Bricks and Mortars Takes to the Airwaves

Today I was interviewed by Jennifer Hill, host of "Finding Common Ground" on WBFY Community Radio in Belfast, Maine, and below you will find a link to that interview. The 50-minute interview focuses largely on plans by the Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms to build in Belfast one of the biggest industrial salmon farms in the world, on my Republican Journal newspaper coverage of Nordic, and on The Republican Journal's decision to fire me over my coverage of Nordic. I hope you find it interesting. Thank you and I hope this finds you well. Lawrence Reichard

Who Got to Dunkle?

From September 2014 to November 9, 2018, I was a columnist for The Republican Journal. In that time I wrote 75 columns for The Republican Journal.

On November 9, 2018, Dan Dunkle, news director for Courier Publications, owner of The Republican Journal, fired me by email. On November 15 The Republican Journal ran an editorial in which Dunkle attacked my journalism and somehow failed to mention, in 847 words, that he had fired me. On November 19, I submitted an op-ed of comparable length, and Republican Journal Editor Stephanie Grinnell told me I would be allowed only 500 words for my response to Dunkle's editorial. So The Republican Journal attacked my journalism with 847 words, and allowed me only 500 words to defend myself. Below you will find what would have been my response had The Republican Journal allowed me equal time. *** In his November 15 Republican Journal editorial, News Director Dan Dunkle uses 847 words to attack my journalism, yet he somehow fails to mentio…

An updated note to Bricks and Mortars readers

Dear Friends,

On November 9, 2018, Courier Publications - owner and publisher of The Republican Journal newspaper of Belfast, Maine, USA - terminated its publication of my "Bricks and Mortars" column.  It was a good run - four Maine Press Association awards in four years - but in the immortal words of the late, great Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa, todo cambia - everything changes.  So I have decided to take my column on the road and start this blog, and I welcome you to it - welcome! 

Judging from my phone conversation with Courier, I believe my column spurred a lawsuit threat by Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian company that wants to build here in Belfast, Maine, USA a $500 million industrial fish farm that would be one of the biggest industrial salmon farms in the world.

This is the biggest issue to face Belfast in decades and perhaps in all of its 168-year history.  And Nordic Aquafarms has serious credibility issues, as I have demonstrated repeatedly in my Bricks and Mort…

Bricks and Mortars is now on Facebook and Twitter

Greetings all.  Bricks and Mortars is now on Facebook at:

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Check it out!

Thanks you for your interest and support.


You can donate to Bricks and Mortars:
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Lawrence Reichard 106 Miller St. Belfast, ME  04915 USA

Fighting Back with Bricks and Mortars

Fighting Back with Bricks and Mortars
On its official Facebook page, the City of Belfast has posted a response to my October 25, 2018 Republican Journal column entitled “Two Hours with Bent Urup.” The column was based on two hours I spent with Urup in in his office in Fredericia, Denmark office September 26, 2018. Urup is perhaps the world's foremost expert in land-based aquaculture, and the column took a critical look at plans by Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian company, to build in Belfast a $500 million industrial, land-based salmon farm - one of the biggest industrial salmon farms in the world.
First and foremost, this City of Belfast action raises an obvious question: why is the city using city resources – its official Facebook page – and perhaps City staff time to defend Nordic Aquafarms, a for-profit corporation that will at some point be seeking City Council approval for its vast project? Shouldn't the city be maintaining a neutral position in this matter, especiall…

Separating FACT from FICTION

Separating FACT from FICTION

Bricks and Mortars
Lawrence Reichard

On November 1, the day before I was ordered by Courier Publications, owner of The Republican Journal, to stop writing about Nordic Aquafarms, The Republican Journal published a full-page ad by Nordic Aquafarms entitled "Let's Separate FACTS from FEAR."

The ad came fully 13 months after Nordic first approached the city about its desire to build in Belfast a very big industrial fish farm - or factory - and the fact that it took Nordic that long to figure out the benefits of taking out such big, expensive ads in Belfast's only newspaper is yet more evidence that Nordic suffers from poor management and has little idea what it's doing.

In any event, the ad deserves a response from our community.

The ad says Nordic will "bring important new tax dollars to Belfast," but every indication is that these tax dollars will be far fewer than Nordic and the City of Belfast would have one believe.

First …

Two Hours with Bent Urup

Two Hours with Bent Urup
Brick and Mortars Lawrence Reichard
On September 25, I awoke in Odense, Denmark, home of famed Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen.I walked to the train station and took a half-hour train to Fredericia, where I was picked up by a daughter of Bent Urup.
Bent Urup is a gregarious and energetic man, and he loves to talk about his work.He is perhaps the world's foremost expert on Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), which Nordic Aquafarms plans to use for its proposed Belfast industrial fish farm.Urup was the first to develop salt-water RAS, and he invented RAS 2020, which he says is the world's most efficient and cost-effective RAS System.
Urup designed and built Maximus, a Danish smolt farm he owned for eight years before selling it in October 2017 to a group of investors in which Nordic Aquafarms had a 50% share.Urup designed and developed Sashimi Royal, a Denmark fish farm he then sold to a group of investors in which Nordic Aquafarms had a 62.…