Letters, Sept. 26, 2019

Sep 26, 2019

Growing dilemmas

As an over-55 female who agrees with the millennial viewpoint, I found Jan Dolcater's recent "Another View" column overlooked the reasons for changing attitudes.

Here are a few items to think about:

Government.

1-The USA won WWII while holding a group of its own citizens in concentration camps.

2-Corporations abandoned the USA making the statement that every other worker in the world can do what we do and cheaper.

3-In the 1950s and 1960s our citizens fought for civil rights and the vote while state and federal governments continued to thwart them.

4-Women are denied equal pay and decision-making about their own bodies.

5-Other countries have our freedoms while providing health care for all their citizens.

6-Public education is attacked by those who want everyone's taxes for private schools with specialized points of view.

Capitalism.

1-Capitalists who abused the system created the Great Depression (1930s) and the Great Recession (2008).

2-The first required socialist solutions such as President Roosevelt's New Deal.

3-Republican President Eisenhower established the interstate highway system which was paid for by taxes and benefited everyone.

4-Republican President Nixon instituted the Environmental Protection Agency, which current Republicans are dismantling.

Religion.

1-Many millennials are spiritual but want zero to do with organized religion.

2-Look at the Roman Catholic abuses of children with protections, not for children, but of the institution. Baptists have shown the same behavior. Mormon and Islamic religions subjugate women.

3-People may support local churches who provide excellent service to their communities but hold an anti-religious view in polls.

4-Simply, religion has no ownership of morality.

The third point, which Dolcater skipped, is millennials' desire for fewer children.

1-Women want birth control in order to make decisions about their own lives.

2-Kids are expensive.

3-The world's high population endangers the planet.

4-If all people are truly equal, make immigrants into Americans instead of selfishly increasing the population with our progeny.

This may sum up the millennial point of view:

1-In the age of search engines, you can select information to support any point of view.

2-Corporations want our purchases but not our higher-paid labor.

3-Any economic system such as socialism or capitalism can benefit or harm.

4-Governments may act morally or not.

5-Religion behaves morally or not.

6-An increasing human population does not benefit planet earth.

7-While awaiting more incisive leadership, many millennials acknowledge growing dilemmas. Metaphorically, many weep as they put their hands over their hearts during the national anthem, but, as the poll shows, they still take a knee.

Leslie Woods

Montville

Fuller deserves attention

My friend of many years, “Ridgely” Fuller is my choice for city councilor of Belfast, Ward 3, and she deserves your attention! I have known her as an advocate, leader, and citizen in Belfast.

Most important to me is her compassion, tenacity and clarity in her position on poignant issues. Ridgely’s campaign holds fast three major tenets: 1) Building community between residents of Belfast and City Hall ― the quality of our human relationships is the foundation of our community where every person matters and every voice is heard; 2) Facing the climate crisis together ― it is already affecting our coast, food services, businesses and environment. The solution is us working together; 3) Expanding a healthy Belfast economy ― this is built on local ownership, prioritizing local resources and community wellbeing.

I am particularly drawn to the first one. We need to commit to building meaningful collaboration among ourselves and with all levels of government. Ridgely hopes to create a volunteer pool for the city with City Hall as a hub. I am often looking for a new volunteer experience, and it would be wonderful to go to City Hall and select some options to follow up on. Her vision to build community here in Belfast is ever so important as we continue to grow and prosper.

I hope you will check out her website at ridgely4belfast.org or her Facebook page, RidgelyForBelfast. Thank you for your support and curiosity for a better Belfast. Please pass the word ― thanks!

Susan Coe

Belfast citizen and volunteer

Belfast welcomes new industry

Editor's note: The following letter references the historical column "Journal Files" published in the Sept. 19 issue of The Republican Journal.

To arms! The newspaper tells us that a man “from away” wants to use Belfast as a place to manufacture 2,000 pairs of pants per week. Big industry! Who will benefit? Imagine all those loose-end threads and cotton and wool dust wafting through the city, clogging citizens’ noses and sewer filters. Not to mention settling like snow, year-round, all over the place. Remember the chicken feathers?

Two thousand pairs of pants per week! How many will dress up Belfast gentry? Are they needed? Since the population is only about 7,000, only half of them men, the business may be finished in two weeks. The entrepreneur tried to make pants in Belfast once before and did not succeed. Doesn’t that say something about the prospect for this venture?

Fifty or more jobs are promised. We’ve heard that before. Of course there will be other jobs outside the shop. Transport of materials and the finished pants will be one of them, but that’s not all good, since the streets will be clogged with the trucking traffic.

The site for this manufacture will be a defunct skating rink. Workers now will have something to do, but no further hope for recreation. The site is expected to be made ready within two weeks, even with a third floor to be added to the rink. The short-time carpentry crew evidently will be larger than the full-time pants workers.

Workers will have to keep their minds on their jobs. That’s another way to say they will be segregated, and with corresponding pay differentials, to be sure. Cutters and “other male hands” will work on the first floor and women stitchers on the second floor. The women will benefit, of course, will be more fit, because of climbing the stairs. So they will live longer ― but at less pay. It has not been revealed what will be on the new third floor ― perhaps the toilets or penthouse offices overlooking the harbor for the bosses?

Twenty-three sewing machines will be set up for the stitchers (that is, for the women) on the second floor. The carpentry crew will have to do serious bracing if the building, when all machines are going at once, is not to shimmy and shake its way to a pile of rubble. On the other hand, what’s lost from the building in recreation could be regained if a soda shop, featuring milk shakes, is opened on the first floor and the building is used at Halloween for a ghost haunt.

The report of this venture says “Belfast welcomes this new industry.” I don’t know. Aren’t my worries good reasons to be doubtful? Maybe it’s better to leave things as they are, even if it means men and boy children have to wear torn and tattered and patched pants. It may become a trend.

Robert R. Sherman

Northport

Have we no shame?

It is clear by now to any fair-minded, thoughtful American that we have an unprincipled, authoritarian in the White House who is there only to placate his own ego and increase his own wealth. Donald Trump is a larger-than-life conman with no moral compass and no ideology, except to embrace winners (like him) and detest losers (everyone else). He has surrounded himself with crooks, sycophants and grifters to help him systematically dismantle our government and our democratic values ― and he is doing it in plain sight.

By filling leadership positions with incompetent, political hacks or easily intimidated, temporary actors who don’t require senate approval ― and by eliminating career experts in diplomacy, intelligence, science and other government disciplines ― this president is defunding and dismantling protections for the common good. That includes: clean air and water, safe food and drugs, domestic and climate tranquility, quality education, worker and consumer safety, fair elections and even the rule of law that upholds our democracy.

Trump is a master at manipulating the news media. He understands perfectly that their “man-bites-dog” interest means they will always take his bait, because he is president and they love sensationalism. The news has become virtually all Trump all the time.

The Washington Post reports that the president has made over 12,000 false or misleading statements in office, so many that neither we Americans nor our allies can rely on anything he says. By denigrating them while cozying up to our enemies, he has abdicated America’s role as world leader.

Either as a “willing asset” or an “unwitting idiot,” he is carrying out Vladimir Putin’s plan to pit Americans against one another, destroy our common values and undermine our way of life.

Where are our checks and balances? Special Counsel Robert Mueller established probable but (according only to a Justice Department memo) “not indictable” presidential collusion with Russians and at least 10 clear, obstruction-of-justice charges with supporting evidence in his report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

However, Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General William Barr released the report only after weeks of propaganda about the findings to mislead public opinion, and then only partially. Congress, as a Constitutional duty, should have opened an impeachment inquiry immediately; subpoenaed Mueller and his unredacted report, other key witnesses and grand jury testimony; and held in contempt anyone who refused to testify, regardless of the president’s attempt to thwart it.

Republicans gerrymandered voter districts in 2016 so that, even though Democrats won the popular vote, they lost key, razor-thin contests and the Electoral College. Because of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and Russian propaganda, Donald Trump is very likely an illegitimate president. Hillary Clinton probably should be in the White House right now. Neither Trump nor Republicans have done anything to prevent the same thing from happening in 2020, because they and Putin will try whatever it takes to keep Trump in office.

At every turn, Trump’s defiance of the rule of law is met with the revelation that he may have the authority to do so, that it is unprecedented and has never been tested. If the courts agree, we need systemic change to rein in the executive branch and reform the spineless legislative branch. The smug Mitch McConnell, will not even bring to the Senate floor commonsense measures to fund voter security, protect health care, curb gun violence, and establish many safeguards the American people want overwhelmingly.

Come on, people, especially you rural, so-called “fly-over” people in red states. If we’re all honest, do we really want to put up with a racist, misogynist, amoral, divisive president who belittles vast segments of America, cages thousands of little children and works only for himself, not us? Are we going to accept a new normal of marching steadily toward authoritarian rule by the rich and powerful?

If so, to paraphrase chief counsel Joseph Welch at the 1954 McCarthy hearings, “At long last, have we no shame?”

David Estey

Belfast

One-year anniversary

Sept. 26, 2018, marked the day Carol Dibello, Submerged Lands coordinator, now retired, received an application from Nordic Aquafarms' lawyers and engineers.

In early October, I called Carol to locate this application, which had only been sent to the city of Belfast and immediate abutters to the Eckrote parcel, disregarding the nearness of property owners to the giant effluent pipe just off the beaches of Bayside and Northport.

The enclosed eight-page “lease option,” written by Lee Woodward on behalf of Nordic and the Eckrotes, ended at the “high tide mark." The pipeline route in plan “A” from Cianbro, Ransom Consulting, and Woodward and Curran engineers very clearly crossed over several beaches northeast of the Eckrotes.

"What gives?" I asked Carol and her boss Tom Desjardins. The response: The application is complete but can still be altered.

Six weeks later, there is the "twisted sister" Plan, derived from the survey of James Dorsky PLS. This plan crosses the abutter's beach to the south of the Eckrotes and the digital copy I got from Carol has lots of obscure layers, including details of a “colonial survey.”

"What gives?" I asked Dec. 17, 2018, at the second DEP info meeting.

Earlier that day Erik Heim said to me on the steps of Baywrap that “they” got it wrong and I was right about title, right and interest. He said he paid "them" and "they were going to have to “fix it."

Then, Joanna Tourangeau, Nordic’s lead attorney, tells us — the public, and most importantly the abutters — the survey is a secret!

After a few lawyerly formal filings from the abutters' attorney to Submerged Lands, Carol on Jan. 20 writes Joanna and asks for a survey or proof of intertidal (beach area) ownership from Nordic. Ta-da! Erik's or perhaps Ed Cotter’s “wet sand" letter says if the Eckrotes own it, Nordic can put its pipes there, and also submitted a survey by Good Deeds which shows the Eckrotes don’t own the beach. So how do the Eckrotes sign a lease agreement for a pipeline over/under land they don’t own?

The Submerged Lands application is still deemed complete through preliminary findings and final findings and Nordic has — ta-da! — a lease approved for submerged lands.

Except for Nordic needing to register a real lease in Waldo County Registry of Deeds.

Somehow “sufficient" and "color" of title is good enough for the DEP and Submerged Lands Office, and AAG Lauren Parker and others need to verify the Eckrotes signing and certifying a real “wet sand “ lease and registering it. That is how property easements become legal.

I really thought (and so did Erik, I guess) that “they" would have “fixed it” one year later. Instead, Erik and his lawyers have multiple TRI /real estate/legal issues and are deeply embroiled in the courts.

So I guess they have made progress with “sufficient" and "color” of title, but we also have wet sand letters, "bent noodles" and "twisted sisters," blank deeds from mysterioso heirs, lawsuits, affidavits, registered surveys and more legal documents.

Stay tuned for the next chapters of TRI: Year two, the legal battle.

Paul Bernacki

Belmont

Comments (1)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 30, 2019 14:11

To Dave Estey, all that you said, either true or untrue, is not going to make any difference in the 2020 Presidential Election, which Trump will easily win. Just look at the slate of Democrat candidates. Biden is toast for a lot of reasons. Bernie is a socialist and borderline Communist. That leaves Elizabeth Warren, who is sitting back now licking her chops about Biden self destructing. She doesn't even need to go on the attack. Let's say for arguments sake, she will be the Democrat nominee. Now, she is going to have the entire financial sector of our economy against her because of her wealth tax (which is unconstitutional because it is nothing more than wealth confiscation) and she wants to tax 401K's and IRA's based on their unrealized value. So if you have $ 100,000 in your IRA, she wants to take a piece of it. So what if the value goes down? Is she going to give you a "refund" of the tax? As they say down south, no way, Jose'. So she has now lost all the retirees. With all of Trump's perceived and actual faults, the 2020 election is going to boil down to one simple quote from the infamous James Carville, Clinton advisor, who famously said, "it's the economy, stupid". Nothing else matters if you don't have a job, can't pay your bills, can't put food on the table, can't save to take the family on a vacation, can't help your kids with college expenses and can't save for retirement. When the chips are down, citizens will vote their pocketbook every time. I voted for Clinton both times because it was all "pocket book" at the time and I'm a conservative, not necessarily Republican.



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