It looks like The Portland Press Herald is unaware of the facts and problems that drove large numbers of Wells voters to reject water extraction last year.

The paper’s editorial of April 6 (“Water use battles play out in rate hike talk”) shows a deep ignorance of the well-established facts and problems that resonated with a thoughtful and justifiably worried local population.

Does the Press Herald recognize that Wells would receive no benefit from the proposed water extraction but could experience problems? Shouldn’t that be a worry to taxpayers? Or does the paper not think that of any concern?

Or that a huge majority of Wells homes depend on individual wells for water and questions brought few answers and little reassurance?

Is the Press Herald not aware of the weakness of Maine’s groundwater laws, an issue that has led many states, but not Maine, to adjust their own laws? There is a long list of valid concerns aired in Wells.

Your editorial is dismissive of these concerns and resorts to questioning the motives of concerned residents accusing them of “an anti-corporate development crusade.”

Worse, the editorial attempts to plant fear in small-business owners, and I am one, suggesting we should be fearful in this economy and worry about water costs and give up a precious resource out of nervousness.

It’s hard to miss that the newspaper’s viewpoint here does indeed seem to have a corporate slant.

Jean Foss

Wells

 

 

I am writing regarding your editorial of April 6, titled “Water use battles play out in rate hike talk.”

Your editorial does a great disservice to your readers. You imply that local businesses will be financially threatened by an increase in their water rates.

This veiled threat is ludicrous.

I personally attended the Feb. 25 public hearing sponsored by the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District to listen to its explanation for a 5 percent across-the-board rate increase.

Neither one individual nor one local business present at the public hearing expressed any objection to the proposed increase.

I suggest that you redirect your contrived outrage regarding the miniscule water rate increase toward a more substantial threat to local businesses, such as the 25 percent rate increase in insurance premiums that is proposed by Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, on insurance policies that businesses are lucky enough to afford.

Lastly, there is no need to suggest that a deal with a water bottler “would be worth a second look.” The citizens of the town of Wells have already defeated last November’s referendum on a proposed groundwater extraction ordinance, thus preventing Nestle Waters North America from gaining access. There is no need to take a “second look.”

The previous proposed contract between Nestle and the KKWWD would have not resulted in the creation of any new jobs, nor would it have benefited the local communities.

I suggest your Editorial Board educate itself on the issues before making insinuations that selling water “would be worth a second look.”

Bob Walter

Co-chair, Save Our Water

Kennebunk

 

 

After reading the editorial re: water usage and a potential rate hike here in southern Maine, I find I must take exception to the way the case is presented. Having been one of the dedicated citizens opposed to the ordinance, I can say only that the defeat of the ordinance last November was totally worth it.

Along with a small group of likewise concerned citizens, we spent countless hours researching the facts, and then spent more countless hours presenting these facts to the residents of Wells. The residents were then able to make informed decisions for themselves, resulting in the overwhelming defeat of the ordinance at the polls.

We are not specifically anti-corporation; we are, rather, totally opposed to the privatization, bottling and selling of our water. Poland Spring (Nestle Waters North America) just happened to be the corporation involved.

The issue was always about the volume of water that would have been pumped, and, the ensuing negative impact on our groundwater supply.

We have been fortunate of late to have a lot of water flowing due to heavy rainfall, but this might not always be the case.

If a long-term contract were signed, the company would be able to keep pumping and removing the same amount of water, no matter whether we were in a drought or not.

The economic gain to the town of Wells would be minimal. The company would only have to pay taxes on the land owned and pumped from, but nothing for the millions of gallons of water taken from the aquifer.

And how can a company be allowed to pump millions of gallons from a water supply, and then try to convince people that their wells and personal water supplies would not be affected?

Lastly, re: the creation of good-paying jobs: There would, at best, be only a handful of jobs needed to monitor a pumping station, certainly not enough to make a great impact on any town’s economy.

The selling of our water is a very emotional issue. It needs to be constantly addressed, keeping people aware of the facts and the dire consequences that result from apathy on this issue.

Valerie L. Murdock

Wells

 

 

In response to the Another View on Monday from Linda Dumey re: the “devil’s deal” with Nestle (“Wells was right to turn down ‘devil’s deal’ with Nestle”): Bravo to her for bringing something important to the surface.

Along with having a strong, four-year-term, publicly elected mayor in Portland, accountable to the people, I am all about seeing Nestle Corp. booted out of Maine entirely.

They’ve lied about many things, especially how many people they would hire and their (wolf guarding the henhouse) impact studies.

Nestle doesn’t give a damn about our people or our state as long as it can continue to pump millions of gallons of our water out to the world, making massive profits while tossing us a few bones along the way.

We are being duped by these shameless corporate leeches, and it’s positively disgraceful!

Water is our oil, and in the future it will be a lot more valuable than oil.

If people want “Maine spring water,” we could regulate our own water, hire three times as many people and be the richest state in the Union.

Let’s see the writing on the wall, folks! This is serious business. I hope the door does hit Nestle on its way out!

Laurence A. Kelly

Portland