‘Absurd’ comment

The claims and counterclaims regarding the Nordic salmon farm continue unabated, as summarized in the March 3 issue, although the scale seems to have tilted toward Nordic.  But a comment from one of the interested parties, Belfast Mayor Eric Sanders, struck me as particularly absurd.

As quoted in the article, he states that he is happy about the recent court ruling and that he looks forward to the development of the project, as do the citizens of Belfast, who will in the future enjoy “this wonderful gift of an oceanfront park tied to our trail system.” No doubt the White Star line extolled the quality of the deck chairs on the Titanic, too.

As General Custer said, “Just over the hill, men. Take no prisoners.”

Larry Abbott

Belmont

Conflicting messages

In a Feb. 21 Facebook post, Nordic Aquafarms said it “does not have an opinion” on Central Maine Power’s proposed Midcoast Section 80 expansion, and adds that it “has no plans to get involved in the process.”

But in a Jan. 21, 2020, letter to Maine Public Utilities Commission Administrative Director Harry Lanphear, Central Maine Power Senior Counsel Richard Hevey wrote: “The need for CMP to rebuild has become urgent on the request of a new load customer to interconnect to CMP’s system.” (The letter can be found on the PUC’s website by looking up Case 2011-00138.)

That new load customer was Nordic Aquafarms.

Hevey continues, “Nordic Aquafarms is requesting transmission and distribution services to serve its proposed new aqua culture salmon farm facility to be located in Belfast, Maine.”

Hevey then describes a December 2018 CMP power flow analysis to determine the needs required to interconnect Nordic Aquafarms. His letter goes on, “During the course of the analysis by CMP, it was noted that each potential alternative to interconnect the Nordic Aquafarms load will require that Section 80 be rebuilt in order to meet certain N-1-1 contingencies at peak load level conditions.”

So, according to CMP Senior Counsel Hevey, Section 80 expansion is crucial to Nordic’s plans — and it’s hard to believe Nordic has no opinion on something crucial to its $500 million project. And according to Hevey, Nordic, despite its Feb. 21 denial, has in fact been involved in the process for more than two years, by virtue of the Nordic request he reports in his letter.

So why did Nordic feel compelled to make that questionable Feb. 21 Facebook post? Is Nordic feeling the heat from CMP customers leery of forking over $63 million of their hard-earned cash for the benefit of wealthy Nordic executives, wealthy Nordic investors and upscale consumers? I certainly hope so.

Lawrence Reichard

Belfast

Ice Festival brought people together

To anyone who sponsored, visited, supported, participated, or played a role in this past weekend’s Belfast Ice Festival and State of Maine Ice Carving Championships in downtown Belfast, thank you! Record crowds of friendly people visited downtown Belfast under blue skies, despite the cold temperatures.

When the idea of an Ice Festival was first thought of, no one planning the event could have imagined what took place last weekend. Thousands of smiling people visited our downtown to experience 300-pound ice blocks transformed into all sorts of designs. But, more than that, what happened was our community came together.

We owe special thanks and deep appreciation to Ryan Otis and Tina DelSanto, two downtown restaurant owners in Belfast. Both rolled up their sleeves and embraced a shared vision of what this event could be. They took the lead, including getting others on board to participate. They are committed to the future of this community and we are lucky to have their leadership on this event and many other things that they quietly support.

 

Thank you and congratulations to all who participated in the 1st State of Maine Ice Carving Championship. Special congratulations to the 1st State of Maine Ice Carving Championship winners: Addison Godine, Maddy Godine, Eileen Moscoso, Jamar Williams and Louisa Marks for their creation, “Connecting.”

A special thanks to the city of Belfast Public Works Department crew under the direction of Director Bob Richards. When 8 inches of snow fell on Belfast Friday during the day and evening, the Public Works crew was out making sure the roads and parking areas were ready to go for Saturday. If that wasn’t enough, the crew came back early Saturday morning to haul off the snow that had fallen Friday. By the time people arrived downtown, it was not evident it had snowed.

When it was clear it would snow on Friday, the Belfast City Council agreed at the 11th hour to allow for the closure of Federal Street for sledding. This street provided hours of fun and set up an epic race between Officer Tribuzio of the Belfast Police Department and a group of local kids on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the impromptu sledding opportunity, many groups offered free children’s activities throughout the weekend, including Belfast Fiberarts, Kids Unplugged, Waldo County YMCA, Unitarian Universalist Church, Jacki Cassida and Nordic Aquafarms, Waldo Community Action Partners, The Colonial Theatre, Belfast Parks and Recreation and the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce. Coastal Mountains Land Trust offered an ice luminary walk on the Rail Trail on Saturday evening.

The stars of the festival were our talented ice carvers. Starting Thursday afternoon, Jesse Bouchard, Tim Pierce, Hector Pietra-Santa and Max Bouchard shaped over 16,000 pounds of ice into mermaids, salmon, lighthouses, ice bars and more. Thank you for lending your skill and talents to the Belfast Ice Festival.

Finally, thanks to all our event sponsors.

Zach Schmesser

Executive Director

Our Town Belfast

Hypocritical?

While we’re excoriating the Russians for invading Ukraine, we ought to take a look at our own invasion of Texas. The Mexican War was started by the United States to expand slavery and increase slave-state representation in Congress, wasn’t it?

Russia should get out of Ukraine, and we should return Texas to Mexico.

William B. Leavenworth

Searsmont