Letters, Aug. 8, 2019

Aug 08, 2019

Belfast Planning Board, hook line and sinker

Southridge Corp. v. Board of Environmental Protection 655 A2d

Maine Supreme Judicial Court:

"We fully acknowledge that it is possible that Cormier may not prevail in his adverse possession claim to the Southridge property. Should this happen, his permit might be revoked. This possibility, however, neither deprives Cormier and those he represents of their current interest in the land nor their administrative standing. We discern no substantive difference between the interest asserted in Murray and Cormier's asserted interest in the disputed property.”

On Monday, Aug. 5,  starting at 6 p.m., the Belfast Planning Board staged a careful, though crude and inartful, pageant of a “public hearing.”

Attorney Kelly and Wayne Marshall instructed and convinced the Planning Board that only Mr. Marshall and Mr. Kelly were to “interpret" the some 200 hundred pages of "evidence" of rights and title to property on which Nordic wants to build.

Although Jeffery Mabee had a lawyer and his surveyor ready to testify and rebut Mr. Kelly’s statements of facts and findings, the Planning Board had been instructed to listen only to the words of wisdom of Mr. Kelly. (His time is being “reimbursed” by Nordic as an "expert" adviser to the board.)

Three salient points of rebuttal come to mind, Mr. Kelly. First, in Southridge, quoted above, the adverse possession claim that won the day in court for the applicant was an actual claim in court based on the existence of a septic system on the disputed land for 20 years' standing. Last I checked, Nordic does not have a adverse possession suit filed with the courts or a pipeline on Mr. Mabee's property.

This decision by the Law Court is not esoteric or difficult to understand for the Planning Board, you simply misrepresented this case to the board. Nordic and Mr. James Dorsky only mention in passing in the evidence “that well, maybe, there could be, sort of, an adverse possession claim  by the property owner listed in the city lot and map property  (Richard and Janet Ecktote), against the property rights held in fee simple by Mr. Mabee.

Second, as I provided in an impromptu rebuttal on Monday, the “release deeds” supplied as "evidence" of “Title Right and Interest" by Nordic and the claimed genealogy report or, shall we say, inferences, have no names on them; they are blacked-out documents. Oh, and you forgot to mention the Philadelphia Probate Court filing that clearly states that the "heirs at law" had not any land in Belfast to inherit as the property was sold before Harriet L. Hartley’s death.

Third, just how is it that Nordic claims “sufficient” title from two or three different competing sources and legal arguments? Is this "coloring box" choices of rights?

Such “evidence” and process as this is a sham and a shame. The four reluctant Planning Board members who went along with this unrebutted and paid-for infomercial by Kelly and Marshall will perhaps get to revisit this again before the Mabee/Grace v. Nordic lawsuit is decided, as the city opens itself up to a federal unconstitutional takings lawsuit.

Paul Bernacki


Where's the vermin?

Well, I'm a white man. Probably as white as they get. But I've lived in a city not unlike Baltimore in a multi-racial neighborhood. I had a black man for a landlord. I lived in the house that he grew up in. I had black neighbors downstairs. I had black neighbors who lived next door.

When I shopped at the local grocery, I probably stood in line with black shoppers. When I sat at the local bar I could have black guys sitting next to me. I said "Hi" to black persons on the street. I shared an apartment with a black friend.

When I couldn't go the many miles to be with relatives on Thanksgiving, I had dinner with a black family. When I rode the bus, I shared seats with black riders. When I drove the bus I transported black children to their homes to be picked up by their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers.

I ate soul food many times. I've been kissed by a black woman — more than once. Any of them can stand with Jesus any time they choose.

So what city has the vermin? Let's look at a few. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse. How about Albany? I could live the life I've described in any of these places.

Where's the vermin?

I'll answer the question. The vermin is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — you can guess the city.

Time to call Pest Management Control. Senate office building needs attention, too. Start with McConnell's office.

John Spinney


Not the first outright lie

On Sunday afternoon Sierra Club Maine shared an article on Facebook about thousands of fish escaping from a facility in Norway called Fjordsmolt. The caption Sierra Club wrote to accompany the article was "Nordic Aquafarm's 'clean' reputation in Norway."

The article doesn't mention Nordic Aquafarms because the facility in the article is not one of Nordic's. Huh.

This is not the first outright lie courtesy of Sierra Club Maine regarding Nordic. In March of this year, they put out a press release stating their opposition to the Belfast salmon farm development which included a number of lies, all of them easily fact-checked and refuted by Nordic.

When individuals and organizations opposed to the project use lies and statistically improbable worst-case scenarios to bolster their arguments, they harm their own reputation and they harm our community. It's pretty simple: stop making stuff up.

And if you are an ally of truth and a supporter of Sierra Club, it might be a good idea to let the Maine chapter and its national counterpart know how you feel about this latest baseless attack.

Breanna Pinkham Bebb


Irresponsible and cowardly

Over the weekend the Sierra Club Maine Facebook page posted a link to an article in a fisheries trade publication which was captioned “Thousands of salmon escape from land-based farm.” The anonymous poster wrote above the link, “Nordic Aquafarm’s 'clean' reputation in Norway.”

Several things are noteworthy about this Facebook post. First, the article has absolutely nothing to do with Nordic Aquafarms and does not reference the company. Moreover, that kind of fish escape (which occurred at a smolt factory in Norway) would be impossible in the Nordic facility to be built in Belfast due to how it will be built. It is as likely to occur as an elephant getting into your septic system through your plumbing.

It might have been interesting to post such an article with the comment “Thankfully this cannot happen here.” Instead it is totally irresponsible to make the implication in this post. It is also cowardly to publish such a potentially damaging post anonymously.

Until recently I have had a lot of respect for much of what the Sierra Club does. I do not know as many facts about other issues which they are working on in Maine, but I do know that their attitudes about Nordic Aquafarms, as evidenced by this post, and by other things such as their sloppy, fear-stoking and often factually incorrect press releases opposing the project, are unsupported by evidence. This makes me wonder about the scientific validity of other positions they might want me to support.

There are serious and important conversations to be had about balancing the roles of conservation, environmental stewardship and responsible economic development in Maine. These should be based on reasoning, evidence and good faith communication.  The Sierra Club Maine seems to be working against this effort and I will no longer support them in any way.

Trudy Miller


Fire Department thanks

The Morrill Fire Department and Auxiliary held its annual auction, yard sale and bake sale on Saturday, Aug. 3. The auction raised approximately $7,000 to help toward training and purchasing equipment.

We all wish to extend our appreciation for items donated, raffle tickets purchased and food baked as well as donations received from members of our town. Also, thank you to the firefighters and auxiliary as well as our auctioneer, Eric Sanders, for all of their hard work to again make this a successful auction.

We would especially like to thank the businesses and individuals that supported us with their products and gift certificates. We could not have raised so much without their support.

In addition, we would like to thank Morrill General Store, Bruce Benjamin, for the hot dogs, etc., that he donated and the use of the storefront to sell raffle tickets and promote various fire department functions.

Fire Chief Pat Scribner

Auxiliary President Irene Blood


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Comments (2)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Aug 09, 2019 03:37

Paul Bernacki, why are you pontificating about NAF when you live in Belmont, that thriving metropolis 6 miles outside of Belfast. You have no standing in this matter and your early antics at the Planning Board meeting will surely put you on the radar screen for permanent banishment from future meetings. I think you need to return to your farming and maybe grow some vegetables to help support the Belfast Soup Kitchen. And while you're at it, you might want to get a haircut. Woodstock called and they want their ponytail back.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Aug 09, 2019 03:29

Hey Spinney, I agree that we do need fumigation at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but not for the current occupant. We need to rid the stench from the previous backbencher and his band of merry thieves that will soon experience the long arm of justice in their attempt at a soft coup. It's going to a lot of fun to watch these losers perp walked, starting with Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper and the ultimate prize, her Thighness, Shillary. I think we could have to a pay per view event and offer free popcorn.

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