Against an ‘architectural carbuncle’

I’m told that the DCP Midstream 137-foot-tall (14-story) propane storage tank in Searsport is a “done deal.” Not since the Dutch bought Manhattan Island from the hapless Native Americans for $24 worth of beads has a community lost so much in exchange for so little.

Starting in January 2011 at a town meeting attended by 50 people and culminating in a “special town meeting” in May 2011, the DCP Midstream company has bedazzled the locals with cookies, key chains, assorted trinkets, promises of increased tax revenue, and ultimately 12 menial, full-time jobs.

In exchange, the town of Searsport, and most of Penobscot Bay (a region where the main source of income is tourism) will be treated to the view of one enormous architectural carbuncle looming over the bay, and blotting the sun from parts of Searsport.

There will also be 50 to 60 propane trucks a day adding to our ozone pollution and road repairs. On top of this, should the tank explode, everything within a 22-mile radius will be incinerated — goodbye Belfast, Islesboro, Bucksport, Stockton Springs, Lincolnville Beach, just collateral damage for DCP Midstream.

All of this mischief was perpetrated before any troublesome, taxpaying “summer folk” could intervene and perhaps consult with lawyers or experts with credentials. No public officials within the “incineration zone” were consulted, and the more farsighted citizens of Searsport were exhausted from having just fought off the LNG storage facility.

We have been reassured repeatedly that an airplane can not take down a skyscraper, that offshore oil rigs can not explode and spill oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and that nuclear power plants can not be destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis.

After a hurricane and an earthquake last week, I take little comfort in the Searsport Planning Board saying that so far DCP Midstream hasn’t had a tank explode, and that the Searsport Fire Department (which generally deals with house and barn fires) can handle any emergencies that may arise.

One would assume that Homeland Security would be all over this issue; just moving the propane up the river by ship should require an armada of security vessels, but so far not a peep about security surrounding a facility that would be a prime target for terrorists, both foreign and domestic.

It is my sincere hope that the people of the Penobscot Bay region will call and write their national, state and local representatives, the Sierra Club, the Island Institute, and any other influential people or organizations, and insist that this dangerous and grotesque project be stopped.

Christopher Hyk



Stockton Springs — simply the best!

When a school district, town, and community people get together — watch out, as magic happens!

As the new and rather enthusiastic principal at Stockton Springs Elementary School, I wanted a new face lift for the outside of the school, before the teachers and students came back to school.

I casually mentioned this first to our RSU 20 maintenance director, Mitch Brown, and the next thing I knew, he was at the school with his able assistant Glenn Larrabee. Within a couple of days I had loam and stone. Thank you!

At about the same time this was occurring, I was speaking with a parent as to how I would like to have a hydrangea, etc. for the front. She spoke to community members who graciously donated perennials from their garden. Thank you to the Costigan’s for their generous donations of flowering plants!

I apologize that I do not know the names of all our community members who donated items, but know that your donations have made quite an improvement and we greatly appreciate your giving

Also I cannot forget to thank the P.I.E. group for their thoughtful donation of hydrangeas and to Jen Holesha for taking time out of her busy schedule to go and purchase them.

A very big thank you to the Catus-Bock family (young people included) who, along with Kris Braga, graciously worked until all of the plants and shrubs were in the ground and watered. Our perennial garden has us smiling every day.

Thank you to our town garage employees, George Russell and Bruce Gray. They donated mulch and delivered it for our garden, which certainly was an unexpected gift.

This thank you would not be complete if I did not acknowledge an incredibly special person who celebrates education with us. She is one of our selectmen, Leslie Cosmano. Mrs. Cosmano notified the school that she had “some” school supplies for our students and teachers to have in their classrooms. Community members came forth and donated the following:

• Six large, three-subject notebooks

• One pack of notebook paper

• 91 glue sticks

• 100 black-ink pens

• Six bottles of glue

• 18 rulers

• Eight packages of math flash cards

• 30 pairs of scissors

• 19 boxes of washable markers

• 18 packages of construction paper

• 28 boxes of colored pencils

• 66 two-pocket folders

• 61 single-subject notebooks

• One backpack

• 550 #2 pencils

• 10 Staples goody bags

• 50 boxes of 24 crayons

• 10 $10 gift cards

Thanks to each and every person in Stockton Springs who has made the beginning of our school year so memorable. It is obvious how the community honors education and the children who attend SSES. We, as a staff, are honored to be a part of that commitment.

Jan Austin, Principal

Stockton Springs Elementary School


Rotary thanks Harbor Fest helpers

The Belfast Rotary Club, the very proud presenting organization of the Belfast Harbor Fest, would like to thank the nearly 2,000 citizens of Belfast and surrounding communities, including folks “from away,” who attended our three-day event.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of the city of Belfast, the Mayor and Council, and the Maintenance and Parks & Recreation departments.

We also would like to thank our many sponsors and vendors, as well as our media partners: Wooden Boat Magazine, Maine Boats & Harbors, Points East, and VillageSoup/The Republican Journal.

Friday’s Launch Party, hosted by Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., was huge. The Wicked Good Band started things rolling, and when the Toughcats took the stage, the 400-plus attendees went wild! Toughcats IPA Ale, prepared especially for the occasion by the Marshall Wharf Brewery, was enjoyed by many.

Saturday’s activities began with a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast and the 5K Bug Run. Nearly 300 folks feasted on pancakes, and more than 130 runners participated in the Bug Run.

New this year was the juried Classic Small Boat Show, where local boat-builders exhibited their hand-made crafts. The judges had a difficult time selecting the best of both amateur and professionally built boats.

The flagship event was the National Boat Building Challenge in which teams of two have four hours to build the Passy 12 Skiff. Then their craftsmanship is judged and they must compete in a 50-yard rowing relay. This year’s winner was the “Quality Counts II” team.

Scouting units from Belfast and Frankfort were prepared with plenty of things for young folks to do. They had constructed a rope bridge that kids could climb on. In addition, kids could build their own boats and sail them in the “Rain Gutter Regatta,” make some rope, or have fun with Stan the “Balloon Man.”

Additionally, the Come Boating! group held their 11th annual regatta. The weather cooperated with excellent sailing conditions and Come Boating!’s own “Belle Fast” rowing gig won its division, resulting in plenty of smiles.

Also we can’t forget our many exhibitors, vendors and a great selection of food providers. French and Webb also opened their boat shop to give another perspective to the day’s boat builders. And the live music was enjoyed by all.

Sunday was the Habitat for Humanity Lobster Gala. Around 200 people enjoyed an outdoor lobster (or steak) dinner, with the profits going to help build another house for a needy family.

The income from the Harbor Fest goes to support Belfast Rotary’s many charitable projects, such as $25,000 in college scholarships for area youth, Christmas gifts for 100+ needy children, donations to area food pantries and community outreach projects.

The club is part of Rotary International supporting Youth Exchange, the eradication of polio, and other humanitarian projects worldwide.

Thanks again to everyone who made the Belfast Rotary Club’s Harbor Fest a huge success, and we hope to see everyone again next year, Aug. 17-19, 2012.


John Carrick, Chairman

Harbor Fest Committee

Belfast Rotary Club


‘Steeple People’ say thanks

Thank you, Stockton, and thanks to the folks in several surrounding communities as well, for again supporting the Community Church Steeple Fund with your donations of an extraordinary array of items for the recent auction which raised $4,100 for the fund.

Thanks to those who attended, to those who provided the sandwiches and snacks, to those who worked tirelessly for weeks in advance organizing, collecting, transporting, doing all the myriad of chores that led to the success of this event.

Thanks as well to the businesses and individuals from Belfast to Bangor and beyond who donated gift certificates for goods and services as well as the many gift items.

A special thanks to Mark and Linda Bradstreet for generously sharing their auctioneering expertise. It wouldn’t have been the same without the two of them.

We now look forward to the next event, a food and bake sale which will be held in the parking lot of the Stockton Springs Town Office on Saturday, Sept. 17 starting at 8 a.m.

Everyone always enjoys this time of meeting and greeting friends and neighbors while sharing one another’s culinary skills. Again we will welcome your donations of your casseroles, baked goods, or garden produce.

Thanks again to all.

The Stockton Springs Church Steeple Committee

(aka, “The Steeple People”)


Family appreciates support and kindness

The family and friends of Brian Anthony Maresh wish to thank the many who offered condolences, remembered us in prayer, those who came to the celebration of Brian’s life (some of whom came bearing plates of food), or those who just silently wept with us.

Those who performed acts of kindness are too numerous to mention by name, but we appreciate one and all. Thanks also to those who came out to the candlelight vigil held in Camden.

Special thanks to Melinda Fries, Rose Newton and Sue Totman, who spent hours at the Belmont Community Building cleaning, preparing and serving food, and for staying to clean up after many had gone home. Also to Nancy C., who later worked with them.

Brian’s parents, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are forever grateful for those who willingly helped.

Thanks to the many, many of Brian’s friends and relatives who gathered to share stories of his impact on our lives.

He will always be ‘Little Brian’ to us. May God richly bless each and every one.

We cannot say, we will not say,

That he is dead, he is just away.

With a cheery smile, and a wave of his hand,

He wandered into Heaven’s land,

And left us dreaming, how very fair

Heaven must be, since he now lingers there.

Our time with you was all too brief,

Our missing you has just begun.

We know that we need to grieve, as we hold our memories of you in our hearts, until that time that we shall meet again, on that far-away shore.

[Partially adapted from James Whitcomb Riley]

The Maresh and Murphy families


Thanks to ‘cherished friends and neighbors’

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to family and friends of Kenneth Gilmore. Cherished friends and neighbors, thank you for the kindness you have shown to my son Shawn, grandsons Eric and Philip, and myself — Kenneth’s loving wife — in this time of grief.

Thank you all so very much.

Janice Gilmore and family