The Sun Journal asked: Does the news out of Bucksport last week make you nervous for your local mill?

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“I don’t think so. I work with a lot of people who work in the Jay mill and the Rumford mill, and I’ve heard people that work in those mills express concern, because (when) one mill goes down that could affect others. There’s a couple clients I’ve had that have seemed a little concerned about it.” — Kris Howes, owner Ink Maine, Rumford

“What’s going to happen here is going to happen here, I think. I would see the corporation looking at all these things individually. You can’t become obsessed with what’s going to happen at the mill; there have been problems for a long time. Eventually, I think things are going to turn around here. I think we’ve sort of bottomed out.” — John Bartash Jr., owner, Bartash Card & Gift, Rumford

“It discourages me. I thought they (Verso) were doing fairly good, but they obviously aren’t. When I first started there, the mill was full; paper machines were running. We put in a rebuilt paper machine. Things were going good. Since then, a lot of machines have shut down. The number of employees has been reduced. It’s one thing after another. This town is a paper mill town, unfortunately. The paper industry on a whole has gone on bad times since computers.” — Jim Tyler, Rumford (retired in 1998 after 31 years)

“It does. The state of Maine was always factories and mills. Now we’re losing them. That was a big deal here in Maine. I don’t think they (the town) can do anything. With all these shoe shops gone, that makes it hard for the people. Now the mills are going. I felt bad when all the shoe shops went down; I was in the shoe shops three times. It was good. If you couldn’t get in the mill, you’d get in the shoe shop. The way this country’s going — foreign imports — that’s the big deal these days.” — Richard Therrien, Jay

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“If corporations would take care of the country like they used to, I think we’d be better off. It’s all about the bottom dollar and stockholders nowadays. It’s sad. We keep losing good-paying jobs in this state. Something’s wrong. I feel bad for the people in Rumford. If Verso buys that, they’ll shut that one down before they shut down the Jay mill. If I were a NewPage employee, I’d be very, very nervous. Verso is not a papermaking company; my family grew up working for IP, everybody. This company here is just an investment group and that’s the problem. In today’s society, if you don’t make a certain return, just like all of us in the stock market, then you’re going to put your money somewhere else. It’s a vicious cycle.” — Fred Franchetti, owner, Franchetti’s Pizza & Sandwiches, Jay

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