Ordinance needed in Frankfort

Greed has spawned wind power development in small communities because existing roads and transmission lines reduce the wind developer’s initial cost. Developers mislead townspeople and officials and attempt to get wind turbines installed with little consideration of what is good and fair for the town.

One key to their success is speed; get it done before the truth is found out. The truth is these projects are subsidized with millions of federal dollars, your dollars. The truth is they’re not as green as they claim. The truth is once wind turbines are installed wind companies have a history of not resolving conflicts, but employing experienced lawyers small towns or homeowners can’t afford to compete with, just like in Vinalhaven and Mars Hill. The truth is they don’t want you to know how many millions of dollars they make and still ask for reduced local taxes in the form of a TIF. Companies make profits; they should pay their own way.

In Frankfort, Eolian claims they aren’t asking for a TIF, although they paid a Portland lawyer to come to town with spreadsheets presenting TIF information to the town. A 60/40 split in local taxes favoring Eolian has been brought up at meetings. Again, why give Eolian a local taxpayer subsidy when they’re already receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies?

A TIF can only be used for state-approved economic development in a designated area and cannot be used for your local school or to lower your property taxes. In most cases a TIF will only benefit the wind companies. Without a TIF we as a town may lose a little in state funding, but in the long run by giving Eolian this local tax subsidy we are in essence taking money away from our county tax base and the school district and giving it to Eolian.

Wind power developers want you to think any restrictions placed on them makes projects impossible. Not so, it just costs more to do it right. If the turbines available today aren’t appropriate for small-town projects it’s not the people’s fault. Stop installing junk and eventually better equipment will be built.

Six local residents appointed by a town vote have produced an ordinance that protects the public health and financial welfare of the entire town. The purpose of this odinance is to legally force the wind company to do it right or not do it at all. Without this ordinance they will not necessarily do what needs to be done to protect Frankfort, but will protect their pocketbook. The residents of Frankfort need to pass this ordinance.

Wayne Emerton

Frankfort

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Where is the courage?

Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, New York City, is being occupied by thousands of Americans who have honor and courage far beyond anything this nation has seen since the spirit of the American revolution or the Bonus Expeditionary Force, aka the Bonus Army of 1932.

Their intent is justice. People are putting their lives in line, disregarding their personal safety because they truly believe that “Wall Street” is the biggest enemy in this country. Wall Street is responsible for fraud, usury and acts of theft from each family in this country. Its “financial practices” have sucked needed resources from every family to the deprivation of the marriage and the welfare of the children.

This infiltration of an economic oligarchy, which is represented in “Wall Street,” is our greatest enemy and destroys us from within. We must recognize these “acts of war” as domestic terrorism bent on destroying our cherished lives. I applaud the courage of the people in New York. Where is it in Maine?

Patrick Quinn

Winterport

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What’s $100 worth to you?

I have read the [RSU 20] Reorganization Presentation, and while I understand the reasons for the closings, they assume business as usual in terms of educational form.

The savings in terms of heat, light and maintenance to the district are only $124,729; the cost of our principal’s office saved only $101,797. This cuts our town tax bill to the school district by $100,391.28. That is roughly 11 percent of what we are paying yearly (we pay around $900,000 per year), and translates to a savings of about $100 per taxpayer in Swanville.

For the upset to the parents who would have multiple children in multiple schools, I would pay the $100. Local tradition and community spirit are worth $100 to me.

And what happens to the buildings after they are closed? Do we pay minimal upkeep? Why should such new and excellent spaces be empty when we are still paying on the bonds to make them so nice?

I still think the buildings should become the property of the towns they are in, and that the towns should be able to opt out of the state public school venue entirely, and rent the classrooms for freelance teachers and homeschooling groups, ala one-room-schoolhouse style, with multigrade teaching, or without.

Imagine classrooms directly accountable to parents, and teachers paid competitively based on merit instead of tenure! And the common rooms like the gym should continue to be available for community meetings and events.

A real savings to Swanville would be parents in the town taking responsibility to educate their own children right here, without all the union baggage, and the nonsensical and expensive federal mandates.

Imagine if instead of $1 million per year to the school system, we spent $124,729 for upkeep on the building? For $600,000 we could afford upkeep and 5 community-paid teachers. Parents could be required to be support staffing for the teachers as they had need, performing routine maintenance and repairs to the building, grading papers, organizing field trips, teaching gym or art.

This is more than appropriate. I’m just saying, “Think outside the box.”

Patty Keyes

Swanville

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A tale of two murals

What a wonderful article Ethan Andrews wrote about two murals [“David Hurley sees a boat,” page B1 in Sept. 21 edition of the Journal]. One no longer exists, and the other won’t be completed until June. It takes a community of artists and art lovers to picture the bow wave I’ve been imagining for years.

Ethan gave a fitting sendoff to Rick Cronin’s design, as well as acknowledging the other entries and the volunteers and supporters who made it possible back in 1991.

My interest in submitting a design to the building owners began about three years ago when my brother Mike (the mayor at the time) put letters in the paper to see if there was interest in repainting the mural, as the building was in need of repair.

I found masons and painters to send bids to the owner. Earlier this spring I was contacted by Boni LaValley, who works for Jim Kaplan, and she told me they wanted to proceed. Boni has been a tireless supporter of this project from the start, and she deserves special thanks. Without her coordination efforts, we would not have moved forward.

Jim Kaplan and Tom Ellis generously pledged $1,000 toward a new mural. I then sent out requests for financial support from local banks and businesses, with copies of the design and the proposal.

I just want to tell you, Belfast stepped up. My first pledge came from Greg Shaw, the mason who helped repair the building. John McMillian chimed in, “Me too!” Sherwin-Williams said, “We’ll provide the paint.”

Andy Grover from KeyBank, Cathy Reynolds from Bangor Savings Bank, Kristy Richardson from Camden National Bank and Ed Varney from Damariscotta Bank and Trust all offered support.

David Flannagan from Viking Lumber and JB Turner from Front Street Shipyard also made donations. Lorna Chrichton from Waterfall Arts played a key part by being the financial agent.

Thank you, to all!

Three artists will be painting the new mural. I will see if I can get Rick Cronin to apply the first brush of paint to the bow wave. He just retired from the Merchant Marine, and he will know how to get the wave right.

Kenny Cole and I are painting the porthole and trim and waiting until May and June to complete the mural, with the help of Russell Kahn.

Our final design will also include a grant application for children to create fantastic sea creatures, which would be painted along the bottom 6 feet of the building. This would pair professional artists with the younger ones.

A hats off to Belfast. You know that good art makes good sense and helps make it a great community.

David Hurley

Swanville

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Thanks for your eWaste

On behalf of the Belfast Rotary Club, I would like to thank all of you who participated in this year’s eWaste Collection Event on Oct. 1. This event was a win-win situation for all concerned.

Our citizens were able to properly and legally dispose of unwanted electronic components. Our recycling partner, eWaste Solutions Inc., will recycle the component parts back to raw material for new products. And, last but not least, the Belfast Rotary Club collected about $2,000 from donations given by generous citizens who provided the eWaste.

All proceeds from this event will support the Belfast Rotary Club and its charities.

We plan to make eWaste Collection an annual event, so if you were not able to participate in this year’s events, save your items for next year’s event.

Thank you.

Doug Smith

Belfast Rotary Club

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Thanks for the breath of fresh air

This year, 124 New York City children found out once again just how special summer is in central Maine. Fresh Air Fund hosts, volunteers and local supporters dedicated their time and efforts to help these inner-city youngsters experience simple summertime pleasures, including afternoons of swimming, fishing at sunset and roasting s’mores over a campfire.

None of this would be possible without Lisa Bouchard, your local Fresh Air Fund volunteer leader, who works throughout the year to make sure host families and children have the opportunity to enjoy memorable summertime experiences together. I invite you to join Lisa Bouchard and the local Fresh Air Fund committee to help spread the word about the wonderful opportunity of hosting next summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call Lisa Bouchard at (207) 522-7781 or visit: freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau

Executive director, Fresh Air Fund

New York

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‘Kindness and mercy toward all living beings’

With the recent death of Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, we have lost a brave pioneer whose work on behalf of women, human rights, and conservation changed things for the better.

In her thought-provoking essay in the book “One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World,” Ms. Maathai wrote about the satisfaction that comes with knowing that you have made a positive impact: “Conviction, vigilance, preparedness, confidence, imagination, these are some of the traits that bring victory, and victory brings great joy. As do your accomplishments, especially accomplishments that are likely to outlive you. These are accomplishments that will testify to your belief and your faith long after you’re gone. If you believe that you have improved the situation for the better, that makes you feel that life is worth living.”

In memory of Ms. Maathai, let us all resolve to change the situation we find ourselves in for the better, by showing kindness and mercy toward all living beings. For simple ways to do this, please visit: peta.org.

Lindsay Pollard-Post

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.