2017-07-28 / Letters

See you in Smellybunk

To the editor:

Yes, I’m afraid it’s time for us to face facts: from a recent letter, it seems that John Burrows has difficulty with comprehension and shows signs of cognitive impairment – due to the tumors of blind ambition and arrogance, perhaps. In his letter, Burrows wrongly claims that I reversed my support for an independent study by Kleinschmidt once he and the Rivers Alliance embraced the idea in the interest of facilitating a harmonious, decision making process. What decision making process?

The one he and his cartel have covertly forced upon us because they are the only ones who are smart enough and virtuous enough to save the planet? If he re-reads my letter, he will see that I said we would certainly benefit from an expert study by Kleinschmidt and should have utilized them in the first place, but now that KLPD has committed suicide in voting to surrender its license and redefined itself as the vassal of a solar company, it’s a moot point. The deed is done.

If dams aren’t generating, dams come down – the key to their battle plan for Kennebunk. His vacuous words are just pretty flowers on the grave of our legacy of independent power production, and his seemingly collaborative invitation is nothing more than a pretentious maneuver to perpetuate his persona as one leading the crusade and business of dam removal with environmental purity and integrity. And for the record, it was the MKRA who stormed the special selectmen’s meeting on July 21 to vote for the study and shouted down the proposal. Tell me again who it is that considers a Kleinschmidt report to be anathema?

Difficulty with comprehension by Burrows and the MKRA also extends to their inability to grasp or refusal to acknowledge the fundamental geographical and topographical realities of the Mousam. The cross sections and average 0.4 percent slope for the long reaches of the river alone proves that the Mousam can never be the full, vibrant, and rapid body of water that they promise it will be. No, we will get a slow, stagnant, warm and smelly trickle of water that won’t be a habitat for fish or anything else, for that matter.

Memory loss may also account for ignoring their other free flowing fiascos: the Androscoggin, Connecticut, Winnicut rivers, and most recently, the Goff Mill disaster. But let’s not confuse the issue with facts; what does it matter as long as it’s free, right?

As for raising the stakes with the suggestion to draw down the river for a whole year, his offer is like everything else the cartel does: radical. The typically hot and dry weather at the height of recreational activity for the rest of the summer will be quite sufficient to simulate a worst-case scenario. Besides, I’m not going to fall for his fait accompli strategy – you know, leave the Mousam that way long enough so that we start to accept this condition as the new normal.

If and when that happens, he and his cartel will get to celebrate their triumph way ahead of schedule. Thanks, but no thanks. But while it’s down, let’s see how many kayaks will be able to put a paddle in the remains of the river; with no water, we can see exactly how many alewives are banging their heads against the ledge below the Kesslen (or are you planning to remove that as well?); how many homeowners and realtors will like what’s been stolen from their properties; and how many tourists will want to stop and shop or stay in our town or just keep driving until they get to picturesque Kennebunkport?

Here’s an idea: once the MKRA storm troopers consent to a full Kleinschmidt study with particular attention to the actual production numbers and potential revenue of our hydroelectric assets, and he gives the order for a draw down lasting the rest of the summer, I’ll buy him a beer at Duffy’s and toast our new partnership.

I’ll be sure to ask for a window seat so that we can savor panoramic views of the Mudsam and laugh about how Kennebunk will soon be known as Smellybunk.

See you there. Cheers.

Shawn Teague

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