A plea to LePage

I am a voter who wishes that her vote had mattered, and I am truly disappointed in the election process after the recent voting on Nov. 2. I have always gone out and voted, but it is a sad day when six out of every 10 people who cast a ballot wanted someone other than the person who ultimately will lead and direct this great state.

In this time of great economic crisis, you would think it would be even more important to show our children that our governmental process of democracy and majority rule works. Instead, we have shown two disturbing things. One, that what the people want is not always what they end up getting; and two, that politicians are in deep denial.

Prior to the election, when it was obvious to everyone that two of the five candidates running were going to do no more than deprive the one independent candidate who had a chance and the ability to prevail over Mr. LePage, they should have stepped down, so as to give Mr. Cutler a chance to win.

And as we now know, if their votes had gone to [Cutler], we would be looking at [another] independent governor. Instead, we face the prospect of four years of what I fear may be a dark time for those of us who fall into a category of Maine people who Paul LePage has already said should be given a one-way bus ticket to another state that will remain nameless.

One great fear I have is that Mr. LePage will succeed in spreading his narrow-minded view that people who receive government assistance, such as food stamps, MaineCare or TANF, are simply lazy people who don’t want to work.

I personally, along with my 10-year-old daughter, who is diabetic, and my 51-year-old husband, who is also diabetic, as well as suffering from high blood pressure, sleep apnea and acid reflux disease, have been receiving MaineCare and food stamps for 12 years. This is not, however, due to either one of us being lazy.

It is due to the fact that I draw Social Security disability which is a fixed income that only increases $25-$30 a year and which, for that matter, hasn’t changed at all the past two years. My husband has only a high school diploma, so therefore is limited in the type of jobs he can do, as well as the amount he can earn in Maine with our low minimum wage.

If Mr. LePage has his way, and limits are placed on the number of years that one is eligible for assistance, it wouldn’t be long before my family and I would be unable to pay rent, keep a vehicle on the road or put food on the table.

I have had 18 surgeries in the past 12 years, so work will never be possible for me. So I hope when our new governor is pressuring the powers that be to put an end to the so-called abuse of a broken system, that he remembers who he will really be pressuring and breaking.

April Small



Owner of Scoops says thanks

Since I closed Scoops and Crepes on Oct. 20, I have been overwhelmed by people stopping me in the street, popping into the store, sending cards and letters from away and making phone calls all to thank me for having made Scoops a happy, comfortable and memorable part of their lives for the past eight years.

It has been a two-way street. Thanks to all of you for having enriched my life for the past eight years. Thank you Belfast, Bayside, Searsport, all of Waldo County, Camden and yes, even Bangor. What a great trip it has been!

Karen Rak



‘Compassion should trump vanity’

Nov. 26 marks Fur Free Friday, an international event that began over two decades ago to speak out against the cruelty of the fur industry.

Though department stores have heavily promoted fur collars and trim that consumers mistakenly believe is faux or made from scraps of leftover fur, in reality, animals suffer and die for such items, whether fur-trimmed or full-length. And the “faux” label is not always [indicative of] manmade material. Undercover investigations have revealed that much of the so-called “faux” and “trim” fur is actually derived from dogs, cats and other animals.

Animals used by the fur industry suffer horrible deaths. Caught in traps, animals often suffer for days before trappers return to break their necks or bludgeon them to death. Animals raised on fur farms are killed by cruel methods such as gassing, neck-breaking and anal electrocution in order to preserve their pelts. This is unacceptable.

It is time to realize that compassion should trump vanity. No animal deserves to die for fashion. With all of the warm, luxurious alternatives to animal fur, there simply is no excuse to perpetuate this cruel industry by buying or wearing furs.

In the true spirit of giving and compassion this holiday season, please consider crossing all animal furs off your list for good. Join us for a protest against the fur industry on this Fur Free Friday, Nov. 26.

Lynne Rayburn, volunteer

Maine Friends of Animals



BATI is looking for writers

We’re looking back from the future and we want you to join us.

So much of the debate about the future of our planet is grim with dire predictions. The Belfast Area Transition Initiative wants to get people thinking about positive changes we here in Waldo County can make to alter the future. We want to look ahead with clear-eyed optimism about what can be done, and we believe the best way to do that is to look back.

So, we are organizing a 12-page supplement that will be inserted into the first Republican Journal of 2011, coming out Jan. 6. It will look like a current day newspaper’s front page, with one exception: it will be dated January 2, 2021.

The supplement will be heavy on content, with articles written by Belfast-area leaders, writers and thinkers. This keepsake edition, a projection based upon our collective imagination, will look back at the years from 2010 through 2020 and all that has been done in the Belfast area to address the end of peak oil, economic instability and the climate crisis during that time. It’s science fiction designed to inspire us as we go forward.

People at BATI and those individuals and organizations with a similar focus on sustainability are invited to write articles, draw cartoons and otherwise express their best hopes for the future. We are looking for people to join the editorial board, which will determine content and solicit material, as well as contributors.

We are also selling advertisements to pay for the supplement. We’re encouraging people to have fun with the ads, promoting their for-profit and not-for-profit ventures with an eye to 2021. Ad prices range from $50 to $275. While we will accept one or two larger ads, once the supplement has been paid for, we will stop accepting ads. We want room for all the editorial content we know will be coming.

If this project speaks to you as an individual or to your organization’s mission, please give Jennifer Hill of the Hungry Heron Farm in Waldo a call (722-3383) or drop her an e-mail (rooted@fairpoint.net), so that we can add you to our growing group of visionaries. We’re moving forward, and we want your ideas and energy.

Belfast Area Transition Initiative


Overwhelming appreciation

On behalf of the Edna Drinkwater Elementary School Parent Teacher Group a sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every person who helped make the recent drive for funds to obtain an automated external defibrillator such a success.

Whether you donated your time, a bake sale goodie or were a part of the financial giving, all of you are truly wonderful people. We could not have accomplished this without you.

At the beginning of October the Drinkwater PTG, with the aid of the Northport First Responders, started seeking funds in an effort to obtain an AED for the school. As many people are already aware, this can be a life-saving device in the event that someone has a heart attack, and it is much more effective than CPR.

Every school should be equipped with an AED, and while some are, ours wasn’t. We needed to rectify that. So what we called “phase one” began.

A letter was drafted and sent to some area businesses and corporations, collection jars were put out as well and a modest bake sale was set up at the Northport Town Office on Election Day. This was what we considered to be a small start to a big project. You see, the goal was to raise at least $1,000, and no end date was set since this was such a high mark to achieve.

For the first two weeks things were very dry and no responses were coming in. Perhaps it was time to rethink the whole idea and become more forceful with our approach in “phase two,” or maybe we needed some sort of public announcement or advertisement in front of the school.

Then Election Day came, and our modest bake sale brought a great deal of attention to our cause. The parent volunteers manning the table were effective salesmen for our little community school, but it was the civic-minded community that proved to be the promoter. So many comments were made about how necessary they, as a community, felt this item was to have in the local school, especially since the building was often used for many different functions. It truly was a momentous day and a whirlwind start.

The bake sale seemed to be a reminder to the businesses that received letters and the checks started coming in. The RSU also managed to find some money in the budget, somehow, to help us out. By Friday, Nov. 5, less than three weeks into said “phase one,” our goal had been surpassed and the plan for purchasing had begun. Thank you!

The Edna Drinkwater Elementary School Parent Teacher Group



Kno-Wal-Lin recognizes Home Care and Hospice

November is National Home Care and Hospice month and Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care and Hospice would like to use the opportunity to thank its entire staff for their commitment to delivering excellent health care to the Midcoast community.

For 44 years, KWL has provided more than 1 million home visits in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties, and KWL’s health care professionals care daily for an average of 300 home care and hospice patients. These home visits help to keep housebound community members healthy and independent.

Caring for the sick — including children — and elderly is truly a privilege for us. Skilled home care professionals, paraprofessionals, volunteers and modern medicine make it possible for many ill people to remain at home, regardless of their condition.

Today KWL offers a wealth of nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapies. Also available are dietary counseling, wound care, ostomy and continence management, support groups, personal care and non-medical services, such as housekeeping.

We are grateful to be among the leaders in Maine in our use of Telehealth. This has been one of our most innovative and successful technological advances, empowering patients to become more involved in their care and to understand the impact of their behavior on their health. A compact, portable unit placed in the patient’s home allows physicians and KWL staff to analyze a patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, respiration, oxygen saturation and weight. The unit also transmits physician orders and reminds patients to take their medications.

We are grateful to the staff — nurses, rehabilitation therapists, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, companion homemakers and personal service specialists — who make all these services available to the community, and that makes KWL exceptional.

It is also important to honor and thank all the people we work with: support staff and administrators, volunteers, physicians, emergency medical technicians, area nursing and assisted living facilities, pharmacies and equipment suppliers and others who help us do our job well.

We are brief in our expression of thanks. But our gratitude runs deep — during National Home Care and Hospice month — and all year ’round.

Donna DeBlois, executive director

Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care and Hospice