Editor's note: We have been inundated with letters about the upcoming election ― too many for all of them to appear in print. However, all letters approved by the editor are available online at waldo.villagesoup.com, including those supporting candidates running for district attorney and for the House seat representing District 94 (Camden, Rockport and Islesboro). As always, we reserve the right to edit for space and clarity.

Team player

At the local candidate forum for Senate District 11 Oct. 3, I was impressed with Jayne Giles’ position on the issues. She presented a balanced and reflective opinion on matters affecting people not only in Waldo County, but also in the state.

It was evident that her extensive banking experience, coupled with her nonprofit and volunteer work, provided Jayne with the background to understand the challenges facing workforce development and increasing broadband in local communities. She did a tremendous job explaining her thoughts on property taxes and education.

I was particularly pleased to hear her support for the Maine Ocean School in Searsport as an example of education working to meet the needs of local employers for a skilled workforce.

I appreciated hearing more about her experience when she served in the House of Representatives and believe that she is a team player who can get things done. She will have my vote on Nov. 6.

JoAn Petersen


Will people thank us?

In the 1950s, my mother taught me how to be a lady, how to shop, how to pray; but she never prepared me for climate change.

I married an environmentalist, a believer in community, and in 2010 we became part of the Transition Towns movement. We held weekly Transition Cafes at the Belfast Co-op, we did group storytelling at the Belfast Library, we took a bus trip to Canada to visit a year-round farmers market. We even published a newspaper from the future: what it would be like here in 2020.

We watched movies about drought, debated dams, questioned ourselves about best practices for transitioning off fossil fuel. We planted seeds and learned about permaculture. It was a heady time, filled with hope for a grounded future.

Flash forward to this week’s headline in The Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, UN scientists say. A decade.

Even as I read this dire warning, Belfast debates the salmon, a critter designed for the wild. Salmon may have lived on this planet for millennia without any energy inputs from human beings at all, managing to distribute themselves along America's coasts for our dining pleasure, but now a newer version has been proposed, one newly engineered to be incarcerated for life in a monolithic tank; to be fed corn, among other things.

The best environmental argument in favor of the proposed project is that doing it here will save airplane fuel used to transport fish from Scandinavia to America. But, keeping these fish alive, whether here or in Norway, requires an industrial operation running pumps 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their lifetime. This is an energy demand that solar panels on the roof cannot begin to meet.

What will 2020 bring, now just two years away? The visionary newspaper “Transition Times,” in 2010 predicted a proliferation of community gardens, solar panels on the First Church, a transportation co-op. (We already achieved our year-round farmers market.) Today, we have the opportunity to decide whether to become a company town, led by international industrialists, cranking out warehoused fish raised on whatever the market demands at the time.

Mother would have loved the cellophane-wrapped perfection of this project. Perhaps we should look to the next generation for what to do now, in 2018. What will the people living in 2030 and beyond think of this proposed plant, when the effects of climate change are in full swing? Have the rising sea levels been taken into account? Will the people of the future be thanking us?

Jennifer Hill


Please vote

More than ever, we need clarity, compassion, civility, listening, helpful ideas, and problem-solving. That’s why, in this election, I’ll cast these votes.

Erin Herbig over Jayne Crosby Giles. Both are fine people; both have served. When Jayne was my legislator, her response to issues I care about was basically, “I’m not sure anything can be done.” Erin works to find solutions. Jayne would wring her hands. Erin rolls up her sleeves.

Jared Golden over Bruce Poliquin. Jared served his country — Bruce served Wall Street. In Congress, Bruce has favored powerful special interests over his constituents. He hides from his record, and offers next to nothing for working folks in Maine. Jared will be constructive, accountable and honorable, representing all of us.

Angus King for Senate. He was the best Maine governor in my lifetime, and has served us in the Senate honorably and well. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m confident in his integrity and dedication.

Janet Mills over Shawn Moody and the others. Gov. LePage put Maine on a sad downward spiral. Shawn would continue that. We need change, including a governor competent at the job, a public servant who serves the public, and someone who’ll honor and implement what Maine people vote for. Fixing a broken state is harder than fixing cars. Janet is up to the task. Shawn isn’t.

Please vote for caring over blaming, problem-solving over finger-pointing, integrity over slogans and weasel words. Please vote. It’s never mattered more.

David Foley


Go to the forum Oct. 24

The recent epidemic rise in opioid use disorders and overdoses has put the spotlight on two elected positions that hold the key to local change.

Why? Because most of those arrested in our community have a substance use disorder or other mental illness, and are not a danger to the community. Most who commit crimes are arrested and detained by the Sheriff’s Office. And if someone is charged with a crime, 97 percent of the time the case is settled out of court through a plea offer made by the district prosecuting attorney.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Crosby Little Theater, a new, nonpartisan, information-gathering group, CAMS, Community Addiction and Mental health Solutions, is sponsoring a forum and debate among the candidates for the positions of district attorney (District VI) and Waldo County sheriff.

Candidates for sheriff are incumbent Republican Jeff Trafton and Independent John Gibbs. Candidates for district attorney are incumbent Republican Jon Liberman and Democrat Natasha Irving.

Although substance use disorder and mental afflictions are illnesses that need treatment, adequate treatment simply does not exist behind bars. As a result, these people tend to not only get worse in jail, but also cycle themselves over and over again through the system, not getting treatment and costing taxpayers money.

When they are released, their chances at recovery, integrating back into the community, and living a meaningful life are greatly reduced.

Sheriff and district attorney are the elected positions with the power to change our current unjust, expensive and crazy system.

Come to the forum and listen to the sheriff and district attorney candidates discuss their solutions and priorities for addressing the opioid crisis, diverting those with medical illness from incarceration, keeping the community safe, and saving our taxpayer money. If you care about your community, you should go to this forum.

Tim Hughes, MD


Thibodeau endorses Giles

The people of Waldo County need someone who will represent all of us back home, not just those from their own political party. That’s why I am proud to support my friend and colleague, Jayne Crosby Giles, for Maine Senate to represent Waldo County.

Jayne has served in the Maine Legislature before and was a member of the Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for writing the state budget. During her time in office, she always demonstrated an ability and willingness to work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to get things done.

Jayne’s brand of independent thinking and good old-fashioned Maine pragmatism are precisely what we need in today’s hyper-partisan political environment.

She has also proven herself in the private sector as a small business lender and banker, and as the CEO of MaineStream Finance, which provides loans and financial services to businesses in rural Maine. The U.S. Small Business Administration named her the Financial Services Champion for Maine and New England and she is also a past recipient of the Women Business Advocate Award for Maine.

It is difficult to imagine a public servant who is more qualified to serve the people of Waldo County.

Term limits prevent me from running for the Senate again, but we should all be thrilled that we have someone of Jayne’s caliber ready to step in and be an effective advocate for Waldo County. Please join me in voting for Jayne Crosby Giles on Nov. 6.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau


Herbig has my vote

I knew Erin Herbig when she first ran for the state House of Representatives in 2010.

I've been impressed with her energy, determination, and how much she cared for the people of Waldo County and how hard she's worked for all of us in these eight years. As House majority leader, she has helped bridge the divide between the two parties and has successfully passed legislation supported by both sides.

Erin has focused on creating better job opportunities to help grow our economy and help support small businesses across Waldo County. Her efforts have made Waldo County a vibrant place to live and work.

She will continue to sponsor legislation to support apprenticeship programs that strengthen partnerships between adult education, vocational programs and Waldo County employers. She supports infrastructure for broadband that will help small businesses grow, hire new employees, and stay in Waldo County. Erin has helped working families by protecting and strengthening affordable health care, exploring and working toward the best way to create affordable housing, and affordable daycare.

Erin is determined to lower property taxes by restoring revenue sharing and properly funding our public schools. She has fought for better access to services for Mainers living with disabilities and autism. As House chairman of the Aging Caucus, she has worked to keep Maine seniors aging independently in their homes and the communities they love.

Personally touched by the opioid crisis, she has worked to combat this epidemic — meeting with law enforcement, treatment providers and those affected to stop the negative impact on families and communities.

As a state senator, Erin will continue to work hard in a bipartisan way to encourage economic progress and environmental protection.

I have voted for Erin in every election because I believe in her integrity and devotion to all the issues that will continue to help the people of Waldo County on every level. She has my vote for senator on Nov. 6.

Phyllis Coelho


Add your voices

The town of Belfast, through good decisions and thoughtful input from residents, has become a progressive and environmentally conscious place. Waldo County is known for small-scale organic farms that make quality food readily available. Groups are working to educate people about marine life and water quality. Many people want to see dams come down and native fisheries restored. We want a healthy bay.

I am surprised and very disappointed by the City Council’s support of the Nordic Aquafarms proposal for one of the world’s largest experimental land-based salmon factory farms.

The Little River Reservoir, one of the most beautiful spots in Belfast, is a green space for many people, and for many animals it is life sustaining habitat. The proposed removal of this forest and the construction of 25-plus acres of fish tanks and pavement, leaving only a "green buffer" of trees, will destroy this environment.

The surrounding towns, the local fishermen and women, the summer residents who support our economy, the restaurants who serve lobster from the bay will all be affected by the environmental impact on water quality and sea life if "significant amounts" of effluent are discharged into the bay.

From experiencing large-scale agriculture on land, we have learned that organic growers can and do grow organically because they are size appropriate. Large-scale farms are dependent on pesticides and herbicides that negatively impact the balance of land and water ecosystems, and are linked to numerous illnesses in people and animals.

A very large factory farm that will do what it must to deliver its “protein product” feels very out of place. And the “pristine environment” that Nordic Aquafarms would purchase would no longer be “pristine.”

Because of all the lives that depend on a healthy Penobscot Bay and the salmon that have a right to natural lives, I feel that this is a decision that cannot be made by town officials from one town. I urge residents from all surrounding towns to add their voices to this issue. We need a strong environmental ethic for a healthy future.

Katenia Keller


Works for small businesses

I’m voting to send Jayne Crosby Giles to represent me in Augusta in the state Senate.

I’ve come to know Jayne through her volunteer work, but what impresses me is Jayne’s work experience helping small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy in rural Maine. They need help with access to credit and finding workers with the right skills. Jayne understands the needs of small businesses — she’s worked successfully in that arena for 30-some years (plus she’s married to a small business owner!) — and she knows how to get them the help they need.

Our economy — in Waldo County and in the state of Maine — needs the kind of expertise Jayne Crosby Giles is uniquely qualified to take to Augusta.

Jayne wants to continue to work to help small businesses be more successful. That means making sure they have access to credit, which is an area where the state can help through special programs, and also ensuring that people in our workforce have the right education and skills to work in small businesses as well as larger companies. I’m with Jayne.

David McCurdy, RRT


Energy, commitment

Although a lifelong Republican, I wholeheartedly support Erin Herbig to represent Waldo County in the state Senate.

Before I retired as director of the Maine State Library, I was aware of Erin’s reputation as an effective leader in the House. After retirement I wrote to her about care for the severely disabled, as I am guardian for a relative in that situation. Although I was not a constituent, Erin promptly responded to me, and we later met on this issue. I was so impressed with her energy, commitment, intelligence and caring.

I have worked with many terrific legislators and have great respect for the time and work they put in for the state of Maine. However, I know of no one who works harder for constituents than Erin.

In her six years in the House, Erin has successfully sponsored 36 pieces of legislation. She was elected House majority leader in part on the basis of collaboration and cooperation. As a Waldo County native, she cares about the same issues I do: education, the environment, support for farmers and public health. She is also one of very few legislators under the age of 40.

For her ability to relate to all Waldo County citizens, for her passion and caring, I urge a vote for Erin Herbig for District 11 state senator.

Linda H. Lord


Sneed for treasurer

It is our pleasure to offer our support and ask for your vote for William (Bill) Sneed as he seeks the position of Waldo County treasurer.

Bill Sneed knows and understands the budget of Waldo County inside and out. A selectman in his town of Prospect for many years, he served as a County Budget Committee member for 20-plus years, more than half of that as its chairman.

Bill Sneed’s skill and knowledge of Waldo County’s departments and many accounts, his insights and appreciation of our fiscal responsibility, will make him a great fit for the position of Waldo County treasurer.

Please join us in voting for William Sneed for Waldo County treasurer.

Commissioner Amy R. Fowler, Palermo, District 3

Commissioner William. D. Shorey, Searsport, District 2

Commissioner Betty I. Johnson, Lincolnville, District 1

Excess nitrogen risks

Finally, we are beginning to get specifics of Nordic Aquafarms' proposed salmon farm through means of DEP required public meetings. Recently we learned about the effluent content for the proposed outflow pipe, which will extend 1,000 meters, or just over a half-mile from the shore at Little River.

We learned that Nordic proposes to release 1,483 pounds of nitrogen into the bay daily.  Our own Belfast wastewater treatment facility dumps an annual average of 108 pounds of nitrogen daily. Essentially, Nordic’s wastewater treatment center will release 13 times as much nitrogen into the bay as is currently released by the city of Belfast as a whole.

Although Nordic has some of the most state-of-the-art technology for water treatment, the massive size and volume of its facility means that even well-treated wastewater is still highly polluted with nitrogen and other limiting nutrients that can cause harm to the bay.

We also learned that Nordic is approaching this issue of high nitrogen with the philosophy, “the solution to pollution is dilution.” The facility will discharge 7.7 million gallons of wastewater daily. With the proposed amount of nitrogen diluted in this massive quantity of water, the concentrations will be at 23mg/L (nitrogen/water).

For comparison, the current concentration in the bay is 0.170 to 0.48. In other words, the concentration of nitrogen in the effluent will be 50 to 135 times greater than what currently exists in the bay.

The other pertinent information presented at the recent meeting was a study of currents and likely disbursement of nitrogen in the bay. The study, though not comprehensive, did indicate some likelihoods. It showed that there would be movement of the effluent north and south in the bay for a period of two weeks, until it would slowly migrate south. Some amount of the effluent components would be likely to circulate around Islesboro, some farther into Belfast Bay and harbor, and most eventually would make their way south along the coast. It was not a reassuring presentation and certainly a more comprehensive study is indicated.

Nitrogen is just one of the limiting nutrients with associated negative environmental impacts in Nordic's proposed effluent. Problems caused by excess nitrogen include nuisance algal blooms, as well as more significant harmful algal blooms to which clams and shellfish are particularly vulnerable.

Excess nitrogen also causes coastal acidification, further stressing marine life. Nitrogen is one of the nutrients that add to the likelihood of dead zones in the ocean and lack of biodiversity.

We are talking about exponentially increasing the amount of nitrogen in the bay, as well as the likelihood of shellfish and beach closures. Is this the direction we want to go as stewards of our beautiful Penobscot Bay?

Donna Broderick


Bruce and spiders

Two important provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

1. People with pre-existing conditions who enroll in individual market plans … would be subject to premiums based on their medical history for the first 12 months under the new policy. There are no limits to how high these premiums can be.

2. The AHCA calls for premiums that will be five times higher for older adults (50 to 64 years) than for younger adults.

Bruce's vote? From the records: May 4, 2017, HR 1628, American Health Care Act of 2017. Bill passed House, 217-213, yea.

If Bruce had his way, the above provisions 1 and 2 would be the law for all of us. The Senate stopped it. That was a close call.

P.S.: I just saw a TV ad where Bruce himself looked right at me and said he is fighting to protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions and senior citizens.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" — Sir Walter Scott, 1808.

Andrew Hoglund


While Rome burns

It was quite a week last week — Kavanaugh slid into to the Supreme Court, perhaps sealing the fate for decades of important progressive court cases. A week in which victims of sexual abuse were ridiculed, called an angry mob. A week in which Tyndall Air Force Base was all but destroyed by a hurricane made severe because of unusually warm Gulf water. Most importantly for this president — a week in which Kanye West dropped the F bomb in the same Oval Office once occupied by Abraham Lincoln. Cool!

Then there was that big wonky report which culminated three years of scientific research written and peer reviewed by scientists throughout the world. It predicted increasing severity of droughts, wildfires; food shortages that by 2030 could make millions more immigrants. Yikes! Between rallies, Trump took a few minutes to comment on this report. It was given to me and I will be looking at it. Absolutely.

In contrast, Kanye West's story got lots of press.

Many Americans are mesmerized by Trump’s current claim that Democrats are dangerous, unfit to govern. He repeated that mantra at the 30th rally he’s attended since becoming president, his fans again shouting Lock her up. Lock who up? Hillary? Feinstein? Dr. Blasey Ford? All women who tell the truth? It gets confusing.

The International Governmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a dire warning that we must work to reduce our net greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050 to avert the kind of planetary injury that could doom even human beings. This information, if true, is no fun. Boasting works, lying is easy, and ignoring one of the most important documents to surface in years will hopefully make that bad news go away.

Bruce Poliquin now tries to sound like Trump both in style and substance, even though he never admitted he would vote for him in 2016. Parroting the reckless style of this administration, he recently debated Jared Golden and constantly called him "Liar! Radical socialist!" — in hopes of evoking knee-jerk responses of anyone preferring a Celebrity Apprentice approach to governance.

But back to that IPCC report. Bruce was no doubt relieved that the debate moderator never even mentioned climate change. If he had, Poliquin would have ridiculed it, dismissed it, changed the subject. But Jared Golden would have addressed it in some detail, having thought about it and been advised by people who know the facts. Poliquin’s obvious response to that answer would have been "Liar! Radical socialist!"

Re-electing Bruce Poliquin is as dangerous as supporting this president.

Beverly Roxby


Voting for write-ins

My name is Ellie Daniels, and as some of you may already know, I am running as a write-in candidate for Belfast City Council against Mary Mortier in Ward 1. In Belfast, every voter has the opportunity to vote for all of the council seats. but if you would like to vote for me, or for the other write-in candidate, Jim Merkel, who is running against Paul Dean for Ward 5, you need to know a couple of things.

First off, you must write in our name(s) in the ward in which we are running. It doesn’t have to be our proper name, and if you misspell the name, it will still be counted as long as it looks like you intended to vote for us. Ellie Daniels, Ward 1 write-in against Mary Mortier. Jim Merkel, Ward 5 write-in against Paul Dean. And the third contested race is Ward 2, where Joanne Moesswilde is challenging Neal Harkness.

Secondly, I want to address a question in many people’s minds. How can a person who is suing the city be running for City Council? My wife and I are abutters to the property that Nordic Aquafarms has under contract. As such, we have “standing” to have brought the suit against the city. The suit charges that the city has engaged in a wrong process and violated our own zoning ordinance as well as the state’s Comprehensive Planning Statute in the way that it amended the zoning to open the way for Nordic Aquafarms.

We did not bring this suit with any intent of financial gain; we sued because we felt the process was wrong and the city should be held accountable. We believe that if the legal processes had been followed, there would be a very different landscape and conversation about this issue today.

Before making my decision to enter the race, I conferred with a lawyer who reviewed both the city code and the state statute governing conflicts of interest in municipal affairs, which primarily are related to direct or indirect financial interest. I came away reassured that I can stand tall and tell you that this issue is what has propelled me to run for the City Council. Of course, if there are discussions or decisions related to the lawsuit that come before the council, should I be elected, I would certainly recuse myself.

I believe I have a lot to offer to Belfast: 35 years of business experience, a fiscally conservative and resourceful perspective, 20-plus years of national, state and local leadership, a lifetime of entrepreneurial self-employment, and an appreciation for innovative and inclusive thinking about new strategies to address recurring problems, such as affordable housing, wages, budgeting and environmental stewardship.

Ellie Daniels


Turner for District 99

Voters have an excellent choice for the District 99 state House of Representatives seat in April Turner. District 99 encompasses Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

Born and raised in her district, April has devoted her professional and personal life to helping people. She volunteers for the Freedom Fire Department Auxiliary, the Northport VFW and the Jackson Food Pantry. On weekends you can often find April attending community events, whether it’s a local fair, a charitable fundraiser, or a local hardship fundraiser for people who have been devastated by fire, illness or accident. April is everywhere, and she is well aware and in touch with the needs of our community.

As a social worker, April concentrates on Maine families, providing opportunities for parental and child development. She is interested in developing opportunities for children to thrive in Maine and for young adults to be able to stay in Maine and be successful. Another goal of hers is for Maine retirees to be able to stay in their homes safely and without having to make a choice between food, medications, heating fuel and taxes.

April is also a member of the Waldo County chapter of Maine AllCare. This organization is working at developing health care for all Mainers. April believes all Mainers should be able to have affordable and comprehensive health and dental care.

The issues that April would like to address in Augusta include health care, the opioid crisis, education, employment and poverty. I share many of her concerns and feel April Turner is the best candidate to address those issues.

April's entire history has been devoted to Maine people and Maine needs. Her caring nature would benefit everyone in her district.

Please vote for April Turner on Nov. 6.

Laura Stewart, RN


Janet works tirelessly

It is so important to our state that we bring ourselves out of the quagmire that Paul LePage has created. As a state representative I have seen Janet fight for the mentally ill, the expansion of Medicaid and the distribution of Narcan to first responders.

Janet works tirelessly for us. She has done so for her whole life. Over 30 years ago she helped co-found a non-partisan organization that focuses on women and children in Maine. She cares about Medicaid expansion and health care for all. She cares about renewable energy, jobs and our work force.

Janet is independent, educated, thoughtful, brave, and caring. She is from the 2nd District and really knows our state. She will work tirelessly for us and for you.

Your vote is important. Don’t throw it away. Vote for a candidate that can win!

Former Rep. Christine Burstein, RN, MSN, FNP


Herbig exceptional

In my 50-plus years of voting, it is rare for me to actively support a candidate ― especially one I only recently met. Erin Herbig is that exceptional candidate for several reasons.

First, she has clear goals. Erin’s passion is to make Maine an attractive place for her youthful peers to work and make a positive future ―  reversing the current net outmigration of youth.

Second, I like her lessons learned from being House majority leader. She prioritized bills with bipartisan support, achieving success at the legislative level against the prevailing partisan trends.

Third, it is noteworthy that Erin has visited over 100 Waldo County small businesses and their leaders ―  including at least four in my town of Liberty ―  learning the elements of success and challenge and forming relationships that will inform her in the future.

Fourth, Erin is skilled as a communicator and listener. When she learned of my involvement with Aging Well in Waldo County, she immediately invited me to speak with the Senior Caucus that she chairs.

Finally, and to me most importantly, Erin exudes an infectious enthusiasm in her work. She has that intangible spark that makes me want to find ways to make my community and my state better places to live. If you find a way to meet Erin, I bet you’ll catch the spark, too.

Bob Kohl


Write in and vote

The dangling of a seductive massive project before Belfast city government has resulted in damaging missteps that can only be corrected at the ballot box.

If you’re able to see the long view, where City Council focuses on job security and lower taxes through sensible expenditure, you’ll be glad to know three strong, dedicated local voices have stepped up to provide commonsense solutions to our most pressing challenges. Any Belfast voter can choose Joanne Moesswilde, write-in Jim Merkel and write-in Ellie Daniels.

I encourage you to do so for the good of Belfast and beyond.

Lew McGregor


Unwarranted attack

I take strong exception to both the content and the snarky tone of Councilor Mike Hurley's recent letter where he disparages and mischaracterizes the City Council candidacies of Joanne Moesswilde, Ellie Daniels and Jim Merkel.

Instead of welcoming new ideas and candidates, which is what the democratic process is all about, he attacked the character and background of those who dare to come forth with new ideas, new to the City Council but not the rest of the world that increasingly sees locally driven economic growth as the tested path to secure, sustainable communities.

The City Council, by continuing to pursue the outdated concept that one major industry in our town will solve our tax bill problem, is, indeed, living in a bubble; proven again and again to be a disastrous bubble for communities, especially in Maine and Belfast. It is time to welcome new models and a City Council that dares to embrace them.

Please tell me one family who has more tax money left in their pockets because of Bank of America, athenahealth and others. MBNA was a major exception for Belfast and as an example of a corporation functioning in our capitalist system where, by common law, benefits go to shareholders. Might that be the reason that MBNA was bought out by Bank of America, which has now taken jobs and tax dollars off to Georgia, and athenahealth is under attack by what is know as a “vulture” hedge fund?

These candidates who embrace new, proven, locally driven, sustainable economic growth models are as sincere as they are smart. Joanne for years has provided compassionate and smart health care in Belfast, raised her kids here, and participated in major community building efforts. Ellie Daniels is deeply invested in our community, owns a store in Belfast and served on the school committee. Jim Merkel comes with knowledge and experience gained in Maine in a working-class family privileged enough to profit and share his outstanding education. These candidates are as sincere as they are smart.

No one in our community should ever be slammed in public, in the press or at the City Council podium, especially by city officials; that is not the way to build the respectful inclusive Belfast we all deserve, or to welcome those who seek to move into and help build the Belfast that stands for all of us. Councilor Mike Hurley doesn't stand for me. I welcome and support candidates Moesswilde, Daniels and Merkel.

We are living in difficult fear-driven times that are dangerous to our wellbeing, so I end with a quote from respected local growth economist Gar Alperwitz: "Can you have Democracy with a big D in any system if you don't have democracy with a small d in the actual experience and everyday community life of ordinary everyday citizens?”

Ridgely Fuller


A sustainable future

I am running for Belfast City Council Ward 2 because I would like to be part of the conversation about the future of Belfast. The conversation this election season is about the challenges we share as a community and the creative solutions we can reach by working together.

Free exchange of ideas is essential to finding new solutions to any problem. There are divisive issues in our community at this time that can thwart the process of working together. So let the conversation first be about finding the things we all have in common and then working toward answers. We can work together to move Belfast forward to a future that benefits everyone.

Property taxes are rising and long-term Belfast residents are having a hard time keeping up with the increases. We need to find additional sources of revenue to support our municipal needs. We need revenue sources that will be with us for the long haul, support local residents on many fronts, and use our natural resources in a manner that assures they will remain available for generations to come.

Supporting existing local businesses and encouraging new local entrepreneurs will help us build a robust and diverse economy that will grow steadily from within our community. These businesses can offer a variety of opportunities for employment and generate new businesses in Belfast.

I will work to protect and preserve green space within Belfast as a step in mitigating climate change. Additionally, our physical and mental health depends on our living in a healthy environment. Whether you take a brisk hike through the forest, enjoy birds and their songs from your kitchen window or dine on a piece of wild-caught fish, you are benefitting from the natural world that surrounds us.

We need to care for the wild spaces we still have and, when possible, utilize areas already developed for growing businesses. Belfast already has made great strides in renewable energy use and this will continue to be an essential part of our sustainable future.

I will work to protect and encourage use of our working waterfront in traditional and more creative and sustainable uses that are waterfront-specific. The waterfront is one of our greatest assets, but the rugged coast of Maine is a fragile ecosystem that requires our respect and care. We can continue to enjoy and benefit from the sea by interacting with the resource sustainably.

Housing in Belfast is expensive and scarce. This issue will be addressed with fresh ideas and solutions that fulfill the needs of residents, are environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible.

I look forward to talking with the people of Belfast about what is important to them and to working with the City Council to find solutions to important issues. I ask for your support by voting for Joanne Moesswilde for City Council Ward 2, on Nov. 6.

Joanne Moesswilde


Why I’m running

The world and the town that I love are at a crossroads. The planet’s children will inherit a mess if we don’t address climate change, the sixth great extinction, wars, and divisiveness. Locally, we mirror the national divisiveness. I’m committed to friendliness while working to solve big problems locally.

I came to Maine in the ’60s when my dad was having a wooden lobster boat built for our family. I loved everything about being on the docks, catching fish and learning how independent people lived from the sea and land. I also learned how deregulated industries used our rivers and air as dumping grounds ― what a lesson.

Belfast has said no to big box stores, to massive propane tanks and now we are faced with industrial-scale aquaculture. At four hearings, the citizens have said no. The councilors had their minds made during months of closed-door sessions with the applicant supplying the information.

Both hunters and huggers know the difference between a wild fish and a caged fish that never sees the light of day. Belfast is authentic, the way life should be, and still open for business in the winter. We have so much going for us that I’d hate to see us blow it, ruin our beaches and reputation.

The new economy around the world is small and medium scale. Jobs are meaningful. It is locally owned and sustainable and provides needed, healthy and organic products. It can lower taxes over time.

Maine is a leader in young organic farmers. I’d like to help these businesses start up and thrive. But Belfast needs inexpensive high-speed internet if we are to help our kids find employment locally, as the “gig” economy expands globally.

Large employers are risky. We’ve seen the too-big-to-fail, fail. People’s taxes don’t go down and when they leave (or have a mysterious die-off like other land-based aquaculture experiments), we are left with empty buildings, or in this case, fish tanks. Pave our greenbelt at our southern border, and it’s gone for good.

I’ve been serving on the city’s Pedestrian, Biking and Hiking Committee. I will work to make our city sidewalks better for handicapped people and create safe bike lanes for those who would cut carbon emissions and cycle to work or school.

I will work toward affordable housing and to improve education, health care, childcare and transit services.

I am running as a write-in candidate. All city voters can vote for me, regardless of your ward. You just need to fill in the oval to the left of “write in” under City Council Ward 5, and spell my name, “Jim Merkel.”

I commit to: never belittling people I don’t agree with, to listening, to following the law, to engaging skeptics, to friendly meetings, to involving diverse voices in big decisions and to researching all sides of every issue. I’d love your vote.

Jim Merkel


Real-world experience

I am writing in support of Jayne Crosby Giles to be our next state senator. One of the big differences between Jayne and her opponent is a lifetime of real-world experience.

Jayne has been a businesswoman, banker, an award-winning small business lender, and a nonprofit leader who found help for people facing the loss of their homes during the Great Recession.

She is an active community volunteer, working with and serving on the boards of a host of community groups. She has helped raise money for many local nonprofits ― using her banking and business experience to help local groups assist others.

Jayne takes great interest in people across Waldo County. I live in Palermo, where she has visited several times to learn more about the concerns of our community. Jayne is one of us. She is never too busy to listen ― whether at a town meeting, local event or across the kitchen table ― her concern for others is genuine.

I will be voting for Jayne Crosby Giles for Maine Senate on Nov. 6. I encourage others to support Jayne ― we need her in Augusta. Vote Jayne for Maine!

Anne Kurek


Dean a 'two-fer'

I've been running my family's mobile home park on Patterson Hill for more than 50 years. When we started, the monthly rent for a lot with water and sewer was $20. Today it's $350 a month, because of much higher costs of water, sewer and other fixed expenses.

I don't like that anymore than the folks who live in the park, or who pay ever-higher rents elsewhere in Belfast. I look around for opportunities to slow, or even stop those increases and I've found what I call a "two-fer" ― a big influx of tax dollars from the proposed salmon farm and the sale of large quantities of water to the aquafarm, which will lower water costs for other district customers.

Lowering taxes means landlords won't have to make up for the steady increases of recent years by raising rents. The same goes for added Water District revenues translating into lower water bills.

I worry about people who have lived here for many years losing their homes because they can't pay their taxes. I recently read that Paul Dean, who is running for City Council from Ward 5, has the same worry.

I know some people are running just against the salmon farm, period. But they're in a different tax bracket and they don't have to worry about what worries renters. Restoring financial sanity to city government also has a "two-fer" ― support clean development that yields higher tax revenue on one hand and vote for candidates who care the most about people who have lived here for a long time, like Paul Dean.

I hope the salmon farm gets a fair hearing because residents get off their duffs and vote for better government. Let's keep Belfast a working town. Let's keep our kids here. I like the arts and parks and changes that have made the city a better place. But even more, I like the spirit of Belfast that first appeared many years ago and is worth fighting for today.

Dana Keene

East Belfast

Hang onto a good thing

I am writing to thank Sheriff Jeff Trafton for his dedication and hard work in Waldo County. While some have tried to undermine the existence of the outstandingly successful Reentry Center in Belfast, Sheriff Trafton has thrown his full support into a facility that should serve as a model for not only the state of Maine, but for the nation.

The real-life tools and education that the Reentry Center provides to its residents have proven themselves. The likelihood that residents will reoffend after they’ve gone through the program is nearly half of the national average. As someone who has worked and taught at the Reentry Center, I think Belfast has a lot to be proud of in its steadfast support.

I haven’t known Sheriff Trafton for that many years but I keep running into him in the right places. One such place is on the board of Aging Well in Waldo County. We’ve been talking about the difficulties of our growing older population in Maine for years. AWWC is doing something about it, with the full support of Sheriff Trafton on the board.

I encourage Waldo County to hang onto a good thing, and vote for Sheriff Trafton’s re-election on Nov. 6.

Chris Wright


Can we afford the risk?

As a registered nurse, I am very alarmed by the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that will be dumped into the bay by Nordic Aquafarms, should this project go through. Some 1,600 pounds of nitrogen per day and five to six pounds of phosphorus per day are not trivial numbers, no matter what Nordic declares. Multiply those numbers by 365 days and the nitrogen is 584,000 pounds of nitrogen per year! These two elements are responsible for algae blooms, which produce toxic and harmful effects on people, pets, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds.

Nordic is not going to tell you anything that would hurt their chances of setting up shop in our small city. They don’t care about the health of citizens in Belfast or the surrounding communities. They only care about the money in their pocket.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “Harmful algae blooms are a national concern because they affect not only the health of people and marine ecosystems, but also the ‘health’ of local and regional economies.”

Can we really afford to take this risk? We need leaders in this city that are going to take our health, the environment, and our economy into consideration. We need forward-thinking leaders who can create (with the community) a healthy future that works for everyone.

I urge you to vote for Ellie Daniels (write-in for Ward 1), Jim Merkel (write-in for Ward 5 ) and Joanne Moesswilde (Ward 2).

Robyn Duffy, RN




Editor's note: The following letters address elections in Waldo County but were written by writers who live outside the area. They are published online only.

Results for all

I am a Democrat and will proudly cast my vote to re-elect Owen Casas as Maine state representative for District 94 (Camden, Rockport, Islesboro).

During his first term in the House, Owen demonstrated time and again that he’s hard-working, intelligent, informed, articulate and focused. He understands the issues and the political process. Reaching across the aisle to collaborate with Republicans, Democrats and Independents, he works toward results that will best serve all of his constituents — not just those in one party.

Owen is the real deal. What you see is what you get, even when he’s wearing his camouflage pants! His military experience in Iraq, his education (honors graduate, University of Maine; master's degree, Case Western Reserve), and his strong work and family ethic shape his thought process as he collaborates with colleagues on legislative policy issues.

Owen is the candidate who will continue to represent our district, as he has for the last two years, with determination to do what is best for all in an atmosphere of positive change.

Please join me in supporting Owen Casas at the polls on Nov. 6.

Linda Posson


Impressed by Doudera

I rarely get directly involved with campaigns, letter writing, etc., but the current campaign for State Representative includes a candidate that I’ve had direct personal experience with. I have known Vicki Doudera for several years and have been very impressed with her work during our time together on the Board of Directors for Mid Coast Habitat for Humanity. With Vicki’s strong team building efforts MHfH has grown from a small group with good intentions to an organized, well coordinated team that builds multiple new and renovated homes for habitat families each year. MHfH also added the ReStore at their Rockport headquarters which takes material donations and turns them into funds to help build houses. A home weatherization program was also started, helping homeowners make their existing houses more efficient, affordable, and comfortable. With a contagious energy, Vicki helped to create the structure within that organization that encouraged all others to do more, to think outside the box, and to strive toward the greater goal of creating more homes for worthy families.

Vicki is passionate about her causes, notably affordable housing, but she’s open minded and patient to consider all thoughts and ideas. She starts from a non-biased standpoint and weighs all points, something that I think is absent from so many elected offices. I know that she will bring this high level of care and consideration to all tasks put in front of her and that she will be our strongest advocate in Augusta. This energy, passion and thoughtfulness are why I strongly encourage all to vote for Vicki Doudera for the State House of Representatives on Election Day, this November 6.

David G. Johnson


Doudera understands business

I’m voting for Vicki Doudera for State Representative because she understands our local businesses and what they need. Vicki and Ed started a successful lodging business, owned another, and Vicki has been active in our Chamber of Commerce for years. She stays involved in issues that are important to the lodging industry and continues to work with business owners in her job as a Realtor.

Vicki will work hard in Augusta to address our workforce shortage and cut down on the bureaucracy, because she knows firsthand that our small businesses are what drives the Maine economy.

David Dickey

Owner, Camden Riverhouse Hotel & Inns

Casas has grown into job

In the two years Owen Casas has been our state representative, he has grown into the job and deserves to be re-elected. He listens to his constituents and truly hears our concerns. He works with all legislators, no matter their party, to resolve issues and pass bills that will help all Maine residents. He is equally willing to vote no on bills that will hurt Maine residents.

I watched Owen grow in his service to the town of Rockport as a member of the Select Board. He became more thoughtful, more aware and better educated about the problems that face towns in terms of their budget, infrastructure, and basic needs. He took that knowledge and has used it wisely in the Legislature.

If I may paraphrase a former state representative: It takes a term in the Legislature to just get yourself grounded in the process; it is in your second term that you can begin to shine and really accomplish great

things. We cannot afford to lose the knowledge and experience Owen gained these past two years. Please vote to send Owen Casas back to Augusta.

Helen Shaw


Vote for Doudera

We are voting for Vicki Doudera for state representative on Nov. 6 for numerous and obvious reasons. Throughout the 30-plus years that Vicki has lived and worked in this area, Vicki has displayed what it truly means to patiently listen to, and take in what those around her have to say.

With the extraordinary support of her husband Ed and their three grown children raised in our local school system, Vicki has been involved in this community in a multitude of endeavors – innkeeper; Realtor; board member and president of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity; and a talented author with a captured audience fascinated by her loyalty to Midcoast Maine through her writing.

This plethora of experience working with all types of people and businesses has not only given Vicki the ability to see what our community needs as a whole, but it has also given her the levelheadedness to think clearly and be able to communicate wisely on a state level.

The platforms and principles believed by Vicki to be vital to the future of District 94 are apparent in her campaign as she has reached out to listen, gather information, and respond with reason before judgment without alienating constituents.

We feel that our concerns regarding health care, education, affordable housing, keeping and growing jobs in this area, and the environment, are in line with the issues that she feels are of the utmost importance.

Vicki's wide-ranging experience is invaluable to this community, and she has the right composure and professional integrity to be able to work with both sides in Augusta. We are, therefore, casting our votes for Vicki Doudera.

Carl and Susan Chadwick


Why I'm voting Doudera

I've known Vicki Doudera for about 10 years and I was thrilled when I first found out that she had intentions of running for state representative.

Vicki is committed to representing everyone. She's compassionate and one of the best listeners and communicators that I know. She will keep us informed as to what is happening in Augusta.

Vicki is focused on what is important in people's lives and deeply cares about our community.

Susan Brooks Kanellakis


Re-elect Casas

Owen is the best qualified candidate for our seat in the Maine House, District 94.  Owen has a 96 percent Roll Call voting record, he shows up to do the work!  He proven to be an effective voice for us in Augusta, maintaining a responsible position on social issues and appropriately conservative approach to “right-sizing” state government.  He has a proven history of service to our community and country, severing on the Rockport Select Board, Budget Committee, MidCoast Solid Waste Committee as Chairman, and serving our country as a Marine.  Vote to Re-elect Owen Casas to the Maine House of Representatives, District 94 on Nov. 6th!

Jamey Kitchen


Elect Irving for DA

Please make sure go all the way down your ballot on Election Day.  There you will find the name Natasha Irving. She is running for District Attorney for Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc County.

She wants to replace the present district attorney, recently appointed by Governor LePage, and change the priorities of that District Attorney’s office.

Natasha’s plan is to refocus the DA’s policies in Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc to get Mainers with addiction disorders into medical treatment, rather than into prison or jail, and to redirect resources towards prosecuting violent sexual offenses, including sexual assault.  She wants to petition the Maine Judiciary to institute a Veterans Court, a Drug Court, and a Co-Occurring Disorder Courts to cover all four counties. These courts will work to reduce our law enforcement costs and to reduce the burden on we taxpayers by getting non-violent offenders back on track.

Natasha also wants the District Attorney’s Office to prioritize elder abuse. We have far too many cases of elder abuse, perpetrated often by family members.  Few cases are ever brought to court by the present district attorney.

Natasha Irving strongly supports Restorative Justice and will work to see it applied wherever practical.

We have an opportunity to elect a DA who will thoughtfully and compassionately and  judiciously will work for the people.

Susan Petersmeyer


District Attorney race important

I have never paid attention in the past to elections for District Attorney but I went to a talk recently in Portland.  There the national political director for the ACLU, and Alison Beyea, the executive director of the ACLU of Maine, spoke about the importance of getting involved in local District Attorney races. The ACLU has launched an effort to increase public awareness about the role district attorneys play in their communities and how good DAs can change people’s lives.

You may have seen the recent news from Ferguson, MO. Thanks in part to the work of the National ACLU to raise awareness of the stakes in the election, the long-time district attorney who had refused to indict the policeman who shot Michael Brown was defeated in an unexpected upset. Voters want change. But down-ballot races usually don’t get the attention they deserve. Just six week ago a progressive Democratic woman won the nomination for Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts.

As residents of Prosecutorial District Number 6 (Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc counties) we have a chance to elect an excellent local attorney as District Attorney.  Her name is Natasha Irving. She wants to apply the principles of Restorative Justice, wherever practicable, to our county courthouses.

Most people don’t mark their ballots in a District Attorney’s race, as their names are usually at the bottom of the ballot or on the back side.

Please make sure that fill in the entire ballot, and make sure to vote for Natasha Irving as District Attorney.

Lee Webb