Sounds fishy

We appreciate the thoughtful letters about Nordic Aquafarm's proposed Belfast expansion, from George Maendel, Karin Spitfire and Matthew Scala.

A few more questions for the mayor, city planner, and city councilors seem in order:

1. Did you know that Nordic Aquafarms, while established in 2014, appears to have only been actively in business for two years, with only one open plant currently "growing" yellowtail kingfish, not Atlantic salmon, and their first harvest date was three months ago — Dec. 21, 2017?

2. Have you done a thorough financial review of this company and will you publish these results?

3. When will you do a complete environmental impact study, including traffic patterns, waste deposits, that includes the delivery of fishmeal required for feeding and marketing 33,000 tons of fish annually (how many trucks a day?), and the impact of possible dredging of our lovely bay in order to lay pipe to ensure that the "dead water" resulting from the process will be released "over a mile and a half" away from shore?

4. Why are they not considering the Industrial Park? The two plants they operate (or the one in full operation, the second still to be opened to full operation in 2018) are not directly on bodies of water; why do they need to be on Little River and Penobscot Bay and directly on Route 1, the busiest road in the area?

5. Why send the profits made in Belfast to Norway? Bucksport is local, right? And what about two aquafarms for salmon, opening 15 miles apart on Penobscot Bay?

6. Did you know it appears that Nordic Aquafarms is already using the town of Belfast on their website as if we are their third facility (looking for funding, anyone?), sounding like this is already a done deal? We invite everyone in town to go to their website and look at the photos of the building site in Norway under construction, and multiply the stripped land mass required for their facility by 4x, for the proposed Belfast facility. Wow. On Little River?

7. Our ground water? Our ground water — our greatest resource. Your job to protect it?

8. Has the tax rate in Belfast gone down since Front Street Shipyard opened on most of Belfast's available waterfront?

9. Nordic Aquafarms? Sounds fishy to us.

Meredith Bruskin

Donna Short


Vote Dodge

I met Jan a few years back at my first Waldo County Retired Teachers Association meeting where she serves as president. She was so vibrant and well organized. And to top it off her lively, humorous spirit spiced up the gathering for everyone.

She is offering her experience and energy to represent people from Belfast, Northport and Waldo. The more I get to know Jan, the more I realize that we need to put her to work as our legislator in Augusta.

Jan is a leader! Many of you have known her far longer than myself. She grew up in Belfast and graduated third in her class from Belfast Area High School. Jan lives a life of service, on the board of Waldo County Triad and she is the steering committee chairman of Aging Well in Waldo County. She is a musician who taught music in the Downeast District of Regional School Unit 24 for 30 years. We are so fortunate that she chose to come home to Belfast after retiring from teaching in 2010.

A year ago when Jan was working hard to make sure the Stand Up for Students referendum passed in Maine, she encouraged me to collect signatures to get it on the ballot. As you know, it did pass but the battle to fund the law was a tough one. Jan went right to work testifying before the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

I was at the State House testifying before the committee myself, and observing Jan in action at the State House was a sight to behold! She has been advocating for students in Augusta for many years and she knows many of our lawmakers well. When it came to working the hallways of the Legislature, she was clearly experienced and skillful. As it turned out the Legislature did allocate money to school districts, a victory for the students of Maine.

My hope is that you can meet Jan and talk with her. Like me, you might even want to help her get elected. Check out her Facebook page, Janice S. Dodge for Maine House District #97, email her at or give her a call at 338-1626.

David Smith


Federal pension after 20 years?

Did anyone take note that the assistant FBI director will not be able to draw his pension and retire with full benefits to another job at age 49?

One can understand military personnel, policemen, and firemen or women, who are in harm's way, being able to receive a pension after 20 years. But someone sitting at a desk making 200(?) grand a year?

It's hard to feel sorry for Mr. McCabe and several hundred thousand other federal employees who work for agencies with a special designation that allows retirement with 20 years of service at any age. After all, any federal government employee can retire at age 55 with 30 years of service.

This is perhaps even harder to take when most people can not draw their full Social Security benefit until age 66, and are usually wrongfully encouraged to wait till age 70 to apply for benefits to get more money!

Peter Clifford   


Collateral damage to women

Legal access to abortion was established in America in 1973. Since then, those with ethical or moral objections have worked to change attitudes and add restrictions to legal access. The effects of those restrictions (i.e., mandatory waiting periods, ultrasounds) have had largely unrecognized consequences on women’s experiences.

The documentary film “Birthright, the War on Women,” highlights the collateral damage these increasing restrictions exact on women’s lives. These consequences are experienced by many Americans, because one in four women before age 45 have had an abortion.

The Belfast Area Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights, in cooperation with Maine ACLU, Maine Family Planning and the Maine Women’s Lobby, will be showing “Birthright, the War on Women” Wednesday, April 4, at Belfast Free Library, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Discussion and refreshments will follow the 90-minute film.

Those interested in widening their perception of the meaning of abortion for women and their families are invited.

Lisa Kushner


Cut back war machine subsidies

As regards making a decision as to whether the state of Maine, or we the taxpayers should agree to enlarge the wealth of an already wealthy defense contractor, we need to look at the big picture.

This is not 1997 when General Dynamics bought BIW and was a much smaller company. It was then arguably sensible for us to help out BIW upgrade its facilities. Today, it is a totally different situation.

General Dynamics is now a behemoth defense contractor, currently earning over $3 billion each year in profits. They also happen to be in an industry that has no oversight and total congressional support to increase its money supply led by a White House in chaos and requesting even greater defense spending.

The defense industry is booming and General Dynamics knows that BIW is truly a “cash cow.” It and Ingalls in Mississippi are the two big players and both are prospering and will continue to do so. They are not worried, even though they claim otherwise. In fact General Dynamics could care less if they get the $60 million. It is truly small change to them…but nevertheless, they know and I’m sure say in private, “It’s better than nothing, and what the heck, maybe they’ll be just dumb enough to give it to us.”

So the real issue for all of us is that we have a disturbed man as our president and inhabit a country that is both envied and hated at the same time. We have military bases in almost every region of the world and basically do as we please, never considering the eventual blowback.

Can you imagine how we might all feel if Iraq or Afghanistan had invaded us, destroyed much of our country, and then had no intention of ever leaving? There are individuals everywhere that wish us harm and are attempting to do us harm. We need to come together as a country and begin to discuss how we might deal with this and spend less of our wealth on weapons and more on everything else that might engender less hate and create a more peaceful world.

We are at a point where we need to cut back our subsidies to the war machine and these requested General Dynamic millions are a great place to start.

Paul J. Schelble