Elliott seeks District 97 seat

Saturday, I went to the Belfast Farmers Market to meet voters and hand out flyers. I was told to move off the property to the other side of the street, as they did not support any political party.

We are all getting tired of the pandemic and divisive politics, and I, as you, wish this to be over soon.

This points to a greater pattern of intolerance and demonizing others' ideas; this has no place in Belfast, an inclusive city. More frighteningly, we tolerate a hostile climate where businesses (from car repair shop, to a local builder and even a gun shop) are afraid to openly support a candidate whose values align with theirs as “it may hurt business.” Fairness to the liberal side creates unfairness to all by attempting to muzzle responsible views and needed debate.

Maine is in serious trouble, the economy is fragile and businesses are closing forever due to shifting pandemic restrictions. Both the state and the city of Belfast’s answer is to raise our taxes rather than cut spending. Belfast just raised real estate taxes again to some of the highest in the state at 23.3 mills. This after spending $7.5 million on a new city garage and over $18 million on a County Court House, while having little or no affordable housing!

It’s an allocation problem. Young families can’t afford to live here and our school system churns out children with a shockingly low literacy rate. Our roads crumble and the parks are poorly maintained, yet our focus is on social issues that affect only small minority grievance groups.

My core beliefs are truly inclusive and socially progressive and will focus on creating opportunity for all, embrace Nordic Aquafarms (which will lower real estate taxes and create jobs), ensure literacy by demanding accountability and allowing teachers to teach to the highest level, not the common core minimum. I will ensure we build affordable housing so our community can grow from the ground up.

I am a native Mainer (born in Bar Harbor), a former banker, analyst and investor who has successfully raised funds for charities as diverse as battered women’s shelters and prenatal care, built a new fire department and directed a world-class bio lab. I have founded several small businesses and understand that the state must actively support all small business (which drive 52% of Maine’s economy).

We must all live within our means. I am firm in my support of law and order and our Second Amendment rights.

Please be truly progressive and vote for me, Bill Elliott, Nov. 3.

Bill Elliott


Planting for the natural world

As we gardeners plant and plan now for spring beauty, I urge us to remember the birds and pollinators that are having a very difficult time right now. Many plants with wonderful blooms have a positive environmental impact as well, whether as food or medicine for humans or for the pollinators upon whom we depend for food. Native plants are especially important for the co-evolved native insects the birds consume for reproduction.

Examples of multi-tasking native flowers are bee balm (tea, medicine, hummingbird food), echinacea (butterflies, medicine, bird food) and Jerusalem artichokes (windbreak, human, livestock, pollinator and bird food). Many gorgeous non-natives also have medicinal uses, like peonies, lilies and forsythia, and many attract pollinators, too. It is a fun challenge to integrate attractiveness with utility and ecology.

To this end, John Scheepers' catalog this year marks which of its bulbs yield flowers visited by bees, usually before other blossoms are available. They include at least some varieties of allium, anemone, crocus, fritillaria, muscari, peony, tulip and others. Prairie Moon Nursery's catalog has native plants and a lot of information.

Local folks are selling more natives in the spring, too. It would be terrific to see our parks emphasize planting natives and food trees. Please join me in providing for the natural world as we beautify our landscapes.

Jean Vitali


Magnan needed in Legislature

Veronica G. Magnan is the person we need in Maine’s House for District 131. Magnan believes in supporting “micro” businesses — the mom and pop businesses that do not approximate the formal definition of a “small business,” which can have up to $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees. Magnan recognizes that Maine’s “micro businesses” — the tiny lobstering operations, the sole proprietor artisans, the small farms — have been left behind in the distribution of CARE Act funds.

A retired educator, Veronica believes the Legislature should support education at the level that it pledged to over a decade ago: 55% state and 45% local funding. The state stepping up would ease the pressure on municipalities stretched thin with the impact of COVID.

Veronica will also fight for immediate broadband expansion in rural Maine. The lack of extensive, comprehensive and fast coverage for District 131, and elsewhere, hampers our economy and hinders our educational opportunities. The current five-year plan is too slow for the immediate needs of Maine’s small businesses and students.

Veronica served in Maine’s 124th Legislature and it’s time to send her back to serve in the 130th. If you have a “micro business,” if you have children or grandchildren getting their education in Maine’s schools, if you want a better future for Maine — but especially the tiny towns whose interests are so often overlooked — vote for Veronica G. Magnan for Maine’s House.

Sharon R. Catus

Stockton Springs

Not the real McCoy

In the November edition of Down East magazine, there is an excellent article on the Peter Gray Conservation Salmon Hatchery on the East Machias River, which makes Maine the only state where the sea-run Atlantic salmon holds onto its existence.

We need to protect and promote this kind of hatchery in our state — not Nordic in Belfast, which wants us to eat salmon raised in tanks, with who knows what kind of feed or antibiotics they are given.

I wouldn't give those fish a place in my fry pan or oven. If Belfast chooses to accept Nordic, I hope every salmon it sells, through distributors or through stores, is clearly labeled "grown in tanks, not the ocean."

Suzanne Johnson

Stockton Springs

Curry will be a good leader

I write to urge my fellow citizens to elect Chip Curry to the Maine State Senate for District 11. Knowing Chip as I do, I would support him under any circumstances.

But sending him to represent us in Augusta is most urgent right now — at a time when racial and cultural conflict, anger, fear and division consume our politics at the federal, state and local levels.

When elected officials and candidates for public office exploit these fault lines in pursuit of power, we fight back by electing people whose values and character offer a more inclusive, optimistic and competent style of leadership.

Chip Curry will be this kind of leader for Waldo County.

Chip is a skilled educator and academic adviser who helps college students sort through degree options, transfer planning, financial aid and career paths.

He has a long track record of using his experiences, working with young people, to serve youth statewide through his work on initiatives like the Maine Legislative Task Force on Quality Afterschool Programming and on the governor’s Children’s Cabinet.

Most importantly, Chip has this innate ability to listen and empathize with others.

Wherever we cross paths — be it the golf course, the harbor walk, the transfer station or Rollie’s, watching football — Chip always connects in a meaningful way.

In this time of division and distrust, we desperately need leaders like Chip who value the humanity in everyone and foster more dialogue and less monologue.

Jay Field


Curry: Waldo County not as divided as outsiders say

As a candidate for state Senate, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with hundreds of people from all over Waldo County. I have found that we are not nearly as divided as outsiders say we are. We share many values and have a history of working together with respect.

We value fairness, justice, safety, and compassion. We believe that the vulnerable should be cared for and that hard work is expected and should be fairly compensated. We value raising healthy strong children as well as caring for our elders. In talking with business owners, teachers, and caregivers, I am inspired by the ingenuity and hard work of Waldo County people. Throughout the pandemic, and with a great deal of effort, you've kept our businesses and schools running while keeping your families and neighbors safe.

Leadership is about bringing people together to work toward real changes that reflect our values, and our shared vision for the future. Over the past 25 years I have lived in Unity, Knox, and Belfast — I know our cities and towns have different visions for themselves. As your next state senator, I will champion the priorities of all of our rural, coastal, and island communities.

I’m fighting for a future where our communities are strong, healthy and sustainable. Where we lead lives of our own design that are productive, prosperous, happy, and dignified. We step up to take care of our neighbors. We work through our differences to respond to the challenges we face.

In many ways strong foundations are in place, yet there is still much work to be done:

  • Strengthening our economic foundations so there are more good-paying jobs available;
  • Delivering universal affordable broadband access;
  • Developing clean renewable energy to meet our growing need, while creating new jobs and saving money;
  • Strengthening our schools without taxing us out of our communities;
  • Ensuring we all have access to affordable healthcare; and
  • Providing robust services so our elders can stay in their homes and in our communities.

Our communities were built by previous generations, and maintained through service, sacrifice, and investment. Now it is our turn to lead through this time and these challenges. We can do this because they have shown us how, because we are Waldo County strong.

Glenn "Chip" Curry


Pendleton would leave trail name alone

Regarding renaming the Little River Community Trail, we wish to share with the mayor and the council, the public and Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition members our thoughts and feelings.

First, thank you for thinking of our father, Skip, in relation to the Little River Community Trail. In all fairness, the trail was made possible by many people being organized through the sponsoring BBWC organization. As much as my father enjoyed being outdoors, he equally enjoyed involving others, both adults and the young people from school, in helping to build and maintain the trails. He would always prefer attention be directed away from him and toward the community efforts that have increased access to the natural world.

Second, different groups recently have brought to public awareness the importance of keeping names with their physical/environmental associations. So that would mean keeping the "Little River Community Trail" as the LRCT.

Lastly, while our father was a complex thinker whose notions and opinions could always surprise us, we think it's very likely he would want you to honor the Little River Watershed for its abundance of environmental riches by leaving it untouched and available for community generations to come. We think he would probably be disturbed to know of industrial development plans that displace 40 acres of watershed, making meaningful trail habitat incompatible for wildlife, birds, nature sounds and smells.

Again, we appreciate your desire to honor our father’s dedication to connecting community members to the restorative pleasures of walking a trail through the woods. But we feel the proposal would have him “rolling over in his grave,” and instead hope to have his spirit rest in peace.

We wish you all the best in helping to create healthy community in these challenging times.

Bindy and Denise Pendleton


Curry will advocate for high-speed internet

I started volunteering for Chip Curry after asking him some tough questions about the negative impact of internet “deserts” — the lack of access to reliable high-speed internet in much of Waldo County.

I believe that this infrastructure issue dramatically reduces our ability to educate our kids and adults, to provide remote health care services that benefit from professionals being able to see and treat their patients in their own homes, to attract businesses to Waldo County, and therefore to attract jobs to Waldo County.

I suspect many people in our district have personally experienced or seen the impact of those “deserts” on members of their own families.

Chip has been clear about prioritizing this issue and many others that matter most to the citizens of Waldo County. But don’t take my word for it. Explore his website and then join me in voting to elect Chip Curry as our state senator for District 11.

Robert Adler


Do the right thing

Remember the kid in your class who was always messing up so that the whole class had to stay in for recess or miss the field trip? The congregation of the Brooks Pentecostal Church, Lighthouse Christian Academy and other COVID-deniers remind me of that kid. Through their irresponsible behavior, they have messed things up for everyone by putting us all at greater risk. How do people of faith justify that? How does someone who works at the hospital not know the facts?

At this writing, 57 cases have been connected to the church and Christian school. As a result, our public schools have to go backwards to only partial in-person teaching. We are the only county (Waldo) in the state with schools with the “yellow” determination, all because of this outbreak. A congregant brought the disease into a local nursing home. Fall high school sports are canceled. The level of fear has increased in our community, and the gap between COVID-deniers and realists has grown.

Increasing outbreaks extend the time we will all have to live with COVID. Until now, Waldo County has been doing well, with low numbers for new cases because so many of us have done the right thing — maintain social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands. Really, how hard is that?

Nationwide, the last few days have brought the highest number of new cases per day since the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of deaths will soon be a quarter of a million. Our economy is in dire straits with millions of Americans unemployed and businesses failing. The only way to improve the economy and get back to normal is by controlling the virus. And the only way to control the virus is for everyone to do the right thing.

If you are waiting for a vaccine to be readily available, don’t hold your breath. If you think herd immunity will take care of it, you will have to wait until 70% of the population gets and survives the disease. In Waldo County, that would be 27,800 people.

Freedom, religious or otherwise, doesn’t give you the right to put others in danger. I mean, are you free to drive drunk and cause others harm? Come on, folks, let’s get this thing over with. Do the right thing.

Linda Buckmaster


Curry will be 'champion of energy'

Last month marked the hottest September ever recorded since the U.S. government began tracking temperatures in 1880. As the local effects of climate change knock on our door here in Maine, it is imperative that we embrace both the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. After more than 11 years working in solar energy, I see these opportunities every day and know the financial and societal impact they hold.

Chip Curry understands the importance of supporting energy efficiency and renewable resources in Waldo County, and in turn the careers of workers in our region and beyond. Chip will be a champion of energy and the environment in the Maine Senate — please join me in supporting Chip and our collective mission to make Maine a beacon of energy adaptation and community solutions as we face the greatest challenge of our lifetime.

Jennifer Albee


Connors will advocate for all Mainers

I don’t usually get involved with local politics; however, I believe our state needs to make some changes, starting with our elected representatives. I will be supporting Jessica Connor’s candidacy for state representative this year.

I am supporting Jessica because she will advocate for all Mainers not just those within her political party. She supports the Second Amendment, the right for all Mainers to have, keep and bear arms. As a small business owner she knows that our local businesses are hurting and have not had suitable representation in Augusta especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jessica is very active in her local community and in our district. She believes that those with the ability to help have the obligation to do so. Please cast your vote for Jessica Connor for state representative on Nov. 3.

Jeremy Edwards