All posts by Chuck Denault

SCOFFLAWS AMONG US. You may know who they are.

Every year in Maine, we lose millions of dollars. Much of the money is destined for Maine programs that cover aid to Towns, Schools, Roads and the overall budget. Your local Town feels the impacts as well. Towns lose hundreds of thousand of dollars each year because of those who fail to register their vehicles in Maine.

Prior to retiring,  I enforced this law since 1985, and you would be surprised to learn who these people are. As the law evolved, Ken Lemont (Kittery) and David Ott (York) strengthened the law and made it easy to prosecute.

Committing theft in Maine is criminal. However there is another form of theft and that is committed by the people who FAIL TO REGISTER THEIR MOTOR VEHICLES IN MAINE having that vehicle based, parked or garaged in Maine for over 30 days. It does not mean that your company vehicle or vehicle belonging to another is exempt. Maine case law supports this.

Ignorance is no excuse. This is how it works; excise taxes stay in the Town where the vehicle is registered. Plate fees, sales tax and other applicable fees go to the State of Maine. What is the problem? The problem is this money is yours. Imagine what could happen if every one paid their fair share and the pie was split among us all!

These people hide their vehicles down long driveways, in garages, behind their residences. They drive around all the time, dropping kids off at schools or attending Town events. They are right under your noses. Sometimes they stick out when they have signs on the side of their truck. You may know who they are,  I do.

Many people who register their vehicles in another State do not pay INCOME TAX and a majority of them do not have insurance and therefore are putting our citizens at risk for uninsured motorists. There is no way to track these people who live next door to you or for the State to find their income if they are not working in Maine. Many find a way to hide reporting it. i.e. Joint Taxpayers,  one spouse filing taxes and the other does not, One vehicle may be registered in Maine the other not. Business vehicles registered to their Out of State business or a borrowed long term family car. There are many excuses and mostly they are absurd. Most claim “I did not know!”

There are 21 border Towns in Maine that border NH. The problem gradients inwards and violators have even been found in the center of Maine. So more Towns are affected then the 21 border Towns. Do the math and see how much Maine loses.

It has been estimated, that each town loses over one million each year in income taxes for the State that is not paid. Hundreds of thousand of dollars is lost that is supposed to be paid to the Town. Each Town has their fair share of violations.

I worked with Two Governors of Maine on this problem. Baldacci and Lepage. Both of them recognized the issue and helped us enforce it. Did you know it is a FELONY in NH under Title Fraud to register the vehicle in NH if they are required to be register in another State.

Upon being discovered committing this violation, many run out and register the vehicles before they are approached or for other reasons that only they know. Who wants to be accused of Theft. Here comes the best part, you would be surprised of who is a violator. As I said before, they may be your family, your neighbors, your friends, Lawyers, Doctors, Law Enforcement Officers or even politicians. It affects all of us as we claim ignorance.

In my DISTRICT 2, Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick, I reached out the Dan Ammons and Michelle Meyers who are both running for Maine House of Representatives, District 2.

Candidate Dan Ammons (R) responded immediately to my request and concurred about the multiple vehicles he sees while campaigning and around Town on a daily basis. He said “all should pay their required fair share and no one is above the law.” He added there are some legitimate reasons for not registering a vehicle but the current law in Maine covers that so it is enforced fairly.

Candidate Michelle Meyers (D) was asked the same questions and she has yet to respond back to me.

Perhaps she too may have seen these violations and I will update this post as soon as she can respond. I will post her responses when I get them.

Update, on Oct 21, at 7:25 pm and after repeated emails and questions concerning Registration violations and people breaking that law as well as a few other questions asked of her, she responded. Here is her reply.

Dear Mr. Denault: Thank you for your email inquiry on my position on this issue. I apologize for the delay in responding as I have been busy with my campaign.
 
I want to you to know I support the current state law on this issue and appreciate your bringing it to my attention.
 
I hope you feel free to contact me about any other issues you may be interested in.
 
Respectfully,
Michele Meyer
 

Well, ….to me this is a pretty big issue. Make no mistake about it, citizens should be CITIZEN WATCHDOGS and report these suspected violators. Ask yourself why there are always an OUT OF STATE plates in your Towns local driveways  If you keep seeing one then report one, this is the best approach. Maine Registration law violators are subject to hefty fines.

The longer someone lives in Maine and commits this violation the more money they owe the State and essentially us the citizens. Just because someone runs out and registers it before they are caught does not negate the facts they were scofflaws. They still owe Maine the money.

This election should not be about party, it is about us. Ask your State and Local politician how he or she feels about those who commit these types of violations against us.  Also ask them what they would do if they would know a violator. On second thought, perhaps, you might not want to  but remember, it’s your money too!

Do your homework and  tell your politicians they can effect change and make Maine about the people again?  Maine the way Life Should be. I have to do it, so should everyone else. No one is above the law.

P.S. If any of these violator are reading this, they should know somebody knows. I plan on updating this post soon with more relevant information.

Check back frequently as more information becomes available.

Foreside for Fuel Benefit October 21st, 2018

Help Keep Kittery Warm

Foreside for Fuel Benefit

at Buoy Gallery/ Black Birch Sunday, Oct. 21

 

KITTERY, ME –At least 20 local restaurants will contribute food to Foreside for Fuel, a benefit at the Buoy Gallery and Black Birch restaurant, 4pm -8 pm, Sunday, Oct. 21.

The annual event also features a silent auction and music by trumpeter/trombonist Chris Klaxto and by vocalist Taylor O’Donnell.

All proceeds go to Fuel & More, a nonprofit, volunteer organization that assists Kittery residents stay warm when they need help but fail to qualify for public heating fuel assistance. Last winter, Fuel & More, a volunteer organization, helped over 50 Kittery households with almost $16,000 in service calls, furnace cleanings and heating fuel, including 5,766 gallons of oil and kerosene. Propane, wood and children’s coats, hats, boots and mittens also were provided as needed. Understanding that many circumstances can impact a household’s ability to pay its heating bill.

Tickets, $40, are available at the Kittery Community Center, 120 Rogers Rd., Kittery, or online at foresideforfuel.org.

Public Hearing at Traip right now

Spinney Creek shellfish issue. More coming.

Lots of Eliot and Kittery residents in attendance. Candidates for Kittery Town Council are here. Brett Costa and Cyrus Clark and Jeff Thomson is trying to get here soon.

It just started and Ken Lemont and I are here as well as State Rep. Dean Rykerson.  Hopefully we can learn more about this issue.

Ourkittery.com has more to the story in previous articles.

Representing the Kittery Conservation Commission Karen Saltus questioned the State.


CHUNG PING LAU is going out of business after 25 years

It is sad news, but the Owners of Chung Ping Lau are retiring. It is to be sold, but the Kittery Family who have run the business for the last 25 years have decided it is time to hang the wok. They are a Kittery family so if you want to stop by before they leave on September 30th, you have got time.

Take Outs and delivery’s will end soon until the new owners take over. Until then, please support our Kittery Family and send them off with pride.

Chinese joint dispensing spiced-to-order Cantonese & Sichuan classics in a humble setting,

Address: 435 US-1, Kittery, ME 03904

http://chunpinglau.blogspot.com/

 Hours:
Open ⋅ Closes 9PM

 Phone: (207) 439-6055

To All our Friends and valued Customers of CHUN PING LAU, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the past 25 years of business. We met a lot of locals that have become close friends and greatly appreciate everyone for supporting our small family business. Opening this restaurant was our dream to help support our family so our children could have more successful lives than when we were farmers in our youth.  The owners have decided to finally retire and will be closing the restaurant on Monday October 1, 2018. We apologize for the sad news and will miss everyone. Due to closing soon, we will be offering a limited menu based on what we have in our inventory. Please support the new restaurant that takes over our location. To those that know us well, please keep in touch. 

PUBLIC HEARING SPINNEY CREEK September 27, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m.

NOTICE OF RESCHEDULED HEARING: Spinney Creek Shellfish, Inc.
 
 
The Department of Marine Resources will hold a public hearing on the application of Spinney Creek Shellfish, Inc. for a 3.67-acre, 3-year, experimental aquaculture lease for a site located in Spinney Creek, Kittery, Maine, for suspended culture of American/Eastern oysters and Northern quahogs.  At the hearing, the Department will take evidence relating to the criteria and standards for granting an experimental lease as listed in 12 M.R.S. §6072-A and DMR Rule Chapter 2.64(7)(A). 
 
The rescheduled hearing will be held as follows:
September 27, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m.
R.W. Traip Academy
12 Williams Avenue
Kittery, ME   03904
 
 
INFORMATION ON DMR WEBSITE:  See the Department of Marine Resources’ website,
http://www.maine.gov/dmr/aquaculture/leases/pending/index.html, for the lease application and DMR site report, Riparian and Others Notice of Hearing, and Public Notice Ad re:  hearing.   
 
SPEAKING AT THE HEARING:  Any interested person may attend the hearing and ask questions of the parties or testify under oath about the effect of the proposed lease.  
 
Address questions to:
Maine Department of Marine Resources
Attn:  Aquaculture Hearing Officer
21 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0021
(207) 624-6567
Send emails to
 
For disability accommodations, contact Amanda Beckwith at
(207) 287-7578, TTY (207) 624-6391, Amanda.Beckwith@maine.gov
Authority:  5 MRS §9501 et seq. & 12 M.R.S §6072
articles for information below links
 Cindy L. Burke
Paralegal Assistant
Department of Marine Resources
21 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333
(207) 624-6567
other writings and pictures.

Block your phone from unwanted calls. It is still free

CLICK THE LINK

https://www.donotcall.gov/

 

Phone call Spoofing and Resulting Exploits

Are you experiencing an increase in the number of local calls to your home and/or cell phone? You’re not alone. This phenomenon is called “neighbor spoofing” and it’s the latest caller ID spoof strategy being used by phone scam artists in an attempt to get people to answer the phone.

For phone scams to be successful, scammers need people to pick up the phone so they can initiate the conversation. Neighbor spoofing uses a spoof caller ID to trick a person into thinking somebody local, possibly even someone they know, is calling. According to experts, this may interest someone just enough to answer their phone.

Con artists and robocallers use technology to modify what phone numbers appear on caller ID, impersonating phone numbers from neighbors, friends and local businesses to try to get you to answer the call. In many instances, it is a random number with the same area code and first three digits as your own phone number. In other cases, the number displays as coming from a local business or person in which you’ve previously communicated.

Answering one of these caller ID spoofed calls will indicate to the robocaller that you have an active phone line. Active phone lines are valuable to phone scammers and will often put you on what is referred to as a “sucker list,” potentially opening your phone line up to more scam calls or other targeted exploit attempts.

Here are tips to help identify and handle “spoofing” phone calls:

  • Avoid answering calls from phone numbers you don’t recognize, even if they appear to be local. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.
  • If your own phone number is used in a caller ID spoof call, you may receive calls and messages from people asking why you called them in the first place. This can lead to a lot of confusion between the two parties, but knowing your own number can be used by scammers may help explain the situation.
  • Be aware that phone numbers of local businesses, including doctor’s offices and/or insurance agents, may appear to be calling you. If you’re not certain whether the call is legitimate or a spoof, hang up and dial the known phone number for the contact to verify the communication, especially if personal and/or financial information is being requested.
  • There are call blocking apps that may help decrease the amount of spam calls, including those using a spoof caller ID. Your phone carrier may also provide a similar service or offer advice.
  • Make sure your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry <https://www.donotcall.gov/> . Though it is unlikely to prevent most phone scam calls, it will help to reduce calls received from legitimate telemarketers, which can be helpful in screening fraudulent calls.

The Spinney Creek Problem–Tomorrow Night at the Rice 10-19-18

The articles in the Portsmouth Herald carry get information and I encourage you to read them. The links are below.

PLANNED PROTEST DATE
PLEASE COME TO SUPPORT SPINNEY CREEK!
Hearing
September 19, 2018 @ 6:00pm
Rice Public Library
8 Wentworth Street
Kittery, ME 03904

 

The way it is now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The way it could be soon.


 

 

The story as provided to me for publication.

Along with many other residents in both Kittery and Eliot, we have grave concerns about plans by an Eliot-based shellfish company to over-commercialize Spinney Creek by substantially increasing their already robust shellfish farming operation. The proposal as submitted to the Maine DMR, is called an “experimental” lease. It calls for the installation on the Kittery side of the creek of 800 floating metal cages and over 1600 floatation devices. All of this will occupy an area greater than 3 football fields! Furthermore, three years from now when this lease period is over, the shellfish company will be eligible to apply for a standard commercial license, lasting as long as 20 years and occupying as much as 100 acres.

Our concerns are many and include:

  1. the impact on navigation, recreation and safety within what is, for all intents and purposes, a land-locked, non-tidal, salt water pond.
  2. the overwhelming effect on the overall community including noise, odors and more commercial power boat activity.
  3. the transformation of a picturesque, serene environment to a commercial body of water.
  4. the destruction of our scenic vistas.
  5. the devaluation of our homes.
  6. the short and long-term impact on the delicate ecosystem.
  7. Lots of questions need answers…

-Who empowered a private company to be in charge of Spinney Creek?

-Does this present a conflict of interest?

-Where is the oversight?

-Who are the stewards or caretakers of Spinney Creek?

-Where is the system of checks and balances for this special body of water and its surrounding neighborhood?

-What are the limits to aquaculture growth at this location?

-Who is responsible, liable and accountable for issues that result from having a commercial business intentionally or unintentionally harm the creek, as well as the humans who live and recreate on or in this body of water?

As of today, the shellfish company:

  • controls the opening and closing of the tidal gate.
  • they seed the creek bed.
  • they rake and harvest the bed.
  • they prevent anyone from taking a single shellfish from the water.
  • they have farmed the surface of the creek with 180 metal cages for the past 4 years on the Eliot/Kittery line.
  • they purchase and process the shellfish of other companies.
  • they produce discharge into the Creek through their depuration process.
  • they want to unreasonably expand into the forseeable future while affecting over 50 homeowners.

Who oversees this exploitation of Spinney Creek and who is looking out for the residents of these two towns?

A hearing, moderated by the DMR will be held a week from Wednesday, September 19th at 6:00 PM at the main Kittery Library. The outcome of this hearing will determine the decision to either approve or reject this imposing, three year lease.

It’s critical that we “Save Spinney Creek!”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE COME TO SUPPORT SPINNEY CREEK!

Hearing

September 19, 2018 @ 6:00pm

Rice Public Library
8 Wentworth Street
Kittery, ME 03904

Friends of Spinney Creek
Follow us on our Facebook Page:
@friendsofspinneycreek
 
Email address:
friendsofspinneycreek@gmail.com
 
PO Box:

PO Box 230, Eliot, ME, 03903-0230

What it could look like is pictured below. This picture is from another area and is shown only to represent the look of many traps.

DownLoad your Petition to Sign, scan & email to:

 

Hearing Announcement Download Here

Petition DOWNLOAD HERE

 

Other Stories from the Portsmouth Herald

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180916/southern-maine-creek-at-epicenter-of-aquaculture-debate

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180914/eliot-residents-want-town-to-act-on-aquaculture-plan

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180911/protest-spinney-creek-shellfish-plan-sept-19

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180902/spinney-creek-shellfish-seeks-aquaculture-lease

OURKITTERY does not take a position on this issue but since it is for the people by the people, it is posted to keep you, the citizen informed. Since I pay for the site, I will decide if it is a benefit to the community to post and I have concluded it is important for the public to know what is going on.

Kittery Town Manager releases KCC bus investigation letter to families.

The following letter was released today and with the Town Manager’s permission, it is being posted here on ourkittery.com to provide continuing  transparency.

 

 

 

 

 

TOWN OF KITTERY
Office of the Town Manager
200 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME 03904

Telephone: 207-475-1329 Fax: 207-439-6806

kamaral@kitteryme.org
Kendra Amaral Town Manager
August 31, 2018

Dear Families,

I am writing regarding the August 10 Recreation Department van accident in Greenland, NH, in which two staff members and eleven children in the Town’s summer program were involved. While we are deferring to – and cooperating as appropriate with – the New Hampshire law enforcement agencies to investigate the actual accident, we have been investigating the personnel hiring and driver assignment issues raised by the accident.

I tasked the Interim Police Chief Donald O’Halloran, to conduct an internal investigation of the hiring process for the Kittery Community Center summer camp counselors and the decision-making process for driving assignments in the SAFE Summer Camp program.

The following is to provide you with details regarding the results of the investigation. Please note, some details are not able to be released due to legal confidentiality restrictions regarding certain personnel information.

The internal investigation concluded that miscommunication within the Kittery Community Center led to the new summer camp staff (inclusive of the van driver) being hired without a state-wide driving background review as part of their overall background check. Subsequent to the hiring, the employee was selected to drive the van when needed.

The internal investigation found there were no irregularities in the hiring process for the van driver. The internal investigation concluded that the driver had a valid driver’s license appropriate for operation of the van, with no medical restrictions, during the time of employment with the town. He was trained on the safe operation of the van.

The van was utilized a number of times over the course of the summer program to transport children on field trips. Typically, it would be driven by the program supervisor or other full-time year-round staff. Two of the camp counselors (inclusive of the driver involved in the accident) also performed some driving duties when needed. The driver involved in the accident had driven three times prior to August 10.

The miscommunication within the Kittery Community Center appears to have occurred late in 2017 when there was an effort to enhance the documentation of the protocols for hiring of the KCC staff. The effort produced a detailed hiring and onboarding checklist that was developed with the former KCC Director and Human Resources. It was known that both the KCC and Human Resources were responsible for different parts of the hiring and onboarding process. The checklist did not specify who was responsible for each part of the process.

The KCC has historically performed the driving background checks and Human Resources has historically performed the general background check. The background check conducted by Human Resources included a Social Security trace, County Criminal Court Search, Sex Offender Registry, National Criminal Database, Terrorist Watch List. Because the job description did not include driving as a duty, the requirement to collect the driving record was not apparent during the hiring and onboarding process.

The driving duties were identified/assigned by the KCC staff after the hiring and onboarding process occurred based on the needs of the program.

The internal investigation concluded that the court record review protocols, in place since 2014, only captured the county in which an applicant presently resides, resulting in a limited and narrow review of court actions involving applicants. The town did run a national criminal background check on all seasonal employees including the van driver, however no convictions on the driver were returned.

The national criminal database is proprietary and did not contain a record of the convictions.

We are developing and implementing an action plan to resolve the issues identified in the investigation. This includes reviewing and clearly documenting responsibilities for each part of the hiring and onboarding process for each department (inclusive of the KCC); reviewing all job descriptions to ensure they properly list when driving responsibilities are or may be part of the job duties; and reviewing the background check service plan, InforME, and other states’ services (e.g.: New Hampshire) to determine what combination will provide the most complete picture of applicants. In the immediate term, we have enhanced the level of background checks for new hires including a full driving record review.

We are also reviewing the SAFE Summer Program to determine what changes to the program offerings should occur such as utilizing only contractors for transportation, and the distance and timing of field trips. We are reviewing our handling of the emergency and identifying changes to the transportation tracking and notification process for parents, in an effort to speed up communications in case of an emergency.

I am committed to addressing the issues identified and making sure we are taking every possible step to provide safe and engaging programs at the KCC. If you have any questions or wish to discuss this, please do not hesitate to contact me at 207-475-1329 or at kamaral@kitteryme.org.

Sincerely,
Kendra Amaral Town Manager