Referendum signs are misleading

To the editor,

On March 3, all Maine voters registered in any or no political party may vote on Question 1. This referendum seeks to overturn legislation which does not permit religious or philosophical exemptions for vaccinations.

Those who don’t support vaccinating children have raised significant funds and covered the highways with signs which inaccurately portray vaccination advocates as being part of a conspiracy with big pharmaceutical companies.

Many of us recall growing up with family and friends forced by polio into iron lungs, wheelchairs, and braces. A vaccination administered to all members of the community virtually eliminated polio. Other diseases such as smallpox have been eradicated thanks to vaccinations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control says, “We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”

Please support vaccinating children by voting no on Question 1. Vote to protect our future.

Diane Denk

Representative, House District 9, Kennebunkport and parts of Kennebunk and Biddeford

Proposed sale is a surprise

To the editor,

I just discovered that Kennebunk Light and Power District approved the sale of Kennebunk’s Dane Perkins, Twine Mill and Kesslen dams. Although the minutes of this meeting have yet to be posted, this apparently took place during a short meeting at KLPD’s headquarters on Dec. 23.

The proposed sale is to the venture capitalist entity America First Hydro LLC of Scarsdale, New York.

Incredible. There is no way that these town assets could be sold right from under the people of Kennebunk. KLPD’s own charter states: “Nothing in this act shall be construed as authorizing said trustees to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the whole or any part of the franchises or properties of said district necessary or useful in the performance of its duties to the public, unless first authorized by majority vote of the town of Kennebunk to do so.”

I am both a resident and ratepayer. Why wasn’t I informed? A town vote is required.

Kenny DeCoster

West Kennebunk

Vernal pool needs protection

To the editor,

Like a bad penny, land with significant vernal pools is back under consideration for development.

Within the former rest area on Route 1 is a significant vernal pool. This SVP is protected by Maine’s Natural Resources Protection Act and is registered with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as Pool 539. Vernal pools are critical breeding habitats for species including, but not limited to, frogs and salamanders.

The surrounding uplands provide essential habitat for wildlife that feed on those breeding animals. Maine biologists and outdoor enthusiasts know that vernal pools and pool-breeding species play a powerful role in our state’s ecology. Eliminating, even breaching a vernal pool may cause a flourishing ecological area to be destroyed. Longview Partners, hired by the town of Kennebunk, has unequivocally confirmed the SVP and the ecological significance of this site. Not insignificantly, there is also the issue of a 250-foot Shoreland Zone associated with this wetland area. The town’s own soliciting document, the request for proposals, states “The site includes wetlands and vernal pools that have been determined to be ‘significant.’”

Townspeople should be aware that only in early springtime – and only with significant snow melt and/or rainfall could one conduct an accurate vernal pool survey for breeding indicator species. Subject experts agree that surveys over several years should be conducted to obtain the most accurate population studies to prevent anomaly years (read: dry) from incorrectly skewing results. One-time vernal pool studies are shams and I know that none were conducted last spring.

A November 2019 site walk as stated in the Post’s Jan. 3 article would be, regarding significant vernal pools, absolutely pointless.

Community Development Director Osterrieder states “… it is a challenging piece of property.” Maybe that’s because the environmental protections required do not favor development. Fragile habitats deserve protection. How about taking it off the market, protecting it, and not continually revisiting this issue?

Kennebunkers, don’t look the other way while others “move right along,” coveting and developing Kennebunk’s natural lands.

Susan A. Bloomfield

West Kennebunk

Lights recognize military, first responders

To the editor,

What a wonderful holiday season we have had, with even a bit of snow at the right time. Each holiday season is highlighted by the wonderful decorations and lights that many families put on display at their homes to show appreciation for the many freedoms and gifts that we have.

Many of us have had jobs that require having to work on holidays. But perhaps none of these jobs are as important, or as dangerous, as our first responders whose shifts fall on a holiday, or for our women and men who serve in the military and may be posted at far away bases, or at sea, and do not have the opportunity to travel home to be with their family.

Several years ago, veterans’ groups suggested that home owners might consider displaying a single green light to show that your thoughts are with our service members. And as well, the display of a blue light would show appreciation for our first responders and in particular for our police officers who go to work each and every day having to constantly deal with folks who make bad decisions.

So, as you take down your holiday lights and pack them away, consider arranging the display of a green or blue light, or both to show year ’round your appreciation for those who protect our freedoms.

In our case, we leave up two of our window lights, with each a green and blue bulb. Others in our area have put a colored bulb in the lights flanking their front door, on their breezeway, or in their light post at the driveway. I have seen one family with a green bulb in their driveway spotlight.

Please consider showing your appreciation for those who protect our freedoms, by the year round display of a green and /or blue light at your home.

Peter D. Brewitt

West Kennebunk