Belfast man proud to support Herbig

With Maine House of Delegates candidate Erin Herbig, we get two for the price of one.

We value the members of our community who were born and grew up here because of their deep local knowledge and commitment to their fellow residents. We also value our neighbors who have moved here from away, because their choice to locate here reflects their appreciation for the character of this place, and because they bring experiences and perspectives that enrich us.

Erin Herbig has done both. She is a native daughter and a graduate of Belfast Area High School. But like many of our best and brightest youth, she moved away after graduation — to attend a first-rate college and then to work out of state. But Erin then made the decision to return to Belfast, to settle here and marry here, in recognition of the special qualities of the place where she grew up. Chalk one up for our side.

Erin’s attachment and commitment to “our place” is most evident in her decision to seek to represent us in Augusta. There, Erin will work to improve our rural roads and Internet access, both matters that are crucial to the success of small businesses. She will also support measures to reduce energy costs and expand new energy sources and the new jobs they can bring.

The focused way that Erin responds to the buffeting climate of a political campaign testifies to a level of maturity beyond her years. Erin will become a rising star in state political circles. I am proud to support Erin Herbig and ask that you join me in voting for her for state representative.

Jon Cheston



Thanks to all ‘pink survivors’

This is brief note to say thank you to all who supported the Searsport Historical Society’s float in the “Fling into Fall” parade celebrating breast cancer survivors. Thanks to all the “pink survivors” who walked or rode and especially to Ann Hooper and her friends, who represented the Waldo County General Hospital. Also appreciated were the very supportive onlookers who were waving and cheering us on as we passed through the town.

Karen Kelley, president


Valerie Murphy, program chair

Searsport Historical Society


Before you vote

Consider what we’ve seen from our elected representatives:


• Saved the U.S. (and world) economy from total collapse.

• Made sure all banks repay the bailout loans.

• Reformed the “too-big-to-fail” financial system.

• Restructured & saved our auto industry with repayable loans.

• Passed the biggest middle-class tax cut in recent history.

• Created more jobs in one year than in the previous eight.

• Saved the jobs of countless teachers, police and firefighters.

• Extended unemployment benefits for all those out of work.

• Passed affordable health care for all Americans.

• Stemmed unfair home foreclosures.

• Eliminated unfair credit-card practices.

• Passed health-care benefits for 9/11 first responders.

• Eliminated broker fees on government student loans.

• Passed tax and loan breaks to stimulate small businesses.

• Pushed extending middle-class tax cuts to boost the economy.

• Prepared to end discrimination against gays in the military.

• Rebuilt roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure.

• Prepared withdrawal from two unbudgeted wars.

• Negotiated nuclear-arms reduction with Russia.

• Restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

• Tackled America’s problems and tried to fix them.

• Continued hard-but-steady recovery from a deep recession.

• Actually governed, at considerable political cost.


• Voted no in lockstep and refused to help govern.

• Confused the public with lies, obfuscation and scare tactics.

• Fanned crazy talk against Obama’s birth, faith and motives.

• Supported corporate interests, against America’s, for political gain.

• Supported a $700-billion tax cut for the rich.

What do you want from your government, and what will your candidates do?

Karen Emery-Estey



Herbig is ‘what we need in Augusta’

I am writing to voice my strong support of Erin Herbig for state representative of District 43 (Belfast, Belmont and Northport).

I worked with Erin at Moss and was always impressed with her work ethic and effectiveness. I could rely on her, despite the many challenges of short production times and frequent client changes, to handle many of our clients’ needs at once with professionalism and grace, ensuring excellent client results. When she saw needs for improvement in product or process, she addressed them head-on and didn’t stop until they were resolved. This is what we need in Augusta.

Erin was among the over 90 employees laid off from Moss as manufacturing jobs left Maine for Chicago, so she has experienced what so many Maine families are facing this recession. I was glad to see another local employer snap her up so she was not forced to leave the area like many others and so she can use her experience to help provide more stability for working families in this area.

Erin has the intelligence, integrity and tenacity to make solid changes in Augusta for all of us in District 43. I know I can trust her to work hard and represent us well in the Statehouse, just as she was a great ally in the office while I was on the road for Moss.

If you live in Belfast, Belmont or Northport, I hope you will join my husband and me in voting for Erin Herbig in November and help shake things up in Augusta.

Tammy Snyder Maseychik



Arrison would make ‘conscientious’ councilor

I have known John Arrison for a number of years, initially through the rowing program of Come Boating! of which John was a co-founder. I have been impressed by his work on behalf of various community groups. He has had a key role in organizing the Waldo County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

An active member of St. Margaret’s church, he has overseen the church’s support of community-building efforts, both in Belfast and with a partner parish in Haiti. Even before the recent earthquake in Haiti, John was coordinating partnerships between churches in Maine and in Haiti for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine.

He is a candidate now for the Ward 5 seat on the Belfast City Council. I think he would make a conscientious and balanced contribution to that body. I urge all Belfast residents to join me in voting for John Arrison for City Council.

Willliam Nelson



Please support Land for Maine’s Future

I am writing to encourage you to vote “yes” on Question 3 on Nov. 2 to support Land for Maine’s Future. Since 1987, the LMF Program has provided both the funds and leadership to help enhance the “quality of place” that defines Maine.

Locally, Midcoast Maine residents now enjoy public access to many places, including Beech Hill in Rockport, extensive trails along the Ducktrap River, and Sandy Point Beach in Stockton Springs, because LMF was there to help. Grants are now pending to create the Belfast Rail Trail and Head of Tide Preserve as well.

Across the state, LMF funding has helped conserve natural lands for parks, trails, shorelines and other protected lands to encourage tourists to visit Maine and to spend their dollars. Because of LMF funding, we all are guaranteed access to protected areas to hike, hunt, fish, camp, snowmobile and paddle.

Without this bond, the state will lack the funds to help conserve places that are special and important to our heritage, our recreational options and to our economy — including places like working waterfronts, farmland trusts and productive forest lands. As new opportunities emerge to conserve land important to the communities of western Penobscot Bay, funding from LMF can make a huge difference. History has shown that for every dollar invested by LMF in conservation projects, matching funds have provided three dollars.

I hope you will join me and vote “yes” on Question 3 this November to protect lands for our way of life, our economy and our children’s future.

Galen Todd

President of the board

Coastal Mountains Land Trust



Dairy farmer urges support for Piotti

As a Waldo County dairy farmer working seven days a week for the last 30+ years, I want to make sure the Journal readership understands how critical Maine’s Dairy Stabilization Program is to our rural economy. Were it not for this program, which provided almost 20 percent of my milk receipts in 2009 when federal prices were so low, the close to $500,000 my business contributes annually to the local economy would not be possible. A third of Vermont’s dairy farms went out of business last year. Were it not for this program, the same would be happening in Maine.

Rep. John Piotti spearheaded the creation of this program with bipartisan support and made sure we did not lose it during difficult budget-cutting periods. If Waldo County residents want to continue to see dairy farms in business, with the associated local investments in labor, repair, transportation, veterinary services, equipment purchases, not to mention recreational open space, join me in voting for John Piotti for state Senate. We simply cannot afford to lose his proven leadership and unmatched commitment to a viable agricultural economy.

Larry Ward



Why I vote in every election

I have to disagree with my friend and colleague, Larry Dansinger [“Don’t vote, says Monroe man,” letter to the editor, Oct. 6 TRJ].

Larry and I agree on many things and work together on some (you can hear us both at the same event, Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library, helping to celebrate Co-op Month).

But voting? I may be disappointed, I may be disgusted, I might be bereft of choices, but I never fail to vote.

Just statistically, each legal vote that is not cast strengthens the ballots of those who do vote. And if you feel that your neighbors are being led astray (or very far astray, as during this election season), you have all the more reason to vote.

Anyone remember the election in year 2000? I was working in a big-city school, and word came that the difference in number of votes in Florida that might decide the election for Gore or for Bush was approximately 2,000 (if memory serves me right) [Editor’s note: The actual number, according to multiple sources, was 1,784.]. I asked my students: How many people do you think are in this one building right now — a largish one, five stories, with the administrative center, cafeteria, etc.?

Easily more than 2,000 people, all adults? What if everyone in this building decided not to vote? Would that change the world? It might!

Of course, in the end the Supreme Court gave away that election, by refusing to count all the ballots, but what if Gore had won? Would 9/11 have happened? Most probably. Would Gore have started a war? Vengeance is as much a part of the culture of Pashtun tribes as it is of the U.S. tribe. The odds say he would have attacked parts of Afghanistan, certainly. He answers to the same masters as Obama does now. Would Gore have started yet another war, to avenge his daddy? I think not.

The point is not about Al Gore, he did not even win his home state. I didn’t vote for him. But how many thousands of humans — Afghans, Americans, Iraqis, Europeans, Pakistanis and others — would be alive today if those 2,000 or so votes had been counted? Not to mention the millions of people, on all sides, physically and psychologically scarred by these wars? A motto for the day: Make No New Veterans!

This November we have several referendum questions on the ballot. The proponents of yes on Question One would have us believe we need to expand the retrogression of gambling in order to have money for education. Phooey. Certainly one can have an opinion on that? And express it by voting? You can be sure others will come out. However, there are also two bond questions that are worthy of our support: for expansion of access to dental care in the state and for investment in land conservation. Please vote.

Then there are the local candidates, people you may very well know, who are running to fill positions in your city, town or county. Selectboard members, state senators, animal control officers, county commissioners, planning boards, state representatives, sheriffs and more. The probability is high that one of these offices will affect your life in the next one, two or three or more years. Have your part in choosing them.

I do agree with Larry that the choices we have had for governor, Congress member, and U.S. Senator in the last number of decades have been pathetic. I have registered in a party that at the least upholds the values I find important: social justice, non-hierarchical participatory democracy, environmentalism, respect for diversity, peace and nonviolence. I am a Green. But that does not stop me from voting for an occasional Dem, like Erin Herbig for House District 43. I have even voted Repub, way back when they had their moderate flavor still available.

You can also write in. I plan on writing in a sister Green, Lynne Williams of Bar Harbor, for governor. She was actively running, until legislative manipulations in 2009 of the Clean Election Law made it much more difficult for small/third parties to compete. It helps to be rich if you want higher office.

You might also strongly consider writing in “None of the Above.” Just imagine if thousands were to do that?

I know that there are those who say: Stop voting, it only encourages them. But voting will go on, with us or without us. But be careful, Larry. If you keep expressing too many reasonable ideas, or opposition to the crazy ones, you might get yourself nominated! I would be happy to have Dansinger in Augusta representing me. Sure, you would be a lone voice most of the time, telling many that the emperor has no clothes. Somebody has to say it.

Everyone else: please get educated on the issues and the candidates, and then vote!

Paul Sheridan



Troy man makes pitch for Piotti

I am writing to offer my enthusiastic support for John Piotti, who is running for Senate in District 23, which covers all of Waldo County.

By any measure, John has done an extraordinary job as our state representative. He has been a tireless legislator — serving as chair of standing committees on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Taxation and Maine’s Future Prosperity. He has been a primary sponsor of over 25 successful, common-sense bills that not only promoted small business, transportation and agriculture, but also have made Maine a better place to live. He has the skills to work across party lines in an often fractious Legislature to deal with issues that are important to the citizens of Maine.

That alone would make him a top choice for Senator. But, when deciding for whom to vote, it is important to also consider what the candidate has done in their everyday life. Here too, John’s record of community service has been extraordinary. His hard work on the Unity Comprehensive Plan Committee helped the town develop one of the most admired last-use policies in the state.

John helped found the Unity Barn Raisers — a bootstrap community development organization that has done so much to enhance the quality of life in that town. While he was serving as its volunteer executive director for 10 years, the Barn Raisers renovated empty buildings, built a community center, created a farmers’ market, created a network of town-wide walking trails, provided low-interest loans to local small businesses and much more.

In Belfast, John helped found Come Boating! and in Unity he established a boat-building program for young people that gave them the skills and confidence to get out on the water in boats they built themselves. John served as president of the Kennebec Valley Council of Government and chaired the Regional Advisory Committee (4) of the Maine DOT. Currently John is the executive director of the Maine Farmland Trust that supports farmers and helps protect farmland.

John is a consensus-builder and has a strong record of getting things done. He has the grassroots experience dealing with the big issues that challenge the state — economic development, job creation, small business support, promotion of agriculture, environmental preservation, enhancing transportation and community betterment.

I have known and worked with John for many years and I can say, without reservation, that Waldo County would be very fortunate indeed to have John Piotti as its state Senator.

Greg Rossel



Belfast ‘would be well-served’ by Hamilton

It has been my pleasure to have Nancy Hamilton as a dear friend for more than 10 years. Nancy has proved to be a true, caring and compassionate friend as well as a person with strong work ethics. She and I worked on a large fundraising effort through our local church after Hurricane Katrina. It was a lot of work for a wonderful return, and because Nancy was so organized, all the necessary tasks were accomplished and nothing was overlooked.

Her dedication to details shows in her interest of local politics as well. She closely follows televised City Hall events and meetings and speaks with concern and knowledge of the different activities involved in our local politics. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and her opinions are well thought-out and she can back up those opinions with facts.

Nancy has lived in Belfast for many years, is a wife and a new grandmother. She has taken an active and involved part in the churches where she has lived as well. Her concerns go beyond the boundaries of Belfast. We would be well-served by having Nancy Hamilton on our City Council.

Pam Burrows



Former councilor supports Hamilton

On several occasions recently, I have had the opportunity to talk to Nancy Hamilton. She is running for Belfast city councilor of Ward 5. I have been councilor for Ward 5 for several different terms, and because of this I was concerned who would be our councilor and represent us to the city of Belfast.

After listening and talking to Nancy, I felt she would be the best choice. She is very concerned for the future of Belfast and its citizens. In this economy, things are tough for most of us. This is the time to plan and spend our hard-earned tax dollars wisely, and Nancy will do this. She has an open mind and is willing to listen.

So, on Nov. 2, I will be voting for Nancy and I hope you do too. She will represent Ward 5 and these constituents of Belfast to the fullest.

James A. Roberts



Former Belfast mayor supports Herbig

I most emphatically endorse Erin Herbig for state representative. She certainly has the intelligence and personality to do an outstanding job for all of us and Belfast. These are tough times and we need a legislator who is upbeat and enthusiastic as our spokesperson in Augusta.

Over the years, since I chaired the Council meetings back in the ’80s, I have watched her opponent. Now that he has made it onto the Council, he seems to vote “no” most of the time. His sort of negativity is not what we need representing Belfast.

Mrs. Herbig, in her mailings, has indicated that she will work for greater accountability and transparency in Augusta. She is refreshing to talk with and it is clear to me her positive strengths will be the necessary ingredients for a long and productive career of service for her hometown and beyond. I can’t wait for her to win!

Monroe B. “Mike” Hall



Davis weighs in on District 43 contest

In many respects this election is as simple as the words yes and no. In response to historically difficult times, Democrats have generally offered a detailed and thoughtful yes to solving our financial problems, recognizing that government has a vital role in finding solutions. Republicans, especially those like House candidate Lewis Baker and [gubernatorial candidate] Paul LePage, whose sign adorns Baker’s lawn, just say no — to most everything — hoping, I guess, that someone else will come through before the system collapses.

Erin Herbig, Baker’s opponent in District 43, is smart, young, hard-working and forward-thinking. She represents the new energy in politics as clearly as Baker does the old. There are times when no is the proper response to political matters. But not now. I think the majority of Belfast, Northport and Belmont voters feel that way. Indeed, I’d guess the nos have about 42 percent, which is what Baker polled in his City Council race last fall.

For the rest of us, let’s say yes to Erin Herbig Nov. 2. And to Lew Baker? No.

Jay Davis

East Belfast


Former Legislator supports Baker

So far this election season, both candidates running for state representative for Belfast, Northport and Belmont have stopped at my home in Northport and I have attended the candidates’ night sponsored by the Waldo County Municipal Association.

I found it very interesting that all the candidates sounded like they wanted to “cut the fat” and rein in state spending. We’ve been hearing that for years. Now, which of the candidates will actually go to Augusta with an eye towards actually being frugal and making the difficult choices?

Erin Herbig is obviously intelligent and energetic, but is she too idealistic and does she have enough real-world experiences of raising a family in Waldo County? Her Web page talks of being a community organizer and social activist. She told me she believes in President Obama’s “share the wealth” philosophy.

Those things sound like more liberal policies and I doubt she would be willing to make the needed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services or MaineCare. We have people moving to Maine to take advantage of our generous welfare system. They have their MaineCare cards as soon as they get here.

Lewis Baker has represented the people of Belfast for many years through his work on the Belfast City Council, school board and planning board. He has run a small business for years. With Lewis Baker you will be getting a known quantity. He is very approachable and willing to listen. At candidates’ night he gave clear and concise answers.

Please consider Lewis Baker to represent us in Augusta.

Dave Lindahl



Church says thanks to local businesses

A big “Thank you!” to Home Supply Hardware Store on Main Street and to Hannaford Supermarket! These local businesses helped First Church add a splash of color to the Church Street Festival Oct. 2.

Hannaford Supermarket blew up 50 bright red balloons for First Church in Belfast; we tied to each balloon a brochure about the church’s new programs for Sunday School and Youth Group. Home Supply donated heavy weights so the balloons wouldn’t escape from the kids. As it turns out, their choice of heavy nuts was a good idea, as it was very windy!

The balloons added exciting color to the festival, and told families with children that they are welcome at First Church for worship and Sunday School at 10 a.m., and on the third Sunday of every month at 4 p.m. for Youth Group for middle and high school-aged children. Anyone wishing further information is welcome to call the church office at 338-2282.

Thank you, Home Supply and Hannaford! You are wonderful neighbors.

Susan Hall

Director of Religious Education

First Church in Belfast


A musician and athlete weighs in on band issue

This letter is in response to the “Bring back the band!” letter from a [BAHS student, Devon Drake, in the Sept. 22 edition of the Journal.]

Please bring football down off its pedestal. The world does not revolve around Belfast HighSchool football. Being an athlete myself, I understand what a great thing sports are. However, sports are not the only thing in the world.

After four years of immersion in the music program, band included, I can give some insight into the life of a high school musician. My case is similar to many. Involvement in band was only a small part of the whole puzzle. AP classes, chorus, college visits, music lessons, stage band and church activities are just some of the time commitments that I and my fellow band members share.

Fall is by far one of the busiest times for band members. Not only are many preparing for the many festival auditions that occur during the first few months of school, but the group as a whole must adjust to the loss of the previous year’s seniors and the addition of the upcoming freshmen.

This freshly formed band must quickly learn a dozen upbeat pieces to play at various homecoming games, in addition to learning the basics of marching for the homecoming parade. Performing and participating at these homecoming events is always extremely fun; however, the idea of playing at every single football game is not only unrealistic, but selfish.

Not to mention most years the weather was very cold, which makes playing instruments that much more difficult. However, the bottom line is, every fall the band plays music for the football team’s homecoming game, but does the football team ever attend any of the band’s concerts? No.

Sierra Ventura

Music education major



Piotti ‘receptive, respected

We are fortunate here in Waldo County to have a candidate of good character, intelligence and experience, who has consistently reached across party lines to benefit his district and the state running for the state Senate. I am speaking of John Piotti, who has served his House district with distinction for eight years, a fiscally responsible candidate always working to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Piotti has 22 years of experience in economic development and as a legislator worked to help farmers and preserve Maine farmland. He listens and is receptive to his constituents’ concerns, is well respected by both parties in the Legislature, and does the necessary reading and research, regardless of the issue, to know what he’s voting for.

In these tough economic times we need a man like John Piotti in the state Senate. That’s who I’m voting for.

Jon Laitin



Herbig ‘puts truth and beauty first’

It has been my pleasure to know Erin Herbig and her family for many years. Erin and I first met back in the late 1990s when Erin was a student and athlete at BAHS, where I teach English and history. Even back then, Erin was an extraordinary young woman: smart, personable, hardworking, organized and ambitious. She took challenging classes, was president of the Student Senate, dominated the longer-distanced running events on the track, and was always a delight to talk to in the hallways of our school.

I was not in the least surprised when she was a offered a scholarship to attend and run for Boston College, in my opinion one of the best — in both academics and athletics — private universities in New England.

I tried to keep track of Erin through the years that followed, frequently asking her brother, Kevin, her parents, and her former track coach, Dale Nealy, about her academic and athletic progress. I can still remember how proud I was when Erin told me when we met one summer day in Belfast that she had become an English and art major. In our modern, competitive world, with its increasing emphasis on wealth and power, Erin represented one small victory for the humanities, for choosing philosophy over science and preferring judgment to calculation.

As a student, in high school and in college, and as a citizen in the community, Erin has always put truth and beauty first. This is why Erin Herbig is my choice for representative in the Maine Legislature. I urge you to make her your choice as well.

William J. Murphy

BAHS teacher



Drinkwater students and staff say thanks

Northport’s Drinkwater School staff and students would like to extend a hearty thank-you to the community volunteers who helped make our September Harvest Day a huge success. Thank you, Dean Anderson, Sandy Wallace, Tara Warner, Savannah Warner, Ian Rojas and Lindsay Moore, for helping us. Students picked the vegetables they’d planted in the spring, estimated their weight, weighed them, graphed them, drew pictures of them, cut them up and made delicious vegetable soup which was then served for lunch and enjoyed.

Linda Garson Smith

Drinkwater School teacher