You've got mail

I'll try to set some things straight about Mr. Seymour's issues with the mail delivery. I know that area well because I ran the hatchery during the '70s across from his house.

I retired from the Postal Service with 29 years of service; 18 of those were at the Belfast office where I was a clerk, carrier and supervisor. I supervised a lot of good postal workers who took pride in their work.

You might want to look into your statement, Mr. Seymour, that taxpayers pay for our salaries. The Postal Service does not get any funding from the federal government. We get our funding from the selling of stamps and other products. We are governed by Congress about postage rates, etc., but that is all.

We are not like UPS and FedEx who can pick and choose where to deliver. However, we deliver their parcels to places that are out of the way for them. As far as checks not arriving, I had heard so many times: "The check is in the mail."

Could there be someone taking items from your mailbox? Is your mailbox tilted? Do you have a lid on your box? You would be surprised at how many mailboxes are not stable. When I was postmaster in Lincolnville I had to stop mail from being delivered due to mailbox problems. Actually I would go out on Sundays and straighten mailboxes for my older customers.

I am sure that things are being done behind the scenes to check on this carrier. Just remember, don't attack all vets. I was shot and blown up in a tank three times before I was 21 years old. So I am hoping this matter will clear up and you get good rural free delivery — or a post office box.

Leon S. Gallant


Why did it take so long?

Having read the “pig execution” story on your front page April 5, I am appalled and infuriated at the lack of intervention in this case. Just how far does abuse have to go before the animals are removed from this person's custody? I am disgusted with the performance of the Animal Welfare people.

Why was a dog left there tied up outside with no food, water, or shelter, shivering in the winter weather? This is obvious neglect.

Who is this Jerry Ireland? How can this person presume to be a spokesperson for Maine Veteran Farmers, or run for public office? I would be embarrassed to have him representing my town.

We need to see a follow-up report published to tell us what has become of the dog, cows, and any other surviving animals in this person's possession.

The events described, had I known of them, would have forced me to intervene personally long before it reached the point of this “farmer” shooting his pigs to avoid having them seen by the Animal Control Officer.

I hope someone in the Animal Welfare hierarchy can explain what is being done to prevent further abuse by this person, and maybe why it took so long to do anything before.

Michael Knowlton


Salmon farm criteria

Editor's note: The following letter was received before the City Council met Tuesday, April 17, for a final reading of a zoning change that would allow the salmon farm to be built.

The debate over the Nordic Aquafarms' proposal for an enormous on-land fish production facility has generated a level of public discussion and debate that I have not seen around Belfast for quite some time. This is a very good thing — an indicator of the intelligence, vibrancy and involvement of our citizens.

However, speaking for myself and on behalf of the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce Board, I feel that some of the concern about and opposition to the proposal is applying some unreasonable criteria for the proposal — and the city — to meet in order to be acceptable.

A new business proposing to move into our city has several burdens to prove: that it will not harm our environment, will not unpleasantly impose on its neighbors, will not unduly burden our roads and utilities, and so on. However, no business has ever had to prove that they will still be in operation 30 years from now. No new business has to prove that there is a sustainable and sufficient market for its products. And no new business has been judged on the maturity of their industry, so that proposals for groundbreaking technologies are rejected because the city is not absolutely sure that it will be a success.

Likewise, an applicant should not be held to resolving our workforce shortage concerns, or assuring adequate middle class housing for Belfast. These are the city’s responsibility to oversee and facilitate, and should not be the price of admission to our community.

Of course there are important and well-established criteria that this project should be held to: noise, traffic, parking, environmental pollution, light pollution, visual buffering, impermeable ground coverage limits, and so on. I personally ask that the city be sure to guarantee sufficient setback and buffering to preserve our iconic southern gateway view, and that access and parking be established for citizens to use the Little River Trail, a gem of our city.

With these and the other existing, practical, important and fair criteria to be applied to the development, the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce endorses the city of Belfast moving ahead with the zoning and Comprehensive Plan amendments that will enable the city and our residents to fully evaluate and shape the final proposal. We should not be swayed to contrive new criteria for this project that introduce new and unfair measures of acceptability.

Steve Ryan

Executive Director

Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce

Vote Hills on June 12

I first met Caitlin Hills when we parents serving on our children’s elementary school Parent Teacher Group. This was during some of the darker days of school budgets. Our PTG was working hard on fundraising in order to help off set some of the cuts in our budget. Our PTG was the teacher supply budget that year! Caitlin was always there with her can do attitude. That same year, for the same reason, a group of concerned parents got together to look for solutions to our school funding issues. Caitlin was once again there supporting our community, our schools, our kids and our teachers, work she continues today as chairman of the Regional School Unit 71 school board.

As I have gotten to know Caitlin over the years, I see how much she brings to every issue. Her passion for education is evident in her work as a school board member. In that passion for education is also Caitlin’s understanding of how taxes impact the residents of our community. It is this balance that Caitlin is able to bring to issues. It is her ability to listen carefully and thoughtfully that helps her understand the issues facing our community members.

As a single mom, Caitlin sees those issues firsthand. She sees the need for affordable housing in our community. She is an advocate for affordable health care for all. As an adult daughter, Catlin is also an advocate for our older citizens.

Caitlin, a lifelong Democrat, has shown her mettle. Her experience in Washington working as an advocate for environmental issues developed her understanding of the legislative process. As the representative for Northtport, Belfast and Waldo she will use her experience, knowledge and understanding of issues and our community to build upon the good work already happening in our district.

Sandy Wallace