Looking beyond labels

For some proponents of the DCP mega-tank, the conflict boils down to the all-too-familiar “people from away” versus “locals.” I grew up in a coastal community not far from here and have lived in the area ever since. I’m not sure if that makes me “from away” or not.

What I am sure of is this: many of the people who have moved here from other places bought our historical buildings and restored them to beauty and functionality. In some cases they started small businesses, employing us and our neighbors. They pay taxes on some of the most expensive real estate in town. They send their kids to our schools, sit on committees here, and provide other services to the town. Some of “them” have lived here longer than some of “us.” At what point do they get to become one of “us”?

The real outsider is DCP Midstream, with 22 million gallons of LPG from Qatar. Now that’s “from away.” This isn’t a couple from New Jersey who has fallen in love with Maine, pulled up stakes and gambled their life savings on a good life here in our town. It is a multinational corporation that posted almost a billion dollars in profit per month last quarter, poised to replace almost 25 acres of coastal forest with a huge, ugly, dangerous storage tank. And that will do what for us? They can’t even promise to hire local people, not for the construction phase, nor for the few permanent positions.

I saw the names and addresses of the 200-plus people who signed the moratorium petition. There were plenty of local names, and every neighborhood in town was represented. This is not about where people were born, or how long they’ve lived here.

We are standing at a turning point. It is time for us to decide if we will direct the future of our town, or hand it over to a powerful wealthy corporation that sees us as nothing more than a means to increase its own already substantial profits.

Anne Matava

Searsport

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Enjoy ‘Anne of Green Gables’

The Belfast Maskers Community Theater is concluding its 24th season of providing consecutive wide ranging and high-quality live theater to the Waldo County Community and beyond; with its current production of “Anne of Green Gables.”

Though we have lost out theater, this wonderful and fun production can be enjoyed at the Belfast Shrine Club, on Northport Avenue in Belfast. (Directly across from Belfast City Park.)

Children, bring your parents and grandparents and follow along with Anne of Green Gables as she explores her new home on Prince Edward Island! This is a wonderful and fun show, appropriate for all ages, with a very large cast of children from the Belfast/Waldo County, Bangor and Camden areas.

Show dates are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. (matinee)

Tickets for “Anne of Green Gables” may be purchased by calling the Maskers box office at 338-9668. Also, in Belfast at Yo Mamma’s Home, 96 Main St., Belfast. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue one hour prior to showtime (provided that the show is not sold out). Group discounts for 10 or more are available by contacting the box office.

Those wishing to become involved in future productions either on or behind the stage may visit the group’s website: belfastmaskers.com.

Thank you, and see you at the theater!

Randy Nichols

Belfast

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What’s on the horizon?

Drafted behind closed doors, with the secrecy of the “law of war” (which is no law at all), the work of U.S. senators Collins, Snowe and McCain is unveiled. The National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867, imposes a military government and a martial law across the land. Both Maine senators voted for this.

This bill gives the United States President Barack Obama, as commander-in-chief of all U.S. military forces, the power to order the military to pick up and imprison, without charge or trial, civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that all U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military, and the military could be used routinely for police work within the United States of America. Is this what we want?

A provision in the bill states: “Worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, who supports the bill, said about the bill: “It basically says in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.” Collins and Snowe agree.

Senator Mark Udall said: “Section 1031 would allow the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil; it essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil.”

The elected sheriff would lose jurisdiction; the constitutions of Maine and the United States will be suspended, which means that no one will have any rights. No Maine republic; no habeas corpus; no power inherent in the people… is this what we want?

The senators are doing this for a reason and it looks like preparation for a preemptive attack to me. When will they learn that was is not the answer? The law of war is not to our advantage, but to our detriment and destruction. This action tells me that greater war lies on the horizon. May God help us in this nuclear age.

Patrick Quinn

Winterport

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A heroic gift

Every day, we are blessed with a gift of 86,400 seconds, deposited into our bank of life, with one stipulation — spend it or it’s forever gone.

Every individual seeks to make a difference, without knowing how, yet the answer is within reach and worthy of a hero’s medal.

I required 400 units of blood for survival, following a lung transplant, translating to 400-plus people who donated this life saving gift.

Blood supplies remain critically low. Those who step up to donate represent an unsung hero vital to the survival of individuals who require transfusions daily. Blood and organ donation remain generous yet simple life saving gifts any individual can offer.

I encourage community members to become a hero by seeking local blood drives, or their local donor center. Drivers in the Belfast area include Tuesday, Dec. 27 at the Belfast United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast, from 1-5:45 p.m.; and also Tuesday, Dec. 27 at the Monroe Elementary School, 36 West Main St., Monroe, from 1-5:45 p.m.

Heroes come in your size. Consider the opportunity to help save three lives by donating an hour of your time.

Amy L. Eyles

American Red Cross, Blood Services board member, Northern New England Region

New England Organ Bank volunteer