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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
July 27, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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July 27, 2018

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27 July, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 5 T MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK To the editor: Something quite remarkable has oc- curred in the world of Lubec politics. For the first time in eight years we are going to have contests for elected school board po- sitions.' Over these many past years we have seen incumbent school board mem- bers agree to stay on because no one else would run, and when those members fi- nally ran out of gas we've seen our select board members desperately search for someone willing to fill the vacancy by ap- pointment. While I know that there are many, like myself, who have work com- mitments that prevent us from serving on these elected boards, I hope, for the stu- dents and taxpayers alike, that the interest these four candidates have shown will in- spire others to come forward and partici- pate in making our local democracy work. Due to a recent resignation, the Lubec select Board is again being called on to fill a school board vacancy by appoint- ment. This appointed person, with the two newly elected members, will then bring the five-board membership back to full strength. It has been the practice of the select board to make these appointments at its first meeting following town meet- ing. Any Lubec resident who is interested in serving the town and its kids in this important capacity should call the Lubec town administrator at 733-2341 and let her know of your interest. Dana Bradley Lubec A BREEZE FROM WASHINGTON To the editor: It was a blistering hot day to be march- ing in the Eastport parade. Little to no breeze was available to bring relief for the participants, but they marched on. Bruce Poliquin flew in from Bangor like a breath of fresh air to march with the Washington County Republican delegation with much eagerness. In much the same way that he faces the heat and attacks in Washington, D.C he presses forward to bring relief to Maine's 2nd District. From helping the veterans who have served our country to protecting our elderly, Bruce serves Maine and our country with integrity. He also has compassion for those he barely knows. The heat struck down our parade van and myself, and I appreciated the breeze of his kind concern and offer to help our situation. That type of compassion tells me that D.C. pride hasn't filled his head and he has a heart for us Mainers. That's one breeze to send back to Washington, D.C.! Joyce Simpson Whiting IMPORTANCE OF ROCKWEED TO COASTAL ECOSYSTEM To the editor: In the July 13 issue of The Quoddy Tides, John Rule covered the dispute in Lubec over rockweed harvesting and Fred Hartman's letter questioned the wisdom of cutting rockweed commercially. Cheryl Sawtelle of Lubec laments the disappearance of nearly all the birds in the bays and blames it on the harvesting of rockweed. She is quite right about the loss of birds; it is a tragedy that will leave us with nothing but scenery if we contin- ue as usual. But there' are several causes of the decline of fish and bkds; large- scale rockweed removal is just pounding nails in the coffin. Fred Hartman argues that rockweed is at the base of the food chain and large- scale removal will only speed up the de- cline of coastal fisheries and wildlife. According to ecologists and to research evidence, he is right. Rockweed harvesters argue that they provide needed jobs and do no harm to the environment. I believe the evidence points to potential harm to fisheries in- cluding wrinkles, clams, cod and lobster. As for rockweed harvesting jobs, Aca- dian Seaplants Ltd by far the largest company, says it has six or seven full- time employees in Maine, plus 25-30 sea- sonal boat workers, some of them not Maine residents. The vast bulk of the rockweed goes to New Brunswick for pro- cessing, mostly for fertilizer. For a small number of harvesting jobs we are putting at risk our coastal fisheries and birds, our outdoor recreation, our tourism industry and the values of living next to wildlife. For no good reason, we are cheating our future generations. This is a poor bargain. We would get more jobs by protecting the rockweed, and the other values are at least as important. Thai is why my brother Carl and I took the case of rockweed ownership to court. Whether we win or lose, the problem we all face is how to keep the entire coastal ecosystem from collapsing. Ken Ross Robbinston CANNERY PROGRAM A SUCCESS To the editor: This letter is a "thank you" to all throughout our community who worked to make the Pembroke Historical Soci- ety's (PHS) July 16 "History of the Sun- set Packing Company" sardine cannery program a great success. Over 70 people attended, a record turnout for the PHS, which usually draws 30 to 40 people for a program. Many people worked very hard on the project. Outgoing PHS President Sue Rowley contacted local people interested in the program and served as a presenta- tion reader, as did I. New PHS President Kris Paprocki welcomed the audience and assisted with set up. Jim Sherman drove up from Machiasport to perform two songs, one about the herring fishery, the other about cannery work. Ginnie Stevens and John Tapia assisted greatly with set- ring up and greeting the crowd. Because PHS program attendance has outgrown the space at the museum, the Pembroke Library provided its large meet- ing room for the program - as it has been doing for two years - and offered much valued encouragement. Fred and Linda Gralenski are true treasures of the com- munity. There were also several people in at- tendance who had worked at Sunset Pack- ing prior to its closing in 1962. Herbie and Eileen Clark spoke of their work ex- perience, with many others too numerous to name adding to the evening's discus- sion. Also present were descendants of the cannery's founder, James Abernathy, including James Brown Jr who contrib- uted much historic detail to the interactive program. Jeanne Brooks White, also an Aberuathy descendent, was unable to at- tend, but provided a long and detailed reminiscence of work at the cannery and its place in village life. Others contributed experiences and sto- ries, as well as photographs and artifacts. Local media helped to publicize the event, especially Melissa Cushing, who writes the Pembroke column for The Quoddy Tides. Most of all, I want to thank the PHS's volunteer Curator Susan Sanfilip- po, who brought together over 30 years of professional museum and teaching expe- rience and at least 200 hours of research and organization in creating a narration that was both highly informative and beautifully written. Best of all was the feeling of the small all-volunteer work- force of the PHS in seeing the joy on the faces of those who attended. The evening was like a company picnic, a class re- union and a town holiday all rolled into one, with a good dose of history thrown in for good measure. The PHS looks forward to continued service to the community and is hoping for good turnouts for August 20 - "Poach- ing on the Border"; September 17 - "New England 'Chowdah'"; and October 15 - Apples of Maine," each at 6:30 p.m. at the fully handicap~accessible Pembroke Li- brary. All programs are free. For informa- tion, e-mail . Stephen Sanfilippo Pembroke PROTECT MEDICARE To the editor: ~. For over half a century, Americans have paid into the Medicare system with the expectation that they will have access to healthcare in retirement. For those 65- plus, Medicare provides more affordable health coverage where private insurance would cost seniors out of the market. It is of paramount importance for Mainers cur- rently on Medicare, and for those who will need it in the future, that the program continues as promised. In Maine, with long winters and high heating costs, the financial burden of med- ical care without Medicare coverage could not be afforded on a retiree's fixed in- come. In 2015, Maine Medicare benefi- ciaries had a median personal income of $21,000, barely enough to cover life's ne- cessities such as food, utilities, transporta- tion, housing and medicine. In the upcoming election, the future of Medicare is on the line. The 300,000 Mainers on Medicare pay high enough out-of-pocket costs as it is. We need to protect Medicare to ensure the economic stability of our older residents in the years to come. Any additional medical financial strain would only jeopardize their inde- pendence. That's why AARP Maine is working to ensure that you know where the candidates stand on ihis important is- sue. You can learn more and take our pledge to vote in November at . Sammee Quong AARP Maine Advisory Council volunteer Augusta Oceans of blue and green by Max Pemberton My host had a fortnight's vacation time, I've been given the honour by the editorhence the timing of the visit, and had plen- to write a guest column, so first I suppose ty of things to show me, some of which I'd better introduce myself. I'm a Brit, a we achieved but of course all of which writer, currently residing in Cyprus in the involved a phenomenal amount of mile- eastern Mediterranean. I was invited to age. The first Friday we went down to the Maine in June last year by an old Brit Lubec Brewing Company, where there friend who's lived there for several years, was a fantastic crilidh band playing and a and, as my only experience of the states great atmosphere. Talking of atmosphere, previously was a whistle-stop visit to New we arrived in Lubec through a thick mist York a few years ago, this sounded more which would've put any Hollywood of an adventure. Holmes movie to shame, and the looming Now, bearing in mind I had to fly (six bridge over the water to Campobello just hours) to the UK for a stopover (two vanishing into it was stunning. hours) before then going on to Boston I don't want this to turn into a travel- (nine hours), the trip was quite laborious, ogue so Fll ~briefly cover some of the Not just the flying time but the check-in things I enjoyed. We went into Eastport a times and the now incredibly fastidious few times where I learned the tradition of security checks at each airport. On the hiding painted stones and relocating oth- plane to Boston we were asked to fill jn a ers. I frequented the Happy Crab with dol- form in order to enter the U.S which on lar bills pinned all over the place and arrival no one even asked for and was where the chef told me he'd played a po- information I eventually had to enter on lice officer in a movie filmed there (again an electronic console. By the time I finally of interest to me for reasons mentioned exited Boston airport, after trolling above) and where, below the Happy Crab, through those snake lines of people, it was I had a great waterside breakfast in the around 12p.m which with the time dif- diner (my first American diner!), the name ference was already 8 a.m. for me. I hadn't of which I forget. Also went into Calais a slept for 40 hours (nobody else' s fault but couple of times. Great library, especially mine - I can't sleep on planes). We even- regarding the kids. I was very impressed tually (Isay eventually, as my friend had with that. I went on a few hikes, one locked the keys in her truck, and we had ~ound Quoddy Head and lighthouse, of to wait for an emergency rescue guy to course, with its majestic north Atlantic scen- come and open it up) checked into a hotel ery. I discovered new terms like "weed for the night, ready for the five-hour drive wacker" (U.K. strimmer), and a "yard sale" back to Maine the next morning. I didn't (U.K. car boot, or garage sale), all fascinat- sleep then either. I'd gone past it and was ing stuff. I stayed in a log cabin where the on Cyprus time. And I felt quite queasy, toilette comprised of a water jug and a bowl, Dawn came and we set off. My friend was introduced to s'mores by a lakeside decided that on the way home she'd go campfire and I canoed on a lake. via Bangor and show me Stephen King's Going back to my title. Living in the house, an admirable thought as she knows Mediterranean I see plenty of blue - blue my interest in such things (I write a film sea, blue sky - but it's warm and gentle column), so of course I said, 'Fine,' hav- and certainly doesn't compare with your ing no idea of the distances involved. We beautiful, dramatic coastline. What I did got to Bangor, drove around a bit but nev- love most about the area was the ocean of er did find the house and, given the time, green. Cyprus is scorched earth, Brown decided to head for her home. And I'm and dry. The long drives through your still awake. And queasy. That was my first lush scenery gave me something my reti- experience of the vastness of the area yon nas had been deprived of for years. Green, live in. As I said, I'm from the U.K which and which was probably all the more vi- is an island (or a collection of) and I now brant because of it. It is really a wonderful live on another one, so it was impressive, part of the world, and one to which I No, it was mind boggling. We eventually would love to return if you'll have me. got to her place where I eventually threw I thank my host and the good people up but stayed awake for the rest of the day who made me feel welcome and, I hope, before finally crashing out and resetting interesting. my body clock. Happily the rest of the (Max Pemberton is a British writer cur- fortnight improved immensely, rently residing in Cyprus.)