Category Archives: General Town News

This is about Town Government news

Block your phone from unwanted calls. It is still free

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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

 

 

 

 

Kittery to request State Road speed limit reduction

 

 

 

 

 

By Hadley Barndollar
hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

KITTERY, Maine — Following a petition that garnered more than 40 resident and business owner signatures coalesced by a push from a town councilor, the town will place a formal request to the Maine Department of Transportation to reduce the posted speed limit on State Road to 25 mph.

Councilor Charles Denault was a strong proponent for the petition submitted in June that sought a consistent and safe speed on State Road, which is currently posted as 35 mph between Newmarch Street and the Memorial Circle. In Denault’s report to council, he noted the average speed on State Road has consistently been in excess of 45 mph and even with limited police patrol, speed radar trailers and strobed crosswalks, a large amount of motorists do not obey the speed limit.

“The road is heavily traveled,” Denault said. “It is a major hub from New Hampshire to Maine, and Maine back to New Hampshire. There’s a lot of pedestrians now, we have sidewalks up and down that road.”

In contrast, Denault noted the Route 1 Bypass is four lanes, featuring turning lanes, and is posted at 35 mph. “The residents on this road have clearly articulated their frustrations,” he said.

There is more to this story here. Click here to visit the Portsmouth Herald.

Rec department no more: Kittery Community Center officially renamed

 

 

 

 

By Hadley Barndollar
hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

KITTERY, Maine — Following six years of an “identity crisis,” the Town Council voted Monday night to officially be rid of the Kittery Recreation Department name designation, and instead transition to the widely known Kittery Community Center.

Since the opening of the Community Center in 2012, there has been little consistency within the department. Staff have been called Recreation Department employees while they work at the Community Center, email addresses are @kitteryrecreation.com, and yet the logo is the Community Center. Town Manager Kendra Amaral said the town was at an “advantageous point” to officially transition the name, which required an amendment to Title 2 in the town code. Town councilors approved it unanimously.

The Community Center has also recently began a rebranding process including a new logo, website, program guide and social media campaign. The process is expected to tie everything together as one cohesive brand. The name change, Amaral wrote in a memo, will make it easier for users to understand both departments are one in the same, cause less confusion and streamline communications.

TO READ THE REST OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE

Five file for three Kittery Town Council Seats

 

 

 

By Hadley Barndollar
hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

The filing deadline for elected town positions was Aug. 27. On the ballot in November, voters will pick three of the following for

Town Council:

CYRUS CLARK
BRETT COSTA
FRANK DENNETT (Incumbent)
JEFFREY THOMSON (Incumbent)
JUDITH SPILLER

Anne Durgin-Gilbert (incumbent) was the lone filing for two School Committee seats.

Councilor Gary Beers did not seek re-election, and his term ends in November. School Committee member Jonathan Rivers also is not seeking re-election.

 In regards to the School Committee vacancy, Town Manager Kendra Amaral said the town is reviewing what the options are, one including the remaining Sept. 7 deadline for declared write-ins candidates. If no one declares for the second seat by then, the town will take necessary steps, she said.

click the above link for the rest of the story at the Portsmouth Herald

It’s here!!! West Nile detected in Kittery.

For the rest of the story

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180829/west-nile-virus-detected-in-kittery

 

 

 

 

 

By Hadley Barndollar
hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

KITTERY, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that a mosquito pool collected in Kittery last week tested positive for West Nile virus.

The state’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory confirmed the presence of the virus in a single mosquito pool, a collection containing between one to 50 mosquitoes, gathered on Aug. 21. Town Manager Kendra Amaral said the collection occurred at Memorial Field at 70 Old Post Road, and has been reported as an “avian biting” species. Amaral said the town will conduct border spraying at the field in the coming days.

“West Nile is widespread throughout the United States right now,” Dr. Siiri Bennett, Maine’s state epidemiologist, said in a statement. “Mainers should remember to take precautions against being bitten.”

The detection of West Nile virus in Kittery comes days after the CDC announced an adult from Cumberland Country was diagnosed with the virus, though the origin is unknown, as the individual had traveled to several other states during the time symptoms developed. It is the first case of West Nile virus diagnosed in a Maine resident since 2015

Ourkittery note,

Legion Pond, AKA Mary’s Pond and Maine Fish and Game Pond on Martin Road, is in trouble. more on this later. Legion is covered in algae and martin Road is getting lower and lower. A haven for mosquitos.

 

 

Amaral: Next police chief must ‘understand Kittery’

By Hadley Barndollar

 

The deadline for applications to become Kittery’s next chief is Aug. 31, at which point in time Amaral said the town will begin an internal hiring process. The town has not hired a consultant, like some other municipalities opt to do.

Amaral said she’s assembled an internal committee to participate in the hiring process, comprised of herself, the finance director, interim police chief, fire chief, a member of the dispatch staff, a patrolman and sergeant.

“We’re going to do this one differently, and hope for a different result,” she said.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

 

Previous Articles on this topic. Courtesy of the Portsmouth herald.

http://ourkittery.com/2018/07/kittery-names-outside-interim-police-chief/

http://ourkittery.com/2018/07/kittery-names-sergeant-gary-eaton-acting-chief/

http://ourkittery.com/2018/07/kittery-police-chief-resigns/

Kittery town manager named Maine’s ‘rising star’

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180808/kittery-town-manager-named-maines-rising-star


 

 

 

 

By Hadley Barndollar
hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com

KITTERY, Maine — A few months ago, when the Town Council decided to enter into a closed-doors session excluding its right-hand woman Kendra Amaral, she was worried.

Little did the town manager know, the councilors were filling out an application to nominate her for a prestigious state-level award.

Amaral was named the state’s “Rising Star” by the Maine Town, City and County Management Association during a special luncheon on Wednesday at Sunday River.

The Rising Star award is given to a public administrator who has been in the profession for five years or less, and is designed to recognize a person who has done a particularly good job in a community. The award aims to provide encouragement to stay in the profession.

“The public administrator may have resolved a difficult problem, provided strong leadership during a crisis or brought new vitality and professionalism to a community,” the award reads.

THERE IS A LOT MORE TO THE STORY, CLICK HERE.