As has been requested (endlessly) EK's Star Log is returning to the internet. You can still read the original archive here... https://eelkat.wordpress.com
The reason you couldn't find it is because I set it to private un-index mode, meaning it no longer shows up in Google search results and can only be accessed by a direct link.
Meaning, if you didn't have the url for it, no amount of searching for it would tell you how to find it. Anyone who had the url could still access it though.
I had set it to private September 23, 2013, intending to move each page here to EelKat.com... however, November 14, 2013, after only moving about 30 pages, I was beaten up and left paralyzed for 5 months, then spent 18 months relearning to walk. I am still crippled and have limited mobility.
Below is one of the blog posts that originally appeared on EK's Star Log. The original articles are still online but no longer indexed in Google. Links to the original article, are included with this post, as is the original posting date. Clicking the links will take you to the original site, where you can see the old Space Dock 13 website still online. Space Dock 13 as it looked when hosted on WordPress from 2003 to 2013.
February 10, 2008 - Harrasment Continues in Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 | Comments Offon Harrasment Continues
My name is Wendy Allen.
I am writing to you on behalf of my father, Kenneth Ricker-Allen of Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
Our family is in desperate need of help. In the past two years we have tried without success to get help locally, but now the deadline is less than a week away and we do not know what to do or who to turn too for help.
Since this is a long and complicated ordeal, I well start at the beginning. First off, I should tell you that we are fighting the local government, the officials of the Town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for the followingcharges:
Discrimination against a disabled senior.
A seniors rights being taken away from him.
Repeated harassment, and discriminatory attempts to force a low income family off their land, resulting in the year long hospitalization of already mentioned senior and resulting in his becoming disabled.
Threat of the destruction of property, including the threat of tearing down the home of aforementioned senior and his minor children and their pets.
Forcing the senior and his minor children out of their home and onto the streets where they lived for much of 2006 in a “tent” constructed out of shipping pallets and a tarp, where they lived in the elements of Maine’s harsh winter, some days suffering at below zero temperatures.
The threat of having all our belongings destroyed.
The reason the town official Ken Shoup gave for this harassment was quote:”This is Old Orchard, you have to change you lifestyle.”End quote. No other reason has been given.
Now, for our story and how this train of events came to be:
First off, our family has a long history with the Town of Old Orchard, due to the fact that our family settled this town more than 300 years ago. Our family has lived on the properties here in since 1657.
Originally there were several hundred acres on our land, both forest and farmland, but as the centuries went by the land was divided among relatives and passed on in increasingly smaller sections from one generation to the next. As the town grew and the land became more valuable, relatives sold out and moved away.
By the 1940’s ours was the last to remain in the original family, a small lot less than an acre in size. Not only was it the last to remain in the original family, but it was also the last farm in Old Orchard Beach.
It should be noted that property in Old Orchard is valued in the millions due to it being one of the world’s top rated award-winning beaches, and there in lies the root of our problem. Our farm has been accused of decreasing the property values. By the 1980’s Old Orchard became known as the hang out for biker gangs, honky-tonks, and strip shops. Property values dropped as the family image of the town plummeted. In the 1990’s, things changed once again, the gangs were driven out, the honky-tonks and bars shut down, and the strip shops became restaurants and art galleries.
Property taxes sky-rocketed to the second highest in the state as millionaire mansions and high rise condos reconstructed the sky-line, forever blocking out the view of the beach from the roads.Old Orchard beach town officials, spent millions putting in brick sidewalks, Victorian street lamps, and building a replica of the town hall that had stood here in the 1800’s…. their campaign was to create a “historical town” to draw in high income tourists.
The campaign was wildly advertised, and well promoted… until the new town manager and his new staff showed their true colors, that is and their campaign turned to harassing long time locals off of their land.
Several families have been driven out already. Most unable and unwilling to fight the local government as the threats of propety destruction, and the removal of personal belongings (including pets) has scared most of the “offending families” into selling thier land and moving.
There are only a handful of families that have stood thier ground, but those too are leaving. Ours is one of the last to remain, still standing our round, and refusing to give in to the threats made by local police officers, local code enforcement officers, and the town manager himself.
In the past year they have changed (without legal and proper votes from the people) nearly every code on the book in an attempt to force these families off thier land.
Changes in code include such things as “banning the growing of vegetation”, “painting your house”, “owning more than one car per family”, and other ridiculous town laws, that now prohibit such things as growing a garden.
It is like living in a strict gated community, only it is the entire town.
On the outskirts of the town, one finds the beautiful rolling acres of Ross Forest, once a candidate to become a national park, most of it now clear cut, and what little remains is soon to be sold for housing complexes, many already under construction.
Dividing the Ross Forest from the down town district, lay the remains of a few scattered farms, no longer in use. Except for one: ours. At one time a large full production poultry farm, today the home of pet farm animals, but still very much an active farm, small as it is.
The harassment of our family began in the fall of 2005 after an unknown person, wrote an editorial to the local newspapers, saying, “Four homes on Portland Avenue were distracting from the value of other properties in the town”.
The writer continued saying that something should be done about it, that these four homes “should be torn down”, and the families should be forced to move out of town to make way for the new generation.
Two of those four homes mentioned, as it turns out, were 144 Portland Ave and 146 Portland Ave.
At 144 Portland Avenue there lived (they have since taken our home) my elderly dad Kenneth Allen, myself, and my three brothers (all under 16 years of age). As you may guess, our dad was much, much older than our mother, explaining how a senior came to have young children.
In 1983, my dad’s mother died and he inherited her house at 146 Portland Ave. The tiny 16 foot by 9-foot “house”, which never had plumbing, etc. We turned into a shed, but even so, the town has continued to tax it as a house. Since October of 2001 (seven years ago) we have been applying for a permit to repair this building, and turn it into a greenhouse so we can extend our growing season, but the town STILL has that on a waiting list.
We continued to live in the old 700 square foot house, more of a cabin than a house or at least by the town’s standards anyways.
My dad was a newspaper carrier for 21 years, our family income was under $20,000 a year, so we were never able to afford much, but we never noticed, because we were happy.
Our family was living together, we had our pets with us, and we lived on our farm. That we lacked a “normal income” or a “normal lifestyle” (as the town officials now tell us) never occurred to us.
Than in spring of 2006, there came the letters from the town. One after another. Demands to “remove the junk and debris” or else.
As it turns out, what they were calling junk and debris, was as follows: Our car, which though they consider it “junk” still runs in spite of what it looks like, and we use it daily.
Our fire wood (we have a woodstove for heat, cause we can’t afford anything else.)
My dad’s tools (he was a car mechanic in the 1970’s, and still works on his own car and cars of relatives)
Our brooder (used for raising baby chickens each spring)
My dad’s antique cast iron wood stove collection
Our garden (bean poles, pea fences, etc… they say we can’t have a garden any more either)
Our washing machine (a 1947 wringer, which we use weekly)
Our farming equipment (tiller, ATV, etc…. all used on a regular basis)
In other words, what they are calling “trash”, “junk”, and “debris” are actually things we use every day, things we need in order to survive… without them we can not garden, if we can not garden we can not eat, because we can not afford to buy enough food to eat more than one meal a day per person, without the garden we well starve to death, without the farm equipment we can not garden, they are trying to kill us… and no this is not a figure of speec