Jams for Justice a success

The Midcoast Maine Reparations Collective is pleased to report that our recent event, Jams for
Justice, was a resounding success. Thanks to everyone who supported and attended the June 24 event at Steamboat Landing in Belfast, we were able to raise $4,655 for Racial Equity and Justice, a vitally important organization dedicated to racial justice education and advocacy based in Bangor.

Thank you to the musicians for generously donating their time; to Mali Obamsawin, citizen of the Abenaki First Nation at Odanak and REJ representative, for performing and speaking; to everyone who attended, donated, and participated in the auction; and to Racial Equity and Justice for all the wonderful
and vital work they do.

If you would like to learn more about reparations, or contact the Midcoast Maine Reparations
Collective, please visit us at mcmreparations.org.

Pia Gibson

Belfast

A refreshing science column

Mr. Lagerbom’s scientific column on the Devonian Period was refreshing and enlightening. I admire his imaginative and bold desire to have gone diving in those waters. Then, some of those Devonian denizens were not just “dinky sharks,” and a dive in those waters could have been a one-way trip.

Mr. Lagerbom made a point about the Cretaceous Extinction which is a common misunderstanding that the line of Dinosauria ended at that time. The dinosaurs were on their way out long before the extinction event because of the alliance of insects with the angiosperms that was rapidly changing ecosystems. One group, the Ceratopsians, survived for thousands of years after the extinction event.

There were two distinct lines of Dinosuria, one of which is the ornithischian (bird ) hipped group. Transition fossils delineate the transition from the Ornithischians to modern day birds. Just watch a crow, or even better, a grackle move its head and walk on its scaly legs and clawed feet and recognize that it is a dinosaur.

Keith Dunson, retired high school science teacher

Belfast

Column insults descendants of Union soldiers

Well, Reade, it was so enlightening to read your column. I’m sure the descendants of the 320,000 white supremacists (including 9,000 Mainers) who died in the Civil War are so happy that you labeled them that way. So will be the thousands of Scots, Englishmen, Germans, Swedes, Italians, French and people from other nationalities who wrested a living from the tough Maine soil and sea and made Maine “The way life should be.”

All the white supremacists who descended (of course a majority had no descendants; they died) from the survivors of the Civil War to free the slaves are now second-class citizens according to you. In a state with a 5% diverse minority, most of whom are recent immigrants, we — the people of Maine — are supposed to be supplicant to them. It must make you feel good that you can drop guilt onto 95% of Mainers who are hardworking and trying to bring up their families and improve their lives.

Funny, I never see or hear any of the diversity crowd you so adore come to Maine (or any other Union state) and thank the descendants of the soldiers from Maine who turned the fate of the nation at Little Round Top for sacrificing their lives to free the slaves and keep the United States the United States. They were waiting for a guy like you who has no compunction in shaming the people whose ancestors kept the Union together.

Peter Petersen

Swanville

Council truckles to Nordic

How excitedly and rapidly the Belfast City Council leaped at the offer by Nordic to give that hopeful company access for its pipeline in Penobscot Bay on land which neither party owns!

How happy the Belfast City Council is that it can provide more waterfront access to its citizens, who have only fourteen (14) public access routes to open water and only three (3) parks on Penobscot Bay!

And who’s to worry about the annual expense of fitting out and maintaining another public park?

Carol Simon

Swanville

District returns money to taxpayers

Kudos to Regional School Unit 3 for sending the unexpected increase in state funding directly back to the taxpayers of their district. This is decreasing the tax burden for district taxpayers. Many of Maine’s school districts have chosen not to do this.

Jacki Robbins

Municipal Officer

Monroe

Disgusted

I am infuriated to read that Belfast city councilors are looking to take control of the Friends of Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Area, possibly by eminent domain, in order to secure access for Nordic’s pipeline through the tidal flats. Their announcement to create a new “waterfront park” is nothing but a duplicitous effort to facilitate the building of Nordic’s giant fish factory in case the courts rule that Nordic does not have right, title or interest.

Bottom line is the City Council plans to circumvent the judicial process because they’ve been in bed with Nordic from the get go and will go to any lengths to please. Disgusting.

Jamila Levasseur

Waldo

Letter writer should do some research

I am writing this letter in response to Mr. Mazerall’s letter in The Journal’s July 15 issue.  In the letter Mr. Mazerall was stating that indigenous (Native American) people should “get over it” about the Santa Maria replica in Bucksport. I would encourage Mr. Mazerall to research Christopher Columbus and indigenous peoples.  It is my hope that once research has been completed, he will no longer wonder why indigenous peoples cannot simply “get over” Columbus.

Amy M. Keller

Belfast

Is eminent domain right for Belfast?

As the Nordic Aquafarms land ownership issue plays out in court, the city of Belfast is rolling up its sleeves to do something it would prefer not have to do, use eminent domain. With closed-door decisions and no public comment, the City Council is preparing to get around the judicial findings for the purpose of Nordic’s effluent pipe — all in the name of “public interest.” This creates a moral dilemma and needs some historical analysis.

“Eminent domain” was first coined by a 17th-century attorney who used the Latin phrase, “dominium eminens,” meaning “supreme lordship.” But the practice of the ”supreme lords” taking private land is recorded as far back as the 6000 B.C. in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Several Old Testament mentions of the immorality of eminent domain are recorded, but one especially stands out in Ezekiel 46:18, which says, “The prince shall not take any inheritance of the people, thrusting them out of their property. He shall give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people shall be scattered from his property.” Why would the Bible need to prohibit such offenses? Because the wise ones knew that stealing someone’s land is not only wrong, it destroys trust in those in authority and scatters communities apart.

But that was then, this is now. Look instead to Norway’s version of eminent domain: expropriation. According to the Oslo Law Review journal, in 1995, Norway solidified its bilateral agreements within the international community with the following criteria that must be fulfilled before taking measures of expropriation: the expropriation shall be done for the “public interest” or “public or national interest,” it shall “not be discriminatory” and it shall be made against compensation. Generally a host country’s determination of whether the proposal is in the public’s interest is respected.

Does Nordic Aquafarms from Norway need to follow the Norwegian regulations? No, because it is technically based in tax-free Delaware. But if it were to follow Norwegian law, it would recognize that ignoring the findings of the U.S. court system could be “discriminatory” against the Maine Superior Court and Justice Murray’s ruling. Even though the ruling isn’t a living being with rights, Mabee and Grace are, and so is the “beingness” of our community, our courts, and our collective morality. Secondly, high-risk enterprises growing expensive for-profit salmon are not in the public’s interest. The expropriated land would also have to be compensated for should they choose to take it.

If you are disturbed by Belfast City Council’s potential misuse of eminent domain, please let them know. This is a matter of protecting the integrity of our justice system and, for those companies that care, protecting Norwegian criteria for what is just, too.

Steve Byers

Waldo

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