Congressional candidate tours Aroostook sites

8 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE — Democratic Congressional Candidate Emily Cain traveled to The County last week to open her Aroostook office, tour businesses and talk to voters.

Her first stop was in Bridgewater at the Wood Prairie Farm. There, she met with owner Jim Gerritsen and his wife Megan to discuss the challenges faced by organic and family farmers. They had a long conversation about the changing farm economy.

“Maine is a wonderful place to live,” said Jim Gerritsen, “but in rural Maine it is hard to support yourself financially.” He noted that 70 percent of their business is now conducted online, and he and Cain discussed at length the need for internet access and expanded rural broadband to draw new businesses.

Cain’s second stop was in Presque Isle at the new, under-construction recreation center near Riverside Drive and Chapman Street. She toured the site with Presque Isle Planning and Development Director Ken Arndt, and learned about the history and construction of the new facility, which is being paid for using public and private funds raised by the community.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people contribute to this project and build something that’s really part of the community,” Cain said.

Next, she toured the Huber Engineered Woods facility in Easton, where she heard an overview of the company’s structure and examined the operations. The facility, which employs 136 staff on rotating shifts to work 24 hours a day, was buzzing with activity. She visited the processing areas of the plant, viewed intake and storage, and talked to employees in one of the control rooms.

Finally, Cain returned to Presque Isle to officially open her Aroostook County office and to meet with local residents and members of the Democratic Committee. She spoke at the opening, as did Presque Isle Representative Bob Saucier and David McCrea, a Fort Fairfield teacher running for the Maine Legislature.

In her speech, she referenced her activities from earlier in the day and called for Maine to “take control of our own economic future.” She promised to support increased infrastructure investment in rural Maine, particularly investments in rural broadband, which she called the “rural electrification of the 21st century.”