Tariffs hit home

The lobster and fishing industries of our state dominate the market in America, and they are some of our biggest local moneymakers. However, with recent tariffs put in place by the Trump administration on steel, many lobster trap makers worry their rates of production and prices might be negatively affected. On top of that, China, whose enormous and fast-growing middle class has become an enormous buyer of Maine fish and lobster, recently added new tariffs on U.S. seafood imports.

Thankfully, Maine’s lobster industry has yet to be severely impacted by these restrictions. We are enjoying our usual summer boom as tourists flock to enjoy our signature seafood. Nonetheless, it’s all too easy to get lost in all the talk of international trade and the big, scary terms like “trade war.” But we can’t forget that these decisions in places as far away as China, in fact, affect the very beaches and bays in our backyards.

We, the voting public, need to support our fishing industry and hold our leaders accountable for the decisions they make in trade and commerce. Contact your representatives and show up to your local town halls to tell your fellow residents how the economy is going for you. More importantly, support your local fishing unions and the Maine AFL-CIO to help protect workers bargaining rights.

Washington and big business must not forget the surprising but vital role our state plays in the global economy.

Christopher Hassan


A tale of ambition and greed

I was skeptical. I like my summer entertainment “light.” The Bard’s comedies with lovers frolicking in pastoral woodlands also seem more appropriate for open-air theater. I was wrong. Ten Bucks Theater’s production of “Macbeth” is a topical production well-suited for Maine’s outdoor venues — including the Orono Library on July 27.

“Macbeth” is about ambition and power. Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s violence and deceit in their ascent to the Scottish throne wreak havoc on them and their subjects. This particular production is distinguished by its moral insistence. In their noble bearings, subtly conveyed temperaments and emotional investments in their roles, Barrett Hammond (Macbeth), Liz Mills (Banquo) and Nathan Roach (Macduff) never let the audience forget the moral and ethical considerations implicit in all human actions — and especially in political conduct.

Orono’s amphitheater is ideal. Spare stone slabs moored by a real fire, whose intensity increases with the emotional intensity of the drama, create the impression of medieval ramparts in remote Scotland. The amphitheater’s granite steps and benches lend to the scene’s austerity.

As night lowers over the audience, the violent deaths are followed by haunting thrush songs from real birds in the undergrowth. Because the set is open, the bloodied ghosts of assassinated characters haunt the scenes and remind the audience of the incalculable cost of ambition and greed. When Great Birnam Wood literally marches to Dunsinane, this audience member thrilled at the aptness of the scene and the benefits of living in Maine where art thrives amid rock and wilderness.

Laura Cowan

Andrews for Maine Senate

State Senate District 4 candidate Sue Mackey Andrews has visited my community and has invited me to participate in door-to-door visits in a number of towns. People have raised many concerns during these events, and in each case Andrews has been an active and empathetic listener. She understands residents of her district to be vitally interested in the welfare of families and children, including worries about caring for aging family members, domestic abuse, intergenerational parenting and the devastating impact of addictions on our households and neighborhoods.

The dignity of small towns and local communities is crucial to many who are hopeful to maintain local strengths, including participation in the education of their children, access to quality health care and services to people in need.

Andrews has spent her entire career consulting with and overseeing important community projects. She has brought related issues to Augusta countless times, and she is eager to do so as our state senator. Most importantly, she has earned a reputation of respecting others and being respected, enabling her to collaborate with people who have different points of view and share her goal of service to those she represents.

I heartily endorse the candidacy of Andrews for District 4.

Carol Ippoliti


Bruce no Moose

I suspect Rep. Bruce Poliquin would like to be a Moose. But he can’t.

I’m talking about the mythical Moose Party in Maine. They are opposed by the Mighty Bears.

The Moose and Bears both value Maine kind of living. Common sense, basically frugal, respect for the land, fair-minded living.

Poliquin is not only a Washington politician, he is leading the Republicans’ assault on food stamps, a program that helps truly needy Mainers.

A Moose in Maine would personally know someone getting-by as a single person raising three kids. And a Moose might well know someone who, without knowledge of drug companies’ promotion tactics, got hooked on painkillers.

Even the Bears know that expanding Medicaid in the state is a sure way to help save Maine rural hospitals. Poliquin doesn’t know that.

But Poliquin, dressed-up and glib, is not a Moose. He is not even a Bear.

Robb Cook


Herbig for Maine Senate

Rep. Erin Herbig is a strong advocate for working families across Waldo County. As a business owner in my early 20s, I’m often thinking about how to balance the success of my business with starting a family and remaining in Waldo County. Herbig supports people like me by advocating for affordable child care and health care, significantly lowering the burden for working families.

It’s important to me that my elected officials not only advocate for policies that positively impact businesses in Waldo County, but also put people and communities at the forefront of that legislation. Herbig’s Waldo County Works business tour is a prime example of the kind of leadership we need in Waldo County. Her dedication to ensuring that business owners across our county have opportunities to make their voices heard makes me confident that Herbig will continue to advocate for policies that support positive growth and development throughout our communities.

Herbig cares about Waldo County and has proven her commitment to growing our vibrant businesses and neighborhoods. We need a state senator who cares about the future of our communities. We need Herbig.

Rachel Epperly

Stockton Springs