Restore Democracy

When we think of democracy, equality and fairness come to mind. The U.S. is a democracy but the democratic foundation is fraying. Our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our children are becoming more elusive.

Several recent laws and government decisions have caused these problems. First, the bailing out of billion dollar banks with taxpayer money. These institutions and their CEO’s were taken care of and their financial collapse in 2008 financial crises was avoided. But millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure because of predatory lending from these banks and the government did little or nothing to help these citizens recover from their own economic collapse.

Second, soon after this economic trauma the Supreme Court decided that corporations, as part of their “personhood” could contribute millions of dollars or more to their chosen candidates. This decision guarantees that corporate money can buy candidates who, if elected, are obliged to protect the interests of their donors at the expense of their constituents.

Third, most of these corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes, and their profits are often stored and protected in off shore banks and cannot be touched by the IRS. U.S. taxpayers also contribute to corporations when the government gives them tax breaks (our money) to create jobs.

Corporate leaders argue that they are not rehiring because the consumers (us) are not purchasing their products. We are not purchasing because we have little money left over after paying rent, mortgage, food, fuel, etc. Yet, when many corporations do hire they are hiring convicts in our prison system. These prisoners receive indentured servant wages of a few cents an hour to manufacture their products.

It seems the Chinese labor force and third world workers are now becoming too expensive to pay. Their exploitation is hitting this other population, one that is truly locked into their pay scale.

These corporations are saving millions of dollars by not hiring workers who are unemployed and have been part of the labor force for most of their lives. The unemployment insurance for these people is one of the areas targeted for cuts when the new round of austerity measures comes up for debate and vote in October.

If you are interested in doing something about these issues and the many more that I did not address in this letter — i.e., trillions of dollars spent on three wars — please join us to help restore democracy on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Belfast Public Library at 7 p.m. Thank you.

Phyllis Coelho

Belfast

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On Republicans, and redistricting

The Republican proposal is reminiscent of the tactics and behavior often seen when the “alpha dog” emerges in a game of Risk or Monopoly.

This is not why our representatives were sent to Augusta, and hopefully enough voters will realize that this game-playing needs to stop. Why persist in breaking things to the max when, IF there’s a problem, a “tweak” will do.

The notion that a “compromise” need be reached in this case is ridiculous when you look at the redistricting maps proposed and see how much displacement the Republicans call for in order to gain, within a handful, the state’s population in total balance per district.

The game-playing and power ploy is all too apparent. It’s embarrassing that their proposal has made it beyond joking over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria.

A good “compromise” might be for the Republicans to withdraw their plan, apologize for their arrogance, and get back to some thoughtful work.

A reminder to those Republicans who enjoy “breaking things” for their gain: Please stop playing games at our expense; both figuratively and fiscally. There is another election coming and regardless of what district you happen to live in now, your job is on the line; i.e. “grow up”

Will Brown

Lincolnville

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‘We’re going to need a bigger street!’

The day after a huge event is always a time to say “thank you” and also for reflection on what went well and what could be done to improve the event next year. In the case of Our Town Belfast’s 3rd Annual Street Party, I think next year, we are going to need a bigger street!

The party was, by all accounts, an enormous success. People were talking about the party on the street the next morning, stopping me to tell me what a great time their children or grandchildren had throwing balls at the dunk tank, in the bounce house, or on KeyBank’s putting green. In one case, a very lithe youngster stayed on the mechanical bull for 68 seconds and his mother said he hasn’t stopped bragging about it yet!

The crowd of thousands was treated to sweet, sweet music from the Lincolnville Band, Don Nickerson and County Mist had everyone’s toes tapping and Sistalicious proved once again why they are a perennial favorite in the hometown. DJ Matt Bixby kept the discs spinning. People were dancing until 11 p.m., and those hula hoop folks? Wow!

Where to being with our heartfelt thank you…. The City of Belfast, the City Council and the Mayor for their support financially, for allowing us to close the street and the critical assistance of the Belfast Highway Department, Parks and Recreation, the Belfast Police Department and the many other city employees who made the event possible! The YMCA loaned us folding chairs so the crowds could sit and enjoy the music.

Thank you to all the organizations who provided such wonderful children’s activities including face painting, cookie decorations and chalk drawing. Project Graduation, The Game Loft, The Scouts, all contributed to the event with their own fundraising efforts and provided great entertainment to the group. Waldo County and many businesses provided electricity.

A special thank you to Courtney Porter and her dancers for the dance performance of “Dancing in the Streets!” Thank you to our food vendors who helped feed the throngs of hungry party goers. We proved once again that Belfast loves a street party, enjoys great music and loves good food. Belfast Variety kindly provided us with some much needed ice!

A human wave of Bank of America volunteers in red shirts worked, dragged, set up, lugged, stacked, positioned, carried, helped run events, and much more! A deep thank you and sincere appreciation to Bank of America and all our legion of volunteers for their community involvement. We couldn’t have done it without all the volunteers who so selflessly gave their time to help with the event.

To everyone at the press and those who helped spread the word via stories and coverage, group ads, print, web, Facebook, emails, and Twitter: thank you for making the party a success.

Just as importantly as these groups are to the party, we must acknowledge the numerous Belfast businesses that support Our Town Belfast and the Street Party. There is a special category of businesses that recognized the value of what a Main Street Community could mean for Belfast and made a significant commitment over several years to support us. If you patronize the Belfast Co-Op, Colburn Shoe Store, Key Bank, Old Professor Books, Beyond The Sea, Out on a Whimsey, Bay Wrap, High Street Gallery, Bangor Savings Bank, The Green Store, Darby’s Restaurant, Coyote Moon, Out of the Woods, and the Colonial Theater, know you are supporting businesses that support Our Town Belfast.

The local banks include Bangor Savings Bank, Camden National Bank and KeyBank, each not only support us, but volunteered their time at the Street Party. Athenahealth has joined us in supporting the street party illustrating their community spirit and support as did the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce. The board of directors at Our Town Belfast, give their time to ensure the organization is vital and maximizing all opportunities.

Would you like to join us in helping to make Belfast an even better place to work, live, play? Please call or write and we’ll welcome you.

But we could not have a great party without all of you. To everyone who attended the 3rd Annual Belfast Street Party and enjoyed it, thank you for coming. To everyone who helped make it happen, thank you. And to the thousands of kids who had a thrilling time on the bungee jump, the Rat Race or the other rides, thank you! We’ll see you next year in Our Town Belfast !

Dorothy Havey

Executive director

Our Town Belfast

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Montville Field Day a success

The Montville Field Day was again a huge success. This was due to the community volunteers, firefighters and their families, our sponsors, and attendees. All of you contributed to the success of this event and we could not have done it without you.

We received some suggestions for next year and hope to start planning right after town meeting. If anyone would like to be involved in the planning, please contact Chief John York.

Again thank you for the tremendous support you all gave to the Montville Field Day and your fire department. Below are the cross cut saw results. Congratulations to the winners!

Results for the Crosscut Saw Contest

Montville Field Day

Aug. 13, 2011

Women

First Place: Laura Hatfield and Danielle Blake, 1 minute, 08.24 seconds.

Second Place: Erin Siladi and Maddie Blake, 2:16.18.

Third Place: Hadrian Hatfield and Myah Hatfield, 3:41.24.

Men

First Place: Moe Martin and Dan Rowland, 49.52 seconds.

Second Place: Jason Glick and Buck O’Herin, 51.27 seconds.

Third Place: Matthew Clarke and Dan Rowland, 52.00 seconds.

Men/Women

First Place: Laura and Ben Hatfield, 1:06.08.

Second Place: Maisie Newell and Eric Dayan,1:09.64.

Third Place: Leigh Norcott and John Twomey, 1:26.13.

Adult/Child

First Place: Myah and Ben Hatfield, 1:35.21.

Second Place: Jamal Dourant and Jake Holmes, 1:36.81.

Third Place: Pete Stillkey and Louis Pontillo,1:46.91.

Boys

First Place: Jamal Dourant and Joel Poulin, 2:02.35.

Second Place: Peter Silkey and Jamal Dourant, 2:11.01.

Karen York,

on behalf of the Montville Fire Department

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Sandy Point children learn about charity

The Sunday School of the Congregational Church of Sandy Point would like to thank everyone who came to their “Hot Dogs for Heifer International” hot dog lunch last Friday at the American Legion Hall on Route 1 in Sandy Point.

The class has only six regular students and six who come when they can, yet they set a goal to raise $500 dollars to purchase a cow to give to a deserving family through Heifer International.

The children in grades one through four earned enough to purchase two flocks of chickens for Christmas. They wanted to do more this time and have reached their goal.

They would like to especially thank: Perry’s Store, The Good Kettle, Toziers Searsport, and Hannaford Bucksport for help with food and supplies. They really appreciated the baked goods provided by people in the church for desserts and the use of the Ladies Aid canopies.

The American Legion not only loaned their hall and yard, but several veterans also helped erect and take down the canopies. And last but not least, a special thank you to our families and church community for being there for us for our hot dog lunch and for all the support we get from them every week during our church service and the fellowship that follows.

The weekly quarters will continue to be collected, and a new goal and maybe a new charitable organization will be selected as our goal for next year. The process of learning about charity and how everyone is worthy of our respect and caring will go on, starting with our families at home and reaching out to all people on the earth.

Sunday School students: Ellis, Haley, Samantha, Steven, Gabriel, Silas, Mia, Wade, Gabriella, Erica, Nuala, Sean and Adeline (our toddler).

Veronica Magnan, Sunday School Teacher

Sandy Point

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Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show says ‘Thanks!’

We would like to say a huge “Thank you!” to the city of Rockland and all of its citizens for once again hosting the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show on the second weekend in August.

Some 10,000 people came to the show and the city from all over the state, New England, and far beyond. We are grateful, as always, to everyone who has helped to make it an ongoing success, and were thrilled to orchestrate the event, which was the ninth annual.

The weather was beautiful with just a few raindrops on Sunday morning — making way for more on Monday after the show. More than 350 exhibitors set the scene, including more than 60 boats in the water, about 100 land exhibitors, and 170-plus exhibitors in tents for a tremendous display of the breadth and diversity of fine, Maine-crafted products. Great crowds turned out on Friday and Sunday and sales were reported to be high overall.

We are pleased to recognize the following sponsors of the 2011 show: Awlgrip North America, Bangor Savings Bank, Barbour by David Wood, The Bark magazine, Cellardoor Winery, Fixtures…Designer Plumbing Showroom, Jaret & Cohn Real Estate, Loyal Biscuit, ReVision Energy, Seabags, Stanley Subaru, VillageSoup, and Yachting Solutions/Cannell, Payne & Page. As always, the show was presented by Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine.

Many organizations also deserve special thanks. The Maine Lobster Festival was once again instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition between our two events. Rockland’s Harbormaster, Ed Glaser, and his team on the waterfront were stellar.

Thanks to all the Harbor and Buoy park businesses for sharing the waterfront space: Paul Benjamin of the North Atlantic Blues Festival and Time Out Pub, Captain Jack, Morning in Maine, The Monhegan, The Pearl Restaurant, Shell’s Southwest Grill, and Two Toots.

The West Bay Rotary again ran the entrance gates with professional ease and a welcoming spirit. Joe Nelsen and his Oceanside baseball team did yeoman duty as our recycling and trash picker-uppers extraordinaire.

Special thanks to: antique auto contributors Penn Brown, Jim O’Connor, and the Owls Head Transportation Museum; members of the Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club; members of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association; Doug Teel and his colleagues for their antique engine display, and to all who contributed images and expertise for the 75 Years on Penobscot Bay exhibit: William Cross of Maine Coast Fisherman, Wayne Gray and GEM Productions, David Hoch, Island Institute, Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Todd McIntosh, Paul G. “Gil” Merriam, Sam Murfitt, Penobscot Marine Museum, Rockland Historical Society, Sparkman & Stephens, Ed Walsh Historical Society, and Richard Warner.

More thanks go to the young sailors from the Rockland Community Sailing program and members of the Maine Windjammer fleet. Bay Chamber Concerts, the Coastal Children’s Museum, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Dena’s Barefoot Books, the Compass Project, Farnsworth Art Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum, and the Rockland Community Sailing Program at the Apprenticeshop who provided hands-on activities for the younger set. The Rockland Yacht Club provided their building for Northeast Historic Film’s programs and a float for the Boatyard Dog® Trials.

Speaking of dogs, World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials thanks go to: The Bark magazine, media sponsor of the event; Sea Bags of Portland for recycled sail cloth tote bags; Loyal Biscuit Company of Rockland for toys and treats to fill the bags; Jeff’s Marine for the judges’ boat; Maritime Marine for the camera boat; Harbor Technologies of Brunswick for a float for the trials.

Parade participants included the Puffin Project, the Knox County Humane Society, the Camden Rockport Animal Rescue League and the Jonesport Shriners. Newly crowned Maine Sea Goddess, Kristen Margaret Sawyer led the parade and presented the perpetual “Pup Cup” to the winner, Rockland’s own Fenway.

Thanks also to our judges: Dr. Kate Pierce of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates in Rockport, Lucinda Lang of Tenants Harbor, Gregg Boersma of The Bark magazine, and Gretchen Ogden from Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine; and to our emcees: Mike Joyce and Alan Sprague of WERU FM’s monthly radio show “Boat Talk.” And a warm round of applause to our canine contestants and their handlers as well!

Countless individuals pitched in to help the show run smoothly. Our grounds crew — for whom no challenge was too big or too small — consisted of Fred Carey, Alvin Chase, Bob Conrad, and Terry Driscoll. Steve Bunnell ran a tight ship on the exhibit docks. Jeff Scher photographed the scene.

Individual volunteers, including Catherine, Julian, Mario and Sherry Abaldo, Eliza Bailey, Leon Bausch, Linda Beyus, Daniel Bennett, Greg Billingsly, Mike and Judi Brody, Paul Brown, Belinda Chase, Len Clarke, Daniel Coyne, Peggy and Tony Coyne, Melissa Foster, Laurel Frye, Bill Garver, Meriweather Gil, Pat Hembrough, Kathrina Hilinski, Tim Kimpton, Clarke Labbe, Allen Mitchell, Ken Mitchell, Cheryl Morin, Jim Nolan, Michael Ogden, and Ronny Pope did myriad tasks, large and small.

If we neglected to mention anyone, please know that we are appreciative of all who helped.

Last, but far from least, we’d like to thank ALL the community members and visitors who welcomed us, the 350-plus show exhibitors and their crews, and all of the show attendees to Rockland. Many folks from afar make this event a destination each summer because they find such a warm welcome here.

We look forward to seeing you all around town this fall and for many years to come. Visit us at maineboats.com to see photos and updates from the show.

John K. Hanson, Jr., Leila Murphy, and the MBH&H team