One employee’s view of DCP

My past jobs have included a cable TV installer, airplane fueler, FedEx package handler and oil delivery driver. I have worked for Irving Aviation and Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx and Time Warner Cable.

In April 2005, DCP — formerly Duke Energy Field Services — offered me a starting position with on-the-job training as a Propane Operator 1, with the immediate goal to train and achieve Propane Operator 2 [status] within a year.

Throughout my seven years with DCP, continuing education and training have been and continue to be encouraged at all levels, and opportunities for advancement and transfers to new positions are available. With the supportive network of the asset director and area terminal supervisors that has formed around me, I have achieved [the] terminal supervisor position at the Auburn terminal, allowing me to use my experience as an operator as a foundation to build a career at DCP.

Having a company that supportive behind me in this economy is reassuring, and has allowed me to buy a home in Maine, have two children who are surrounded by their native New England family; it has also allowed my wife to continue her career in human resources in a veterinary clinic she joined in 1994.

DCP’s mission, as stated by James J. Mulva in a letter to the shareholders, dated March 1, 2007: “Our mission as one of the largest publicly held energy companies is to increase supplies to consumers through actions and investments that simultaneously build value for shareholders.”

I consider myself and my career at DCP to be a great investment for DCP, its shareholders and the local Maine economy.

Calvin C. Reuling Jr.

DCP Midstream, terminal supervisor

Auburn

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‘Typical, big money tactics’

On Thursday, Jan. 26, DCP Midstream came to Searsport to hold an informational meeting and question-and-answer session. Union Hall was packed and their moderator stated that they would stay until all our questions were answered, for as long as it takes. Well, that didn’t happen, but that’s a whole other subject and the focus of my letter is: interference.

DCP opened an outpost in town with a field operator who helps to hire and train canvassers (at $100 per day) who are going door-to-door to explain their proposed development and solicit support. Keep in mind that there still is no formal application in place.

What is inexcusable is the sign on their door saying, “Vote no on the moratorium,” their overt lobbying against the moratorium as they speak to townspeople, through the media and at Thursday night’s meeting as well. But they also stated clearly that the moratorium is a local issue, and therein lies the hypocrisy.

A citizen-generated moratorium is a natural democratic process and in the past has been part of our town’s natural process for reviewing unforseen situations — remember the “adult” store? We have implemented moratoriums whenever necessary to review our ordinances, gather more facts — whatever is necessary to make an informed decision without the powerful pressures from the deep pockets of a huge, out-of-state corporation. Obviously, they can solicit support for their development, but trying to influence votes at our town meeting is the epitome of arrogant interference and smacks of typical, big money tactics.

Part of the moratorium would form a nine-member committee to review information and make recommendations to the Planning Board. The members would consist of three people from the board of selectmen, three members of Thanks But No Tank, and three registered voters chosen from volunteers.

And the three TBNT members are not chosen by Astrig Tanguay, but by the members themselves. Astrig is repeatedly misidentified and misrepresented as the leader of TBNT which in reality is a group of equal members with equal influence. She has frequently volunteered to be a spokesperson and we’re all grateful for her poise, clarity and endurance when she does speak.

Let’s keep DCP’s voting-influence agenda out of our discussions and remember that the goal of the moratorium is to review our ordinances to ensure that we have the necessary guidelines to handle future projects.

Phyllis W. Sommer

Searsport

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Reasons to support the Searsport moratorium

Based on the meeting with DCP in the Searsport town hall on Jan. 26, we must garner as much support as possible for a “yes” vote on March 10.

1. DCP promised to answer all of our questions, they did not and numerous town folk were not able to speak. DCP asked to collect email addresses to respond to unanswered questions. Not everyone wants to share their personal information.

2. DCP brought in a number both out-of-town supporters and union members. We were standing near some who told us not very nicely if we did not like the project to “get out of town” and they would move in (perhaps an insinuation that they plan to vote at our town meeting?).

3. DCP did not speak adequately to the exact location of the flare and the size of its flame.

4. DCP has gone on record as criticizing Thanks But No Tank’s scale model of the tank, yet they have not produced one, something that is common for such a massive project. The pictures they display of how the tank will be viewed are clearly inadequate if not deceptive.

5. DCP failed to adequately address the lighting and decibel levels surrounding the tank

Jeannie Lucas

Searsport

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Opposition to tank proposal in Searsport

A DCP Midstream, LLC spokesperson said she “did not want to speculate what would happen” if an accidental BLEVE [boiling liquid expanding vapor] explosion occurred in its proposed 22.7-million-gallon, liquefied petroleum gas tank at Searsport.

We should not speculate what would happen, but we should try to predict what could happen.

The Mack Point LPG tank could be ignited by accident or sabotage in at least 19 ways. When completely full it would contain [the equivalent of] 549 kilotons of TNT energy, equivalent to 27 Hiroshima, Japan, atomic bombs.

Today, 16 Mack Point fuel tanks [when filled to capacity] contain aggregate 50 million gallons of gasoline, kerosene, and heating fuel, [the] energy equivalent of 97 atomic bombs. If an LPG tank is added, aggregate energy would be equivalent to 124 atomic bombs.

BLEVES create enormous forest fires. Since the atomic bomb destroyed everything in a one-mile radius, what would the destruction of explosion of 124 atomic bombs be?

Class B fires involving existing flammable Mack Point gasoline, kerosene, heating fuels, and LPG, cannot be extinguished with water. Putting them out requires smothering retardants, such as foam.

A Mack Point disaster could destroy Searsport, Stockton Springs and many other Maine towns.

A 22.7-million-gallon Searsport LPG tank could increase fire suppression costs, increase insurance rates, lower property values and increase Midcoast Maine area living costs.

Because these LPG risks are far higher than any conceivable benefits, the Searsport LPG tank project should not be approved.

Randall Parr

Appleton

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Where is Thorndike headed?

What has happened to my town of Thorndike? Don’t the people want a town government that represents them?

The selectman gets away with holding unposted meetings.

No wonder he thought he could get away with building a Town Hall without town consensus on size and design, and keep the costs secret. He won’t tell us what it has cost so far, how much has been donated and where the funding is coming from. He says he is under the advisement of the town attorney. I wonder if the town attorney, based in Portland, knows that the selectman says that whenever he is asked a question he doesn’t want to answer.

When I was on the selectboard, I was snubbed, lied to and bullied. All the selectboard should be able to talk to the Maine Municipal Association, the town attorney, the auditor and the town insurance broker — not just one.

Few go to selectmen’s meetings. Town meetings are not as well-attended as they should be, and too many people have given up. The old school was torn down without any public input. No one knows how we got such a big town hall.

It bothers me a lot that my town — a town my father was a selectman of and one that I tried to serve as well — has knuckled under.

Wake up, Thorndike! It is time to take back our town.

Linda Dixon

Former selectman

Thorndike

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Not a fan of column title

Domestic violence is real and destroys lives. To endorse, via publication, a column title of “I’m Gonna Kill Him” in a weekly paper is offensive at best.

It mocks those who have endured violence at the hands of a family member or a partner. It mocks, too, those who have lost a loved one due to an illness or accident — those who would never, ever have uttered those words about their living loved ones.

It promotes a glib, shallow way to address relationship issues — has your columnist [Erin] Domareki not heard of the anti-bullying programs regularly scheduled in our schools today?

The cartoon posted in the column is disturbing. It implies that the woman, carrying for a baby, is going to kill her partner for not taking his part in caring for the child. It promotes the message that men believe chatting on a cell phone is more important work than strolling a baby, presumbly their own baby, for their daily walk.

Our society struggles greatly with attempting to get fathers involved in their childrens’ lives — please join in on this campaign by showing cartoons which display involved fathers, a powerful message that child caring is masculine and honorable.

I quote from your paper: “Erin writes the popular humorous blog “I’m Gonna Kill Him.” I wonder on what basis this statement is made. I dare to say that many others do not find it popular or humorous.

Please consider making changes and cease promoting these negative messages and images.

Lucy Webb Hardy

Wells and Orland

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Local women hope to ‘walk all over’ breast cancer

On May 19, the Holy Walkamoles team will be walking 39.3 miles over the course of two days as participants in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Boston. The Holy Walkamoles are made up of local sisters and cousins Mandie Sawyer, Arinn Goody, Bobbie-Jo Macomber and Sam Hammond.

We are honored and excited to be walking with thousands of others who have made the same courageous commitment: to help raise awareness and funding for this devastating disease. We will sleep in tents, shower in trucks, and push ourselves far beyond what we ever thought we were capable of doing.

Why are we pushing ourselves to participate in this event? Why do we keep talking about breast cancer? Why do we continue to fundraise and train? Because too many people have had their lives torn apart by this disease and we refuse to sit by and watch it happen. So we have committed to spending the next five months working hard fundraising and training to prepare for this weekend.

Each person on our team has to raise at least $1,800 by May 1, but we’ve set our goal even higher — $10,000 total! This will make a huge difference for the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade and support their mission of providing access to care and finding a cure.

Please remember that in the time it took to read this letter, another woman in the U.S. was diagnosed with breast cancer. A staggering one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer. Even scarier, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women right now, and the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.

So, let’s make a deal — if you make a donation, I’ll do all of the walking!

We have lots of events scheduled in the coming months. To make a donation please visit our team webpage at avonwalk.org/goto/holywalkamoles, or contact a team member for a donation coupon. Further information can also be found at facebook.com/holywalkamoles.

Mandie Sawyer

Team captain, Holy Walkamoles