Letters, May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019

Rebuild historic fishery

In my opinion as an environmental historian, the wisest and most profitable use of the Little River ecosystem would be:

First, replace the two ancient and crumbling dams with new dams that incorporate modern fish ladders.

Second, introduce alewives and elvers into the ponds.

Third, wait five years, then let locals begin to harvest alewives and elvers, which together would provide steady annual income for local fisherman every year into the remote future.

As early as the 1700s, alewives were associated with a large inshore seasonal population of cod — the high lipid content of alewives and other clupeids (sea herring, shad and menhaden) attracted spawning cod and other valuable market fish, which instinctively sought a high-lipid diet during spawning season: The lipids provided essential nutrients for the development of healthy gametes (sperm and ova).

In the 1870s, when as many as 20 steam seiners were taking menhaden between the Belfast Bay monument and the head of tide on the Passagassawakeag, the bay's weir and net fisheries alone yielded around $11 million in today's dollars (extrapolating from 1880 census figures). Penobscot Bay in those days also provided seasonal commercial fishing for 250 hook fishermen out of Belfast and another 250 out of Castine.

That fishery could be recovered if we built it from the bottom up, with more spawning area for the alewives, while Maine's elvers rise in value almost every year. Moreover, the profits from local fisheries would stay in local hands and local banks, and not end up in a foreign country.

Dr. William Burgess Leavenworth


In response to 'Protecting Our Children'

We residents of  Waldo County would like to respond to "Protecting Our Children" and to thank Sen. Erin Herbig for her support of parental and religious rights in Maine. Protecting our children’s health is the responsibility of parents, not the government.

Maine's vaccination rate in schools for kindergarten is about 95% and has been steadily rising for the last decade. For first grade, the rate for the 2017-18 school year was 96.6%. First-grade data was not reported for the current school year, but historically has been higher than kindergarten rates, which is likely explained by first-graders catching up on boosters not yet received in kindergarten (if a child is missing just one booster, they are counted as unvaccinated and must file an exemption).

According to the World Health Organization "herd immunity" is reached at a 92% vaccination rate, and Maine schools are clearly far above that. Herd immunity is the theory that high vaccination rates at a specified threshold within a community can prevent disease outbreaks.

This bold assumption is problematic, as we know from basic biology that vaccine-induced antibody responses are acquired very differently from natural immunity. Vaccines completely bypass the immune system’s primary lines of defense (in the skin, mucosal linings in the respiratory system and digestive system), and instead force an irregular immune response by activating the production of antibodies against the antigens that have been injected.

It is clear to see that vaccines are failing. Outbreaks of measles, chicken pox, mumps, and pertussis have occurred in highly vaccinated school populations, and those getting sick have primarily been the vaccinated.



This issue certainly does arouse strong feelings. If LD798 passes, it takes away our constitutional rights. It mandates that parents inject their children with toxins that can cause serious side effects such as deafness, encephalitis and even death, as listed on the manufacturers’ vaccine inserts. Other adverse reactions on the inserts include food allergies, eczema, epilepsy, tics, bowel dysfunction, SIDS, leukemia, diabetes, speech delays, asthma, developmental delays, shingles, autoimmune diseases, Lupus, strabismus, anxiety, OCD, PANDAS, Guillain-Barré syndrome, ADHD and arthritis.  Congress has also declared vaccines as “unavoidably unsafe.”

If you had attended the 13 hours of testimonies on March 13, you would have heard horrifying story after story of how vaccines have injured many children. It was clear that these parents and many others will never stop fighting for the rights of all children. Of the 781 Maine voters that submitted testimony on LD798:

⦁ 623 or 80% were in opposition

⦁ 125 testimonies addressed religious objections to certain vaccinations

Debunking the case of Vermont:

⦁ Vermont removed only the philosophical exemption in 2016, still allowing religious and medical exemptions.

⦁ They saw an immediate drop in exemption rates.

⦁ Vermont’s bill, VT H238, which proposes the removal of the religious exemption, has been tabled and will not be heard this legislative session.

⦁ In Maine, a predicted similar decrease in parents opting out of vaccination would put our kindergarten vaccination rate well above the herd immunity threshold at 95.6%.

The religious vaccine exemption amendment to LD 798 protects our constitutional, religious and inalienable rights. Mandatory vaccines violate Informed Consent, the Nuremberg Code, HIPPA, and are, in fact, unconstitutional. LD798 goes back to the Senate for a vote on Tuesday, May 14. We are grateful for Sen. Herbig’s vote in favor of the religious exemption amendment the first time the bill went to the Senate and hope she will continue to stand firm in supporting the religious vaccine exemption in Maine.

There is absolutely no data, proof or studies to show that the unvaccinated pose a threat or risk to the vaccinated. Parents that choose not to follow the recommended vaccine schedule, rely on the body's immune system to protect their children (and themselves) from diseases.

If you choose to vaccinate, that is your choice. We are simply fighting to keep our choice. “Our bodies, our choice.”

In closing, we again thank Sen. Erin Herbig for supporting our parental and religious rights in Maine.

Dr. Jane Robertson, Belfast; Warren and Bethany Allgrove, Lincolnville; Kristina and Graham Clark, Belfast; Gary McIntire and Junne Robertson-McIntire, Belfast; Rhonda Robertson, North Searsport; Venita Robertson, Camden; Lisa McConnell, Belmont; Alessandra Martinelli, Northport; Dr. Kerri Vacher, ND, FNP, Belfast; Heidi Reader, Swanville; Sasha Kutsy, Belfast; Tanya Blanchard, Thorndike; Laura Hubbell, Jackson; Jamie Huntsberger and Elizabeth Alma, Unity; Mandy Everett, Northport; Kristy Pottle and Denis Howard, Belfast; Michael, Megan and Kacey Wellman, Winterport; Matt and Holly Brown, Monroe; Rosalina Brown, Monroe; Marvin and Sherry Graves, Monroe; Jessica Plummer, Swanville; April Dove, Northport; Heather Frey, Swanville; Michelle McAvoy, Searsport; Joshua and Kaleigh Van der Swaagh, Northport; Elizabeth Coldren, Belfast; Krista Yungman, Belfast; Hilary Emma, Lincolnville; Erin Scalli, Morrill; Jason Rawn, Lincolnville; Shannon Elliott, Northport; Camille Rose Fields, Thorndike; Lucrecia Yentes, Monroe; Tara, Wade and Ruby Ambrose, Belfast; Donna Broderick, Searsmont; Alessandra Martinelli, Northport; Joanna and Agnes Nymanson, Lincolnville; Evan Obercian, Lincolnville; Aimee Moffitt-Mercer, Belfast; Amanda Reusch, Searsport; Matt and Edna Dodge, Belfast; Jasmine Fowler, Morrill

Break down the divide

If you are frustrated, and tired of hearing about, or listening to, or even being part of the political divide, then get involved! Be part of the solution. Support “civility” and the efforts Make Shift Coffee House is creating throughout Maine.

Craig Freshley, founder of Make Shift Coffee House, has a matching grant opportunity. If he raises $25,000 by June 1, a donor will match this, providing $50,000 to expand Make Shift Coffee House to our communities.

Read more to learn how Make Shift Coffee House is making a difference (https://makeshiftcoffeehouse.com). If you wish to donate, go to http://makeshiftcoffeehouse.com/give-now/; please note under “special instructions” that you are from the Midcoast.

Our funds will be pooled together as one group, as matching funds are limited to a minimum of $1,000. Any amount will be appreciated for this grassroots effort! Share this request with others and help to break down the “divide.”

For more information: contact Cathy Roberts, peacepreserves@gmail.com, 589-3451

Cathy Roberts


In defense of clematis

As a plant ecologist who selects native plant offerings for the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, I was dismayed by Tom Seymour’s alarmist statement about one of our plant sale offerings, the virgin’s bower clematis, which he described as “highly toxic” in his May 10 garden column.

Virgin’s bower clematis  is widely offered in the nursery trade and is planted as an ornamental, as are related cultivar vines. It attracts pollinators, including hummingbirds, and has a striking and unique beauty.

In fact, many native plants as well as cultivated plants are not edible and contain compounds considered toxic if ingested. Virgin’s bower clematis can produce short-lived (a few minutes), minor skin reactions in some individuals, as can some other cherished garden plants (or even long grass for that matter), and some of these same plants have similar toxicity if eaten.

It has been in fact used medicinally by indigenous peoples, although such use is not recommended today. That being said, it was not offered as an edible plant, and one hopes that children and others are taught to not randomly sample plants on the landscape or out of our gardens.

I certainly hope that in the future, Mr. Seymour is able to provide a more nuanced and complete description of native plants offered for use in planted landscapes.

Aleta McKeage

Technical Director

Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District

New commercial laundry services

Greetings from Midcoast Linen, the first facility of its kind in Midcoast Maine dedicated to commercial laundry services.

Outsourcing your laundry has never been more affordable! In the past, most if not all businesses that required laundry services have processed their items in-house. This also means costly investments for washers and dryers, as well as repair and maintenance costs. Factor in chemicals, utilities, and the ever-growing cost of labor, and doing laundry in-house may not be as cost-effective as originally thought. It has just never been affordable to outsource.

In steps Midcoast Linen. At our new facility we are able to couple large-capacity washers and dryers equipped with the most up-to-date technology, with automated folding equipment. This will allow us to offer a price to the market that now makes outsourcing your laundry affordable. We take all the headaches and stresses that come with making sure you have clean linens available and allow you to put more focus on your customers and your business.

Your linens will be picked up and delivered back to you on a convenient schedule that works for you. While out of your building, your linens will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Clean linens will be returned cleaned and neatly folded, and swapped out with your soiled, allowing for the process to seamlessly continue.

Imagine never having to worry about staffing issues for your laundry room! You will spend less time managing your laundry and more time managing your business. Please contact us at info@midcoastlinen.com or 218-1022 so we can discuss in further detail how we can help you!

Rick Bagnall


'Corporations or Community'

As last week's Ethan Andrews' article ("Nordic's Blunder") in The Free Press and letter from Jeffrey Mabee and Judith Grace ("The Making of Good Neighbors") show, the Nordic Aquafarms controversy — and those who have caused it — continue to chafe and irk.

But, although the Nordic controversy is both controversial and alarming, it's not unique. Communities all over Maine, the U.S., and the world are constantly forced to deal with similar methodical manipulation, harassment, and predation from the same corporate playbook.

Believing that we local people are best qualified to make decisions about our local environment and economy, two local grassroots organizations, Local Citizens for SMART Growth, and Peace and Justice of Waldo County, are sponsoring a panel discussion, "Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Community?" at the Belfast Free Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening, May 29.

The panel will feature speakers from Maine communities directly challenging controversial corporate control, destruction, and extraction in their communities.

Panelists are Ellie Daniels, speaking on the controversy around the proposed Nordic industrial complex and adverse effects on the local economy, environment, and local democracy; Matt Wagner of Say NO to NECEC, speaking on the vastly unpopular proposed CMP "energy corridor"; Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice speaking to the controversial water extraction by Nestle/Poland Spring; and John Banks, natural resource director of the Penobscot Nation, helping to contextualize these current threats from these three foreign-owned corporations.

Superstar Penobscot activist Dawn Neptune Adams, who many will recognize from the documentary film  "Dawnland" and WERU's investigative journalism program "RadioActive," will moderate the panel.

Jason Rawn


Comments (3)
Posted by: Jon Jenckes | May 25, 2019 10:05

It is Saturday/ and still no coverage of the last  Wed set to in the town council meeting/ can;t be too hot to handle since it is front p[age material for the BDN

Posted by: Mark Kuzio | May 25, 2019 08:47

Congratulations to the forward thinking community of Bucksport....a small Maine town, when all is said and  done, has elected to not put it's head into the sand.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | May 23, 2019 09:37

In the interest of full disclosure regarding the article, "Corporations or Community", one of the "panelists", Eleanor (Ellie) G. Daniels lives contiguous to the Nordic Aquafarm project and is or was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the City of Belfast, with Nordic AquaFarms, Inc. and the Belfast Water District as "parties in interest". Needless to say, she is not a disinterested 3rd party. At the time of this writing, it could not be confirmed that the lawsuit is still ongoing. Belfast needs diversification of its' economy now and in the future to weather economic downturns which follow typical expansion/contraction cycles in the nations' economy. Let's assume for arguments sake that athenaHealth closes down now that it's been acquired by venture capital entities. 900 employees out of work. On Process has very "portable" jobs that could go anywhere in the world. What's left of Bank of America is probably expendable also. That would leave nearly the entire old MBNA campus completely empty and you talk about a severe drop in assessed value, the bottom will drop out. The City of Belfast just had to write down the assessed value for the empty space, say 200k square feet. Again, unless we diversify our property tax base and kick start some serious economic activity, the next downturn in the economy and it will come, could trigger a downward economic spiral for Belfast.

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