Camden Herald Letters to the Editor

Jul 04, 2019

Pluecker a hypocrite

Self-proclaimed social justice warrior and former labor organizer turned state representative/farmer Bill Pluecker from Warren pays his interns an average of $3 per hour, according to his ad on the MOFGA website. The website information was updated after the independent legislator was elected to office, which further goes on to detail living conditions, some of which include buildings with no electricity.

The voting record of Mr. Pluecker shows that he strongly opposed making changes to the minimum-wage increases passed at the ballot box, which would have allowed other small businesses to make various accommodations to help soften the blows for the steep increases. All the while he is able to take advantage of current agricultural exemptions for minimum wages and overtime and rewards his hardworking interns, asked to work upwards of 50 hours per week, an average of $3 per hour.

He also voted against a bill, LD 857, increasing fines and accountability for wage violations for employers. The first-term Rep. Pluecker owns and operates Hatchet Cove Farm located on the Finntown Road in Warren with his wife, Reba Richardson.

Edward Courtenay

Warren

 

Bath Iron Works protester speaks out

On Saturday, June 22, the newest Arleigh Burke Aegis Destroyer was christened at the General Dynamics Defense Plant at Bath Iron Works. I was one of 22 people arrested that morning for blocking a public way as people came to the celebration of this guided missile destroyer. Nine of us refused to pay the bail bondsman's fee so we spent three days at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. I have been arrested dozens of times witnessing against nuclear first strike weapons systems and against these warships at BIW, because of the horror they represent. The reality is that our government has waged war indiscriminately using Aegis warships. They have launched cruise missiles into Bosnia, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other countries, and the record is one of indiscriminate destruction. These constitute crimes against peace and humanity.

In 1991, I was living at the Jonah House Community in Baltimore, and we drove up for the trial of the Aegis Plowshares (Phil Berrigan,, Tom Lewis, Kathy Boylan, Daniel Sicken and Barry Roth) who followed the Biblical mandate to "beat swords into plowshares" and hammered and poured their own blood on the USS Gettysburg at BIW. However, when we arrived, we learned that Judge Fields had released the protesters calling Phil Berrigan "the conscience of the community" for his witness. Since then, there have been many other creative acts of civil disobedience at BIW, all calling for disarmament.

In 2000 I moved to Maine and have held a vigil since then on a regular basis holding signs calling for the conversion of BIW to peaceful purposes. When I was arrested on June 22, I held a sign that said "War Is Over - No More Warships.” I believe In order for us to truly deal with all the needs of our society from the children at the Mexican border to climate change, it is necessary that we abolish war and the production of weapons of war. It is time to truly beat Swords into Plowshares by moving towards the conversion of BIW to peaceful purposes.

Being held in the Two Bridges Regional Jail was eye opener. It is filled with so many broken men who are being kept from being full human beings by inhumane warehousing. Through disarmament, we might just find the way to heal, through love and respect, those who are broken there and the so many other needs in our world. Give peace a chance.

Sincerely,

George Ostensen

Hope

 

Please explain

Democrats on the debate stage 100 percent support free health care for any migrant. As lifelong, law-abiding citizens, we pay $10,000 a year for health care. Many U.S. veterans do not have adequate health care. Would someone in the Democratic party please explain this anomaly to me?

Ralph Wallace
Rockport

 

Thank you from Jazz in June

Camden’s first Jazz in June Festival was a great success. Held June 14 to 16, we had a combination of terrific weather, wonderful musicians and an enthusiastic audience, which made for a great weekend. As one of the organizers, I wish to thank our many sponsors, volunteers and the hard-working staff of the Camden Opera House and the Camden Snow Bowl.

Local, regional and national artists offered a wonderfully varied program of music, culminating with The Kenny Barron Trio at the Camden Opera House on Saturday night, along with terrific performances from The Greg Abate Quartet and The Peter Dembski Group. A year of hard work and preparation made it all possible. Thank you all.

On to Jazz 2020. We are beginning work on next year’s program scheduled for June 11 to 14, 2020. We are already seeking sponsors, patrons and volunteers to make next year even more successful, while retaining the charm and quality of this wonderful town. Thank you all again and if you can help, please let us know.

Matt Brown
Jazz in June Committee

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