December 04, 2022

I read the front page story on Spencer Lake and John Malone with interest. It was a great mix of half truths and innuendo. George Smith of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine states that LURC denied a boat landing permit in 1997 and that it angered a lot of people, and that “we can’t have our boat launch, but he can have…his own private playground.”

I went to the LURC meetings in 1997 and the launch was listed as an “ought to pass” by LURC. A mixed group of people; fishermen, hunters, campers, canoeists, and bird watchers, got up and testified that the boat launch would be detrimental to the lake and that the boat launch on Fish Pond which is used to get to Spencer was adequate.

A spirited debate was held on both sides and LURC tabled it for further study and another public meeting. The second meeting had more debate and the LURC board made a special trip up to Spencer and then decided against the launch.

It would seem that a majority of people at the hearing and a large majority of the LURC board were pleased and not angered by the decision. Smith’s statement is obviously very biased and does not represent the majority opinion. This decision was made years before John Malone owned land at the northern end of Spencer. It’s also interesting to note that I was up to the boat launch at Fish Pond two weeks ago and that it was still open and available to the public for camping and launching.

I do not know John Malone, but I don’t think it’s fair to vilify him just because he has money and bought something that was for sale. Aside from the change in ownership, the area appears as accessible as ever and the statements made by Landvest seem as prudent as any landowner would make. James Marshall Waterville

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