Letters, March 25

Mar 25, 2021

Letter contained 'big lies'

The Republican Journal can choose to print whatever it wants in its opinion sections. You also have a responsibility, even in the Letters to the Editor section, not to foster outright lies. The March 18 letter from Leo Mazerall, who is free to vote any way he wants in 2024, is full of them. Trump did use legal means to "prove" the election was "stolen." It wasn't, and for lack of evidence he lost nearly 60 court cases to that effect.

The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was an insurrection, not a "protest that got out of hand." The attackers were Trump supporters, not "lefties," and nearly 400 of them are being prosecuted. Your readers deserve better than this and I urge you not to provide these "big lies" with valuable space.

Mickey Sirota


We are the victims

In response to last week’s letter referring to our former president as being a victim, we believe that it is the people of our country who are the victims; the victims of his lies, poor leadership, propaganda, self-gratification and the list continues. Those who think he has been victimized need to open their eyes, and listen to what he has said.

To name a few examples: criticizing Sen. John McCain for being a prisoner of war while fighting for our country, denigrating women, making fun of people with disabilities, encouraging his supporters to resort to violence to get back their cities, states and country and to overturn a legitimate election.

Speaking of the election, it was won by Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes and not a single court case moving forward due to lack of credible evidence of voter fraud. Judges (some even appointed by Trump and his Republicans) did not find any evidence of voter fraud. Even the Supreme Court ruled against considering any of the lawsuits.

After a number of states conducted recounts, Biden was still the winner. Numerous conspiracy theories did not interfere with the democratic, legal vote by the people of our country. The Justice Department, the FBI and numerous other fact finding agencies could not find voter fraud. The “big lie” is dead!

On Jan. 6 an organized and planned attack on our Capitol (and our democracy) took place. The mob that stormed the Capitol, killed a police officer and injured numerous others, were not patriots. They were domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, many of whom are now facing criminal charges. The FBI and other organizations have found no evidence of influence by “the left.” Other nonviolent protesters who were in D.C. that day were there because they believed (Trump’s lies) that the election was “stolen.”

He is a self-centered authoritarian who cares only about himself and whatever money he can get from his base. Follow the facts, listen to the experts and open your ears to just what our former president is saying and asking you to do.

Tim Rose

Brian Callahan


Truth revealed

The truth is revealed. In 2019, when Nordic Aquafarms discovered it lacked permission to push its effluent discharge pipe through the Belfast intertidal zone, Maine Turnpike Executive Director Peter Mills and state leaders reacted quickly. We know Gov. Mills received the emails. When Gov. Mills read her brother Peter’s worry that Nordic might lose millions, she replied: “Got it, thanks.” Three simple words. The fix was in. They all knew this $500 million project was compromised.

We know Gov. Mills and DEP Commissioner Jerry Reid have in the past worked together to steal rivers away from the people of Maine. In 2017, while both were state of Maine attorneys, they actively worked to dissolve the Penobscot Indian Nation’s sovereignty over the Penobscot River. Two years later they were doing it again by dissolving the right of Belfast citizens to protect the Little River through a fair and legal process. The DEP stepped aside and the BEP was granted jurisdiction over the permits.

Ethan Andrews’ recent Free Press article “Opponents: Mills Administration Pulled Strings for Nordic Aquafarms” is very important and revealing. The article summarizes some of the email conversations and the timeline of action when our state’s highest officials realized that something needed to be done to help this expensive project continue to swim on land and go against the laws of nature and our state’s constitution. The effluent discharge pipe lacked clear right, title or interest. Peter Mills' 2019 email made the destiny of Nordic Aquafarms very clear. “It is now likely that the investors in Nordic Aquafarms will pull their Belfast project after investing millions in development cost.” The truth is revealed. Got it, thanks.

Steve Byers


Bebb goes 'above and beyond'

I am writing with great enthusiasm in support of Breanna Pinkham Bebb’s run for selectman for the town of Northport. I first met Bre about 10 years ago when she was executive director of Our Town Belfast. Her assistance on a project of mine was invaluable and she came through with resources, support and experience.

I became a board member of Our Town Belfast and worked closely with Bre on many projects over the years. I have found out what a dynamic, imaginative, and determined person Bre is, and I have such respect for her abilities.

We have also worked together in our capacity as board members of the Waldo County Woodshed. At the last minute, I contacted Bre to help me with a woodshed fundraiser over Christmas and she went so above and beyond my expectations of what volunteerism can be that I believed in Santa again!

Bre is an inspiration who will work tirelessly for the people of Northport. She has been on the Northport Planning Board for the past two years, and that type of experience proves invaluable. It would do Northport good to have Bre on the job. Please join me in voting for Breanna Pinkham Bebb for selectman for Northport at the special election April 14!

Seth Thayer


Selective memory

I guess it is normal to have a selective memory about subjects near and dear to us. We don't want "facts" to interfere with our beliefs. Once we've commtted to a certain policy or politician or belief, we tend to believe only that which provides support.

That seems to be the case with Mr. Mazerall (letter, March 18). He notes that "The Dems are saying that President Trump should have used legal means to prove that the election may have been stolen." I don't know which Dems he is talking about, but didn't Trump have some 60 lawsuits investigating so-called fraud thrown out of court? We won't mention the Supreme Court decisions. Trump's army of lawyers couldn't put Trumpty Dumpty back together again.

He also downplays the events of Jan. 6. The "citizens" entered "their Capitol." It's also my Capitol, and that of every other American. He can't seriously believe that what was shown over and over again is acceptable to anyone who believes in "law and order" and that "blue lives matter." I guess Officer Sicknick and the other law enforcement casualties don't count. As to the "lefties" possibly egging on the rioters, that claim has been debunked and even contradicted by the Shaman himself.

When your team loses, get over it. It is pointless to keep replaying the game hoping for a different result. Maybe Kansas City really won the Super Bowl. Patriots in 2024!

Larry Abbott


End the Electoral College

The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol is properly seen as an attack against democracy. It was obviously and clearly timed to disrupt the largely ceremonial Electoral College tally, our then-vice president, a very model of obsequious demeanor, presiding. Happily, order was restored, democracy and Constitution thus intact.

But is it? Democracy, I mean. Time maybe to think about what was interrupted and later resumed. The Electoral College, a Rube Goldberg contraption, was (I think) conceived and solemnized as a compromise between forces at play, among them slavery and imbalanced population distribution. Or whatever. Why the Electoral College came about isn't nearly as significant as what it degrades.

Consider that the Electoral College applies to but one election, that of the presidency. Elsewhere and universally, electoral victory is entirely straightforward. Majority wins, or short of that, a runoff.

George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote by a slim margin, won by way of the Electoral College and ultimately the Supreme Court. Despite a less-than-thunderous mandate, he awarded the nation with a war of pure aggression. Death and destruction, with devastating after-effects. We've been there often.

Hillary Clinton, whose popular vote fairly swamped Trump's, lost, thanks again to the Electoral College. The Donald went on to govern ineptly, corruption and hostility up the kazoo, and a validation of our white-supremacist far right and its alarmingly fascistic features. We've yet to see how this plays out.

And yet a sclerotic absurdity remains in place, unchallenged and serene.

Mike Silverton


Bebb a 'natural leader'

I am delighted to endorse Breanna Pinkham Bebb in her candidacy for a seat on the Northport Select Board. Breanna is a lifelong Mainer who has been deeply involved in her local community since her time at University of Maine at Machias. She has always worked for nonprofits or volunteered for them or both.

We know Breanna in Northport from her leadership of our distribution site for the Waldo County Woodshed and also her work on the Northport Planning Board. As the parent of an Edna Drinkwater student, she is directly invested in the success of our school.

I first met Breanna in 2018 when she successfully led a volunteer activity that was intense, complicated and stressful. She was unflappable and steady throughout. She is organized and energetic and a natural leader. As a person of the older persuasion, it is a thrill to me to see a younger person with all the challenges of a young family and a full-time job who is still willing and eager to serve her community on the Board of Selectmen. This is exactly the perspective we need for Northport moving forward.

Lastly, I don’t know how this matters on the Board of Selectmen, but it can’t hurt, Breanna is a lot of fun and we can all use more smiles.

Please vote for Breanna Pinkham Bebb for the Northport Board of Selectmen April 14. Absentee ballots are available now at the Town Office.

Trudy Miller


Rule changes favor big, out-of-state medical marijuana firms

My family and I have been running a small farm and medical marijuana business in the Midcoast for 10 years. The opportunity to be a woman entrepreneur and to take care of my family with the work of my own hands and mind is to me what Maine is all about.

At the end of 2019 there were over 65,000 patients who relied on Maine's medical marijuana program — almost 5% of the state’s population. That number has grown. There are roughly 3,000 providers of medical marijuana in the state who supply locally grown medicinal cannabis. This burgeoning industry has produced jobs, grown revenue streams for cities and towns and supported families.

The medical marijuana program is run by the Office of Marijuana Policy, which is undertaking a massive overhaul driven by leadership in state government. Why? Maine’s 20-plus years of expertise in the medical marijuana industry has made it one of the very best programs in the nation. The good that this program has done for the state has grown exponentially. So why is OMP deciding to change the rules that govern the program to push out small Mom and Pop farms? Where is this push coming from?

Instead of fostering innovation by honoring the hard work of local farmers, clinicians and patient experience, OMP has so far ignored what we have to offer. There is no data to support the need for the proposed changes to the program. Patients of the program have not been asked for input, nor have doctors, nor have caregivers. Why would this be?

What the proposed rule changes do is make it possible for massive out-of-state corporations to more easily dominate the industry in Maine. Why am I mandated to have incredibly expensive 24-hour video surveillance of every nook and cranny of my farm? To use a mandatory and unreliable expensive tracking system? To apply for countless permits and suffer privacy invasions no other industry is subject to? To utilize so much wasteful, pointless plastic packaging? Why can’t I sell my wholesome, homegrown product at a store? How is any small farmer expected to compete in this market?

As I know it, the Maine medical marijuana program is an exemplary beacon of hope for those with cancer, epilepsy and other life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. It is a job creator in the rural and urban areas of the state. These rule changes will make it harder and more expensive for patients I have personally helped for years to get the medicine they need.

I hope that the lawmakers reviewing changes to Maine’s thriving medical marijuana industry will see what these changes will do to family farmers in Maine. One great way to start would be to pass LD 939. It will be in front of the Legislature’s Veterans & Legal Affairs Committee Monday, March 29. These are reforms that we actually need.

Arleigh Kraus


Rid our campaigns of dark money

Political leaders should always strive to work for the people, not parties, special interest groups, or donors — particularly not donors from out of state. And Mainers know it, often disregarding party politics in the interest of our shared values and needs. That is why I am writing to offer my support behind S.1 — the For the People Act, a bill that will focus future campaigns for generations to come on the needs and voices of real Mainers.

Right now, our campaign system is fraught with dark money. Ridding our elections of dark money by creating requirements for political groups to release information on their large donors is essential, and a key focus of S.1.

Everyday Mainers should be those deciding the outcomes of our elections — hardworking small business owners, veterans, seniors, minority groups, rural residents — not dark-money donors from out of state.

Maine’s Senate delegation has a real opportunity for leadership on this core issue of our democracy. As discussions are held over the coming weeks, we’ll expect to see their voices as drivers of the conversation.

Shirley Caler


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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jacki Cassida | Mar 29, 2021 15:05

Hello Mr. Byers,

If “Got it, thanks” is the smoking gun here,  it’s from a cap gun. There is nothing in those emails that says lobbying and conspiracy to interfere. What they say shows concern for a fair process, and a request to look into that. That’s it.

It would be incorrect to claim that the rights of Belfast citizens have been dissolved somehow, but in reality, the permitting process showed anything but that. Every consideration was made regarding folks being heard.  If you have doubts about that, there are publicly available documents on the City’s planning and codes page. NAF complied with every local, state, and federal level requirement and that extremely thorough process resulted in approvals and one pending. We’ve invested in this development, yes. We’ve also invested in Belfast with community support projects, events, and local businesses. We’re not going anywhere, our investors are solid, and Little River will be fine. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions: jacki.cassida@nordicaquafarms.com

~NAF Community Liaison

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