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Belfast Area Transition

Times VOL. 11, NO. 1239

JANUARY 6, 2021


So much of the debate about the future of our planet is grim with dire predictions. The Belfast Area Transition Initiative wanted to get people thinking about positive changes we, here in Waldo County, can make to alter the future. We wanted to look ahead with clear-eyed optimism about what could be done, and we believed that the best way to do that was to look back. And so, we have looked back in this publication, at the years from 2010 through 2020 and all that has been done in the Belfast area to address the end of peak oil, economic instability, and the climate crisis during that time. We do not claim this to be a thorough treatment of the topic. Rather, we invite you to join our vision quest by writing your dreams of a sustainable future and submitting them to our website,

Our Farm Renaissance By John Piotti

Eleanor Dodson rode to the farmers’ market in her electric car designed by Bill Drinkwater. Dodson is a new member of the Mobile Monroe Car Collective.

Passy Transition Bank looks back on its history By Paul Eagle

The Passy T-Bank began simply by brokering and recording work exchanges. Soon, many people were suggesting great ideas for small and co-op enterprises that would directly benefit our region.

The first of many no-interest loans was issued in 2012 to the Mobile Monroe car collective. From the outset, T-Bank has maintained regional skillshare, toolshare, foodshare and rideshare boards online and at the Belfast Co-op community room. A big boost in popularity came in 2013 when almost all T-Banks net-

My family just gathered for Christmas and New Years at our home on Cedar Street, just as we have for a generation. And once again the centerpiece of our holiday meals was meat my family raised, cheese we made, and summer produce we put up from our gardens, intermixed with a wide variety of delicious products from local farms. By making a conscious decision to eat more seasonally and locally, the people of Waldo County have collectively made a huge impact. We have spurred the creation of dozens of new farms in once distressed rural areas. And that, in turn, has supported the larger local economy in so many other ways (because those farmers rely on so many other local services, be it bankers or equipment dealers or hardware stores). Of course, we’ve also seen the change to our tourist industry. Way back

when, Belfast was happy to capture auto-tourists for a few hours on their way between Camden and Bar Harbor. But now “agritourists” come to stay for a week or more at Waldo County farms. Meanwhile, Belfast has become a destination for culinary tourists who want to experience what some of America’s most innovative chefs can do with the products from our fields and waters. But none of it would have lasted were it not for our local farmers, who consistently gave consumers what they wanted. In Waldo County, we’ve been fortunate to have had many existing famers expand or change their operations to better serve local markets, as well as many entering farmers begin exciting new operations. In hindsight it all seems simple; but the truth is that despite great farmers and great promise, we faced a huge challenge in 2010. At • FARM Page 8

worked together so people could keep their account balance when they moved and exchange with anyone, anywhere it was practical to do so. Today, seven years later, T-Banks are a normal part of our vibrant local economy and tomorrow’s outlook is even brighter, as we build the future together through new collaborations and alliances.

We may be slow, but we’re the way to go 120-foot schooner, the Toni Mailloux, launches this week in the Belfast Harbor By Judith Holland

French & Webb announced this week the completion of the Toni Mallioux, a 120-foot schooner named for longtime Waldo Independent journalist. Commissioned by the sailing cooperative Sail Transport, whose motto is, “We may be slow, but we’re the way to go,” the organization has taken a multilayered approach to the recent changes

in the shipping industry, including training and environmental studies as part of their mission. “Worldwide, over 50% of local goods imported and exported today come and go under sail,” said Sail Transport Co-op Manager Catnip Henrion from her office on the Belfast waterfront. “With careful planning, items arrive in good condition; that is what our customers care about and that’s what we aim to provide.”

The design for the Toni Mailloux incorporates floating classrooms for local environmental apprenticeship programs and for training crews as future shipmates on sailing vessels. Classes will be starting in the fall, led by Belfast’s Sail Transport program professionals. The organization has ties with the International Green-Packaging Alliance, known for emphasizing employment opportunities for women.

Belfast Area Transition Times

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January 6, 2021


About Us This newspaper is purely fictional in content. We do not hope to represent all that is possible in Belfast’s future, but to spark the creative process in addressing the challenges ahead. Thank you to all who contributed, to all who advertised, and to all who read what is written here. The Belfast Area Transition Initiative holds monthly meetings, as well as weekly Transition Café social gatherings (currently Mondays at 5 PM, Belfast Co-op). Check out our activities at belfast Managing Editor: Jennifer Hill Contributors: Judith Holland Paul Eagle Andrew Watkins Marshall Rolerson Chloe Chunn Steven Hutchings Brenda Harrington Patricia Estabrook Bindy Pendleton Toni Mailloux Bill Drinkwater Joel Krueger Paul Sheridan John Piotti Chris Grigsby Caitlin Hunter Anne Saggese Peter Baldwin Marina Delune Jane Sanford David Loxtercamp Susan Cutting Anne Atkinson Jeffrey Mabee Chuck Piper Erica Buswell Fran Clemetson

Plum trees with perennials, medicinal and culinary herbs thriving together.

Letters to the Editor To the Editor: I was driving my electric farm truck to the market on Front Street when an acorn ricocheted off my front solar panel, which made me notice the young tree I’ve been driving by for the last 7 years. It was an early variety of white oak, with edible nuts. I remember when that tree was planted, with several other nut trees along the trolley lines of Front Street and Northport Avenue. It took a huge effort, from middleschoolers to master gardeners. Mike Hurley was there of Green Streets locking horns with Waldo County Permaculture’s Andrew Watkins about the proper placement of the trees. Looking back, I can see both sides of the argument. I’m awfully glad that the transition group decided on my choice of placement. Many have told me over the years how they make the trolley ride so pleasant. I pulled my truck over and found the nut. I whacked it with a tire iron and popped it into my mouth. It was delicious. Thank you, citizens of Belfast’s past, for being so forward thinking! Marshall Rolerson

Editorial Board: Betsy Garrold, Health, Clothing & Editorial Bindy Pendleton, Food & Agriculture Marshall Rolerson, Transportation Andrew Watkins, Community & Education Judith Holland, Economics & Business Denise Pendleton, Housing Jennifer Hill, Arts, Religion & Kids Special thanks to the Belfast Co-op and to Our Town Belfast This publication was inspired by The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience by Rob Hopkins.

Table of Contents Business .......................................... 10 Community ......................................... 3 Editorial .............................................. 2 Education ........................................... 3 Fine Ar t ............................................ 12 Food & Agriculture ............................... 4 Health & Wellness ............................... 8 Housing & Transpor tation .................. 11 Kid Stuff, Crossword ........................... 9 Religion .............................................. 5

To the Editor: Happy Tenth Anniversary, Belfast Area Transition Initiative! We’ve come a long way since we got together as a community and agreed we had to act in order to assure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all our neighbors and ourselves in Waldo County. Thanks to extensive cooperation and volunteerism from schools and community members all over, and to priority funding from the state, we now enjoy a network of walking trails throughout the county where people can connect to towns, school, the many preserved natural areas, and each other. Hundreds of miles of bike paths have enabled people to shop at farms, do errands, and go to school by bicycle. Not only have we successfully lowered our greenhouse emissions, but statistics show decreasing cases of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and stress-related illness. The mass effort to insulate and tighten up homes has cut the need for heating fuel in half. Painting all roads and rooftops white to reflect solar rays has reversed the global warming trend in our state that was wreaking havoc on our houses, infrastructure, and land through high-energy storms, winds, and microbursts. They now occur at rates of the 1950s, decreasing catastrophic damage. Another happy surprise has been the return of many species, marine and terrestrial, once at the edge of extinction. Thanks to the RSU 20 and MSAD 3 schools, area youth are prepared for green jobs and initiatives. Student health has improved markedly with all the outdoor activity and natural awareness at the schools. As a result, student attendance, participation, and test scores have soared. Our young people now see the environment as the indispensable, but still limited, resource that it is. They also have a better understanding of its spiritual impact on all people. In short, local people are feeling healthy, vigorous, hopeful, and up to the challenge of reversing the big threats of this decade: peak energy, dwindling carrying capacity, and eco-devastation. Important new insights, new ways of making and doing things, emphasis on core values (not just the economic bottom line), and a high level of cooperation are contributing to this change. Chloe Chunn To the Editor: Wow, where did the time go. It’s been 13 years since I moved here. Ten years since Belfast turned serious about it’s future and where it wanted to be in the years to come. I thank the circumstances that brought me here in 2007. In 2010 we started a little project called Transition and after a slow start, it bloomed into a many-year process

of redevelopment and resilience building. Moving toward resilience was a hard pill to swallow at first but we are better for it. It seems so simple on retrospect. We started with Transition, then added the other models; New Urbanism, Cool Communities, Agraria, and Main Street Preservation. Business alliances followed; BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), Slow Money, and The Local Chamber (fondly known as TLC). It started as a conversation and really became the Midcoast Miracle. To be sure, wonderful transitions occurred in other midcoast communities but I’ll just focus on this one, the one I live in. There came a realization that transition was not a part time endeavor to be done in meetings, and potlucks. True, they were needed but what really kicked this off was a realization that transition became personal and collective. So we started. We looked for points of transition; places where projects could happen and engage the community. It seems like the first one of note was the pedestrian way. Change just spiraled out from there. High Street, between Main Street and Macleods, was the first to change. People now really enjoy strolling through the Way. There are performers all summer long of every imaginable sort; puppeteers, hula hoopers, name it. Parts of Main Street and High Street were soon to follow. We had to readjust the flow of traffic but as soon as we realized it wasn’t about the money, but more about the motivation, the incentive, and the vision, change happened. Other projects started soon after; the Midcoast Transit Center, as part of the old Athena Health/MBNA complex, the new Performing Arts Center, the Midcoast Cooperative Business Center, and a community-wide permablitz process. I’m amazed at the amount of food that we grow inside the Route 1 loop. The transition farms, transition homes, energy park, and community food forest have had a remarkable effect on the vibrancy of Waldo County. Applied arts abound as cob sculptures have sprung up and were colored. Fruit grows on every street corner. Many kiosks let us know what is going on. There are many more walkers and bike riders plying the streets of Belfast. The train now runs between Portland and Bangor and the regional bus makes auto-ridership rare. Corporate media finally gave up its war for the airwaves and bandwidth so we have that in abundance to communicate with far flung friends and colleagues. I still admit to a taste for bananas but these are easily traded for maple syrup. What comes next? I can hardly wait. Andrew Watkins To the Editor: Here I am-95 years old-didn’t think I’d make it, but then 20 years ago the idea of creating our own reality took hold. I figured I would try it out, joined this group called Transition Town. It started out normal enough, but then we began to question what raising our consciousness meant. Mumbo Jumbo back then. Now we meet regularly to learn the latest quantum physics concepts and how we can choose our reactions to people and situations. We tap into “the Field” as it is called. Seems like the old fashioned god, but easier to understand. Thank goodness that there is peace in the world now. We can put our energy into growing and sharing food. Our healing groups go into our neighbors when they or their animals are sick. Just last week, old dying Joe sat right up in bed, spitting mad. Said he was on his way to this great white light when our hands pulled him back. Said, someone out there told him he still had things to do here- like giving back the two chickens he took from old Fred and also to practice being a more loving human being. I’ll create another few years, by that time I will need to replace my bionic brain. It’s worked well, but I think I’ve seen enough changes. It’s almost time to go back Home. Anne Atkinson

Belfast Area Transition Initiative

Belfast Area Transition Times

January 6, 2021

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First baby of the decade born at home


By Ellie Daniels

At seven minutes past midnight on January 1, 2021, a 10-pound, 11-ounce strapping baby boy was born in Waldo, the first child of the decade in Waldo County, Maine. Galileo Cosmo Boynton was welcomed by parents Noelle and Christopher, and big sister, Futura. The midwife attending the birth, one of nine fulltime midwives at Morningstar Midwifery, reflected on the decade past. “Since the

elimination of petroleum fuels, and the rationing of bio-fuel, home delivery has seen a sharp increase from a mere 2% of births in 2010, to nearly 82% at the close of 2020.”

Town of Waldo Notes from the Hungry Heron Farm, December 30, 2020 By Jennifer HIll

Another year, another decade here at the Hungry Heron Farm; it’s hard to believe I’m approaching the big 70 next year. I remember my grandmother telling me that people in their 60s are young; when you hit 70, you feel the difference. It’s funny, though, when I’m reclining comfortably with my eyes shut, I feel just the same as I did when I was 6. Running is a different story. • WALDO Page 11

Odlaw performs at the Belfast Free Library for New Year’s By the Bay 2021. PHOTO BY GEORGES NASHAN

Library introduces digital bookmobile By Brenda Harrington

On January 14, 2021 at 10 a.m. the Belfast Free Library will host an open house in front of the library to introduce the public to its new digital bookmobile. The vehicle, a bright purple solar

powered minivan, will be used to assist library patrons throughout the community to download books to a variety of electronic readers. The dates, times and locations of the mobile digital library will be announced at the grand opening, however the intention is to have the

van travel to a different location every weekday from 10am - 1pm. Everyone is invited to come and join the fun and sign up for your own e-reader on the 14th. Mulled Cider will be provided. For more information call the library at 338-3884.

Education “HandsOn” program Walker awarded 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has 100% placement of graduates By Patricia Estabrook

By Steven Hutchings

In a colorful graduation ceremony on December 22nd, 2020 Program Director Albert Waldish announced that all 27 Hands On Apprenticeship Academy members have been placed into area jobs. These students acquired their Journeyman’s licenses in their respective trades and most also earned Associates degrees. This is the second December Graduating Class since the Academy was founded in 2015. The Academy’s unique design is a partnership between Waldo County high schools including the Tech School, local colleges like Eastern Maine Community College, University of Maine and Maine Maritime along with area businesses including the Consortium that is producing off-shore wind farms. HandsOn Apprenticeship Academy is a private school in a public setting allowing high school students beginning their junior year entry into a four-year program of technical studies in high demand vocations in the current job force of Maine. Handson Apprenticeship Academy is a paradigm shift in education. With the obvious patronage of Maine’s Business and Manufacturing Community, it uses the model of separating high school students in the middle of their 4 year career and promotes a concentration into both the standard and newest trades. This model allows students to focus on particular studies that are most applicable to their interests and makes post High School education mandatory while at the same time exposing them to the high wages commensurate with their chosen trades.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to Ms. Kelly Walker for her extraordinary efforts in creating the International Union of Square Pegs. The Committee has attached special importance to Ms. Walker’s work to establish an international network of refuge spaces where youth who do not fit into the conventional mold can feel at home and can make their unique and important contributions to society. Walker, the youngest person ever to have received the Peace Prize, has created a new climate in international respect for all people. Focusing on games as a vehicle encouraging a sense of belonging and ownership for all young people Ms. Walker has recognized the importance of respect for the unconventional. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as

Kelly Walker instruments for resolving even the most difficult interpersonal problems. In the words of Walker, “I learned the importance of respect for the in-

dividual in Belfast, Maine. It was through participating at The Game Loft that I saw the potential for world peace through greater respect for the individual.” The International Union of Square Pegs is playing a constructive role in meeting the great challenges the world is confronting by honoring the contributions that are made by so-called “outsiders.” Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened not only through the play of non-electronic games but also through mutual understanding and respect. Only very rarely has a young person captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. Walker’s diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population with respect and consideration of the world’s minorities.

Brooks area students bake paw-paw pies By Susan Cutting

Elementary and middle schools students from Brooks and Monroe baked the first Paw-Paw pie on-record in the state of Maine. The students harvested and cooked this formerly southern fruit at Newforest Institute, where the trees were grown as part of their experimental educational food forest. Executive Director, Susan Cutting attributed the thriving Paw-Paw not to climate change, but to the successful establish-

ment of a suitable micro-climate. “We tucked this warmth-loving forest garden into the courtyard of our positive-energy permaculture campus,” she said. The students were at Newforest for the day as part of their project-based learning program, which constitutes a significant part of their curriculum. Over the past decade, all the schools in the MSAD3 school district partnered with Newforest and other NGOs in the area to give the students hands-on learning opportunities.

With the help of Newforest and the strong network of organic farmers in the area, most schools now grow and store all of the root vegetables they need for their school meals, and most of their other fruits and vegetables are grown in their school greenhouses. “We learn about math and science in the school garden - and we get to eat our homework!” 10-year-old, Sonia Dodson, exclaimed. • PIES Page 11

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January 6, 2021

Food & Agriculture Food for Waldo County announces plans to add restaurant By Bindy Pendleton

A showcase restaurant in the Matthews Brothers Complex is the next course for FFWC (Food for Waldo County). The menu will offer seasonal, locally-produced foods prepared in dishes from everyday to gourmet. Current partners in the Matthews Brothers Complex are the Belfast Co-op, City of Belfast, and Belfast Farmers’ Market. The kitchen will become one of the rotation sites for culinary students in local schools, interning chefs from Waldo County Technical Center, and the Belfast Farmers’ Market. Since the Matthews Complex houses storage facilities for Farmers’ Market vendors and the Belfast Co-op, much of the food will come directly from the building. Project Managers Erica Buswell and Scott Giroux said they are working with G-O Logic architects to incorporate restaurant waterfront views, passive solar design, and an adjacent greenhouse to grow greens, culinary herbs, and edible flowers year-round. Since 2011 FFWC has grown into a network of partnerships throughout Waldo County providing people with locally grown, sustainable, healthy foods. It is their mission to involve schools, youth, and experienced gardeners in growing, distributing, and preparing foods; and thus educate the community and foster resilience. Each school is partnered with another organization, and provides space for a ‘community garden’. Presently there are 6 official partners, each with a large tunnel greenhouse, a processing kitchen, and food storage areas. There are plans for a total of 10 partnered sites in Waldo County several in different stages of development. FFWC major network partners include: Belfast Co-op, Mt. View & Belfast area school systems, Voc School, Unity College, Hutchison Center, MOFGA, Maine Farmland Trust, WCGH, YMCA, Soup Kitchens, Methodist & UU Churches, and area CSAs. Recently our two area grocery stores Hannaford & Toziers have joined the group to add resilience to the community as well as to their businesses. It is hoped that the restaurant project will help inspire other partners to innovate ‘spin offs’ that foster community resilience and tap into the abundant creativity and skills that people have in Waldo County.

2021 Belfast Farmers’ Market News By Caitlin Hunter and Anne Saggese

The Belfast Farmers’ Market met recently to elect officers and set the market schedule for 2021. The market has spaces available for 10 new vendors this season. Priority will be given to Belfast residents and farmers from Waldo County. Thanks to a generous grant from GreenME, administered by the Maine Community Foundation, the market is relocating to the former Mathews Bros. Spring Street facility enabling it to be open year round. The building renamed ‘Spinney Center for Agricultural Commerce’, in honor of the markets’ longest active founding members, Sandy and John Spinney. The Spinney Center is able to offer on-site storage, a production kitchen, classroom space, and a meat processing facility open to the public twice a month for the processing of backyard meat animals. According to Fiona Hunter, Maine Farmers’ Market Coalition Director, all farmers’ markets represent a re-greening of Maine, but Belfast Farmers’ Market leads the rest in innovative community involvement and support. Newly elected Belfast Market president Lindsay Weiser, says “We look forward to serving Belfast

Sandra Spinney area and working with compatible organizations to bring local food and products year round to the people.” Chef Henry Saggese will lead the year’s first class, “From Freezer to Feast: creating meals from last summer’s stored bounty.” A full schedule of classes is available on the market’s website, www.belfastfarmersmarket. org. In addition, the market is taking applications for Backyard Food Production Scholarships. The market will be

using its demonstration garden on the roof of the market building to hold community gardening classes through the season. The scholarships are open to Waldo county residents. Produce from the garden will go to the Belfast Area High School to augment their classroom gardening efforts. The market is proud to co-sponsor one of the most popular classes at BAHS, Edible Botany. Local entertainers wishing to be part of the market should send a tweet to @ka-

tiaBFM. Take the Trolley to market and receive a punch on your trolley savings card. Ten punches earns you $10 in Market Bucks. Market hours: Tues - Sat, 8am - 2pm; breakfast & lunch stalls open including new vendor ’Peace Pizza’, serving from a woodfired oven. And the Spinney Center is always open with something going on! Visit, since 1980 and still growing, or for more information.

Hungry Heron Farm celebrates 10 years The Hungry Heron Farm had humble beginnings. Marshall Rolerson began clearing the land in the summer of 2010 and in 5 years time he had developed 4 acres of land, which have become an exciting part of the Belfast farm scene, providing such vegetables as lemon cucumbers and endive for farm tourists. The beautiful field at the Hungry Heron Farm is tree-lined with nut and fruit trees. Rolerson’s electric farm truck, known for its pokey pace down Route 7, is

always greeted with a friendly wave from this Belfast area character. “Wild-eyed kids that we were, still in our 50s; we’ve learned a lot since then.” — Marshall Rolerson In the past few years the Hungry Heron Farm has devoted much of its field to

its permaculture nursery, providing edible perennial plants that require less maintenance than typical gardens for people’s lawns in Belfast. In fact, lawns have all but disappeared in the past several years, causing many to remember the stinky lawnmowers and revel in the peacefulness of Saturday mornings without them. Rolerson likens the permaculture lawn to a garden of eden around the home and looks forward to many more years of nursing the plants that make it happen.

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Climate changes in past decade have moved FEDCO sale days up by 3 weeks and allowed many new food producing varieties to grow in our region.

Maine food policy goal reached By Erica Buswell

Back in 2006 Maine Food Policy Council adopted a goal to produce 80% of our caloric needs here in the State. At the time what seemed like rather overly ambitious goal has become attainable most of the year. Thanks to the vision of diverse groups of people and organizations, the dedicated and hard work of our farmers, fisherfolk and pioneering locavores, we have developed new programs and businesses like the Belfast Urban Gardening Initiative, the Waldo County Food Processing Co-operative, and Loco Freezing Plant. This infrastructure allows us to grow, store, and distribute local foods year round. Below is a hearty winter stir-fry which celebrates all Maine ingredients. Serve alongside a cold beer brewed at Marshall Wharf or wine from a local vineyard and you’ve got a meal that locavores dream about. • SHRIMP Page 5

First Hungry Heron Field newly cleared in 2010.

Belfast Area Transition Initiative

January 6, 2021

Belfast Area Transition Times

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Religion Solar panels were recently installed at the First Church in Belfast.

“Renaissance Project” launches new energy sources for First Church By Joel Krueger

This new year’s eve, the old Paul Revere bell atop the First Church will peel out, not only the end of the 24th New Year’s By the Bay celebration and the beginning of another new year, but also the end of a five year capital campaign and renovation project at the First Church in Belfast. New solar panels have been recently installed, covering parts of both the sanctuary and parish house roofs, new “mini” wind turbines (so small you can hardly see them) adorn the roof peaks and tower, and the interior is equipped with the latest “Intelligent Environment” technology, keeping temperature, humidity, air pollutants and even incoming light at appropriate levels, assuring a cleaner environment and greater longevity to the building and valuable assets such as the grand piano and the 1848 Steven’s Tracker organ. Inspiration for the “Renaissance Project” came from the church’s Open and Affirming Welcoming Statement adopted back in 2010, seeking to be a place of openness, accessible to all people, including those with disabilities. After renovating the front, back and side entrance areas, all that was needed was some work on the insides. One of the great things about The Renaissance Project was that much of the materials used came from local producers. The solar panels are some of the first, built by the new “Belfast Solar,” located on Perkins Road, an off-shoot of Matthew’s Brothers. The “mini” wind turbines come from “Winds of Change”, now in their fourth year in Northport. The project was paid with local donations and matching grants from state and federal sources, as well as grants from the United Church of Christ and other religious organizations. Perhaps even greater than all of the structural change however, is the change within the congregation itself. The now 400+ member First Church congregation, a member of the United Church of Christ denomination, has been inviting other communities of faith to share their building and engage in lively interfaith dialogue and joint ministries. They now include worship times for a small nondenominational church group, a Reformed Jewish congregation, Buddhist classes, an Islamic study group, and ongoing discussion with the Unitarian Universalist Church, with whom they have a long history. A comment from Joel Krueger, longtime co-pastor of the church, says it all, “We’ve been trying to change the image of First Church since we came here, from one of a museum filled only with history, to a living and breathing community of people, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

• SHRIMP from page 4 Maine Shrimp Stir-fry 1 # fresh Maine shrimpmeat 1/2 pound frozen snow peas 1/4 cup dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in 2 cups hot water 2 carrots, sliced in 1/8” rounds 1 large onion sliced in 1/4 “ rounds 1 daikon radish sliced into thin matchsticks

1/2 cup Thirty-Acre Farms saurkraut 4 cloves garlic sliced 1 heaping tablespoon minced local wild ginger 2 tablespoons Mainely Oils canola oil 1/3 cup Heiwa tamari 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water Flax seeds/other chopped nuts for garnish 1/2 teaspoon Maine Sea salt 1 1/2 cups Fiddler’s Green bulgur Prepare bulgur by draining the mushrooms (reserving the liquid) slicing into bite-sized pieces.

Dissolve salt in reserved mushroom liquid, adding more water to 3 cups of liquid. Bring liquid to a boil in saucepan, remove from heat adding bulgur. Stir, cover and set aside allowing bulgur to “cook” while you prepare vegetables for the stirfry. Heat oil in a large wok over high heat (about 30 seconds). Add onions and garlic to wok. Toss frequently allowing them to cook for about 2 minutes. Add carrots, daikon, mushrooms, snow peas, and saurkraut cooking till vegetables are crisp-tender, 45 minutes. Add shrimp and ginger continu-

ing to fry until the shrimp turns opaque. In the meantime, whisk together tamari, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of sea salt in a small bowl. When shrimp is cooked, add the sauce to the wok and stir. Once the sauce begins to boil, add cornstarch mix and cook for another minute or until sauce thickens and becomes shiny, coating all the vegetables. At this point, the bulgur should be cooked through (no liquid in bottom of the saucepan); plate the grains, top with generous servings of stir-fry and garnish with flax seeds/shopped nuts.

Belfast Area Transition Times

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January 6, 2021

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Belfast Area Transition Times

January 6, 2021

Health & Wellness Seaport Community Health Center marks ninth anniversary By David Loxterkamp, M.D.

Seaport Community Health Center (SCHC) marked its ninth anniversary this week. Notables from around Waldo County attended a celebration in honor of the center, but the main speakers were patients and “graduates” of programs that SCHC now offers. Those programs include: • the Community Garden, where participants not only learn how to eat properly, but how to raise their food with natural fertilizers and pesticides. • Walking Belfast, where diabetic patients experience the benefits of walking, on pathways that circle the grounds of SCHC and connect with the city’s acclaimed network of walking and bicycling paths. • Office Without Walls, a new program that “lends” SCHC health providers to area schools, children’s centers, retirement communities, and the YMCA to cofacilitate classes and hold special clinics. • Integrative Wellness Center, where the alternative and traditional healing community meets regularly with the Center’s Integrative Medicine providers for collaborative educational and clinical conferences. • Waldo County Dental, with open access for all regardless of ability to pay. The success of this program is owed to the community spirit of area dentists who volunteer their

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time each week, and resources from the Center that underwrite the cost for the 7 out of 10 county residents who meet the low income guidelines. • The Center was the first office in the state to offer First Care, a prepaid health insurance plan that covers ALL the expense of regular office visits, urgent and after-hour care, preventive health visits, vaccinations, screening tests such as mammograms, colonoscopies, & blood tests, health education programs & group visits, and membership to the YMCA. Dr. David Loxterkamp, retiring medical director of Seaport Community Health Care, noted that “we have known for years that the entire cost of basic primary care is about $500.00. Yet this small investment can save hundreds of thousands of dol-

lars per patient in unnecessary emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and expensive testing when primary care is readily accessible available.” The Center reached an important milestone recently when its 500th patient completed our two-year treatment program for opioid and alcohol dependency. The majority of graduates are now free of illicit and “replacement” narcotics, including methadone and buprenorphine; their sobriety is maintained through aftercare groups and AA/NA meetings that are held in the SCHC’s Community Meeting Facility. • Lastly, the Center is proud to have become a major teaching site for TuftsMaine Medical CenterMedical School, as well as for degree programs in nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, advanced nursing, and the UNE Physician Assistant Program. Here, students not only gain a knowledge base and skill set for treating patients within their profession domain, but team with other professionals in order to take full advantage of collective expertise. More than a dozen graduates of the program have chosen to remain in Waldo County. None of this would have been possible without the support and collaboration with Waldo County General Hospital, area physicians and other health providers, and civic leaders who have made this innovative program a national model.

Public Notice The Church Street windmill personal power tool re-charging station will be closed for repairs Wednesday, January 13th. Other re-charging stations will not be affected.

Crossword solution

Health Briefs Waldo County General Hospital Patient Testimonial • January 6, 2021 By Toni Mailloux

Waldo County General Hospital announced recently that visits to its emergency department are down for the first time in several decades as are the number of heart attacks and new cases of diabetes. “I’m not surprised,” I thought, “Those wellness programs they put in place a decade ago are paying off and not just for me.” My annual physical is today. I’m excited to see how low my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers are. My mind drifts back to when I used to dread this day. The last thing I wanted was to get another lecture from my doctor. She’d tell me I had to take better care of myself if I wanted to live a better life. I used to think, “Hey, it’s your job to make me healthy. Don’t try to shove that responsibility onto me.” After my physical, I’d be so relieved to have it over with that my husband and I would go to celebrate. I enjoyed the large fried fisherman’s platter, with chicken wings for an appetizer and German chocolate cake for dessert. Around the same time, I stared hearing about 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go! from my kids. The basics were that you should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day; limit recreational screen time to only 2 hours a day; get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day; and have 0 sodas and sugary drinks. The program was started to fight the obesity epidemic among children. Good idea, I thought, I don’t want my kids to be overweight. I started making small changes to help my children meet the guidelines. I tried to serve more vegetables and make the meat portions smaller. The kids loved the bean and veggie burritos and failed to notice the zucchini I added to the spaghetti sauce. I was also receiving a newsletter, Journey to Health, from the hospital. It helped with my meal planning, along with giving me tips for getting more exercise and lowering my stress level. I started keeping fresh fruits around. I pretended not to notice when my teenager grabbed an apple instead of soda as he walked to soccer practice and my toddler didn’t notice when I diluted his apple juice with water. At the hospital, they offered free Zumba Gold, Pilates and Yoga classes. My friend said she felt better when she attended a class before going home so I decided to give it a try. I really did feel better afterwards and my stress level was definitely lower. Wow, I thought. What a difference a decade has made! My kids are healthier and since I’m not longer obese I feel 10 years younger. I think my husband and I should go out and celebrate at that new vegetarian restaurant that we can walk to or if it snows, maybe we’ll go on our new cross-country skis.

KISS Healthcare Plan By Judith Holland

In December 2010 the “Keep It Simple” healthcare alliance and insurance plan started with a group of three middleaged, exhausted, nurses over their third cup of coffee. Inspired by seeing an editorial about food production and culture wars next to one about a nursing strike, the idea of a cooperative Health Care Alliance took shape. The KISS Healthcare Plan • HEALTH Page 11

• FARM from page 1 that point in time, we knew that one-third of Maine’s best farmland would be in transition in the next ten years, given the old age of so many farmland owners. We knew that much of that land would be lost to development were it not preserved. We also knew that many young farmers could not afford to begin if they had to pay a “developer’s price” for land they intended to farm. The only solution was for Maine Farmland Trust to preserve more farmland, so that more of that land could transition to new owners at lower prices. So another key piece of Waldo County’s farm renaissance was Maine Farmland Trust’s success preserving so much local farmland in the last decade. Quite simply, that would not have happened without so many local people supporting us. Together, we have made a real difference, creating here in Waldo County a model not only for elsewhere in Maine, but for the nation.

Belfast Area Transition Initiative

Belfast Area Transition Times

January 6, 2021

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Kid Stuff W hat was it like back then? By Peter Baldwin

In an ongoing series of articles on the history of Waldo County, Sonya Dodson traveled to Brooks for the following report. Mr. Baldwin, 10 years ago I was an infant when my mother planted seeds in the first field the Hungry Heron Farm ever cleared. What was Waldo County like back then? Why, Sonya, all you’ve known are the small subsistence farms and local cottage industries that have become the mainstay of our economy. Back in 2010, we didn’t know how powerful recycling dollars locally would be; we had no idea what a thriving eco-tourist business would contribute to our economy. How could we have known that folks would ride their bikes here week after week to study our local food production/distribution system? The distribution system was initially electronic, with people’s needs and offerings matched by a central computer program, but eventually relationships developed to the point that we have found it really isn’t necessary anymore. Our thriving Co-op store has been an anchor for the transition, as was MOFGA, and the transition town movement. One of the principles was “Everyone a Producer.” Whether it was an acre of sunflower seeds for oil, just an extra jar of sprouts, or a tray of buckwheat greens grown on the window ledge, everyone has become oriented to contributing. Mr. Baldwin, did you ever have a job? My teacher says that people used to work at jobs and get what they called “paychecks” every week. Oh, yeah. People back in the industrial age worked 8 hours a day straight through. They only had 1⁄2 hour in the middle of the day to eat their lunch! Imagine! They were fearful about giving up their jobs, too, but as you know there is plenty of work for everyone to do without them. Also, with the increase in physical labor and activity, people are much more healthy and fit today. Of course, abundant healthy food is available and processed and junk food is not and that is no small benefit to say the least! Sounds like we were on a collision course, with people wasting precious natural resources. Less oil has brought about less air travel. Thank goodness coal power stations have been shut down! One consequence of the major cutbacks in airlines and coal power plants has been cleaner air. That was great for our lungs, but not for dimming the sun and so global warming and erratic weather has been more of an extreme challenge than ever. But, we’re developing strategies to deal with controlling the crop environment to assist in pollination. The sliding hoop house, first developed by Elliot Coleman, has become an essential tool. All in all it has been a wild ride, but along with the grief and loss, has been a flowering of community. Also, not only do folks “produce it local” when it comes to food and essential goods and services, but, wow, when it comes to music, dancing, sports, theater, and entertaining ourselves, no one could have imagined the richness we enjoy in that aspect of our new lives. And another unexpected bonus has been the revolution in our youth. Young people have risen to the occasion and now thrive on the new found purpose in their lives.












































































ACROSS 1. winner of Golden Globe award in 2020 4. what we shop for at the farmer’s market 8. bi ______: what we ride in town 10. one who opts for local food 12. abbreviation for time before noon 14. training program for high schoolers 15. past, present, future for verbs 16. the way we ride together in town 18. part of the global confederated system 19. those vehicles we rarely drive anymore 20. “Inch by inch, ____ by . . . “ 23. Ferber novel, “___ Big” 25. solar panel 27. no longer a universal pronoun 28. a kind of Trust 30. Ma’s husband 32. attaches to a mast 34. shade of paint 36. University town in Maine 37. what you don’t do to your grass anymore 39. abbreviation for cars that run on solar road 41. measure of cut wood 43. the part of the plant that’s underground 47. trains run on this 49. we’re going through this to get off peak oil 51. thoroughfare 53. one who grows the food

55. a type of pollution that involves loudness 56. sweet ___ -a yummy green vegetable 57. online abbreviation for amused 58. hospital area for crisis patients, abbreviation 60. word before “food” indicating taking your time 61. either/__ 63. king of the jungle 64. someone who lives nearby 67. occuring at intervals of three 68. more than just a want 70. 2-year-old’s favorite word 71. Spielberg character who phones home 72. Dorothy’s wizard 73. beet tops 74. ogle DOWN 1. lemon ________: yellow vegetables 2. formerly overused fossil fuel 3. to be, or _____ to be 5. the place food growers vend their produce 6. person with a pessimestic outlook 7. clear, hard part of solar road 9. those farm critters who go “moo” 11. walking stick 12. first name of Sail Transport Co-op Manager 13. do unto others ____ 17. eating bananas here is not doing this 21. we get this when we get to know our farmers

22. garden gold from household scraps 21. The Toni Mailloux is this type of ship 24. clothing is made from this material now 26. our footprint is smaller now 29. bring into harmony 31. deep purple rooted vegetable 33. if you’re not out, you’re this 35. we don’t watch much of this anymore 38. not one, but _____ 40. when a group of people plant perennials 42. home of the gray squirrel 38. learning old crafts 44. direction of zip way 45. information shop 46. members are owners of this store 48. we’re all together in this 50. we sit under this in the summer to keep cool 52. one of the 4H’s 54. advancing, as in tide 59. a kind of baron who hoards lots of money 62. Internet domain name of Eastern European Country 65. “Inconvenient Truth” filmmaker 66. what you can do on the train 69. first name of newly elected city counselor

See solution on page 8.

Belfast Area Transition Times

Page 10

January 6, 2021

Business Sundog awarded solar roads contract Belfast Co-op hits milestone after decade-long push for local resiliency By Chuck Piper

Sundog Energy Systems, a subsidiary of the Sundog Solar Store in Searsport has been awarded the latest solar roads contract by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT). This marks the 3rd solar road project that the company has been involved in since MDOT decided in 2019 to begin replacing asphalt roads with new solar road surfaces. This project is slated to replace 56 miles of blacktop on Route 1, from Camden to Ellsworth, with energy generating photovoltaic panels. It is estimated that once the project is completed, the new solar road will generate 1.1 giga watts of clean, renewable electricity each year. This technology, using mutual induction, eliminates range limitations for electric vehicles. Vehicles will recharge automatically as they travel

By Chris Grigsby and Fran Clemetson

down the road, eliminating the need for frequent stops to recharge. “Sundog Energy Systems is proud to be bringing this technology to Belfast”,

said CEO Chuck Piper. “This will provide a wonderful opportunity for creating Maine jobs while bringing a much needed energy source to Belfast.”

Local ecopreneur to be honored By Bill Drinkwater

In a celebration at the Spinney Center for Agricultural Commerce, Lester (Les) Farmer, local ecopreneur will be honored for his many contributions to Belfast area resiliency and vitality. The celebration, held on January 8th, 2021 will run from 5 PM until 9 PM, the event to include a pot luck public supper, appreciation ceremony, and entertainment with the local band, Skies Are Now Blue. Farmer, a former Wall Street titan, moved to Belfast in 2012 and has been financing and organizing many local cooperatives. Here are some examples of his

community-building endeavors over the years: • Belfast wood-gas burning snowplow built and operating to clear the main roads as his first community-benefit project shortly after his arrival. • He helped design the ‘Equivalent Food Traders Chart’for easier bartering, now used in many other communities as well. • In 2016 he spearheaded the effort to organize the local sailboat fishing fleet as a fresh fish market cooperative and local foods trading station, now located at the former restaurant on Front Street. This cooperative recently became an adjunct to the hugely successful Spinney Center, to which

Les donated the photo-voltaic roof panels. • In 2018 Les helped establish “BFST”, Belfast’s Low Power FM radio station enabling local residents to receive local news and, more importantly weather forecasts, critical to this mostly-agricultural community. His latest endeavor, hitting the roads last week, is an electric taxi and farm foods delivery service powered by solar panels and a small wind turbine at Main and Travis Streets. This marks Belfast’s first taxi service since the cost of gasoline hit $11 a gallon in 2015, and the old fashioned gasoline-powered taxis were permanently retired.

The Belfast Co-op continues to be a Maine leader in the local food movement as proven by their most recent milestone. The Co-op finished the year 2020 with half its total sales coming from locally grown products. This is an increase of 40% over the last decade. What do we attribute this increase to? Our customers and members supporting our efforts to source locally. Additionally, both farmers and members have tailored their eating and buying habits for seasonal local foods. Farmers are growing a larger variety of produce and have found innovative ways to extend their season while palates are creating new dishes. Over the past decade the Co-op has made investments in storage, distribution, and brokering, helping the Waldo County growers get their products beyond the walls of the Co-op. You can now find products from the midcoast region all over the state, even in the large chain grocery stores. Now that’s local resilience.

Next Gen Co-op . . . only a few said it couldn’t be done By Paul Sheridan

In spring of 2011,* the members voted in a new group of directors, seeing the need for some “aggressive dreaming.” They asked: What do we want the Belfast Co-op to be in 10 or 20 years? Only a food store? What else does the city need that cooperation can provide? The new store has been open for a few years now. It returns the building line back to where it belongs in a city, to the sidewalk, to provide interest, security and community in the best tradition of Jane Jacobs. Well-planned and

well built, to last a hundred or more years. No more “farm house add-ons,” leaking energy, with faulty wiring, and plumbing. This is solid, super-insulated, situated to maximize solar gain, with PV surfaces on sides and a living, green roof, it is much more than a store. Leased to a separate new corporation, Urban Co-op Homes, the apartments above the new store provide fireproof, accessible, lowest-possible-energy consumption downtown homes for both Belfast’s aging and starting-out residents. The success of rural Eco-Village was a great model,

but these have knockout views of Belfast Bay! Working with Interfaith Power and Light enabled the Co-op to use no oil or gas--not for heating, cooling, nor induction cooking--only 100% wind and hydro sourced electricity. The store needs more energy than the apartments, but visionary design made sure they complemented each other. The new-tech, notoxin storage batteries in the basement of the old store (reused as a regional food warehouse, and community kitchen, just two of the newer co-ops in town) accumulate power from the solar panels,

for use with the low-demand, all-LED lighting in the homes at night. Waste heat from grocery compressors is reused to heat the structure. Now these residents can walk: to work, play, meet, shop and more. Alternately, Waldo County electric buses stop in front, the Borrow-a-Bicycles are supplemented by the electric car loan program. This did not happen overnight-it was not easy. Many meetings with constituent groups planned the designs and secured the necessary 5000 members needed to commit. Financing was

a creative mix of government initiatives, guided by Cooperative Fund of New England, and National Co-op Bank. Each recognized that a vibrant mix of uses was essential to the city, the county, and the region. Employment is up, with higher livable wages overall for those who administer all the new programs. Other local businesses are benefiting from those salaries being spent in the community. Only a few said it couldn’t be done... *Co-op Annual Meeting, 3/27/11 (snow date, 4/3)

New hemp processing Waldonia Stock Report plant opens in former Blue Chips: The corn harvest exceeded local projected Stinson Cannery requirements once again, allowBy Paul Eagle

By Jane Sanford

The Waldo County Workers Cooperative celebrated the opening last Monday of the newest small industry in the County at the grand opening of the Waldo County Hemp Plant. Due in part to its recent legalization, fields of industrial hemp can be seen growing all over Belfast and Waldo County. The need for a local processing plant to add value to the crop had become apparent last August when a group of farmers and other entrepreneurs came to-

gether to form a worker owned cooperative. At this industrial processing plant, hemp will be turned into useful products. For construction there is fiber board, paneling, paints, varnishes, putty, and insulation. The hemp plant is versatile and can be made into paper, textiles, and food as well. The factory will eventually get up to speed producing rope, twine, gaskets, seatcovers, floor mats, and brake and clutch linings for the few automobiles still on the road.

ing the donation of 10 sacks of flour to the Northern sector food bank. Garlic remains strong, standing out in the current seasonal dip. Volatility: Citrus and bananas were all over the chart as markets reacted to the surprise arrival of a 3-masted sloop from Havana with a belly full of sunshine. However, losing so much local rye to flooding was anything but dryly humorous. Trends: The conservative movement just keeps on

Belfast Area Transition Initiative

growing as more and more people fix batches of sauerkraut or kimchee at home, join a canning party or timeshare a root cellar. Bread wheat and maple syrup are on the rise, apples and pears continue to fall.

January 6, 2021

Belfast Area Transition Times

Page 11

Housing & Transportation Belfast Cohousing receives international award By Jeffrey Mabee

Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage (Bel Coho) celebrated their 10th anniversary this week after receiving the prestigious Global Green Excellence Council’s Green Globe award. Bel Coho has garnered national attention since its initial homes were built using the technologies of certified passive haus standards, saving 90% heating costs. It has now been recognized internationally providing a model to cohousing communities in Ireland and England. Criteria for the Green Globe award include energy and food sustainability, cooperative community living and participation in green living practices education. Officials presented the award to community members in their beautiful common house where a festive meal had been prepared by adults and children together from the store of veggies in the root cellar. Said one community member, “It is a great honor to receive this award and it is fitting that we are celebrating with food grown on our land and cooking it with an induction stove which uses the sun’s energy to heat the meal and bake the bread.” The cohousers served 75 people, which is about average for their three weekly evening meals. The meal was followed by the usual Community Sing held in the Common House every Monday evening, when people from around the area bring their instruments, and a circle is formed with each musician in turn choosing the next song. While the fiddles and banjos were played, other cohousers, from teens to toddlers, were singing along along with the group while have fun knitting or playing board games. According to one participant, “This is just another typical day at Bel Coho. It is a wonderful, productive, and joyful way to live the green life, in the riches of community life. In the ten years since its inception, Bel Coho has become a national model for sustainable living practices, largely feeding and clothing its residents with raw materials produced on-site or purchased from farms and businesses within a twenty-mile radius of Belfast. Their photovoltaic systems supply more than enough electric power to meet the needs of the entire community, and the nearly 100 residents, from families with young children to retirees, require only six vehicles to meet their transportation needs. Many residents ride bicycles year-round and the well-known horse and buggy team of Mark & Nervin regularly makes a trip into town for groceries for the community. During week days, Bel Coho rents its common house space to provide a multigenerational school space for Belfast area families. While these kids enjoy a car-free area, with plants growing in greenhouses and solar panels on roofs, Bel Coho is earning money to introduce them to the principles of ecological living! The students partner with Troy Howard Middle School, to offer an organic fruit and vegetable stand that includes eggs, goat yogurt and milk, as well as baked goods and crafts. Little did this group of people know what it would really mean when they decided in 2010 to get off oil. Here they are living in passive solar houses, making their own electricity from the sun, and feeding a good amount of it back into the grid. The electric cars are lined up in the parking lot plugged into the charging system, while work horses, goats, sheep and pigs graze nearby and fields are filled with acres of vegetables and fruit trees.

City receives transportation grant for solar-powered walkway, zip line By Marina Delune

It was announced this week that the City of Belfast has received a sizable grant from the Maine Department of Transportation for funding a solar-powered moving walkway and bicycle zip line so that

• WALDO from page 3 Gee, the past ten years have brought such change to Waldo County! I remember writing about plastics, back in 2010, worrying about how to live without plastic to wrap my lettuce. Who knew that celuloise would be invent-

• PIES from page 3 As the pies were cooking, the students had a tour of Newforest’s off-the-grid residential campus, where apprentices and local community members learn about forest gardening. Tiny houses made of wood, cob and strawbale are sprinkled among the gardens throughout campus. The students discussed how the various systems of composting toilets, photovoltaics, and heating compared

pedestrians and bicyclists can be assisted on their climb up Main Street’s formidable hill. Belfast, already regarded as the “Amsterdam of Maine,” is noted for its commitment to the promotion of bicycling as a primary source of transportation. 40% ed from plants? I love this product; it keeps my lettuce fresh for days. Lots of events going on, what with the Eco Village Christmas party and the Electric Vehicle rally. No need to go into all the events, though, what with the new library kiosk up in Belfast spreading the word about all community events. It’s so great to have the library open 24 hours a day, warm and bright, isn’t it? It makes car pooling so much easier.

with the systems at their homes and schools. As the students enjoyed the fruits of their labor, Sonia’s class-mate, Yukon Piper, added, “This herb tea is just like the one we make at school, it tastes good and it boosts your immune system!” The Newforest organic gardens were created back in 2007-10, as part of an effort to restore a parcel of land that had been degraded. Even in an area where the soils had been stripped and sold by the previous owner, a forest of fruit and nut trees, herbal and medicinal plants, and organic perennial and annual vegetables now grows.

of residents bicycle to work, and Belfast’s “Festival of Bikes” attracts tourists from across the country. The zip line and walkway are likely to increase tourism as well, particularly that of cruise line tourists wanting to explore downtown Main Street, who have previously been daunted by the

• HEALTH from page 8 aimed specifically at the ever-growing numbers of overfed undernourished baby boomers whose nutritionally induced health problems continued to strain the healthcare system with no solution in sight With the growing realization that good nutrition is linked to good health the proceeds from the monthly premium payments were allocated initially as follows: 30% of the funds to provide immediate and growing access to local foods, preferably organic. 30% of the funds were allocated to provide access to healthcare practitioners and healing modalities of choice. 40% of the funds were earmarked for acute or terminal health needs and emergencies. Jobs and training programs sprung up in coordination with MOFGA, the Cooperative Extension, Seaport Community Health Center and other state and federal agencies appearing at that time. With education and support for good food access, in two years time the general health of the

steep hill traveling up from the harbor. City Councilor Ena Lupine expressed her appreciation for the grant and added, “Belfast’s bicycle-friendly culture has increased its cachet as the hippest, most environmentally conscious, and friendliest city anywhere.” plan participants was greatly improved. Funds previously allotted for acute and emergency care were able to be redirected to the creation of “New Organic Food Access Team”. Food from local organic producers was made available through several outlets. Foods could be obtained on an affordable, order-ahead basis where healthful meals were prepared for pick up or daily delivery. People with hectic lives ate up the conveniently available, nutritionally dense food . The emphasis on eating well with local “fast” foods shifted much of the demand for healthcare services. The Plan’s final and perhaps most lasting contribution to addressing the crisis in healthcare costs was the additional focus on end-of life issues and choices in type of care provided. All participants filled out healthcare advanced directives stating their individual desires for end-oflife care. With clarity in establishing individual healthcare desires, the final year of a participant’s life became a much more fulfilling experience. Additionally, the then prevalent cost of 85 cents of every healthcare dollar spent in that final year was reduced by 90 percent. This savings was recycled into the wellness programs established by the Plan.

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Belfast Area Transition Times

January 6, 2021

Art by Anne Atkinson — She lives and paints in Belfast, Maine.

Belfast Area Transition Times  

So much of the debate about the future of our planet is grim with dire predictions. The Belfast Area Transition Initiative wanted to get peo...

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