Friday, October 30, 2009

Regular Folks Cast Aside Modesty
for Men of York 2010 Calendar

The Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce has produced a humorous calendar that features a diverse group of local businessmen who have agreed to cast aside their modesty to raise funds to benefit non-profit organizations in York. The Men of York 2010 Calendar models range in age from 20 to 70+.
The calendar will be unveiled for the first time publicly on Wednesday, Nov. 18th at the American Legion function hall at Hannaford Plaza in York beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to attend the Men of York Revealed! event are $35 which includes a calendar ($20 value) or $15 without the calendar. Tickets also include refreshments and a chance to meet the models, view the pictures for the first time, and get autographs of the models. There will be a cash bar featuring special drink deals. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the chamber at 207-363-4422. This event makes a great “Ladies Night Out” and the calendars will make great gifts for the holidays. Only 1500 calendars will be sold.
The models will be introduced on stage in a humorous show that incorporates music and dancing. Their photos will be simultaneously revealed by calendar month. The photos show men in various stages of undress, often with a “prop” that relates to their business. “These men have really been great sports in the interest of raising funds for charity. The calendar will promote their business and their sense of humor,” said Chamber President Cathy Goodwin. “We’re raising funds and raising eyebrows! It’s all done in good taste, and in reality, the photos show no more than you’d see on a sunny summer day at the beach! It’s all in the imagination.”
Four professional photographers have donated their time and talent to this project including Anne Sweeney, Tim Rotman, Geneve Hoffman, and Shane Corcoran. Examples of their “regular” work will be on display at the Reveal Party along with information about the non-profit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds of the calendar sales. Following the event, calendars will be sold throughout the community at chamber businesses and at the chamber Visitors’ Center on Route 1.
Profits from the calendar sales will be shared with The American Legion, Kiwanis Children’s programs, York Hospital “For Every Patient” Campaign, Think Again, and the chamber’s scholarship fund. These groups will receive $10 of each calendar they sell. The project is being coordinated by the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, and all expenses are being incurred by The Chamber.
Calendars such as this one have been produced successfully in communities all over the country. They include the Men of Maple Corner in Vermont, the Women of Tamworth in N.H., The Men of Westerly in RI, and the Steel Magnolias in Aiken, South Carolina.
For more information call the chamber at 207-363-4422.

Voters face Seven Statewide
Ballot Questions on Nov. 3

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
On Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, Mainers go to the polls to vote on the seven questions included in the statewide referendum. The following are the seven questions that will be on the ballot, and what voting “yes” or “no” would mean for each of the questions. All information comes from the Maine Secretary of State’s website:
Question 1: People’s Veto
Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?
A “YES” vote would reject the new law and continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.
A “NO” vote would allow the new law to take effect, permitting same-sex couples to marry.
Question 2: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 3: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?
A “YES” vote favors repeal of the 2007 school district consolidation law and its amendments.
A “NO” vote opposes repeal and favors leaving the 2007 school district consolidation law and its amendments in effect.
Question 4: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 5: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 6: Bond Issue
Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?
A “YES” vote favors authorizing the $71,250,000 bond issue to finance all of the above activities.
A “NO” vote opposes the bond issue in its entirety.
Question 7: Constitutional Amendment
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?
A “YES” vote favors adoption of this constitutional amendment.
A “NO” vote opposes adoption of this constitutional amendment.

Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Kennebunk Free Library in conjunction with the Brick Store Museum is proud to present the powerful new documentary Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story which premiered nationwide on Sept. 6 on the Smithsonian Channel. This video explores the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the most controversial public assistance programs of the Great Depression. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Reading Room located at 112 Main Street. Admission is free and the screening is open to the public. The companion book to the documentary is also available for checkout at the Library.
The 1930s was a time when millions of Americans faced unemployment, vanishing life savings, banks foreclosing on homes and a general loss of hope. However, through government grants for programs such as the Federal Writers’ Project, the Great Depression also created opportunities for thousands of unemployed writers including Richard Wright, Saul Bellow and John Cheever. These writers fanned out across America, interviewing its citizens and producing a portrait of the USA from the ground up in a series of state travel guides. But the Federal Writers’ Project also ignited a storm of controversy when writers portrayed not only the triumphs of America, but also its tragedies.
At its peak, the Project employed over 6,600 people including a handful of published authors, old newspaper reporters, former school teachers and others. Two of its better-known workers, Studs Terkel (in one of his last interviews before passing away in October 2008) and Stetson Kennedy, appear in this documentary. In addition, the documentary features interviews with a diverse group of leading authors, poets, and historians, including Douglas Brinkley and David Bradley, who provide witty and heartbreaking insights into the Project.
Filmed entirely in high definition, Soul of a People”is a Spark Media Production produced for Smithsonian Networks™ with a major funding grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is produced and directed by Andrea Kalin and based on the book, Soul of a People, by David A. Taylor. Taylor also serves as co-producer and co-writer for the documentary. Award winning actress Patricia Clarkson is the narrator.
For more information on this program contact the Library at 207-985-2173 or the Museum at 207-985-4802 or visit or

Wells Voters to decide
on Water Extraction Regulation

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Voters in Wells will decide on Nov. 3 whether the town will have an ordinance that allows and regulates large scale water extraction in the town. Question 1 includes a proposed regulation that is the product of a year-long process carried out by the town’s Ordinance Review Committee.
The proposed ordinance adds large scale water extraction as a permitted use in the town’s land use code in certain districts in town. It defines large scale water extraction as “extraction of water from ground water sources, aquifers, springs, wells, and similar sources in a total amount on any given day of 20,000 gallons or more.” Such extraction would require a permit. However, the proposed ordinance exempts extraction of water to be used within the town of Wells for “agricultural purposes, drinking water and domestic water supply to private residences and commercial users (that do not sell water for ultimate consumption outside the Town of Wells); water supply for public facilities such as schools within the Town of Wells; fire suppression; or for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes with the Town of Wells.”
The ordinance establishes an application process involving the Planning Board that requires the applicant to, among other things, detail the total maximum daily quantity of water to be extracted; the purpose of the extraction; identify the rates of drawdown and recharge of the aquifer or other ground water sources used, and other potential environmental impacts on the surrounding area; a traffic analysis by a professional engineer in Maine of the expected daily average vehicular trips, peak hour volumes, access at the site and other activities related to moving the water to the place it is ultimately processed; and site plans detailing the area of the extraction, including, but not limited to, the location of extraction points, roads, pipelines, and test and monitoring wells.
The Planning Board would have the ability to approve, deny or approve with conditions any application. Any approval would specify that it be only for extraction up to the maximum daily amount in the application. The approval would be for a period of three years, with renewal possible upon another review. That approval also would be good for three years before another review. An approval would be granted only if the applicant demonstrated that its activity would not cause “unreasonable changes in ground water flow patterns relating to the aquifer, any surface waters within the Town, any ground subsidence beyond the property lines of the applicant’s property, adversely affect the long term sustainability of the aquifer, or create a health risk.” The applicant also would be required to demonstrate an ongoing follow up monitoring system of the operation.
The ordinance includes a clause in which the applicant would agree that it would abide by the codes and ordinances of the town and “at no time rely on any national or international trade agreements, treaties or other instruments of legal means to abridge the rights of the citizens” of Wells.
Finally, the ordinance gives the Board of Selectmen the right to revoke or suspend the extraction permit under certain circumstances.
The debate about the question emanated largely from negotiations in the summer of 2008 between Poland Spring (and its parent corporation Nestle) and the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District to allow the extraction of water for bottling purposes. While no agreement was reached, opponents to large scale water extraction in Wells urged that the town enact a ban on such activity. The town implemented a temporary ban, which has been twice extended, while it determined how best to approach the issue. The proposed ordinance was the approach the town chose to take.
Opponents (those who encourage a “no” vote on Question 1) argue that enacting an ordinance would open the way for a company like Nestle to begin extraction, and that the town would soon lose control of the situation. Ed Pare, a Wells resident who is a member of the group Protect Wells Water, said that the town code should be left unchanged.
“In the code there’s a section for each district with a list of permitted uses,” Pare said. “If (the use) is not listed, it is not permitted in the district. Now, large scale ground water extraction is not a permitted use. For large scale extraction, you must apply to the DEP and also have a permit from the town. Since it is not listed as a permitted use the Planning Board would have to deny a permit.”
Pare said he asked Andrew Fisk, a Bureau Director at DEP what would happen if DEP issued a permit and the town did not. Fisk responded in an email that the two permits “are not related as they are different laws. That does not mean that our permit trumps the town’s denial - so in your example the project could not proceed as it didn’t have all necessary permits. We condition permits to that end.”
Supporters of the ordinance (those who encourage a “yes” vote) argue that a tight regulation offers the town the best protection for its water resources. “The ordinance very clearly allows the town to control the amount of water to be extracted,” said Selectman Jim Spiller. “Great care was taken by the ORC to allow owners to use what is justifiably their’s without taking from anybody else. They’ve largely achieved that goal.”
Spiller disagreed that not having the use listed as permitted in the current regulation would prevent it from happening. He said the enactment of the temporary bans on extraction might have taken that protection away. “Not passing this will not prohibit water extraction,” he said. “Water extraction is a permitted use in the state of Maine. If we turn down the ordinance, it would be easy for an applicant to come in and say they have the right to extract. If or when that occurs, the town would have no regulation whatsoever. DEP regulations are nowhere near as tight as this. To protect itself, the town has to pass this.”