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“Wells Selectmen stifle free speech” and “Citizens seeing ‘RED'” (letters)

To the Editor (Seacoast Online, published June 11, 2009)

Selectmen stifle woman’s right to speak

Last evening, June 3, at a Wells Board of Selectmen meeting, many citizens gathered to express their concerns on water extraction from Wells. Concerns varied, but the tone of concern seemed to indicate that many citizens of Wells would prefer to prohibit, not just regulate, large-scale water extraction.

The meeting turned a bit unruly near its conclusion when a lady from Kennebunk desired to speak in the “session open to the public.” She was loudly and rudely shouted down by Selectman Chase. This was totally uncalled for. Immediately after this incident, the lawyer advising Wells stated the term “public” does not apply to Wells residents only, it applies to the general public in a legal sense and that this woman had the same right to speak as a Wells resident. Unfortunately, the public session was gaveled closed without her being allowed to speak.

Since Wells and Kennebunk are joined in a Water District, one must consider that residents of Kennebunk have just as much at stake as residents of Wells in what is drawn from the Branch Brook Water Shed.

Richard Fowler

Wells

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Citizens seeing ‘RED’

To the Editor (Seacoast Online, published June 11, 2009)

Citizens who are concerned about protecting the Branch Brook Aquifer are seeing RED!

It’s not because the socialists are trying to gain a foothold in Wells, as Selectman Spiller has alleged during his maniacal, McCarthyist-style e-mail rants against proponents of the rights-based ordinance.

It is because the language of the Regulatory Water Extraction Ordinance is being crafted under the direction of the Nestlé Corporation. At last week’s Ordinance Review Committee meeting, Mark Dubois, the resource manager for Nestlé/Poland Spring, accompanied by Nestlé lawyer Philip (Chip) Ahrens, gave copies of the Well’s Water Extraction Ordinance to the committee with changes marked in RED!

Ron Collins, who is running for Maine state Senate, stated in his letter to the editor last week, “The final ordinance will be ours and NOT language dictated to us by some outside group.” Similar statements have also been expressed by others, including Mr. Spiller and his colleagues on the Ordinance Review Committee.

Perhaps they need a lesson in geography! Let’s see — the towns of Kennebunk/Kennebunkport and Ogunquit are just a couple of miles down the road and the residents get their drinking water from the same Branch Brook Aquifer as the town of Wells, yet we are considered “outsiders and from away.” Conversely, having the Water Extraction Ordinance language written, in part, by the lawyers who are in the service of the multi-national corporation Nestlé, which is based in Switzerland and is thousands of miles away, is somehow acceptable?!

If we are outsiders, is Nestlé an insider? We are seeing RED because it “appears” that some people engaged in this outrageous scheme to give away our water, without consideration of all communities involved, may have been influenced by something GREEN!

Hm-m-m-m.

Jamilla El-Shafei

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