Letters, Sept. 24

Sep 24, 2020

Half-truths

It would take days to respond to all of your columnist Randall Poulton's Sept. 17 column ludicrously urging support for Trump's Nobel Peace prize nomination with a straight face. Like Trump himself, Poulton's wrapping himself in half-truths, dis- and misinformation, and fatal falsehoods, and everyone knows it.

I cite the 2018 Atlantic Council article (atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/lethal-weapons-to-ukraine-a-primer/) fact-checking the complex issue of U.S. support for Ukraine's fragile government since 2014, including the Obama and Trump administrations' efforts to thread the Russian needle.

Poulton's disingenuous use of the "pillows and blankets" meme to describe Obama's military support of Ukraine's fight with Russia is clearly proved a lie by the Atlantic Council. I submit each of Poulton's other strained paragraphs are also untrue.

I'm voting for Biden's truth to save our democracy.

Jeff Smith

Swanville

Successful tournament

The Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce wants to thank the many businesses and community groups who supported our very successful annual Chamber Golf Tournament on Friday, Sept. 11. The event was made possible by KSW Federal Credit Union as our major sponsor. Big thanks to their marketing director, Josh Hunt, who worked with our good friend Paul Doody of Camden National Bank this year to take over overall coordination of the event.

Northport Golf Course did a great job of keeping everyone safe and making it a fun day. Special thanks go to our volunteers who seemed to be everywhere throughout the day!

An amazing number of local businesses and groups supported the event, including tournament sponsors LCI Fiber Optic Network, Whitecap Builders, Nordic Aquafarms and Mid Coast Tech, plus contest sponsors Stanley Chevrolet Buick, Front Street Shipyard, Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union, Downeast Credit Union, Giles Consulting and Edward Jones/Belfast.

This a tough year for all fundraising events, and our community really came through for the Chamber! We sincerely thank you all and pledge to keep up our work for our community.

Steve Ryan

Executive Director

Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce

Vote Kinney for District 99

I have had the honor of serving with Rep. MaryAnne Kinney for the past six years. She is a tireless advocate for farmers in Waldo County’s farm country ― where cows outnumber people ― and beyond. A small businesswoman, she has navigated a family farm through the pandemic with grace and class, she has become the leading authority in her caucus on agricultural issues, and she has been a valued confidante on the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee where she and I have served side by side the past two years.

As you can tell, MaryAnne has a lot of irons in the fire, but she always makes time for her constituents, colleagues and communities. She’s passionate about our agricultural economy, tourism, and helping Maine beat COVID-19. She is a friend, a leader, and an inspiration to many in the Legislature. If I lived in HD 99, I would be voting for MaryAnne hands down.

Rep. Will Tuell

East Machias

Response plan experience

Lately my heart is full of fear and uncertainty and I worry about the loss of a world we knew just a few months ago. I grieve for my neighbors and friends who have lost jobs, businesses they have worked their whole lives to build and all those who feel unsafe in their homes.

We desperately need to elect the right individuals, people with wide experience in matters of natural and man-made catastrophic incidents. Electing those with track records of public service and putting others first makes sense.

I am supporting Duncan Milne for state Senate because he has developmental experience in response plans and a decorated military career. It makes me feel confident knowing Duncan Milne has received awards for his valor and heroism. I am confident he will be up to the challenge and be able to make the difficult decisions that surely await him in Augusta.

Please join me and vote for Duncan Milne on Nov. 3. Absentee ballots may be requested at your local town office if you are currently a registered voter. Please remember that you do not need to be out of town Election Day in order to vote absentee; some prefer to vote early and avoid long lines or inclement weather.

Kristen Redman

Searsmont

Feeling the love

A recent visit to Waldo County General Hospital has engendered an intense feeling of gratitude for this community institution.

What is the magic ingredient that makes this place so special?

My 87-year-old savvy aunt telephoned the hospital from Kansas City and found the call remarkable as compared to other hospitals she has called over the years. “From the very first person who answered the phone, I couldn’t believe how relaxed, kind and welcoming people were! Nobody demanded to know who I was or what my relationship was to the patient. Just, ‘Hang on, I’ll put you through.’”

As for me, I found the nurses, volunteers, receptionists, doctors, cleaners — even fellow visitors — caught up in the friendly vibe. It isn’t fake or put-on by robotic do-gooders following the rules, but real concern, reaching out: sincere actions taken to make people comfortable and informed so that they have the chance to heal from what ails them.

Thank you, Waldo County Hospital. I’m feeling the love.

Jennifer Hill

Waldo

Passion for change

I am writing in support of Jan Dodge and her reelection to serve representing Maine House District 97 (Belfast, Northport and Waldo). She cares deeply about the citizens she represents, and this motivates her to work hard on their behalf.

I met Jan when she first ran for office and drove her as she went door to door. I was very impressed with her passion to promote change and her excellent organizational skills.

We are fortunate to have someone with her 30 years of experience teaching in public schools as a member of Maine's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. In office she has continued to be an agent for change. She has worked to get the following three bills passed: LD 167 Anti Food Shaming in Maine Schools, LD 176 Act to Allow an Active Teacher to sit on State Board of Education, and LD 1878 Resolve to study the use of Adjunct Professors in the College System.

Please be sure to vote for Jan Dodge to represent us in the Maine House.

Margaret Campbell

Belfast

Oh the Times They Are a Changin'

As you may recall, Bob Dylan wrote this tune in 1964, a time of uncertainty and unrest, a time when we,as a nation, were dealing with social injustices that existed in the Black community. Who would have known, 50-plus years later, that we would be addressing the similar issues of social injustice. Add to this the COVID-19 crisis.

So much remains uncertain today; however, one thing is certain, Jan Dodge is committed to, devoted to and determined to continuing to work for the residents of House District 97.

She has proven herself by working cooperatively with all members of the Maine Legislature. Together they adopted a supplemental budget that deals with helping Maine families during the pandemic, that increased reimbursement rates for direct health care providers, raised the state’s contribution for pre-K-12 education. She helped pass bonds for transportation needs and access for broadband, and health care bills to drive down costs and increase accessibility for all Mainers.

More work needs to be done when the Legislature reconvenes. Jan possesses the energy, enthusiasm and willingness to be productive on our behalf when she is reelected for a second term.

Are you willing to support Jan? If so join me on Nov. 3 and vote (in person or by absentee ballot). I am certain you will not regret your decision.

Greg Coleman

Waldo

Improving health care in Maine

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Maine’s health care system was over-stressed and for Mainers and their families, it has been inadequate. It appears that the situation will only worsen for many citizens, with thousands of Mainers losing employer-provided coverage in the last few months.

There is a solution that has become available and can provide states with significant revenues to partially stabilize some of these problems. It is called a State Health Insurance Assessment (HIA).

This opportunity has come about as the result of a change in the Affordable Care Act. Previously, individual state health plans were required to pay a tax on their income to the federal government. This tax will lapse at the end of this year (2020). As of 2021, the Maine state government will be able to tax certain of the health insurance companies operating in the state and use those funds to support health care programs.

For our state the new revenue would be approximately $25.5 million. Other states are already in the process of developing HIAs. Maine should also take advantage of this opportunity.

We expect insurance providers will claim foul, but those same companies have benefited from windfall profits during the pandemic, and this is the continuation a current assessment ― not a new tax.

America’s health care “system” needs total reorganization, but in the meantime, setting up an HIA can provide important health assistance to the citizens of our State.

Robert Keller, MD

Drive Northport

New bill would help farmers

As a Maine state legislator and maple sugar producer, I’ve seen firsthand how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the financial well-being of Maine’s agriculture community and subsequently, the state’s economy as a whole. Many producers and farmers are grappling with shifting consumer demands coupled with rising costs that threaten their operations. As we all focus on rebuilding, it is important that we prioritize recovery efforts that stabilize the agriculture industry moving forward.

Luckily, a new bill introduced in Congress known as the Growing Climate Solutions Act will be a step toward doing just that. Through the collaboration of bipartisan elected officials, including Sen. Susan Collins, this bill will ensure that the agriculture industry is both protected and advanced by expanding access to the private credit carbon market. It provides the tools needed to embolden more farmers to add new revenue streams by taking up environmentally sustainable practices. By opening up access to voluntary carbon credit markets, Maine’s producers — from farmers to foresters — can remain competitive in the 21st century economy.

My time as a state legislator on the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and as a member of trade groups like the Maine Farm Bureau, Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, and the Maine Maple Producers Association, has provided evidence that the one of the best things we can do by our producers is limit complexity that stands in the way of opportunity. With the Growing Climate Solutions Act, we get the chance to reinforce producers’ finances, while making progress toward reducing the nation’s carbon footprint — all without regulations that add to farmers’ burden.

It is my hope that the Growing Climate Solutions Act will pass and that Sen. Collins will encourage other leaders statewide and nationally to advocate for policies that appropriately adapt to the ever-changing needs of farmers.

MaryAnne Kinney

Knox

Editor's note: Republican MaryAnne Kinney is running for reelection in Maine House District 99, including the towns of Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy, and Unity.

Corrupting conservative Maine values

My wife and I are two of the retired transplants to Belfast whose presence, according to Maine House District 97 challenger Bill Elliott, have corrupted good old conservative Maine values and in an “unnatural way” to boot. Yikes. If we only knew we had such power, we’d have worked harder to corrupt those good old conservative Kentucky values, our state of recent origin, values which have kept that state firmly lodged in the 19th century.

Truly, retired newcomers to Maine should be ashamed of themselves. They come to coastal Maine and purchase homes, often at inflated prices (what fools), and thus pay more than their fair share of the property taxes that support Maine schools. They come with smiles on their faces, so damn glad to live in the closest thing to a paradise they’ve known, eager to make friends and eager to fit in (silly dupes they).

Many are artists and most contribute in spades as consumers of the local arts scene. They bring their not from Maine savings and retirement incomes and restore old homes, support Maine businesses and Maine restaurants, and use the range of extraordinary Maine craft and technical services.

Yes, retirees with the means to relocate to coastal Maine are often ex-professionals with impressive educational resumes. And education breeds liberal thought, so many of us are Democrats with strong political opinions. But we are, by definition, old. We tend not to be radicals or subversive, though some of the more interesting among us may be. Our heroes are FDR, Kennedy, LBJ. We tend to value a sense of community, societal good, and looking out for the least able among us.

If this is what Bill Elliott means when he refers to outsider’s values that harm Maine, then I must say I pity him. I cannot even begin to imagine the kind of Maine he wishes to return to. Being the old, liberal, corrosive, retired newcomers that we are, we’ll be voting for a vibrant, compassionate, 21st century Maine. We’ll be voting enthusiastically for Jan Dodge.

Al Scovern

Diane Follingstad

Belfast

Passionate about education

I’m asking Waldo County voters to support Chip Curry for Maine Senate.

I’ve known Chip since our kids were at Belfast Area Children’s Center. Chip and his wife have dedicated their careers to education. He really cares about Maine families and their future, as evidenced in his work on the Maine Legislative Task Force on Quality Afterschool Programming, the Maine Commission for Community Service, and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. He is passionate about access to quality education for Mainers and funding the tools to support it, such as good broadband internet.

Chip understands what it means to live in a rural area. He has plans for supporting local businesses and residents, as well making life better for those living in poverty and for people of color in Maine. For those joining the workforce for the first time, we need fast, affordable, and accessible ways for people to earn credentials to get good jobs right here in Waldo County. We need a focus on preparing people for high wage, high growth fields including: the trades, technology, health care, and our heritage industries such as ship building, farming, fisheries, and aquaculture.

Chip knows that to help Maine residents succeed in the modern world and stay in Maine for their careers, we need to think creatively. He supports efforts to transform Maine jobs and protect the environment by focusing on renewable energy. He has the endorsement of the Maine Conservation Voters organization.

Please support Chip when you cast your ballot Nov. 3.

Louisa Carl

Waldo

A true Mainer

I am writing in support of Katrina Smith who is seeking election to represent Maine House District 96, (Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo, Searsmont). Katrina is an energetic, bright young women who has been introducing herself throughout the district by knocking on doors, sending out post cards, attending small and large gatherings or standing in a parking lot on Route 3, handing out her signs.

During her interaction with residents across the district she learned that folks supported investing in broadband internet. Katrina uses her own household as an example where every one cannot be on the internet at the same time. While her kids were home from school due to the pandemic, it was a struggle to keep up with their school work. Lack of high-speed internet is not only affecting families, but it is necessary for encouraging businesses to move to Maine. Rural Maine needs a high-speed internet.

Due to COVID-19, Maine is faced with a shortfall of revenue as many businesses have closed their doors, leaving those workers unemployed. As a fiscal conservative, Katrina realizes that this will affect the next legislative budget, which will have to address this gap in revenues. She believes many Mainers who are on fixed incomes or still not employed cannot afford higher taxes. Other options must be on the table to balance the budget.

Living in a rural county, Katrina understands the need for charter schools and homeschooling as an alternative for families. The more choices, the more opportunities to fit the educational needs of the child.

She is a true Mainer with conservative values and a strong work ethic. Please join me and vote on Nov. 3 for Katrina Smith in District 96.

Cheryl Parkman

Palermo

What will Collins do?

We know that Susan Collins talks out of two sides of her mouth. She says one thing to make it look like she is serving the interests of Mainers, but does another, even though she might be "concerned." She has said that October is too late to vote on a Supreme Court nominee because it is so close to the election.

But what will she actually do? Will she pledge to not vote for any nominee Trump puts forward because it's too close? Or will she do her usual of going along with whatever Trump wants?

Her statement is meaningless. The statement addresses what Trump should do but does not say what she will do if Trump ignores her advice. If Trump makes a nomination and McConnell calls for a vote before Nov. 3, will Susan Collins vote against confirmation? I doubt it.

The fact that Susan Collins made the statement saying that Trump should wait suggests she knows McConnell has the required 50 votes to pass, so she can pretend to dissent. Susan Collins doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to McConnell or Trump. The fix is in.

It’s time to elect someone who is a straight talker, strong in her convictions, and willing to do the right thing. It’s time to elect Sarah Gideon to be our new senator.

Linda Buckmaster

Belfast

Big brain matter

The Big Brain people can't figure out what to do about cops killing people. Try as they may, the Big Brain cannot figure it out. The Big Brain have so much self-important stuff crammed inside the cranium that it is impossible for The Big Brain to analyze the proper simple answer. No, people, it would need The Pea Brain to figure this one out.

Pea Brain, bird brain, simple brain by any name has the answer. The Big Brain people can't see that. Why are the "coppers" acting in such a vicious manner? What could possibly be going on in this country and world that could make them act this way? I have all the confidence that The Pea Brain can figure this one out. The Big Brain people certainly can't.

What does it have to do with? Come on, Pea Brain, you can do it.

So The Pea Brain thought about it long and hard, scowl on the brow and al, and believe it or not, The Pea Brain came up with an answer.

War is NOT the answer. How astounding! Mind blowing! Cranium busting, out of this universe amazing!

The "Drug War" dear Big Brain people is still raging and tearing our country apart since 1972, which evidently you have not noticed.

The "Drug War" is responsible for employing and utilizing the "law of war" on the streets of America. "Coppers" are no longer acting as police officers, they are acting as a "Military Unit," like an armored air cavalry squadron with armored vehicles, helicopters, and grunts who, of course, employ the tactics of war in their prosecution; only The Big Brain would expect anything different. See how much trouble The Big Brain has gotten us into? "Another fine mess you've gotten US into."

The Big Brain couldn't find their way out of a paper bag!

In this "Drug War" everyone is seen as a combatant, an insurgent and enemy of the "Unit." First rule in the combat zone is to "protect your buddy, you got his back."

The good and the bad of the war is always secondary to this first rule. Get home alive is all that counts, nothing else matters. No black, no white, no matter.

So we have drug lords, drug gangs, drug shootings, drug addicts, drug robberies, drug court, drug prison, drug dead, drop dead Drug War.

I realize that The Pea Brain is too small to try and figure out the great dilemma of our gun shooting country.

The Pea Brain couldn't possibly understand the complexity of such an enormous problem.

End the war! Preposterous! Ridiculous! Out of the question.

There has to be a better way and The Big Brain will continue to search for the elusive answer.

Chaos rules you can take that to the bank.

Patrick Quinn

Winterport

Attacking the USPS

Trump's attempt to destroy our United States Postal Service may be another of his inspirations from Putin. There does not seem to be an end to Trump's dishonesty, mendacity, cupidity and duplicity. He is a poster child for treason, poor upbringing, ignorance, malevolence and gratuitous evildoing.

The U.S. Post Office replaced colonial stage-coach deliveries at Benjamin Franklin's instigation. In those days, private stage-coach routes delivered mail to villages on their routes, but did not guarantee delivery, and rates varied. All civilized countries now have a national postal service. Trump cannot understand that, because he has little upbringing in the rudiments of civilization. The sooner we rid our government of the Trump crime syndicate, the better off America's children, both here and yet unborn, will be.

Elderly citizens in rural areas depend on the USPS for their life-saving prescriptions. Families widely separated depend on the USPS for their exchange of gifts and family treasures. Trump's attack on the USPS is worse than the James Gang's attacks on trains and banks, for it is ubiquitous and unceasing. Small rural towns cannot function in the modern world without a secure national postal service. Trump senses this, and has attacked the USPS as a part of his attack on our cultural and intellectual heritage, which never included him.

William Leavenworth

Searsmont

 

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