The Spurwink Rod and Gun Club in Cape Elizabeth has been in the news as we all work to establish a solution to problems inherent in a firing range abutting a residential neighborhood. I am writing to clarify some points:

 First, the Cape desires a range that is safe. All parties agree to that now, with the range having no containment in place presently. This is important since the weapons used by the club have a range that can affect all of Cape Elizabeth.

 Secondly, everyone agrees that the noise is dramatically louder than in years past and it only seems to get worse, keeping families from enjoying their neighborhoods and homes. The club is grandfathered from any local noise ordinance now. A reasonable solution needs to be reached.

 Third, there are very real health and environmental questions to be answered: Is lead seeping into the nearby Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge marshes and wetlands? Is there harm to children and animals from dangerous noise levels in the surrounding neighborhoods, etc.?

 Lastly, the club has received a grant from the Department of Inland Wildlife & Fisheries for certain safety upgrades, but this grant also outlines efforts to increase public access to the shooting range to nonmembers as well as expansion of current activities. This brings with it a host of new safety concerns and exacerbates an already unacceptable level of noise.

What we request is reasonable and fair to all: that an objective, professional evaluation is done to assess these areas of concern and that an effective plan is adopted to address environmental, sound and safety concerns. It’s a sad day when groups can’t solve their own problems.

Jonathan Baldwin

Cape Elizabeth