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.

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.

This is reminiscent of George W. Bush, who was so eager for war in Iraq that he couldn’t wait for U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix to finish his work in that country. And now Bush sits at home alone in his Dallas exile, not invited to, or so much as mentioned at, Republican conventions.

This country seems to have at long last grown tired of endless war. Will our so-called leaders ever catch up?

Lawrence Reichard


Paper could serve readers by publishing Constitution

In a letter Sept. 9 (“Call to oust Obama misreads Constitution“), reader Julie Mueller strongly urges everyone to read the Constitution on Sept. 17, which is the anniversary of its adoption in 1787.

I have always wanted to see the Constitution published in a newspaper, since it’s an immensely important document that touches much of the news that papers report. It is also too often misunderstood.

I hope that on Sept. 17 you decide to publish the Constitution. It’s a relatively short document that shouldn’t take more than a couple pages.

I’m also sure that you’ll sell more than enough extra papers to cover the cost as word spreads of what that day’s paper contains.

Mike Schowalter


GOP Senate candidate’s loss defeat for state, not for her

Re: “Another View: Democrat won with hard work, not just campaign spending,” Sept. 7:

The Republicans in the District 19 state Senate race also worked hard in the best candidate’s efforts.

Paula Benoit was endorsed by the local newspaper as the most qualified to serve again in the District 19 Senate seat. She had served with distinction in that capacity.

I need not dwell on her behalf as to her work ethic or character. I will let her record speak.

State Senate candidates Paula Benoit, Nichi Farnham and Dana Dow all carried a millstone around their necks, a cross to bear, followed by the albatross. All three were beaten by unknowns.

During this campaign, one of many I have been in both as a worker and combatant, one thing I became aware of instantly: Gov. Paul LePage.  

Personally, I voted for him but like most, I like his programs but not his demeanor. Two longtime Republicans who never voted Democratic told me personally, “Don’t know who Paula’s opponent is but I’m voting for them.” They could handle “kiss my butt,” “go to hell” or the Vaseline comment, but the last blab, “Obama hates whites,” broke Paula’s back.

We now have a community organizer in office (like the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. How’s that working for you?) who has never owned a business, never made a payroll, never had to inventory. The new state senator will be in lockstep with the “tax and spend” Democrats.

Yes, as the guest editorial said, there are many factions facing us as the oldest and poorest of all the 50 states. Adding 70,000 more people to the welfare rolls is not the way to effectively create a stable society. We are broke.

No, Paula Benoit, Nichi Farnham and Dana Dow did not lose. The state, Gov. LePage and, most of all, the citizens have lost.

David S. Kaler



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