A way of life

I would like to comment on Sarah Reynold's column "On the intersection of religion and politics" in the Sept. 13 issue of The Republican Journal.

While reading it, I felt like I was being stabbed in my heart and thought to myself, something isn't right here, so I read it a second time, then a third time more carefully. I've always enjoyed her writings but what happened this time? Wow! She sounds very confused:

1) Says we aren't to "impose our beliefs on other people." Yet this is exactly what she is trying to do.

2) "Compelling others to do what we want"? Yet she is trying to persuade readers to conform to her way of thinking/believing in that Christians should not be offended if even an atheist became president. Wow! Telling us how we should feel.

At least it's out in the open now. This same group of people who said, "We have no agenda" surely do have an agenda, and have had for many years … remove God from every facet of life whether the rest of us like it or not.

She feels the United States should not be a Christian nation. Wow! Again. This is the very reason this nation has been so blessed; it was founded upon Bible principles, and it still is. God is using President Trump to restore, to undo, to loosen, to destroy everything that the devil has done.

Actually, the devil doesn't own anything; everything he has stolen from us, and he has to give back. That is what all this ruckus is about. Does this sound like our federal government? It, too, owns nothing. Everything it has … well, you fill in the blank.

Hang in there, and read your Bible, for the best is yet to come. And remember Christianity is not a religion. It's a way of life. That's a big difference.

Ruth Treworgy


Best-served by Giles

Both candidates for Maine Senate District 11 are native Mainers who grew up in Waldo County. Both have experience in the Maine House of Representatives. Erin Herbig has served four terms, and has reached her term limit. Jayne Crosby Giles served two terms. Both candidates have gone on “listening tours” of the district.

However, one candidate, Jayne Crosby Giles, has been listening to the needs and dreams of Mainers for her entire, distinguished work career — first as a banker, then through Maine Stream Finance, which provides advice and financings for a population often unable to find funding through traditional lenders, and finally as development director for Broadreach, which provides education and support to some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

In addition, Jayne has served on the boards of a number of civic organizations. There are too many to list here, but they include the YMCA, Waldo County General Hospital, and Abenaki Girl Scout Council.

I believe the people of Waldo County will be best-represented by someone who for many years has sat across the table from so many of its residents and helped them find ways to better themselves. I believe Waldo County will be best-served by someone who works shoulder-to-shoulder with groups who are working to better our communities.

I believe Waldo County will be best-represented in the Maine Senate by Jayne Crosby Giles. She has my vote, and I hope she’ll have yours, too.

Nancy Hamilton


Sincerely dedicated

I’m writing to express my support for Erin Herbig for state senator in District 11. There are too many reasons to list in a short letter, but let’s start with her state representative record in support of job-training programs, student-debt relief, health care access, opioid treatment, and other initiatives to solve real-people problems at the state level without getting embroiled in the quagmire of national issues.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erin at a get-together hosted by a dear friend a few months ago. I got to hear her talk informally about many subjects. From the conversations I had at the event, I can tell that she is the type of person who can work with members of the Legislature, and with constituents from all sorts of ideological backgrounds.

All in all, she came across as a warm-hearted, intelligent, and energetic person who is exactly what she says she is: someone who loves her native Waldo County and is sincerely dedicated to enabling all Mainers to thrive in the global economy. Anyway, that’s why she’ll have my vote. I hope she’ll have yours.

Gary Stimeling


Fair, responsive, caring

I am supporting Jayne Crosby Giles for state Senate in the Nov. 6 election. Jayne is one of the reasons I chose to run for office and serve these past eight years as a state representative. I admired her past work in the Maine House and her commitment to getting things done for Maine people. She is fair, responsive, and most important, she cares.

Jayne will be an effective state senator because she gets involved in local matters important to Waldo County. As an example, Jayne has shown great interest in the new Searsport-based Maine Ocean School, offering a maritime education for high school students grades 9 to 12. Jayne attended a trustee strategic planning session, plus, she met with me several times to learn more about the school.  Jayne has told me that she will support and advocate for the school in the Legislature.

On a personal level, Jayne and her husband, Mike, are avid sailors and have a great appreciation for the Penobscot Bay region. She knows the importance of the marine industry to our local economy. This is just one example of how Jayne sets out to learn and become involved in matters important to us.

I encourage Waldo County voters to elect Jayne Crosby Giles as our next state senator. I believe that Jayne is the right choice for us. Thank you.

State Rep. James Gillway

District 98: Searsport, Swanville, Frankfort and Winterport

Working hard for us

I have known Erin Herbig for over a decade. We worked together at a local restaurant when she came back to Belfast from college to be a part of our hometown community.

She, like myself, was born and raised here, and has deep family roots in Waldo County. I, like her, also came back to my home after college to work locally and eventually open my own business.

For the last eight years Erin has been working hard for us in the Maine House of Representatives. I personally have felt the impact of her work to support our area business growth.

I also appreciate her work to bring vocational programs, apprenticeship programs and a community college center to Waldo County to encourage younger folks and families to stay in our area so we can thrive for generations to come.

I cannot imagine a better champion for Waldo County, and I cannot wait to vote for Erin in November to represent Waldo County in the Maine Senate, so she can continue to work hard for the people of our community.

Raymelle V. Moody-Guthrie


Pragmatic approach

With the lack of civility in our debate on politics recently, it is critical to elect people to represent us who approach their positions with a measured tone and an open mind.    What we need are people who will stand up for what they believe in, yet respect the opinions of others who may disagree.

This country and this state need leaders who will represent us with integrity and esteem. We need a senator who will work for all of us despite our philosophical differences, someone who will cast each vote with the people she represents in mind.

I have known many people who previously served in Augusta with Jayne Crosby Giles and every one of them would agree that Jayne checks all of those boxes. Jayne Giles has a pragmatic approach that has been needed, yet missing, in Augusta for a long time.

Jayne has the courage to say no to bills that may negatively impact her constituents, regardless of who sponsors it. She will work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find solutions that work for Maine and Waldo County.

Jayne’s deep roots in the community and her commitment to service can only strengthen those attributes I have listed.

If we want to see a return to a more respectful tone in our debate, if we want to begin to bridge the gap that divides us, then I urge you to elect Jayne Giles to represent all of us in the state Senate. I can promise you, it will be a vote you can be proud of.

Ryan Harnden


Listens and helps

When I moved to Belfast 34 years ago, Jayne Crosby Giles was one of the first people to reach out and welcome me to the community.  She knew I was new to the city and didn’t know very many people here.

That’s the kind of person she is — recognizing what people need and taking action to help where she can. She will do the same as our state senator.

Jayne will listen to her constituents and do what she can help them. She has experience as a businesswoman and as a state representative from our area. She is involved with community service as a Rotarian and a director on the board of the YMCA. It is this varied experience that will make her a great senator from Waldo County.

Please join me in voting for Jayne Crosby Giles as our next state senator.

Jill Goodwin


Deafening silence on ferry increase

I was driving through Camden the other day and saw the re-initiation of the political signs and, in particular, those of Owen Casas, for whom I voted two years ago. They look really nice and handmade. How homey. How Maine.

I am a resident of Islesboro and although the springtime ferry rate increase initiated by the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) and DOT has disappeared from the news, it is still an issue for our island and an issue we on the island need to deal with every day. This continues as a huge issue for us over here. It now costs a family of four $60 to take a trip to the mainland. Want to move over here with a young family?

Many weeks after the MSFS decided, we on the island think without any logic at all, to increase our rates over 100 percent, I wrote Rep. Casas. That was an email message. That was a message that was easy to respond to. It was “Your silence regarding this issue is deafening.” I never received a response.

Islesboro received more support from our local friends and town and county officials, from folks in Belfast, Camden, Rockland, Knox County and Waldo County, in regard to the MSFS issues than we got from Mr. Casas, our own elected representative.

To give the devil his due, he did, some time down the road, issue a mediocre, and, in my opinion, pathetic, op-ed saying he didn’t agree with DOT’s action. No one, particularly DOT, or the administration, paid any attention to that.

I think the bottom line here is that our current representative is a true “light weight” that no one in Augusta pays any attention to. We can re-elect him for another two years and he can accomplish nothing for another two years. That is not in the best interests of our district.

Mr. Casas can put up as many hand-painted red, white, and blue "independent" signs as he likes. They mean nothing to me; nor should they to you. I urge the voters of House District 94 to ignore those signs and and Mr. Casas as well. We can do much better.

John King


Informed opinions

I am writing to urge people living in Maine House District 98 (Frankfort, Winterport, Searsport and Swanville) to vote for Scott Cuddy in November. Scott is a young man of energy and intelligence with a strong desire to work for the betterment of the State of Maine.

Although Scott has informed opinions on a variety of issues, his passionate views on education are, to me, his most important asset. Scott emphasizes that quality education for our children is a matter of great importance to our state — not just for parents, but for all of us Mainers. Scott understands that quality education stimulates the economy as better-educated young people enter the workforce.

To this end, Scott will work to ensure that the state fully funds its portion of the cost of education. This will reduce the property tax burden on Mainers as local towns will no longer have to come up with funds to offset the state’s unwillingness to fully fund its required portion of educational costs. This under-funding is occurring under the present administration.

In my opinion, Scott Cuddy will be an excellent legislator and will well-serve the citizens of Frankfort, Winterport, Searsport, and Swanville.

Steve Bulloch


Comprehensive perspective

I am just one of many who are grateful to have Stanley Paige Zeigler as my representative in Augusta and hope that he is re-elected. The towns he serves in District 96 are Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont.

Rep. Zeigler brings a broad background of experience to this position. In addition to one legislative term behind him (with 100-percent attendance), he also has a diverse work history along with being a parent and husband. Before his 35 years in the Merchant Marine where he rose to captain, he was employed as an ambulance attendant, logger, teacher, and drug rehab counselor.

Giving back to his community is important to Rep. Zeigler, and since retirement he has jumped in with both feet. He is chairman of the Regional School Unit 3 board and vice chairman on the board of the Unity Area Regional Recycling Center. These volunteer positions give him valuable insight into a number of issues before the Legislature.

With new restrictions on recycling, Maine needs creative approaches to reduce our waste stream. And the complex issue of education funding affects everyone. With Rep. Zeigler's combined experience on the school board and in the Legislature, he brings a valuable comprehensive perspective to the table.

During his first term, Rep. Zeigler was appointed to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This engaging work has sparked him up with ideas for new bills moving forward.

Please join me in re-electing him to carry on his good work.

Bernice Nadler


Pro-life but anti-birth control?

Trying to understand points of view that oppose mine leads to questions about their logic. Such as, if the pro-life folk really wanted to stop abortion, wouldn't they hand out condoms or information about birth control methods at every rally? How about working to keep contraception in health care plans? What about funding contraception for women who can't afford it? I'm open to new answers.

Some pro-life supporters claim their stance because of religion, even after forfeiting their rights to a patriarchal system. I defend their right to protest and express their beliefs. There is no defense for blocking other women's rights.

The congressional GOP committee on women's health consisted entirely of white men. The Republican Party has supported a policy of limiting every form of birth control including the morning-after drug. How can any sensible person claim a desire to prevent abortion while working against birth control?

The answer to every question above is that the GOP and pro-life supporters abandon common sense because their primary goal is blocking women's rights. Is anyone surprised that the GOP has been likened to the Taliban?

If we're to come together as citizens to solve issues, we need to help women fulfill their own lives. Any argument that claims to be against abortion but does not support a woman who chooses birth control is a blatant attack on women's rights.

John T. Bednarik Jr.


Hoping for cleaner, greener model

When arguments are raised to oppose land-based salmon farming in Belfast, I want to point out why we need facilities like this to move toward sustainable fish harvests.

I went on a 75-day cruise in 1991 to work on a factory trawler in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. There was plenty of sightseeing but most of it was on the factory floor during the daily 16-hour shifts ( seven days a week) when we processed fish.

The fish were hauled up in nets, and any fish we were not allowed to keep were simply thrown back into the sea. All of these fish were dead, so this was simply dumping dead fish overboard.

Our ship was relatively small (167 feet). The boat had three overlapping 16-hour shifts so our boat worked 24 hours a day. Often at night you could gaze out and see other ships of all sizes (most bigger than ours) from other nations, all competing to catch all the fish they could.

They are the fish we have been eating our entire lives, harvested from the sea for the most part in an unsustainable method. No cod on the East Coast? All fished out, which is why the international fisheries will simply pull up their nets and steam to the next fishing grounds.

While Maine has demonstrated an effective way to protect the very species we harvest so effectively (lobster), most other species that are hauled up in a net do not have the same survival percentages.

If the government observer onboard a ship can document in three successive hauls that the percentage of fish that is the “catch of the day" is too small, then the ship will steam to a new square on the ocean chess board to begin fishing again. Which is why I support the possibility of land-based fish farming. Because, as it is right now, our ocean is the killing fields.

As the fish would come down the sluice ready for processing and there happened to be a skate or a ray, they would have their wings cut off. I would occasionally rescue a starfish or a crab, but for the most part I witnessed a daily slaughter on the high seas. I am hopeful that there are bright people capable of implementing better sustainable ways to harvest fish.

I have been impressed that more countries in Europe are often ahead of the U.S. in developing greener models for growth. Just as farming organically has demonstrated humans can farm without destroying and poisoning the environment, fish farming is part of our future if we want to save the seas.

I have an expectant wait-and-see attitude to see if Nordic Aquafarms can deliver on its promises. I am hopeful this will be a cleaner and greener model for raising and harvesting fish on land.

Dave Hurley


Restart the process; no to Nordic

On Sept. 25, and again Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. at  Troy Howard Middle School, the Belfast City Council is holding public hearings attempting to rubber stamp, for a second time, their possibly illegal amendments to the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances.

Bill Kelly, the city’s lawyer, has claimed that they, retroactively, have met the requirement for public hearings. Lawsuit plaintiffs Eleanor Daniels and Donna Broderick charge that the city failed to consider a broad range of public review required in amending its Comprehensive Plan.

Slated to cover 18 football fields with tanks, an experimental and risky project like this demands citizen involvement from the beginning. These after-the-fact hearings don’t satisfy the intent of the law, or the will of the people.

Once the greenbelt along Belfast’s southern gateway is clear-cut and covered in tanks, subsequent generations lose this open space. Should Nordic go bankrupt, like its RAS design firm, IAA (reported Sept. 6 in Salmon Business), what then?

The largest insurer of aquaculture worldwide, XL Catlin, was quoted in Salmon Business on Sept 11. Mr. Myre said “RAS systems could be quite risky and some insurers don’t want to insure those kinds of farms.” The article goes on: “One reason was that fish can be more easily completely wiped out in recirculated aquaculture systems, often linked to the release of hydrogen sulphide or H2S. The risk is evolving around climate change on the oceans and Mr. Myre said that salmon farmers should prepare for more unpredictable weather and temperatures as well as more algae bloom.”

An 11-year study in Port Mouton Bay, Atlantic Canada, released June 28, found that odor plumes from salmon farms interfere with lobsters “sniffing” for food or bait, as their world smelled of salmon. “Our results indicate that average market lobster catch per unit effort (CPUE) was significantly reduced by 42 percent and berried lobster (with eggs) counts by 56 percent.”

Land-based odor plumes are likely to have similar effects, as salmon smell is salmon smell. Sulphides and ammonium have toxic and behavioral effects on adults and other lobster life stages.

What levels of sulphides and ammonium would be in Nordic’s pipe?

At the only two “public hearings” the city held on Nordic, the room was packed with opponents. Why have hearings if councilors cut deals with our water and bay? They dismiss risks, engage no dissenting experts, while offering up our clean fresh drinking water to the tune of 1.7 million gallons a day, all turned into sewage water and pumped into Belfast Bay for our kids to swim in.

This “Elite Capture” (powerful moneyed interests superseding citizens’ input) is illegitimate. A restart is needed. Citizens can stop this project before it goes any further.

Let's return to a working waterfront, a wild fishery, and encourage local, sustainable businesses. Let's clear Belfast’s rivers for fish passage. With scores of alewives returned, the collapsed fishery could recover.

Jim Merkel