Pastors give thanks

We would just like to say a word of thanks to the members of First Church in Belfast, UCC and the people of the Belfast area. As pastors of the First Church having just returned from a three-month sabbatical, we were so pleased to return once again to Belfast and to our church in time for our annual Christmas fair.

Our fair is not much different than most local, small church fairs, it’s not better or worse than any of the other many Christmas fairs happening in the area this time of year (although we must say, we are of course biased towards our little fair!) But this year, maybe because we have just returned after being gone for a time, we just wanted to share a bit of insight about these simple traditional events and the people who work to make them happen.

Many people don’t really understand the amount of organization and preparation that is required to put one of these events on. There is the planning, the calling of the church community to donate items for sale, to bake and make food, to give of time to work and be present as well as to set up and take down. It’s really a big production each year, and of course it brings in some much-needed revenue for the church community that allows us to keep our buildings heated and our ministry functioning.

But the best part of it all is the spirit of cooperation and the enthusiasm that comes from all who participate in one way or another. Not only church members, but members of the business community who so generously gave items or services, and this year we want to especially thank those who contributed:

Awesome Diner, Brambles, Colburn’s Shoe Store, Irving Circle K, Opera House Video, Yo’ Momma’s Home, Chase’s Daily, Weavers, Alexia’s, Pizza Hut, Shell/Dead River Convenience Store, B&M Market, Belfast Variety, EBS, Mainely Auto, Hannaford’s, Piper Mt. Tree Farm (my apologies if I left anyone out).

There was such an outpouring of generosity that it was clear that our community really knows some of what we call the “spirit of Christmas” and we are grateful to be able to live and serve in a place such as Belfast. So, thank you, First Church members, thank you, Belfast merchants, and thank you, Belfast residents, for making this a great place to live and to come home to.

The Revs. Kate Winters and Joel Krueger

Belfast

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Rioux gives thanks to voters

I want to thank the people of Winterport, Waldo, Swanville, Monroe, Jackson and Brooks who elected me to represent them in the 125th Legislature. It is a truly an honor which I take very seriously and promise to give you my best effort. I am optimistic that Maine’s future is bright and Waldo County can prosper if we as a legislative body can develop and implement sound solutions. I appreciate your confidence and look forward to serving all the people of District 42.

My thanks go out to my opponent, Joe Brooks, for running a positive and clean campaign, and for his dedication to public service.

Please feel free e-mail me with any questions or concerns at riouxrep@aol.com.

Peter Rioux

Representative-elect, District 42

Winterport

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New city councilor thanks voters

As I begin my term as a city councilor, I would like to thank the people who encouraged me to run for the position, those who supported me throughout the campaign, and everyone who voted for me. I’ll work hard to uphold the faith you have in me and to represent all the citizens of Belfast. I have a whole new appreciation for Belfast and all its residents after meeting so many of you during the campaign. We have a unique city, and I’m hopeful that together we can all work to make it a better place to live and work.

Nancy Hamilton

Belfast

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Giles recounts legislative experience

I want to thank the residents of Belfast, Belmont and Northport for all their support these past four years while I served as state representative. Holding this office has been a joy, an honor and a privilege.

From my first days at the Statehouse, when I figured out where to park, found my locker, gave my first floor speech, landed on the Appropriations Committee (oh, my!) and submitted my first bill — to my final days when I pressed my voting “light” for the last time — this has been a remarkable journey.

I did not change the world; that was not my plan. Rather, my goal was to represent this district the best way I knew how: be responsive, be persistent and be caring.

At home, my dear and always supportive husband, Mike, can now change our answering machine message: “Hi! You have reached the Giles at 338-0711 …. If you wish to speak to Jayne on a legislative issue, please call 944-0380. Thank you.” Mike added this message once he found himself home alone taking my calls while I was 50 miles away. Legislative spouses can never be thanked enough for their sacrifice, their support and good humor!

Coming home to my district has always been the best part of the legislative day, whether at 4 p.m. or 4 a.m. Catching the first glimpse of Penobscot Bay, whenever I crossed Hayford Hill on Route 3, has been a constant homecoming for me.

So, for now, I come home to private life, but I will forever stay connected to the issues, the constituents and the family that is the people’s Legislature of Maine.

It has been my pleasure to serve. Thank you.

Jayne Crosby Giles

State Representative

House District #43

Belfast, Belmont and Northport

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Is history being rewritten?

I see that Mr. [David] Huck is trying to rewrite history again while also, sadly, showing some racial bias in his latest letter [“The Pied Piper of Illinois,” Nov. 10 edition of TRJ]. I’ll try to catch him up, although I know it’s a hopeless task.

I’m not an economist and I don’t know what really caused the recession, the mortgage meltdown, etc. but I do know when those events started and it wasn’t during President Obama’s time in office.

The recession started in December 2007, not when Obama took office in January 2009. The mortgage industry was facing a meltdown long before Obama came on board. In fact, the increase in foreclosures under the last administration from 2003 to 2008 was in the neighborhood of 700,000 and actually took a dip when Obama took office. The unemployment rate also nearly doubled under the last administration to nearly 8 percent, the highest level in about 15 years. (That was the Reagan administration’s time.) It now is holding somewhat steady.

So Mr. Huck, the real history is that Obama’s actions, when he did come to office, stemmed the recession and put a slowdown on foreclosures and unemployment, all of which started a while before he came into office. Please get it straight next time you wish to demean someone.

And, yes, the Republicans did well in the last election, which seems to prove the old theory that if you repeat lies loud enough and often enough people will begin to believe them or, in too many cases, want to believe them. Look how many people believed, or wanted to believe, LePage’s repeated blame of a national recession on local politicians.

Mr. Huck also needs a history of “the black man,” but I don’t have the time. I do wonder, though, if he likes peanut butter. If he does, he should probably stop eating it, since a “black man” invented it. Oh, and those potato chips, same thing.

I guess also that Mr. Huck really likes/enjoys the recession, since he can wrongly and meanly blame it on Obama. To have the opportunity to blame “the black man” seems to be more important to him than the real truth of many of the things he mentions.

Hal Halliday

Belfast

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‘Problem of poverty continues’

During the holiday season, a lot of people give for food baskets for people and families who are low-income and under- or unemployed. Unfortunately, while the food does help temporarily, the problem of poverty continues.

It is clear to people across the political spectrum that poverty won’t end with Bandaid donations and services. Poverty will end when everyone can participate in our economy and earn a livable wage. The director of a conservative think tank said, “The best way to get out of poverty is a good-paying job.”

Other progressive groups support a minimum wage that’s equal to a living wage (what a person actually needs to live on) and economic human rights (the right to food, health care, permanent housing, a job, etc.) as a solution to poverty.

I hope those who give to provide food or other gifts during the holiday season will donate at least as much or more to help end poverty. Two groups that are working for this goal are Food AND Medicine, 20 Ivers St., Brewer, ME 04412 and the Maine Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Coalition, P.O. Box 105, Fairfield, ME 04937.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

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Blood donors thanked

The Waldo County General Hospital Aid would like to thank the community for participating in its annual American Red Cross blood drive. The Red Cross collected 50 units of blood from 54 donors, including one first-time donor.

Each pint of blood donated can help save up to three lives. Thank you for taking the time to help others.

Sally Millhorn

President

Waldo County General Hospital Aid