Category Archives: General Town News

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Kerr: Maine’s oldest town rallying around state’s lobster industry 

Portsmouth Herald

KITTERY, Maine — As Maine’s iconic lobster industry faces challenges to its very survival, the state’s oldest town is rallying behind the men and women fighting for their livelihood.

A fundraising event called “Chowder’s On,” organized by three local residents, is taking place Feb. 26 at the Kittery Community Center. While tickets to the lobster stew luncheon have already sold out, both live and silent auctions will take place afterward in the center’s Star Theatre starting at 1 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will go toward legal challenges of federal regulations intended to protect the North Atlantic right whale, which the industry says instead endangers lobstermen already taking historic measures to accomplish the same goal.

Recent efforts by the state’s small but formidable congressional delegation and Gov. Janet Mills resulted in a six-year hold on new rules to allow time for new research to be considered. These changes had caused two environmental groups to downgrade the industry’s rating as a protector of right whales, which in turn resulted in the Whole Foods supermarket chain’s decision to stop carrying Maine lobsters.

More:Maine lawmakers target Whole Foods for blacklisting lobster

All this despite the fact that no death of a right whale has ever been attributed to the state’s lobster fleet.

“This is one of the most perilous moments ever faced by Maine’s lobster industry,” Kevin Kelley of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association said recently, “but the six-year regulatory pause gives the industry a little bit of time and some hope that whatever rules are implemented by the federal government make sense.”

A call for using ‘real data’ to set policy on lobster

The Feb. 26 event is being organized by Kittery residents David Kaselauskas, a lobsterman for more than half a century; Charlene Hoyt, the mother and wife of local lobstermen; and Betsy Wish, a local artist whose affinity for lobstermen is so renowned it’s being featured in a March 1 segment on New Hampshire Public Television.

Kaselauskas, who has a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, emphasizes “real data” has to be collected in order to put together regulations which will not only protect the right whale but also preserve the lobster industry. Current legislation does neither, he says.

But he also wants to make sure Mainers truly understand the commercial fishery’s impact on the state’s way of life.  

“The further we travel towards Eastport the greater the reliance there is on the lobster industry,” he said recently. “Ghost towns will be popping up along the coast with the collapse of the lobster industry.”

Kaselauskas likes to point out that manufacturers of rope, special break-away links, buoys and buoy sticks, lobster trap wire and other components, bricks and netting all rely on the harvesters of Homarus Americanus. Traps cost anywhere between $100 and $175, he noted, so someone purchasing 800 traps is spending at least $80,000, plus roughly $15,000 for lines and buoys.

In addition, those who fish for the bait used in these traps make up “a large industry in itself, millions earned,” he added. But getting bait to the boats requires transportation, dealers, waterfront facilities which generate revenue for the town, refrigeration, salt, barrels, insurance, maintenance and “labor and more labor.”

“What is involved in the lobster industry is more than a guy and boat,” said Kaselauskas, who skippers the vessel Jersey Girl.

But that’s worth considering as well. Any action which diminishes the lobster fleet also impacts those who build the boats, he says, as well as those who operate boatyards where the boats are maintained, the marinas and moorings where the boats may tie up, those who fuel the boats and insure the boats and serve as the boats’ crew and so forth.

“Hopefully we catch a lobster and sell it to a dealer,” he continued, “who in turn can sell it to another dealer; sell it to a fish market; sell it to a restaurant; sell it to a processor; sell it to a foreign country.”

Again, this all requires transportation, either by road, rail or plane, Kaselauskas noted, as well as facilities and maintenance, including backup systems for potential power failures to ensure against the loss of thousands of dollars of live lobsters kept in tanks.

And this doesn’t even take into account the boon in tourism from out-of-state visitors enthralled with the storied image of the Maine lobsterman, he added.

Lobster industry’s massive impact on Maine economy

An economic impact report issued by Colby College in 2018 indicated that the lobster industry contributes $1 billion to the Maine economy each year, supporting 4,000 jobs, not including the link to local restaurants and tourism. And that’s before the value of 2021’s harvest shattered records by a whopping 75 percent increase over the previous year.

More than 80% of America’s lobsters are caught in Maine.

So it was quite a slap in the face last year when Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch in California and the London-based Marine Stewardship Council both “red-listed” their environmental ratings for the fishery.

Kelley, as director of advancement for the MLA, heads the organization’s fundraising efforts, and especially for the Save Maine Lobstermen campaign. The group’s mission is to make sure “the rules are based on sound science and will actually protect the endangered whale without decimating this heritage industry,” he said.

What to expect at Kittery fundraiser

The “Chowder’s On” luncheon will include lobster stew made by Betsy Wish from lobsters donated by five local dealers (54 pounds of meat valued at $2,700); clam chowder created by Charlene Hoyt from a family recipe and with clams collected by her husband and son; and various homemade pies. Hannaford Supermarket in York donated $300 toward ingredients for both the stew and the chowder.

The 100 tickets available for the community center feast sold out quickly, but those wishing to support Maine’s lobstermen can take part in the live and silent auctions being held afterward. Lil’s Café is providing coffee and pastries in the center’s Morgan Gallery for the event.

Auction items include a Pepperrell Cove lobstering adventure aboard Charlene’s husband Scott Hoyt’s boat Slow Mocean, a Lost Charter tuna cruise, Bar Harbor Hotel overnight stay and dinner, four Portsmouth Music Hall tickets for comedian Justin McKinney, a Wood Island tour, ten lobsters donated by Island Seafood, a Webber Spirit 2 Gas Grill provided by Kittery’s Ace Hardware, Portland Sea Dogs tickets, a Take Flight aerial adventure course, Woodland Farms beer basket and numerous other items.

Gift certificates have been donated from Kittery Trading Post, Rudders Public House, Perkins Cove Candies, Buoy Shack, New England Marine & Industrial, Blue Mermaid, Sanders Fish Market, Tributary Brewing Company, York River Landing, Weathervane Restaurant and Pepperrell Cove Restaurant, among others.

Wish is known locally as the “kayaker with cookies,” a retired Massachusetts art teacher who routinely paddles in local waters with her canine companion Maggie and delivers homemade cookies to lobstermen and others she encounters. An upcoming episode of NHPTV’s “Windows to the Wild” filmed last summer follows her exploits and includes interviews with local lobstermen.

Last year, Wish released a cookbook entitled “Kittery’s Maine Ingredients” to commemorate the 375thbirthday of the state’s oldest town. The volume includes photos, family anecdotes and lots of local history, as well as recipes dating back to the 1600s.

“Our goal is to raise awareness for the challenges facing our lobster/fishing community while raising money for the Maine Lobstermen’s Association,” she said of the Feb. 26 fundraiser.

Kaselauskas believes more empirical data needs to be collected in order to provide a clear picture of the right whale’s migration patterns. Industry leaders believe this is the actual reason for the creature’s diminished population in this region.  

Kelley says rules intended by the U.S. government to reduce risks to the right whale by 60% were implemented last May. The recent hold on enforcement allows time for the industry to gather such information. 

“Those rules remain in place under Congress’ action, it just prevents the government from imposing the harsher rules it was considering until at least December 2028,” he said.

People wishing to learn more about the effort, or to donate, may do so at Save Maine Lobstermen.

D. Allan Kerr is an ex-dockworker, former newspaperman and U.S. Navy veteran living in Kittery, Maine.

NH House gives initial marijuana legalization OKNE

Did Kittery Leadership break Maine Law?

Kittery may not be acting above board again. If it is not following Council Rules as was the case with the Chairperson improperly excusing Councilor Cam Ham from missing multiple council meetings which by the way is scheduled to happen again, the new alleged incident suggests a failure to follow the rules that could ultimately be a violation of Maine law.

Note: People should be outraged that an elected official can’t make the meetings and serve the people who elected them. I digress.

Maine Law requires training for elected and appointed officials along with members of the school board. These records must be kept and it was recently brought to my attention and it has been alleged that officials, staff and appointed officials may not have been following Maine Law. If this is truly the case, the Town of Kittery administrators who are responsible and charged with obeying State laws and the Town Charter and to ensure that Kittery is following Maine Law requirements may not have been doing their job. If that is the case, who is at fault? It could be a big deal, for if we over look the small stuff then what other things are not being followed… should ask?

A FOIA (Freedom of Information Request) was served on the Town Council and Manager and I received with a response within the legal time limit that said it will take four weeks to put my request together.

FOUR WEEKS…This is concerning since it should have been easily obtainable and these records should have been up to date without waiting for four weeks and allowing Kittery time to get their ducks in a row.

(This is a truncated FOIA Request delivered to Kittery)

Dear Chairperson Judith Spiller, or current chair and or Town Manager Amaral;

Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act § 402 et seq.,

I am requesting the dates and copies of the certification of any mandatory training of the current Town Councilors or Municipal officers, clerks, treasurers, assessors and budget committee members of municipal governments and officials of school units and school boards; regarding following MMA training requirements and any State of Maine requirements for elected, hired or appointed officials. i.e. Mandatory training on the Freedom of information act.

Kittery sent a response

(This is the Town’s truncated response)

The Town received your Freedom of Access Act request on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. This is to acknowledge receipt of the request as required by law, and provide initial response.

We estimate we will have researched and compiled records that correspond to your training records request within four weeks. I do not anticipate a cost for this request if the Town can electronically deliver the records (via email). If you wish to receive the records in hard copy, we will provide you with a follow-up communication estimating the cost of copying, as may be applicable.

I am not sure why it would take four weeks to get a few dozen documents. The documentation should be readily available unless Kittery needs to get caught up and get all the training done. We will see how this unfolds and we will post the results. In the mean time, the proper authorities in the State of Maine are being alerted to the alleged potential violation of Maine Law.

§412. Public records and proceedings training for certain officials and public access officers.

1.  Training required.  A public access officer and an official subject to this section shall complete a course of training on the requirements of this chapter relating to public records and proceedings. The official or public access officer shall complete the training not later than the 120th day after the date the official assumes the person’s duties as an official or the person is designated as a public access officer pursuant to section 413, subs

F. Municipal officers; municipal clerks, treasurers, managers or administrators, assessors and code enforcement officers and deputies for those positions; and planning board members and budget committee members of municipal governments;   [PL 2021, c. 313, §6 (AMD).]

G. Superintendents, assistant superintendents and school board members of school administrative units; and

§410. Violations

1.  Civil violation.  An officer or employee of a state government agency or local government entity who willfully violates this subchapter commits a civil violation.  

[PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

2.  Penalties.  A state government agency or local government entity whose officer or employee commits a civil violation described in subsection 1 is subject to:  

A. A fine of not more than $500 for a civil violation described in subsection 1;   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

B. A fine of not more than $1,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after a previous adjudication of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity; or   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

C. A fine of not more than $2,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after 2 or more previous adjudications of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity.   [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]

Stay Tuned:

What is Kittery Afraid of at the Dump?

Recently ourkittery reported on PFAS’s in the well water of several abutting residents to the Kittery land fill. We also provided pictures of trash from the 70s and 80s buried and exposed from the navy yard and other places which is extruding from the landfill and uprooting the soil. Breaching the landfill. Some trash is being pushed out from under the retention fence.

Perhaps you have heard about Camp Lejune and the Old Pease AFB with PFAS or Fairfield. What is Kittery and the powers that run our little Maine Town doing about it?

Well it appears that Kittery has spent thousand of dollars of your tax money to post the dump with no trespassing signs. These signs are posted conspicuously on the fence the delineates the property boundary of the dump and through the vast amount of woodlands that surrounds the dump. The signs warn you that you will be prosecuted if you trespass…..on town own land. However looking through the woods outside the dump and not on your Town own land, you will find a time capsule of trash that go back a half a decade. Oil residue or green slimy water draining to the watershed. The EPA needs to come take a look without the eyes or the political spin from the Town.

What is the Town of Kittery so afraid of. Have you read any stories from the Portsmouth Herald or from their investigative reporter on what Kittery is doing for mitigation. I think not! Oh well, let the Town keep denying anything is wrong.

Instead of threatening trespassers, How about publicizing the mitigation progress and how much money was spent so far bringing water to the residents who were affected. Perhaps the council could share with us, the taxpayers, the cost to date to bandaid the issue and keep it from the public. Perhaps the councilors would show the public that it is safe to drink the well water from these wells on the abutted properties during a televised council meeting. Just a thought!!

Happy Thanksgiving


Kittery/American Legion open house

In honor of our Veterans and their service; Kittery / Eliot Memorial Post 188 of the American Legion invites Veterans and friends to an open house today at 3:00 at your renovated post home at 455 Main St. in Eliot. 

This is open to the public – you need not be a member to attend. 

See you there.

First Vice Commander 

Donald G. Hands 

What if?

The Town of Kittery recently sold the former Dineen property at 3 Walker Ave. If you read the puff piece in the Portsmouth Herald, you will see that it was sold by the Town, after years of legal proceedings. The new owner, as seen in the Herald pictures, shows heaps of paperwork and litter throughout. The previous owner, James Dineen, a local attorney, and son of another well-known local attorney, Mr.William Dineen, had practiced law in that building for decades.
One may only wonder what sort of paperwork was left behind in that litter. It was an active law office for decades. Could it be that it was legal documents generated by the Dineens regarding clients? Was any of it generated under Lawyer-Client confidentiality?

After all, for decades these two people practiced law and this was their office.
Rule 1.6 – CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION(a) A lawyer shall not reveal a confidence or secret of a client unless, (i) the client gives informed consent; (ii) the lawyer reasonably believes that disclosure is authorized in order to carry out the representation; or (iii) the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).(A communication is “confidential” if it is made to facilitate the provision of legal services to the client and is not intended to be disclosed to any third party other than those to whom the client revealed the information in the process of obtaining professional legal services).

Maine Law is also specific regarding the length of time a lawyer needs to keep paperwork, but if this litter was legal documents such as private matters, divorce proceedings, trusts, criminal defense matters and or PII and a slew of other confidential documents, who is required to protect them. According to the article by the Portsmouth Herald investigative reporter, there was no mention as to what the documents were
that were left behind.

Let’s not forget the Town owned the property and contents as a result of a foreclosure.
Who is responsible? (Dineen, the Town of Kittery, or the new owners is there were legal papers let behind.)
Clients of Dineen’s should be gravely concerned that their legal history, cases, legal documents, statements, potential HIPPA issues and other findings and or other personal documents may have been left to the new owners. Although it could be discarded in the trash, one must question what legal requirement did the Town of Kittery have, if there were confidential documents inside the office? That brings me to the point, the Town of Kittery owned that building:
1, Are they required to protect any and all confidential information?
2. Would vicarious liability kick in? If someone’s personal information from the office gets out, is the Town of Kittery culpable for failing to secure it?
3. Are the new owners required to safeguard, shred, or destroy it: or, does it fall directly back to the original owners?
This opens a great legal question. What IF private matters were left behind in the DINEEN Lawyers office building and now are accessible to anyone, may be thrown out, discarded or allowed to be reviewed by anyone. Should the public know what was inside. It could be just trash, but without transparency, will we ever know if there was confidential papers or documents left behind, how should it be protected, destroyed, should people be notified of a potential breech?
If you have used the services of Dineen’s Lawyers practice, I would be concerned.

Here we go again

First the dump cuts it’s hours, now its tough to get a marriage license . Who else is leaving Kittery? Wonder who else left to make them short staffed? 

Update!! The Town Director of Planning and Development-planner quit since this article was originally posted! How many does that make?

Town Clerk’s Office & Customer Service Center – Marriage Licensing Hours Update

Beginning Monday, September 26, 2022, the Town Clerk’s Office and Customer Service Center at Kittery Town Hall will be available to assist with marriage licensing during the hours of 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.  The Town Clerk’s Office and Customer Service Center will not be able to assist with marriage licenses outside of these hours.  

Anyone visiting Town Hall to apply for a marriage license is encouraged to come prepared with the following:

  • A  completed marriage intentions form, which can be found by clicking here.
    • The marriage intentions form should be filled out, but NOT SIGNED.
      • The marriage intentions form should only be signed in the presence of the Clerk’s Office staff during your visit.
  • A valid photo ID for both parties. 
  • If either party was married previously, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.

Arriving with all of the necessary paperwork and information required to apply for a marriage license will help our staff process requests as timely and efficiently as possible.

For more information about marriage licenses, please visit the Town Clerk’s page on our website by clicking here.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and appreciate your patience.

Read more below. is anyone seeing the core issue yet?

Kittery’s retention and the common denominator.


September 21, 2022

Kittery Community Center at 120 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME 03904

(7:00 am – 7:00 pm)


3 YEAR TERM – 2 Seats (read the Herald article before you vote).

Michael Melhorn (Kittery Point)

Carla Robinson (Kittery)

Suzanne Sayer (Kittery)

Gregory Ulrich (Kittery Point)

All residents of Kittery and Kittery Point are eligible to vote.  All Eliot and York customers and noncustomers residing in the District territory will be eligible to vote.  Determination of eligibility for Eliot & York is by street address.

Please bring proof of identity, age 18+ and residency by providing a state issued photo ID (drivers’ license or State ID) including your address.  Residency can also be proven by providing a current utility bill, vehicle registration, bank statement, lease agreement or pay stub.

Any questions about the Election please contact the District office at 439-1128

Eligible Street List

Watch out for pot holes on Rte 103

As usual, after a rain storm, there are potholes in construction zones. Many go un reported and if no body reports them or inspects them they get bigger which each wheel hit. On RTE 103, near the Navy Yard there is a big one. This pothole is big and in the dark it is a shock when you hit it. It is without any lights indicating a pot hole ahead or lights to allow you to see it.. So be careful if you are driving in Kittery on Rte 103 near the Navy Yard. Go slow and be aware to avoid damage to your car. If you do receive damage, report it to Town.


What is happening in Kittery? Are you paying attention?

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Kittery employee rentention or the lack thereof

Kittery’s Potential Cancer Scare. Toxins at the Dump?

You forgot what? . What happens in Kittery and then you forget it.

Pay attention folks, it will just keeps coming.