Portsmouth – Opponents of the Wastewater Treatment Facility have indicated their intention to file a citizen’s lawsuit against the City of Portsmouth under the provisions of the Clean Water Act in response to a deal reached between the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Portsmouth about the plant’s place, size, location, capacity, footprint, and construction schedule. The citizens, lead by former city councilor Esther Kennedy, argue that they are incorrect in coming to an agreement, and also they’ve taken at least twenty hostages to show that they are sincere.

“We only care about the Piscataqua,” said Kennedy, whose property and business overlook the Pierce Island facility. “You should care about the Piscataqua too if you don’t want me to start sending these people to you in fucking pieces, now get back!”

The hostages, who have been scattered around Esther’s Marina and dressed in floppy hats and cardigans to make them indistinguishable from their South End hostage takers to police, are believed to include City Councilor Chris Dwyer, residents of Elwyn Park, West End residents and others. Police lines have been busy with missing persons reports.

“All you need to know is that they’re taxpayers and they’re not from the South End,” said an explosive vest wearing Mark Brighton, professional Angry Man and President of the Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers, his hand tightly clutching what explosives experts believe was a dead-man’s trigger. “We’re just exercising our right to free speech, and I’m using that free speech to tell you that I am packing enough explosives to turn all of us into chum.”

The hostage takers issued an extensive list of demands, among them the relocation of the Wastewater Treatment Facility to another location, easements of tax burdens on the South End, the delivery of Prescott Park Arts Festival’s Ben Anderson “for disciplining”, a case of Pinot Grigio, a case of Grey Goose for “daytime use”, and a bag of ice.

“What is your timeline for the cessation of the dumping of human waste in the Piscataqua,” asked a police negotiator over the landline that Kennedy still uses.

“What? Oh yes, that. Soon. Sometime soon, if you could,” said Kennedy before disconnecting the line.

Police have been negotiating for the release of the hostages for almost 24 hours now, with limited success.

“These people are used to being compromised with, but when you accommodate them, they just move the goal line,” said FBI Agent Garret Tuckerdale. “They’ve got years of bad-faith negotiation under their belts. Obviously we want to avoid bloodshed but there are only a few ways to deal with situations like this. These cells tend to pop up in rich communities and there’s very little you can do about it unless you catch it early.”

City officials and citizens were mixed in their reactions.   

“This is what a healthy democracy is all about,” said Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine. “I don’t agree with their tactics, but when we start questioning the motives of people we disagree with, everybody loses. That’s downright un-American. I applaud their passion.”

Others were less enthusiastic.

“I fucking told you,” said city resident Kathleen Cavalaro, who had previously been criticized for calling Mark Brighton a “terrorist” over his behavior at Prescott Park. “Suck my fucking dick. I told you this would happen. The man was a time bomb and now he is an actual bomb. Fuck you.”

Onlookers watched apprehensively as tactical teams moved into position around Kennedy’s compound.

“I’m a little uncomfortable about shooting white people, especially white people from the South End,” said Police Commissioner Brenna Cavanaugh. “But hey, we just did a taco-eating contest with the PD, so I think the community is with us enough if it comes to that.”

“I was born for this,” said City Councilor Nancy Pearson, tucking her KA-BAR into the sheath on her tactical vest. “I’m fairly certain I can’t die. I’m anxious to find out. Tell Esther that her death walks the earth and her name is Nancy.”
Ben Anderson could not be reached for comment.