GAC's Colter working behind the scenes to block dredge study

I would like to respond to and amplify on Mr. Tony Kulik's letter to The Republican Journal on March 20, entitled "Port of Dreams." He unfortunately left out one of the main beneficiaries of the expansion dredging of Searsport Harbor and its Long Cove: GAC Chemical Corp. A fine company, with a good safety record — though a terrible waste erosion control record. That enormous wart on the company's nose aside, GAC has been a pillar of the community.

So what is GAC CEO David Colter doing ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of bay towns? They want a serious study done before the megadredge gets approved or not. Instead of reaching out to the communities that surround his company's acres on the shore of Searsport Harbor, CEO Colter seems to be sneaking about behind the scenes, working with distant investors in Bangor — as their bag man at that.

He's apparently doing his best to get around the the bay's town governments and lobstermen and their call for a fair look at the megadredge plan.

Shame on you, David! You know the Bangor Action Committee of 50 (AC50) doesn't care a fig if every last lobster in the bay turns into a thermometer, every square foot of fisher nursery is dredged away and every last fisherman is forced out of Stockton Springs, Searsport, Castine, Islesboro and Belfast as long as AC50's members get a big piece of the action doing the Biggah Diggah on the bay.

Why is Colter, Searsport resident, Searsport business owner, upstanding community member, now consorting with those dedicated to reducing the quality of life in and around Searsport and all of Penobscot Bay? It is simple. David Colter, it turns out is the treasurer of a part of the Action Committee of 50, the shadowy industrial investment cheerleader squad which crawls out from under its rock every 15 or 20 years to promote heavy industry in the top of Penobscot Bay.

The estuarine brackish mixing area of river and bay is absolutely the worst place to site chronic polluters, for the tainted waters will not only befoul their immediate environments, the businesses would be perfectly placed to pollute the lower river on incoming tides and pollute the mid and outer bay, during outgoing tides. David you clever fellow, what's got into you?

We have asked him to clean up the legacy acidic waste that is tainting our intertidal flats, some so acidic according to one of Maine's leading academic experts on coastal acidification, that every speck of organic matter is dissolved out of it. The pH of that mud ought to be slightly above 7. Instead it is slightly below 2 — hot as battery acid!

Since Maine DEP under Goveror Lepage has sworn enmity against every environmental regulation, and DEP's minions are so meek to GAC, the company appears to believe it is free to burn the bay shellfish with its acid leaking shoreline with no penalty.

For to the Lepage administraton, precaution is for wimps. If GAC head David Colter insists on both continuing to pollute our bay and to push for increased industrialization of this fertile estuary, then he may be joined at the hip with the governor, but he is no friend of Penobscot Bay. Apparently he is only one more in a long row of short term profiteers sitting atop the toxic peninsula his predecessors ruined, doing his part to keep up with their sordid legacy.

What a disappointment!

Ron Huber

Friends of Penobscot Bay

'Talk to me Dirty:' an inappropriate music choice by 7th grade gym teachers

I'm not sure if I am outraged, or if I’m just totally blown away from what I recently learned from my 13-year-old daughter who is a seventh grader at the Troy Howard Middle School. I feel an obligation to our community and to the parents of children who attend this school, to make you aware of what has been taking place.

This is the second year for my child attending the Troy Howard Middle School and I understood from the beginning that there were going to be new challenges that we would face, being a conservative family with values and now being a part of the THMS environment. I knew this because I was informed by some who had already experienced this and I was told that I needed to prepare myself for what was to come.

Unfortunately the rumors proved to be factual and there have been issues throughout; some addressed with the school, some only addressed with my child. I'm trying to pick my battles, but I am still giving the appropriate guidance (being a parent).

Now we have a problem and we should be very concerned about as parents to our future! I have been aware that THMS allows the use of music during physical education class and even though the music of choice was not something that I would allow for my own children, again picking my battles, I continued the usual parental guidance knowing that what's acceptable to others isn't always acceptable for "us" — until now. Thankfully, my daughter was uncomfortable enough with what she was hearing to inform me of the music being played during PE (which was not chosen by the students), the song played for these kids is called " Talk to Me Dirty!" Please take the time to pull these lyrics up — I wouldn't recommend listening to it, even for us adults, but read the lyrics to this song. It is the most filthy inappropriate music for anyone’s standards, much less for the people that we entrust our children to daily to receive an education!

I am appalled at the irresponsible, reckless behavior of THMS and the individuals who find this to be acceptable within the school system. It is disturbing to think that anyone would be so thoughtless to subject these students to such indecency, revealing the judgment of the administration responsible for electing the leadership of our children. It is frightening! Our children do not have the choice to not go to school, this is a requirement! However, they do have a choice as they become young adults to choose their social environment, which may in fact include music such as this. The likelihood is inevitable, as their being encouraged by our school at a young age.

This is an embarrassment to our school system and they should be ashamed of their actions. I for one do not accept my children being subjected to such filth, while they are simply trying to get an education.

I have been forced to find an alternative for my children, to ensure a safe, quality environment for them to continue learning. I'm not naïve and I realize that there will always be inappropriate influences of others everywhere in life, but I can be assured that it will not be from the people teaching my children. That is a disgrace! It is unfortunate times when you are unable to rely on your tax dollars to educate your children, but you have to budget for a private school to ensure their well being.

Until the time is taken to look up the lyrics to this song, this will not be understood and it will be viewed as overreacting. We as parents cannot sit back and assume that the best interest of our children is at hand. Please take the time to be informed about what’s taking place where they spend a great deal of their time. THMS should be held accountable for their reckless behavior with our children and be forced to be more responsible with the position that they are in! This is not the only questionable judgment encountered by this school and I encourage parents to be vigilant and make it your business to know your child’s business, because it is only you who has their best interest at hand.

If you share these same concerns and you want to join my efforts in making sure actions like this doesn’t continue, please email me at:

Rachel Fraser


In recognition of WCGH doctors

Sunday, March 30, was National Doctors’ Day. It’s a wonderful opportunity to thank those who have cared for us and our loved ones, often going beyond the call of duty to do so. Here at Waldo County General Hospital, we are fortunate to have doctors, who could practice anywhere in the country, but who have chosen Waldo County as their home.

The first Doctors’ Day was observed on March 30, 1933 in Winder, Ga., when Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set a day aside to honor physicians. In 1990, the U.S. House and Senate officially declared March 30 National Doctors’ Day.

Doctors’ Day marks the date that Crawford W. Long, M.D., of Jefferson, Ga., administered the first ether anesthetic for surgery on March 30, 1842. On that day, Dr. Long administered ether anesthesia to a patient and then operated to remove a tumor from the man's neck. Later, the patient would swear that he felt nothing during the surgery and was not aware the surgery was over until he awoke.

Medicine has certainly come a long way since then, but the concern of doctors over the care and comfort of patients continues.

Thanks to our doctors who are working at “making our community one of the healthiest in America.”

Board of directors and administrative staff,

Waldo County General Hospital

Arborists: 'TreeKeepers' trade name is already taken

This year marks a milestone for TreeKeepers LLC as we celebrate our company’s 20th anniversary! For the past 20 years, since founding the company in 1994, we and our wonderful and skilled employees have worked hard to fulfill our company’s mission of caring for, preserving and protecting Maine’s trees. We are proud that TreeKeepers LLC has earned a reputation for delivering knowledgeable tree care and arboricultural consulting services of the highest quality.

Unfortunately, our celebratory mood was dampened upon discovering (while leafing through Down East magazine’s April issue) that a person named Robert Stanley has begun advertising in the Maine media as a consulting arborist under the business name “Tree Keepers.”

Since 1994, we have done business throughout Maine as “Johnson’s Arboriculture – TreeKeepers LLC” and “TreeKeepers LLC” and both trade names are registered with the Secretary of State. We are deeply concerned about this infringement, the obvious confusion it will cause, and the potential harm to our company.

We wish to make perfectly clear that Mr. Stanley and his company (including his website and e-mail address) are not affiliated in any way with us. We know nothing about him, his claimed professional qualifications, what services he offers or the quality of those services. He has no authority to speak for or to act on behalf of our company. We have not authorized him to use the trade name “TreeKeepers” and we have requested him to cease doing business in Maine under that or any similar name.

For two decades, TreeKeepers' licenced arborists have hand climbed, pruned, cabled, braced and artfully shaped countless Maine trees. We have preserved cherished trees on historic sites and private landscapes; written specifications to protect trees during construction; planted thousands of trees, both large and small; worked (carefully) in Maine’s shoreland zones; appraised trees damaged by storms and vandals; sensitively designed and constructed beautiful walking trails; inventoried, evaluated, and pruned thousands of municipal trees; and preserved trees throughout the state after Maine’s 1998 Ice Storm.

Our senior arborist Douglas N. Johnson is Maine licensed, certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, the first Maine arborist to become ISA Tree Risk Assessment qualified, and a member of the Maine Arborist Association, Tree Care Industry Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, Society of Commercial Arborists, and Society of Municipal Arborists.

We are grateful to live and work in Maine, for the opportunity to care for a valuable Maine resource, and for the many wonderful people we have met throughout this beautiful state while engaged in our projects. We love our work and our company. We look forward to continuing to bring you the very best arboricultural knowledge and skills while “caring for the earth – one tree at a time.”

Douglas N. Johnson and Nancy Caudle-Johnson