Island woman was a flight attendant on Trump-owned airline

By Jim Brown

Cheryl MaclinSummerside resident Cheryl Jean Maclin is a Canadian who lived and worked in the US for much of her adult life. She is not a fan of the 45th president of the United States, but for a brief period she worked for Donald Trump as a flight attendant on the so-called ‘Trump Shuttle’
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That was in the late 80s and early 90s, but her memories remain vivid of those exciting times.

Trump had just taken over the bankrupt Eastern Shuttle that she worked at, which flew passengers to New York, Boston and Washington. She had been laid off for three months before she resumed her job under a different and more flamboyant boss.

“We wanted to do the shuttle, which I enjoyed doing because of my kids. I had regular hours on the shuttle,” said Cheryl.

She worked the New York and Washington run and recalls several of the regular passengers were “powerful people”, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and the Kennedy children.

“I was pretty impressed with what he did to the aircraft after he took (Eastern Shuttle) over. He tore them all up inside and put all new leather seats and carpeting and gold sinks in the bathroom, you know the ‘Trump-style,'” said Cheryl of the fleet of 140-seat 727s he acquired.

Cheryl said Trump did a nice thing for the newly acquired flight attendants – allowing them to keep their seniority.
“He also gave all his flight attendants a pearl necklace,” she said, with a laugh.

“Back then he wasn’t the person he is today, that’s for sure.”

Eventually Trump Shuttle and its fleet of 21 Boeing 727s would be grounded when the company went bankrupt and was swallowed up by US Air. Meanwhile Cheryl continued on with her flight attendant job. Her career would end with 35-plus years of service in the airline industry and the seniority she was allowed to carry through from her Trump Shuttle days would boost her pension payout.

With Trump’s election in 2016 the US entered a dark chapter in its history. Things became much worse when the Trump administration badly bungled its response to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving 148,000 Americans dead and millions infected by late July.

“It’s really bad. I have family living there. I have two sons, four grandchildren and two daughter-in-laws. One daughter-in-law last night wrote to me and said she’s just losing all hope (because of the virus)…People are losing hope it’s ever going to be okay,” she said.

“Everything he has tried to do has failed.”

Even when Trump’s purchase of the shuttle service helped save a thousand jobs decades ago, including Cheryl’s, she says had she been an American and able to vote in 2016, Trump would not have received her support.

“Because of the bankruptcy and already knowing bits and pieces what he was like as a person, no, I would never have voted for him.”
Trump Air would lose more than $125 million in just 18 months, before going bankrupt.

Cheryl was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia before moving to the States when her dad, Islander George Stavert, accepted a job as an airplane mechanic for Rolls Royce. She would eventually return to her Maritime roots after giving her green card more than three decades of use.

She and her husband Austin Maclin, a Vietnam war veteran who trained military dogs, left America in 2003 to settle in Darnley, where the couple lived until their recent move to Summerside.

Austin, a permanent resident of Canada, uses his German shepherd Myah to help treat veterans on PEI who have PTSD.
He will be able to vote in the Nov 3 election and, unfortunately for Trump, Biden is his choice.

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New bridge taking shape in Hunter River

Story and photos by Jim Brown

A major construction project is taking shape on Highway 2, in Hunter River near the Irving station. It’s a new bridge crossing the Clyde River. An environmentally-friendly reusable temporary bridge has been moved into place to handle the traffic while the bridge is under construction. Traffic for much of the summer is expected to be congested near the site. Fortunately, volumes are down because of the pandemic and closed borders to much of rest of the country and the United States. Construction began in late June and the new bridge should be finished by sometime in October.

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Little opposition to Raspberry Point processing plant

Story and photos by Jim Brown

It wasn’t exactly a slam dunk, but it came pretty close to it.

There was little opposition at a July 2 public meeting to Raspberry Point Oyster Company’s plans to build a new 32,000 sq. foot oyster processing facility on 30 acres of land fronting Hope River in Cavendish. The building would replace an existing facility on Cavendish Road at the former Fiddles and Vittles family restaurant.

Raspberry Point’s plan also includes a commercial orchard with 6,000 apple trees on the property and the first harvest is expected in 2023.

Only 12 people showed up at the Tourism Information Centre to hear the plans, which included a request for a major height variance. The total cost is pegged at between $2 to $3 million.

Raspberry Point Oyster Company general manager James Power points to an architectural drawing showing where the proposed new oyster processing plant would be located.


Among the attendees was Resort Municipality Mayor Matthew Jelley and James Power, Raspberry Point’s general manager.

The deadline for submissions on the proposal is July 14.

“We take the oysters out of New London Bay, take them up to the processing plant and basically wash them, grade them, box them and ship them out. So there’s no cooking and shucking of oysters,” said Mr Power.

“The hours would be the same as they are now (five days a week). Right now we’re running 7 am to 4:30 pm. As far as the traffic, at the moment we have about two tractor trailers a day to pick up product, so that possibly could be between two and four (when new building constructed). We also have three and five tonne box trucks and they come two to four times a day as well and they have staff (and their trucks), which would be between 15 and 25 depending on the time of day.”

Mr Power said Raspberry Point was doing about 50 per cent of pre-Covid business.

“We’re hoping in the future that we will actually expand our business and possibly have four trucks instead of two.”

A woman at the meeting asked whether water views would be affected, stressing she doesn’t have a problem with the project herself, but was only asking on behalf of neighbours.

Mr Power reassured her that wouldn’t be a problem with the building.

Don Maynard, Senior Environmental Specialist at Granville Ridge Consulting Inc., presented an overview during the environmental assessment portion of the Resort Municipality meeting.

“Presently the property it is going to be constructed on is under agricultural cultivation” with past crops including soybeans and grains, said Mr Maynard.

Since the apple orchard would require the use of pesticides a 15 metre provincially mandated environment buffer zone will be needed. There would also be wind speed restrictions.

Site preparation for the plant would run through July and August, with the construction phase running from August to October, 2021.

Mr Maynard said the proposed access road to the new facility has already been surveyed and approved by the Department of Transportation, Construction and Energy.

Referring to the orchard part of the proposal (southern end of the property) Mr Maynard noted, “apples are a crop requiring fertilization, physical maintenance, a lot of grass cutting between the rows (and) pruning…”

There are no plans to irrigate the orchard with water from wells.

In the case of the oyster processing facility an exploration permit under the Provincial Groundwater Protection Act is needed to install a well to provide water for two grading/washing machines.

The permit process is needed to ensure water supplies aren’t depleted in the aquifer for other users.
“Our water is very precious, that’s like gold now,” said the woman, a lone member of the public. She stressed she understood the water was needed to wash oysters, but she was concerned about too much usage.

Mayor Jelley noted the old Fiddles and Vittles facility had a similar well to what was being constructed at the new location and confirmed the new well would be about the same capacity. He went on to say a permit for the extraction process has to be approved by the provincial environment department.

“I have two high capacity wells myself and I get an email every month asking for my meter readings and they are monitoring the usage…So it’s pretty well regulated, at least in my own experience.”

Mr Power, in response to a question from a resident on the video link, said there are no plans at the moment for what to do with the old processing facility at the former Fiddles and Vittles site, once the new building is completed.

All told, three phone calls were received at the Resort Municipality office and one in-person visit regarding the Raspberry Point proposal.

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