2016-06-24 / Community

News Briefs

Power company sends out erroneous mail

Customers of Kennebunk Light and Power (KLP) who recently got a mailer from North American Power soliciting their business are out of luck. Apparently, the retail energy supplier, based out of Norwalk, Connecticut, did not realize there are sub-sets of electricity customers within the Central Maine Power territory. “Unfortunately, the mailing did not strictly target CMP customers and also went to KLP customers,” the district wrote in a June 9 posting to its website. “KLP customers do not have a choice of electricity suppliers. The only two Maine utilities that offer a choice of electrical suppliers are Central Maine Power and Emera Maine/Bangor Hydro.”

When Maine restructured its electricity industry in 2000, in lieu of outright deregulation, it made CMP and other providers sell off power-generating assets, such that it now only transmits power that other companies supply. However, the new rules let small utilities like KLP keep their generating capacity and thus their customers.

While KLP purchases nearly 99 percent of the power it provides off the grid, individual customers do not get a say in where their power originates. So any KLP ratepayer who gets a North American Power mailing can dump it in the roundfile.

Body of Arundel woman found in pond

On Saturday, June 18, York County deputies and members of the Maine Warden Service recovered the body of Paula Gagne, 54, from a small pond off of the Eastern Trail in Arundel.

An Arundel resident, Gagne had been reported missing earlier in the week and deputies traced her cell phone usage to the wooded area. From there they used K-9 dogs and air support, as well as game warden assistance to locate a spot at the water’s edge where her tracks ended. She was found submerged in the middle of the pond, having apparently drowned. York County Sheriff William King Jr. said “no foul play is suspected” and an autopsy is scheduled later this.

Kennebunkport selects activities chairman

It’s new boss, same as the old boss in Kennebunkport. In a special meeting on Saturday, June 18, in conjunction with the annual town meeting, the board of selectmen chose Stuart Barwise to chair their activities for the coming year. It’s a position he’s held before, in addition to many terms serving as vice chairman. Patrick Briggs will now serve in that role.

Town clerk set to be sworn in

Kennebunkport’s new town clerk, Tracy O’Roak was scheduled to be officially sworn in on Wednesday, June 22. At that selectmen’s meeting, O’Roak also will be named bureau of motor vehicles agent, department of inland fisheries and wildlife agent, public access officer and constable. O’Roak has been in training with current clerk April Dufoe since May 2. Dufoe, who’s served as town clerk for 15 years, will end her tenure June 30. In 2013 she won the Lorraine M. Fleury Award at the Maine Elections Conference for her contributions to the election process. A retirement party for Dufoe was held June 22 at Atlantic Hall in Cape Porpoise.

O’Roak, meanwhile, has 10 years of municipal experience, having come to the Port from South Portland, where she worked as a treasury specialist, overseeing the lien process, investments, accounts receivable and customer service functions.

Before that she worked as a deputy town clerk in Scarborough, handling the issuance and maintenance of vital records, licenses, and permits, as well as various election duties.

“Her background in legal work, certifications as a treasurer, tax collector and previously as a clerk, as well as her well-rounded municipal experience made her the ideal candidate,” Town Manager Laurie Smith said.

Atlantic Company looks to upgrade lift motor

At their June 9 meeting, Kennebunkport selectmen accepted a donation of $4,500, then, in essence, promptly handed it back to the group that gave it.

According to Dan Beard of the Atlantic Volunteer Fire Company, the group wanted to replace the 1999 motor on the Zodiac inflatable boat housed at the Cape Porpoise Fire Station.

Used for search and rescue operations along the shoreline and islands, the board currently has a 20hp motor.

Beard said the Atlantic Company wanted to upgrade to a 30hp with a lift that would make it easier to pull the motor up for shallow water operations and when beaching.

However, because the fire company is a private organization, it does not qualify for so-called General Services Administration pricing for municipalities. Giving the money to the town, and asking it to make the purchase would save the company 7 percent, Beard said. The vote of the board to do so was unanimous.

Goose Rocks ‘no drone zone’ requested

Following much conversation at two recent meetings over the desire to restrict the use of aerial drones from Goose Rocks Beach, without creating an ordinance codifying a ban, selectmen have finally agreed on wording for signs to be placed in at least two entry spots to the beach.

Those signs will read, “The town of Kennebunkport requests no drone use at Goose Rocks Beach.” The signs will have a graphic of an aerial drone with a line through it, which raised some hackles at previous meetings as the international sign for, “No.”

Some selectmen previously felt that image might cause beachgoers to think the town had an actual ban in place, setting it up for complaints it would not he able to enforce, unless local police decided the drone user was creating an actual disturbance.

However, selectmen agreed 5-0 to keep the image so long as the wording includes the word “requests.” A previous version of the sign had read, in wording proposed by the Goose Rocks Beach Advisory Committee, “Beach use is through a public-private partnership. Please respect the privacy and tranquility of Goose Rocks Beach through NO DRONE use.”

Compiled by staff writer Wm. Duke Harrington. He can be reached at news@

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