Swan’s Island: Ferry rates to rise again

Anna Belle Ward invites us to a special event that doesn’t happen very often: “Leah and Eric Staples are expecting twin boys on May 12. We would like to bless this growing family and celebrate with everyone who can come to a baby shower at the Church of God on Friday, April 12, at 6 p.m. Leah is registered on Amazon for a few of her specific needs. Thank you.”

Donna Wiegle encourages proactive behavior from us: “New proposed ferry rates were released on March 27, in a letter from the Maine DOT Commissioner, Bruce Van Note. In this letter I found on the North Haven Community page, the commissioner has offered to come to each island to meet with residents.”

“Dear Maine State Ferry Service Advisory Board members,” the commissioner wrote, “I wanted to let you know that I plan to meet with Islesboro representatives and residents on Saturday, April 13, from 2-4 p.m. This meeting is not required by the rulemaking process but is rather an additional listening session that resulted from a legislative request. The official April 24 rulemaking meeting in Belfast is still a go.

“Out of respect for the Maine State Ferry Service Advisory Board’s central primary role in assisting us in this matter, I wanted you to know of the meeting, and to let you know that I would entertain requests from other islands to have similar courtesy listening sessions as we work through the process of evaluating rate proposal options to address our budget shortfall from reduced ridership and increased costs. Respectfully, Bruce A. Van Note, Commissioner.”

Donna said, “I believe North Haven is planning on requesting a meeting and I think Vinalhaven will, too. I spoke with their town manager recently. We should request a meeting with the commissioner on the island to share our feelings on this latest increase.

“If he doesn’t hear anything from us, he will assume we are fine with another rate increase. Just an FYI in looking at these new rates, for someone to go to a medical appointment with a driver and reservations both ways will cost $83. For a family of five to go to the mainland without reservations will cost $67.50, with reservations will cost $102.50.

“The reason the rates are going up again so soon [anywhere from 15-20 percent, depending on the ticket] is mainly owing to decreased ridership after the last rate increase, particularly on Islesboro. An additional increase in rates will result in a further decrease in ridership. Continuing to raise fares is not the answer.”

We send out thoughts of wellness and healing to all those who have recently struggled with the flu and other illnesses. We also thank those angels who have provided many people with enriching, homemade chicken soup.

Happy birthday to Josiah Adam Joy, Seth Gordon Joy, Candis Joyce, Jenny M. Turner, Zachary Harvey, Theo May, Anna Carr, Isabella Joyce, Laurie Farley and Brian Krafjack.

If you have news to share, please email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. E-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 526-4488.

Kimberly Haller

Kimberly Haller

If you have news to share, email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition. Email me at [email protected]or call me at 526-4488.

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