2016-10-28 / Letters

Election Letters

To the editor:

This November, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to vote for Jonathon Kilbourn for state Senate. I have known Jay for the better part of my life (albeit a brief 23 years), and have always considered him to be an empathetic and pragmatic thinker who constantly strives to find ways to serve and improve our community.

Jay notably served on our school board several years ago, helping to elevate the Kennebunk public school system to the high achieving level it holds today. I was fortunate to benefit from the improvements.

Jay is an analytic man, who holds an unjaded and non-cynical view of practicing politics. I know that he would bring a sorely needed dose of optimism and forward thinking leadership to Maine’s state government, serving our district admirably as we adapt to a rapidly changing future.

I would strongly encourage all other members of our beautiful community here in southern Maine to support Jay in the upcoming fall election.

Luke Flynn
Kennebunk

To the editor:

With the various claims and conflicting government studies about fluoride, it’s no wonder there is confusion. However, the most comprehensive, authoritative resource ever written on the toxicity of fluoride is the National Academy of Science’s “Fluoride in Drinking Water.” It’s 507 pages of information compiled by a blue-ribbon committee of 12 leading scientists, thoroughly documenting the harm of fluoride exposure and cites numerous ways Americans could suffer adverse affects.

It’s available free online at www.nap.edu.openbook.php?record_id=11571&page=1.

You decide. Either National Academy of Sciences’ report shows a definite risk to human health, or a potential risk that demands further research.

Eunice Sargent
Kennebunkport

To the editor:

I plan to vote for Jonathan (Jay) Kilbourn for Maine Senator, District 34, because I believe that 50 years from now the only current issue that will matter to my 15 grandchildren is climate change. Jay recognizes the urgency of collective action against human induced climate change.

As a Democrat, he subscribes to the platform plank that supports confronting “... the causes of human-induced climate change ...” Jay endorses an integrated program of reduced reliance on fossils fuels as well as economic expansion based upon renewable energy and conservation.

The failure of Republican national leadership to acknowledge, much less address this critical issue in a bipartisan way, means that we must address it at the local and statewide level. The one reference to environmental issues in the Maine Republican platform is to “Ensure environmental regulations are based upon sound science ...”

I do not find that platform plank very reassuring given that the Republican party refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming and increasing body of peer reviewed science concerning this topic.

The incumbent senator for District 34, Sen. Ron Collins, does not mention this issue. The cost of dealing with this issue nationally and individually increases exponentially with lost time.

Robert T. (Tom) Gore
Acton

To the editor:

Every day we are warned about exposure to harmful chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, food dyes, BPA, and the list is endless. Some of the chemicals we can avoid. Some we can’t.

Fluoride is the 13th most abundant chemical on earth I heard pro-fluoridation Myron Allukian say at the fluoride forum Oct. 3 in Kennebunk. So along with being exposed to it almost everywhere we go – in our air, water and soil – we add even more to our lives by intentionally adding it to our drinking water. The more water we drink, the more fluoride we ingest, and it accumulates in us from everywhere, but we’re still adding more.

From what I’ve read in the KKW District annual consumer confidence report this past summer, fluoride comes in many forms: natural – the calcium fluoride found in lakes, rivers, and streams, and pharmaceutical-grade - sodium fluoride that is added to toothpaste, and chemical – the fluoride added to our drinking water.

There is already natural fluoride in the water from Branch Brook, the primary source of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District’s supply. I’m satisfied with that. However, dental professionals insist more is needed to be effective for the prevention of tooth decay. This thinking has forced the water district to use hydrofluosilicic acid to make up the difference between the natural fluoride level already in the water and the level required to satisfy the dental community.

Hydrofluosilicic acid is highly reactive, and when ingested can impact our bodies in many ways; i.e., When it bonds with the calcium in our bones, it changes the bones’ crystalline structure making them porous; If we are lacking in iodine, fluorine can take the place of iodine in our thyroid gland and cause us to develop hypothyroidism; If it gets into our pineal gland and clogs it, the pineal gland can no longer produce melatonin, and our sleep cycle becomes erratic.

Of course, the water district safely uses many chemicals necessary to keep our water clean, but hydrofluosilicic acid is not necessary to clean our water.

If there is any doubt about the safety of this chemical and ingesting large amounts of it, that’s reason enough to vote no. I’ll vote no on fluoride because I’ve had enough chemicals in my life.

Janice Hanson
Kennebunk

To the editor:

Bradley “Scott” Ducharme is our choice for state representative in Kennebunk’s District 8. As a local small business owner, he brings a wealth of experience in what it takes to have a small business survive here in Maine. A retired U.S. Merchant Marine chief engineer, Scott has shouldered much responsibility in his long career and knows how to get results in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Not a politician who only tows the party line, Scott will use his training in problem solving under pressure and his background in small business to work on solutions that serve all Mainers and help move our state and district forward.

We desperately need a hard-working legislator who will fight for what is right for Maine and Kennebunk and work to end partisan gridlock.

Please join us in voting for Bradley “Scott” Ducharme for state representative in Kennebunk District 8.

Ed and Susan Karytko
West Kennebunk

To the editor:

There is so much spin in the Kennebunk papers these days regarding the Mousam River dams and town questions 4, 5 and 6, we are all going to get vertigo. I am on the side of keeping the dams and began familiarizing myself with this issue in March 2015.

Those who want the dams removed would like the public to think that all the misinformation is on the side of keeping the dams. This is the first piece of misinformation. The second piece of misinformation is that the Save the Mousam – Keep Our Dams group is all river abutters and rich ones at that.

Since I started the group and know many people on the mailing list, I can assure you this is not true. There are approximately 200 abutters. The online petition we began is at 446 signatures.

The June 2016 vote count for our KLPD candidate Daniel Bartilucci was 1,276, and the signatures on the Citizens Initiative were close to 1,000 and hailed from all parts of Kennebunk.

We feel that Save the Mousam captures the voices of the silent majority of the town that does not want the dams torn down. We further believe that residents have a democratic right to make their wishes known – not be told by certain elected officials what is best for them.

Third, no vote has been taken by KLPD to date mandating the removal of the dams – they voted only to surrender their hydropower license. No, the video of the meeting is online for all to view that the June 2016 vote decided only to surrender the license.

Fourth, certain outside interests and their minions want the public to think the dams are worthless. But in the last two months, power district general manager Shea announced there are at least two companies interested in taking over the license and running the dams. That must mean the dams have value and could be profitable. Then why remove a renewable energy?

Fifth, it is not true that it is more expensive to keep the dams. Scaring voters with millions is used as a common campaign tool. The Wright-Pierce report is fraught with problems. Several of our members have worked diligently to analyze these numbers. But their numbers are wholesale ignored and downplayed.

On the contrary, WP’s are gospel despite all the questions about their assumptions and data. The real truth is that, at this point, costs of either decision can only be estimated.

As Bob Georgitis, head of the Economic Development Committee said in reply to the selectmen when asked about including numbers with the ballot questions, “Whose numbers would you like us to include?” That was a truthful answer. Certainly, keeping the river as it is limits risk in that we know what we have. Removing the dams opens Kennebunk up to potential risks of erosion, toxic sediment contamination and silt build up. What about storm water runoff pipes and water levels of private wells? What about slope restoration at $100 per foot? If any of those happen, the costs of dam removal will be much greater than Wright-Pierce estimated.

On the other hand, if the town bought the dams back for the dollar they sold them to KLPD in 1979, they could partner with companies who wish to upgrade and run the dams. This would open up the possibilities of grants, low interest loans, and more, so that local hydropower could again benefit our community and save ratepayers money. Alternative energies are fine to pursue, but in terms of solar, Maine is not Arizona.

Sixth, removing the Kennebunk dams does not free the Mousam – there are 10 more dams upstream. Let’s agree to tear out our dams when and only when all the other dam owners have agreed in writing to tear out their dams.

Please, undecided Kennebunk residents, don’t believe everything you read or hear; educate yourselves. Read our position on our Facebook page or website www.savethemousam.org. Then join me in voting yes on town questions 4, 5 and 6 to keep our options open. Thank you.

Donna Teague
Kennebunk

To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor by above-dam abutters along the Mousam River decried the lack of fish in the river as an excuse to preserve the three painfully obsolete dams owned by Kennebunk Light and Power. “What fish?” was the rhetorical question asked by pond devotee Shawn Teague in his letter arguing there are almost no fish in the Mousam. Well, according to studies by Wells Reserve scientists – not amateur pundits – the Mousam River has the potential to produce annual returns of about 727,000 alewives, 340,000 bluebacks and 56,000 American shad.

That’s well over one million fish annually. What fish. Wow. Think about that and vote no in November on questions 4, 5, and 6.

Alex Mendelsohn
Kennebunk

To the editor:

Our town and state have spent over $3 million in the revival of our downtown district. Today’s Mousam River and its Kesslen Dam is the binding uniting the two now reinvigorated sections of Main Street.

How often have you seen a photo of the Mousam spilling over the dam with the historic Layette Center and its iconic Kennebunk sign in newspapers, travel articles, town reports and chamber of commerce promotional materials?

For travelers coming up Route 1, it’s their first, “We’re now in Kennebunk,” moment.

It’s rare when pedestrians crossing the Main Street bridge aren’t stopped in their tracks when they hear the roar of the river spilling over the dam. They always pause to drink in the sight of the Mousam and the first bend up the river. During the fall foliage season, the cameras are always snapping away and their owners carry those memories back home to friends and family.

During a recent river draw down, many labeled what was left as the Mudsam, giving us a glimpse into our future if our three dams are torn down.

Studies tell us that the new water depth at all three dams and their mill ponds would average less than a foot-and-a-half. Add to that a rocky bottom and the loss of all of the current and private access points.

It would mean the last paddle for this generation, thanks to Maine Rivers and its allies.

Factor in this year’s drought, dried up springs, very little discharge from the eight dams above us, without our dams, the view from the Main Street bridge, the middle point of our downtown revival, would have been a dried-up, waterless mudhole.

Why, after the $3 million investment and the expenditure of thousands of hours of creative planning and energy by our residents would we allow such a shoot ourselves in the foot sabotage of our Main Street revival?

Our vision for the future of the Mousam is much different than that of the tear-it-downers.

We see an expanding downtown community role that would complement the impact that the Waterhouse Center has already had on Main Street.

It includes annual Mousam Fishing Derby days for youngsters, Dam to Dam paddle races for kayaks, canoes and paddleboards and launching Our Great Outdoors event, celebrating our magnificent Maine rivers, lakes and woods.

Save Our Dams has already sponsored the first Dip an Oar in the Mousam family fun day.

This is one of those rare times in a town’s history where a decision for its future will have to be made. Please vote yes on town questions 4, 5 and 6.

Tom Murphy
Kennebunk Landing

To the editor:

As Americans, we are privileged to live in a country that allows us to choose our political leaders. Yet in this election cycle, it feels as if we are anything but fortunate regardless of our political affiliation.

For months we have been bombarded with vulgar, often untruthful, vitriolic political rhetoric masqueraded as track record and truth. The impact has been mentally, emotionally and spiritually disastrous, creating confusion, division and discord among the electorate.

We are desperately in need of a change. If a democracy is to flourish, we need to have debate based on mutual respect and honesty. Instead of the current attack based political language we need to return to civility in public (and private) discourse.

In order to emphasize the importance of mutual respect and honesty in political debate, the Maine Council of Churches has invited political candidates for the Maine Legislature and U.S. Congress to sign a pledge to be civil. Nearly half have done so. As a pastor and Kennebunk resident, as well as a board member of the Maine Council of Churches, I write to encourage all of our political candidates to sign the covenant, and to encourage all Maine voters to make the same request of the candidates.

Among the provisions of the Covenant, we are asking candidates to:

Act respectfully toward others.

Refrain from personal attacks or characterizations of any opponent as evil.

Refuse to make any untrue statements.

Value honesty, truth and civility while striving for workable solutions.

Disavow statements made by others working on a candidate’s behalf that don’t meet these standards.

I invite readers to visit our website at www.mainecouncilofchurhces.org in order to read the Covenant and view the list of the candidates who have already signed the covenant.

Rev. Carolyn Lambert
Kennebunk

To the editor:

I have friends who built a farm in Acton, beyond Mousam Lake and the Acton Fair. Take a left at the fair and it’s out there. They have vegetable gardens, a modest vineyard, a few chickens. They boil maple syrup in late winter and their water comes from a hand dug well about 25 feet deep. Turn on a faucet and there it is: pure Maine water. There is such a thing. It’s all around us. It tastes good. Quenches the thirst.

Our problem lately is over 100 or so government bureaucracies and most local dentists are telling us if we drink pure, unfluoridated Maine water, our teeth will rot.

We need dentists, can’t get rid of the bureaucrats, but maybe we can get rid of the toxic waste in our drinking water.

Alec Ferguson
Kennebunkport

To the editor:

I attended the fluoride forums at Kennebunk Town Hall, the most recent one sponsored by the area dental professionals on Oct. 3. Unfortunately, I have heard these professionals make incorrect statements about water fluoridation and wonder if they have any licensing requirements to be truthful in their statements.

Some of the puzzling statements I’ve heard from fluoridation proponents:

“You can eat a tube of toothpaste and still be OK,” James Trentalange Aug. 12, 2016.

Yet there is a warning right on the tube that says if more than a pea-sized amount is ingested, to call poison control.

“Fluoride does not pass through the umbilical cord. If a woman takes fluoride when she’s pregnant it does not pass through to the fetus.” – Dianne Smallidge Aug. 12, 2016.

However, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry Public Health Statement says, “Fluoride can cross the placenta from the mother’s blood in the developing fetus.”

“No one is forcing anyone to use a public water supply. No one is forcing anyone to be exposed ...” – Myron Allukian Oct. 3, 2016

If someone doesn’t want to use the public water supply, their choices are drilling a well for several thousand dollars, installing a reverse osmosis treatment system for several hundred dollars or purchasing bottled water for all of their drinking and food preparation needs.

I have read reports written by legal scholars who are warning about the potential legal actions casting long shadows across the country based on personal injury, consumer fraud and civil rights harm from forced fluoridation of public water.

I am happy to see Kennebunk Kennebunkport and Wells Water District is removing itself from this liability. The last thing our water company needs is to be distracted from its mission to deliver us clean water by any potential lawsuit.

Legislation is being introduced to stop fluoridation in many areas of the country. Like here in the Kennebunk Kennebunkport and Wells Water District, thousands of citizens are taking matters into their own hands with homegrown petition initiatives against water fluoridation.

Like the water district said in its summer 2016 newsletter to customers: “It’s about more than the statistical reduction of cavities in in the general population. It’s about unintended consequences, ethics, mass medication without a sensible dosage methodology and about the safety of the District’s customers and employees.”

Christopher Moulton
Kennebunk

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