Cheers to growing Midcoast oyster farm

Ferda Farms is a vital part of Maine’s thriving aquaculture industry and blue economy, an economic sector seeking to conserve marine and freshwater environments while using them in a sustainable way to develop economic growth and produce resources such as energy and food. Thanks to entrepreneurs like Max Burtis, our state’s blue economy has grown sustainably in recent years, and according to the Maine International Trade Center, now has an economic impact of $3.2 billion and 33,300 jobs annually.

In addition to being part of this thriving Maine economic sector, Ferda Farms also partners with Educate Maine in many ways to develop the blue economy’s future workforce. They have been a participating employer in our Aquaculture Pioneers program since its launch three years ago, hiring and training summer interns and pre-apprentices. Max has reliably and enthusiastically participated in events to support the personal and professional development of young and new-to-the-sector talent. For the past two years they have also been a partner in the Maine Aquaculture Association’s registered apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in the nation. All this programming is designed to provide young adults with real-world, hands-on work and research experiences along the coast of Maine. The career exploration that learners receive from these experiences helps them develop the skills, connections, and industry-specific knowledge sought by their future employers.

Ferda Farms is a valuable partner and Educate Maine is excited to support their plans for growth.

Hannah Greene,
Senior workforce development specialist,
Educate Maine | Maine Career Catalyst

Maine Street trees are key

The trees on Maine St. are an important part of the town’s infrastructure. Did you know that buckled pavement and sidewalks near trees means they are lacking water? There is “permeable pavement” that lets rain and snow melt through to trees. With all respect to the historic character of our downtown, rather than brick-looking concrete, the permeable pavement will improve the health of existing trees and new trees planted. Picture, if you will, two lines of trees on either side of the street, closed canopy, with benches beneath them and strolling shoppers smiling at each other and enjoying the shade on our sunny summer days.

It is important to keep the mature trees while planting a variety of new trees, to be sure there is some shade while we wait the years required for the new trees to cast their own shade. Our visitors will admire the consideration for comfort and appreciate the cool breezes as much as we do. Our lovely businesses up and down the street will benefit financially and enjoy happier customers.

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This is addressed to the Brunswick Town Council – although many other people have been involved in making these decisions and acquiescing to fear and limiting beliefs. It is not too late to reconsider. Take a breath and come together again with a more expansive vision. Town residents can only respect and appreciate that.

You choose to spend the money that could go to making our town more friendly and pleasant rather on an armored police vehicle. Do you see that your vision of life for our town is very disturbing? Your choices now create our future.

Nancy Coverstone, 
Brunswick

Congress right to support Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

With the recent votes in the U.S. Congress to provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, we are witnessing an encouraging sign that the stranglehold MAGA Republicans in the House have held on legislation may slowly be eroding, especially with the courageous decision by House Speaker Mike Johnson, himself a MAGA supporter, to allow a vote on these foreign policy issues.

Johnson must be commended for his decision, despite running the risk of losing his job due to opposition from far-right House members. The 311 bipartisan House vote to provide aid to Ukraine was almost evenly divided among Republicans, with 112 voting against the aid, and 101 for it. All 210 Democrats voted in favor. After the House passage Johnson said, “We did our work here, and I think history will judge it well.”

The allocation of aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, was approved by the House in three separate bills, a measure proposed by Johnson to get the foreign aid legislation approved over the opposition of many of his isolationist Republican colleagues. In the Senate, the three bills were combined into one $95 billion bill that passed the Senate July 23 by a vote of 79-18 and now goes to President Biden for his signature.

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The passage of this legislation sends a powerful message to the world that the United States stands ready to assist its partners in promoting stability, security, and prosperity in regions facing geopolitical tensions and conflicts.

And, Speaker Johnson’s decision to change from opposing the legislation to supporting and promoting it highlights the importance of dialogue and compromise in our political system. In a time when political polarization dominates the headlines, it is refreshing to see a leader who is willing to listen to opposing viewpoints and act in the best interests of the nation he serves.

Wendy Ross,
Wiscasset

Tepler for Senate

If you live in Sagadahoc County or Dresden, do yourself a big favor and vote for Denise Tepler for Senate on June 11.

There will be no surprises with Denise. She has a solid record of public service, accomplishments and experience. She’s a known quantity! My community in Topsham is especially grateful to Denise for her guidance some years ago in helping to get 24-hour quick-response rescue squad service in Topsham. Before that, Topsham was dependent on volunteers at nighttime, with some having to wait as long as 35 minutes for the rescue squad to show up.

If you appreciate someone with mature judgment and a thoughtful approach to the issues, please consider voting for Denise Tepler in the Democratic Primary on June 11.

Eve Thorson,
Topsham

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