Find everything at the Y

Living in Maine is a joy! Yesterday I checked in early morning at my club, which is my daily social outing. I’ve been a member since 2004. Free coffee, a put-and-take-cart of books, the Bangor Daily News and a hearty greeting from the End of the Hall Gang welcoming arrivals. A place where everyone knows your name.

Should I fail to appear at my usual time for a few days, the receptionist phones to inquire about my well-being. Often, there is a table in the lobby staffed by a nurse providing blood pressure testing or a free flu shot. Local farms provide free produce for members. Never had to buy potatoes, squash or zucchini this summer.

There are fitness programs, personal trainers and swimming coaches.  The club offers summer camp and before and after school programs for children. It is a venue for duplicate bridge, book clubs, badminton and volleyball. Members are entitled to free assistance with completing and filing income tax forms. The club sponsors monthly outings for older members to visit orchards, sugar houses, overseas travel and other adventures.

The club facilities include a gym, fully equipped exercise room with imposing machines to torture the human body and a rubber-banked track for walkers and joggers. I always use the track, even in summer.  There is less chance of getting lost.

There are three pools; a lap pool, heated therapy pool and hot tub. If you forget your towel, one will be provided. The locker rooms are Spartan, but spacious. There are private changing rooms for families.

Often, the staff will provide a free breakfast or lunch. There are free masks at the front desk, and defibrillators and first aid kits for emergencies. All facilities are wheelchair-accessible. The phrase “user friendly” is too small to define the help and kindness of staff and fellow members.

My club is not exclusive, it is inclusive. Anyone can join. The cost is modest. Join me at The Waldo County Y.

Julian Cannell

Northport

Comments are common sense

It’s just, well, common sense. The news outlets that want to encourage thought and freedom of speech always allow comments for all. Those that want to censor, don’t. Do you want The Republican Journal to be one way or the other?

By controlling what gets printed, you’re telling people with different ways of thinking than you that you don’t respect them. And they won’t support that with their money. Money your paper needs to survive. A successful business is very democratic. It’s people voting with their dollars. I’ve never understood why the Democratic party is so hell-bent on vilifying the free market. What could be more positive than a seller and a buyer both being satisfied in the same bright moment? Each has something the other wants and trades it willingly. Freely. The only alternative is slavery.

Liberals and conservatives need each other. They need to be jarred loose from their more brittle and unproductive sensibilities. Both sides have them, and both sides need to be able to talk without restraint in order to shake each other up. Shake out the dust. Democrats ignore the need for setting aside “feelings” and illogical ideas about basic living. Republicans need to give more of themselves to community charity and relationship. They need to have a beer at a party once in a while. If Dems overspend, then Republicans don’t have time for a social life.

There has to be some mutual recognition of the sacredness of one’s precious minutes on earth. We have no idea how long we will live or when we will die! Oh, the stupidity of wasting the hours of your day paying taxes and filling out forms for bureaucratic parasites! The entire political machine is bent on pitting us against each other.

Do the poor get the help they need? No. But the bureaucrats get a job that pays twice the going rate in the private sector with virtually no danger of being fired for incompetency. Where’s the news about that? If you’re afraid of losing your licenses and FCC accreditation for telling the truth about corruption, then we are really in trouble.

And you guys, God bless you, are the only ones who can expose those abuses of money and power. It must be terrifying for you. So print some of the death threats! Tell the world who’s pressuring you. Besides the fact that it’s your moral responsibility to do it, if you don’t do it, when you don’t let the common people comment (i.e., do it for you), then you’re adding to the corruption and the misery. You become just as much of a bully.

At least with comments, people can make their own judgments on what’s said, without endangering your integrity, and knowing who said it and in what context. If I read something by say, Dan Horton, I know what/who I’m reading and in what context. You don’t have to explain or apologize in any way.  Comments protect you and allow things to be said that need saying. Even if they aren’t exactly perfect.

Patty Keyes

Swanville

Tarratine Hall not a suitable polling place

Because voting is our right and responsibility, this important civic action should be conducted in a suitably public and neutral location. When I discovered this morning (having just returned from a trip) that I, as a Ward 3 resident, was expected to vote at the IORM Tarratine Tribe building, I felt disgust and outrage well up within me.

For those who may be unaware, the “Improved Order of Red Men” was organized hundreds of years ago as an exclusive club for white men, who had the gall to appropriate the identity of the very Native people they were excluding and exploiting. As Ambassador Maulian Dana put it two years ago, “They are there for the feathers, not for the trauma. … You cannot cherry-pick the stereotypically favorable pieces of a race of people to use for your false projection of what that race means when you put it on like a costume while ignoring the voices of that group that are telling you the harm that you are causing them and the reasons why.”

Two years ago the council understood and honored the ambassador’s communication. What has happened to you? With churches and schools and a YMCA to choose from, what led you to decide it was acceptable to assign us to this morally offensive property that taints the whole experience of voting and all it stands for? Please acknowledge your mistake, apologize to Wards 3 and 4, and never let this happen again.

Diane Oltarzewski

Belfast

Love Light Celebration

Every year at First Church in Belfast, UCC, amidst the hustle and bustle moving us toward Christmas Day, church and community members share a quiet evening remembering and celebrating loved ones during a special holiday event on the church front lawn.

The fifth annual First Church “Holiday Love Light Celebration” will be held Sunday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. at the First Church in Belfast, 104 Church St.

Prior to the event, we invite you to sponsor a tiny twinkling white light, or a string of lights, in memory or honor of your friend, family or community member. The program includes a public reading of the names of area residents who are no longer physically with us, followed by the lighting of the living Christmas tree. After the lights begin to glow, we will join our voices to sing a Christmas carol before adjourning.

Individuals can have names added to the Love Light list by purchasing an individual “Love Light” or a “String of Love Lights.” The contribution for a single light is $5, or $25 for a string of lights.

“Love Light” purchase order forms will be available for pickup in the office of The First Church in Belfast at 8 Court St. Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. With COVID numbers still high in Waldo County, we understand that not everyone may be comfortable coming into the office. You can also request a form by calling the office at 338-2282 or by emailing: office@firstchurchinbelfast.org. We would be more than happy to email or snail-mail an order form to you.

Orders must be received no later than Nov. 19 to be included in the Nov. 28 Holiday Love Light celebration. Please join us as we share in this time of remembrance of those who have gone before us as a way of truly celebrating the season of love and light.

The Rev. Joel Krueger

The Rev. Dr. Kate Winters

Co-Pastors

First Church in Belfast, UCC

Hip hip hooray! Live music

Kudos go out to Belfast’s Colonial Theatre and Sara Trunzo for creating a COVID-19 safe environment to enjoy live local music Nov. 5. Guests needed to show proof of vaccination and wear masks to attend this “Songwriters Sound.” These requirements made my husband and me (seniors) feel comfortable about attending.

Sara Trunzo, musician and producer, organized this evening so that the sound system, provided by Ed Howe, was perfecto. The four singer songwriters were Caroline Cotter, Noah Fishman, Kate MCCann (Princess Pine) and Sara Trunzo. If you haven’t heard of these talented musicians, check them out. We listened to their powerful, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes quirky, funny lyrics, that made us alternately cry and laugh.

“Cinema Safe – Vaccination required Wednesdays” are happening at the Colonial Theatre in Belfast. I hope other venues will copy the care with which this Songwriters Sound event was produced. It was a memorable evening for all. There’s nothing like listening in person to live music.

Linda Garson Smith

Belfast

Time to dump Biden

Well this morning (Nov. 4) the brain trust that is supposed to be running our country opened the northern border. This will allow our Canadian neighbors, who must be vaccinated and show proof of that vaccination, entry into our country. That was a good call. Additionally, new  mandates to Americans require some employers to require vaccination of all employees.  All to protect us from COVID. On the other hand, looking to our southern border, the gates are open and have been open since Biden’s unfortunate election.

Thousands of aliens from every hellhole on the planet are being allowed entry with no concern for their vaccination status or their criminal history. Could it be that the Democratic party is trying to ensure an election victory in 2024 by buying the votes of every minority group they can give our tax dollars to?

You be the judge! Time to impeach this un-American administration and anyone associated with it. Including our governor, who does not much care for the will of Maine people, as can be shown by her feelings about our  yes vote on Question 1.

Preserve, protect and defend.

Leo Mazerall Jr.

Stockton Springs