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Comments Current
Page: current (2/1/04 - present)

I will post any comments about the Fairwinds Proposals here. Please keep your comments clean, brief, to the point, clear and unnasty. Otherwise, they may not appear here. If the spellchecker finds a mistake that makes sense, I will correct it.  Also, please include your name and part of town. Let me know if you would prefer that I not include your name and or community with your comment.
The most recent  comments are first.
  • 4/24

“Democracy works only because we all make an implied social contract with each other to abide by the decisions of the majority. If we ignored said agreements, deciding instead to pursue individual agendas by dismissing our mutual responsibilities to each other and instead focus principally on our own selfish wants and desires, then chaos would rule the land. Implied societal contracts and trusting everyone to honor those contracts are the fabric of civilization. Imagine if everyone chose which side of the road they wanted to drive on because they didn't agree with the rules. That might pose a problem; don’t you think?

It is understandable why some might be upset at the majority decision and not want to let the LNG issue pass. But claiming that Harpswell’s LNG voter turnout was remotely tainted or impacted by the bomb threat stretches credibility to the snapping point. After subtracting outdated deadwood names from the voting rolls, about 80% of Harpswell voters who could vote, did vote. The last U.S. Presidential election netted a 53.76% nationwide turnout; and that was considered excellent. Harpswell’s numbers were roughly 26 percentage points better than that.

Dismissing the petitioner’s predictable self-justification for a revote, all that’s left is sour grapes over the decision; which is what their petition is really about.

It’s okay to be angry. But when people react on said base emotions, it requires society’s restraining hand. Crying foul and petitioning to overturn after losing a vote isn't being democratic; inversely, it's a gross violation of the common trust.

Hopefully, cool heads will prevail in Harpswell’s situation. It’s time to move forward and away from LNG. The majority of Harpswell has spoken. There is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by entertaining this divisive topic any further. "

  • 3/6

 Re Mere Point Launching Ramp deal....there are supposedly something like 57 parking spaces for boats w/trailers....a few more spaces for cars/kyacks....the powers that be have discovered there isn't enough turn-around space for even 57....exaggeration or lack or knowledge seems to prevail in some cases, such as Roberta Weil's comments. 

 I shuddered when I read the quote in the paper from Debbie Levensailor that she knew within 15 minutes that LNG was the right thing for Harpswell.  It's a shame to see a community so divided & so much ill will and misunderstanding.

 We have a difficult situation here also but right now I'm more concerned about what's going on in your neighborhood.

  • 3/6

I have been reading these comments for quite some time now and as the vote date draws near, I feel compelled to speak. My family has owed land in Harpswell for almost 40 years. I'm not a resident, so I can't vote, but Judy Woodman has stated it well. Take a good hard look at what this will mean for the future and how it will impact the lives of everyone, especially the families who lobster for a living. Vote NO.

  • 3/6

The town recently sent a letter asking for FairPlay and other groups to disclose the specifics of their funding (even though this is not required under Maine law). At the time of receiving the letter, we were fully convinced that this was a political move by the Town, and was an attempt to cast aspersions upon the two groups that have stepped up to oppose Fairwinds

-- our group, and Fishing Families for Harpswell.

After the disgraceful selectmen's meeting of March 4, can there now be any doubt that this was the case?

Here is the letter we delivered to the Town, which we had hoped to be allowed to read at the Selectman's meeting on March 4. As we all now know, the selectmen did not allow any public comment, and then proceeded with their agenda of character assassination.

 

 

March 1, 2004

Kristi Eiane

Town of Harpswell

PO Box 39

Harpswell, Maine 04079

Dear Ms. Eiane:

We are in receipt of your unprecedented letter dated February 27, 2004 requesting information on the ³sources of support² for our group, FairPlay for Harpswell. The Town is not empowered by any law, ordinance or regulation to require this information.  Per your letter, the Selectmen of Harpswell have asked that we voluntarily submit such information in a ³sealed envelope², which will be opened only if all of the five ³groups² 

(Fairwinds, Friends of Fairwinds, the pro-Fairwinds fishermen, Fishing Families for Harpswell and FairPlay) submit sealed envelopes.

While we applaud the fact the town is finally showing some interest in our group though regrettably that interest does not extend to basic facts of the Fairwinds project we will not be submitting any information in a closed, sealed envelope. As you may know, our group has objected strenuously to the Town conducting so much of the business of the Fairwinds project in a closed door manner. We are tired of the secret meetings, the back door maneuverings, the behind the scenes lobbying by the Town and its officials. We refuse to conduct the business of our group in a similar manner. In addition, two of the five groups included in this request are Friends of Fairwinds and the group of fishermen supporting the Fairwinds project. These groups, of course, have had to expend little in the way of funds, due to the fact that Fairwinds seems to pay for any advertising these groups conduct. We are more than happy to discuss our sources of support in a public, not private manner and encourage others to do likewise. I am extremely proud to say that our group has raised over $100,000. This money has come from over 600 FairPlay supporters, mostly Harpswell residents and a few small private businesses.  No public corporation has donated a dime, or one minute to our effort. Many have stepped up and donated generously to help us inform the public about why having a massive industrial LNG facility in our town is an irresponsible, if not reprehensible, idea. Every cent of our funds have come from these donations, and it is extremely gratifying that every time our group has been in need of additional funding, every time we think that the generosity of our supporters has run out, all we need to do is send out an email, or make a few dozen phone calls, and the donations flood in. I believe this is because the threat of this massive LNG project is so serious, so threatening to our town and our way of life, that many people have been motivated to give more than they can afford.

This money has come to us in many forms. From the hundreds of people who have come to our two public suppers, often paying much more than the $10 suggested donation. From people at the various town meetings, coming up to FairPlay members with a $5 or $10 dollar bill. From non- resident taxpayers, who are deeply disturbed at the fact that they only found out about the Fairwinds project when our group sent them a letter letting them know about it. From small businesses in and out of town. From fishermen, from commuters, from children, from abutters. From people in all parts of town Harpswell Neck, Cundy¹s Harbor. Orrs Island. Bailey Island. Great Island. We have also received donations from non-Harpswell residents. People in other towns are threatened by this inappropriate project, and some have donated to our group.

You also ask for an accounting of contributed goods and services. It is difficult to even know where to start on this list, because there have been so many who have contributed their time, goods and services. And, I¹m sure that any accounting of goods and services will leave many out, because literally hundreds have stepped forward.

Among those contributing services:

    Two different Harpswell residents have donated 80 T-shirts Scores of Harpswell residents donated food for our suppers, and worked tirelessly at our suppers Several stores have also contributed food for public suppers A broad group of Harpswell lobstermen who have contributed hundreds of lobsters for suppers 50-60 Harpswell residents  have donated canvassing services Dozens who have contributed supplies pens, paper, material for signs, food for meetings etc. Several area artists who have contributed photography, painting, etc. Several area residents have contributed communications services copywriting, design, copy services, and the like A Harpswell resident contributed 20 sheets of plywood, paint, and brushes for signs Six different residents who have donated their time to help produce our various HCTV shows Dr. Lee Grodzins  donated his time to discuss security issues Dr. James Fay donated his time to discuss LNG safety issues McCabe & Duval Advertising has donated design and copy services for ads, mailers, signs, buttons, web site Transit ID of Portland has donated web programming services A non-resident Harpswell taxpayer has donated web maintenance services Finally, our supporters have donated their expertise and thousands of hours to our efforts

In summary, the groundswell of support we have received from Harpswell residents and concerned citizens - literally hundreds of different individuals -  has been incredible, and humbling. And telling. Our group, along with Fishing Families for Harpswell, another citizen-supported group, has born the burden of not only opposing the financial might and seemingly endless resources of TransCanada and Conoco Phillips, but also of  opposing the Town Government of Harpswell, and the three Selectmen who are working every for a Yes vote on March 9th.

Every day our all-volunteer group is working tirelessly to support the voices of the concerned  citizens of our town who collectively have no corporate deep pockets to depend upon and no  voice in the Town Government on this issue. We are working for them every day against Fairwinds, and 

those seeking to turn our town into an industrial zone.

We are all extremely proud and honored to do this work.  We will not stop this work until Fairwinds is turned away once and for all. Once that task is accomplished, we will put this energy and commitment to work in finding more appropriate uses for the fuel depot, and more creative, imaginative, and effective solutions to Harpswell¹s problems.

Regards,

 

FairPlay for Harpswell

  • 3/6

"Moreover, the younger fishermen might consider their own futures. Fishing is less attractive as one gets older and develops arthritic or mechanical problems with one's hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders. A good paying job in town might be attractive."

Roberta Weil

The arrogance of the above quote is astounding. In her unrelenting effort to get the Big Gas Plant built in Harpswell, this woman will stop at nothing. We already know that she has been in contact with TransCanada since April 2002, and now she is demeaning those who make their living from the sea.

Message to Roberta -- Fishermen are not morons. They can see right through this.

Did it ever occur to this woman that many fishermen might prefer earning their living out on the water versus making a living in a big gas plant?

Her arrogance is amazing.

  • 3/5

Burr, Sorry to hear of how you were treated at the meeting on Saturday.  There's no excuse.  The forum can be pretty brutal too.  I hope you continue your input - yours is a nice and reasoned voice.  You will be missed. By the way, your "John Loyd and Roberta Weil" thread was very well done... Only a few more days, and hopefully this mess will become a bad memory.

  • 3/5 

First I want to commend you for all of your hard and time-consuming work in keeping this web page current...it is a real service for all of us who are trying to get as much information as possible on the LNG issue.  I wanted to say to those who are still undecided (are there any out there?) that I feel there is only one overriding issue at stake here, and the fishermen who are opposed to this project have repeated it over and over again.  If you would not want this plant located in your neighborhood, please do not vote to put it in some else's backyard.  None of us can predict the future impact of this project, financially, environmentally, or just as an ongoing divisive issue at every town meeting for the next 50 years.  It comes down to a matter of respect for those who will be looking at it, hearing it, and fearing it because of where they live. 

One more question to Burr:  is it possible to include the program schedule each day for Channel 14?  Some have told me that it is available if you call the station.  I note that they are lax in pre-publishing what is going to be on each afternoon and evening, and I like to catch any new programming that will be on between now and March 9th.  Again, thanks!

Note: You can often find a schedule for HCTV at the Anchor Community Forum which is here. At the Forum choose the last page and you will probably find the schedule at or near the bottom. Please remember schedules can change by the moment or hour or...

  • 3/4

How disgusting can the situation get before someone speaks out? I am speaking about Gordon Weil's suggestion that all parties, either for or against his pet project disclose their financial records. 

My suggestion is that Gordon Weil disclose HIS financial statement for the year 2003, and Jim Knight and Lee Theberge can do so as well. I think Gordon's would lift a few eyebrows in town.

 Where does he get off on all of this? I had believed that the selectmen were presenting the proposal to the Town for our approval, or disapproval. Now that they are engaged in openly promoting this project it is obvious that there is something way out of line in their process. Hopefully, the real truth will come out some day soon. 

  • 2/29

Burr, Thank you for including Friends of Fairwinds in the list of those you've contacted regarding this issue. I think it's vital for everyone to have the opportunity to voice their opinions on such an important issue as the fantastic, beneficial Fairwinds proposal and lease. Through your website, you have indeed provided us with that opportunity. Thank you.

I wish we all felt comfortable commenting on your website, but some do not for various reasons. I encourage everyone to exercise their freedom of speech. Public comment and debate contribute much toward a healthy democracy.

I do not agree with some of the points you have made in your statement to the Selectmen. However, you have the right to speak your mind.

I understand that you have resigned as the web master for the Town's website. That is a loss for all Town residents. I encourage you to reconsider your position on this issue.

Thank you for your time.

Note: I received several comments about my "travails" with the Selectmen, but I give special credit for this one.

  • 3/2

Reflections on the February 28th Harpswell Meeting

 I am a Chebeague Island resident attending the February 28th meeting, seated in the upper far right bleacher section. Although restricted to the outskirts, the effects of the process were no less meaningful. I listened carefully to both sides, for and against the project. Both sides argued legitimate points of concern.

 One speaker's words, "It's plain as black and white," echoed in my thoughts throughout the meeting, and my eyes were continuously drawn to a painting in the room. Maybe others noticed it. For and against voters of Harpswell may take it for granted because it's always been there. The selectman could not see it, due to their position. But I'm sure they too knew it was there, and it has probably been part of the character and focal point of the room for a long time. It didn't occur to me why the words "black and white" and this painting continuously absorbed my thoughts until later.

 The answer is this ...It's not clear as black and white as in the words of this contract or lease. The answer is in color, crystal clear as the colors defining the character and lines of the rowboat painted above center stage. It fits in. This room parallels this town, neighboring towns, and this bay area. One could sign the black and white contract and have a large scale black and white tanker painted over the colorful rowboat. I guarantee no matter who you are, whether you vote yes or no, or are just a visitor to the room that day, your eyes will never become complacent to the new painting. It does not belong any more than a tanker and this project belong in our bay. Please don't paint over the colorful rowboat with black and white or green. Money fades, the adverse effects from this project will not.

Jonathon Rich is the nephew of Beverly Johnson who spoke at the meeting of the 28th.

  • 3/2

First off, I would like to say thanks for your efforts to bring some enlightenment to all that is happening in Harpswell. We now have supporters in our efforts to rid this beautiful Harpswell area of Fairwinds-the support comes from surrounding communities as well as people from around the country.

How much secrecy is enough when it comes to matters of this gravity? My personal opinion is that Gordon Weil should have disqualified himself as a Selectman as soon as this offer floated in from the sky. His background provides an obvious bias towards the energy field which he excelled in. Sort of like seeing and old plaything from your youth, and reliving those golden moments you had with it.

The other things that put all of us off is the stifling of commentary. Reputable citizens are stifled at the selectmen's meetings, even though their questions and comments are shared by so many. Is Ashcroft in charge, or what?

Lastly, the involvement of selectmen's wives behind the scenes is like going to Las Vegas and anticipating that you will eventually be a winner. I am afraid that the deck is stacked and the very best thing we can do as a community is to defeat this dragon at our door, and one by one vote in other selectpeople who are willing to work with the people of Harpswell, rather than to treat us as village idiots who can't possibly understand the information available to a chosen few.

I recently pointed out that the selectmen should have commissioned an independent set of impact studies BEFORE the offer became a lease agreement. I guess this is common sense. Common sense is not one of the qualities exhibited by our selectmen. It is so elementary to do so that it slipped by the radar.

Let's work very hard to bring good government back to Harpswell. We deserve it. The way I see it now, three selectmen have their minds made up. Don't confuse them with facts as it will overburden their cognitive abilities.

  • 3/1

I added the Letter from the Town Manager of Cumberland to Harpswell. Read it here You can view their site here
http://www.chebeague.org/fairwinds

  • 3/1(written in Jan.)

I added John Loyd's Letter of the Times Record. You can read it here

I would like to add Roberta Weil's but I do not have it.

  • 2/27

[Kevin White has written an extended Q & A for Fairwinds. I have not read all of it. While he is clearly opposed, I think he attempts to be fair and reasonable - at least as far as I had time to read. Burr] Read it here

  • 2/26

You may be interested in reading the draft of the statement I hope to present to the Selectmen at their meeting tonight. on the What's New section. I would appreciate your comments.

  • 2/26

Burr, I know you are against the LNG project and I have no problem with that.  I also think you are a sensitive, hard working guy and that the town is losing out by your resigning.  However, I do have a question for you and I think you will answer it honestly.    Fairplay has bombarded the Maine representatives trying to get the three polling places vote tabled.  I suspect they feel they will have a better chance with a restricted vote.  Do you condone this act, and if so, why.  I think this is the kind of thing that would turn you off.

 

My response follows:

Bob,

You have certainly buttered me up with your comments.

While I understand your assumption about my voting decisions, I am interested in how you reached that conclusion, since I do not believe I have made such a statement in public.

Also, Let me say that your email has made my day (so far). I appreciate the civil wording.

I am not a member of FairPlay nor am I privy to their decision making process. While I share your assumptions about their motives I do not know it as a fact.

I strongly support a vote that makes it as easy as possible for as many people to vote as possible. I oppose any effort to use a technicality to gain a result that does not reflect the will of the people.

That said, I think condone is a strong word that is generally, used in the context of violence and property damage and would not use it here. Also, if you have read my site, I think it would be appropriate to say that I do not "condone" the recent behavior of the Selectmen.

In sum  I would disagree with FairPlay's efforts, but I also would accept their right to use legal democratic techniques to attain their goals. They have different priorities from me. They fear LNG far more than I do. Although I acknowledge they may be right, my priority is the process we are and will go through. In short, I am far more fearful of the behavior of the Selectmen than of LNG.

Yes, it does turn me off.

Let me add, these are my thoughts at this time. They are subject to change due to future discussion or enlightenment.

Again, thanks for for your comments.

Let me know if you have other thoughts..

Burr

  • 2/24

Mr Taylor Wrote: I am disturbed that Mr. Freeman and Mrs. Ogrodnik were the only citizens cut off in their presentations and treaty rudely, yet their comments were among the most relevant - (Along with comments about voting and Harpswell TV, of course) Is this the model of fairness and objectivity to which Mr. Weil wants us to aspire. In my opinion, the "media" in our area are far fairer then a Selectmen's meeting.

This greatly disturbed me too but it was not the first time it has happened it has happened at other public meetings hearings selectmen’s meetings.  Watch the tapes how many people that spoke for the project were told they were out of line ? I also could not believe that an elected official attacked our local media the way Mr. Weil did. He bashes our local media and then goes and puts together his own show with his own questions for the answers he wants and then he calls it the truth squad.

It seems to me that Mr. Weil’s EGO has grow so large that it has taken over. It seems to me that Mr Weil is not representing the whole town any more but only the people who think LNG is so great for Harpswell. It is obvious that Selectmen Weil wants LNG to come to town. He is an elected official to my understanding that means he is supposed to represent the entire town not just a portion of it. His new TV show only represents one side. I thought our elected officials were supposed to represent the town as a whole it seems to me that Mr Weil is representing a company with a sales pitch for it to the town he is not representing the whole town. Mr Weil behavior is not a model of Fairness or objectivity that should be aspired to. We are very fortunate to have the media that we have in our town because without them we would have no objectivity or Fairness with this project I want to thank all of our media sources for all of the coverage they have given to both sides of this issue.

Thank you for informing the public and allowing the people of this town to be heard.

  • 2/20

Well Burr,  I had doubts about Harpswell Info being impartial but now I am convinced it is.  Your comments about Gordon and implying that he included this site were out of line.  Count me as a person who will delete this web site from my list of favorites!

Note: I answered his message as follows. [Well, Denis you may be right. I'll be sorry to see you go.
However, I based my conclusion on his reference to websites in his discussion of media. I am not sure what other website he could be referring to. FairPlay, Fairwinds, and FFFH are obviously biased. And in his letter, I felt he said the site was biased, no matter what I said.
Actually, I hope you are right, but I believe your are wrong.
Good Luck to you

  • 2/20

This is a letter My son sent to the TR. This venture is not just effecting adults it is also effecting a younger population in this town that does not have a voice on this issue. I'll share with you his letter. He would like very much to log on toThe Anchor forum and be a part of this debate. I have told him he may not but when he goes to the library after school he reads The Harpswell Info and the Anchor forum and he has watches HTV14 so he is very aware of what is going on in his town.

I am only 14 I live in Harpswell in the same cove the proposed LNG tankers will becoming in. I live in what is called the thermal radiation zone. I also live in what is called the exclusion zone. What does this mean to me, the thermal radiation zone means that I will be living in a potential hibachi grill that could ignite at any time and take my life in seconds. It means to me that I will never again feel safe where I live. The exclusion zone means that when the ships are coming through the cove and then moored at the dock I will not be able to be on the beach. I will not be able to use my dock. I will not be able to clam. My family will not be able to have our lobster traps where they are located. This was the year I was in hopes of having my own boat and learning to lobster. Now my future plans of fishing have been put on hold. I want people in Harpswell to know a yes vote will not only hurt adults it will forever hurt the future generations of Harpswell. Yes I am only 14 but I have read enough about LNG to know it is not safe. I have listened to enough people talk to know it will destroy a lot lives. I can not vote and I do not think that is fair because this will effect me and I have no say. I heard a town official say on HTV 14 this will allow people to stay in Harpswell that can not afford to stay here it will allow families that had to leave return. I turned and asked my mom why the families that would have to leave didn’t matter she said she didn’t know and I said well I am voting no. So here I am I have no say on something that could hurt me so I am asking please everyone that can vote please vote no my future dreams and safety are in you hands.

  • 2/20

While much attention is currently being given to the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed lease agreement, it is important that we not forget some of the issues that are not and cannot be adequately addressed by that document.  Two of those issues that are closely linked, safety and security, have been raised on numerous occasions.  What I believe has been missing from that discussion is a comprehensive review of the various pertinent elements.  The paper I have provided is an attempt, based on my experience, to provide that review and to follow the path of "knowns" and "unknowns" to a logical conclusion.

Because a discussion of security necessitates a discussion of terrorism, the paper covers that topic in some detail.  My intention is not to employ "scare tactics" to influence anyone's thinking.  Rather my intention is to deal clearly and honestly with that topic so that folks can make decisions based on the realities and uncertainties of the world we live in.  I am well aware that mention of the "T" word causes a visceral reaction in some and a more or less complacent response by others.  I only ask folks to read what I have written and ask themselves, in their heart of hearts, if what I have said makes sense.

I apologize for the length of the paper, four pages, however, the issues of safety and security are too important and too complex to be dealt with in sound bite fashion.

Thank you.

[You may read his statement here.]

  • 2/20

At the Selectman's meeting on February 19, 2004, Selectman Weil gave an angry rant on many topics, including the media and local websites. I believe he meant to include this site. His comments, in general and in particular, offended, angered and hurt me. I have responded in the What's New section and by posting an email exchange we have had during the last month. (which shows why I think he meant to include this site.) I am interested in your thoughts and will post any appropriate comments on any side of the issue.

  • 2/17

My mother, Barbara White, told me that you might publish my letter to the editor on your web site. I have submitted the attached letter to both the Harpswell Anchor and the Brunswick Time Record. Because of its length (about 1500 words) I will have to pay to publish it in each newspaper...which I plan to do. If you can put it up on your web site I would appreciate it very much! Thank you for your consideration. You can read it here

  • 2/17

[Note by Burr: Cheryl Golek has added a long series of abstracts about the fire/explosion in Algeria. The most recent abstract says the explosions was caused by a gas leak. She makes the comment that "Looks like LNG does explode."  Well of course, LNG does not explode, but NG (natural gas) does. Peter Micciche said there was no LNG at the Algeria site, but he did not say anything about NG. He did say there were lots of things there that could burn and/or leak.]

You can read her comment  here

  • 2/16

Mr. D'Agostino and Mr. Baker:

You both have said it better that I could. Fairwinds will mean the destruction of the Harpswell we love, and will have a serious negative impact on all of Casco Bay.

Please help make sure that this doesn't happen. One big thing you both could do to help would be to come to the Fishing Families For Harpswell rally next Saturday, February 21 at 1pm. It will be held in the field across from the Kellogg Church. The Fishing Families want to assemble enough people to outline an LNG tanker, to demonstrate just how massive these things are. It is very important that we get as mant people as possible, to protest Fairwinds and let them know that we will not let them destroy our town, that we want them to keep their hands off Casco Bay. No one has worked harder to drive Fairwinds away that the fishermen -- lets give them lots of support!

  • 2/16

As have many of my neighbors, I have given this Conoco Fairwinds proposal some amount of thought. The comment that I've heard that stands out with me is this project is just too massive in scale for a town of this size.  To have tankers the length of a healthy aircraft carrier coming and going two to four times a week and a facility whose primary attribute will be two thirteen story tanks containing billions of cubic feet of natural gas is just too large for Harpswell.  We have something special in this town that seems to reflect many aspects of Maine life.  I think we need to ask ourselves do we want to be a town like Bath?  BIW dominates Bath as will Conoco Philips here.  Do we want the presence of an eight hundred pound multi-national corporate entity and all that goes with it?  

I've read the estimates of income and possible expenses that would arise out of this facility.  Even if we were to receive twice the dollars promised I don't think this LNG facility belongs here.  Sometimes, it is about more than the money.  This is one of those times...

  • 2/16

Dear Neighbors,

Just a few questions regarding the "Fair" Winds (ConocoPhillips) attempt to take over the town of Harpswell and surrounding Casco Bay for their own selfish interests. As I understand the project plan, once construction begins Broad Sound will be blocked to recreational boating for the duration of the construction, as will the entire inside corridor between Portland and Freeport. Will vacationers who come here to Vacationland and Casco Bay for the boating, be blocked from taking their boats out of So. Freeport harbor and into Broad Sound? Will they be allowed to take their boats down the Royall River in Yarmouth and into Broad Sound? What will become of the recreational boats in the Portland Yacht Club anchorage and those in the Handy Boat anchorage? Will they too all be "trapped" on their moorings or in dry dock for several years while this outrageous project is under way? Will the towns small boat landing ramps also be closed for the duration? Will the fishing boats be allowed to come and go as they must in order for their owners to earn a living? Will local lobstermen be allowed to set their traps in the sound and the corridor where the lobsters are most plentiful? Or, more to the point, will they even be allowed out of port? Will the ferry services from So. Freeport to Bustin's Isl. and Cousins Isl. and Little John's Isl. to Cheabeague Isl. be allowed to continue? If not, how does "Fair" Winds propose the residents of Bustin's and Cheabeague Isl. go on about their daily lives?

Has anybody in Harpswell considered the cost of the greatly increased security needed for such an undertaking? The highest levels of security will be required right from day one and who will pay for this, once the project is completed and "Fair' Winds blow away? I truly hope you're not naive enough to believe that "Fair" Winds will continue to foot the bill once the project is completed. Those and many other huge bills will then fall to the residents/tax payers of the town of Harpswell. Has anyone there noticed what has happened in the town of Yarmouth tax payers now that CMP has stopped paying their taxes on the Wyman plant? The town had no choice but to raise the property taxes. My property tax has almost doubled this year. If you think this isn't going to happen to you there in Harpswell....think again folks.  This project has been very poorly researched on the local level and is in my estimation is far too large for this small section of the Maine coast. I truly hope that your town fathers will see the error of their ways and not encourage this corporate Giant to take over Casco Bay in this manner.  Please remember residents of Harpswell....if "Fair" Winds (ConocoPhillips) establishes a foot hold there in your town, you cannot vote them out for at least 50 years neighbors....fifty years! Do you really want some huge, out of state conglomerate dictating your town's affairs for the rest of your life and the lives of many of your children? Please.....vote NO on this outrageous proposal!! Thank you in advance.

Deeply concerned...... R.Adam Baker Resident........ Yarmouth, ME

  • 2/16

Denis:

I believe that the reason that the Harpswell Neck fire department may have to move if Fairwinds is built is because FERC is currently revising LNG safety requirements. I know that Dr. James Fay (who Fairwinds has been ridiculing for the last few months) has been brought into this process by FERC. If the Thermal Exclusion Zones, are enlarged, as many think they will be, then the Fire Department and the school may be well within those zones. Which would mean that in the event of a problem at the plant, both of these facilities might be engulfed by the resulting flames.

The reason to move the fire department would be so that the emergency workers and their equipment would not be rendered useless. The reason to move the school would be so our children are not killed or injured by an LNG accident.

I did not write the report, so I am surmising what I have heard. Perhaps we can get the author of the report to pay us another visit soon.

Again, thanks for reading the report. It's nice to have someone from your group who has taken the time to do so.

  • 2/15

Denis,

People are always scared of the unknown.  The fear occurs because we either don't want to hear the facts or we don't understand the facts.
  Harpswell has, in effect, been told that we could be in the first stages of a debilitating disease. We can accept the diagnosis and take preventative measures or let it consume the town.   

As for your comments regarding the Yellow Wood economic report, I would suggest that you go over the lease with the same critical scrutiny as the economic report.  Perhaps then you will realize the weaknesses of the lease document.

In addition, carefully review the tape of your "Friends" gathering at the Grange Hall, and count how many times you and Ms. Levensailor repeat that the mission is to identify "the positive aspects" of the proposal.  If that doesn't scream BIAS loud and long, then I guess we were all born last night.  I would say that by incorporating such fine investigative techniques, Friends of Fairwinds could make a case to reinstate slavery.

Furthermore, as Fairwinds supporters like to take the casual approach of criticizing the efforts of FairPlay, perhaps Friends of Fairwinds can show us all what they're made of, step up to the plate, put your money where your mouth is, and have your own economic report done.  Perhaps then you will begin to understand how FairPlay supporters have personally sacrificed their time and money to take up the slack left behind by the Selectmen.  Besides, it¹s far more legitimate than the armchair quarterback approach that Friends of Fairwinds has been taking.

  • 2/15

Denis,

Everything regarding the proposed Fairwinds project in their flyers, presentations, and reports is, by their own admission, speculation. I quote from the Fairwinds Project Description and Impact Document Executive Summary P.1:² A final project design...will be prepared...after a site is secured for the facility.² The Yellow Woods report is no different. Even the lease is based on speculation. These documents are all based on informed conjecture. The question is, which information best holds up to scrutiny?

It is up to us, as citizens of Harpswell, to carefully review ALL the information presented, pro and con, and make an intelligent choice. Conoco/Phillips has not impressed me during their time in Harpswell. I find their lease ³Guarantees² to be flawed. I am more convinced than ever that approving Fairwinds would be a fatal error for our town.

  • 2/15

Cheryl, thanks for your response and I will answer later.  I have no clue to where "nbsp" came from or means!; Chris, I would probably give more consideration to your cause if there were convincing facts. Why would we need a new fire dept. in a location from the depot? The Harpswell Neck Fire Dept. was constructed by the Navy because of its proximity to the depot. Why would that differ from the LNG site?

  • 2/14

Denis:

You certainly are entitled to your opinion on the report. There are many people who would disagree with you. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

Obviously, we knew when we did this study that Conoco Phillips and TransCanada and their supporters would try to discredit it in any way possible. When you challenge a the big industrial polluters, they will come at you -- because if you expose the lies and half truths they are dishing out, they have nothing left. They must sell the lies and half truths to force their way upon a community.

At any rate, thanks for reading it. Unlike many who are already bashing our group, at least you took the time to read it.

  • 2/14

Chris,  I read the report from cover to cover and the majority of the impacts are based on suppositions.  For every statement,  it is possible to have a counter point also based on suppositions.  I'll detail my counter points later.  The Yellow Wood Assoc. report is not fact based!

  • 2/14

Dennis, This is just a few questions I have for you and the Friends of Fairwinds group.

Just curious does Friends Of Fairwinds have any factual data on why this is so great for Harpswell?

Do you have any info that has not come from Fairwinds sales fliers?

Has your group raised any money to have any independent studies done for the citizens of Harpswell?

Have you any factual data on the safety of LNG data that has not come from a billion dollar company looking to become a multibillion dollar company?

How many people in your group have children in the west Harpswell School?

How do the people The Fairwinds Yes group feel about supporting a company that supports terrorism? http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/22/60minutes/main595214.shtml

Could you explain to me why a company with this history makes a great neighbor with facts please? http://www.mercuryin.es/milliontonneclub/Conoco%20Phillips%20Fact%20Sheet.htm

Has Friends of Fairwinds consulted with the lobster conservatory on the impacts a pipeline will have? http://www.lobsters.org/press/pipelineEd.html

Has Friends of Fairwinds hired anyone that is not connected to the industry to research the effects this venture will have on Harpswell?

At your first meeting your group said they only wanted to get information to the Harpswell Citizens will your group be getting any information to the

citizens from any independent source that is not connected to Fairwinds in any way?

Just a few questions Dennis I have had for Friends of Fairwinds for a while

I look forward to your response.

  • 2/14

Denis: What is nbsp?

  • 2/13

To Chris Duval...I accept your comments but after the call in tonight, I still fail to see facts.  All of your consultants statements have no facts!.  Tell me why the school will have to be relocated.  Tell me why the fire department will cost Harpswell big bucks.  Tell me why property values will decrease.  Give us the facts!  I am sorry but you are wrong!

  • 2/12

Denis:

How did you manage to characterize the FairPlay commissioned economic impact study before it was released? Had you even read it when you made these comments?

You have every right to disagree with the report, but please don't mischaracterize the way it was done.

No output was ever agreed on, or even discussed. It was made very clear to us that we might not like all of the findings, but that they would be doing their own report.

A fee was agreed upon -- you are right on that point.

The consultant was paid in advance, so no matter what their report conclusions were, they would get their money.

I really don't know how you could call an economic impact study a "scare tactic".

The report is a well done, well researched document. Most of those who attended the meeting tonight seemed to find it factual and thought provoking. Many expressed their thanks that finally someone had produced a meaningful study, as opposed to the lack of information put out by the selectmen.

Can it's findings be debated. Of course -- it is a study, and all studies are open to question. But, it's the only economic impact study that anyone will be doing on Fairwinds before the election.

  • 2/12

I cannot attest to the fidelity of the studies nor the integrity of the contracts/contractors with which Denis has been associated.  Generally speaking, in my experience, a legitimate contract calls for a legitimate contractor to provide objective responses to specific questions that can be substantiated with sound evidence or logic, but does not, by design, specify the content of the those responses.  In the absence of information to the contrary, it might be advisable for us to refrain from implications that the socio-economic report in question and the company that provided it are less than ethical.  This might be especially appropriate if we have not even read the entire report.

Will the contractors get paid if they do not meet the requirements of the contract for objective responses to specific issues?  Probably not, that is why the requirements are there in the first place.  Will they get paid if folks don't like the answers they get?  Probably yes, that is why there is a contract in the first place.

As regards relying on facts, it might again be beneficial to read the report and then ask the necessary questions before judging the merits of the report.

As regards the assertion about "scare tactics," it seems that some folks around town have become all to ready to wave that flag anytime they hear something they do not like or that seems to undermine their notions of reality.  I am beginning to wonder if it is not truth itself that really scares them.

  • 2/12

Yes, Denis I have noticed the Fairwinds Yes signs down and not the opposition.  Not only were they torn down, they were thrown on the ground as well. (I believe that is littering) A member of FairPlay was witnessed taking a Fairwinds Yes sign down yesterday.  Perhaps they should rename themselves Foulplay for Harpswell.  In the end, it doesn't matter how many signs are up or down, what matters is how you vote on March 9th.  Please vote YES. 

  • 2/11

Read some of the results of the $27,000 FairPlay consultant's report. After spending several years in the Corp. world, engaging consultants and being one after retirement, you have to understand the process:

An output is agreed to: ( terrible impacts, reduced property values, high loss of fishermen gear, increased cost of town services)

A fee is agreed to: $27,000

The consultant puts a document together meeting the clients requirements.

Would the consultant be paid if the document didn't meet the client' s expectations? H- No!

I urge you voters to seek a fact based analysis and not a consultant's scare tactics.

Oh, have you noticed the damages to Fairwinds Yes signs and not to the opposition?

  • 2/11

Terrorism NOT an issue????
USA: November 28, 2001
WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said this week that the Bush administration received information on a possible terror attack on the American natural gas sector.   
Safety Issues???
01/14/04
By LEE DAVIDSON
Business Reporter
Questions have swirled around the safety of transporting LNG in tankers and what a worst-case scenario would be if a shipping accident occurred.

Leading LNG scientists have said the loss of just one of the five tanks on board a ship could result in a fire a half-mile wide.  The fire would cause residences near the site to catch fire and would emit thermal radiation capable of giving second-degree burns to residents living within a two-mile radius of the tank site. He said the thermal radiation zone would encompass five square miles.

LNG is lighter than sea water. Once spilled, it floats, unmixed, on the sea surface. Most importantly, it speedily spreads sideways, exposing the fuel to the air above. Once ignited, the LNG pool will burn vigorously. The time to burn spills of the size mentioned above can be less than five minutes.

Fires that burn thousands of tons of fuel in a few minutes are extraordinarily large, lying well outside the range of domestic firefighting experience

If they are so safe why did this LNG facility do this BEFORE the above report????

Sep 29, 2003

Atlantic LNG is moving to create a buffer zone, which is a transition zone between heavy industrial estates and residential areas.
The company is proposing to relocate, at its own expense, some 80 families of Pt. Ligoure and New Lands from the proposed zone to Southern Gardens, not far from their present location. Southern Gardens is a brand new housing development being undertaken by the National Housing Authority (NHA). Atlantic LNG will fund the building of homes earmarked for relocated families.

At this time, Atlantic LNG is involved in completing the collection of information relating to persons who now live within the proposed buffer zone. The focus of our relocation efforts is on land-owners, land tenants and the owners of buildings whether these are rented or owner occupied. Atlantic LNG maintains that it will work to achieve a transparent solution that is fair to all persons who will be relocated.   1)  As far as tax relief....you can be assured of "house relief".  That is because your property value will plummet....real quick. 

2)  Who is going to pay the high liability insurance for Harpswell once this monstrosity is in place. 

3)  Here's a good one... where is the state of the art Fire Department coming from in case of a disaster or attack?  (I don't    want  to hear the argument of an attack being a "remote" possibility.  9/11.  Wake up!! It CAN and DID happen, didn't it? 

4)  Are you aware that ConocoPhillips (Fairwinds) has dealings with Syria...a country that harbors, trains and funds terrorist groups?  Are you aware that they are able to do that because they have a foreign offsite office (when they receive their mail they rubberstamp it and send it back to their Houston Headquarters!!) They also keep the bulk of their profits in  foreign banks to avoid paying U.S.taxes? (60 Minutes 1/23/04 Doing Business With the Enemy)   

They want US to trust THEM????

5)  Provide Jobs????  Come on folks.  Talk's cheap.  Do your homework and see how many locals are working at the facilities that are in place now...not counting housekeeping and bathroom duty.

6)  I think that an investigation is in order as to why our selectman are so hopped up on this LNG project that we have to have a "SPECIAL" election oh so quickly...perhaps????  (No..couldn't happen in Harpswell...)

Sounds like the casino issue in Saco doesn't it?

Selectman Weil up for election in March???   I have an idea...why doesn't he pack up and take Fairwind's with him to Kennebunkport and see if it will fly there.

I love my community and the folks in it...just the way it is.  VOTE NO!!!!!!!

  • 2/5

My daughter and her husband, Joe Roth lived for 5 years in Valdez, Alaska, which is a major exporter for Alaskan oil. I asked Joe if he had any comments to make about the effect of oil on Valdez. Valdez is a town of about 4200 people and has a beautiful harbor. You can read it here.

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Last edited on 01/07/2010