Letters, June 27, 2019

Jun 27, 2019

Help the homeless

We need a change of consciousness; to face what is before us and to respond. Right here in Belfast, our county seat has become a microcosm of what is wrong in America.

My husband went to the soup kitchen for lunch yesterday. He tells the story of a man who lives in the woods. It’s a particularly bad year for ticks, the man says. He has pulled over 300 off himself this year. Marshall says he knows of four men who live in the woods year-around. (The soup kitchen gives out hand warmers in the wintertime.)

Other communities have risen to address the homeless problem. To our credit, a new and larger soup kitchen is being built on Route 3, near where the old drive-in theater used to be. With a crew and rudimentary materials, we could build a dozen 8-by-10-foot cabins nearby to get these people shelter. The county and city could maintain a portable toilet, the YMCA could give away a few memberships; we could address the horrors of homelessness.

These are our people; many of them grew up right here in Belfast. We are all human beings. I challenge those of us who are conscious to come together right now. We can do this. Bring ’em in; bring ’em home.

Jennifer Hill


A toxic op-ed

This past week, another “individual who is a member of a group of concerned citizens who meet regularly in the Midcoast” took up a third of the Journal’s opinion page in its weekly op-ed Another View to post a scripture-themed diatribe. Writer Ralph Wallace wants to turn our weekly paper into a yellow rag, as was the case of fellow “concerned citizen” Jan Dolcater last week.

He trashes Democrats as having deep veins of hatred, misogyny, racism, intolerance and homophobia. He claims that Democrats disrespect the tragedy of 9/11. He attacks teachers for being critical of an administration that has attempted to derail support for public education and condemned science curricula. He says that Democrats rant and rave while Republicans generally respond with bland and wishy-washy comments. (What?)

And he wraps up this litany of absurd claims by saying we’ve never been safer and that we’re the envy of the world. Tell that to the rest of the world — most countries are horrified at Trump’s threats to “obliterate” rather than negotiate, as well as to disregard the largest global crisis faced since before the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and instead to undo all the regulations that have kept U.S. pollution in check since the 1960s.

Just who are these concerned Midcoast citizens, anyway? Do they meet to plot overthrowing our democracy and rallying to support someone who has actually said he may want to stay in office more than eight years to make up for the hoax that is the Mueller investigation?

Another View is an op-ed that would fit nicely into Alex Jones’ "Info Wars," but it doesn’t belong in a paper that otherwise has some very fine qualities. At least tell us who this group of “concerned citizens” actually is. Lots of citizens are concerned these days, and with compelling reasons. Getting slapped in the face with the blind hate conveyed in Another View certainly doesn’t help.

Beverly Roxby


Demand conversion!

Re: 22 Arrested at BIW: Climate crisis the biggest threat to security; Use defense funds for climate solutions

We are now talking about extinction — scientists talk about 20-50 years — human, as well as the million species already documented as extinct in our lifetime. It is already beyond time to face the climate crisis and ignoring all the bleakness of this truth won't help. Our kids will not be able to ignore it.

What will help is joining the campaign to convert Bath Iron Works to building products to help solve the climate crisis, not contribute to it. BIW has both the industrial capacity and the skilled workforce to show leadership to the nation by this conversion. Maine can take on the challenge to build products that will save our future, rather than more multi-billion-dollar warships we do not need, and that only contribute to climate collapse.

On June 22, another 22 environmental and peace activists were arrested in civil resistance to the "christening" of the USS Daniel Inouye Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Nine of the protestors spent three days in jail, as they refused to pay bail in solidarity with all those who are unable to pay.

Given the accelerating speed of the climate crisis and the current administration's frightening level of denial as they push for a bloated and dangerous $750 billion Pentagon budget as well as planning to spend $1.7 trillion on new nuclear weapons, we all must follow the example of these activists. Demand conversion! Redirect funds to build sustainable energy systems.

Listen to the activists from #convertBIW campaign. Listen to the young climate activists worldwide. They know this is a matter of life and death. It is time to join them. Conversion will create more skilled jobs, not less. Contact our representatives. There are no jobs on a dead planet.

Meredith Bruskin


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Comments (4)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 28, 2019 12:35

Jennifer Hill, your observation about homelessness is right on the mark, however, government, both local and state, are not capable of pulling off a project like you propose nor are the local veteran organizations in town. One option that might be quickly available is older seniors, who may be veterans in the area, many who live alone in the rural areas of Belfast and the County have extra rooms that are going unused. There are successful programs around the country that help those in homeless situations by screening them for possible residence with these seniors in exchange for providing services to those seniors like help both inside and outside the house. The screening would be extensive and maybe all these so-called “social agencies” that seem to trip over each other can put their bureaucracy aside and actually help with this screening. I ran into a homeless woman that had all her worldly possessions dumped at the Belfast Harbor a couple of weeks ago and nobody, including the Harbor master lifted a finger to help her, including the so-called “advocate” at City Hall. She got handed two newspapers, a contact list and was told good luck. I fed her, found temporary storage for her belongings, moved all her belongings and had her stay in my RV for the night to get out of 40+ degree temps, unlike the Harbor master that wouldn't open the Information hut and allow her and her precious dog get out of the cold. Too many people and agencies are empty suits when its time to actually step up and make a difference. The City should have emergency vouchers available for housing, since they have budget line items for social services.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 28, 2019 12:22

Last night's debate EVERY candidate rose their hand to provide illegal aliens free insurance.  Government is predicting 1,000,000 illegal aliens just this year.  That will make 11,000,000 illegal aliens draining Ms Roxby's, yours, and my pockets to pay for their health insurance.  Making the lines longer to get service.  Google wait times for procedures in Canada and ask your dying relative if that wait is worth it?

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 28, 2019 12:18

I feel bad for the low income families tax dollars going to pay for illegal aliens health insurance.  It won't be just the top 1%er's but the whole 100%er's that will have their taxes higher to pay for the illegal aliens health insurance.  Even when they struggle to pay their own insurance.


Eric.....I might let them think this is a good idea, because it will be the easiest way for Trump to be re-elected.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 28, 2019 12:08

Hey Beverly Roxby, the last time I checked, we have a first amendment right to express our opinions, as did Ralph Wallace and Jan Dolcater, so who died and made you the editorial monitor. I live in Belfast and I see all these liberal, left wing progressives that want social justice, income equality, free college tuition, free health care, free this and free that. I watched the Democrat debates that last two nights and all I saw was a bunch of progressive nutjobs that want to take the Country back to the stone age. Free health care for all illegal migrants, open borders. Since Maine has such a small population, I guess you'd like to bring every one of them here and support them with dollars from tax paying citizens. And you state “ most countries are horrified at Trump’s threats to “obliterate” rather than negotiate, as well as to disregard the largest global crisis faced since before the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty”. Where have you been for the last year with Trump's two meetings with North Korea, handing out yet another olive branch to Iran before they get nuclear weapons, protecting the commercial shipping lanes in the South China sea and do you see Russia annexing any more land in Ukraine? He also forced NATO to pay their fair share and stop using American taxpayer money to fund their cradle to grave welfare programs. So Beverly, these other concerned citizens most likely are freedom loving, less government intervention in our lives, conservative residents that are here to stay, so get used to it.

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