Letters, Sept. 5, 2019

Sep 05, 2019

An invitation

Dear Belfast and surrounding communities,

I would like to introduce myself as your community liaison for Nordic Aquafarms. I have lived and worked in Belfast for 15 years. My recent role in Regional School Unit 71 encouraged my love for education. As I look to the future in this company, I am so eager to share the opportunities for collaboration in science, engineering, and food sustainability education. Nordic Aquafarms has so much to offer our students! Maine is an aquaculture-strong state, and given our desire to give our students future opportunities, I was thrilled that Nordic Aquafarms chose Belfast.

I believe in this company and I believe in their commitment to our community. This community is important in many ways to Nordic Aquafarms. I felt that sentiment come through in our past communications, being a direct neighbor to the proposed facility, and even more so as their newest employee.

Right now, our city Planning Board is tasked with reviewing our permit applications. Tons of data include deep studies done by numerous scientists, engineers and consultants over a long period of time. Thousands of hours and dollars invested in those studies also include thoughtful considerations of the concerns from the citizens of Belfast.

Do you have questions, comments or concerns? I am happy to connect you to the engineers and experts involved in this project, so please come in and ask! Anyone is welcome to come into our office at 159 High St., Monday through Friday. I will brew the coffee and bring you a seat at the table.

Warmest regards,

Jacki Cassida

Nordic Aquafarms

Lions thanks

The Camden Lions Club would like to thank our community and summer visitors for their tremendous support this summer with the returnable bottles and cans program at the Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport transfer station, Mid-Coast Solid Waste. The volume of returnables has increased substantially, and the Lions are so grateful for these gifts.

The Lions’ labor is free to the community and is part of our “we serve” personal mandate. A crew of Lions volunteers goes to the transfer station early in the morning, twice a week, rain or shine, to sort and organize the returnables.

The Camden Lions Club community support includes donations for student scholarships, for feeding senior citizens in need, for individual sight and hearing problems and for various youth programs.

So, thank you so much for your trust and continued support of this Camden Lions Club work.

Peter Martin

King Lion

Response to 'fishy business'

Haakon Stang, a person from Fredrikstad, Norway, published a letter in The Republican Journal (Aug. 29 issue) about Nordic Aquafarms regarding excessive noise from our facility in Fredrikstad.

Why would he do that? We did some checking. Some simple research has revealed a connection between him and Lawrence Reichard in Belfast. Given Reichard's history of constantly attacking Nordic Aquafarms with misleading stories, it is no surprise that the story at hand is in the same avenue. The approach is also the same “first supportive, then against.”

The pattern we have seen from this camp is attempts to latch onto truths and half-truths, and then twist them into dark and misleading stories. The latest letter in The Republican Journal was no different. Let´s address the facts.

Yes, Nordic Aquafarms did kick out a Danish contractor in Fredrikstad that was causing problems and delays and we assumed control of the project ourselves. The same contractor has been in conflict with three other smolt farms in Norway, and also a land-based project in Switzerland. Nordic Aquafarms finished the job ahead of the contractor´s schedule and grew enormously on this experience. And yes, there are legal claims coming from this.

Yes, there was a blower fan a very short distance from some homes (significantly closer than in Belfast) that did cause some unexpected noise in the commissioning phase. Dialog with neighbors was pursued and the noise has already been significantly reduced. NAF Fredrikstad continues to work with the neighbors to address any issue or concern they might have.

In Belfast, blowers will not be placed in the direction of residential housing, will be of a different make, and will not cause similar problems. The benefits of having done previous projects is that you learn from every one of them — all projects work through commissioning issues. Belfast will benefit from this learning and also highly professional U.S. construction partners.

Important progress and learning are turned into dark stories attacking Nordic Aquafarms again with local Belfast assistance. Great companies are created from solving challenges and moving forward. Anyone who recognizes successful industries are created, will confirm that.

Marianne Naess

Commercial Director

Nordic Aquafarms Inc.

Wishing ill luck

My wife and I stopped by Belfast yesterday afternoon to meet my son, returned on vacation from D.C., and his mom, for dinner. Untypically, we arrived for our engagement with 10 minutes to spare, and since the forces of fate had parked us right next to the stylish downtown offices of the proposed salmon farm, I took the opportunity to visit with the "public relations" officers and deliver some few shreds of the pieces of my mind which I have still intact.

Waiting for my turn to "present and deliver," I listened to the exchange between these two trained company officials and a senior resident of inland Brooks; listened to their polite and well-reasoned assurances that the imagined interference with traffic flow and other infrastructure would happen so slowly as to be unnoticeable ... "rather like slow-boiling a lobster," I opined from the sidelines.

When my turn came, I was brief and to the point, identifying myself as a "distant" resident of Brooklin, Maine, and expressing my grave concern for the health of our bay. I declined the well-meaning attempts at rebuttal, assuring the officers that "I had heard what I had heard," and that nothing they could say would convince me of the advisability or morality of their business venture. Politely wishing them nothing but ill luck, I left for my dinner date, seizing the hand of my wife waiting in the car for emotional support.

The experience was profoundly moving to me, and somewhat therapeutic. I have no idea of its effect on the company officers, but I would urge anyone who is concerned for the future health and sanity of this beautiful bay and its inhabitants to engage in a similar "exchange." The opportunity is so available.

Thank you in advance for the forum you present, as a newspaper, to this community on this vital issue.

David Putnam

Brooklin, formerly of Northport

No doctors

Just something to think about all you folks who think socialized medicine is the answer to our health care issues. My wife and I recently spent 10 days in Maritime Canada. During our short stay, two hospital emergency rooms were temporarily closed with no idea when they would reopen. The reason, there were no doctors available.

Those folks like myself who are opposed to any government run health care system are concerned that doctors will leave the medical field or not pursue it at all. We are currently experiencing a shortage of nurses and it seems doctors as well, as many health care facilities, including mine, are filling the ranks with nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as opposed to doctors.

Are doctors leaving the field, or moving on to more lucrative options? I don’t know. Do you?

Leo H. Mazerall Jr.

Stockton Springs

Learning the facts

I am baffled by Nordic Aquafarms' response to the Aug. 29 letter to the editor by Haakon Stang of Fredrikstad, Norway, in which Haakon writes about the large amounts of dust, and loud and increasing noise, emanating from Nordic's industrial fish farm in Fredrikstad.

Nordic's Marianne Naess asks why Haakon would write such a letter; but Haakon's letter states why: to warn Belfast about Nordic's false and unkept promises of no noise.

Naess attacks Haakon's credibility by linking him to me, and by saying that I have a history of constantly attacking Nordic Aquafarms.

Yes, I know Haakon. And he knows me. Does that make any less legitimate Haakon's statements about 60 decibels of Nordic noise recorded inside his neighbors' homes? Do Nordic supporters know each other? Of course they do. In fact, Nordic recently hired one of them.

Yes, I do have a history of exposing problems with Nordic Aquafarms. I make no apologies for writing critically about a large, powerful, multinational company that wants to clear-cut and pave over dozens of acres of the beautiful, carbon-sequestering Belfast woods; that wants to dump 1,600 pounds of nitrogen and 7.7 million gallons of effluent per day in Belfast Bay; and that wants to endanger our water supply by using 630 million gallons of fresh water per year from our aquifer and watershed.

Naess attempts to discredit me and Haakon by saying we employ the same tactic of “first supportive, then against.” Well, there's a simple explanation for that, for me, for Haakon and for Haakon's Fredrikstad neighbors: It's true — we were supportive and now we're against. It's called learning the facts and changing one's mind upon learning the facts.

Naess says Nordic's Belfast fans will not cause noise problems similar to those in Fredrikstad. But Nordic told Fredrikstad there would be no noise. And Nordic said there would be no pollution in Belfast. By its own subsequent admission that is patently false.

For an entire year, Nordic's website has misrepresented the length of its effluent discharge pipe. Nordic has falsely said that farm salmon is the most efficient way to produce protein. Contradicting its own statements, Nordic falsely told a legislative committee that fish can't escape from land-based fish farms. Nordic knowingly filed false information with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. And on and on. With a track record like that, why should we believe Nordic's soothing assurances about noise?

Naess says that “great companies are created from solving challenges and moving forward.” That's a nice PR way of saying Nordic is young and inexperienced. And that's the problem. We in Belfast don't want to be Nordic's guinea pigs. We don't want to be the lab experiment in which Nordic attempts to do a project more than five times the size of the project it has already blown in Fredrikstad.

Lawrence Reichard

East Orland

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Comments (23)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 09, 2019 20:08

I'll pass on the virus to you, Ralphie, in order to destroy what few brain cells you have left. After that, it's just going to be one empty cranial shell up there sitting on your puny shoulders.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 09, 2019 17:31

Jacki Cassida. Eric Blowfish  thinks I should lay off your nonsense. Has some idea that I am envious of your position with NAF due to your having land that they want. What better incentive to hire you as you will be a motivated individual on their behalf. "Honor open dialogue." Unless that has clearly change within your new employment, that was not my experience. My questions were met with the party line. "Toes the line" on permit applications? Odd way to phrase it.

Again, straight out of the propaganda storybook this time written by NAF. If Lawrence is a rash, Herr Blowfish you are a virus.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 09, 2019 04:43

Hey Ralphie, why don't you give it a rest already and leave Jacki Cassida alone. You're just jealous that she has a valuable asset and a good job helping the future of Belfast, unlike you pathetic existence in Northport, just too far away from the lights of Belfast and too remote for city sewer. How's that outhouse doing?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 08, 2019 20:06

Jacki Cassida. Straight out of the propaganda playbook.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 08, 2019 18:31

Hey Riley, we've got enough jackass locals up here already, so your return would just be piling on. Yea, I forget that you're stinking up the joint somewhere else. I'll notify the Maine Highway Patrol to keep a look out for the stench that you'll be bringing with you. They should pick it up with their K-9 team and stop you before you make too far into Maine.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 08, 2019 08:49

And before you have a cow about my typo, "education"

You know what they say about trolls that attack typos and grammar.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 08, 2019 08:46

"borderline incoherent"

Lack of reading comprehension I see. And you complete about Maines esucation system.


Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 08, 2019 08:42

Bad memory there Eric. You can't even remember I haven't moved back to Maine yet.
Silly boy.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 08, 2019 07:42

Hey Riley, were you educated in Maine's under achieving schools because your response is borderline incoherent. Every City could use a benevolent dictator, including Belfast. I kinda like that title, "Benevolent Dictator". I think I'll have a T-Shirt made up with that title and wear it proudly. For someone that doesn't get irritated, you sure like to respond to my observations with nonsensical blather. I actually find them quite amusing because it demonstrates my exact point about the local yocals. I think you might have a T-shirt made to say, "I'm the resident local yocal and proud of it". Heck, I'll even pay for it.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 07, 2019 19:54

"Life of Riley"

Why Eric, thank you for the compliment. I'll chalk that up to you knowing nothing of the history of the name. No matter.

There's nothing you say or that that irritates me. You do keep me mildly amused with at how easily you're triggered and you 12-year-old behavior. Oh, and then there are the rabbit holes you dive down on occasion. That is just sad to watch but humorous in a twisted kind of way.

You go ahead and stay where you hate the people around you. That's a serious masochistic streak you got there. Unless of course, you're obsessed with turning Belfast into Eric town. Yeah, that's it, you want your own little dictatorship. Everyone should think and act like Eric The Insignificant.
You all below andnothing more.

Good luck with that kiddo.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 07, 2019 02:52

Hey "life of Riley", I love Maine, just not the thick headed local yocals. Come to think of it, I think I'll stay around for the entire year just to irritate you and Ralphie because it's so much fun. You are what they call a backbencher, all blow, no go. I've made plenty of constructive observations, you just don't like the subject matter. Someone has to keep an eye on the local government. I've seen great local governance and the Belfast City administration doesn't have it by a long shot. There are some good Councilors and others that are lazy who can't even harvest the low hanging fruit or even bother to pick it up off the ground. Those Councilors will be called out now and at election time. Have fun at the dog park and have a good laugh on me, because we'll have the last laugh.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 06, 2019 11:52

"this is my last winter in Maine cuz I need a break from all the knucklehead "Mainers" who think they know it all"

We call that projection folks. He's projecting his delusional belief that he is the be all and end all to all things Maine and knows what’s best for everyone. He hates Mainers and for the life of me, and others, why on earth does he even bother spending time there. I had an interesting conversation about you with some folks at the dog park last week, very interesting. When I informed them you were a snowbird the laughter was very pleasant to hear.   
Note how Eric has nothing else but his usual 12-year-old schoolyard bully behavior.  Again, what a sad individual with nothing constructive to say about anyone or anything. 
He doesn’t even troll very well.
At some point people will just no longer engage.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 06, 2019 10:14

No Riley, this is my last winter in Maine cuz I need a break from all the knucklehead "Mainers" who think they know it all. What they don't know is if all residents "from away" left the State and took their money with them, there would be a big sucking sound of wealth leaving the State, since most of the State is on some type of welfare or assistance. There will be a big sign at US1 and I-95 saying "Maine Closed, Go Back"

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 06, 2019 07:47

"Care to address your legal status in the State of Maine"

Oh, you mean that he's a snowbird and only lives in Maine half the year if that.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 05, 2019 22:30

Hey Ralphie, stop hitting the Post button more than once. Standing, as in what gives you the right to stick your snoz in other people's business. Just like you, living well away from the bay amongst those many trees blocking your view of the Belfast lights. Have you got your indoor plumbing yet or are still using your outhouse?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 05, 2019 20:12

Herr "blowfish" Schrader. You have an apparent hang up on what constitutes standing. One can weigh in on issues. Standing is a legal issue. Has nothing to do with opinions you dope. Care to address your legal status in the State of Maine?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 05, 2019 20:12

Herr "blowfish" Schrader. You have an apparent hang up on what constitutes standing. One can weigh in on issues. Standing is a legal issue. Has nothing to do with opinions you dope. Care to address your legal status in the State of Maine?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 05, 2019 20:03

Glad to see Cassida has a job with Nordic. It fits given their property is under lease and eventual purchase should this nightmare succeed. Some time ago, she told me that she would eventually like to return to her native state of Hawaii. Cash out and move on. Leave the rest to us.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 05, 2019 19:57

Ms. Cassida, you're being too kind to these blowhards that will do anything to scuttle the NAF project, so beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing. Putnam lives in Brooklin (too bad it's not Brooklyn, NY), so what gives him the "standing" to wish ill will on the project. Heck, Bucksport is closer to him so let him pound sand on their shores. Leave Belfast alone.

Posted by: Anne k Saggese | Sep 05, 2019 09:42

Mr. Putnam, "I declined the well-meaning attempts at rebuttal, assuring the officers that "I had heard what I had heard," as I have heard what I have heard. If we all hear only the first side of a story and refuse to hear any more, where does that leave us all? If you are the same Mr. Putnam that has some mutual fb friens with me, I took the liberty of scrolling down your page a bit. I see you've recently visited the Dog Brook Fish Hatchery. Did you know the Atlantic Salmon Federation supports what Nordic is doing and looks forward to some collaboration?  Have you asked them their opinion?

Posted by: Jacki Cassida | Sep 05, 2019 08:53

We certainly welcome and appreciate when folks take time out of their day to come in and see us. We honor open dialogue whether you are one in support, wait-and-see, or even against- but looking for clarification. There is quite a lot of misinformation out there and we always appreciate the opportunity to offer some perspective. We have had outside agencies, scientists, engineers, and consultants that have done some extensive work to make sure Nordic Aquafarms toes the line regarding our permit applications. We are pleased that we can exceed  those expectations in many cases.  We know we can't change minds, but we hope to keep the lines of communication open. Again, Mr. Putnam, thank you for coming in and I hope you and your wife had a wonderful dinner. We have great places to eat here in Belfast!

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 05, 2019 07:02

And Lawrence Reichard, are you still hanging around like a bad rash? East Orland? Why don't you spend your time lobbying for better roads down to Deer Isle and Stonington, cuz they stink. Your opposition ship has sailed, probably back to Norway and you should have been on it.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 05, 2019 06:59

Hey Putnam, do us all a favor here in Belfast and BUT OUT!

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