Nay-sayers vs. yea-sayers

The need for a community events building, one for conferences, big weddings, family reunions, and large audience events, like performances, like annual meetings of the Lobstermen’s Association, like church fellowships, general synods and high school drama productions, has been acknowledged for at least 30 years.

To the nay-sayers this means, well it’s been 30 years, “it ain’t gonna happen.”

To the yea-sayers it means the problem, “ain’t going away, so let’s get it done.”

I am one of the yea-sayers. A multiuse event center, civic center, with performing arts capacity will not only support local business, but build demand for new start-ups and jobs and it might even keep our young-people from migrating to Portland and beyond for jobs and culture.

Karin Spitfire

Belfast

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In support of BCC

I’ve been living in the Belfast area for a few years now. I work, shop, entertain and am entertained in Belfast. I feel invested here. So I’ve gotten involved in planning for the Belfast Civic Center.

It would be nice for the arts to have their own home in Belfast, but we have been doing pretty darn well with what we’ve already got. Roots & Tendrils, Aarhus Gallery, Belfast Maskers, Waterfall Arts, Belfast Free Library and The Colonial, the American Legion Hall and The Playhouse and other places in town: they’ve really done a bang-up job of giving our local myriad creative talents a place to express themselves.

Granted, I realize that since I’m a performer myself and hang out with a lot of artistic types, it looks pretty selfish of me to want some performance space. The truth is that I want something bigger for the city, and that means a hub, a hive, around which all things may spring to life.

What I envision is a place for all of us — artists, yes, but churchgoers, craftspeople, hipsters, midwives, healthcare practitioners, politicians, body workers, boat builders and bridge clubs — to congregate, close to home. The Belfast Civic Center could be this place.

I think that bringing in outside groups to town (that previously hadn’t found entry to Belfast, only due to lack of accommodation and/or space) isn’t out of the question: we could have economic summits, ecumenical gatherings, mini-conventions of physicists and knitters, food expos, weddings, variety shows and bluegrass festivals. Why not?

It might not happen right away, but over a period of time this civic center will result in lasting job growth for Belfast: more shops, restaurants, hotels and bed & breakfasts; bigger industry, new people coming to town, fresh ideas to embrace, and more folks than ever, from all walks of life, discovering for the first time what has been here all along.

That’s what I see, when I work towards making the Belfast Civic Center happen. Not civic center as merely artistic outlet, but civic center as a place for all of us. We need this. It’s time.

Kristen Burkholder

Belfast

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Thoughts on abortion

Anything unborn, just born, small and helpless awakens in us the instinct to protect, and gives us at the same time the power to give or take this life. And so it is indeed a noble strife to protect the unborn. In order for this unborn creature to live a free and healthy life it becomes therefore our obligation to give it a world that can sustain it.

Women, who by their nature bring forth life, ask for the mere right to be able to abort safely those for whom they cannot provide such a world. It seems that they ask that to men who make laws that prohibit and deny this right.

What I find ironic is the fact that all these men, who rule and create these laws, claim to be ordered by their gods, call Him “God,” “Allah,” “Djaweh,” whatever holy name. All these gods claim to be peace-loving and kind, compassionate and just.

And so I am in this world and see: Men raping, torturing, destroying and killing with the most horrific weapons of mass destruction. Mothers and children suffering abuse, hunger, homelessness, caring for in pieces blown creatures, be it human, animal or any life form being part of all creation on this earth.

Maybe all the television channels should show us 24/7 what cluster bombs and depleted uranium, white phosphorus and drones, water-boarding and mountain top removal, rape and refugee camps, hunger and war do to those of us who are alive and living this hell.

Death as such is the ultimate gift from the Goddess.

All who “believe” a woman should not have this right to abort safely what she cannot provide for shall feed all the hungry, house all the homeless ,care for all our wounded, sick and dying, and shall never rape, abuse nor kill any living creature.

Ivy lobato

Belfast

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Hospital cabaret retired

The cabaret committee at Waldo County General Hospital would like to thank the community for its tremendous support of our dessert cabaret for the past 13 years.

The cabaret has been a wonderful source of entertainment and a great fundraiser for the hospital. This community is full of talent!

After careful consideration, we have decided the dessert cabaret has run its course and will not continue as a hospital fundraiser. We hope to add a new event to our schedule in the near future.

WCGH Wellness

& Cabaret Committees

Belfast

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Tuthill says thanks

Thank you, selectmen and townspeople of Brooks.

A big thank-you for the awards and recognition given me on Feb. 1 on the occasion of my retirement from the Brooks Fire Department. It really meant a lot to me, and I’m even a little sad after 61 years of volunteer fire department service.

Again, all the best to the Brooks Fire Department and the people of Brooks.

Robert Tuthill

Brooks

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LD 1665: Good for business, good for Maine

Nearly one out of every two full-time workers in Maine’s private sector has no paid sick days. LD 1665, an Act to Prevent the Spread of H1N1, seeks to provide Maine’s workers with the opportunity to accrue earned paid sick time. Allowing workers to stay home to care for themselves or their sick children is a public health issue that impacts all of us.

Most workers who lack paid sick time work in jobs that bring them in close contact with the public. For instance, people who work in restaurants, nursing homes and child care centers are among those least likely to have paid sick time. Currently many hard-working Mainers choose to go to work sick for fear of losing pay, or worse, their job, potentially passing illness to customers and vulnerable populations. Being able to stay at home when sick would protect coworkers and the public.

In Waldo County, where incomes tend to be lower and the poverty rate is higher than the statewide average, passage of this bill would significantly impact the Waldo County workforce since, on average in Maine, only one in four low-wage workers has paid sick leave.

Some Maine businesses oppose this bill because of the initial short-term costs. However, providing sick days actually makes very good business sense. The bill requires the provision of so few earned sick hours that the cost is minimal. If this bill passed, businesses employing 25 or more people would provide only one hour for every 40 hours worked. Businesses employing fewer than 25 people would provide only one hour for every 80 hours worked.

Providing workers with earned paid sick time has the potential to promote a healthy work environment, increase productivity and reduce the number of sick employees. As an added benefit, this provision would protect customers, while also sending a message to employees that they are cared for, increasing morale. LD 1665 is a good deal for Maine businesses.

Waldo County’s own Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, is on the Labor Committee that is working on this bill. It is important that the voices of the people of Waldo County are heard on this issue. Please write to your representative or Michael Thibodeau at 169 Coles Corner Road, Winterport, ME 04496 to express your opinion about the importance of paid sick days.

Kimberly Day

Bucksport