Letters, Sept. 3

Sep 03, 2020

Reelect Dodge

With high regard for the skills and strengths that Janice Dodge has demonstrated in her service representing Maine House District 97, I have the opportunity and privilege to write this letter in support of her candidacy for a second term. Rep. Dodge in her first successful campaign, followed by her service of two years, created a defined, organized action plan and with her amazing energy and solid work ethic represented her constituents admirably.

She consistently met her constituents individually door-to-door with pen and paper in hand to listen and record their concerns. She also met with groups of constituents to allow like-minded groups to address their concerns. In Augusta, serving on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, she was of great service to our local educators, students, as well as burdened property taxpayers. Working with other legislators, she participated in drafting legislation involving those in our communities concerned about conservation, the environment, coastal residents employed in marine activities, women’s issues and aging and young people.

As a first-term legislator, Rep. Dodge worked to get three bills passed and cosponsored several other bills, working “across the aisle” on some. She regularly kept her constituents informed, via various media sources, of legislative proceedings, communicating to us the dates of public hearings on issues of interest and legislation being introduced, passed, or defeated. In addition, when COVID 19 arrived in our state, Jan kept us informed consistently on the protocols necessary to successfully limit the community spread of this virus.

Reelecting Janice Dodge to serve a second term representing House District 97 (Belfast, Northport and Waldo), only makes perfect sense, with her first-term experience, her seemingly endless level of energy, outstanding organization skills, and notable work ethic. I urge you to support her return to the State House in Augusta. Reelect Dodge.

Georgene Coombs

Northport

Opportunistic protest

As this most unusual year advances, we see all around us a strident righteousness not seen for some time. We see this angry shout on signs, at Post Office Square, here in The Republican Journal and on just about every TV channel there is. It is presented to us as an example of what is said to be prolific racism by the police, resulting in the death of George Floyd.

George Floyd was killed by police in front of our eyes, and like all killings, it was shocking to see. The police killed about 1,000 people last year, and about 235 of them were Black. To put this in context, about 2,500 Black people were murdered last year, and 2,245 of those were killed by another Black person. This means that a Black person is about 10 times as likely to be killed by another Black person as by the police, and murder is one of the leading causes of death for young Black men (largely by other young Black men).

But what about all this protest that we see? Who you protest for tells you as much as what you protest against. For example, eight children were killed in just one weekend last month (all children of color, if that matters to you). But we do not know their names. They are not on any signs. No stores were looted for them. No marches in Post Office Square or editorials in The Republican Journal, like there were for George Floyd. No, the righteous rage was reserved for George Floyd. What makes a killing worthy of being on a protest sign, then?

Unfortunately, it is not who you are or what color you are (remember the children). No, it is not even about George Floyd. Rather, it is about the color of the knee on the neck — kind of an above-the-neck righteousness. We do not protest for George — rather, we protest against the police. George Floyd's neck was nothing more than a platform for a protest sign, an excuse to loot and kill. (How many people have been killed during the protests, anyway? Maybe we will see a news article on this someday.)

A broad Black neck to stand on, and to be loud, be angry, to shout from. You see, if you do not protest little Black children who are killed, or enough Black people killed to fill the Vietnam wall in the last 10 years, then this is more about you and not so much about George Floyd. You stand on the neck of George Floyd just like the police officer who killed him. You, too, have an agenda, and it as ugly as the killing of George Floyd. Look up 7-year-old Natalie Wallace. Maybe put her name on a sign. Maybe write an editorial about her. If your protest is just a convenient platform to be loud and angry, I suggest you stay home next time. That would help victims of racism more than opportunistic protest.

Brian Cooper

Belfast

Potentially risky behavior

I read with interest the recent article featuring Peter Sheff, the pastor of the Abundant Grace group in Searsmont.

If I understand correctly, at the gatherings at Abundant Grace, folks participate at indoor worship without masks or required social distancing. The hope is that anyone not feeling well will stay home. They also eat together. I surmise they are relying on Jesus to protect them from COVID 19 infection.

Do any of these folks read the newspaper or watch the news? Have they read of the Millinocket wedding led by a Baptist (fundamentalist sect) pastor from Sanford, now related to 60 infections and one death? Are they willing not only to take personal risk of disease spread but also risk of sharing it with others in their life's sphere and with a much larger community/state?

For all of our sake I hope the folks in that community take care of themselves and others by wearing masks and taking other measures to lower risk of COVID spread in Maine.

Cindy Frost

Liberty

A journey of service

I was born and raised in Maine, I graduated from Searsport High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. At the end of my enlistment I came back to Maine and graduated from Maine Maritime Academy. After graduation I went back in the Marine Corps as a commissioned officer, where for the next 27 years I served as an AH-1W Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot. I never lost my love for the state of Maine or my concern for its well-being.

Many people don’t trust politicians because most will say or do anything to get your vote so that they can get elected and so that they can have the power to achieve their objectives. Today District 11 has a rare opportunity to elect a state senator who is not a politician: Duncan Milne. He is not a politician, he is a man who has served this country his whole life. He is a retired Marine colonel who could very easily sit back and enjoy a peaceful retirement, but instead he chooses to continue his journey of service, not to himself, but to you, the people of District 11, and the state of Maine.

I have had the honor of serving this great nation with Duncan and I can personally attest to the fact that he is a man of integrity, honor, courage and accountability. He says and does what he believes, not what will get him elected. He is honest and will always tell you, the people of Maine, the truth. He is not afraid to say what people may not want to hear, but what is true.

There are some who say he just moved here; they are shortsighted. He is from Maine and just moved home after serving this great nation for most of his life. I have known Duncan for many years. I have served with him and flown with him. I know this man and I know his character; I know he is exactly what the people of District 11 not only need, but what they want: a person who will be honest with them, represent them, and serve them.

Duncan Milne stands for all that is good in an America and I stand with Duncan Milne; stand with Duncan and you will do yourself and Maine a great service.

Robert D. Curtis

Searsport

Bannon arrest not political

Sam Patten in his column on Aug. 27 implies that the arrest of Steve Bannon, former Trump aide accused of swindling thousands of other gullible Trumpistas, is part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. Bannon now joins the growing Rogues Gallery of former Trump officials who have been charged, convicted and sentenced for a wide variety of crimes.

The post office is involved because Bannon used the mails to conduct his alleged theft. Bannon is charged with common theft that has nothing to do with “Russia-Gate,” as Patten suggests. Patten’s fond hope that Bannon’s arrest will somehow backfire and prove helpful to Trump is the stuff "The Maltese Falcon" was made of.

The expanding list of Trump associates who have been convicted is not, as Patten claims, one side persecuting the other. The cases were filed under the charge of “the people vs. fill in the blank,” not the Democrats vs. any of these crooks. I will admit that any right-thinking Democrat is delighted to see justice done. Why suggest Rudy may be next unless Patten knows more than we do?

Be assured that Mr. Bannon will get a fair trial, not like the whitewash provided the president by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

Ron Jarvella

Belfast

No one better

Full disclosure, I've known Jan Dodge as a neighbor and friend for over a decade. You may have seen Jan this summer, mowing the island on the corner of Waldo Avenue and Vine Street. This is just what Jan does — takes a personal interest in Belfast, where she was born and raised, and the greater community at-large. I've seen Jan in action, testifying in Augusta on education and senior issues years before she decided to run for office. So, it's easy to recommend Jan for reelection to the position of House District 97.

Jan’s digital newsletters are always packed with pertinent information that the Legislature is addressing. And though they were not in session due to COVID-19, Jan was still working. I can attest to this from firsthand experience, as every time I stopped by, Jan was on a conference call about issues from health care to housing.

In these times of the pandemic, with communities unsure of whether to reopen schools or continue with long-distance learning, it is crucial for Maine to have a reliable internet system. As a member of the Education and Cultural Affairs committee, Jan helped pass the bipartisan supplemental budget for broadband that voters approved in July. And she was part of the effort on health care that will help to lower our medical costs.

As a freshman legislator, Jan has worked alone, and as a co-sponsor on bipartisan legislation. Impressive.

When Jan ran in 2018, she warned me that though a Democrat, she would be listening to constituents from all party affiliations. She wanted me to understand that she was interested in all sides of an argument, as she weighed what was best for District 97.

There are few politicians with the character that Jan possesses. If only they all had the integrity, intelligence and dedication to the job that Jan demonstrates. It is my privilege to recommend Jan Dodge for reelection to House District 97. I can think of no one better for the job.

Mj Crowe

Belfast

Supports education

Chip Curry was one of the first people I met when I moved to Belfast 11 years ago. He reached out to me, a stranger, because he likes and believes in other people. He especially believes in strong families and that education is an important part of making families stronger. He has worked to support education at all levels, from elementary school to adults.

Chip is the kind of person who steps forward when work needs to be done. He served on the Maine Legislative Taskforce on Quality Afterschool Programming, the Maine Commission for Community Service, and the Blaine House Conference on Volunteering. Chip is more than just a participant; he is a leader. Currently, he is chairman of the Waldo County Fund and co-chairman of the UMA Professional Employees Association.

As Chip made clear during the pre-primary debates this year, he is committed to representing the interests of everyone in Waldo County, and will keep the best interests of Waldo County uppermost in his mind if he is elected to the Maine Senate.

I am proud to know Chip Curry and pleased to support him for District 11 in the Maine Senate and urge you to do the same.

Rick Davis

Belfast

Voting for Curry

I am voting for Chip Curry, representing Waldo County, for state senator. I first met Chip over 10 years ago when we were both part of the Maskers’ summer musical, "Carousel." What I was drawn to was Chip’s kind, steady direction for whatever needed to be done over our weeks of practice. He has the ability to work with people, lending support and guidance in a non-threatening way. Over the years I have seen this same approach from Chip in many other groups. It’s just naturally who he is. The Senate will be enriched by his way of doing business.

As a retired teacher, I also am impressed with Chip’s commitment to education at all levels and the importance of offering training and guidance for securing good jobs here in Waldo County.

I hope you will join me in voting for Chip.

Diane Braybrook

Belfast

 


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