Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Blog

I've moved all the silly personal ads to a new blog.
Check out: Lonesome Whistle

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From the Portsmouth Herald

DUI checkpoints bully innocent drivers
June 23 — To the Editor:

(Open letter response to the Portsmouth Police STEP coordinator regarding DWI checkpoint survey.)

After I was stopped for about 20 minutes at a DUI checkpoint in Portsmouth on June 12, I was handed a postcard survey to comment on my opinions and experience. Instead of returning the survey to the Portsmouth Police, I decided to respond to the survey though this letter to the editor.

I was stopped at the DUI checkpoint on Market Street in Portsmouth. When I first approached the road block, having just passed under the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, I thought there was a large accident, but within a few seconds and as I got closer, I could see it was a DUI checkpoint. I was stopped and asked if I had consumed any alcohol that evening and when I replied "yes," I was asked to step out of my car and I was led over to the sidewalk.

There were huge lights illuminating the area and at least 30 police cars from many different police agencies parked there, including a giant red, police truck/trailer. I was the only person being tested at the time and there were about five or six police officers flanking me on either side, within a few feet of me, as well as the one officer about two feet in front of me, insisting that I follow his every direction — to the word.

The officer asked me to perform all of the tests that most of us are aware of: close your eyes and touch the bridge of your nose with your index finger; walk nine paces heel to toe and count off the steps; follow a pen with your eyes being waved side to side about 12 inches in front of your face only with your eyes, without turning your head; balance on one leg while holding the other leg outstretched for 30 seconds; count 1 to 30, one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. All of this under the glare of huge floodlights with at least 50 police officers standing around and at least five standing right next to me, staring at me. At one point I was told "I am going to invade your private space now" after which the officer stood nose to nose with me and asked me to breathe on him.

I was asked at least twice where I had been drinking, as if the establishment that had served me was somehow negligent by doing so, and we have all read lately how Margarita's has been targeted by the Exeter police; as if I appeared intoxicated enough that a bartender should have refused me drinks.

I told the officer that was barking directions in my face as if I was in boot camp, that this scenario was quite intimidating and that I was nervous and that was affecting my test performance; he dismissed my comments and acted like I was making excuses for being drunk. In fact, at the end of 15 minutes or so of testing as described above, I was told that I was showing signs of being impaired and asked if I would submit to a breath test. I asked what my options were and was told that if I refused I would be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

After being told that, I agreed to take the breath test and I was told to blow into the breath analyzer as if I was blowing up a balloon, I did, my blood alcohol level was .01. Yes, that's right, .01, about what it would have been had I recently rinsed with mouth wash, yet had I not agreed to take the breath test I would have been arrested for DUI.

Portsmouth Police STEP coordinator: I agree that drunken drivers should be kept off our roads, but I don't think the roadside DUI checkpoint tests for impairment, with the exception of the breath test, are very accurate, nor do I think all of the police officers are good judges of impairment, based on my experience.

I suggest a breath test to start with, that would do the job faster, be equally as effective and much less imposing and inconvenient for responsible drivers, and city patrons like myself, and less expensive too. If six of your officers, with giant floodlights and all of their training, can be so inaccurate in assessing my level of impairment, I don't think that a single, busy, distracted bartender, in a dimly lit bar, should be expected to do better.

Fred Levine

You tell 'em, Fred.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cream Cheese and Apple Juice

Fortune: You are sociable and entertaining.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Plan for new offices in Kittery challenged

From the Portsmouth Herald:
By Dave Choate
February 12, 2009
KITTERY, Maine — A proposed building project on Route 1 has some unhappy abutters seeking changes.
Abutters Bill and Eileen McCarthy of Adams Drive have enlisted attorney Patrick Bedard of Bedard & Bobrow as they seek Planning Board alterations to aspects of a plan featuring two new office buildings and a parking lot at 240 Route 1. Bill McCarthy said he doesn't want to halt the project altogether, but he has serious concerns and thinks the project's scope is not right for the area.
"This is not on scale with the neighborhood," he said.
McCarthy said he has an issue with the setback, which he said is supposed to be 40 feet under Kittery town code, and the proposed height of the building. He said the setback from a proposed ramp in the project to the McCarthys' property, which also houses a small bed-and-breakfast, is not the 40 feet it's supposed to be. He cites a proposed ramp next to the building as being inside the setback, a definition the Planning Board has debated due to a long driveway that runs in between the McCarthy property and 240 Route 1.
McCarthy also said the height of the building exceeds limits set out in the town's ordinances.
A Jan. 15 letter from Town Attorney Duncan McEachern to town staff states the Planning Board will be tasked with determining weather the developer's use abuts a residential district, in which case a 40-foot setback would be required, or if it does not and a 30-foot setback could be maintained. A Jan. 27 letter from Bedard outlining McCarthy's position offers that a setback of 40 feet should be maintained between the development and the properties of McCarthy and neighbors David and Barbara Durling.
McCarthy said he's been "frustrated" by the process, which he feels has gone by without the Planning Board critically reviewing the issues he has brought up. He has been unsuccessful in his attempts to get answers from staff at Town Hall, he said.
"I'm trying to muddle through this process, and I'm not really getting cooperation from town officials," McCarthy said.
At the Jan. 8 board meeting, when the issue was last discussed, the minutes indicate that members of the board agreed with a recommendation from Town Manager Jon Carter to move the project along for review by the town attorney and CMA Engineering. According to those minutes, CMA was to be tasked with clarifying the setback and buffer issues for the board.
Town Planner Sandra Mowery said in an e-mail to the Herald last week that she could not comment on the issue because McCarthy had enlisted legal counsel. When reached Wednesday evening, Baudo also said he did not wish to comment on the project.
The Planning Board agenda features an item for the board to discuss and take action on a plenary site review for the project Thursday night at their regularly scheduled meeting.

The Planning Board will be tasked with determining weather?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fair seeks art from recycled materials

From the Portsmouth Herald:
February 09, 2009
PORTSMOUTH — The arts committee is currently searching for professional area artists who use recycled materials to create their art work.
The work will be displayed throughout the Portsmouth Public Library during May. Work will not be for sale, but contact information will be given. Artwork should be insured and ready by the end of April.
The fair, organized by a committee of volunteers, will again be sponsored by Portsmouth Listens, the Piscataqua Sustainability Initiative and the City of Portsmouth, with support from Seacoast Media Group.

Too bad they didn't think it was important to include contact info...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here the Fog Horns

$1100 / 2br - House Across the street from public dock & Frisbees (pepperrell rd)
Reply to:
Date: 2009-02-03, 5:30PM EST
Quaint 1880's built 2 bedroom home in the heart of Kittery Point. Walk to everything. All hardwood floors one full bath with old clawfoot tub. Full unfinished basement. Here the fog horns!! Available March 1st. Please call 603-380-4xxx
Location: pepperrell rd
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Fortune: Your mentality is alert, practical and analytical.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Icicle, Icicle, Icicle

Fortune: You will be traveling and coming into a fortune.