Winter Whoopla thanks

The Belfast Area Chamber would like to sincerely thank everyone that made the third annual Belfast Winter Whoopla a wonderful success! This great community event, which continues to grow every year, would not have been possible without our generous sponsors. This year our major weekend sponsors were Front Street Shipyard and Damariscotta Bank & Trust.

We would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to our activity sponsors: United Farmers Market, Unity College Woodmen Demonstrations; The Residence at Tall Pines, Frost-n-Flannel Dance Venue; LCI Fiber Optic Network, Frost-n-Flannel Dance Music; Belfast Co-op; Free Movie at the Colonial; Green Home Solutions, Scavenger Hunt Bingo; Belfast Hannaford Supermarket, Chili & Corn Cook-Off/Snowshoeing & S’mores; and City Parks & Recreation, Horse and Wagon Rides via S & S Carriage Rides from Sidney Maine and Tropical Mini Golf.

Cheers goes out to Shawna Aitken from Delvino’s, who bartended for the evening at the Frost-n-Flannel Dance!

We can’t leave out a Winter Whoopla favorite, the Pancake Breakfast! Special thanks to Waldo County YMCA and Rollie’s for hosting a very successful event!

We would also like to thank our amazing partners, Norm Poirier from Belfast Parks & Recreation and Amanda Cunningham from Waldo County YMCA. Norm and Amanda’s creative abilities and hard work are always welcomed and appreciated.

Speaking of creative, we would like to congratulate the winners from two of our new activities this year, the Snowman Building Photo Contest and Scavenger Hunt Bingo! We would like to thank ALLPLAY for generously donating the gift certificates to the winners of the photo contest and Camden Snow Bowl for donating two lift tickets for the winner of Scavenger Hunt Bingo. Congrats to all!

The winners: Best Traditional Snowman, Rosabella Vinci, 12; Most Creative Snowman, Matthew Kelley, 18; Biggest Snowman, Kinslee Payson, 8; Scavenger Hunt Bingo, Dylan Shattuck.

We also congratulate the winners of the Chili Cook-Off, Betsy Coy and Josh Prior, and Team Kobe for winning the Corn-Hole Tournament. Again, a great big shout out to Paul and Rob at United Farmers Market for donating the space so that these two events have a home each year.

We can’t say enough about the generous and wonderful community we live and work in! We look forward to the fourth annual Winter Whoopla! Thank you, Waldo County and Belfast!

Sandy Patrick, Member Representative

Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce

Open letter to Sen. Susan Collins

Your point that the House passed the Articles of Impeachment without a single Republican vote is patently untrue — Rep. Justin Amash, apparently the only House Republican with the courage to disagree with the GOP's lockstep position, had to leave the party after having his committee assignments stripped from him after criticizing the president and is now an independent, so his policy positions will safely remain of a Republican perspective. And he courageously voted his conscience to support the Articles of Impeachment, while still a Republican, at heart.

Would that you had exhibited the same courage that Sen. Margaret Chase Smith displayed in calling out Joe McCarthy by voting "guilty" to remove from office an odious liar that now sits in our White House. But, you are no Margaret Chase Smith, are you?

No, you are, instead, a party puppet, given a hall-pass by Mitch McConnell to vote for additional witnesses and/or documents so that you could appear to be an impartial Senate trial juror for the sake of your reelection campaign.

It will not help you get reelected.

Sen. Mitt Romney, struggling with the necessity of voting "Guilty" on Impeachment Article 1 in order to remain, in accordance with his religion and oath, right with God and true to his oath, did display the courage of Sen. Margaret Chase Smith. I predict that he will get reelected, if he seeks it, because his LDS constituents in Utah recognize when a person is telling the truth.

Your problem, in my opinion, is that the voters of Maine recognize when they are being lied to.

You will get no donations from me and will please remove me from your mailing list.

Darryl C. Parker


Restore tribal rights

In this bicentennial year, Maine has a historic opportunity to right persistent wrongs that have afflicted tribal-state relations for years. LD 2094, the Judiciary Committee's bill to amend the 1980 Maine Implementing Act (MIA), will have its public hearing at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in Augusta.

This bill exists thanks to the efforts of the legislative task force and the tribal attorneys, who labored for six months to educate legislators and interested parties about the body of established federal Indian law that properly governs the trust relationship between the United States and federally recognized tribes. (In 1980 when the Settlement Acts were signed, three of the four Maine Wabanaki tribes were already federally recognized. Recognition of the Aroostook Band of Micmac followed in 1991.)

Back in 1980, the state of Maine imposed many limitations on tribal jurisdiction, undercutting inherent tribal sovereignty and favoring the state — in direct contravention of established law! Much was written in on the sly, without the informed consent of tribal negotiators at the time.

Maine can now catch up with the rest of the country, by acknowledging tribal sovereignty and restoring the rights and jurisdictions that will permit the tribes to determine their own socioeconomic destinies. Tribes need and have the right to control what happens on their land. The state of Maine must cease making decisions that are not its to make.

The good news is that neighboring communities stand to share in this elevated prosperity, so please support this bill with all your heart.

Diane Oltarzewski


Come to caucus

Belmont Democrats will hold a caucus at the Town Office Sunday, March 8, as part of the statewide Maine Democratic Party caucuses. The doors open at noon for voter registration and the caucus begins at 1 p.m.

Although Maine will have its first primary on Super Tuesday, the caucus is an important opportunity for Belmont Democrats to rally together to build the grassroots coalition we need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot this November.

The caucus is also a great opportunity to get out and meet some of your like-minded neighbors in Belmont. For me personally, connecting in-person with other local Dems and working together to elect Democratic candidates in 2018 was one of the first things to make me feel truly hopeful and energized since 2016. The Belmont caucus was a catalyst for this invaluable connection, and it also allowed me the exciting opportunity to attend the Maine Democratic state convention.

As a speech-language pathologist, I recognize the crucial need for democratic policies, such as the expansion of MaineCare fought for by Janet Mills, and I am willing to do whatever I can to ensure Democrats continue to be elected.

If, like me, you are determined for Democrats to win in 2020, please join me for the Belmont town caucus to build the grassroots power we need to persuade voters and generate the momentum it will take to turn out every voter needed to win this November. (If you live in another town, go to to find out the time and place of your town's caucus.)

I look forward to meeting you at the Belmont Town Office on Sunday, March 8 (Daylight Saving Time day!) at 1 p.m. Your voice is important and we need your help to win in November!

Amy C. Reid


How to teach patriotism?

I read with interest the Another View commentary, “Is patriotism important to you?” The author’s premise is that patriotism continues to wane in our country. He posits that millennials’ lack of patriotism results from poor parenting and a failure of history education in schools.

I agree wholeheartedly that we as a nation lack awareness of the details of our country’s history and civics. Where I depart is the premise that better education in these areas would instill, in today’s divisive environment, a stronger sense of patriotism.

George Washington, in his brilliant farewell address to the nation, articulated a premise that national unity should be the primary objective of patriotism. We as a nation must instill unity and reject attempts to alienate any of our people. Without national unity, patriotism really cannot exist.

Washington forebodingly warned of the dangers of the rise of parties of the state: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” The existence of extreme party loyalty is in direct opposition to unity.

I am a U.S. Air Force veteran and have spent 25 years working with industry in support of the military. I travel extensively and have witnessed many discussions on the demise of “patriotism.” My perception is that the concept of patriotism has been largely co-opted. Too often, “unpatriotic” is deployed as pejorative and alienating. Exercising the right to argue the merits of universal health care makes you no less a patriot than flying an American flag or taking a family trip to Washington, D.C., makes you one.

Another View identifies as “conservative” and often deploys the divisive rhetoric so prevalent in our national discourse. With self-identification they set themselves apart from the whole. Is this unity?

Patriotism is vital to the strength of a nation. We are fortunate people living in a nation that is capable of correcting its wrongs. In addition to teaching history, teaching unity and civil discourse will remedy a waning sense of patriotism.

Rich Tranfield


Global warming joke

While reading the paper I came across someone making a joke of global warming. Not a very funny joke when the actual punchline is people die.

The thing that isn't a joke is we are on the Titanic, alarms are sounding, the call is, “all hands on deck.” There's one guy in the corner sitting on his hands saying, no problem, ships always lean, as his deck chair slides toward the rail.

Our Titanic story can have a better ending if passengers and crew all pull together to save the ship — now, not when the water is over the rail.

Andrew Hoglund


In appreciation

The Rena Whitney Scholarship Committee appreciates the large, generous turnout that supported our potluck supper Feb. 1. We were overwhelmed by the goodwill donations, many casseroles and positive comments that were shared.

Our Waldo residents and new attendees were gathered in fellowship. There was a feeling of camaraderie in the room and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Special thanks to Weaver's Roadside Variety for its delicious contribution.

We will let you all know when our next supper is scheduled. Thank you, everyone. It was our best supper in all ways.

Greg Coleman

Waldo Community Boosters/

Rena Whitney Scholarship Committee