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What's New - 2

This page is intended to provide me (Burr Taylor) with an opportunity to highlight new additions and changes to the website. It will start with Fairwinds, but hopefully expand to all of Harpswell.

I have split the What's New page. see below.
 

What's new - contents

What New - 2/11/04 - present

What's New-10/5/04 - 2/10/04

2/10/04

2/9/04

2/8/04

As far as I know this is being sent to all candidates for office in Harpswell who have opponents: Gordon Weil, Amy Haible, Rosalind Knight and Donna Frisoli.

As you probably know I have a website (http://www.harpswell.info) which has been primarily associated with LNG, but is intended to be a public service in many other areas as well. I would like to have a section on the town meeting and specifically on the candidates and the issues as you see them.

Therefore, I would appreciate it if you could send me a comment about your candidacy. I hope your comment has two parts. In the first you can say whatever you like about yourself and your credentials. In the second, I hope you would discuss the issues you expect someone in the position you are running for would have to deal with. Obviously, the vote on March 9th could make a significant difference in your response. You may deal with that problem in any way you like. Also, you may add to your comment at any time after you submit it and I will post the addition as soon as possible.

You may submit them as a reply to this message or to btaylor1@gwi.net. Please put town meeting in the subject line.

It is my intention that discussions on my site be civilized and based on the issues. If any comments concern you, please let me know.

Thank you for your consideration.

2/5/04

1/31/04

1/28/04

  • Selectman Weil says that he was referring to median family income, not per capita income.

1/27/04

  • Selectman Weil said Harpswell had the lowest per capita income in the region. I wonder what region?
    According to the 2000 census the following towns had the following per capita income:
    Harpswell - $30,433, Bowdoin - $17,260; Bowdoinham - $17,260; Topsham - $21,135;
    West Bath - $23,022; Brunswick - $20,322; Freeport - $27,724.
    I wonder in what region Harpswell has the lowest per capita income - as Selectman Weil and Mr. Floccher assert

1/24/04

  • That was quite a Selectmen's Meeting on Thursday 1/22/04.

    • I thought it was interesting that we will allow people from Alaska on the Fuel Depot site, but not local people from Topsham. The Alaskans do have more money.
    • I thought it was petty to use public use of the Fuel Depot by Topsham residents as a bargaining chip (or was it a rationale) with SADD 75 formula.
    • I think it is a shame that Harpswell has become so suburban that it cannot allow dogs to run in the Fuel Depot. Is there anyplace in Harpswell where dogs can run? Would it be possible at least to have a time when dogs could run.
    • I am concerned about Selectman Theberge's memory problems. If I heard him correctly, Harpswell was a great place to be and live before FairPlay arrived. I can assure him, that there was vandalism, torn down signs, destroyed moorings and fishing gear, fisticuffs among elected officials (which went unpunished) long before FairPlay arrived on the scene. I am not a fan of the way FairPlay expresses itself. However, Selectman Theberge, in my opinion, was out of line to blame them for vandalism without any evidence presented to support his opinion. These were comments by a public official at a public meeting. I think they were unfortunate at best.
    • While I sympathize with Selectman Theberge's attitude about the opinions of people new to Harpswell, I do not think it is appropriate to say these people are not entitled to express their opinion. I wonder what special knowledge of Harpswell he has that makes his opinion about Fairwinds so much better. How does one distinguish between a valid difference of opinion and an opinion that is invalidated by the opiners newness to Harpswell. 
    • I am concerned that Selectman Weil, if I understand him, thinks it is OK to have an ordinance on the books (use of Fuel Depot) that is not enforced (or enforceable). Is this just true with the fuel depot, or are there other ordinances which the town officials down think need to be enforced? How am I as a public citizen to know which ordinances I should follow and which I can overlook? This attitude keeps out the law abiding citizen, while encouraging the person who doesn't care.

1/23/04

1/20/04

  • The Selectmen are meeting at 2:00 in executive session to discuss leasing arrangements

  • The was quite an explosion at an LNG plant in Algiers yesterday. See news

1/16/04

  • There's an interesting article in the new news section about a terminal that has been approved for 116 miles offshore.

1/5/04

  • Monday, Jan 5, 9:00 pm & Tuesday, Jan 6, 3:00 pm, HCTV, "1998 Joint meeting concerning fuel depot"
    This was a meeting between the selectmen and members of various committees considering uses for the Fuel Depot site. It was taped on 3/24/98.

1/2/04

  • I posted a "A PowerPoint Presentation from July of 2003 by Chris Hall - Senate Chair, Utilities and Energy Committee Maine Legislature." I converted it to html and it is available here

  • The selectmen are meeting in executive session this morning at 9:00 to discuss leasing town property.

  • At his request, I deleted Kev White's 4th article. He was concerned about bad writing, bad tone, and misinterpretation.

12/31/03

  • I think this comment is worth putting on this page too: Margaret Leonard, I have put last week's Portland Phoenix at Morse's Store on 123 and at the Gulf of Maine Bookstore at 134 Main St, Brunswick. Have a stack at home if anyone needs some to distribute. Call me at 833-6051 or email: mfl@gwi.net

  • I added a comment to the Comment page.

12/30/03

  • I added a page with recipes relating to Harpswell traditions and coastal resources. Please feel free to send in one or more of yours to share with other visitors.

12/29/03

  • Chris Duval added an answer on the FAQ page (54-6)

12/28/03

  • Today's quote comes from the article featured below (12/27/03) by Peter Micciche. He was commenting on events leading up to Fairwinds written proposal.

"Nobody comes right out in public and says what they’re going to do. No one ever does, no one ever will, it’s not going to happen. Period."

  • Resistance is growing to the LNG terminal on the Delaware River. The article listed on the new news page says the Department of Energy is reassessing the safety of LNG shipments. The report is due in January.

12/27/03

  • Many of you will be interested in the follow article in the Portland Phoenix Features A year of division. It provides a detailed history of the project going back to 2002 and includes a lot of information I had not been familiar with. It is also lists on the new news page.

12/23/03

12/22/03

  • Watch out!  Apparently you can buy and sell Harpswell on eBay in Canada

12/18/03

  • I was very sad to hear that the PTO would not be allowed to have Fairwinds speak at an upcoming meeting. It smacks of a Freedom of  Speech issue. I do not understand why some people say Fairwinds should leave, as though they did not have as much right to be here as anyone else. Freedom of Speech requires two - the speaker and the listener. If the listener is not able to hear the speaker speak in a peaceful manner, it is the listener who should leave, not the speaker. Prohibiting Fairwinds from speaking with the PTO is in effect saying that the Parents and Teachers attending are not mature enough to handle the situation. In this instance, we have seen the enemy, and it is not Fairwinds.

  • I have added a new page for new news articles and new links. Without this page, I fear many of these new links would be lost amongst all the others.

12/16/03

  • Boy, have I been confused about Kenai. There are several Kenais. One is Kenai Peninsula which is a geographic area. There is Kenai Peninsula Borough which like a county and is the size of Massachusetts and New Jersey. There is the village of Kenai. Finally there is the community of  Kenai, which is about 26 miles in diameter, is the population center of the area and includes several villages, but I do not remember which ones. While it appears informal to us (and the encyclopedia) it is real to the people living in the community. They cooperate in many ways. This was the area Peter was referring to.

I apologize to Peter for being so dense about this. Following is a message Peter sent which should clarify all this.

Burr - Not really sure why any of this matters, but did some research in order to clarify dates.

I initially fished as a deckhand from time to time until I purchased my own Cook Inlet Salmon Drift Permit (#S03H61581Z 45504) in 1994.  I leased a boat one season until purchasing my boat, the FV/Inlet Raider in 1995 and have fished every possible full-inlet commercial opening since.

I have lived in the Central Kenai Peninsula Community for twenty one years. I lived in Nikiski (1982), Kenai (1983-85), Kasilof (1985-2000) and Soldotna (2001-2003).  I lived in Kasilof until I took a position with ConocoPhillips in Austin, Texas for a period of time in 2000-2001.  When I returned to Alaska, I moved into one of my duplex rentals in Soldotna, my current residence, and have plans to build a home on a lot on the Kenai River that I have owned for some time.

Burr, I invite you to spend a few days on the Central Kenai Peninsula. Only then would you understand why the question of where in the area I live is irrelevant; it is all essentially one community.  You would also have the opportunity to witness an exceptionally successful partnership between a corporation and a thriving community. 

And so that you could fully appreciate the Central Kenai Peninsula Community, bring your bicycle to enjoy the 25+ miles of paved bike trails, your skis to  enjoy the 50+ miles of groomed cross country ski trails; you could play cribbage  or attend a dance at the senior citizens center,  you could swim at one of the  indoor swimming pools, you could skate on Olympic ice at the indoor community  center or at the half dozen other maintained school hockey/ice rinks in the  central peninsula area, you could catch a king, coho, sockeye, or pink salmon  on the Kenai River, catch a 200-pound halibut in Cook Inlet, go out on a Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing boat, paddle the Kenai, Kasilof or Swanson Rivers...

I could go on and on about the raw natural beauty and incredibly positive things about the Kenai Peninsula. Please don't attempt to depict my community or any other community on this wonderful planet without adequately experiencing the location.

We're all somewhat limited by experience and information or lack thereof. Respectfully and in fairness to all, might I suggest that in the future we  refrain from accusatory public statements based on misinformation.

Thank you,

Peter A. Micciche Stakeholder Relations Manager

 

12/15/03

  • Peter Micciche called me this morning to ask me why I thought his comment was misleading [see below 12/11]. I said it was misleading because when he said the "area, where he lived for years while employed at the Nikiski LNG" I thought he was saying that he lived in Nikiski, when actually he lived in Soldotna, which is 14.72 miles away. For your reference, Brunswick is about 6.5 miles from the fuel depot, Cundy's Harbor is 15.7 miles, and Lands End is 14.26.

The conversation motivated me to learn more about Kenai, Kenai Peninsula and Kenai Peninsula Borough (county to us).

Cook Inlet Oil and Gas - Kenai Peninsula Borough

The state of Alaska has sold leases to oil companies for subsurface mineral resources in places in Kenai. In Alaska, one person owns the surface of a property, another owns the mineral rights in the land below the surface, And the person owning the subsurface rights is dominant and can come right onto the surface owner's land and start digging - although they usually work something out. But a lot of people are upset.

  • I also spoke with my son in law who has lived in Alaska all his life. He told me about Evergreen (an energy company). Evergreen is trying to extract methane (natural gas) from coal beds [see above]. According to my son in law, businessmen and workers are happy, but property owners are scared and angry. He said stories and letters in the Harpswell Anchor sounded very familiar to him.
  • He also pointed out that the oil companies provide 90% of the revenue for the state. The whole idea of property seems different, too.

12/14/03

  • While doing the Harpswell Islands School newsletter, I noticed a Fairwinds representative will be at an upcoming PTO meeting to discuss ways to spend the money, if the proposal passes. I'll be interested to hear what they come up with.

12/13/03

  • During yesterday's Selectmen's meeting, Selectmen clarified a point in his report from Kenai. He said that he had noticed that the Kenai community seemed to get along well with ConocoPhilips. However, Selectman emphasized that that did not mean that ConocoPhillips would get along with Harpswell. It did mean that ConocoPhillips could get along with Harpswell, if we keep a close eye on them. That is a worthwhile and interesting clarification.

12/11/03

  • Just in: the website for Fishing Families for Harpswell. FFFH.org - Fishing Families For Harpswell

  • The resource below is a great resource which, as you can see, is background information. I haven't read all of it yet. I hope it is fairly objective. I think it may have information that could make either side happy. One thing I did read: The expense of escorting LNG ships comes out of the Coast Guard budget and local budget. It costs $80,000 to escort each LNG tanker into Everett and maybe half that for Harpswell (more remote). Does that mean that Coast Guard protection and services will be diminished in this area. Below is the message and link that I received.

Hi,
I know things with Fairwinds are a little shaky at the moment and who knows what the future will bring for Harpswell, but I am in the process of finishing a paper and i came across a website that I found extremely helpful. You have probably already seen, as I know everyone in the town has been doing research on the project at hand but I thought I would pass it along just in case.
Good luck with everything.
Colby College student '04
lng_security_report_congress
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Infrastructure Security:
Background and Issues for Congress
September 9, 2003
Paul W. Parfomak
Specialist in Science and Technology

  • The Times Record's article cited below was outstanding because it did a good a good job of presenting the Loyd Report and Peter Micciche's response.
    The Times Record News "Alaskan visit adds fuel to local debate. Trip convinces trio that proposed LNG facility 'not a good fit' for Harpswell; Fairwinds official takes issue with report, saying it fails to give full picture." In the article Mr. Micciche said,

According to Fairwinds spokesman Peter Micciche, the oil-and-gas industry in Kenai is just one small part of a diverse community with a rich cultural history. He calls the area, where he lived for years while employed at the Nikiski LNG terminal, "the most beautiful place in the natural world."

This comment made me curious about where Mr. Micciche lived in Kenai. I could find only one Peter Micciche living in Alaska. He lived in Soldotna, AK 99669 in 1996 and 2000, which is 14.72 mikes from Nikiski Wharf by car. I am not sure you can live 14.72 miles from the fuel depot and still be in Harpswell. Certainly, I think Mr. Micciche can live as near or as far from the facility as he chooses. However, comments such as he made above are misleading at best.

The article also said, "He criticizes Loyd's report for failing to really look at the role the company plays in the community..." I wonder what role Fairwinds employees will play in Harpswell. I wonder what perspectives they would bring to the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board or the Board of Appeals.

 

  • I added a link to an article about a proposed facility in Quintana (Links places). Even though it would be in an industrial area, people are still concerned about it. Additionally they would be getting a benefit we would not: inexpensive energy

12/9/03

  • The following site arrived today. It is very interesting as it describes the town of Nikiski. Click on the link to view it:  Nikiski, Alaska Detailed Profile - It is particularly interesting if you have read the Loyd Report.

  • The Times Record had an excellent article about the Loyd Report and Mr. Micciche's response as well as other responses of people in Nikiski. The Times-Record is unavailable just now, so I cannot give you the link.

  • Mr. Micciche says we should think about how involved Fairwinds will be in the community. Does that mean Fairwinds' employees will serve on town committees, such as the Comprehensive Plan Committee, run for Selectman, help out in the Rec department and so on.

12/8/03

  • From the Mobile Register: "A confidential study commissioned by the owner of Boston's liquefied natural gas terminal suggests that an accident involving an LNG tanker could quickly evolve into a chain reaction of explosions and fires."  It's under Safety: Sea in Links. It also says many people consider it more dangerous than gasoline, because it burns cleanly and intensely.

12/7/03

In general, environmental assessment is a process to predict the environmental effects of proposed initiatives before they are carried out.
An environmental assessment:

  • identifies possible environmental effects
  • proposes measures to mitigate adverse effects
  • predicts whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects, even after the mitigation is implemented

Therefore it appears that an Environmental Impact Assessment is the Canadian counterpart to a Environmental Impact Statement. I assume an Environmental Impact Assessment could not be done in Harpswell because we are not in Canada. The phrase appears to be used in many places in the world.

12/6/03

  • I added a couple of comments today.
  • As you probably know the vote has been postponed indefinitely because Selectman Weil found examples of the Venture changing significant phrases in the final copy of the lease. The example given by Mr. Weil concerned changing the phrase "Environmental Impact Statement" done by FERC to "Environment Impact Assessment" (or something like that) commissioned by Fairwinds. That totally changes the meaning of the item in the lease. Mr. Micciche called it a misunderstanding. I think he is absolutely correct. Obviously the Venture misunderstood the care that the town was exercising with this lease.
    I had lunch with a friend who has had a lot of experience dealing with contracts between his small company and large companies. He told me that such changes by the large company in the final copy of the contract is common in his personal experience.
  • Mr. Micciche likes to talk about what a good company ConocoPhillips is and from his perspective I believe he is sincere and honest. However, I fear ConocoPhilips may be like a relative of mine. This relative was kind, generous helpful, etc. as long as he got what he wanted. Unfortunately, when he did not not get what he wanted, he could become very nasty. Indeed, another relative has said that he would walk over his mother's grave to get what he wanted. Based on the misunderstanding about what the Venture wrote into the lease, it looks like the Venture can be very sneaky, if not nasty.
  • While I agree with the many people who think that the chance of a terrorist attack on Harpswell is remote, I do think terrorists might be opportunistic enough  to pick an easy target in a small town - just to show that people are not safe anywhere. However, I think there is a much greater possibility of another terrorist attack somewhere else in the United States. And, if there were such an attack (large or small) I wonder what the ripple effect  would be on Harpswell and Fairwinds, particularly if the U.S. had become dependent on the gas that Fairwinds produced. Would more land be needed provide adequate security for the terminal? Would fishermen be allowed to fish in the same way? What would happen to the zone around ships? Would energy companies be allowed to do whatever was needed to provide (national) security? In other words, given the precautions the U.S. is taking now, it seems reasonable to think about how another terrorist attack might affect the relations between Harpswell and Fairwinds. Indeed, I wonder if  even the lease could be pre-empted in the name of national security.
    I recommend that you read the file that came in today from Chris Baker about how energy companies are using the law to withhold information. Chick here to read it.

12/5/03

  • The Selectmen have again postponed the vote on Fairwinds.
  • I spoke with Peter Micciche about the nature of his concerns about the Loyd report. He spoke about some emails he received from people quoted in the report which, according to Mr. Micciche indicated that they were misquoted or misrepresented. I read one by the fire Captain. and, while I would need to study it carefully to understand it fully, it appeared to me that Mr. Micciche and Mr. Loyd were talking about different things or talking past each other. I am not sure that Mr. Loyd was being unfair. Mr. Micciche said he would consider writing a response to the Loyd Report and forwarding the emails to me so I can post them here. He wanted to get official permission before he sent them.

12/3/03

  • It is difficult these days to have a discussion where people are talking about the same thing. It is far more common for people to respond to others by saying something that appears relevant but too often is not. A case in point is Mr. Micciche's response to the Loyd Report as printed in the article in today's Press Herald (Trio's visit to Alaska natural-gas plant adds to Harpswell debate )as follows:

    Peter Micciche, Fairwinds' spokesman, worked at the Alaska facility for 20 years. He said the report left out important information.
    "There was obviously an agenda and I think that is too bad," Micciche said. "I don't feel Mr. Lloyd was interested in ConocoPhillips' place in this community. He was more interested in the environmentalists' view of oil in Alaska. I would challenge anyone from Harpswell to pick up a phone book and find someone (in Nikiski) who has anything negative to say about us."

    Unfortunately, Mr. Micciche doesn't describe the agenda, and the reader is left to guess. Then he says Mr. Lloyd was not interested in ConocoPhillip's "place in the community.". However, Mr. Loyd in his report said: 

    Generally speaking the residents of the Kenai Peninsula are very complimentary about ConocoPhillips and the Nikiski LNG facility – this is true even among persons who may have some negative comments about the Nikiski LNG facility and/or the LNG tanker traffic. Environmental issues aside, I believe that this is partly because the oil and gas companies doing business in Alaska are perceived to be good citizens – they readily contribute money and personnel to state and local organizations and partly because the overall safety record of the oil and gas industry, by Alaska standards, is perceived to be good.  I also think that Alaskans, by and large, are much more forgiving of lower level oil and gas related environmental problems than persons living in states without a large oil and gas presence.  Alaskans have a long standing close relationship with oil and gas and have developed a comfort level that could be achieved only through such a close relationship.

Clearly Mr. Loyd would agree with Mr. Micciche that ConocoPhillips is a good neighbor, but he also says here and elsewhere that Kenai and Nikiski are different places, with different histories, people, culture and expectations.
Finally, Micciche used innuendo to dismiss Mr. Loyd as "more interested in the environmentalists' view of oil in Alaska" than (by implications) the donations that ConocoPhilips made to the town of Nikiski.  Indeed was Mr. Micciche saying that the people of Harpswell should not be concerned about environmental problems with Fairwinds  because of Fairwinds' donations.

  • In the same article as above, this is what the Fire Captain had to say about Mr. Loyd's Report

"When I read the report it made me sick to my stomach," said Jim Allemann, captain of Nikiski's Fire Department, where he has worked for 28 years. "They have been excellent neighbors."

We seem to all (including Mr. Loyd) agree that ConocoPhillips is a good neighbor. Please, tell us Mr. Allemann what made you sick to you stomach. Were any of your comments quoted in Mr. Loyd's report inaccurate or misrepresented?

  • We cannot say that ConocoPhillips was always a good neighbor. The safety zone which was added after 9/11 caused considerable friction with the fishermen in the area. It is to the credit of both the fishermen and ConocoPhillips that they worked something out. Many people think that the chance of a terrorist attack on Harpswell is remote. However, the chance of a terrorist attack somewhere in the United States is clearly not remote. If there were an attack somewhere in the U.S., I wonder what security measures would trickle down to Harpswell. I wonder if those security measures would pre-empt the deals that are being made with fishermen, with residents? Could the lease be pre-empted in the name of security?

11/30/03

  • I had incorrectly posted a letter from Cheryl Golek. Now the revision is posted. (the second part was changed. Golek 3 and 4)
  • I have posted several responses to overheard #4.
  • There's an interesting perspective about the protection of Whaleboat Island by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in comments.

11/26/03

  • I wish anyone reading this, and anyone else too, a Happy Thanksgiving.

11/25/03

  • The Selectmen begin their third day of an executive session which began Sunday night at 10:00 today.

  • I added a new section for General..

11/24/03

  • I added some comments and a some responses to overheard.

11/23/03

  • I added an interesting fact, a question, and some comments.

  • Also, I was delighted to add 2 non-Fairwinds events to the calendar. I would be happy to have more.

11/22/03

11/21/03

  • I added a wonderful comment from Elizabeth Davis about how we should treat each other.

  • The vote on Fairwinds has been changed to January 27, 2004.

  • I hear the new model is in the Fairwinds office.

  • Peter Micciche called me last night. He said he was being inundated with the same questions.  He agreed to answer any new questions.

11/20/03

  • I added two new sections. One asks people for suggestions on how to spend the money. The other includes comments that I have heard around town. I hope people will respond to them

11/19/03

  • I added the Report of Fact Finding Visit to Kenai Peninsula, Alaska to Assess the ConocoPhillips Nikiski LNG Liquefaction Facility and Seek Input from Interested Parties and Stakeholders of the Nikiski Facility by John F. Loyd in Word format and HTML format. This is an important on the site report that is carefully written. I hope everyone reads it.

  • Added two Press Herald links about the energy bill being considered by Congress

  • Added a comment

  • Added a link to good news for the company who wants to build a terminal in Quintana. TX about the environmental impact of the  terminal . See Links other places.

11/18/03

  • I received a message from Peter Micciche on Sunday night in which he said I have misunderstood him. He asked me to call, but I haven't had time yet. I learned at the Anchor today that Fairwinds has posted what looks like a very comprehensive FAQ.  You can get there here

11/17/03

  • I received an email today from Peter. He said I misunderstood. He asked me to call him today, but I didn't have time. I will tomorrow.

  • I posted Kevin White's revised TIF for 11/17. I thought the only reason for the TIF was to avoid increasing our state valuation. While we may be returning tax money to Conoco, we are getting it back in the form of lease payments. Therefore, we get our tax money and no increase in taxation.

11/16/03

  • I still haven't heard from Peter, yet. It has been 8 days since the weekend when he said, "I'll try to get back to you ASAP."

  • There have been some comments including a big one from Kevin White about TIFs. I think he may be missing a step. I've asked him and I'll let you know.

  • I learned on the radio on Friday, that most of the state's expenses in 1960 were to build and maintain the state's roads and bridges. There were no state agencies to help abused children and the state did little if anything for k-12 education. This all changed with the income tax in 1971. As state income tax revenue increased, so did the things that the state needed to spend money on and, then, of course more money was needed.
    I sure hope that doesn't happen to Harpswell. (but, I'm glad that state helps abused children now..)

11/14/03

  • I sent Peter the following message today, referring to some questions already in the pipeline which he had said he would respond to: "Peter, Are you going to answer these questions?" So far, I have not received an answer to either of my questions about answering. I sincerely want to keep this site balanced and welcome all responsible opinions. However, I find Peter Micciche (of Fairwinds) refusal to answer questions annoying and hypocritical. I believe he said he would answer all questions. Does anyone know who his boss is, so I can register a complaint there?

  • Title 30-A - §4324. Responsibility for growth management If I read this article correctly, it does not seem to me that the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan are legal. For example,

When amending an adopted comprehensive plan, a municipality or multimunicipal region shall follow the same procedures for citizen participation, public notice and public hearing that are required for adoption of a comprehensive plan. [2001, c. 578, §13 (amd).]

We have had a public hearing, but I am unaware of any citizen participation or public notice. Anyone else have a thought.

11/12/03

  • We have several new comments today

  • I received the following message from Peter Micciche yesterday.

Burr, it is apparent that there are no longer any new issues being raised in the questions coming through your web site; they are now repeating similar themes that have been previously addressed through your web site, the Anchor, information sessions, call-in programs and the Fairwinds web site. In the future, we will be prepared to respond only to new or unique issues that have not been dealt with.

This was my reply.

Peter

I am disappointed in your response (see below) to my questions. Obviously there is no way I can be aware of all the questions that have been "previously addressed through your web site, the Anchor, information sessions, call-in programs and the Fairwinds web site." Therefore, there is no way I can be aware of what questions you are will to answer. In effect you appear to be telling me that you are refusing to answer any more questions.

One reason I set up the site was to benefit people who do not have (convenient) access to the resources you outlined in your message. You are denying them access to this information.

I realize that some questions I may have sent I could have answered myself (and I have answered many), but I thought it would be better to have the official answer.

I can only hope that your message, which I received on Tuesday, has nothing to do with the comments I made at the Hearing on Monday evening.

There was another set of questions that you said you would answer in a message you sent from Alaska. What is the status of those questions?

Thank you for any help you choose to provide.

Burr

 

11/11/03

11/9/03

  • Don't forget the hearings tomorrow (Monday, the 10th, HIS, 7:00 p.m.): Planning Board Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendments and Board of Selectmen Public Hearing on LNG Proposal

  • Added many comments and questions.

  • Added related link to Links places Mobile, AL, and to Links page under safety (Quest Consultants)

11/8/03

  • I received a link from the Mobile, Alabama newspaper. It points out that the safety zone is there to protect the LNG ships, not the public. The newspaper could not find out what agency determined the safety of the tankers for the public. See links other places and look under Mobile, Alabama Who gauges tanker hazard?

  •  

11/7/03

11/6/03

  • On Wednesday, November 12, 2003, there will be a waterfront forum at the Town Office from 6-8. The subject will be Harpswell’s Fishing Industry and Working Waterfronts: What’s at risk?  The panel will be moderated by our own Dave Etnier, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Marine Resources and will include Sue Inches, Department of Marine Resources, Elizabeth Sheehan, Costal Enterprises, Inc, and Jim Connors, Maine Coastal Program, State Planning Office. The key questions will concern:

    • What are the threats and changes facing working waterfronts in Maine and Harpswell?
    • What is being done to maintain and enhance commercial waterfronts statewide?
    • What lessons can be taken from other communities?

    We hope to have a good turnout with many comments and questions. You can read the Agenda here.

  • Added a comment that I hope we all can and do agree with from the members of Fairplay.

  • I added some dates I took from Fairwinds website.

11/2/03

  • According to calculations by Kevin White, the tanks would rise about 70 ft above 123, or some 30 ft above the Methodist Church Steeple. This would make the tanks visible from East Harpswell.

  • There are currently at least 6 proposals for LNG in the Northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada. This may help explain why Fairwinds is in a hurry. It also suggests that the gas will get to Maine somehow, even if Harpswell turns down Fairwinds.

    • Weaver's Cove Energy, Fall River, MA; sponsor: Poten & Partners
      (www.weaverscove.com);
    • Somerset LNG, Somerset, MA;
    • Fairwinds LNG, Harpswell, ME; sponsors, TransCanada, ConocoPhillips
      (www.fairwindslng.com);
    • Irving Oil, Saint John, New Brunswick; sponsor: Irving
    • Access Northeast Energy, Point Tupper, Nova Scotia
      (www.ane-inc.com).

11/1/03

  • Added a comment

  • Added a link to the Coast Guard responding to a pipeline explosion. See Coast Guard under Links

10/31/03

  • Added answer to #27 and four comments

  • Added Selectman Weil's Report on his trip to Kenai in both Word and HTML formats

10/28/03

  • New link: California Energy Commission Staff White Paper This appears to be an excellent summary of the whole LNG process from LNG, the ships, the terminal, and the permitting process (for California)

  • Posted a couple of new comments,

10/26/03

10/23/03

  • The Friends of Casco Bay just published Joe Payne's list of concerns about LNG.  www.cascobay.org then scroll down to the last button [on the left] that says Harpswell LNG." There may be a display problem at the Friends LNG site. If you have trouble, you can view it by clicking here or, for a Word Document, click here.

I think this is important because Friends of Casco Bay is a reputable local environmental organization, and their list should carry some weight. I appreciate their contribution to the discussion of the Fairwinds Proposal. I plan on increasing my contribution to the organization. I hope you will consider becoming a member of the Friends, if you are not a member. Or just consider making a donation.

  • 2 new questions, 1 new comment

10/22/03

  • New Answers: 7A-2, 26, 28, 31, 32, 33;
  • I understand that Joe Payne (Baykeeper, Friends of Casco Bay) has a five page list of concerns about the LNG proposal. I hope it will go online tomorrow or so.

10/21/03

  • Answers: 15, 16, 18, 22,  from Fairwinds; also: answers: 36 Questions 36, 37
  • I added some links that suggest that Conoco was not a great community member, You can find them under links Conoco...

10/19/03

  • I posted questions 31, 32, 33; 34, 35 answers 15, 30, 24, 31, 32
  • The vote on the lease has been moved from Tuesday, Dec 16th to Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004
  • I read the Article about the Fuel Depot in the July 2003 issue of the Anchor. One excerpt follows:
    " Fuel depot committee chairwoman, Roberta Weil, says her panel is finalizing a new report that outlines the pros, cons, feasibility and obstacles of various proposed uses for the property commonly known as the former Fuel Depot, . . ."  
    It seems to me that this report would be a very helpful addition to the debate about Fairwinds use of the Fuel Depot. Many people seem to feel that Fairwinds is the only choice we have for use of  the Fuel Depot.
  • I particularly enjoyed the following excerpts from the same issue
    "Both Weil and Knight stressed that time is on the town's side when it comes to deciding the future of the old fuel depot property. Townspeople have the luxury to dream, discuss, debate, propose and plan.
    "We have that land forever and forever," said Weil. "It's not an instantaneous decision we have to make. We don't have to rush."
  • I am a member of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. If  I recollect correctly, the Committee recommended that the Fuel Depot Committee work to attract appropriate businesses. The recommendation was emphatically rejected by the Fuel Depot Committee, who said their mission was to receive offers. Their choice seems more passive, and less likely to produce positive results.

10/18/03

10/17/03

10/16/03

  • There are some new comments today. One has an attached letter on a separate page.
  • I watched the beginning of HCTV Call-in on Fairwinds. I thought Baykeeper Joe Payne came across very well. He seemed fair, knowledgeable and experienced with working with the state. While Casco Bay comes first, he was willing to talk with Fairwinds. I feel more comfortable knowing that we have Joe's knowledge and skills working for us.
  • I also was interested in the discussion in the same show of  the amount of time that Harpswell people needed to make a decision. Mr. Micciche made the point that by November we could be tired of hearing about Fairwinds, which may well be true. But, Dr. Fay made the point that, particularly in New England, people like to chew on new ideas for a while. It's important to feel comfortable with a new radical proposal. In reference, to yesterday's comment on this page, it takes a long time to become familiar with all the parts of the elephant. It is necessary to hear and interact with the opinions of many different people. The vote on December 16 is more than individuals  making a decision about the safety, or money, or esthetics or the future of Harpswell. It is a community decision which requires discussion and interaction with as many parts of the Harpswell citizenry as possible. That takes time.

10/15/03

  • I received answers to questions 4, 5, 6, 17, 25 from the town. I appreciate getting the official answers.
  • I have not received any answers from Fairwinds for some time.
  • On TV I watched Peter Micciche answer questions at the Brown Bag lunch. He is very good. Viewing the interaction between questioner and answer was a surprising change from reading the letters that make up people's comments. The complexity of the issues was overwhelming. So many questions and so many answers and each answer sounded a different note depending on the ear.
  • It was a good example of the "blind men and the elephant."
    Three blind men walking down a road one day come upon an elephant, but had never seen one before and did not know how to name it. 
    The first blind man took hold of the sturdy leg of the elephant and said, "This creature is like a tree." 
    The second blind man grabbed ahold of the slinking trunk and said, "I think this creature is like a snake." 
    Finally, the third blind man felt the strong side of the elephant and said, "No, this is definitely a wall." 
    You see, each of these men were examining the very same creature in the best way they knew how, but each developed completely different views from the next. 

10/14/03

  • I hear that Fairwinds had too many people there and they were not always providing the same answers to questions. Now, it's just Peter Micciche and a temp from Brunswick.

10/13/03

  • The Fishermen from Zone F have requested to use the TV Station for a live call in show this Friday, October 17 at 7pm
  • Ned Simmons received a nice response from Fairwinds regarding several comments he made which are on the Comments Page

10/12/03

  • The quote below in 10/11/03 referred to a terminal in the Bahamas. I was reminded by a reader that Fairwinds said: "The LNG re-gasification system is a closed loop; there is no discharge water." They must have a different system up here. (Thanks, Dee)
  • There is some interest in the pipeline recently and its effect on the fishing industry. You may be interested in looking under Safety: Pipeline, then Effects on Fishing and the Environment for more information.
  • I, for one, would like to hear from some of the people who favor this proposal. Of course, just because someone has questions doesn't mean they are opposed to the whole project. Still, I think it would help the discussion a whole lot.

10/11/03

  • I posted some good links about pipeline safety today in Links.
  • Also, This quote is included in the following link: The Nassau Guardian - LNG pipeline companies bidding for Bahamas "But experts say the worst environmental impact is likely to be the discharge of cold water from the regasification process. The LNG facilities will use massive amounts of seawater (125,000 gallons an hour) to warm up the supercooled gas, Dumping the chilled water (at 6 degrees Fahrenheit) back into the sea will affect fish and lobster larvae as well as corals and other marine life. "  I haven't heard that one yet. see 10/12/03 above

10/10/03

  • Thanks to Chris Duval for the report about last night's meeting in Comments
  • I do not understand why there was so little publicity about last night's meeting for Midcoast fishermen. Does anyone have any reports, comments, reactions to the meeting that I can post?

10/09/03

  • From the calendar - Thursday, Oct 9,  7pm, BHS: A special meeting for midcoast fishermen is scheduled.  The meeting will give lobstermen and fishermen the opportunity to question Fairwinds officials and officials from the Department of Marine Resources.
  • The "mysterious" meeting was a focus group run by David Emery of Scientific Marketing of Tenant's Harbor. There is more information and links on the Links Page
  • I just (12:55pm) received a call from Peter Micciche of Fairwinds. He said he called all his PR people this morning and learned  that Fairwinds were the ones who had hired Scientific Marketing. He said they are trying to reach the people who do not show up at meetings, open houses or at his office to find out more about the concerns of Harpswell people. I guess the meeting is no longer mysterious and we can now call it Fairwinds' focus groups.

10/08/03

  • We also received a comment from someone whose mind was changed by the meeting last night (10/7). I respect people who are willing to listen and rethink things. I also respect people who rethink and do not change their mind..
  • I hear Friends of Casco Bay is preparing a list of environmental concerns to discuss with Fairwinds. I hope they share it with us.

10/07/03

  • At the meeting tonight Mr. Knight acknowledged that he had not said anything to the other Selectman after he showed representatives from a big oil company around the Fuel Depot.
  • Several fisherman expressed strong reservations about having the Terminal here.
  • There was a mysterious meeting at the Atrium Ballroom tonight. Comments

10/06/03

  • We received an answer to question #11 about whether Fairwinds targeted some parts of Harpswell differently than others. FAQ questions
  • We also received a partial answer to #10 about Ordinance Changes, particularly the Tower Ordinance. The Tower Ordinance is coming to the town site. FAQ questions
  • If you missed the call-in show on HCTV it will be shown again, Tuesday at 2:30
  • Don't forget the Public Hearing tomorrow (Tuesday) at HIS at 7:00
  • Dee asks about a survey she took a while ago.  FAQ questions

10/5/03:

  • Tom Allen suggested I add the 1999 Fishing Profile so people can appreciate the importance of fishing in Harpswell. See Links/effects
  • I added the CEI study on Fishing Access in 25 coastal Towns. It can show you how Harpswell compares to some other towns. Also it compares taxes among the towns. It is the last item under reports Maine Coastal Program - Online Resources - Download Center
  • We have some answers from Fairwinds' Peter Micciche. See FAQ questions 7 & 9

 

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Last edited on 01/07/2010