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Monday, May 20, 2013: Exchange year, liberal president, Maine lobster


Two worlds

I’m standing on the edge. In less than a month, I will have been gone for nine months. I left my home, family and friends, fighting my tears, and now I have to do it all over again quite soon.

In August 2012, they found me a host family in Newport. I said my goodbyes, and there I was, walking into that airplane along with 12 other Dutch girls. We were nervous, anxious, overwhelmed but also excited; we were ready to start this adventure.

This Ayusa exchange year was a new beginning for me. A new family, new friends, a new life. I was blessed to be a part of this family. I had a family that cared about me, a family that would give me a hug whenever I needed it, a family with whom I shared my laughter and my tears, a family that loved me. Being an exchange student is amazing. An exchange year on the other side of the world challenged me intellectually and socially. But it was also hard when it came to homesickness; that’s when my friends kicked in. I can’t believe the amount of amazing friends I’ve made here.

Just weeks from now, I will pack all my clothes, and we will take our last pictures. We will dig deep inside to find the strength and conviction to adjust to change and still keep each other close. And somehow, in some way, we will find our place between these two worlds.

Tirza Ashruf


Mad at the left

As a staunch libertarian, I’m concerned about the loss of freedom and liberty at the hands of the central government, from how Obamacare was shoved through, to the loss of objectivity by America’s mostly leftist media. In recent days we’ve learned details of the Obama administration’s cover-up regarding its post-Benghazi public statements, including the gross inaccuracy of the president’s speech to the United Nations two weeks after the event.

It appears leftist media types, which had refused to look into Benghazi, are finally acting like journalists instead of Democratic Party hacks.

Further, these past few days we’ve learned about why senior Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats are apologizing — for having targeted conservative groups and tea party and Christian organizations during the process of applying for tax-exempt status. When asked about the situation, the White House’s spokesperson said “if” this happened then something would be done, making the statement after the IRS bureaucrats’ apologies were already made.

We’ve learned about the Justice Department’s dictatorial subpoena directed toward The Associated Press. I might add the AP is one of the liberal media’s own. It appears the leftist media may be finally awakening to what libertarian tea party members have been warning all along.

America’s leftist media, the American president, the Democratic Party, and the IRS deserve each other. I realize not all Democrats are bad, just those who put partisan politics ahead of lawful behavior. Let’s call them the Obama-Stalinist arm of the Democratic Party.

Dale Ferriere


Lobster, potatoes, money

Maine lacks processing plant capability compared to Canada. As a result, lobstermen are receiving less money per pound of lobster delivered, while dealers are making larger profits.

Last year’s price drop in the summer was detrimental to the industry and caused many to stop putting their boats in the water. Even CNBC ran a segment last year, noting that the boat price of lobster was making the industry unsustainable. Maine’s iconic business, the one that we once recognized on our license plates, is in jeopardy of losing its identity.

I was working at a restaurant in Cape Elizabeth and was stocking potatoes in the back.The giant stamp on the front said “Grown in Idaho.” There are many similarities between Idaho’s potato industry and the lobster industry of Maine. They are both nationally known, and more

importantly, both nationally respected for their quality. The big difference: The Idaho Potato Commission, which operates the marketing for Idaho potato growers, has an annual budget of $14 million. The Maine Lobster Promotion Council subsists on a little less: $300,000.

Although our governor will disapprove of this idea, now is the time to invest in the backbone of our economy. Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, should be applauded for his bill, LD 486, which would raise $3 million for the Maine Lobster Promotion Council by increasing the licensing fee that lobstermen, dealers and processors currently pay. This would look similar to Idaho’s system, which implements a statewide tax on potato growers. If the government stalls on this issue, we could see another stressful summer.

John Tranfaglia

Cape Elizabeth

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