My photo
I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.


PAW 2005 - Wk 42 - Special Town Meeting

"What it means to be from Maine" Poland Spring Water formerly a Maine owned company, is now owned by the Waters division of the multinational conglomerate Nestle. Nestle wants to pump 105 million gallons a year out of our aquifer via Cold Spring in West Denmark via pipeline across 7 private lots to their station in the neighboring town of Fryeburg. (Nestle has obtained written permission from all 7 land owners.)

Denmark doesn't have a 'town water' system. We are a town of just over 1000 residents and not everyone in the town even has running water, but if you do, it means that you have a dug or artisian well or a 'point' driven into the ground that draws from our common aquifer at the very edge of the Sebago Lake Watershed.

The town doesn't currently have anything in its zoning regulation to address a large commercial enterprise coming in and draining everyone's wells and it isn't certain that this will not be what happens. (It may not, but the hydrologists don't know for sure.) So the town called a special town meeting to place a 180 day moratorium on any such actions until the situation can be studied further.

The interesting thing here is that in spite of a full meeting, the whole thing took about 5 minutes and no one wanted to even discuss the question once it came to the floor. The vote was unanimously in favour of the moratorium. I've uploaded audio that I gathered thinking that this was going to be a long meeting. I only got to take about 5 photographs before it was over!

I edited out the minute or so of Moderator Jim Stacy being sworn in as Moderator, but left everything else in tact. It is a ~3mb WMA file that may be downloaded here. I apologise up front...I haven't got anything but a lavalier mic yet, so this is from the built in mic on my recorder that I sat on a desk in the middle of the room. (I was expecting more audience participation.) In the future I will also make a better effort to get the mic up to where the podium is...This multimedia stuff is going to be quite a learning curve!

I think that one of the most wonderful quirks of living in small rural Maine towns all my life is that during a normal town meeting, we can argue for 40 minutes on whether or not to send $100 to the local area agency on aging, but when we are faced with these 'big questions' they tend to get taken care of pretty quickly.

(Nikon D70, Tokina 12-24/4, toned in PS.CS.)

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