People, not party

We in Waldo County are doubly fortunate. For the past eight years we have had Mike Thibodeau as our state senator. And now we have the opportunity to elect Jayne Crosby Giles as our next state senator from Waldo County.

Jayne follows in the tradition of Mike. Both are respected representatives, Mike as a four-term senator and Jayne as a two-term state representative. In this day and age of politicians mocking and degrading each other, Mike and Jayne are respected for working with all elected officials, no matter their party, for what makes sense. That is their history and that that is what is needed: elected officials interested in the good of the people, not just in themselves and their political party.

I am voting for Jayne Crosby Giles for Waldo County state senator.

David Dancy

Waldo

Will dissolve hurdles

Rep. Erin Herbig has long been an advocate for keeping young Mainers in-state. The youth of Maine, myself included, love this state and want to be able to feel that they could one day return and build a life here, but often see too many hurdles to overcome ― including job availability and security.

Rep. Herbig’s plan to create a community college center in Waldo County, where certifications for Maine jobs can be acquired, will dissolve those hurdles. In addition, she is an active sponsor of legislation that supports working families through training partnerships with Waldo County employers, vocational programs, and affordable childcare and health care. These programs will lead to a more prosperous Maine and a more attractive environment for young families.

This kind of innovative and forward-thinking legislation is brought to the table only by Rep. Herbig. She understands that real legislation has less to do with political parties and more to do with the people whom it affects. Erin Herbig has always fought for the policies and programs that are best for her state and her people, and with the help of your vote in the general election this fall, she will continue to do so.

Olivia deFrees LaRoche

Searsmont

Real, authentic deal

I am a political Independent. I have been paying close attention, and have an argument to make on behalf of April Turner, who is running against MaryAnne Kinney for state rep in House District 99.

What I knew of April was that she had a hardscrabble background, and that she was new to politics last time around. I wondered if she had what it takes to win, and to represent me. I heard her speak today, and the answers are an unqualified yes, and yes!

In describing why she got involved in running for office, April did not mention the R’s or the D’s at all! How refreshing! One would not have known what partisan affiliation she even had! She talked about problems that she had deep knowledge of, in our local community, and her motivation to solve them.

She had been challenged by her four sons, two of whom are foster sons, to actually try to solve the problems she saw rather than blame or complain. She spoke from personal experience, with both intelligence and compassion. She knows what of she speaks and truly understands this community.

I teach at the local school, and witness daily the significant and lasting harm done to our local kids as a result of bad policies, shortsighted planning, judgmental positions, and divisive partisanship. I see kids going without the most basic health care, sent to school sick or injured to use the school nurses as first (and often last) resort. I see children whose parents are incarcerated, or simply not “present” for their kids due to addiction.

One sports squad I know of has three homeless students, on one squad, and I know of many more. I know of parents who work multiple low-wage jobs and still cannot afford the gas to attend parent conferences.

Talk of not enough food, or heating fuel, or working plumbing at home is common. Kids whose parents cannot afford the child’s medication is a constant. Kids are living in isolated poverty in rural Waldo County while supposedly the economy is doing fantastic.

The kids “act out” and it costs taxpayers in the end, through ed tech support, social workers, administrative time spent on dealing with behaviors, and an erosion of school climate for learning. Despite tremendous costs to taxpayers, students fall through the cracks and I later read about them costing us more through the criminal justice system.

When Ms. Turner’s opponent, MaryAnne Kinney, was asked about the addiction crisis, she suggested sending addicts to a treatment center in Northern Maine, far away from the source of drugs, an answer that reflects a lack of understanding that drugs are everywhere, and that these addicts are my students’ moms and dads.

It is easy to blame the adults, and I often do in my own mind, but I most want a representative who can work to understand and solve the problem, not least so that I can stop paying taxes for the remediation of harm done by our dysfunctional health care system and criminal justice system.

April Turner supports the expansion of Medicaid, as do the majority of Mainers. April Turner knows that my students are the true victims, and the true future, who need basic supports to allow them to become productive members of society. April wants businesses to thrive because we have promoted a healthy, well-trained workforce.

April is an utterly non-partisan energetic change-maker for the good of each and every one of us, whether rich or poor, young or old, left or right. She is the real, authentic deal. April Turner just wants to make our politics better, more effective.

Please vote for April Turner!

Kelly Desrosiers

Unity

Vote for the future

It is time for folks in Belfast to stand up and be counted. We have three candidates for City Council who are running on just one issue and I don’t personally vote for candidates that have an ax to grind or that display such a lack of vision. They seem to think that a futuristic company like Nordic Aquafarms and their huge investment in Belfast is a bad thing because it will create changes. We have never had a company come to Belfast that has offered us so much and with such accommodations.

Those with tunnel vision, who only listen to folks that agree with them, have not uttered one word about the benefits of Nordic Aquafarms as if none exist. A company that is going to invest an initial $150 million, who will drastically lower our tax bills and allow us to improve our educational system, is to me incredibly important.

What is always most important is the next generation. Our kids need to have the same opportunities to live here, raise their families here and have good jobs here that we have had. Can you imagine my granddaughter, who is thinking about studying marine biology in college, actually being able to afford to live in town and get a job here also, or my grandson, who is talking about being an electrician, being able to live in the town where he works? What is not important is turning Belfast into a town where only those that can afford to, live here. We only have to look 20 miles away to find what that is like.

Nordic Aquafarms has displayed an incredible professionalism in light of the near hysteria of a few that reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials. It is so sad to see people I once respected act with such ignorance and intolerance. Doubly sad that a company from Norway has to teach us decorum and class.

It is time to stand up, go to the voting booths, zone out some of the ridiculous anti comments and vote for the future. Our current leaders have displayed incredible vision to make this town what it is. We need to support them, but more than anything we need to create a town where our children and grandchildren can afford to live. We need to help create a future for them and Nordic Aquafarms is a direct path to that goal.

Vote for experience and for those existing councilors that have done so much for this town. Vote for the future of our kids and the future of this town. Make Belfast a town of balance, a town where all types and all ages have a say; don’t let a few loud voices turn it into a town like so many others that only those with money are allowed financially to be a resident.

Vote for Mary Mortier, Neal Harkness and Paul Dean.

Steve Hutchings

Belfast

Talks everyday issues

I recently saw a video of a question and answer session, available for viewing at the Village Soup website, with Rep. MaryAnne Kinney of District 99 and her challenger, April Turner of Freedom. Frankly, color me shocked. Mrs. Kinney stated that she found the process of passing and voting on bills before her as "confusing and hard," even admitting she has voted wrong at times. She is running for her third term and she should have a handle on this.

She also could not come up with any issues facing her constituents over and above "property rights issues" which she admitted she could do nothing about. Obviously, she is not out there talking to folks.

I also strongly disagree with her view on opioid addiction treatment, which she feels would be better done by shipping addicted folks far away to Aroostook County and away from the society in which they must function. We can be happy her bill went nowhere. I don't have enough space to address her “no” votes on the School Water Testing Bill and the School Lunch Anti-shaming Bill, etc.

I want to talk about her challenger, April Turner. April is out there knocking on doors and talking to folks about everyday issues. A good education for their children, affordable health care, higher-paying jobs in order to feed and clothe their kids and to pay the bills.

April can name off the issues she hears from her future constituents and will be a voice for them in Augusta. April, as the mother of four boys, lives that life here in Waldo County. MaryAnne Kinney is out of touch. Vote April Turner for representative, District 99.

Martha Story-Foisy

Freedom

Easiest choice

When I think about what makes this community great, and why I wouldn't dream of raising my kids anywhere else, I think of citizens like Scott Cuddy. Scott is genuinely committed to his community, and he's put in the work to prove it.

I am particularly impressed by his work for education. As a parent of two young children in a rural area, high-quality, adequately funded public education is one of my top priorities. Scott has shown that it is important to him, too, by serving on the RSU 22 School Board, and by volunteering at the Leroy H. Smith School. Scott is committed to achieving fair funding of our schools that would alleviate the property tax burden and take the pressure off small towns.

Without a strong public education system, we cannot hope to grow our economy. Good schools mean everyone — those with kids and those without — wins.

That’s why choosing to support Scott Cuddy for state representative is the easiest choice I've made this election year, and I hope my neighbors in Winterport, Swanville, Searsport and Frankfort will join me.

Kate Grossman

Winterport

Dodge for District 97

When you vote for Maine House representative for District 97, you’ll see two names on the ballot: Jan Dodge (Democrat) and Bevelyn Beatty (Republican). Only one of these candidates has been tirelessly canvassing voters since winning the Democratic primary in June: Jan Dodge. Bevelyn Beatty contacted The Republican Journal in September, saying that she was withdrawing from the race for Maine House, but she did not formally withdraw by contacting the Secretary of State.

As an advocate for all Waldo County residents, Jan Dodge could have stopped knocking on doors (she will have knocked on over 3,000 doors by Nov. 6), but instead has continued her strategy of listening to voters’ concerns in order to become an informed legislator. Jan will reach across the aisle to get legislation passed to protect health care, aging in place, and public school funding. Vote Dodge for House District 97.

Linda Garson Smith

Belfast

A call for respect

I respect and appreciate our City Council members and our mayor. Because I am deeply aware of the many conflicts, within our city, past and present, I believe that we need a City Council with the skills of listening for understanding each other and every citizen of our city who is willing to communicate desires and needs. Reaction to what other people say is no way to run a government.

Listening for understanding does not mean agreement or disagreement. It takes practiced skills: the predecessor for decision-making. I want to know that our mayor, who has been enthusiastically elected by the people of Belfast, will be respected by council members just as deeply as she respects them.

Please consider this when you vote for the future needs of Belfast.

Nothing stays the same. Our communication together should be the basis for our desires for the future.

Judith E. Simpson

Belfast

Praise for Mortier, Harkness, Dean

For four years, I have reveled in my work with my fellow Belfast city councilors. I have been awed by their dedication, commitment and stewardship, all for the benefit of this fine city and especially its residents. I decided to step down from my position, as the amount of work to carry out council obligations made it difficult to keep up on my growing business work.

In this time of transition in my position, I endorse wholeheartedly Paul Dean, who has attended and closely followed council meetings and activities for the last two years. He has good city experience, having served many years on the Comprehensive Plan Committee. He is dedicated to his work, and he is an excellent listener. I hope you will join me in supporting Paul Dean.

I began by praising my fellow councilors. In different and valuable ways, Neal Harkness and Mary Mortier have been model public servants, hearing from a wide range of Belfast citizens and working hard to bring the needs of the city to our Council Chambers. Neal’s work with Waldo County Public Transportation lets him hear the needs of many of those who have little voice in an outspoken community of privilege. With low- to medium-income housing at the top of his list of priorities, we know he will continue to work hard for a too-large part of Belfast that doesn’t get heard. He brings much good to the table from his lifetime of public service.

I am continually impressed by the work that Mary Mortier does to prepare for each and every council meeting and workshop. She really does her homework! She also has the sharpest pencil on the council, making sure that not one penny of taxpayers’ monies is not well spent. She knows real estate and brings life experience from the world of business. She serves on numerous committees that further inform her process of making decisions for the people of Belfast. Mary also brings a lot of joy to the community through her leadership of the annual New Years by the Bay, her work in the Belfast Rotary, and her hours cleaning up gardens along our city’s streets.

While I am happy to have competitive elections, I am saddened by those who have come forward to run with a single agenda: to stop Nordic Aquafarms. How do you feel about having a candidate who sues the city? How do you feel about candidates who are so removed from the democratic process that they couldn’t collect signatures to be put on the ballot?

At the last council meeting, only Paul Dean stayed for the entire meeting; the other three candidates left as soon as the Nordic Aquafarms business was completed. They clearly do not have the desire to work on the wide breadth of issues and projects that are the work of city councilors.

Please vote for Mary Mortier, Neal Harkness, and Paul Dean.

John Arrison

Ward 5 City Councilor

Independent, fair, hardworking

I am writing about three people who are running for the Belfast City Council. Neal Harkness has been a tireless representative for all of the people of Belfast. His day job is driving people all over the state for medical appointments and it gives him exposure to people who do not often speak out in public but who have great needs and dignity.

Neal wasn’t just instrumental in making WBFY happen; he was nearly solely responsible. He has had unflagging support for pushing forward affordable housing options. Neal championed Indigenous Peoples Day, banning the bags, and Belfast Has Pride. Neal is a true man of the people. We are fortunate to have him.

One word describes Mary Mortier on the council: prepared. Mary quotes and put her finger on facts. True and real facts and not made up or convenient half-truths. Mary has been a tireless volunteer for Belfast in so many ways it wouldn’t be fair to compare her to anyone. She has led or served with Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, the Belfast Garden Club, Our Town Belfast, and has made New Years by The Bay happen for 18 years.

Her service for food pantries has helped less fortunate people keep food on the table. Mary is a caring person but also a careful budget hawk who keeps an eye on pennies that add up to dollars. Mary speaks less than many but her thoughtful comments are always common sense.

Paul Dean is a Belfast native. Yes there are still a few around. Born and raised here, he has spent his entire life in Belfast. I have no idea how anyone could call him a “newcomer.” Paul was chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Committee and spent years working at the paper mill in Bucksport. Paul knows Belfast. He has a calm, steady, and careful demeanor and will bring an attention to detail.

I hope you will support Neal Harkness, Mary Mortier and Paul Dean for the Belfast City Council on Election Day. They are all independent, fair, hardworking, and can be relied upon to keep Belfast moving. They will represent you well.

I ask you for your votes for Neal Harkness, Mary Mortier and Paul Dean.

Mike Hurley

Belfast City Councilor

A voice for those not heard

I am proud of the work that has been done in Belfast during my two terms as a councilor, and honored to have been a part of it. We have made tremendous strides towards energy independence. We have improved city infrastructure. I am proud of the progress we have made in refashioning our General Assistance program into one that gives needy citizens more help at a lower cost.

I am proud to have voted to approve the request for Belfast Has Pride and to have been allowed the privilege of representing the city at our first Menorah lighting. I am very proud to have taken the lead on establishing our community radio station.

But I am humbled when I speak to citizens who are struggling to get by, often reluctant to ask for help. As great as this little city is, there are problems that need to be addressed. There is no denying that housing is in short supply and much too expensive for our community’s working folks. Our small businesses struggle against the burden of high taxes. As the council fights to hold the line against raising them any higher, important needs, such as maintenance of infrastructure and vital social services, go underfunded. Relief for these problems can only be found through economic development.

I ran for council four years ago because I felt there were too many people not being heard. The single mother who gets up before dawn to get to her job at Dunkin’ Donuts. The guy working two jobs to keep a roof over his family’s heads. The retired couple who wonder, every time the tax bill comes, if they are going to have to leave their home.

At a recent City Council meeting, someone referred to Belfast Co-Op as “the heart of our community.” I’m a member of the Co-Op and I shop there frequently. But is the Co-Op more the heart of our community than Belfast Variety? The Curling Club? The Lion’s Club or the American Legion?

Belfast is one community composed of many parts. It is the Art Walks and the classic car shows at Reny’s. It’s the Redmen Hall and the Eco Village. It’s Ondine’s and Wasses Hot Dogs. As the councilor for Ward 2, I have tried to be an advocate for all of Belfast. I have been honored to serve. I ask for your support as I seek another term.

Neal Harkness

Ward Two Councilor

Commitment to work hard

I’m running for the Maine state Senate because I want to see my kids, your kids and our grandkids decide to stay in Waldo County because we have better jobs and better opportunities than other states.

I want to see good-paying jobs created by the sweat and hard work of local business owners filled by our kids and their growing families.

I want better resources to connect our students to the jobs that are here, with more funding for public education, expanded access to reliable high speed internet, and a Waldo County community college center with additional training in the trades, so our kids can see a path towards living and raising their own families right here at home.

And when our kids choose to stay, and start the rest of their lives here, I want them to have the tools they need to succeed. That includes access to affordable health care and affordable childcare, so no one in Waldo County has to choose between a career that they want and living in the town that they love.

And after a long life here, I want to make sure every single person can age independently in the place they know and the home they love.

I want Waldo County to be the envy of every family in Maine because we work at good jobs for great employers, live right down the road from our families, and know our economy will last for generations.

And I know we can do all of this without sacrificing what made us great in the first place.

Like all of you, I’m proud of my roots and the community I call home. It’s a way of life worth fighting for.

It’s time we tackle our challenges head on and knock down the barriers blocking success for rural Maine to keep families here and bring back those we have lost.

I ask that you join me.

You have my commitment to work hard for what is best for you, your family, and every Waldo County family, every single day. No one will work harder for you and no one will care more. I ask for your vote on Nov. 6 for state Senate.

Erin Herbig

Belfast

Will work on what matters to you

“Hello, my name is Sherm Hutchins and I am running for the Maine Legislature.” This is how I have introduced myself since mid-July, traveling throughout District 131 (Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot, Prospect, Stockton Springs and Verona Island) to meet the people and to hear their concerns. It is a wonderful experience to connect with those who have strong roots in this area and with those who have just discovered that Maine is “the” place to live.

Being a 10th generation, I share the story of my fifth great-grandfather Charles Hutchings and our family’s first connection to the west side of the Penobscot River. Charles was one of the first patriots to join the land forces in 1779 under General Wadsworth. After shooting a British soldier, he was obliged to take his family and flee for his life.

With his wife and eight children, Charles rowed across the Penobscot River to Fort Pownal, and walked through the wilderness to Damariscotta. Two of the children were so small they had to be carried all the way. Their only cooking utensil was a camp kettle holding about two gallons, in which Mary stewed birds and rabbits, brought down by Charles’ flintlock.

The Hutchings family returned to Penobscot, in 1783, to find their buildings burned and their fences destroyed. Rebuilding on the same foundation, he lived there until the age of 92. At the time of his death, he had 350 living descendants, one of whom, a grandson also named Charles, served in the Legislature under the first governor of Maine, William King.

In spite of the fact that he traveled to the capital (then in Portland) on horseback, or sail, he must have gotten home on occasion as he sired 15 children in the house where I grew up.

It is that kind of strength and tenacity that runs through the veins of so many of us who live in Maine today, whether a 10th generation or a new generation coming into Maine from away.

This is only a snapshot of my background to help you understand my interest in serving Maine’s people. Maine is a great place to live, but, as my father would say, there are inevitably always a few “bad spots” that can be addressed.

As an example, my wife and I are currently caregivers for my 95-year-old mother and 74-year-old sister who live beside us, one with dementia and the other mentally challenged with congestive heart failure. Though my sister qualifies for help, little outside help has been provided because of a broken system. Thankfully, we have children and grandchildren who have stepped up to the plate to help us keep them comfortable and safe in a home they love and cherish.

Though I am personally affected by the brokenness of the system, I oppose the poorly designed Referendum Question 1 proposed by outside interest groups on the November ballot. I am confident that a solution can be crafted through the legislative process. This is my family’s story that hits home for us. As a candidate for state representative, I also want to bring your story to Augusta.

I want to work on what matters to you. In my dooryard discussions I am hearing your concerns. Maine needs to be more business friendly by supporting a predictable tax climate that will encourage growth to existing businesses and for new startups. It is important to acknowledge and stop what doesn’t work and embrace new ideas that can lead to a better economy that will keep our children and grandchildren in Maine.

Farming, forestry, fishing, new technologies, and tourism are all increasingly valuable aspects of the Maine economy. Your concerns have also stressed “safe school” policies ― and I have been working for the past four years with Hancock County Sheriff Kane. I will work to bring these ideas statewide.

The Hunting and Sporting industry has been a big part of our conversations all over the district and state. My personal interest and connections with sports enthusiasts keeps me current on rules and regulations regarding hunting, fishing and recreation that impact so many of us in Maine.

It has been, and continues to be a great pleasure to meet with you, the people of District 131. Our candid discussions (over 2,500 door visits to date) have brought to light a long list of amazing stories, concerns and suggestions that I will carry with me if elected to the Maine Legislature.

I have a long history in business, town government, and as moderator in all of the towns in District 131 east of the Penobscot River. I am employed as Building & Grounds Manager at the Wilson Museum in Castine and endorsed by Maine Christian Civic League, Maine Realtors Association, National Rifle Association (A rating), and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (A rating).

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone, 479-8545, or by email at shhutch01@gmail.com.

Sherman H. Hutchins

Penobscot

What’s best for Belfast

When I cast my vote next month for city councilor, it will be for Mary Mortier. I can’t think of anyone who takes her responsibilities as a councilor any more seriously than Mary does.

Mary and I have known each other for over 18 years as members of the Belfast Rotary club. She is known for her attention to detail, her organizational skills and her leadership skills. She uses those skills as a councilor as well. She researches the issues and bases her votes on what is best for Belfast.

What I like best about Mary is that she is not a one-issue councilor. She knows there are many issues that the City Council must face and make decisions. She considers all issues important to the future of our city.

I hope you will join me in re-electing Mary Mortier to another term as our city councilor.

Jill Goodwin

Belfast

Benefits worth further assessment

Several years ago the citizens of Belfast sent Walmart packing. This was a correct decision. The only thing big box retail does in a community is displace small retail. The end result would have been fewer retail jobs, fewer local business owners, and Belfast dollars being shipped to a corporate headquarters somewhere else.

The case of Nordic Aquafarms is quite different. It will pay better than retail wages. That will create buying power, which will enhance our downtown businesses rather than displace them. And even with Maine’s Business Equipment Tax exemption, Belfast property taxes will be lower, as the business will pay taxes on real property and there will be minimal to no additional municipal cost to extend municipal services to the proposed area.

Our current City Council is entertaining the prospect of allowing Nordic Aquafarms to come to town. Others have already made up their minds that under no circumstances should the business be allowed to operate here and appear to be running for council positions for the single purpose of killing the project.

I believe the proposed benefits to the community are worth carrying this proposal further. I am interested in obtaining a serious assessment of environmental impact by Maine’s DEP that is part of the process down the road, rather than relying on the amateur scientists who have heretofore offered opinions in this paper.

For these reasons, I recommend voting for those who wish to continue to consider the project: Mary Mortier for Ward 1, Neal Harkness for Ward 2, and Paul Dean for Ward 5.

Joel Lee

Belfast

Save Belfast

Please vote for Joanne Moesswilde ― she’s on the ballot ― and Jim Merkel and Ellie Daniels, both of whom you must write in.

This is the chance to take back our city. Our current City Council did not involve the citizenry when they invited a foreign corporation into our beautiful small city. Should this proposed Nordic Aquafarms mega-project, with its mono-culture, concentrated animal feed operation, actually get in, it will harm the stability and livability of our city.

I support Ellie’s platform, which is to ensure transparency and inclusivity in city government, support local industries and small businesses, maintain a welcoming and thriving downtown, work to lower taxes, raise wages and provide affordable housing, safeguard our resources, green spaces and the bay, and expand walkability and bikeability for all of the city’s citizens.

I support Joanne’s platform, which is to preserve the unique character of Belfast, to find solutions for affordable housing, balance lower taxes with fiscal responsibility, advocate for transparent city government, promote our working waterfront, address diverse health needs, build resilience in the face of climate change, and foster communication, understanding and unity in Belfast and Waldo County.

I support Jim’s platform, which is to protect and restore Penobscot Bay, enhance civility and transparency while involving citizens, strengthen our working waterfront and local food economy, ensure our children can live and work in Midcoast Maine, improve roads and sidewalks, and address climate change locally.

Please vote!

Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

Belfast

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THE FOLLOWING LETTERS APPEAR ONLINE ONLY:

Return Paige

I’m writing in support of the re-election campaign of state Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler. Unfortunately, I can’t vote for him myself, because I don’t live in his district, the 96th. However, I’m proud to have been a friend of his for two decades, and I’d trust him with my life. More to the point, I trust him to work selflessly with other legislators for the benefit of all Mainers, just as he has in his first term.

Paige stands for affordable health care for all, beginning with the expansion of Medicaid benefits that was voted by the Legislature. He believes that medical care should be considered a basic human right, not a privilege of wealth.

Paige stands for compassionate, intelligent solutions to the problem of opiate addiction, beginning with improved treatment options and regulations against over-prescription for profit. Paige has worked and will continue to work for statewide access to broadband internet service as an essential support for the prosperity of all, entrepreneurs and small businesses in particular. Paige argues that Maine can become a leader in moving toward the renewable-energy economy that is our only hope for avoiding the worst disasters of global warming.

One representative can’t do it alone, of course, but the more people like Paige we can put in the Legislature, the sooner we can move beyond the politics of discord toward a sustainable future for all. If you live in District 96, please vote for him.

Gary Stimeling

Freedom

Strong values

I have known Jan Dodge since the first grade and I believe she will represent her district and the state very well as a citizen legislator. She learned strong moral values and integrity from Girl Scouts, church, school and most of all from her parents. She has held true to those values and would not take a cash contribution from me because she is running as a Clean Elections candidate.

She worked very hard to be an “A” student and graduated near the top of our class at Belfast Area High School. After earning a degree in music education from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), she came back to Maine to teach Down East. As a music educator, she encouraged all students to do their best, as everybody in music participates in the success of the group.

Above all, Jan is determined to the right thing regardless of where the idea originates. Please vote for her in November to represent House District 97.

Andrew F. Sylvester

Livermore

Doudera for State House

Vicki Doudera is informed, engaged and dedicated — just what we need in the State House. We retired to Islesboro in 2003 after reading Vicki’s book, "Moving To Maine," a comprehensive guide packed with the knowledge of what to be prepared for when moving to a state — or an island even — that has its peculiarities to prepare for. The love of this state that Vicki wrote about sold us. Little did we know that the author of that book would become a good friend.

At a recent candidate forum on Islesboro that Vicki attended, Vicki answered questions and welcomed the conversation about the issues here on the island, on the mainland and around the state. We remembered that it was this familiar knowledge that had brought us to Maine. Clearly, Vicki has been a guiding light, full of the answers and solutions when others haven’t been able to see where to proceed.

From our friendship, we have learned of, and have been impressed by the sense of community that comes naturally to Vicki. She attended in ambulances as a first responder with the Camden First Aid Association, has been a board member with the Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, ran one of the most loved bed and breakfasts, and of course, continues her work as a Realtor.

Vicki has given so much and has been a part of our neighborhoods for so long. Given her proven work ethic, civic and humanitarian experiences, we invite you to join us in voting for Vicki Doudera for state representative.

Donna and Philip Seymour

Islesboro

Yes on 4

First impressions matter when making college choices.

Unfortunately, the quality of the University of Maine System’s facilities does not match the quality and value of the education and opportunities I have found here.

If not for USM’s affordability, I would have gone out-of-state for school like so many of my Bonny Eagle classmates. Like most who leave, I probably wouldn’t have come back. Our aging state cannot afford to lose more of its young people.

Question 4 will invest $49 million to improve our public universities so they can be more competitive in recruiting students and produce more of the skilled graduates Maine employers need.

The University of Maine System is the best magnet our state has for keeping students here and attracting those from away. On Nov. 6, vote Yes for Question 4 so that more young Mainers like me can stay and find success in our great state.

Trevor J. Hustus, Trustee

University of Maine System

A vote for fossils

MaryAnne Kinney voted against solar. See “Solar for ME” website. See how all your lawmakers voted there.

Here's how it works. You install solar. You buy less fossil power. You are now charged for the fossil power you don't buy. A bizarre attempt to discourage solar, but she voted for it and it is the law for now.

Rooftop solar is a huge jobs producer. It is also a huge small business opportunity for new industry in Maine.

Not to mention the pesky little fact that we need renewables, not fossils, now or the planet croaks along with us.

Andrew Hoglund

Thorndike