Looking for an opponent

Two years ago I called for an opponent as I ran for the Belfast City Council. I wanted to debate Nordic Aquafarms with the people who claim without merit that they have a winning position. But no one answered the call. Here it is two years later: a pandemic, a housing crisis and two more years of anti-fish farm cacophony and I’m looking for an opponent. But I did not go looking too hard for someone with intestinal fortitude as I run for a two-year term. I know how hard it is to be in a real race and it is far easier to be elected without opposition. But who would believe no opposition? I was threatened with a recall by pro-Trump anti-vaxxers because I celebrated Biden’s election with illegal fireworks (and paid a hefty fine), then I was promised I’d be thrown out in the next election “JUST YOU WAIT!” … and all along I was dead certain I’d draw one of the endlessly vocal and oh-so-brave-in-print anti-fish farm characters. But when the rubber met the road not one brave soul threw their hat in the ring. Whatever happened to the power of convictions? I don’t know. I just checked mine and have no fear: My convictions are just fine. That’s why I am running.

But it was not just me: No one is running against Mayor Sanders or my fellow councilor Brenda Bonneville. Excuses are a dime a dozen, but all I can say is: really? Really? These are serious times for Belfast with big issues to debate and decisions to be made, directions and policies to be decided. Courses to be set. With all seats uncontested I can only draw the conclusion that the Belfast City Council is trusted by the great majority of the people of Belfast, or we’d have at least one person willing to step up and debate the issues.

Here are the issues I’m focused on. 1. Housing, housing, housing. We are in a state of housing crisis and the city of Belfast can do more and act faster than we have to date. 2. Fair taxes. 3. I support Nordic Aquafarms because it will not hurt Belfast or our area and will lower your taxes and make it possible to do things people want without raising taxes. 4. Sidewalks and making walkers, bikers and the handicapped safer and more accessible.

Last but not least: I am honored and thankful for all the trust and support I have received over time. My heart belongs to Belfast and the people who call it home. I spend my days thinking of how I can better serve the people of Belfast. Don’t forget: Everyone votes in all wards. I ask for your vote on this Election Day. I need your vote and thank you for it. Stay well and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Mike Hurley


Thanks to Belfast DPW

I wish to express my gratitude to the city of Belfast and the hardworking Department of Public Works for the new paved ramp from Congress Street up to Wales Park. My mother, who is no longer as young as she once was, lives on Congress Street, across from Wales Park, and she loves to walk up to and through the park and on to the Muck, but recently she had been unable to do so because the steep embankment from Congress Street up to the park had become too much for her. But with the new ramp she is now able to resume her beloved walk, and her life is richer for it.

So I thank the city and DPW — your efforts are much appreciated.

Lawrence Reichard


Vote yes on 1

All the talk about the so-called clean and green corridor that we will be voting on in November really began in 1984.  In 1984 the damming of the George River in Quebec began with the destruction of the Eastern Caribou herd as they drowned by the thousands when their traditional migration route was flooded for construction of the James Bay Hydro project. Now they want us Mainers  to reward the Canadian government and its foreign supporters by allowing it to destroy the Western Maine forest.

People seem to be of the opinion that Canada is an environmentally conscious country. It has over the last 30 years or so allowed for the destruction of vast areas of wilderness that have brought other herds of caribou to what it considers an acceptable extinction.

Another example of the Canadian government’s callous disregard for the environment is the number of right whales killed in Canadian waters while our lobstermen are shut out of fishing grounds where they have done little or no damage to this rare species. Please do not reward CMP, Canada and their foreign  partners in November. Vote yes to stop once and for all the destruction of our beautiful state.

Leo Mazerall

Stockton Springs

Remembering Mainely Pottery

Thank you for such a nice article about Mainely Pottery. I liked that the article focused on Jamie and Jeanette’s friendliness and sincerity and the store’s place in the community. Jamie was a wonderful friend, potter, curler and community member. My husband and I miss him terribly as does everyone who knew or worked with them.

Diana Hauser


Patten misinformed

Regarding his Oct. 21 column, “Just the facts, please,” Mr. Patten should stick with the facts. I do wish that the Democratic governor candidate  in Virginia had not said that parents do not decide what should be taught in public schools. In fact, State Education Departments, not local school boards, determine the core curricular elements. Even parents who “home school” are subject to those requirements

His Virginia contacts are presenting a less-than-factual point of view. Two issues are roiling the community in Loudoun County, Virginia.

First, an erroneous notion that Critical Race Theory is or will be taught as part of the Loudoun County curriculum. CRT is taught in graduate school and there is no proposal for teaching it in any public school anywhere.

Second is outrage over a court decision that one student must be permitted to use the restroom facility consistent with their gender identification. There are parents in search of an issue.

When a student is raped, it is investigated by police, not school authorities. For the privacy of the possible involved students, there should be no public discussion of the issue in open meetings.

The parent was threatened with arrest because he was, unmasked like most of the others, threatening members of the board and was being disruptive. It was not because of what may or may not have happened to his daughter.

I spent nine years as a school board member in Belfast. We did not tolerate student bullying and called the Waldo County sheriff when citizens engaged in bullying behavior.

If Patten wants to opine on Virginia school issues, he might read The Washington Post to get more facts, rather than a small sample of friends with a particular perspective.

John Marshall

Washington, D.C.

CMP corridor does not help Maine

Years ago, when Quebec was voting on whether to secede from the Canadian confederacy, we had a bright idea. Maine ought to secede from the United States federation, unite with the Maritime Provinces and together we would form a new nation. Then, to ensure our economic survival we could apply to the United States for foreign aid! In the event, Quebec did not secede, our thoughts on secession, at that time not back in fashion, did not attract the notice of the FBI and Maine continues as part of the indissoluble Union.

The underlying problem is real. Maine’s relationship to the United Sates economy is, and I cannot find any better way of stating it, like that of a “third world country.” Resource extraction and depletion dominate our economy. This includes multinational corporations such as the one that currently owns Central Maine Power. They extract value for the benefit of shareholders.

On Nov. 2, Maine voters have the opportunity to vote in a referendum to express the will of the people on whether the transmission corridor connecting electricity generation in Quebec to electricity consumption in, primarily, Massachusetts, ought to go forward. I plan to vote yes to put a restraining hold on this North Woods boondoggle and I urge my fellow citizens to join me, for the following reasons:

1. Shareholders benefit, Massachusetts benefits, Maine does not benefit from this pass-through operation.

2.  I don’t trust the current management of the electricity conglomerate that owns Central Maine Power to undertake a project of this magnitude.

3. The impact of all this is a big environmental challenge without a clearly validated environmental return.

If, however, we can restore Central Maine Power and other electricity utilities as Maine-owned enterprises, through state Rep. Seth Berry’s proposed legislation or something similar, then, I believe we, the people, could figure out a solution to the energy issue that would benefit the environment, our New England neighbors and Maine. In the meantime, I’ve started flying the old Maine flag with a pine tree and the north star as a symbol that, although not about seceding, at least says we need to stand up for ourselves. Many Mainers — Republicans, Democrats and others — believe this also.

Ray Estabrook


Time to get rid of the filibuster

In 2006, 192 House Republicans voted to renew the Voting Rights Act. But in 2021, we can’t get a single Republican senator to come out and unequivocally support protecting the freedom to vote for the American people.

Senate Republicans wouldn’t even let the Freedom to Vote Act — a bill that was designed to get them on board — go to the floor for debate! That should tell you everything you need to know about our hopes for passing voting rights legislation without abolishing the filibuster.

It’s time for President Biden to recognize this reality and use the power of his office to demand the Senate abolish the filibuster. Supporting voting rights legislation alone is simply not enough.

Please, President Biden, we need a strategy. Put the freedom to vote of the American people ahead of any reservations you have about abolishing the filibuster. The stakes are too high and we need your leadership.

Elliot Benjamin