Letters, Nov. 1, 2018

Nov 01, 2018

Wreath project on hold

It is with sadness and regret that we notify our friends and customers that The First Church in Belfast needs to take a one-year hiatus from our wreath project.

Over the past few years we have lost quite a few older members of our congregation. Many of them took an active part in this cherished tradition. For the past 87 years, a multitude of hands lovingly and creatively made bows, drilled nuts, wired pine cones, picked and dried tansy, gathered berries and moss, and decorated our distinctive wreaths to sell to our neighbors, local businesses, and customers across the country.

This year we realized that it was not going to be possible to produce over 800 wreaths of the quality our customers expect. We hope this one-year hiatus will give us the opportunity to re-energize, refocus, and rebuild our workforce so that we can offer again beautiful wreaths you can proudly display and enjoy.

Blessings to all of you,

The First Church Wreath Project Team

Thank you

We here at Tarratine Tribe 13 and Osecelo Council 47 would like to thank the businesses in Belfast and surrounding towns for your donations to our Alzheimer's auctions. With your help, we exceeded our expectations. Thank you.

Ken Murphy

Rita Murphy

A pestilence

Lawrence Reichard of his Bricks and Mortars column, in this paper every other week, is becoming a pestilence.

Let me explain. A few weeks back he wrote a column excoriating the wife of the CEO of Nordic Aquafarms. It was a clear piece of yellow journalism. I complained mightily to the publisher of The Republican Journal, dressing them down for allowing a piece that had Sen. Joe McCarthy’s fingerprints all over it — that is, loaded with innuendo, casting aspersions and name smearing; all total mischaracterizations and completely unfair.

Mr. Bricks and Mortars let it be known that he might be off to Norway to investigate aqua farms. I worried that, if he went to Norway, his reporting would likely be more “spin” and inaccuracies. He did and it is (his Sept. 27 piece).

Here’s the scoop. He begins by telling about a Norwegian, Mr. Kurt Oddekalv. I searched for background on Mr. Oddekalv. Bad news. This guy is goofy at best. In 1993 he was tossed out of the “Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature.” Not a good start. Then there’s the video of him dressed in our Western garb with a Texas-sized hat, lasso and a branding iron — he was awaiting the arrival of George W. Bush so as to ambush him and brand “his butt.” A bevy of law enforcement was onsite to see what he was up to. He tried to lasso a willing bystander but clearly had no idea how to “operate” a lasso. It was just plain dumb.

Then in 2015 he subscribed to the “Chemtrails” conspiracy theory that high-flying commercial jet aircraft are purposely spraying toxins for psychological manipulation, human population control and worse. This, of course, has been debunked over and over again. The guy seems to know a bit about salmon but largely he’s a one-of-a-kind, marching to the tune of a different (off-key) drummer.  He’s hardly one you’d want to go to for “the full truth” and in Norway they don’t. Reichard did anyway.

So Mr. Reichard is off to a bad start, again. And it’s indicative of the opponents of the Nordic fish farm. They will latch onto any argument that they think might help their opposition to this venture (even if it’s bogus) and purposefully ignore any probable good the fish farm can provide ― say, like ending the use of 7.7 million gallons of jet fuel. Let me explain.

In 2018, 400,000 tons of salmon will be imported into the USA from Norway, Scotland and Chile, all by Air Freight. A Boeing 747-8F (F for freighter) has a full payload of 295,000 pounds. So, dividing 800 million pounds by 295,000 we get about 7,000. That’s 7,000 B747-8F flights to get all that fish here. I calculate about 93 million gallons of jet fuel to move all 800 million pounds of salmon. Every year. Nordic will offset 7.7 million gallons of jet fuel for fish not flown to the USA, being raised here.

Vote to re-elect Harkness and Mortier to the City Council.

Dirk Faegre


What the county needs now

A song that was popular in the not so recent past began with the line, "What the world needs now is ...." While it is easy to complete the line, it is appropriate to this election cycle to replace the familiar ending with "moderation" or "collaboration."

What Maine needs now is experience and those ideas that will build small business, our local banks and those nonprofits that make a real difference in our communities.

What Waldo County needs now is an intelligent, honest and careful senator in the state Legislature who knows our needs, has engaged directly with us for many years and is willing to seek the middle ground in the sometimes raucous activity at the State House.

Jayne Crosby Giles is my answer to what we need now. Please vote for Jayne.

Phil Carthage


Implicit trust

Speaking confidently about a candidate is rare these days, which makes Erin Herbig’s candidacy refreshing and real. I’m a husband and a father of two young kids, and it’s invaluable to me to have someone in the state Senate that I can trust implicitly to represent my best interests.

And when I talk of Erin looking after my best interests, these are pretty simple things. Things like improved internet access, properly funded schools, care for our elders and our environment, and lower property taxes, to name a few. Simple, right?

Erin speaks for me because we’re in the same boat: living and working here with kids in tow. I trust her, and she has my vote.

Lawrence Hollins


Garden Project; vote Trafton 

We are taking this opportunity to share with you the success of the Reentry Center Garden Project for 2018.

First, we want to mention the updates that occurred in 2018. We had an opportunity to purchase a completely remodeled 94 HP John Deere Tractor for $15,000. We constructed a cold storage building for both squash and potatoes, which can extend the shipping time frame into December. This will allow increased potato production starting next year.

We farmed about 15 acres this year and produced mainly potatoes and various squash, including zucchini, butternut, buttercup and Blue Hubbard, along with beans, corn, carrots, onions and beets.

Early in the year, many farmers in Waldo County had problems starting squash and cucumbers. We were no exception. We successfully replanted and brought our production back to our expectations.

The commissioners wish to express their appreciation to the residents at the Reentry Center, as they come to work with an excellent attitude and a desire to help others in need. Besides learning to grow, store and prepare vegetables for themselves, they also have the opportunity to feel good about doing something for others.

We also greatly appreciate our Corrections staff, who zealously work in the garden alongside the residents and who transport produce countywide. We generally operate the garden with a 12-man crew once it comes into full production.

Special thanks go to Sheriff Jeffrey Trafton, who is a very strong advocate of the Garden Project. Without his enthusiastic support and dedication, this project would not have grown to the size that it is today. It is not unusual for the sheriff to drive in and ask, “How are things going?” and “What can I do to be of assistance?”

To date, the garden has produced 131,000 lbs. We extend our thanks to the food cupboards, soup kitchens, and the Belfast YMCA for their support and cooperation in helping distribute this produce. Waldo County should be very proud of the Reentry Center for these accomplishments and for all that the center does for various towns, special organization events, and food cupboards.

The Garden Project is funded entirely from Community Corrections funds Waldo County receives from the state of Maine. We want our citizens to know that the garden does not impact the county budget. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to call one of the county commissioners and we would be more than happy to explain the funding process to you. We also welcome visitors to the garden between the hours of 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday, during the growing season.

It is very important that we support the re-election of Jeff Trafton for sheriff because he is a major factor in the success of this Garden Project.

Waldo County Commissioners

Betty Johnson, District 1

William Shorey, District 2

Amy Fowler, District 3

Experience, energy

I am wholeheartedly supporting Erin Herbig in her bid for the Waldo County Senate seat because she has dedicated her efforts in the Maine Legislature to enhance the lives of her Waldo County constituents in the areas where it is most needed ― lowering property taxes by supporting the voter-approved 55-percent revenue sharing for schools; supporting local businesses by launching her Waldo County Works business tour to listen to owners’ needs, including my own business; and establishing a community college center in Waldo County to help job seekers to become better qualified to apply for higher-paying jobs.

Since first meeting Erin when we played together on a team at the Belfast Curling Club, she has been very open to the idea of participatory democracy, inviting me to shadow her going about her duties as majority leader in the Maine House.

I really appreciate how Erin takes her time, no matter how long it takes, with each and every constituent, to really listen to their needs and respond with a personal message. She definitely has the legislative experience and energy it takes to represent all of Waldo County as its next senator.

Andre Blanchard


Stays focused

I’m writing to support Erin Herbig, who is running to represent Waldo County in the Maine state Senate.

Over the past few years I’ve seen a very positive development in Lincolnville. I know several young people who have decided to stay in Maine because they’ve been able to find jobs here in Waldo County. In my neighborhood there are three families who have moved here in recent years because high-speed internet allows them to work from this lovely area even though their companies are located elsewhere.

I support Erin for many reasons but mainly because she has remained focused throughout her tenure as a state representative and House majority leader on making this kind of positive development happen. She has seen too many of her own friends, classmates, and even family members leave the state to seek employment elsewhere and feels very strongly that it shouldn’t be this way. She’s chaired Maine’s 21st Century Workforce Taskforce and, more locally, launched a Waldo County Works business tour, meeting with over 75 businesses in the county to gather ideas about how the Legislature can better support these businesses.

Erin is pursuing goals such as bringing a community college center to Waldo County to provide training and certification for jobs that are here like electricians, plumbers and health care professionals; sponsoring legislation to support apprenticeship programs; and expanding high-speed internet into all areas of rural Maine.

I’m convinced that she’ll meet these goals as she’s always done, by avoiding getting bogged down in national issues and big partisan fights, maintaining good working relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle, and keeping focused on improving life and opportunities in Waldo County.

Robert L. Olson


Enthusiastically for Erin

I have yet to mention Erin Herbig’s name to another Waldo County voter without hearing enthusiastic praise. “We love Erin!” “My wife and I are both voting for Erin!” “Erin has my vote!”

I did some homework and learned that Erin Herbig is a Mainer. Raised in Waldo County, graduated from Belfast High, and first in her family to go to college.

When I met her this past spring, I could see for myself a young woman with experience, common sense and ― seemed to me ― honesty. A candidate willing to listen to a question and thoughtfully answer. And she’s smart ― she earned a scholarship to Boston College. After college, Erin returned to Maine to put her education to work. She’s been working hard ever since.

Erin Herbig cares about education. Not just the kind of education she was lucky enough to receive. She cares about education for all types of students. Two of Erin’s goals: To bring a community college to Waldo County to train and certify electricians, plumbers, composite trades and health care professionals. And to sponsor legislation for apprenticeship programs and strengthen partnerships between adult education, vocational programs, and Waldo County employers.

This is who I want representing Waldo County in Maine’s state Senate and I will enthusiastically vote for Erin Herbig Nov. 6. I hope you will, too.

Melissa Marchetti


Mary, Neal and Paul

I am writing a letter to offer support for and encourage folks to vote for Neal Harkness, Mary Mortier and Paul Dean in the upcoming Belfast City Council election. Brief and sincere thoughts on each.

Mary Mortier: Mary is factual, data-driven, accurate, always prepared, and patient. The reason I am voting for her, though, is she is a wonderful and generous volunteer for many things in the city and considers this city precious. She knows her stuff, doesn’t put up with BS, and tolerates me on the council. She thinks I’m funny, so that proves her genius. Just kidding. I can safely say Mary is someone I would trust with my life. She is to me a brilliant councilor.

Neal Harkness: Neal is an unapologetic fighter and supporter, especially of the working class. Read less fortunate. Neal does not have an “off” button regarding passionate issues, which I find refreshing and human. He’d also give you the shirt off his back. He’s fearless and I think so needed on this council. He is an original.

Paul Dean: Paul has pretty much been in attendance the last two years at meetings, so he knows the issues. My dad was a pipe fitter and Paul worked at the mill. Good person. Vote for him. He asks good questions.

All three support the salmon farm process, as do I. All three are independent, yet work swell in groups.

Please give it some thought and get to the polls Nov. 6.

Eric Sanders

Belfast City Councilor

A strong voice in Augusta

I have known Jayne Crosby Giles for many years and I believe she is an excellent candidate for the Maine Senate seat that is being vacated by Sen. Mike Thibodeau of Winterport. Jayne understands the needs of hardworking Maine families. She is caring, fair and responsive. She visited with my husband and me at our home this summer. Jayne sincerely listened and was careful to learn as much as she could about our concerns.

Jayne will be a strong voice for us in Augusta. Her experience in banking and as a former state representative will be invaluable to the people of Waldo County.

I was fortunate to have worked at Key Bank during Jayne’s tenure. She was highly regarded as a knowledgeable and professional officer who ensured the best services for customers.

My husband and I will be voting for Jayne on Nov. 6. I encourage others to vote for her. Jayne Crosby Giles is a great choice for the people of Waldo County.

Cheryl Parkman


Vote for Erin

I am supporting Erin Herbig and feel Waldo County needs her in the Senate.

While serving in the House of Representatives as chairman of the Labor, Commerce, Economic Development Committee, she pushed for investment credits for developing the workforce in Maine.

Additionally, she has goals of lowering property taxes, improving workforce training, and expanding high-speed internet. All these efforts will help keep our high school and college graduates in Maine.

She visited many businesses in Waldo County to listen to their ideas for improving the job opportunities for our residents. Through these visits, she is supporting the improvement and growth for the Maine Community College System to help folks get an affordable education and lifelong careers.

Vote for Erin and help the state of Maine become a better place to live and work.

Jim Peary


Dedicated, caring, qualified

I'm writing in support of Jayne Crosby Giles to represent Waldo County in the Maine Senate. Jayne has previous legislative experience, as a representative in the House from 2006 to 2010, where she earned the respect of her colleagues and demonstrated that she has the ability to work across the aisle to get things done.

She also has decades of experience in the banking industry, providing loans and financial services to small businesses that serve our communities. In addition, Jayne volunteers on several boards and for groups that serve our citizens, particularly children and seniors.

In the Maine Senate, Jayne will bring the complete package of legislative and real-world experience that is so necessary in representing us effectively. She is a proven leader right here in our community, where we live and work, and has shown that she has heart for the people of Waldo County and the challenges we face daily.

This election year, we are so fortunate to have such a dedicated, caring and qualified candidate. I hope you will join me in voting for Jayne Crosby Giles for Maine Senate District 11 and let her put her experience to work for us all.

Donna Hopkins


Smart, energetic, determined

These days there’s so much anger and negativity in politics. People on all sides are feeling discouraged and disgusted by what’s happening in our country.

I’ve discovered an antidote to the negativity. Ironically, the solution isn’t to stay out of politics; it’s to get more involved in something you believe in. For me, that’s the campaign of Erin Herbig for state Senate.

Erin is a remarkable person ― smart, energetic, caring and determined ― who’s inspired hundreds of people like me to be active in her campaign. Volunteers have logged thousands of hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, writing letters, painting and putting up signs, and driving Erin to thousands of visits with residents all over Waldo County. Their volunteerism shows how deeply they care about our community and how determined they are to make a difference. Just like Erin herself.

At a time when politics is so negative and full of anger, Erin has inspired us to be positive and hopeful, and to get involved in finding solutions. That’s the kind of leader she is. I’m voting for Erin Herbig for state Senate and I hope you will, too.

Sara Salley


No progress from polarization

I have watched as Angus King has received criticism from both the political left and right. Progressives argue that King should do nothing but obstruct the current Republican administration. Hardline conservatives accuse the senator of falling in line with the Democrats.

Nonetheless, King commands the support of the many commonsense Maine voters who sit in the moderate center of the political spectrum.

Maine people understand that progress doesn’t come from polarization. Moderates understand that matters of fiscal, social and health care policy cannot be easily resolved if one lives uncompromisingly in the ideological extremes.

King knows that Mainers favor a government that works by consensus, not by a partisan power struggle between competing “tribes.” If only Washington was more moderate, like most of us here in Maine, a lot more would get done.

Join me in voting for the moderate Angus King on Nov. 6.

Julia Adams


Jayne for Maine

I hope Waldo County voters will join me in electing Jayne Crosby Giles as our next state senator.

I admire Jayne's work ethic, which I have observed during her campaign for state senator. She has a strong financial background and will use this to make fiscally prudent legislative decisions that will help benefit all of Waldo County and Maine.

Her previous experience as a state representative will allow her to hit the ground running once she assumes her new position. Please join me on Nov. 6 and vote Jayne for Maine.

Bob Kurek


Why Jayne? Experience 

When you go to the poles on Tuesday, Nov. 6, please cast your vote for Jayne Crosby Giles for your next state senator for Waldo County. Why vote for Jayne?  It’s very simple: experience.

Beyond a doubt, Jayne Crosby Giles is the most qualified person to be your next state senator.

Jayne needs no on-the-job training. As a prior state representative for Waldo County (2006-2010), she will hit the ground running as your next state senator.

Jayne served on the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee. She later was the House lead on the Business, Research & Economic Development Committee. Appointed to the Committee on Maine's Energy Future, Jayne worked on legislation to meet our energy needs. Additionally, she helped organize a Moderate Caucus to find common ground among legislators and joined the Rural Caucus, advocating for small towns.

With three decades of experience as a small business lender and community banker, she is a proven advocate for small businesses, families and rural communities.

Some of Jayne’s most recent work, awards and group involvement have included: CEO of Mainstream Finance, 2016 U.S. Small Business Financial Services Champion for Maine and New England, business mentor with Belfast S.C.O.R.E., WCGH/Coastal Alliance Healthcare Advisory Council, board member of New England Delta Dental, board member of Belfast Rotary, and board member of the Waldo County YMCA.

Jayne is from Belfast, lived and worked here, raised her family here and has extended family members who live here. Through family, community and work, Jayne knows Waldo County and our people. From our youth, to young family homeowners, business owners, farmers, veterans, retirees, elderly ― she knows the many needs, issues and challenges facing all age groups and it is her agenda to listen to you all and work to put into action solutions that produce results.

Jayne has a plan to inspire the next generation of Mainers to launch their careers right here at home. Some of her ideas include: expand career and technical training opportunities for all Mainers, develop business and tech incubators to nurture young entrepreneurs, connect rural Maine to better, faster internet and networks, and support the Student Loan Credit Program to give a dollar-for-dollar Maine income tax credit for college loan repayment.

This is just one of Jayne’s many plans. There are so many issues that need to be worked on and Jayne brings to the table the experience as well as leadership to get the job done.

And remember, Jayne doesn’t want to be just "Waldo County’s Champion”; she wants to make Waldo County a champion in Maine!

On Nov. 6, for a better Maine, vote for experience. Vote for Jayne Crosby Giles. She has our votes.

Karen Mehorter

Samuel Mehorter


Economic growth vs. quality of life

Election time is often when we start hearing about growing the economy. We have heard this for years. The economy has become a creature that we are obsessed with. We are always hearing the mantra that we must “grow the economy.” Speaking of it in these terms makes it sound like a living thing.

In a sense, it is a kind of creature that we keep feeding in the false belief that this is good for everyone. So we must consume more and we do so at an ever-increasing rate. We buy things we do not really need but somehow feel we need to have. It is ironic because we are growing the economy at all costs.

Another fallacy often touted as a surefire way to grow the economy is that some new, large industry is going to help lower taxes, provide jobs and lead to something better than what we have. The problem with this thinking is that it considers quantity over quality. Quite often, the long-term effects of large industries imposing themselves into a community lead to a lower quality of life.

Of course, if you don’t consider the future your concern, then you are already disagreeing with this letter and nothing I can say will change your mind. For those who are open to other points of view, what we do not see, as we blithely “move forward,” is that as we consume we are consumed. Can anyone name a product we buy that is not made by using and/or burning finite resources?

The more we consume, the more the economy grows, and, sure, some people are better off in the short term and the corporate elite are usually well-insulated from financial harm, but the true long-term costs are never part of the choice-making process and never duly accounted.

Let’s challenge political candidates to help create local economies that are to scale with our quality of life, those attributes that make us want to live where we live. Our children and grandchildren and generations into the future will live healthier, and I believe happier, lives if we can begin to change the premise of our “grow the economy” belief system.

John G. Pincince


Comments (4)
Posted by: Patricia Keyes | Nov 02, 2018 09:52

I don't understand how Erin Herbig could vote against ending Female Genital Mutilation in Maine. I don't care what loop holes are in the bill. You could change it later, IF THE PROBLEM EVER OCCURRED. There are plenty of stupid laws on the books in Maine that cost us money, cost us an incredible amount of wasted time in regulations and bookkeeping, draining our economy in unnecessary distasteful and discouraging and depressing hours.  But saving little girls from a lifetime of pain and humiliation, and what amounts to a knife attack by creepy adults? That's okay. We have to get it right. We can let it stay legal a little longer????  You can't defend that. Sorry.

Posted by: Patricia Keyes | Nov 02, 2018 09:49

I'm all for the fish factory, as long as they are feeding organic natural food to the fish. Dead fish, even a failed diseased batch, make incredibly good plant food, and can be processed or unprocessed and simply spread on farmland for the boost. Many people fail to recognize that manure spreading, another form of objectionable waste to folks who believe food come from plastic trays, glass jars, and egg cartons, and not from chicken's hind ends, is vital to plants. Soil IS . . . manure in transition to plant food!  Victor Hugo in his book, Les Miserables, devotes a reverie to the lack of foresight because human waste flowing into the sea while the farmland outside Paris was becoming sterile rock and the food had less and less health and flavor. You can't deprive farmland of their food source in the ecosystem and expect that anything will grow well over time. In 1929, the govt did a survey of U.S. farmland and it was NOT fertile, but sterile. Little grains of sand/glass, and not the burgeoning mix of dead plant parts, manure, and decaying life that needs to be processed back into nutrients for plants. Life is a breathing pulse of life and death and life and death . . . .

If I have a worry about the fish farm, it is that they feed trash to the fish, laced with big pharma chemicals. What should fish eat? Bugs, which are easy to cultivate indoors, or out. Now, can they collect the mosquitoes?  Next person to go to the hearings, ask that question and post. I think the fish farmers are aware and interested in pure food. But I haven't heard anyone ask that.

Posted by: MARY JEAN CROWE | Nov 01, 2018 23:57

To Dirk Faegre:   There are many of us who greatly appreciate the writings and opinions put forward by Lawrence Reichard in his biweekly column, "Bricks & Mortars", as an alternative to the corporate spin that Nordic Aquafarms so predictably churns out in the pages of The Republican Journal and other media.  As a seasoned journalist, he has no reason to spread false information or half-truths.  What would be the point?  Regrettably, Mr. Reichard's well researched revelations are seldom heeded or given the professional respect they deserve by those who are responsible for configuring the future of this city and the region.  Our community is fortunate to have an investigative journalist of his caliber working in the interest of truth and full disclosure.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Nov 01, 2018 10:47

Mr Dirk Faegre

Thank you for putting other facts in play in helping make an informed decision.

Your cost savings for transportation costs imply Nordic will export zero product produced at the Belfast plant.  All of Nordic's fish production will remain 100% in the US.  Is this correct?  I have heard varying varieties of fish, which include exports to Japan and China.  Any further information would be greatly appreciated.  Japan and China freight costs would far exceed the freight charges making your numbers actually become an inflated emission generated by the plant not a reduction.  What exactly are they growing in Belfast?

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