Ruffled feathers

I am writing to you from what had been my perfect nesting perch above Leeman Highway in Bath. I have been a summer resident on this power line for decades, and by the way, despite the challenging Maine weather, my nest has lasted longer than some power lines.

It is not an easy journey to return to Maine each year. Imagine having to fly through storms and around cities, often without knowing where to find the next meal. So, when I arrive at my summer home, I am ready for a fish dinner and a nap. This year, I was astounded to find that my nest was gone and replaced with ugly yellow barriers.

Then you installed a perch directly over the southbound lane of Leeman Highway. You may think that showing some concern is a feather in your cap, but you would be wrong. It leaves me wondering just who has the bird-brained ideas. My nest was an iconic landmark in Bath, and my partner and I have many fans.

I am not giving up. You may have seen me wedging sticks between the yellow bars. Some say I am flipping you the bird. I will leave it to you to decide. Please reconsider your plan.

Signed with a wing and a prayer,
Osprey of Leeman Highway
(but, actually)
Joan Newkirk,
Bath

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Growing the next generation of aquaculturists

Maine’s coast and access to the ocean have always been an integral part of our economy. That will never change. But what is changing are some of the new and innovative ways in which our aquaculture industry is growing. We need to nurture and sustain that growth and foster future workers in this field to actualize its full potential.

Maine aquaculture is thriving. The blue economy sector seeks to both harvest and conserve marine and freshwater environments and their plants, fish and mollusks. By doing this sustainably, we produce needed resources and create economic growth. Maine’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.

Educate Maine is proud to host the third annual Aquaculture Pioneers Bootcamp this month in East Boothbay, through a new partnership with the Boothbay Sea and Science Center and with support from local employer partners like Pemaquid Oyster Company. This two-day experiential event is a short but intense opportunity to expose learners to highly sought after industry knowledge and skills and to connect them with industry leaders. Attendance at Bootcamp is the first step in a learner’s participation in the summer-long Aquaculture Pioneers program, in which they receive 10-12 weeks of paid work experience at a partner farm or hatchery along Maine’s coast.

Participants can receive internship credit through their college or high school and can be enrolled as pre-apprentices through the Maine Department of Labor and receive credit toward a future apprenticeship. The program is directly connected to the nation’s only Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture Technician registered apprenticeship program, sponsored by the Maine Aquaculture Association.

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Our 2024 “pioneers” range in age from 18 to 37. Six are University of Maine students, two are University of New England students, five are out of state college students, two are recent college graduates, and one is a high school student. It’s an amazing and diverse group of learners. They bring to the bootcamp a wide range in levels of experience and familiarity with aquaculture, and we couldn’t be more excited to help them prepare for the summer ahead and enable them experience firsthand what a career in Maine’s blue economy can look.

During the bootcamp participants will learn about Maine’s aquaculture industry, commonly used gear and gear maintenance, shellfish lifecycles and anatomy, and farm ambassadorship. Perhaps most exciting for us this year is that fact that they will receive four hours of knot tying and on-the-water boat safety training with staff at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center. Employers like Pemaquid Oyster Company greatly benefit when new hires can come prepared on day one with prior training in these skills. Pemaquid Oyster Company is also more than willing to support trainings and exploratory opportunities during the bootcamp. This year Pemaquid and Mook Sea Farm will provide participants with up-close farm tours, an invaluable opportunity for learners who have never stepped foot on an aquaculture farm and will be spending their summer on one.

Broadscale organizational collaborations like these are needed now more than ever to effectively address the diverse current and future needs of the aquaculture industry. Programs like Aquaculture Pioneers provide opportunities for needed relationship building between learners and current members of the industry. They also enable learners with diverse interests and backgrounds to see firsthand the breadth of career opportunities available to them in Maine aquaculture. However, it’s not just about imparting knowledge or providing networking opportunities, but also about building a shared sense of purpose and strengthening the community’s capacity to grow and innovate.

There is no question that these motivated learners are the key to continued expansion and innovation in Maine’s blue economy. We officially welcome them into the Aquaculture Pioneers Program, which we hope will spur a passion to become part of the next generation of Maine aquaculturists.

Smokey McKeen, head of operations at Pemaquid Oyster Company,
and Hannah Greene, senior workforce development specialist, Educate Maine

Train volunteers
I volunteer at the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railroad Museum almost every Saturday. I also donate money to them on occasion. I would like other readers of your paper, to either volunteer or donate, as well. Of course, visiting them in person, is a great experience as well.
I’ve always had a fascination with trains and all things train related. This goes all the way back to my childhood. I received my first trainset on Christmas, when I was four years old. I even had a professional photoshoot at a studio with a toy train set up. I get a lot of enjoyment from being a docent at the Museum. I love to share my knowledge and fascination of trains, with others.
This is why I’m asking your readers to join in the fun, with however they wish to help. The following website explains it all: WWF.org. Thank for your time.
Samuel Hewson,
Railroad Museum volunteer
Wilbur’s Woods project
I read with interest your article entitled “Brunswick Zoning Board rejects most arguments against proposed development”. I would like to have seen the writer note a fact that came up at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting but was never addressed by either the ZBA or mentioned in the article.
As stated by Alex Wiss, realtor with Keller Williams, “all homes, save two have already been reserved with a deposit.” What was raised at the ZBA meeting and not addressed is the fact that these single-family units were sold or “reserved” without the potential buyers being aware of the “second phase” of the development which includes a three story, 18-unit apartment building. This means that those potential buyers are also potential abutters who know nothing of what will be developed in their single-family home neighborhood.
Chance meetings with potential buyers have taken place in which conversations have led to buyers stating they “had no idea” this unit was slated for the second phase of the development of Wilbur’s Woods. The Brunswick Planning Board has pulled what I, and many others, consider a “bait and switch” on these potential buyers. Developer GreenMars touts this as “affordable housing” while charging a minimal $325 thousand per single family home. How long will people who can afford those homes stay before they decide they don’t want to live with a huge, out of the architectural norm for the area, 18-unit apartment building in the very middle of their single-family cul-de-sac. Interestingly, the photo depicted in the article did not show the monstrous apartment building but a lovely gazebo in the center of the homes.
I urge taxpayers, potential buyers who have “reserved” single family units in the Wilbur Woods Development and all neighbors to attend the ZBA final meeting on May 14.
Lori Bozeman,
Brunswick
Guzzetti for Senate
A senator is responsible for making major, life-impacting decisions that may then be put before the Governor for final say. That responsibility should be handled thoughtfully and intelligently by someone who thoroughly understands and is compassionate about the issues of today’s world. That is why I am supporting Jean Guzzetti for State Senate in District 24.
It’s important to me that my friends and family in District 24 are given voice by someone who will take the time to approach these major decisions from all angles and work hard to ensure their District is heard. I worked with Jean while she was Register of Probate for Sagadahoc County. In that role, she clearly demonstrated her ability to balance compassion with problem solving. Jean also worked for the Maine Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, and currently she’s in law school while raising her children and out knocking on doors. She dedicates time to understanding what truly matters by listening to people and getting their perspectives, then digs in to learn what resources are available or what possible other solutions there should be. I know Jean won’t stop there. She will work tirelessly to address the issues that my friends and family struggle with until a solution becomes reality. She demonstrates levels of thoughtfulness and intelligence that I believe will make her a great senator as she makes those life changing decisions that impact those I love. I believe
Jean Guzzetti is the senator we need for District 24.
Tatiana Curtis,
Woldoboro
Support Brunswick schools

We are residents of Thornton Oaks, a retirement community here in Brunswick.

While we do not have young children in the Brunswick schools, high-quality public education and fully funded schools still matter to us and are part of the reason we chose Brunswick as a place to live. We are committed to the principle of funding education not just because one has students presently enrolled in the schools but as a benefit to all residents of our community and beyond.

Therefore, we would appreciate your support for the 2024-2025 School Budget as submitted by the Brunswick School Department.

Please vote on June 11 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Brunswick Junior High School on Columbia Avenue.

Arthur and Deborah Pierce,
Brunswick

Catholics return to tradition
As a Roman Catholic woman, I grew up in the pre-Vatican II church where praying in Latin and the use of incense at Mass was taken for granted. Tim Sullivan reports in his well written article about how a growing number of Catholics are seeking out the old fashioned liturgical traditions. A return to past liturgies does not concern me.
Being Roman Catholic is not exclusively about singing hymns or celebrating the customs we are comfortable with in our parishes. Mass today is celebrated much differently than when Jesus broke bread and created the Eucharist during the Last Supper. In fact, in the universal church, the African Catholics celebrate Mass with cultural influences they are familiar with and the same with the Catholics who live in Asian countries.
What bothers me is how some who celebrate the medieval liturgical practices want to extend their beliefs into supporting the intolerance as quoted by Madison, Wisconsin, Rev. Scott Emerson. Sullivan reported how Emerson is blaming the falling church attendance on “atheists, journalists, politicians and the fallen-away Catholics.”
This extreme preaching is not Christian and does not belong in any Roman Catholic parish. Scripture does not support such intolerance. The Polish Saint Maximillian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest, was also a journalist. Saint Maximillian wrote anti-Nazi publications and was executed in 1941, in the Auschwitz death camp. We must support our moral responsibility to improve the human condition regardless of how we practice our religious traditions.

Juliana L’Heureux,

Topsham

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