Carrying personal freedom too far?

One aspect of our nation’s insanity pandemic, vaccination phobia, came (for me) to a head with a flamboyantly notorious congressman’s suggestion that vaccinations of any sort ought to be voluntary — an exercise in personal freedom that would likely revive diseases long thought to be well under control if not, indeed, dormant. (I refer to the alt-right provocateur who usually shows up in committee and elsewhere absent a jacket.)

How far is it reasonable to take this personal-freedom thing? As a patriotic, law-abiding Army vet who cherishes his freedoms, I see no reason for a driver’s license, nor do I see a need for auto insurance. I’ll drive when and where I please, and to hell with all you pinko, nitpicking bureaucrats and your onerous impositions! And my property taxes are too damned high! I won’t pay them! And income tax? A socialist plague imposed on freedom-loving Alpha-types such as myself!

I’m easy to spot. I’m the guy shouldering a semi-auto long gun with a big, fat scope and a half-dozen high-capacity magazines arrayed across my manly chest. Especially downtown. And I’ll probably be muttering something irrational.

Mike Silverton

Belfast

Yes on 3

We are older seniors who credit our good health to diet.  We have a small garden and berries that we share with family and friends. We support local agriculture with a three-season CSA at a nearby farm. We purchase beef from a local farmer who raises his herd on good Maine grass. The meat is processed by a local business under strict regulations written right here in Maine.  Someone once said that it is bad business to poison your neighbors.  We think it is good business for ourselves and our neighbors to guarantee through our Constitution that we can continue to know and choose our food sources and support local agriculture. Please join us in voting yes on Question 3, the Right To Food amendment.

Faith and Don Garrold

Searsport

Habitat needs helpers

Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County is pleased to announce that with the help of volunteers, we have finished the prep work on the site we purchased for a ReStore on Route 3 (just past the University of Maine Hutchinson Center).

We are ready to install radiant heat tubing and pour cement, but we need a permit from the state Fire Marshal’s Office to do that, which we have been expecting for many weeks. Giving consideration to the coming weather, we have made the difficult decision to put off that work until spring. After that, our plan is to hold a four-day build with the help of local contractors and builders, who have signed on to help (much like an Amish barn raising). Then we can work on finishing the inside.

HFHWC is dedicated to the principle that all people deserve safe, decent, affordable housing. To that end, in our 11 years of existence as an affiliate, we have built and sold five homes to qualifying partner families (providing a forever home for 16 individuals). Each partner homeowner donates hundreds of hours of sweat equity toward building their home and contributing to the work of Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County. Because of volunteer efforts and generous community donations, partner homeowners are able to purchase their home on terms they can afford.

The ripple effects continue as our new homeowners add to the tax base in the community. And research shows outcomes for children improve when they enjoy the stability and predictability of permanent housing and everyone in the home enjoys a greater ability to recover from life’s setbacks. Home ownership supports resilience. This is why we join together to build homes, hope and community.

But we want to be able to do more and we think the proceeds from a ReStore (a Habitat-branded discount home improvement store) will help us build at least one house a year, instead of one every two years.

To volunteer to help, call 338-2344. Monetary donations can be sent to HFHWC, 93 High St, Belfast, ME 04915.

Board of Directors

Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County

Curling club seeks support

Two years ago, my wife and I chose Belfast as our permanent retirement home. No Florida for us!  It seemed an easy decision. The beauty of Penobscot Bay and the many opportunities to stay active, both physically and mentally, were important drivers. Before moving, we had experienced many local hiking trails, pickleball in City Park, and cycling on the Belfast Rail Trail (thank you, city councilors). Ah, but what about the winter months, you ask? Well, some cross-country skiing, our beautiful library and the Waldo YMCA are helpful. But what really solidified our decision was the Belfast Curling Club.

The Curling Club provided us with new challenges and new friends. It gave us a place to enjoy the cold winter months in a warm, caring and yet competitive environment. In my opinion, it allows the town of Belfast to truly proclaim the mantra of the “four season” location. But today, our Curling Club is in dire financial difficulties, and it needs your help. It is reeling from a one-two punch of a closed COVID year without income, followed by water damage that led to a disastrous repair bill of over $400,000.

The Belfast Curling Club has been a mainstay of our town since 1959. Volunteers built the club on donated land (thank you, Wood family), and since that time we have been committed to developing and teaching the spirit of curling to our community. The benefits of having the only dedicated ice facility in the entire state of Maine are numerous, but many are invisible at first glance. I’ll just mention a few:

  • Promoting community spirit (all are welcome, and ages range from 8 on up)
  • Creating new friendships and opportunities for social interactions (desperately needed in these times)
  • Supporting and providing education for all of Maine’s college curling clubs
  • Providing a sport with both aerobic and strategic components (trust me, it’s not shuffleboard)
  • Staging national (our famous Maniac tournament), and international events (this year the Scottish team selected Belfast as a site on its tour)
  • Providing a winter sport that promotes community cohesion

There are two ways you can be supportive. You can visit the Belfast Curling Club website or the GoFundMe page and contribute directly. Or perhaps even more beneficial would be to sign up for one of our “learn to curls” and consider joining. My wife and I would love for you not to have to spend any time in Florida this winter.

Joe Duggan

Belfast

Question 3 ‘dangerous’

Question 3 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation Maine voters have ever been asked to vote on. Constitutional amendments are drastic measures, especially when their wording conflicts with existing state and local law. This amendment could allow state laws that protect animals, our environment or even public health with regard to food safety to be challenged in court if they infringe on one’s constitutional right to raise, slaughter and eat any animal of their choosing.

Nothing in this amendment specifically requires that local laws regarding animal welfare, environmental protection or public health be adhered to. It is possible that Maine would be unable to pass any additional laws protecting any animal one chooses to eat, because that would infringe on our constitutional right to raise and slaughter animals.

A constitutional “right to food” sounds reasonable, as food insecurity and hunger are serious problems that need to be addressed. Surely everyone deserves access to food, but our problems with hunger have nothing to do with lack of a constitutional right to food. Instead, we need to address the root causes, such as poverty, inequality and policies that focus on short-term relief instead of systemic change.

Please vote no on Question 3 this November to protect animals, our environment and public health.

Wendy Andresen

Camden