September 12, 2013

Letters to the editor: Poland Spring good steward of resources

Mike Schobinger ("Letters to the editor: Profits from Poland Spring not worth drain on resource," Sept. 9) is misinformed on many matters regarding Poland Spring and its product.

click image to enlarge

Bottles of water line the conveyor belt at Poland Spring’s Hollis plant. Those who say the company is depleting southern Maine’s water supply are misinformed, a reader says.

2011 File Photo/John Patriquin

I live near the plant and have most of my life. I do not work for the company but have many ties to it, as many in this area do.

Today we know this vast resource called an aquifer, left by glaciers some 10,000 years ago, is very large, as are many others in the area. The amount of water pumped from the ground for bottling is, pardon the expression, but a "drop in a bucket" compared to how other industries use the water, such as agriculture and paper mills.

This resource is also renewable. Every time it rains, it is replenished. Poland Spring constantly monitors its sources so as not to overtax them during drier times. Not to do so would be devastating to both its business and its reputation as a guardian of the resource it harnesses.

If we are too cynical to accept their word for it that the aquifer is doing fine, perhaps we can look to obvious indicators of its condition: the three Range Ponds.

I grew up on Upper Range Pond, and the water table has been pretty constant for at least the last 45 years I can recall. If Poland Spring were pumping the aquifer dry, wouldn't the lake drop, since it sits atop it?

On Saturday, Poland Spring Water in Poland Spring will open its doors to its neighbors and naysayers to tour its state-of-the-art plant and to view how it has tended to this resource since 1845 and still protects it today. Perhaps Mr. Schobinger should stop by.

Robert Joncas

Poland Spring

St. Joseph's Manor residents should have had more notice

Re: "St. Joseph's discharge handling criticized," Aug. 29:

St. Joseph's Manor has every right to make business decisions about their solvency, and their assisted-living unit within their facility. If they chose to remodel and try to find more private-paying residents, while sad for the community, they also have that right.

Where they fell down in their mission to serve was their very short-sighted decision to give residents only a five- to six-week notice to find other assisted-living arrangements. This was their home, and they felt safe and cared for there.

To pull the rug out from under them with so little regard for their safety and welfare is deplorable. As a former case manager at a local acute-care facility, I know that it can take months and months, sometimes years, to find a MaineCare assisted-living bed for someone.

Shame on St. Joseph's Manor for dealing so callously with the vulnerable people who trusted them!

Holly Lord


Kerry slighted proposal to avoid attack on Syria

Now that President Obama has asked Congress to delay a vote on attacking Syria, in order to give the Russian peace initiative a chance, this might be a good time to ask why the U.S. didn't come up with and propose such an initiative.

Indeed, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked by a reporter what might stop a U.S. attack on Syria, and he whimsically and glibly put forth essentially the same terms as the Russian proposal. But in the same breath he dismissed those very terms as impossible for Syria to fulfill. It was as if he wanted Syria to fail so he could have his war.

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