New Gloucester’s community source of news and information

The New Gloucester Exchange (ngxchange) is coordinated by a group of volunteers to share news and information “by, for and about” our community.
We also welcome volunteers, whether  behind-the-scenes, or writing about a topic or activity that you’re involved with or  care about. We look forward to hearing from you! Email us at contact@ngxchange.org

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Header photo: Sunrise from Gloucester Hill. Mike Thompson

Lower Village Walk this Saturday

[Friends of the Royal River Conservation Trust]

Please join us for a tour of the Lower Village Conservation Project, this Saturday, September 21 at 9 a.m. The walk includes parts of the 180 acres of land connecting the Lower Village to the Little League fields on Route 231. This is your opportunity to learn about, support and be part of the planning process for this community effort. The walk will start at the Congregational church parking lot in the Lower Village. RSVP not required but for more information email carrie@RRCT.org

Looking south from the Congregational Church on Gloucester Hill Road. Drone photo from Terry DeWan.

Friends of  Royal River Conservation Trust

About the Turtles in My Christmas Tree this Summer

[Tom Driscoll]
Sabbathday Lake is home for many little painted turtles, and a few huge snappers.  But, Sabbathday does not naturally provide much underwater “structure” for the fish, turtles, and other animals that live in, on, and around the lake.  In lakes, “structure” is things like fallen trees, stumps, or rocky areas where animals can find cover and concealment from their predators. 

Sabbathday is simply a big 65’ deep scoop in the glacial sand deposit, like what you create on a sandy beach when you dig a hole with your hands and water seeps in.  The bottom of Sabbathday looks just like a big underwater sandpit.

Turtles, Christmas tree and Winston. Photos: Tom Driscoll

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Save the Opportunity Farm View

[Peter Bragdon]
Recent events have gotten many people worrying about a gem in our community:  the view from the top of Gloucester Hill Road could potentially look different. This pasture / view has been the site for an uncountable number of pictures, not to mention a long list of people enjoying the cows, having a picnic lunch, sledding and much more.

The planning board recently approved a house to be placed in the pasture of the Opportunity Farm, now known as the Morrison Center.
After the dust settled from the board meeting, a site walk and public hearing, it was learned this is just a proposal from the current property owner and not a plan set in stone.  The property is still for sale and can be purchased by anyone.  The list price for the 25 acres is $250,000.
The listing on the Maine MLS goes on to say it can be used as a sub division and does have planning board approval for a house lot.   The seller is also offering a land/building package.

Sunrise from Gloucester Hill
Photo: Mike Thompson
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Updates to the Fluorescent Light Bulb Recycling Law

Effective September 19, 2019, The State of Maine has made changes to the “Mercury Added Lamp Recycling Program” of which the Town of New Gloucester is a participant.

Sec. 1. 38 MRSA §1672, sub-§1, ¶A-1 is enacted to read:

A-1. “Covered entity” means a person who at any one time presents for drop off at a collection location participating in a department-approved program for the recycling of mercury-added lamps under this subsection:

  1. Any number of compact fluorescent mercury-added lamps; or
  2. Ten or fewer mercury-added lamps that are not compact fluorescent mercury added lamps.

This is merely a highlight of the changes as they affect our Transfer Station operation.

The acceptance of fluorescent light bulbs at the New Gloucester Transfer Station is no longer limited to just households. Small businesses in town may now bring their fluorescent bulbs to the Transfer Station for recycling.

Further, and most importantly, the State now mandates that no more than ten fluorescent bulbs, other than compact fluorescent bulbs, may be disposed of by any one entity per visit.

Senator Ned Claxton’s early September newsletter

In this newsletter, read about remembering 9/11, touring Bath Iron Works and meeting with family practice residents in Augusta. Also see Senator Claxton’s column in the Twin City Times about his mixed feelings on the results of the legislature’s recent special session. Continue reading

Funeral for George Carman this Saturday, September 21

A firefighter funeral with honors will be held on Saturday for New Gloucester firefighter George Lewis Carman, who died Sept. 10 after a battle with cancer.

Carman received a double lung transplant in 2011 and battled cystic fibrosis his entire life. He was diagnosed with cancer in November 2018.

He was a firefighter for 27 years, both in Yarmouth and New Gloucester.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. at the New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Station, 611 Lewiston Road. In lieu of flowers, his family asks for donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and New Gloucester Fire and Rescue.

Maine State Police answer questions about new law

[Matt Byrne, Staff Writer, Portland Press Herald] .

Starting Thursday, drivers in Maine must use hands-free technology only.

Q: What does the new law say, and when does it take effect?

A: Starting Sept. 19, drivers are prohibited from using, manipulating or holding mobile phones, hand-held electronic devices or portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle, unless specifically exempted by law.

Q: Will there be a “warning” period from police to allow motorists to get used to the new law?

A: No. Expect swift and widespread enforcement with few exceptions, starting on the day the law takes effect. Continue reading

Fall classes for adults: GNG Adult and Community Education and USM-LAC’s Senior College

Terrific learning opportunities for adults are close by, thanks to GNG Adult and Community Education and, for those 50 and up, Senior College in Lewiston-Auburn.  Fall classes are already getting under way, so check out the possibilities soon.

GNG Adult and Community Education has long offered a robust range of enrichment classes: arts, personal finance, travel, and more.  But Stephanie Haskins, director of GNG Adult and Community Education, wants to be sure the community knows about the career and education support they also offer.  “We’re like the guidance office, but for adults,” she said.  “Our services go well beyond the high school credential.” Classes to assist with the transition to college, including time-management, study skills, and financial aid, are available, and on the career side, business and skills-training classes.  Browse course offerings hereClick here for program and contact info

If you’re 50 or older, consider Senior College, which offers intellectually stimulating classes and, according to Laura Jane Sturgis of New Gloucester, “the chance to meet some wonderful people.”  The six- or eight-week courses are a bargain at $25, and are offered weekdays in Lewiston-Auburn, typically during daytime hours.  Homework is light and conversation lively.  Topics this fall draw from history, arts, literature, science, philosophy, and beyond.  Sturgis herself is taking a course called “Baseball and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and teaching Dickens’s novel “Great Expectations.”  The catalog is available here.

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Select board briefed on solar installation

[Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal]

Nick Sampson, spokesman for Revision Energy of South Portland, updated selectmen Monday night on installing rooftop solar energy panels on the fire station, public works garage, transfer station and Town Hall.

The commercial solar consultant said his company was started in 2003 and employs over 250 people in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The company has installed 8,000 systems. Continue reading

Land Management Planning Committee considers docks on Sabbathday Lake and solar arrays

| Joanne Cole, NGX |

At its August 28 meeting the Land Management Planning Committee (LMPC) discussed docks on Sabbathday Lake and resumed work on a draft ordinance to regulate large solar arrays.  Meanwhile, independent of the LMPC’s work, the Select Board will hear from ReVision Energy about solar energy at the board’s Monday September 16 meeting. 

Solar arrays.  Residents’ comments on the draft solar ordinance led off the August LMPC meeting. Town planner Scott Hastings reported that resident Mark Power, who participated in a public workshop on solar power, has asked whether the committee is considering where in town they may or may not want arrays, perhaps restricting them by zone, and also whether to include incentives for putting solar arrays in already-developed locations like parking lots rather than in green areas. 

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