On Wednesday, May 24th, a crowd of over 100 concerned citizens attended a forum at the Coastal Christian Academy in Waldoboro on the challenges facing our lobster industry. The history of lobstering as a self-regulated, sustainable fishery, right whale protections, and the impact of offshore wind power were topics of focus by forum participants.
Representative and House Minority Leader William (Billy Bob) Faulkingham (HD 12) of Winter Harbor and a 4th generation lobsterman was the first speaker. He emphasized that the lobster industry has, historically, self-regulated to improve the lobster population citing how female lobsters are identified and then never harvested. He spoke about the government rules that have escalated to the point that small boats have a very difficult time handling the number of traps required per trawl line – regulations designed to minimize ropes running to the surface. He talked about the NOAA risk reduction regulations that would have effectively put the lobstering industry out of business last year and credited the Maine federal delegation, including Senator Susan Collins, for securing a 6-year reprieve on this onerous regulation. The lobby for offshore wind farms is crippling the lobster industry, with false claims that lobstering is harming the environment and the unsubstantiated narrative of lobster gear entanglement killing right whales.
Dustin Delano, Chief Operating Officer of the New England Fishermen Stewardship Association (NEFSA) and former vice president of the Maine Lobster Association (MLA), was the second speaker. He stressed that offshore wind environmental groups, some joining with and backed by large, multi-national corporations, are creating a hostile, environment designed to extinguish the lobster industry. Dustin described the floating, 900-foot wind turbines being secured to the ocean floor by chain links the size of vehicles that would sweep across the ocean floor effectively demolishing the local fishing ecosystem. Dustin reiterated that the proposed ropeless lobster trap system would be prohibitively expensive and simply would not work. Traps lines would be laid across each other with no ability to “float” to the surface – a proposal not grounded in data, science, or practical fishing experience.
Jason Joyce, is an eighth-generation lobsterman from Swan’s Island, was the final speaker and expressed general concern that there are not enough independent thinkers who research the facts about the fishing/lobster industry. He recounted recent testimony in Augusta by a spokesperson from the Audubon Society that the presence of wind farms 20 miles off shore will not interfere with birds, because no birds are there! This is simply not true but no one questioned the testimony – (remember the puffins)! Jason indicated that the current federal agency tasked with granting leases for windmills is the US Department of Interior which effectively shifted the obligation to do environmental impact studies from the application process to later in the actual project effectively minimizing this critical step in a permit/license process. He talked about the current flurry of whale deaths further south and the potential impact of off-shore wind related sonar activities on these whales – far greater danger then Maine lobster gear. Jason encouraged people to seek facts and take the time to understand what’s at stake because we need independent Maine thinkers to join this fight. The Gulf of Maine is the coveted prize of big wind money that will come at the expense of the Maine fishing industry.
Abden Simmons from Waldoboro closed the forum with a few remarks about his life-long experience in the fishing industry and desire to represent all constituents in House District 45 including the towns of Bremen, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington and Louds Island. He reminded residents to vote in the upcoming special election on June 13th.
This forum was sponsored by the Lincoln County Republican Committee whose monthly meetings often include outside speakers covering important local topics. See our Meetings and Holidays page.
Lincoln County Republicans held their Lincoln Day Dinner at the 1812 Farm in Bristol on February 11. The annual event celebrated the accomplishments of President Lincoln in word and song and was attended by well over 100 people.
Elected in November 1860 as our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln helped abolish slavery and unite the Union after the Civil War. Lincoln was celebrated for his writings, wisdom and rhetoric. Dressed in period attire, children from a local family movingly read the Gettysburg Address. The reading spoke to the Civil War, the purpose, the sacrifice, and the hope for healing. Republicans can be proud of our first Republican President, the sacrifice of the Union Army, and in particular, the sacrifice of Mainers who fought to remedy a great wrong. In many ways the Address speaks today to the heart of our nation and our hope for the future.
Musical selections were offered throughout the evening. Silence and pure respect filled the room as veterans saluted and hands were placed over hearts as Steve Karp of Waldoboro played The National Anthem on his violin. The children also offered a stirring rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” followed by a standing ovation. The room was filled with song as we joined Tim Connolly in singing “God Bless America” and “Proud to Be an American.”
Speakers for the evening were Steve Robinson, Editor of The Maine Wire and Heidi Sampson, State Representative from Alfred. Government overreach in Maine was an overriding theme in both speeches. Steve spoke about the lack of fiscal responsibility in our State, the state of education and the poor testing scores of our students. He also shared The Maine Wire’s plans for the future! Heidi Sampson serves on the Education Committee and spoke solely on what is happening in our schools relating to the infiltration of the woke progressive agenda and how its negative impact is affecting our children’s education, their socialization, and their emotional growth.
Over all, the gathering provided time for old and new friends to reconnect and pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President. Patriotism is alive and well!
The Lincoln County Republican women put on an elegant and well-attended Christmas Season fund-raising event at the Skidompha Library in Damariscotta. The four star buffet was provided by the group and included hot and cold Hors D’oeuvres, finger foods, and desserts Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages were served as well. Hanna Winchenbach, a very talented young cellist, entertained with several solos. Later in the evening Rick Bennett serenaded the group with songs including political parodies sung to Holly Jolly Christmas, Blue Christmas, and Do You Hear What I Hear. Rick followed up with several traditional beautifully sung Christmas carols and led the group in a very enthusiastic singing of O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, and ended with a rousing rendition of God Bless America. All present agreed that the stage lost a very talented singer and entertainer when Rick entered politics and are looking forward to next year.
Lincoln County Republican Committee
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