A complete scam

Regarding the proposed, industrial scale, salmon factory “farm.” Anything I say is my own opinion. I leave it to each person to discern facts and truth as best they are able.

For years, thousands of people have been working here in Maine to build sustainable, diversified, human scale and healthy food producing systems. MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, works to promote and guide those efforts.

This proposal for a gigantic, industrial factory farm right in the heart of the sustainable models we are developing is a complete scam. It wants to declare local and sustainable a naive dream.

We are told that, once operational, this one, 40-acre factory farm will produce, each year, 62 million pounds of salmon for market. That amounts to six 20-ton semi-truckloads every day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year.

What we are not told is that such production would require seven or eight 20-ton semi-truckloads of processed, dried and pelleted fish meal, arriving each day at the proposed factory farm, five days a week, every week, all year long. Fish harvested by giant sea-combing trawlers governed by who knows what rules.

At this time, there is no such thing as sustainably produced fish meal. This entire proposal is an oxymoron. A cruelty about to be perpetrated upon the people of Belfast and Waldo County, presented as a kindness, as jobs, as progress.

I urge the citizens of Belfast and Waldo County to reject factory farming and to reject this ludicrous, ultimately destructive and harmful proposal. We don't need farms like this, just as our earth doesn't need more abuse.

George Maendel


Little River thanks
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, a broken faucet was discovered to have caused significant damage to both Little River Church and the Little River Church Food Pantry. Nearly all of the food for the February food pantry was destroyed. With the help of the surrounding community, Little River Food Pantry was able to collect enough food to give out at the Feb. 15 distribution.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Carolyn Zachary and The Republican Journal for sharing our story. We would also like to thank the following community members and organizations:

Belfast Rotary, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Kendrick's Antiques, Ocean State Job Lot, Hannaford Supermarket, Riposta Funeral Home, Come Spring Food Pantry, Out-ah the Box, Lincolnville Center General Store, Bank of America, the First Congregational Church, and the many community members who made private donations of money and groceries.
We also want to thank the multiple members of local churches, the staff and residents of the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, and the many other community members who donated countless hours to help get the food pantry up and running.
What a blessing it is when an organization whose purpose is to serve the neediest members of our community gets to be the recipient of such an outpouring of support! Through your generosity, we were able to provide food for over 250 Waldo County residents.

Thank you all for your involvement!

Curt and Debra Edgerly
Little River Church Food Pantry


The global community

I read Randall Poulton’s column with interest. I found little I agree with, but I was particularly surprised by his contempt for the concept of global community.

Modern communication and commerce bring the world’s people, cultures and economies into close and interdependent relationships. The decision to buy an American car, or a German or Japanese car for that matter, is almost meaningless because cars may be assembled anywhere from parts manufactured all over the world. Banking, scientific research and manufacturing are increasingly international and collaborative.

All this interaction has made it essential for certain customs and norms to become generally accepted and respected by most countries. Cooperating countries respect each other’s patents, rescue each other’s ships in distress at sea and honor treaties, borders and alliances. Wealthy nations often send aid to less developed countries when they experience a natural disaster. This fits the definition of a community.

Like all communities, our global community has bad actors who don’t respect accepted norms of behavior. Mr. Poulton mentioned North Korea and Syria. Such countries cheat, flout accepted norms and interfere with peaceful enterprise. Responsible members of the community condemn them and often respond collectively with sanctions and embargoes. In other words, they respond as a community.

Humans are social creatures whose nature it is to organize themselves into communities. We are born into families, the basic building block of community, where we learn the basic skills of communal living: responsibility, respect and empathy to name a few. As we grow, we participate in wider circles of community like neighborhood, church, school, scouting and sports teams, and our sense of responsibility, respect and empathy broaden to include people that are not exactly like ourselves and families that are not exactly like our own.

At times and places throughout history when the widening sense of community continued to include more of mankind, it gave rise to concepts like democracy, freedom of speech and equality before the law. Community is a positive and civilizing force and should be recognized and encouraged wherever we see it trying to grow.

Meredith Ares


Lions roar!

The Regional School Unit 71 School Nursing Unit would like to thank the Belfast Lions Club for its generous gift of a Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener.

The nurses were invited by Lions President Chip Lagerbom to a Lions Club meeting in December 2017 to present information pertaining to vision screening protocols per the state of Maine.

All students in pre-K, kindergarten, and first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth grades are screened annually, as well as any students who are referred by other school staff members. The Spot Screener is also able to screen students with special needs much more accurately then possible in the past.

Part of the Lions Club’s mission is to promote and provide assistance with vision health in the community. By gifting this screener to RSU 71, they have definitely met this mission.

The nurses look forward to continuing this collaboration with the Belfast Lions in the future by having them participate in yearly student screenings as school volunteers and by the development of a process to monitor the number of screenings and the percent of referrals to eye care professionals.

Again, thank you Belfast Lions Club, you surely roared for our students in RSU 71!

Ellie Weaver RN, BSN, School Nurse

CASS & Nickerson Schools

Regional School Unit 71

Connecting environmental dots

Of all the impacts that will result from Mr. Trump’s budget, environmental protection will take the greatest hit. He plans to slash the EPA by a third — the biggest cut to any federal agency or department. And important provisions of the Clean Air and Water acts will be relaxed or even removed. Why aren’t we up in arms about all this, as we’ll all be affected, especially those of us in lower-income and urban areas?

While we may not all identify with “me too,” immigration or Black Lives Matter or other clearly people-related issues, they are probably easier to understand than whatever is threatening our environment.

Mr. Trump and those he has chosen to destroy the agencies they now lead know it’s not always immediately obvious that drinking water can contain dangerous amounts of lead, that industrial and transportation air pollution significantly increase asthma rates, that warming oceans are contributing to super tides and floods and have anything to do with warming oceans. (Heck — if it’s snowing, doesn’t that prove that global warming is a farce?)

And most of us will never see either the Arctic or Antarctic ice sheets so how are we to know what scientists are saying is accurate, especially since science is bogus in the first place and the scientific information once available on federal websites has been removed? And as long as it’s not in our backyards, why should we care?

Media know this and too often cover the news in short sound bytes — there’s no time to explain the carbon cycle. Besides, nowadays many media sources are funded by corporations with notorious polluting histories.

Science can be complicated, and people can get ticked off when someone with scientific background attempts to explain it. Short of an asteroid hitting the earth, there’s often no smoking gun when it comes to environmental destruction.

The death of a natural resource can be subtle. Coral reefs die off. (So what?) Hundred-year floods begin coming at five-year or even three-year intervals. (So, prove that climate change has been a factor!) Droughts become commonplace. (So? It’s just water.) The base of the food chain is threatened. (Who gives a care about amoebas?) The list is miles long as those of you who want to connect the dots can attest.

But this president doesn’t want us to connect the dots. His claim to be pro-life is hypocrisy.

Beyond paying for a wall we don’t need, and for military parades, we need to get our money’s worth from this administration. We need a fully funded and professionally maintained EPA as well as every other agency or department that safeguards us.

Beverly Roxby