Letters, March 26

Mar 26, 2020

Support local businesses

A major part of what makes Waldo County, well, Waldo County is our strong small businesses and nonprofits. Predictions of the fallout from the pandemic on these types of organizations are not good. If we want to help ensure we still have the services and locally owned businesses we rely on, we need to support them to the best of our ability now, even during this self-isolation period.

Evidently, the national delivery services are adding drivers to deal with the increased demand for in-home delivery. We have alternatives to purchasing goods from large out-of-state corporations. Here, we have local businesses who are developing creative ways for us to shop remotely for necessities and even a few pleasures. We want to help them maintain cash flow during this time.

I hesitate to list individual businesses here, especially as things can change, but at least one bookstore in Belfast and a cheese store are bending over backwards to make it easier for you. It would be a great service if the Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Belfast or Creative Coalition could send out weekly updates on promotions, hours, and other services local businesses are doing.

Another opportunity is to purchase now things that you might need later in the season. For example, hardware and home supply stores are gearing up with spring products. Why wait till May to buy mulch, fertilizer or seeds? How about that new rake? Thinking about solar panels? I have some home projects that I have planned for the summer, but I am going ahead and buying or ordering some of those things for delivery now or paying now for later delivery. I personally decided it was a great time to paint a room! I realize not everyone is in the position to do something like that, but I know others of you are. It’s also a good time to buy gift certificates from your favorite businesses for later use.

And don’t forget the mom-and-pop general stores. I notice they tend to have some of the items that have gotten wiped out at the bigger stores. Spread those dollars around.

These businesses also support our community nonprofits in good times. As nonprofits cancel or reduce programs in response to the virus, they are also losing revenue and donations from those events. They need our contributions now so they will be able to open their doors again. Many of them are creating clever ways to do what they do best to serve and entertain us while we are housebound. Have a ticket to an event that was canceled or paid for a workshop that is postponed? Rather than ask for a refund, gift the amount to the organization if you are able to do that. Or maybe get that membership you have put off doing.

We don’t want to wait until the storm is over to assess the damage. Let’s try to mitigate it now. Think global, support local.

Linda Buckmaster


April is the cruelest month

April is a tough month for Waldo County small businesses, as their savings from the summer season are at yearly lows. We implore all who are able to phone or email local stores, restaurants, your hair dresser or other provider, to pay now for a gift card to be used in the future. Also, consider buying a gift card for family members or friends for upcoming special days. This will help small businesses with their cash shortages in the month they need it the most.

So many businesses have reached out to us to outline their plans for keeping consumers and their employees safe at this time. Let’s help them through this difficult time by paying now for goods and services in the future.

Mary Davis


Dear BEP...

I am asking you to deny permits to the euphemistic Nordic Aquafarms’ aka Massive Confined Fish Feed Lot and Slaughterhouse. I am asking for no exemptions (such as in their frequent "permit first, then compliance with the application" attitude), no leniency from this board for perceived economic benefit (it is a revenue gamble) and no lowering of standards.

My concerns are many, but I will focus on water. The site location for this proposed project is terrible! I am suspicious that it did not meet any criteria “score” other than that of community water surplus supply (as long as a new Goose River well source is brought online using citizen dollars in the form of a bond). Most other site factors seem to be back-fitted to this one element. Their "robust" multiple sources of fresh water cloud the fact that without reservoir water or Nordic’s sketchy on-site wells, this project will depend on the Belfast Water District. If they play the game of demanding more water to protect their profits, Belfast and Northport citizens' resilience may be threatened. In its enormous quantity requirements, is this not the privatization of a large portion of our water supply?

I am concerned about 7.7 million gallons of effluent discharged into shallow water every day into Belfast Bay. I am even more concerned that flashy technology claims will replace water quality objectivity. Nordic’s claim that particle count will be lower than background levels or that effluent is “cleaner than the seawater going in” is twisting statistics to fit a profit-driven narrative. Even Nordic’s minimal modeling shows waste lingering in the bay for 14 days until its exit to Penobscot Bay. Also, its specific data collection validation is mighty scarce. It’s as if tides, slack water, wind, depths and other complexities, over time, don’t exist, and mystery remains. What are they afraid of finding?

Nordic will produce 160 tons of sludge per day. Per day. It will utilize seven diesel generators. Diesel generators? Talk about climate hypocrisy. Dredging potential mercury deposits? Maine can do better than this environmental disaster.

Eileen Wolper



Comments (3)
Posted by: Seth Thayer | Apr 01, 2020 07:09

I see Mr. Stanley has made his NIMBY argument again.  These Baysiders think their way of life is going to change overnight.  Scare tactics are what they are using to make people nervous about this project.  What Baysiders should be doing is figuring out a plan to move their sewage treatment pipe away from the dock where their kiids swim.  I'd love to know how much sludge Bayside is producing and sending straight out into the Bay.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Mar 26, 2020 15:53

Sure glad Jacki Cassida is back helping us understand what little we apparently do not know. Two years of this, and I think some or most of us who have kept an eye out on this mess know a thing or two. Generators? What is the difference between running generators with diesel to offset peak and running on power plant generation running on diesel? 8 smoke stacks at 65 feet per stack. I live southeast with wind primarily from the northwest. Will I have the blessing of a fresh sniff of diesel in the morning air? Please avoid using words like "awesome." Overused and sounds ignorant. "Awesomeness?" Keep the word available for what is truly awesome in this life.

Posted by: Jacki Cassida | Mar 26, 2020 13:30

Hello Eileen- you and your friends sure are diligent making sure someone puts an opinion out there every week. There are some things that need a little correcting, so allow me to be of assistance. Be assured that the BEP has evidence & reports from teams of scientists, biologists, hydrologists and more- I think leniency or lowering of standards is not anything Maine has to be concerned about. With Nordic science and high standards for environmental stewardship, and willingness to make adjustments per recommendations by regulatory agencies, the Midcoast is in excellent hands.

With Nordic’s contract, the Belfast Water District will have the revenue it needs to do some big upgrades to Belfast’s water mains that need them. Did you know there is piping that is over 100 years old? Water rates for citizens on city water are likely to go up if Belfast doesn’t have Nordic’s revenue and those water mains will still need to be replaced, regardless.

In terms of Nordic’s flashy water filtration technology- it IS TOP of the line, over-achieving, best-in-class technology. And Belfast is the beneficiary of that awesomeness.

And that sludge you speak of? That fish-waste gold is going to be dewatered, packaged up and sold because there is great value there. Fertilizer being the least of its uses, and biogas being the coolest of its uses- a huge source of renewable energy!

On the generators: They are provided primarily for emergency back-up.  That is the reason that we are installing them, to maintain fish welfare and water treatment when we lose power. We can also use that ability to provide power during peak consumption times on the grid. This allows us to reduce our power bill and take load off the grid.  This is helpful in many ways, including reducing dependency on power plants that burn fossil fuel. Look at that bigger picture…

Well, there is more I could assist with, but I hope everyone finds the above helpful and as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Get some sunshine and stay well, all!  jackicassida@nordicaquafarms.com

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