Castine lets its lifeblood down

Dear Editor:

It’s a real shame that some people in this town can’t support the institution that is the very lifeblood of this town.

Without Maine Maritime Academy there would be little to no chance of any businesses succeeding in this town as we are the only people here (for the most part) in the winter. I have never been so sickened, disgusted and disheartened in my life by people and their selfishness in a community that I call home.

As a student of the academy that lives in Castine year-round, it is amazing to see the change in the way people treat you (only in the summer) when they think you don’t belong here or whatever the reason may be. Of course there are a few midshipmen who can’t behave themselves properly, but that is life people. You can’t judge an entire group of people based on the actions of a few bad apples. Just like I choose not to judge all the residents of Castine and group them in with the few or many (whichever it may be) who choose to complain. And you need to understand and be a little more lenient in these complicated times.

I live on Tarrantine Street and do not hear the hums or feel any vibrations. I learned to live on that ship for over two months directly above the engine and machinery spaces. Now yes, if you live on the water or closer than I do I’m sure you hear a little bit of it and may possibly feel some sort of disturbance, but nothing major. And to anyone who thinks the generators run for our own comfort, let me correct you. Those generators and single low-sulfur diesel engine are on to meet USCG requirements mandated by federal training requirements so that my fellow mariners can meet those requirements and graduate. And the emissions and fuel used by those generators and engine are more regulated and scrutinized by the EPA and federal government than your car or truck.

When you look up Castine, Maine, one of the first things that pops up on Google is a picture of our school and our ship. If you moved here, vacation here, or even visit here, you know that there is a large ship here. We have been here since 1941 and have no plans on leaving. If you like to get two-day shipping on your Amazon packages, cheap parts for your car, clothes, computers or anything else like that, I suggest you take a look at who gets those products here for you: United States merchant marines.

So please, the next time you want to complain or issue a noise complaint remember the young men and women who are trying to finish out their training so that we can continue to bring this country and you the things it needs to keep running; whether it be in the face of a global pandemic or major war, we are proud to deliver the goods and protect it when we are called upon to do so and will continue to do so.

Shawn Merrill


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