The Clary Lake Association News and Discussion Pages

Welcome to the Clary Lake Association News and Discussion page. Learn to use the Search feature (located at the top of the sidebar). For the most up to date Water Level Petition News I suggest you use Post Categories list box always on the right sidebar and select Petition News. Alternatively you can peruse the Lake Level Petition News page which is updated somewhat infrequently. You do NOT have to be logged in to leave a comment. See our User Policy and other information under the Site Help menu. When in doubt, contact me.

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16 July 2018: CLA Welcomes Its Newest Water Quality Monitor

Kelsie_Monitoring3Please join me in welcoming our newest Water Quality Monitor, Kelsie French! Kelsie and her brother Jeffrey own a camp over on Duncan Road and have been long time supporters of the Clary Lake Association. Kelsie has been helping out from time to time and last Saturday successfully completed the Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitor Program) training for, and has been certified qualified for taking, Secchi Disk Transparency readings and Total Phosphorus Surface Grabs. Next up is getting certified on the use of our YSI Dissolved Oxygen meter. Ever two weeks from (usually) late April until late October we venture out onto the lake to record water temperature, transparency, and dissolved oxygen data. This information is sent into the VLMP and also gets posted on our Clary Lake Water Monitoring Data page. Transparency data is also posted on the “Near Real-Time Lake Data.”

Kelsie_MonitoringWe now have 4 active water quality monitors on Clary: David Hodsdon (CA# HO-0042), Jack Holland (CA# HO-0551), George Fergusson (FE-2648), and Kelsie French (CA# FR-2497). The pictures on this post were taken back on July 7th.

Posted in Association News, Technical Lake Stuff, Water Quality | 2 Comments

12 July 2018: Final Sale Motion Hearing Scheduled

The Judge in the Paul A. Kelley Jr. Bankruptcy case has issued an Order and Schedule for oral arguments on the a Final Sale Motion on July 27th, 2018 at 10:00 AM. The hearing will be at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 537 Congress Street in Portland Maine. The Order is only 4 pages long and is remarkably easy reading as Court Orders go, and I highly recommend everyone read it through so you’ll have an idea of the issues the court is grappling with. The Order both summarizes the actions taken to date starting with the May 22nd filing of the Motion to Sell up to last week’s July 5th evidentiary hearing, and then lays out 8 questions that the Judge wants the parties to address in their oral arguments before the court. Continue reading

Posted in Clary Lake Dam, Court Action, Department of Environmental Protecion, Medius L3C, Personal Bankruptcy, PPM Bankruptcy | Leave a comment

06 July 2018: Sale Motion and Evidentiary Hearing Audio [UPDATED]

President Malcolm Burson and my wife Margaret and I attended yesterday’s Sale Motion hearing. Other parties in attendance were Butch Duncan, Richard Smith and Paul Kelley, counsel for the Clary Lake Association Randy Creswell, Bankruptcy Trustee Jeffrey T. Piampiano represented by Kaitlyn M. Husar, Esq., Assistant Attorney Generals Scott Boak and Kevin Crosman representing the Maine DEP, and attorney Dennis Carrillo representing Richard Smith and AQF. Regrettably, Paul Kelley’s bankruptcy attorney J. Scott Logan was not in attendance. Continue reading

Posted in Clary Lake Dam, Court Action, Department of Environmental Protecion, Medius L3C, Personal Bankruptcy, Video Multimedia | 5 Comments

05 July 2018: No Sale Today, Bankruptcy Case Continued

I had hope to be able to tell everyone today that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had approved the sale of the Clary Lake dam to the Clary Lake Association, but that announcement is going to have to be postponed for a few weeks. Thanks to objections raised by Richard Smith and Paul Kelley, today’s hearing which should have resulted in a quick decision approving the sale instead turned into a day-long evidentiary hearing with numerous parties taking the stand and testifying, and being cross examined. Court started at 9 AM and finally adjourned at 4:30 PM. A hearing for oral arguments will scheduled sometime the week after next (the week of July 16th) at a time and place to be announced. While there is little question whether the judge will eventually approve the sale to the CLA, there are questions regarding the restrictive covenants which need to be answered. Smith’s and AQF’s objections to the sale and to the scraping of the covenants provided a considerable diversion today, but ultimately I have no doubt that we’ll end up owning the dam. Patience people. We’ve been waiting 7 years for this. A few more weeks won’t hurt.

I wanted to get something posted as soon as possible because I know there are lots of people anxiously awaiting word after today’s hearing. I’ll provide additional details about today’s hearing at a later date and will post an audio transcript of today’s hearing when it becomes available.

Posted in Clary Lake Dam, Court Action, Department of Environmental Protecion, Personal Bankruptcy, PPM Bankruptcy, Water Level Order | 2 Comments

04 July 2018: Loon Chicks Missing

Both loon chicks have apparently gone missing, nobody has seen them since sometime late last week. I took some photographs of them one week ago, on Wednesday June 27th and I haven’t seen them since. They were spotted last Thursday, but I’ve received no reliable reports of sightings since then. Outlook not good. If you see them please email me.

Loon babies face many challenges growing up. Of those, predation by Bald Eagles and Snapping Turtles pose the greatest risk, and we have a healthy population of both predators in and around Clary Lake. Motor boats also pose a risk if the driver is inattentive, but so far, there haven’t been a lot of speed boats on Clary this summer. Even when they avoid death or injury from those common sources of danger, one loon chick all too often falls prey to its sibling as the result of competition for food and attention. Mother Nature can be cruel.

Incidentally, the 35th annual Audubon Loon Count will take place Saturday July 21st from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM. The results of the count will be presented at the Annual Meeting on August 11th. We hope to see you there.

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June 2018 Water Level Chart Archived

6 waterlevelchart_June2018I have archived the June 2018 Water Level Chart (at left). The water level in June continued the steady decline seen in May though at a slightly reduced daily rate, up until the 28th of the month when we received a welcome 2.0″ of rainfall over 24 hours, which reversed the downward trend, barely. The ground has been so dry however that there was virtually no runoff from the precipitation event with the lake rising only 2.28″ as a result. In a normal year with normal rainfall and normal ground water supplies, that 2″ of rain would have brought the lake up close to a foot. Rainfall for the month was 3.67″ which is slightly above average, but for the year to date at 16.37″ we’re still a good 3″ shy of where we should be on this date.

On the bright side, the slower fall in lake level over the month contributed to a successful Loon nesting effort, with 2 chicks hatching out on the 24th of June.

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28 June 2018: Bid Deadline Passed, No Bids No Auction

The deadline for the submission of competing bids on the Clary Lake dam was Noon today. There were no competing bids received so there will be no auction. I guess nobody but the Clary Lake Association wants the dam! Next stop: the July 5th hearing on the Sale Motion.

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28 June 2018: Recent Filings in the Kelley Bankruptcy

There have been some filings in the past few days in the Paul Kelley bankruptcy case including 2 Proof of Claims (Ford Motor Credit and Preti Flaherty), a Request for Notice (from Butch Duncan), and an interesting Supplement in Support of the Sale Motion by the Maine DEP. I see ALL of these filings as favorable for our efforts to purchase the dam and it is particularly gratifying to have DEP be so strongly supportive of our plan to purchase the dam. Continue reading

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27 June 2018: Loon Family Pictures

DSC_5610Well it turns out the loons had two chicks this year, not one as I originally thought. I went out this evening to get some pictures, and the loons cooperated happily. Even when I knew there were two I could often only see one. Having two loon babies is good because it increases the chances of one of them surviving to adulthood. On the downside, one almost always fails to thrive…

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24 June 2018: Loons Have a Baby! [UPDATED]

DSC_5594For the second year in a row, our resident loon family has successfully hatched a baby loon. Just one this year rather than the usual 2. I noticed one parent or the other hanging around the nest area today and saw one loon, presumably the male, chasing another loon around in a classic loon “get out and stay out” territorial battle, and suspected  that hatching was near. Please give them a wide berth.

[27 June UPDATE]: We have 2 loon babies! No idea how the second baby escaped notice this long, but it did. No pictures yet, but I clearly saw two babies when over visiting our Treasurer this morning.

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24 June 2018: Update on Clary Lake Dam Purchase Initiative

Late last week we sent a letter out to our membership with an update on the Clary Lake dam purchase effort explaining where we are, what’s up ahead, and what to expect. We also sent the letter out by email to those members for whom we have email addresses, just to get the message out a little faster. If you’re a member and have given us your email address but did NOT receive the email, please check your spam folder! I’m not sure why, but typically only about 2/3 to 3/4 of the emails we send actually get opened, though in the unsolicited email world, that’s actually a pretty high response rate. Now that most people have received the letter, we wanted to post it here for general consumption since there are a lot more people than just CLA members who are anxiously awaiting news:

Dear Clary Lake Association Member:

At a hearing in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Portland on June 7, the judge approved bid procedures for the sale of the Clary Lake dam and scheduled a deadline for objections and bids of Noon on June 28. The court also scheduled a July 5 hearing date to act on the Sale Motion. Sale of property by a Bankruptcy Court is done by public auction, and we started the bidding process with our $80,000 offer for the dam when the Sale Motion was filed back on May 22. Anyone wishing to bid on the dam has until Noon on Thursday, June 28 to submit their bid along with a $20,000 cash deposit and further evidence of their ability to pay should they win the auction. The minimum bid required to beat our $80,000 offer has to be at least $93,400, an amount set in advance by the court (subsequent bids have to be at least $1000 higher than the previous bid). Should someone submit a valid bid before the deadline, an auction will be held at 2 PM on June 28 at the offices of Drummond Woodsum in Portland. If there is going to be an auction, we intend to take part in it.

We have never thought there would be any competing bids for the Clary Lake dam given the costly repairs, the underground tank (see below), and the Water Level Order which as been recently upheld by the Lincoln County Superior Court. Nonetheless, the Board feels and our attorney agrees that we would be remiss not to be prepared to respond should a bidder surface on June 28. At a meeting on June 14 the Board reaffirmed its commitment to owning the dam and agreed to compete in such a bidding process should the need arise.

We do want you to know that in the event that we are forced to bid higher in order to buy the dam, it will be necessary for us to raise additional funds so the repairs can go forward in a timely manner. You have already been incredibly generous, and we currently have no plans for a new fund raising campaign. However, if any of you have suggestions for additional funds that the Board might pursue, or might be willing yourself to contribute again, please let me or Secretary Fergusson know confidentially.

We fully expect the sale of the dam to the Clary Lake Association to be approved by the Court on July 5, and we plan to go ahead this summer with permanent repairs to the dam. To this end we have been working with an experienced contractor. On or about July 1st we’ll file the required Permit By Rule application with DEP to cover the work on the dam, which should commence around July 15 and take 2-3 weeks. As soon as we actually own the dam we’ll also be filing the necessary paperwork with DEP to transfer the Water Level Order to the Association. All Clary Lake shore owners and people who own land directly across the road from the lake will receive a notice in the mail of this proposed transfer this week. A legal notice will also appear in the Lincoln County News on June 21.

You may also have heard of the discovery of an abandoned fuel storage tank on the dam property. This tank was abandoned in the early 1960’s, we think, and by law must be removed at the land owner’s expense. In theory it would be Pleasant Pond Mill LLC’s responsibility to deal with the tank but given that Mr. Kelley is in bankruptcy, that’s just not going to happen. We didn’t learn about the tank until after fundraising was already well underway, and after some investigation we concluded that it was not going to be an insurmountable obstacle to our purchase of the dam.

The Board is confident that we will be successful in our attempt to purchase the Clary Lake dam! We will send out an update immediately following the Court ruling on July 5th or when more information becomes available. Also keep an eye on the CLA website as we’ll likely post updates there as well. If you have questions, please get in touch.


Malcolm Burson, President
Clary Lake Association

We’ve already received some favorable feedback from members affirming that yes, they want the dam, they want it fixed, and they want it soon and they’re willing to donate more money if necessary to accomplish our goal.

Posted in Association News, Clary Lake Dam, Court Action, Personal Bankruptcy | Leave a comment

12 June 2018: Loon Nest Update

DSC_5541The loons are still sitting on their nest and while it’s sitting rather high out of the water, I think it’s still surrounded by water which is important for keeping predators away from the nest. The lake has fallen almost 5″ since I discovered the nest on May 31st. If the water falls too much or recedes too far from the nest, they’ll have to abandon it. For what it’s worth, the lake which just hit -48″ below the normal high water mark is now only falling about 1/4″ per day and any rain we receive will help slow the fall further. The biggest threat from fluctuating water levels is flooding and with yet another drought setting in, I don’t see flooding as a big risk this year.

I’m not sure when the loons laid their eggs so I don’t know when they’ll hatch but seeing as how they were sitting on May 31, barring complications the eggs should hatch around the last week of June. Gestation is around 27 days and can often stretch to 30. Fingers crossed.

I have not had a chance to get the Loon Nesting signs out but will try to get to it later this week. In the meantime, please avoid the marsh on the southwest corner of the lake by Route 126.

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Roberta Dow Giampetruzzi 1924-2018

Roberta Dow Giampetruzzi 1924-2018

CASCO – Roberta Dow Giampetruzzi, 93, passed away peacefully at her daughter, Nina’s, home on Panther Pond in Raymond, during the early morning hours of Friday, May 25, 2018. Roberta was the first child of Mildred Plummer Dow and Robert E. Dow born Oct. 13, 1924. She was born in Brunswick and raised in Augusta. She had one sister, Arolyn Dow Antognoni.

From an early age Roberta demonstrated a strong curiosity or learning and academics and a force of will to set and accomplish goals. She often recalled with pride an early success to become the first chair violinist in the Cony High School orchestra. She received Bachelor of Arts Degree in Romance Languages from the University of Maine, Orono. 

Roberta met Nino Giampetruzzi at UMO and they married in 1946. She was a devoted mother and raised six children: Janet Blessing, Peter (Sue), David (Carol Sue), Nina (Robert) Kamman, Robert (Joann) and Steven (Ann). They made their home on Center Street in Portland where Nino owned and operated Felice’s Market. Continue reading

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June 7, 2018 Bankruptcy Court Hearing Audio

At the U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing held yesterday afternoon in Portland, Judge Michael A. Fagone denied the Trustee’s Motion for Substantive Consolidation but approved the bid procedures and scheduled dates for the auction and the Sale Motion hearing. Sale Objections and competing bids are due by NOON on June 28, 2018. The auction will be held on June 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm at the Portland offices of Drummond Woodsum. The Sale Motion hearing will be held July 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM at the Bankruptcy Courtroom at 537 Congress Street.

Having the motion for substantive consolidation denied was not a setback to our plans to buy the dam. There are other, less extreme means to accomplish the same thing as substantive consolidation. The hearing was fascinating and covered a lot of ground. Here is an audio recording of the proceedings. It lasted almost 2 hours:

Besides the Trustee, the lawyers, and the legal assistants, the hearing was attended by Paul Kelley (with counsel) and Richard Smith (representing himself). The Judge has allowed Smith’s Objection to stand despite being filed late, but has not decided whether Aquafortis Associates LLC will require counsel or if it can represent itself. Butch Duncan was also at the hearing.

Posted in Court Action, News, Personal Bankruptcy, PPM Bankruptcy, Video Multimedia | 1 Comment

07 June 2018: Smith & Aquafortis File Objections in Bankruptcy Court

Yesterday afternoon Richard Smith and Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] together filed objections to the the sale motion and motion for substantive consolidation filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee in the Paul A. Kelley Jr. Bankruptcy proceeding back on May 22nd. The deadline for objections was actually the previous day, Tuesday, June 5th. Smith and AQF are representing themselves (pro se). There is a hearing on the bid procedures and the motion for substantive consolidation today at 2:00 PM in Portland, which I will be attending. I’ll provide an update on the hearing as soon as I can. Here, without comment, is the latest filing:

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02 June 2018: Donations Continue

Please join me in thanking the Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club for their $500 donation to our campaign to raise money to buy and repair the Clary Lake dam! My friend Bill Bunting stopped by the other day to say the club would be donating to our fund, and this morning the check arrived. It is very gratifying to see this level of community support for our efforts to restore Clary Lake.

I enjoy ice boating, the picture at left is of me sailing on Clary 2 winters ago in a Lockley Skimmer. I’d like to get my hands on a nice little DN Class boat sometime. And a helmet.

And yes, we’re still accepting donations 🙂

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02 June 2018: More Filings in the Bankruptcy Sale Proceeding

There were two filings made Friday June 1st in the Bankruptcy Sale proceeding by J. Scott Logan Esq, counsel for Debtor Paul Kelley. The first filing, document #30, is an objection to the Motion to Sell and doesn’t contain any great surprises. The other filing, Exhibit A (document #31) is a letter from attorney Sarah McDaniel on behalf of Butch Duncan addressed to Bankruptcy Trustee Jeffrey T. Piampiano and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher:

Debtor’s Objection to the Sale Motion is interesting. And short (only 2 pages). Not surprisingly, the Debtor (Paul Kelley) opposes the sale of the dam without the “water level covenants” (the restrictive covenants) but doesn’t give any good reasons for keeping them other than stating that the “covenants pertain to environmental benefits and should not be stripped off as a matter of public policy.” What does that even mean? How does draining 300 acres of prime wetlands result in environmental benefits? Since Kelley will no longer own the dam and claims he has nothing to do with and no interest in Aquafortis Associates LLC, or their property, why should he care if the covenants remain in place? Continue reading

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31 May 2018 Bankruptcy Court Update: State Files Response in Support of Trustee’s Motions

Representing the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Assistant Attorney General Kevin Crosman, Esq. has filed a brief with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in response to motions filed last week by Bankruptcy Trustee Jeffrey Piampiano, Esq. The State fully supports the Motion for Substantive Consolidation, the Motion to Sell, and the proposed bid procedures with respect to the bankruptcy sale of the Clary Lake dam. It is very helpful having the Maine Department of Environmental Protection take this position.

The State’s Response Brief is short, concise, and to the point:


Posted in Court Action, Department of Environmental Protecion, Personal Bankruptcy | 2 Comments

May 2018 Water Level Chart Archived

5 waterlevelchart_May2018

May 2018

I have archived the May 2018 Water Level Chart (at left). What is particularly notable about the May chart is the steady decline of the lake level over the course of the month, falling from -18.24″ below the Normal High Water Mark [“NHWM”] on May 1st to -43.44″ below the NHWM on May 31st. That’s a total drop of 25.2″ in 31 days or about 0.8″ per day. Not once did the lake level rise, or remain stable. The reason for this steady decline in the water level was due to a lack of rainfall and of course, because the gate is wide open. As dry as it has been, the little rain we did receive didn’t slow down the rate at which the lake was falling one bit. During the first half of the month water was also exiting the lake through the hole in the dam.

We received only 1.17″ of rain in May or 2.5″ less than the May average of 3.7″ which puts us fully 3.2″ shy of rainfall for the year to date. It looks like we’re headed for another dry summer. For some reason, the National Integrated Drought Information System is showing us as WET which does not jive with my understanding.

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31 May 2018: Loon Family Nesting again on Clary Lake

Loon Nest May 31 2018

Margaret and I spotted this year’s loon nest yesterday evening, it’s located over on the southwest corner of Clary Lake not far from Route 126. I haven’t checked yet, but it’s undoubtedly visible from the road. This is the same place they tried to nest back in 2012, a nesting effort that failed when heavy rains caused the lake level to rise, flooding the nest (pictures in the Summer 2012 photo gallery). That year the loons attempted to nest a second time over on the north shore in the more traditional location (See News from 2012) but a falling water level resulted in that nest being abandoned as well. The loons didn’t even try to nest again until the summer of 2016.

Please give the nest a wide berth as much as possible. We’ll put the Loon Nesting signs out shortly, and I’ll try and get some better pictures.

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