newborn child will bring us goodness and light,” our fatally flawed policy makers are urging the use of “preemption.”

Killing for peace just never goes out of style, tragically.

David Shippee
St. Augustine Beach, Florida


Make Maine a safer place

Recently in Gardiner, four kittens were found in a box on a snow bank, frozen to each other and barely alive. Thanks to good Samaritans and the animal shelter, they received veterinary care. However, many less fortunate animals do not receive help in time.

Maine has strong animal welfare laws which require each municipality to have an animal control officer to ensure that injured companion animals running at large or in a public way are given medical attention. To locate your ACO, call the police or sheriff’s department, your town office, or Maine’s Animal Welfare Program at 287-3846.

Private citizens attempting to help injured animals should exercise extreme caution not to get bitten as the animals’ rabies vaccination status often cannot be verified. A safer response would be to call the ACO, who is trained to handle injured animals and carries equipment to avoid getting bitten. Sometimes the response from busy municipalities may not be immediate, but with persistence your efforts should pay off.

ACOs can ensure that injured animals are seen by a veterinarian. They also have access to animal shelters after hours so they can make sure healthy strays are fed and kept warm until their owners can reclaim them or they can be put up for adoption.

In this economy, many people face the heartbreaking decision to re-home pets they can no longer afford. This is not an excuse to abandon animals. Each community is required to contract with an animal shelter to care for strays, and many accept owner-surrendered animals.

If you know an animal has been abandoned, please report it to your ACO so they can prevent it from freezing, starving or being hit by a car. With your help, we can make Maine a safer place for animals and people.

Steven Dostie,
Maine Federation of
Humane Societies



Take the pledge

We are encouraging all Maine residents to pledge to keep their homes smoke-free. Even if smokers aren’t ready to quit, promising to keep smoke out of their homes can protect the health and welfare of those who live with them and eventually make quitting easier.

Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens. People in Maine are protected from these deadly toxins in most places, including public places, worksites, restaurants and bars; however, they are still being exposed in the place they spend 70 percent of their time — their home.

Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous to children, the elderly and those with respiratory disorders. Children in homes where they are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of developing ear infections and respiratory-tract infections, and are 44 percent more likely to suffer from asthma. Pledging to keep your home smoke-free is a great way to significantly reduce these risks.

Anyone can pledge to keep their home smoke-free by visiting the Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine’s Web site at and clicking on the “Take the Smoke-Free Pledge!” icon at the top of the Web page. Also, visit the coalition’s site to learn more about smoke-free housing, including a registry of more than 1,985 available smoke-free rental units throughout Maine.

If you are interested in learning about quitting or would like additional information regarding tobacco-free living, contact Healthy Waldo County, your local Healthy Maine Partnership, at 930-6761, or

Vyvyenne Ritchie

Program Administrator,

Healthy Waldo County


Way to go, WCGH

Congratulations to Mark Bisconne and the staff of the Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, on being rated third in the nation. Wow, outstanding! After having four major operations in the past four months, I can well understand how that rating came to be. Thanks again, hospital staff.

Fred Arsenault



A letter of thanks

The Kelley and Hubbard families would like to thank each of the family members, friends, church members, community members and local businesses for your prayers, support, encouragement, help, food and financial support during Kelly’s ongoing battle with stage IV lung cancer.

You have shown how wonderful people can be as they rally to help someone in need. It is difficult to accept help from others. Each of us wants to be self-reliant. Mathews Brothers has gone above and beyond in providing financial support to the Kelley family. We will continue to “crush cancer” in our lifetime.

Thanks for caring. Thanks for giving. Thanks for supporting. Keep the faith.

Christopher Kelley Sr., Kelly Kelley,

Christopher Kelley Jr., Kaitlyn Kelley,

and Chet Hubbard & Patricia Hubbard (grandparents)



Fundraiser for Emily

Hello, my name is Emily Bonin. I am a junior at Belfast Area High School, and I am trying to raise money for a trip to Italy. This trip is being offered through Explorica Tours, and any students who can raise their own money can go on the trip.

My mom and I have been very busy planning a fundraising spaghetti dinner that will take place at the Redman Hall in Belfast  April 16, from 4-8 p.m. Also at the dinner, we plan on having a raffle and a cake walk, as well as grab bags for children. I am writing this letter to ask for your help with my fundraising.

I am asking for any donations of items or gift certificates that can be raffled off at my spaghetti dinner. I am also accepting donations of returnable bottles and cans. I can pick these up, or you may drop them off in the bed of my brother’s pickup truck in our driveway. We are the blue house beside the Northport Fire Department.

For more information contact my mom, Tammy, at 338-3429 or

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Emily Bonin



Thanks, WCGH

I want to thank Doctors Sedlack and Helmholz, and also all the fine nurses, staff and technicians for the wonderful care I received recently during my stay at Waldo County General Hospital. You all went above and beyond the call of duty.

E. Leslie Merry