Letters, Oct. 15

Oct 16, 2020

Editor's note: The last issue 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.

Collins puts students first

As a retired teacher, I greatly respect Sen. Susan Collins and the work she has done in Washington to support Maine children and young people from Head Start through high school and college.

Our Maine students and schools have benefited greatly from Sen. Collins' advocacy over her many years of service as a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and as one of the most senior members of the Appropriations Committee. Further, she co-chairs the Senate Rural Education Caucus, a group that organized to serve as a voice for rural educators and school districts in the Senate.

Sen. Collins authored the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), which helps level the playing field for students in rural school districts with high poverty rates. This program has helped many Maine children over several years. And this past winter, she led the efforts to ensure that REAP and its vital funding continue to provide support for our students and schools, many of which would have lost program eligibility due to changes the federal Department of Education had proposed in February. Thank you, Sen. Collins!

Susan Collins puts our Maine students and educators first. And she has done and continues to do so much for the people of Maine. Please join me in supporting her reelection.

Jan Banks

Belfast

Collins supports clean energy

I want to say thank you to Sen. Susan Collins for sponsoring the bipartisan National Clean Energy Week resolution that passed in Congress. Clean energy and a clean environment are something we can all get behind.

In Maine, September has brought the introduction of a new era for Maine energy. Bipartisan legislation passed earlier this year by our state Legislature has taken hold that will guide the state’s transformation to 100% renewable energy and 80% reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The achievement is the result of a shared commitment across political parties to effectively steward our environment and economy.

While Mainers may not agree on everything, clean energy is something people across our state feel is important. By supporting and making investments in the industry, we can encourage local economic development and further a statewide energy-connected workforce that was closing in on 13,000 employees before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With leadership and support from Sen. Collins, clean energy initiatives were recognized and celebrated across our country during National Clean Energy Week in September. She is a champion of clean energy in Maine and across our country.

Thank you again, Sen. Collins, for recognizing efforts and achievements that help to bring us together and promote a more sustainable energy future.

Jayne Crosby Giles

Belfast

Youth vote for Zeigler

As a young person of 21, I know there are multiple reasons to be worried about my future. Climate change, a global pandemic, student debt and other issues dominate headlines and give me and my peers serious doubts about our future prosperity. Fortunately, I take comfort knowing there are incredible public servants working hard every day to right these wrongs and help create a better tomorrow for young people. Paige Zeigler, my state representative, is one of these people.

Paige believes that climate change is real and is an innovative thinker who fights to move Maine and Waldo County toward cleaner energy sources. First, we need better climate education in school and legislators that believe in science, like Paige. Paige also knows student debt for college students like myself is a pressing issue that affects students and families for generations, which is why he supports plans to lower student debt and make college more affordable.

Young people like me living in Montville, or in Palermo, Liberty, Freedom, Lincolnville, Searsmont or Belmont, need high-speed internet to attend our classes and do our jobs. This has been a growing issue for years and COVID-19 has made it only more urgent. Paige understands the need to invest in not just 20th century infrastructure, but 21st century infrastructure.

And I know he’ll fight for affordable health care for me and the people I love. Young people like me shouldn’t be forced to leave town in search of a good-paying job or affordable health care, and we should be able to grow up in the world without being afraid of a future planet ravaged by climate change.

A vote for Paige Zeigler is a vote in the right direction on each of these issues, so please join me in supporting Paige and protecting my future.

Emmett Shell

Montville

Attacks on Collins unfair

Susan Collins’ reelection to the Senate is under severe challenge, and when asked why, voters frequently reply, “She voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.” What does that mean? “He’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade,” they contend. Dems went into crisis mode. They accused him of being a rapist, smeared him and his family, picketed Republican committee members’ homes and threatened poor Jeff Flake in the elevator. They hauled in Blaisy Ford, who whined and moped around for a week. When that didn’t work, they got Michael Avenatti to trot out some "me too" pop-ups whose stories fell apart like a pair of cheap shoes after the first snowstorm.

Just because some judge had a conservative voting history in the past doesn’t predict how he’s going to vote when the first abortion challenge comes his way. Two abortion-related cases were on the agenda during this past Supreme Court session. One got sent back to the lower court, and the other bit the dust when a couple of judges flip-flopped. Something about "standing," whatever that is. Anyway, "choice" is alive and well and living in Washington, D. C. In fact, it’s probably bullet proof.

Sen. Collins’ vote was only incidentally about the abortion issue. Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee just did not prove their case against Justice Kavanaugh. She voted to reaffirm our basic founding principle that in America you are innocent until proven guilty.

David Reed

Belfast

Zeigler brings people together

Please vote to reelect Stanley Paige Zeigler to represent House District 96.

Paige has shown that his practical, commonsense approach to the issues effectively brings people together for the benefit of all Mainers. His reasonable approach to environmental policy grew out of working with the National Science Foundation while at sea. Working with scientists, he saw the need to keep our environment healthy.

As a logger in the North Woods, he saw poor forestry management and wants our forests to be well managed to keep our Maine economy strong.

Tom Donahue

Montville

Elliott will work hard

I am writing in support of Bill Elliott, who is running for Maine House District 97. He is multi-talented and filled with energy. Bill wants to work hard and make a difference.

He has been a lifelong resident of Maine, a businessman, fundraiser for charities, and yes, a former firefighter.

Goals: Introduce legislation to substantially reduce real estate taxes for seniors; promote skills-based trade schools and community colleges; demand the state live within its means; push the state to get out of the way and support local businesses; promote infrastructure improvements and high-speed internet accessibility for all.

Please give Bill Elliot your vote.

Deborah MacKinnon

Belfast

Curry will protect natural resources

I am voting for Chip Curry to represent all of Waldo County in the Maine Senate and am writing to urge others to do so, too.

Over the last few decades, Chip has lived in Knox, Unity and Belfast, giving him personal knowledge and connection to a variety of Waldo County communities. He knows our county and he’s focused on solutions to help its residents.

Since 1975, I have worked to protect the nature of the Maine I love. I think Chip Curry is the best candidate to protect our natural resources, outdoor heritage, and climate future. That’s why Maine Conservation Voters endorsed Chip, too.

Chip Curry recognizes that while Maine doesn’t have any oil wells, our state is blessed with vast untapped renewable energy resources. He wants to get them to work for us. Harnessing clean renewable energy like solar will boost local jobs, keep billions more dollars in our state’s economy, and help us do our part to combat climate change. This will help Waldo county residents in the near term, and help protect future generations.

While our natural resources hold a special place in my heart, I’m also thrilled that Chip Curry understands the importance of education, health care, and jobs, and he’s committed to improving access to higher speed internet. This will help our businesses, improve educational and health care opportunities, and offer much-needed connection to teens, seniors and others isolated by this terrible pandemic.

In short, vote Curry!

Judy Berk

Northport

Curry will be an outstanding state senator

I’ve known Chip Curry since he moved to Waldo County over 25 years ago. He is an exceptional person who cares deeply about our region and people. He possesses the experience, integrity and knowledge of local people and issues to be an outstanding state senator.

From my own time in the Maine Legislature, I know the kind of person who can make a real difference: someone who is smart but doesn’t think he has all the answers, self-effacing yet always willing to speak up for what is right, a team player who can get along with others but will never succumb to outside pressure and will always vote for what is best for the people he represents. In Chip Curry, the people of Waldo County will have all of this and more.

In an election year like this one, it’s easy to forget that we have before us local choices which in some ways will affect our lives more than anything that happens in Washington. We need the absolute best people in Augusta. We need Chip Curry.

John Piotti

Belfast

Savage straight talk

Lisa Savage has honest answers for Maine. In the first U.S. Senate debate the candidates were asked how to get money out of politics. Gideon and Collins proposed legislation. Linn directed us to his website. Lisa: "Money out of politics is fairly simple. Do what I do — don't accept corporate money."

Watch both debates and you will see that Lisa has clear, fiscally sound policies. Lisa is the only candidate who supports the Green New Deal, an opportunity to create economic stability for Mainers and slow climate change. Lisa spells out how we will pay for the transition on her website. She will make cuts to the military budget. Lisa will also restore the New Deal principle of taxation so corporations and the wealthy once again pay their fair share.

Homeland security isn't just about firepower. Homeland security means U.S. citizens and the planet are thriving. The Green New Deal will create sustainable union jobs in manufacturing, construction and transportation. It will create new white-collar jobs in fields such as high-speed rail design. Regenerative agriculture will boost farmers' income and reduce our carbon emissions.

As our ocean heats up, many Mainers can no longer follow family traditions such as lobstering. We need training so Mainers have a rewarding economic future here, and we're ready. This summer Bath Iron Works manufactured machines that make nasal swabs for COVID-19 tests. Wind turbines could be next.

Maine can prosper if we are smart, bold and honest. Rank Lisa first, blue #2.

Rachel Herbener

Belfast

Milne will help small business

In this upcoming election I am very excited to vote for Duncan Milne for Maine Senate District 11.

Duncan has served in our military for over 30 years, and as a colonel he has learned great leadership skills.

As a business owner, I am certain that he will advocate for us, as he realizes that part of what makes Maine great is our small business industry.

Duncan realizes that we are in uncertain times and we don’t need to raise our taxes, and I believe he will do all he can to find ways to help our local economy.

Duncan is honest and responsible and is back home and anxious to get to work for us Maine people.

Please join me Nov. 3 and cast your vote for Duncan Milne and let him get to work to represent us.

Kristi Philbrook

Belfast

Voting for Connor

I am writing in support of House District 98 candidate Jessica Connor. I have known her for years. Jessica has been a community advocate raising money for the people of Waldo County for years. She volunteers her time and resources time after time.

She is a strong advocate for the underdog and is a person of strong morals and integrity. She is a supporter of Second Amendment rights, and will uphold our civil liberties. On Nov. 3, I will cast my vote for Jessica Connor and I hope you will, too.

John Moran

Searsport

Smith for Maine House

I wholeheartedly endorse Katrina Smith for the District 96 House race. She is a native Mainer with true conservative values. I was fortunate to accompany Katrina while campaigning door-to-door. Her concern for the residents in her district is evident by her compassion and knowledge of the everyday struggles we all face in rural Maine.

Katrina is a valued friend of sportsmen and an ardent supporter of our Second Amendment rights. She believes in the traditions and freedoms of our Maine heritage and will fight for us in the state House. She’s received an “A” rating from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the NRA and the Gun Owners of Maine.

She is the wife of a veteran and she respects veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made. I have personally spoken to her about veterans' issues and she is willing to fight for us for our benefits and VA care.

Katrina is a business owner. She understands the challenges faced by small business in Maine, the excessive regulations and red tape. She knows that more businesses and less taxes are the answer for a better economy. The less tax burden we have means more people can afford to live here. This is especially a concern for our elderly population.

Most importantly, Katrina is a mom. She supports and will fight for parental rights. As the mother of high school students, she has a front row seat for issues faced in local school systems.

District 96 needs Katrina Smith. She has my vote and I hope she has yours, too.

Dan Masessa

Montville

Collins has 'a servant's heart'

I am supporting the reelection of U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins. Sen. Collins has never missed a roll call, 7,300 consecutive votes serving 24 years.

Sen. Collins was instrumental in supporting construction of Navy destroyers at the Bath Iron Works with a workforce of 7,700 employees.

Sen. Collins cast the deciding vote for the appointment of the Hon. Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. She sought true facts to support her decision to support President Trump's appointment of Justice Kavanaugh.

Sen. Collins has a servant's heart, honorable and trustworthy.

Carmine A. Pecorelli

Belfast

Reelect Dodge

Jan Dodge is running for reelection in House District 97 (Belfast, Northport and Waldo). During the previous legislative session Jan worked tirelessly for us. When she is reelected she certainly will continue in those efforts.

I wholeheartedly support Jan as our representative for many reasons — her intellect, work ethic and energy to name just a few. But above all, I admire her approach to legislation. In her view a good idea is a good idea regardless of which side of the aisle it comes from. I’ll give you two examples. LD 128 from Rep. Will Tuell, R-East Machias, supporting the Downeast Correctional Facility, and LD 160 from Sen. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta, to add personal finance to the Maine Learning Results, were both co-sponsored by Jan. I think most people would agree that teenagers being more knowledgeable about personal financial decisions is a good idea.

Jan is a great person to reflect our beliefs in Augusta who supports a variety of issues such as education, the environment, women's rights, labor and social justice. She has been endorsed by the Maine Education Association as well as the Maine AFL-CIO. She has a 100% voting record with Maine Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood, Maine Woman’s Lobby, Maine State Employees Association, Democracy Maine, The League of Women Voters, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, Maine People’s Alliance, and AFL-CIO.

Please join me in voting for Rep. Jan Dodge. Let’s keep her on the job.

Bob Brown

Belfast

Connor a very good candidate

Jess Connor is a very good candidate for office. She cares about the people and she would listen to us with any questions we have. My vote goes to Jessica Connor.

Hazel Harvey

Frankfort

Milne for state Senate

There can only be one choice for the Senate seat in District 11. Duncan Milne is the one. Duncan is not a veteran of partisan, party politics but a veteran of service to our country.

His long experience in the service has exposed him to the tremendous diversity of the people in the military and his successful career has shown him to be able to work extremely effectively in this diverse environment.

He accepted the tough challenges of leadership in the service that required him to solve the many problems concerning personnel, budgets, negotiation with opposing views, understanding different cultures and accepting responsibilities, even under trying circumstances.

He understands that without a strong economy supported by policies that enable businesses and employees to flourish, our country, state and localities will shrivel and so will our military.

He is now willing to put his service experience to work in his home state. He is exactly the person we need in the present hyper-partisan political climate.

His opponent is a longtime, highly partisan Democrat who is pushing an agenda that is driven by the Democratic National Committee and is not the agenda we need to keep Maine economically strong and flourishing.

Please vote for Duncan Milne on Nov. 3.

Peter Petersen

Swanville

Supports Connor

I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know why a bid for Jess Connor is the vote to have.

She is an awesome mother. She is an entrepreneur working side by side with her husband to provide for her family. She is a supporter of the Second Amendment. A wonderful Christian values family.She also is a voice of reason that Augusta truly needs.

Come November I will be voting Jess Connor as my pick for Augusta. She stands for faith, freedom and the American way.

Matthew Larochelle

Searsport

Losing Collins would be a disaster

Maine is on the brink of a disaster, the disaster of not reelecting Susan Collins. The disaster? Sen. Collins is in line to become chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She will put Maine in the center of how federal money is apportioned to the states.

If she is not reelected, Maine will have no one at that table. Maine is a small state and needs the strong and respected voice of Sen. Collins helping to decide where our federal tax dollars are spent. Maine wins if Sen. Collins wins.

David Dancy

Waldo

What the doctor ordered

Patient: Doctor, I'm feeling exhausted and worn out, I wish I could make this feeling go away.

Doctor: Let me write you a prescription for voting. Call your town office. Request a ballot. You get an application in the mail. You send it back. You get a ballot. You send it back. Done, you voted.

Relax and breathe a sigh of relief.

Andrew Hoglund

Thorndike

Fed up

What happened to campaign finance reform? Tens of millions spent on Senate races in a little state like Maine with less than a third of 1% of the country's population. Non-innocuous ads every 15 minutes on all forms of media.

I could have saved millions if either candidate gave me just a couple million. Could have hired a hundred people to have knocked on doors 24/7 and handed out mail-in ballots and $100 bills. A cheaper way to buy an election like big cities, namely Chicago, used to.

And other than Putin as a write-in candidate or resurrecting Gus Hall, Russian influence? Give me a break. Anyone who decides who to vote for based on social media shouldn't be allowed to vote!

Peter Clifford

Northport

Trump out of touch with reality

Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be on to something by stating that our highly medicated president is displaying increasing signs of delusion and paranoia. He has claimed that he may be immune to a disease that he has been diagnosed with. He continues to claim that the upcoming election is rigged, even before any results have been announced.

Calling a U.S. senator a communist may be an indication that he sees making America great again as a return to McCarthyism. As he continues to hurt his own chance to be reelected, he blames virtually everyone else.

A case can be made that Trump should be indicted as a co-conspirator in the plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, as he had encouraged his disciples to “take back their state."

His ignorance of basic constitutional principles is matched by his ignorance of the basic principles of common decency. He presents a different persona to his followers than to those of us who have come to fear him.

Ron Jarvella

Belfast

Nordic project threatens water supply

It’s raining as I write this. But that doesn’t mean the drought is over. If we don’t get a lot of rain before the ground freezes, the eventual snow melt won’t replenish our water supply.

Have any of the bodies tasked with examining and possibly permitting the proposed Nordic Aquafarms industrial fish farm seriously considered where we’re headed here?

The whole Nordic project is a shell game. The window of Nordic’s downtown Belfast office actually said Nordic will “eliminate environmental impact,” but Nordic won’t even say what it will feed its factory salmon.

Nordic says it will need 630 million gallons of fresh water annually. That’s every year, drought or not. And Nordic has to have that water — they can’t sell dead fish.

And don’t forget the Absolute Dominion Doctrine. Only three states maintain these antiquated laws — Texas, Indiana and Maine. This is why we currently have 20-plus water bottling facilities in Maine and may get the first three land-based industrial fish farms in the U.S. It’s free natural resources supporting big profit. And the law is on the side of the corporations.

Regardless of issues with the aquifer, neighboring wells, or public water supplies, industry is protected by Absolute Dominion, “the law of the biggest pump.”

Nordic says our watershed can handle this load, but Nordic cannot guarantee others won’t experience negative consequences. By allowing Nordic to develop here, we are giving it 100% access to our watershed. By Maine law, those sharing the watershed will have no protection.

A few days of rain aren’t enough to recharge our aquifer after a severe or extreme drought. And this is not fear-mongering. We all need water.

To the Belfast Planning Board and other licensing agencies: Please say no to this project that would pollute our bay and threaten our water supply.

Lew McGregor

Belfast

Tame cigarette litter

Good news! The streets of Belfast Maine are a bit cleaner in 2020 due to the installation of 14 Sidewalk Buttler cigarette butt receptacles that have been attached to posts in the downtown area.

This is indeed very good news because the filter in each discarded butt can contain up to 400 toxic chemicals (such as arsenic and cyanide). When discarded, cigarette butts wash down our streets into the bay, where these toxins pollute the water and poison the creatures who live there.

This type of litter problem is not easily fixed. If you are a smoker, in the downtown area, please look for a Sidewalk Buttler cigarette butt disposal unit and use it. Not only does it save the bay, but we collect the filters and send them to a lab for recycling. That is a win for the city, a win for the bay, and a win for the environment.

Thank you for not littering.

The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition &

The Butts Be Gone Committee

A fond farewell to WCGH Aid

For more than 100 years, the members of Waldo County General Hospital Aid have helped to define the hospital as a place the community could turn to for compassionate and high-quality health care. From assisting in central registration to operating the hospital’s gift shop, these volunteers have brought comfort and cheer to our patients and care team members alike. We are a better hospital — and a healthier community — because they have been a part of our team.

And so it was with great sadness that we learned that the WCGH Aid board of directors had reached the difficult and painful decision to recommend dissolution of the Waldo County General Hospital Aid effective Sept. 30.

We understand the reasons for the decision. Safety precautions around COVID-19 have prevented members from volunteering in the hospital, and there is no expectation that they will be able to return any time soon. In addition, the number of active members has dwindled over time, and new membership has waned as the pace of modern life leaves our younger residents little time to volunteer.

Rather than dwell on the sadness of this moment, I’d like to take a minute to celebrate Waldo County General Hospital Aid’s legacy of making a difference in the lives of their families, friends and neighbors.

Waldo County General Hospital Aid was formed in 1901 by a group of local citizens who believed that supporting their community hospital was the best way to promote the health and welfare of their community. Over the years, members raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, including $80,000 in the last five years to support the Waldo County Dental Clinic, the Oncology Patient Assistance Fund, the Cardiac Rehab Scholarship Fund, the Public Health Nurse Assistance Fund and the Employee Scholarship Fund.

In addition, members performed numerous duties that have helped the hospital run smoother and lightened the load of the professional staff so they could more fully focus on patients. Those duties included, among other things:

• Holding monthly meetings on health care topics.

• Raising money for the purchase of medical equipment.

• Baking for events.

• Delivering flowers and mail to patients.

• Making crafts for the gift shop and tray favors for patients.

• Running errands.

• Volunteering at fundraising events.

We know that this was not an easy decision for WCGH Aid, but we hope its members will take great pride in their legacy of improving the lives of everyone in our community. They have made a profound difference, and we are all better for it. With our deepest appreciation, thank you.

Dr. Mark Fourre

President

Pen Bay Medical Center | Waldo County General Hospital

 

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jacki Cassida | Oct 19, 2020 11:03

Hello Lew,

Mr. Pooler, the Superintendent for Belfast Water District, has met with our City Planning Board and answered those concerns regarding our water supply. The BWD has kept precipitation records since 1960, with extensive information on how the aquifer performs at any given time of the year under various pumping conditions. This includes dry times, such as that period of drought conditions 20 years ago, and 50 years before that as well. In 2001 when there had been only 23 inches of precipitation, the aquifer still had a recharge of 482 million gallons. Belfast has had at least 30 inches of rain so far, with more coming.

Additionally, the Climate Change Institute at UMaine reported an upward trend of annual rainfall in Maine over the last few decades. We certainly had a dry summer but it’s not the big picture. From the BWD: “Despite concerns received in writing that the proposed volume of usage by Nordic could negatively impact residential customers, based on BWD’s assessment, there is more than enough water to provide for all needs in Belfast; for Nordic Aquafarms as well as existing customer base, as well as still having an opportunity for growth, at the same time as being able to improve the quality of infrastructure, and stabilizing rates for the long term.”

In terms of what you say you saw in our office window- what the poster actually says, is that our facility will “exceed environmental standards”. So far, the DEP has found that to be true, when they issued our draft orders. Our City Planning Board is doing a thorough review, utilizing experts when they can. Given the beautiful, thriving community that we have the privilege to be a part of, I have confidence in our City officials and planning board members. They’ve done well.



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