Letters Oct. 1

Oct 01, 2020

Editor's note: The last week for election-related letters calling a candidate's record or behavior into question will be Oct. 22, so that there is time for rebuttal before the election. In our Oct. 29 issue, the only election-related letters we will run will be endorsements. Because of space constraints, we will accept only one election-related letter per sender before Nov. 3.

Remembering Sandy Carey

Aug. 25 was the first anniversary of the passing of Sandy Carey, the beloved Transfer Station manager, who passed away much too early in 2019. She was a delightful person and anyone who used the Transfer Station came to know her warm smile and happy disposition.

However, the city councilors and administration didn't think it was important enough to recognize this anniversary on the city's website or Facebook page. It took the council nearly three months after her passing to decide to honor Sandy with naming the entry road to the Transfer Station in her memory.

Then, it took another eight months for the new manager, Mike McFadden, to order the street sign and new signage replacing the dilapidated, outdated signage in place. Mike was contacted to see if the new signage would be installed by Aug. 25. He had the signs fabricated but he was waiting to “coordinate the installation.” Let's see. A post hole digger, fast-setting concrete and two pressure treated posts. Boy, a lot of coordination needed, given that there's up to 11 full-time employees in the Public Works Department available. Well, nearly three weeks later, the signs were finally installed.

Moral of the Story: Shame on the councilors and administration for ignoring this anniversary and shame on Mike McFadden for dragging his feet to honor Sandy's service to the city and her memory, but a lack of a sense of urgency is “par for the course.”

Eric Schrader

Belfast

Deserves another term

Stanley Paige Zeigler for House District 96 (Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Searsmont and Palermo).

Paige Zeigler has been your representative now for two terms (the last four years) and he has done a great job. I held this seat once, and was disappointed I couldn’t run again, but I was happy to know that some of the hard work I put in would be continued by Paige.

He works diligently on issues concerning the environment and education. He was successful in passing a bill to cut down on an environmental pollutant that I originally submitted.

He is concerned about Mainers’ access to health care and our aging population. Paige worked hard on a bill that helped individuals get insurance coverage for hearing aids.

Paige has great life experiences, an education and qualities that we need as a legislator. He also listens. He has been a captain in the Merchant Marine, he is a father, husband, he has been a licensed ambulance attendant as well. He has shown his dedication to community service by being on the School Board and town committees even when he was working as a legislator. He gives his time and his service to others. Not that many people in public office are that dedicated.

Paige can represent us all. He has an open mind, vast experiences in leadership, maturity and intelligence. All this is needed in a representative in the state House.

I ask you to vote for Stanley Paige Zeigler this November.

Christine Burstein

Lincolnville

U.S. cannot claim innocence

The question is often asked: How could Germany, with its remarkable culture and achievements, have allowed Hitler to happen? Among many plausible answers one stands out in timely fashion. Nothing quite like Hitler had occurred in Germany's then recent or distant past. His dictatorship was a novelty, like that of Italy.

We Americans can lay no claim to a similar innocence. President Trump flaunts his fascistic features and desires. They're out there for all to see. History provides the precedents. These are most assuredly interesting times — in the sense of the classic Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Mike Silverton

Belfast

Dodge is for us

We are all getting tired of the large amount of written, viewed and audible noise surrounding the upcoming election. In truth, I hesitate to add my words. I hope my letter of support for Jan Dodge is as positive and as unbiased as is the candidate.

Jan has spent her first term in the House trying her best to be a servant, not a ruler. She has added her voice to bipartisan bills to support the Downeast Correctional Facility, to add to the Maine Learning Results and to fund municipal broadband access.

Of course she supports bills sponsored by many colleagues of her own party, Which legislator does not? But rather than list all the bills which Jan worked to pass, I will focus on the three which she fostered as a freshman legislator and then add generalizations. She supported anti-food shaming, worked to allow active teachers to sit on the State Board of Education and worked on a resolve to study the use of adjunct professors in the college system. Jan used her insights as a former educator to pass bills. Not everyone knows everything about everything, not even a representative.

Most important to me is that when I scan the list of bills which Jan co-sponsored, two observations are clear: 1. Jan supported bills sponsored by independents and Republicans. 2. The words add, allow, strengthen, support, expand, aid, and protect occur over and over. So many of our current politician are now engaged in the practice of remove, suspend, tear down and eliminate. It is easy to destroy, harder to build up.

I am reminded of a character in "South Pacific," Emile DeBeck. When asked for his aid in targeting enemy planes and boats in the Pacific, he says, “I know what you are against. What are you for?”

Jan, in her first term, has been for education, the disabled, the workforce, those in corrections, the aging, and minors.

I know what many in government are against. Read any headline or watch any news show. I also know who Jan Dodge is for. She is for us.

J. Michael Lawson

Belfast

Recommends Curry

I have known Chip Curry and his family for the 16 years I have lived in Belfast. I look up to him for reasons that have zero to do with politics. I consider him a decent and caring person, dedicated to his family and community. When he reaches out, I am certain to listen!

In many ways, I try to emulate Chip. He is level-headed, listens well and considers education for all people a path to success for the future of Waldo County. He is always on the lookout for others, while caring very much for his daughter, Ada, and spouse Chris. To me, he is a great role model to aspire to. I am not at his level. Hence, aspire.

I will vote for him, and what he represents. I hope you will as well.

Eric Sanders

Belfast

Voting for Zeigler

I am voting to reelect Stanley Paige Zeigler. Paige has served his constituents with honesty, integrity, intelligence, and caring. I have been impressed with his work on health, education, and environmental issues. He shows political courage and a deep commitment to public service.

When Paige seeks feedback on local issues, he meets with constituents and attends local meetings. I have found him to be genuinely interested in learning from people in our communities. I am proud to call Paige a neighbor and my legislator.

Lynne Kaplowitz

Montville

Backs Curry

Waldo County's current senator, Erin Herbig of Belfast, has had a successful decade in Augusta because she is smart, conscientious, energetic and fair. Erin has, of course, become Belfast's city manager and is not seeking reelection. So it makes sense that she be replaced by a candidate who is smart, conscientious, energetic and fair. And creative to boot.

Chip Curry is my choice. I have known him for a few years and enjoyed his ruminations on life and politics after hard-fought tennis matches. I've watched him perform on stage for the Belfast Maskers and listened to him describe his work with nontraditional students at the Rockland campus of UMaine.

I've researched his website and followed his campaign and I like what I see.

The Maine Legislature needs people with strong values and transforming life experiences. There is so much to accomplish in Augusta — expanding education opportunities and broadband access, recognizing the increasing diversity of our population and making the newcomers welcome, restoring justice to our court system.

Chip is on top of these and other issues. We will all benefit from the good, hard work he will do at the State House.

Jay Davis

Belfast

Tired of the spun ads

All right, so Susan Collins voted for budgets eight times that reduced funding to the government. Sounds like a good thing for any senator to do. Now those budgets could have resulted in cuts to Social Security, but speaking for myself, I never saw any cuts and only a small increase in my Medicare payments. I am pretty sure that you suffering seniors have experienced the same results.

Sen. Collins also voted to give some big business tax breaks. I’m in favor of tax cuts to anyone. The government has never spent our tax dollars very wisely and we all know that the country carries a substantial deficit. Sara Gideon and the rest of the Democratic Party will only increase our debt and increase the taxes we all pay.

Every politician, right or left, takes money from anyone who will offer it. They could not run their campaigns otherwise. I know the donor hopes for beneficial payback if their candidate wins, but there is no guarantee that will take place. If it does take place and it is blatant or of questionable legality (Ukraine), both the donor and the recipient should suffer the consequences.

Save the U.S.A. Vote in person.

Leo H. Mazerall Jr.

Stockton Springs

Collins the most qualified

There is much to consider when selecting one's ballot vote in our senatorial race.

Factors that are very important in my selection of the most qualified person are:

1. Hard-working and shows up for the job. Susan Collins has never missed a vote, over 7,300 in a row!

2. Getting results for Maine. Susan Collins has brought so many results back to Maine, most recently, $83 million for schools and hospitals during the COVID crisis, authored the Paycheck Protection Program, which helped over 28,000 Maine businesses; in her next term of office, Susan Collins is in line for head of the Appropriations Committee, a powerful and influential position in D.C.

3. Strong pro-environment voting. Susan Collins has the strongest pro-environment record among Senate Republicans.

4. Working effectively with colleagues. Susan Collins is rated the most bipartisan senator for seven years running.

In contrast, there are positions which eliminate a candidate from getting my vote.

Sara Gideon has received millions of dollars of out-of-state money to defeat Susan Collins, including $4 million raised during the Kavanaugh hearings to give (i.e., bribe) to Susan Collins if she would vote against the nomination or it would go to help whoever would be the candidate against her. Dirty tactic.

Sara Gideon is an extremely partisan politician. This kind of politician doesn’t vote for the betterment of society based on facts.

Sara Gideon, while speaker of the House, repeatedly killed bills to ban female genital mutilation, making the state of Maine less effective than the country of Sudan in working to ban this horrific child abuse. Sara Gideon also sponsored a bill allowing non-physicians to perform abortions in Maine. Instead of protecting health, Sara shows her true belief system of anti-feminine bias.

If Sara Gideon were to be elected, she would be the most junior senator who would be learning the ropes, and not producing results.

In comparing the candidates, our senator, Susan Collins, is by evidence the most qualified person for the job. I urge you to vote for her Nov. 3 or by early absentee ballot.

JoAn Petersen

Swanville

Curry steps up

For 18 years, as a teacher at Searsport District High School, I attended many plays put on by SDHS's outstanding theater program, led by Chris Goosman. At least part of the reason the program is so successful is the work of Goosman's husband, Chip Curry.

The Maine Senate candidate from Belfast could be seen with hammer in hand, constructing set after set as opening night approached.

When there's work to be done, Curry steps up. As an educator himself, he knows the needs of Waldo County's children and families. Whether it's as a member of a state task force on afterschool programming, or as a higher-ed adviser for nontraditional adult students at URock, Chip has the best interests of residents in mind. He knows that education leads to jobs and jobs lead to a standard of living that lessens stress on the social safety net.

I'm confident that his high regard for the environment will inform all his decisions, and that those decisions will reflect his calm, clear-eyed, humanistic approach to life.

Jeff Shula

Belfast

BEP's Nordic process 'a sham'

In his Sept. 25 letter, Paul Bernacki cited specific examples of how the state is failing to assess potential environmental impacts of the proposed Nordic Aquafarms project. Bernacki is right. The state has repeatedly refused to consider evidence of serious problems. Mainers are being stonewalled in favor of executives and investors from 3,000 miles away.

As a Board of Environmental Protection intervenor, I have raised serious concerns about Nordic's untruths and incompetence, but I was told neither is an approved topic for BEP consideration. Yet these issues go to the heart of Nordic's application. BEP has relied heavily on unchecked — and shifting — data provided by Nordic. If that data is inaccurate — by incompetence or design — then the entire BEP process is fatally flawed.

I have twice asked BEP why Nordic's California plant would discharge more than twice as much effluent as the one in Belfast, but BEP has been silent. Nordic's California project came after Belfast. Has Nordic discovered it needs to discharge more than twice as much effluent as originally thought?

In Belfast, serious issues have been raised about Nordic's proposed effluent discharge of 7.7 million gallons per day. But what if the real rate were more than twice that? Would Nordic use more than twice as much water as its planned 630 million gallons per year?

Maine is in drought. Wells are running dry. At least one Nordic test well suffered saltwater intrusion. The climate crisis is bearing down on us and we don't know how aquifers and watersheds will perform in the future. We have a right to know how much Nordic threatens our water supply.

According to madriverunion.com, the projected cost of Nordic's California project has gone from $400 million to $500 million. With Belfast, that makes $1 billion. Yet in February, Nordic said it had only $8 million “on hand.” That's less than 1% of what Nordic needs in Belfast and California. Is the Belfast project now more expensive than thought? And does this increase the chance that Nordic will destroy dozens of acres of Belfast woods, wetlands and wildlife habitat and then run out of money and simply walk away?

Obviously all of this warrants exploration. But BEP probably won't even call Nordic and ask them about any of this. This is apparently BEP's idea of protecting Maine's environment.

The BEP process is a sham. The good people of Maine deserve answers. We deserve better.

Lawrence Reichard

Belfast

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