Letters, June 7, 2018

Jun 07, 2018

Shared concerns

Thank you for publishing Lawrence Reichard’s “It Stinks” opinion piece, highlighting many of the concerns Midcoast residents and visitors share around the proposed Nordic Aquafarms factory fish "farm" project on the coast of Penobscot Bay in Belfast.

Issues abound: fish food — there are currently no fish pellets available which do not contain pesticide residues and do not deplete stocks of wild fish used in the manufacture of salmon food; water — the proposed extraction from the Little River Watershed equals 70 percent of what Nestle currently extracts each year in all of Maine; fish waste — will 1,600 pounds of nitrogen dumped in our bay each day cause algal blooms, harming the mussel and kelp farmer in the waters off Bayside; who is going to utilize salt-soaked fish waste as fertilizer; carbon footprint — there are enormous transportation and energy use costs; lastly — but perhaps most alarmingly, NAF lacks experience — they’ve yet to harvest one salmon but claim they are ‘theoretically’ capable of growing 30 million salmon a year on clear-cut recreation land using Belfast and beyond water.

Mr. Reichard’s column also captured the distress many citizens have experienced as they bring their questions and concerns to Belfast city government through public hearings, letters to councilors, personal visits and phone calls. Instead of welcoming these exchanges as part of a healthy democratic process, many have experienced dismissive and insulting responses from Belfast city councilors. “I am sick of the privileged coming before us,” “Same people every time” or “I’ll get back to you” (not).

At the heart of this debate is the future well-being of our community. There is ample rigorous evidence in current economic development thinking that utilizing tax money and resources as incentives to attract large, outside, capital intensive projects fails to provide the positive economic and social benefit as supporting and promoting the development and expansion of locally owned businesses.

Multinational corporations (like NAF) parasitically extract profits out of their host community (all of NAF’s investors are in Norway) while locally owned businesses spend their money in the community — multiplying the effect of every dollar invested. This contributes to community health and stability.

Belfast is currently suffering from chasing this outdated mode of economic development in the not-so-distant past. Erik Heim, NAF founder and CEO, is planning to live in Portland and commute to Belfast. What does the carbon footprint of this lifestyle choice expose about the lead thinker of a multinational company with a self-proclaimed  “sustainability agenda"?

Publicly traded corporations are legally required to maximize their shareholders profits, making them vulnerable as we are currently witnessing with the repeated hedge fund "offers" (hostile bid) to buy athenahealth. The offers alone have already resulted in layoffs in Belfast.

Elliott Management, the hedge fund involved, has been called a "vulture fund" as much of its investment and profits come from buying distressed companies or countries’ debt at a steep discount, then stripping them of all salable assets (and labor force) including, in one case, detaining the flagship of Argentina’s navy — to extract payment. (Sept/Oct 2013 issue Mother Jones magazine, article online at motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/paul-singer-elliott-republican-fundraiser.)

Do we want Belfast’s economic health to grow even more dependent on these types of bedfellows and the havoc they can wreak on a small, rural economy?

How we grow Belfast is the issue we are facing. The citizens of Belfast, in partnership with our surrounding communities — who depend on Belfast as their county seat, and share the waters of our bay — have a tremendous stake in this process. This is a conversation which must take place through a transparent, inclusive and respectful process. Let’s welcome, and demand, this change in direction as we move forward.

Ridgely Fuller

Belfast

Yes on RSU 71 budget

On behalf of the RSU 71 Board of Directors, I am asking the voters of Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Searsmont and Swanville to approve the 2018/19 RSU 71 school budget.

A budget of $27,021,744.39 has been put forth and was approved at the budget referendum meeting May 21. This sum is $188,000 less than the 2017/18 budget and reflects the board’s continued work to provide a robust and engaging educational experience while also being cognizant of the concerns of the taxpayers of our area.

Unfortunately, despite the work of the board to present a lean budget, the state’s decreased contribution to education funding continues to impact our communities by increasing the mil rate.

The 2018/19 budget goes to the five towns for approval June 12. Please support our schools by voting yes on June 12.

Caitlin Hills

RSU 71 Board Chairwoman

Vote with issues in mind

Some observations regarding the present administration's policies on trade and immigration: If the U.S. buys 60 percent of the steel used in construction from Canada, why raise tariffs on Canadian steel at the very time our government is committed to rebuilding U.S. infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, airports, etc.)?

As taxpayers we fund these projects now at a higher cost. Contrary to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' remarks, the families who flee gang violence, extortion and failed government protection in their home countries and openly present themselves to U.S. border agents to request asylum are not “illegals.” They are not crossing into the U.S. with the “help” of smugglers. Remember Lady Liberty's welcome to immigrants, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

We are 180 degrees from freedom and liberty in 2018, if we separate immigrant children from their parents and detain them like criminals.

Apparently DHHS oversees “housing” those kids ... the same “child protection services" (at least the state of Maine version) that was complicit in Marissa Kennedy's death.

This Trump administration policy is criminal.

More chaos! More shame!

Please vote June 12 and Nov. 6 with these issues in mind.

Suzanne Tietje

Belfast

Community is family to Turner

As we look out across the political landscape we can quickly see that at times, any sense of civility and mutual respect has been cast aside. It seems a constant battle of “us vs. them.” Our political discourse has become one of name calling, mudslinging, and it is a rare moment when we see a hand come across the aisle in mutual understanding to work for the betterment of all.

It has been said that those that truly make the best politicians are those that do not want to be there. Yes, they really do not want to do what they’re doing, but simply do so out of a sense of obligation or respect for this wonderful set of principles called the United States. And I am certain that many of our candidates today do feel this way, but I can’t speak for all of them, yet I can mention one of them.

April Turner, a primary candidate for the Maine House of Representatives from Freedom, is a person I’ve known for almost 20 years. In all of that time I’ve found her to be a person who embodies the qualities of a humble, yet passionate candidate. She is open-minded and independent and would not become stuck in the mantra of a political party. She deeply cares for her community and for her family. And for April, her family doesn’t end at the front door. She sees her family as everyone in her community. She would make an excellent representative for all people in her district and will tackle her responsibilities with all of her constituents mind.

Paul Flynn

Former Owner/Operator, Freedom General Store, Inc.

It's complicated

I am a politically active liberal Democrat. My neighbor is libertarian. Across the street is Republican. The household behind me has no interest whatsoever. Which of us has the moral upper hand, which is “correct?" Probably some blend of them all.

What we have in common is that if any of us is in need from storm, or broken mower, or illness or lost kitten, we are there for each other and I am not about to bash them because we have different views on whether aid recipients should have work requirements, or the opioid crisis is the fault of out-of-state drug dealers or endemic to a collapsing social structure, or whether solar power is a good investment.

Those are all ongoing debates and debates can’t happen without mutual respect.

There’s not much of that going around right now. I look at both our primary candidates and I see two women who are for pretty much all the same things: low taxes, better schools, aid where it’s needed, action on climate change. Both have experience, both will work hard.

But one tells me how she registered with the party that fits her philosophies best but is really a whole lot more interested in how she can help the people of Maine than she is about party politics.

The other leads every speech with her devotion to the Democratic party and how she was so disgusted at the 2016 Republican victories that she couldn’t get out of bed. How will she represent all of us if she can’t stand nearly half of us? Trump isn’t the Republican in the house next to you and they are not him. It’s more complicated than that.

If you want a world with more compassion and generosity, you first have to show it yourself, even to the people you’re not really thrilled to give it to. They might be the people who need it most and your generosity might inspire their own. In all my voting choices this year, I’ll not be supporting any candidate who brings DC’s political games and divisiveness to our communities. I’m voting for the candidates who show me they are all about making Maine a better place to live, to work, to visit, to admire.

In my local district race, I’ll be voting for Jan Dodge.

Anne Saggese

Belfast

Hills stands out

I am excited to vote for Caitlin Hills for Maine House District 97. Five years ago, when I first moved to Belfast, Caitlin instantly stood out. She was always leading some effort in support of the local school and advocating for education initiatives in the District. Her commitment instantly impressed me.

It’s important that my candidate truly understands the myriad issues facing average people in the community. I’m from the sandwich generation — simultaneously caring for ailing parents and raising children. Caitlin understands how the multi-generational character of a community is a strength. Yet, at the same time, it means that its various members must be supported in potentially diverse ways. I trust Caitlin to take on issues such as childcare, housing, health care, and elderly support.

Caitlin has an exceptional willingness to listen closely and compassionately to the concerns of residents. She doesn’t shirk the tough issues and is ready to develop policies needed to maintain and improve the quality of life in the community.

I believe in Caitlin’s honest and pragmatic yet hopeful insight into our community's problems and needs. She promotes a collaborative approach to community development that envisions its diverse constituents — teachers, parents, and residents of all ages — working across differences and building on each other’s strengths. That's a vision I share, and I want Caitlin to be the representative in our district who leads this important work.

Caitlin Hills has my vote on June 12.

Stacia Hoover

Belfast

Dodge is right choice

I’m thinking back to a rainy April afternoon. I’m here to meet Jan Dodge, who is running for state representative seat in the 97th District, Belfast, Northport and Waldo. But, it is unusual for the candidate to host a meet and greet party at her own house.

The house is old, very comfortable, on Vine Street in Belfast. I’m greeted at the door by the candidate, Jan Dodge. What a smile! She seems genuinely glad to meet me and starts telling me about how she is restoring her grandfather’s house, the one she grew up in. Replastering walls, refinishing floors, scraping and painting the woodwork, the place looks great, and did I mention comfortable?

The house is filled with residents engaged in sometimes heated conversation about important topics: how to pay for quality education, health care for all residents, elderly care, jobs for everyone, Nordic Aqua Farm, gun legislation, property taxes, and quality of life in our towns. Somehow, Jan is taking part in all the conversations, in the kitchen, dining room, and living room, some in the hallway, too. Did I say she makes me feel comfortable and at ease with myself?

On Tuesday afternoons as we’re driving around Belfast, Northport and Waldo, Jan talks about important issues in her life and how she came to form her ideals and beliefs. A career in public schools influenced her belief in the potential of every individual. Having large classes of high school students forged her ability to command the room, but the respect she shows to the group captures the attention of the room.

Having grown up in Belfast, Jan realizes the needs of the community to hang onto the heritage and, at the same time, embrace the changes to help it grow. Assisting her parents as they grew older and needed more support gave her the realization that we have good health care; however, it needs to be available to everyone in this community.

In these rural communities not all the mailboxes are marked with numbers or names. Jan says, “Oh, what the heck, I’ll talk to whoever answers the door.” I’ve observed her listening, on the most part, to people’s concerns and issues on their doorsteps. She is energized by those who agree or disagree with her.

Jan wants to work with everyone to find solutions, because she believes there is a solution to every problem. Jan has worked hard on this campaign and will work non-stop in Augusta when elected to represent the people of this district. Jan is the right choice for representative of District 97. Vote for Jan Dodge in the primary election on June 12.

Dean Anderson

Belfast

Hills is proven candidate

The first time I met Caitlin Hills she was working as a volunteer for Barack Obama. As the chairman of the Waldo County Democratic Committee, I got to know her over the subsequent years as a tireless advocate for the candidates and causes she believes in. I have not always agreed with her, but I have always respected her grasp of the issues and her dedication to her principles. Those things matter.

We need representatives that know the issues and where they stand on them. We need to choose a Democratic candidate who has proven, through action as well as words, that she will stand for progressive principles and push for policies that will benefit our entire community, the young as well as the old, those who struggle as well as those who prosper, those who have been left behind as well as those who have found success.

Solving the many problems facing our state, and healing the wounds of the divisive LePage era, is going to require compromise with those on the other side of the aisle. But compromise fails if both sides are not clear on their fundamental values. If you are not certain of what you stand for, how can you know where you can compromise?

I do not know Jan Dodge well; I had not met her prior to this campaign. I respect her and applaud her for her willingness to serve our community. But my recommendation to the Democratic primary voters of District 97 is that they stand with the candidate who has stood with them. I urge you to support Caitlin Hills on June 12.

Neal Harkness

Belfast

Vote Dodge

Jan Dodge is running to represent Belfast, Northport and Waldo in the Legislature. Jan's mother, Mrs. Dodge, was one of my teachers. Her dad, Julian, really knew how to fix things, not just as a mechanic at C.A. Paul Garage, but for a lot of people around town. I admired them because they were great citizens in our community.

One of the many ways Jan serves is as president of Waldo County Retired Teachers. She taught for many years and has testified and lobbied legislators for funding for the children and schools. I'm glad Jan has that important experience in the State House.

We need someone who who will get people together to create solutions. Jan will do this as part of her great work for us in Augusta. Vote Dodge.

Walter Ash

Former Mayor

Belfast

Hills knows legislative process

Caitlin Hills has dedicated her life to upholding the vision and ideals of the Democratic Party, both in Washington, D.C., while working for me and in her work in Maine. She knows the legislative process and will be an informed and passionate legislator serving the people of Maine HD 97.

I am pleased to give my support and endorsement to Caitlin Hills for the Maine House of Representatives.

Bob Graham

Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator

Support for Turner

I am writing in support of April Turner who is running for election to the House of Representatives is District 99. I have known April for many years, both from when I worked in the office at Mount View High School when she was a student, and as a neighbor here in the town of Freedom.

April has shown a tremendous commitment to work hard at raising a family, working, and educating herself along the way. It isn't easy to accomplish all that she has, and she deserves a lot of credit for her perseverance and dedication. She has also taken the time to really familiarize herself with the issues of the community, attending as many functions as she can possibly fit in, and being immersed in the life of the area. She brings compassion, interest, and commitment to the working people of our area and would make a good representative and voice for us in Augusta.

Kathy Cunningham

Freedom

Yes, Hills for House!

I support Caitlin Hills for House District 97 (Belfast, Northport, Waldo), despite my not living in her district. I have read the many informative supporting letters by those who do live in her district, and wonder if I dare mention the unmentioned difference between Caitlin and her primary opponent? Only one is a lifelong Democrat!

I first met Caitlin attending my first Waldo County Democrats meeting in 2010. She has been there since as a member of the state and county Democratic Party, and has actively volunteered for other Democratic candidates and ballot issues. As a founding member and co-chair of the WCDC fundraising committee, she has tirelessly and successfully raised funds for our local and state Democratic party. She has always been there for Democrats, the party of inclusion and equality for all.

When she became vice chairwoman of WCDC in 2016, her leadership skills were obvious to all. From the get-go, whenever local and regional issues challenging social justice, civil rights, or environmental concerns arose, Caitlin was there to stand up for the disadvantaged, the economy, public education funding, affordable health care for all, and against the degradation of our clean environment. In all these instances, I never saw or heard from her primary opponent. I never saw her opponent at a Democratic meeting or event until this year’s contested primary campaign to represent District 97 in the state House of Representatives.

I was present with Caitlin at a vigorously debated Democratic Platform presentation meeting before the WCDC, when Caitlin brilliantly chaired the meeting in a fair, calm and professional manner. Her opponent attended, but only to speak to her own candidacy.

Who's the lifelong active Democrat in the race?

Actions speak louder and better than mere words. I urge all District 97 voters to follow Caitlin’s lifetime good works and campaign issue statements on her Facebook and Twitter pages @HillsForHouse.

Vote Democrat Caitlin Hills for House on June 12!

Jeff Smith

Swanville

Hills cares

We have known Caitlin Hills for several years and have been impressed with her intelligence and her concern for others, be they children, students, families, seniors. Her experience in public service has greatly impressed us. She has a comprehensive grasp of the issue that confront us locally — education, the need for jobs, the opioid epidemic, our aging population.

Caitlin has been in some form of public service for much of her adult life. Her involvement with the American Lands Alliance and the Alaska Rainforest Campaign in the early 2000s speak to her deep concern for environmental issues and she played a leadership role at the national level with the Humane Society in the late '90s.

As a policy adviser for Sen. Bob Graham in the mid- to late-'90s, she played an advisory role in legislative matters in general, including formulating new legislation. This in-depth experience helped her to develop invaluable knowledge and skills that will greatly enhance her ability to be a successful legislator for our district.

Locally, she founded Belfast Kids, a Facebook page which lists family-friendly activities for our Midcoast area. She became a school board member for RSU 20 in 2012 and continued her service on the board for RSU 71.

Her current experience involves chairing the RSU 71 school board. As one of her colleagues expresses it, "Caitlin gets things done." She was very involved with the process of Belfast's withdrawal from RSU 20 and preparing Belfast to enter the new RSU 71, as well as the recent renovations at Belfast Area High School.

Her most recent accomplishment was to convene and conduct the excellent and well-attended school safety forum after the Parkland school shootings.

These involvements and accomplishments tell us that Caitlin Hills cares about the many local and state issues we face, and that she acts on these concerns, as she has done throughout her adult life. Her experience of being a mom, a teacher, an adviser to a senator, a school board member, and her many accomplishments, convince us that she is one of those people who meet the challenge of being a citizen with passion and dedication.

These are the reasons we are voting for Caitlin Hills to be our District 97 representative to the Maine state Legislature.

Roberta Wheeler

Mark Dullea

Belfast

Turner eager to work

I am writing in support of April Turner for representative of House District 99, which is composed of Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

First of all, although I am a registered Republican, I want to vote for April who supports the expansion of the federal Medicaid program in Maine. In our state today some people without insurance are going bankrupt because of high medical expenses — or simply giving up costly life-saving medicine because they can’t afford it.

In addition I agree with April on several other issues. For example, April believes that collaboration and cooperation are vital to prevent state government shutdowns. Also she supports hiring additional child protective staff at DHHS so child abuse charges can be investigated quickly and thoroughly. She wants to be certain that people with mental health and drug issues will no longer be put in jails or prisons where they can’t get the help they need.

Finally, April’s experience as a survivor of childhood poverty and abuse has led her to become a social worker, and a volunteer for many organizations in her hometown of Freedom. April cares deeply about her community and is eager to put her talents and background to work in Augusta for District 9.

I will vote for her and hope you will too.

Linda Lord

Brooks

Hills gets my vote

Erin Herbig has served the electorate of HD 97 well over the past eight years, and now I hope we will elect an equally strong representative to replace her. Caitlin Hills will get my vote in the belief that doing so will provide the continuity District 97 deserves, and from which we will all benefit.

Several years ago, I met Caitlin in association with the formation of the RSU 71 school district. Over the years, I have found her to be a skilled listener, collaborator, and negotiator who is bright, well-informed, thorough, confident, and tenacious in pursuit of ways to improve schools for our children, and lives in our area. If elected, I am confident that she will work doggedly to advocate for children and families, address problems in school funding, health care, housing, taxes, and more.

A life-long Democrat, Caitlin has considerable training and experience in the legislative process, both as a graduate of the EMERGE Maine class of 2017, and as a policy adviser to Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., for four years. Additionally, she is a committed crusader for those without voices.

For me the decision is clear, but I encourage anyone who is still considering the candidates to go to her Facebook page, Caitlin Hills for Maine House District 97, to learn more about her, and read her position paper.

Susan Wood

Belfast

'Get Smart'

“Get Smart” and vote for April Turner as “Agent 99!"

April Turner is running to represent residents of District 99 (Burnham, Brooks, Freedom Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity) in the June 12 Democratic primary and deserves your support.

April is an energetic social worker who has earned bachelor and master's degrees while working and being a mom and wife. She has deep roots in Waldo County and understands the challenges county residents face. She is compassionate, concerned, and will work to improve health care, childcare and elder care and make sure our voices are heard in Augusta.

Don’t let KAOS reign in Augusta! Vote April Turner in the June 12 primary to represent District 99.

Ray Quimby

Brooks

Support Turner for District 99

I am writing to support April Turner as House representative for District 99 — Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

April Turner is a local woman who has proven grit, intelligence and drive — topped with endless curiosity and a great big heart. In the time I’ve known her, she has finished her degrees, gotten meaningful work, taken on another foster child, all while expanding her contacts in Waldo County and beyond. She has the absolute support of her husband and family. This is a good family, all with kind hearts.

April’s focus on social work will benefit the district’s aging population as well as young families trying to make a go of it. April also has the capacity to learn, and engage people who will give her sound advice on issues she is not so familiar with, no matter what party they belong to. It is this willingness to engage everyone for the greater good that makes her the best candidate in this race. I trust that she will remain focused on issues in the district and not get too caught up in party politics.

It’s time for change. We have seen what hasn’t been working well in government. April is a fresh face, with a good mind and a proven capacity for hard work. Vote for her in June and put her in the House seat for District 99 in November.

Patty Pendergast

Thorndike

Impressed with Herbig

I am writing to urge people in my community to vote for Erin Herbig on June 12 and again in November.

As a clinical social worker who has worked with children and families in Waldo County since 1998, I have seen the public discourse deteriorate and regress to the point that it’s hard to find anyone in elected office who has the ability to articulate their point of view, and the good manners, temperament, and skill to work across the aisle with equally determined members of the other party. I have been so very impressed with Erin’s ability to do both!

Erin has an unwavering and unabashed conviction for what she believes in, as well as remarkable professionalism and respect for people who may have different views. Despite what seems to be an ever-growing toxic environment in Augusta, Erin has managed to improve the lives of all Mainers, young and old, wealthy and poor, local or from away, with fairness, respect and insight!

Anyone would be hard pressed to find a candidate who is woven more solidly into the history and day-to-day fabric of Waldo County, while also managing to be laser-focused on making tough decisions about how best to invest in our future. We have not had enough of these qualities in our elected officials at the state or federal level, and Erin is one of our most promising leaders who can keep us moving forward, with honor, civility and intelligence.

Ezra Kreamer

Belfast

Giles the clear choice

I think we are all disappointed when our legislators descend into partisan bickering rather than working together on common sense solutions. In November, we have a clear choice. Jayne Crosby Giles has proven that she votes her conscience, not the party line.

When she served in the State House, she helped form a Rural Caucus of legislators regardless of party to work together on issues important to the rural communities. She also helped form the Moderate Caucus, open to all legislators, to promote realistic solutions rather than simply following party lines.

If you are tired of the partisan bickering, join me in support of Jayne Crosby Giles for State Senate for Waldo County.

Mike Giles

Belfast

Better because of Herbig

It is my pleasure to encourage my fellow Democrats to vote for Erin Herbig for the Waldo County Senate seat in the June 12 primary and then again in November. Erin puts her all into her work, and our communities and state are better for it.

Erin was raised in Waldo County by her parents, right next door to her grandparents on her mom's side. As a result, she understands this area well and her only agenda is to serve its people.

I also find it impressive how she includes her son and stepdaughter in her work whenever she can.

Whether it is community projects like the Waldo County Woodshed, or developing more business opportunities for young people, Erin Herbig gets to the heart of issues that would truly help families in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. She also supports young working families by focusing on affordable childcare, health care and paid family leave. A vibrant workforce also attracts and retains new businesses. I appreciate all she does and I will proudly vote for Erin Herbig.

Gail Groening

Belfast

Golden for Congress

Democratic primary voters in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District are faced with a critical decision in choosing who should replace Bruce Poliquin. Our task is to identify both the candidate most likely to win the general election, and the one best suited to effectively champion our values in Congress.

We are fortunate that one candidate, Jared Golden, stands out on both counts. Jared’s upbringing outside of Lewiston, his military service and his experience representing Lewiston in Augusta all contribute to his empathy for working-class and struggling Mainers. He has a special focus on the needs of veterans. He has a strong record working on their behalf in the Maine Legislature. He knows how to run a winning political campaign. He has no baggage and is more than ready to oppose Bruce Poliquin.

Once elected, Jared’s experience in Washington as a senatorial aide and in Augusta as the assistant majority leader, mean that he already knows how to work in Congress. His strong progressive values are the bedrock which inform a pragmatic approach to working with his colleagues, including working across the aisle when it is possible without fundamental compromise. He is a natural leader.

I initially supported Jared because I felt that he can return the 2nd District to the Democrats. I now know that he is also a person of great thoughtfulness and integrity, who is motivated by public service. I absolutely trust him to do the best for District 2.

I am proud to support Jared Golden. Join me.

Trudy Miller

Northport

Golden will win general election

Every candidate in the Democratic primary is bright, honest and decent. While these traits are essential in an empathic, competent legislator, it matters little if the candidate can’t win.

As the primary approaches, we are beginning to see — through various letters to the editor — who's most vulnerable to the coming onslaught of Republican attacks. Congressman Poliquin’s huge war chest will strengthen his ability to define his eventual opponent. Perception is everything, as much as we wish it wasn’t. Once that perception enters the public narrative, it’s often too late. This is what Poliquin did to Emily Cain, and will surely try again.

Let’s not make it easy for him. We can start by nominating our strongest candidate, Jared Golden.

Golden has at least as much legislative experience as Poliquin. He's a combat veteran who has helped his fellow veterans transition home. He presents the best contrast with Poliquin on campaign finance and has always voted on the side of working people. These attributes put Golden in the best position to weather attacks.

The bubbling criticisms of Lucas St. Clair will only expand if he' s nominated. Republicans will exploit his ties to dark money groups and the controversial feelings around the Katahdin National Monument. He will be coming out of the gate with weights tied to his legs.

If you really want to fire Poliquin in November, vote for someone who can win. Vote for Jared Golden.

Rep. S. Paige Zeigler

District 96

Montville

Golden: Service, experience, character

Eloquent support for Democrat Jared Golden has filled the Letters pages recently, citing his military service following 9/11, his volunteer teaching in Afghanistan, experience as a professional staff member on the Senate Homeland Security committee in D.C. and almost two terms in the Maine House, serving as assistant majority leader in the current term. Clearly his service to our country and legislative experience make Jared the best qualified to defeat incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin in November.

To Jared’s substantial capabilities, I’d like to add my own perceptions of this man’s character, based on having spent several hours with him on two occasions.

Jared is humble, yet strong and even fierce in his determination to make life better for the average person. He is patient and polite in speech, no rude comments! He is not “at war” with his Republican colleagues; in fact he frequently works across the aisle to get things done. Yet he is a fighter, not afraid to take on Gov. Le Page and has done so. Jared is honest, yet direct, firmly stating his positions on the issues.

When it comes to choosing the best Democratic candidate to represent Maine’s Second District in Congress, it’s simple. Choose service plus experience plus character. Vote for Jared Golden.

Judy Kaiser

Waldo

A Golden opportunity

We are writing to urge our fellow Democrats to vote for Jared Golden to be the Second District representative to Congress in the June 12 primary election. We have watched his speech before the state Democratic convention (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzx8KwAgyZo), we met him in person at a recent open house, and we’ve become convinced that he’s the best choice.

Several things about him have impressed us. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines after 9/11 and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Moreover, understanding that education is the best antidote to bigotry and religious extremism, he then went back to Afghanistan to work as a teacher.

He has pledged never to take a cent of dark money from PACs and corporations. He advocates long-term environmental policies to preserve Maine’s natural wealth as opposed to selling out the earth for short-term gain. He strongly supports equal pay for equal work and stands for health care as a right, not a privilege of wealth.

Best of all, he is young and energetic, he has political experience as a Lewiston representative in the Maine House, he speaks plainly yet eloquently, and he listens to his constituents with full attention. He says, “I’ll have your back,” and we think he will.

In short, we believe he has the best chance of unseating Bruce Poliquin, who seems to reject all of these ideals. After all, that’s the most urgent task for those in our district who say government should serve all the people, not just the fortunate few.

Maureen Sugden

Gary Stimeling

Freedom

Mayhew shows fortitude

In my journey through various levels of education, from elementary school through post-graduate studies, the teachers who impacted my life the most and brought out the best in me were those who were the hardest on me and expected the most of me.

I found the same to be true in athletics — the coaches that expected the most got the most. They weren’t mean, but they were tough. It is that type of toughness that I see in Mary Mayhew. She has the kind of intelligent, compassionate toughness that will bring the best to Maine.

Mary has shown the fortitude to deal with bureaucracy and to eliminate government waste. She has been able to stand up to those entrenched in broken systems and bring real change. Mary worked to eliminate waste and restore accountability, and she was successful! She knows how government and bureaucracy work, and she has shown that they can be changed.

When there is governmental waste through lack of accountability, bloated payrolls or unreasonable handouts, we all suffer. We suffer in taxation. We suffer the inequity of the few carrying the weight of the many. People suffer from the dejection that comes with the illusion that their lives cannot be better — a that belief affects society in many adverse ways. When there is waste, it is the people who need the most help whom often suffer.

Wastefulness must continue to be curtailed. Jobs need to be sent back into the private sector. People who can work should work, and Mary will work to put people to work through job training, keeping jobs in Maine and bringing more jobs to Maine. Mary stands for continued change that is good for Maine’s economy, Maine’s labor-force, Maine’s most needy, and Maine’s people.

As a seasoned senior pastor of a growing church, I understand what helping people means. Mary has demonstrated that she truly wants to help people. Compassion shown with taxpayer resources is something that should be reserved for the most vulnerable among us — our elderly and our young. Funding given to able-bodied, able-minded adults means less funding for those who need it most.

In most cases, an 18-year-old high school graduate shouldn’t be applying for food stamps; he should be applying for a job. Mary will work to make sure people who can work do work. It is good for individuals and their families to have the self-satisfaction of an earned paycheck, and it is good for society. I believe that Mary will restructure failed systems for the benefit of all Maine’s people.

I have observed Mary first-hand with constituents. She listens, she responds, and she cares. She is willing to put the effort into meeting the needs of Maine’s people.

While there are three outstanding Republican gubernatorial candidates, I believe Mary understands best what is at stake and what must be done for Maine right now. Mary has growing support. Mary has momentum. Mary Mayhew will have my vote for governor.

Jim Culbertson

Morrill

Eves will make us proud

The people of Maine are poised to make some very important decisions this year regarding whom we elect to replace Gov. LePage. Love him or hate him, there is little argument that Paul LePage has been both a controversial and contentious leader, creating even more division in an already polarized political atmosphere. He has been an embarrassment and has caused our beloved state to be the butt of jokes nationwide.

Isn’t it time we elected a governor we could be proud of and who would restore dignity and respect to the Blaine House? Back in February I met just the person at an informal gathering at the home of a neighbor.

His name is Mark Eves.

I was aware of who Mark was; I knew he had eight years of experience in Augusta, the last four years as speaker of the House. I knew that he had built close working relationships with his colleagues. I knew he had good ideas, and was more than willing to work with Republicans as well as Democrats to pass legislation that would benefit all Mainers — not just those of means and privilege. I knew he wasn’t beholden to big money and lobbyists from out of state. I also knew he wasn’t afraid to stand up to Gov. LePage whenever he thought necessary in order to do the right thing for the people of Maine.

What I didn’t know for sure until that evening was what a decent, honest, thoughtful, intelligent, ethical and caring individual Mark Eves is. Open and personable, Mark made the effort to greet and speak with every person present and engage in conversation, eye to eye.

I watched as Mark fielded questions and concerns from everyone regarding what mattered most to them about the future of Maine, their children, and grandchildren. I spoke with him myself and became thoroughly convinced that if the voters of this state had this kind of opportunity to meet Mark, they would vote for him. I knew it in my head, but more importantly, I felt it in my heart.

So if you get the chance, go and meet Mark. If you aren’t able to do so, visit his website at markevesforme.com. Then go out and vote for Mark Eves for governor on June 12 – because it’s time that Maine deserves a governor we can be proud of.

Jay Holland

Belfast

Garden Club thanks

The Belfast Garden Club wishes to extend thanks to the community for a highly successful plant sale on May 19, proceeds from which help the club to maintain Belfast’s public gardens and award annual scholarships to Waldo County youth.

We’re grateful to those who dug and shared plants, baked goodies, helped at the sale and purchased plants. A special thank you goes to local residents who opened their gardens for digging: Lisa Gates, Judy Williams and Jamila Levasseur.

The club is particularly grateful for donations from the following nurseries and businesses: Carol's Collectibles, Fernwood Nursery, Hosta Gallery, Peacemeal Farm, EBS, Aubuchon, Evergreen Valley, Fire Flower Farm, Great Gardens from the Ground Up,Bahner Farm, Barley Joe's, Plants Unlimited, Coastal Power Sports and Future Generations Forestry.

Bonnie Irwin

President

Belfast Garden Club

A refreshing alternative

I am writing in support of Craig Olson’s bid to become Maine’s next Congressman for the 2nd District, for I believe Craig can provide a refreshing alternative for today’s polarized political climate.

I have known Craig and his family since they first moved to Maine, and have always found Craig to be honest, trustworthy, articulate, thoughtful, well-read, and compassionate.

He will work tirelessly to ensure that the people of Maine have an advocate in Washington that truly understands the challenges many of us face in our daily lives. Having grown up on his family’s dairy farm, not only did he learn about the hard physical labor involved in making a living from agriculture, but also about the uncertainty that comes from influences beyond your control – weather, market sources, government regulation, and foreign trade.

It is this knowledge and experience that makes Craig the perfect advocate for Maine’s large agricultural, fishing, and forestry industries. As a small businessman, Craig understands the challenges of earning a living wage through one’s own hard work. Not only has he put in the long hours needed to for a fledgling business to grow, but has experienced how difficult it is to pay employees a living wage while trying to support your own family.

Owning and operating a small business has also given Craig a personal perspective on the need to provide basic and affordable healthcare for all citizens, and certainly helped shape his vision for a simplified program of universal healthcare to ensure that the basic health needs of all Mainers are met in a fair and affordable way.

Craig also recognizes that while Maine is blessed with a wide range of natural and human resources, our potential cannot be achieved without a greater focus on education at all levels, from preschool on up through technical school and college. Only by ensuring that all Mainers have affordable access to educational opportunities close to home can we provide our young people the opportunity to earn a decent middle class wage in Maine and prevent the exodus of our best and brightest to other parts of the country.

Before you vote in the primaries next week, please consider the many issues that are important to you, and the type of Congressman you want to send to Washington. I have, and that’s why I’ll be voting for Craig Olson on June 12.

Patty Crawford

Montville

Impressed with Herbig

Until my retirement, I worked with little children as an elementary school art teacher. Like little children, we all wish we could have everything we want, but there isn’t anything that works that way. Especially when you work in government.

I am impressed with Erin Herbig’s work as representative in the Maine Legislature. She listens. Erin is always accessible to the people of Waldo County, and brings our concerns to Augusta. But I’m especially impressed that she’s also willing to listen to other views, find common ground, and work from there to accomplish what’s best for the people of Maine. Walking away, and refusing to compromise is never a solution, and Erin knows this.

Little children need Erin’s example, and so do a lot of adults. I am happy to support Erin Herbig as our next Maine State Senator for Waldo County, and I hope you will, too.

Priscilla Wentworth

Searsport

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.