Community responds to Christchurch

On Sunday, March 17, in response to the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, two days before, the people gathered for worship at Nativity Lutheran Church, Rockport, prayed “Move us to end hate and make your world whole.” Believing we can no longer remain silent, we, the undersigned, speak out now to condemn hatred, bigotry, racism and violence whenever and wherever it occurs.

We do so because all people are made in the image of God. We do so because our faith calls us to use our voices for change. We mourn the loss of life in Christchurch. We stand in solidarity with and support of Muslims around the world now living in fear that their houses of worship and prayer may be targets of hatred and violence. We realize that hatred of any sort does not develop in a vacuum. We must reject hate-fueled fear and speak out against white supremacy. We must speak and act in love toward those we see as different. We call upon community members, neighbors, and friends — of all faiths or none — to do the same.

The Rev. Wendy J. Anderson, Thomaston

Lydia Bendas, Union

Steven Bendas, Union

Carol M. Brazier, Waldoboro

Bruce and Sherry Cobb, Union

Sue and Bob Dawson, Tenants Harbor

Linda and Steve Downer, South Thomaston

Suzette Gilbert, Belfast

Donald Gjertsen, South Thomaston

Ken and Beth Guiseley, Hope

The Rev. Elaine Hewes, Blue Hill

Michael Hewes, Blue Hill

The Rev. Bonnie Hoffman, Lincolnville

Arleigh and Byron Huntley, Camden

Tina Huntley, Camden

Elaine Isakson, Rockland

Betty G. Long, Rockland

Theodore E. Long, Rockland

The Rev. Ralph Miller, Rockport

Mimi Moore, Thomaston

Jane Monhart, Lincolnville Center

Julie Moser, Camden

Russell Moser, Camden

Kimberly Murphy, Lincolnville

Dick and Judy Pelletier, Tenants Harbor

Donna Perry, Hope

The Rev. John Rafter, Camden

Michele Rafter, Camden

Richard Scanlon, Union

Harold Shields, Rockland

Stacey Shields, Rockland

Denise and Mark Stadler

Lynne Taylor, Camden

Marty Taylor, Camden

Ann Walker, Owls Head

Frederick J. Walker, Owls Head

Vaccine requirement violates First Amendment

I am writing today as a concerned mother and Maine citizen.

There’s a bill in Augusta called LD798 — it would forcefully remove kids from school if they are unvaccinated or unable to receive certain vaccines. If passed, it would remove philosophical and religious exemptions that we, as parents, can chose to exercise based on what is best for our children’s bodies and/or our beliefs. It is a push against our rights as parents and free citizens of America.

As the mother of a child who had to be hospitalized due to an adverse vaccine reaction, I cannot fathom why anyone should have to be forced to do this to their child. If LD798 should pass, my child would need to be injected with this, even though it would make him sick. Think about that! He could become ill enough to need hospitalization so that he can exercise his right to public school access. This is unbelievable to me!

The American Association of Pediatrics recently stated that its main goal for 2019 is to remove all religious exemptions from all states. With proper research, you can find that many vaccines contain questionable ingredients and the Vaccine Injury Court has, so far, had to pay out approximately $4 billion. The questionable ingredients include, but are not limited to: pork, beef, and aborted fetal cell lines (WI-38 in Varicella and MMR and MRC-5 found in Hepatitis A and Pentacel, to name just a few).

To say the least, these three ingredients alone cause refusal for many religious groups, vegetarians and vegans who are properly informed about vaccine ingredients. What will this do to Maine’s ethnic diversity in the school systems when many people either leave or later refuse to come here?

This is a direct violation of our First Amendment rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (there’s that word "free" again). So, what does this say about our elected officials who, when sworn in, had to state that they would uphold the entire Constitution of the United States of America? To me it seems more like a Big Pharma power trip and money-driven scheme to gain control of free American citizens.

What will happen to Maine’s economy when the state suddenly loses a portion (estimated currently at 5 percent) of its students, as well as college students (from Maine and other states/counties) who will not be able/willing to attend Maine colleges? Some educators will be forced out of a job for following their principles, or will suddenly need to homeschool their children. Property taxes will be affected. Government funding to Maine schools and the loss of great instructors would be devastating to what is already an unstable system.

Please remember that America was founded on religious freedom, which is why that is the First Amendment, and that any elected official who goes against this is clearly failing in the duty to uphold their oath and to properly do their job.

Let’s all remember this when it’s time for reelections. Call your representatives, and let’s defeat this bill!

Jessie Talbot

Washington

Mussel Ridge Hoops says thanks

Over the past weekend, teams from St. George, Rockland, Thomaston Camden and Cushing participated in the 24th annual Mussel Ridge Hoops Tournament. This year’s event was a huge success as usual and would not have been possible without the collective efforts of many, many individuals and businesses. I would like to thank the following for their selfless contributions that allowed nearly 70 second-, third- and fourth-graders to experience first-rate competition and hospitality, while raising more than $5,000 for the St. George Recreation Boosters, who support recreational offerings for the young people of St. George.

Thank you: St. George Town Office staff, particularly Patty St. Clair; St. George School staff, particularly Jan Letourneau, Randy Elwell, Cheryl Worthing and Janet Harjula; St. George Recreation Committee – Missy Gill, Meghan Benner, Gary Minery, Summer Ward, Cassie Kilbride, Jaime MacCaffray, Bryan Morse and Brandon Caron; community members Cindy Hall, Davin Putansu, Dan Miller, Jeanne Andreasen, Gerry Cushman, Michael Cushman; and innumerable people who donated food or their time to help.

Thanks to business sponsors: The Black Harpoon, Beckett’s Auto Service, Wa2Much Trucking, Midcoast Diesel, Benner Tree Service, Maritime Energy, Hutchinson Composites, Brooks Trap Mill, Superior Bait and Salt, Maine Coast Petroleum, The Miller Family, St. George Realty, Port Clyde Co-Op, J.K. Kalloch, G.C. Minery Plumbing and Heating, Granite Gardens, Clark Island Boat, Fuller Chevrolet, Mainely Boats, Hoppe’s Tree Service, Gill Timber Frame, Heal Accounting, Cushman Creative, Monhegan Boat, Strong Agency, Pietroski Electric, Fusion Audio/Video, Trackside Restaurant, Tenants Harbor Fishermen’s Co-Op, P.E. Handyman and Builders, Bean Group Real Estate Network, Hammer Down Construction, First National Bank, Puffins’ Nest, St. George Community Sailing, St. George Community Development, J.D. Miller Construction, TJ’s Lite Excavation, DJ Dan Miller, Linda Bean Vacation Properties, Perle Photography, Wiggins Meat Market, Rockland Ford, Midcoast Duct Cleaning, Neighbor to Neighbor, Onyx Worx Fitness, True Hall Realty, Ridge Forge Metalwork and Maine Printing.

Thanks also to Mark Haskell for his tournament coverage. Finally, a sincere thank-you to the players, coaches and fans for their help in making Mussel Ridge a success. What a great team effort by all involved.

Ben Vail

Director

St. George Parks and Recreation