New Gloucester’s community source of news and information

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Header photo: Debra Smith

Patti’s Jan. 17 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

The first cribbage night, organized by resident Penny Hilton, attracted such a strong turnout that players filled the public library’s Community Room and spilled over into a different area of the library. Future monthly games are planned for 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, same location. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Winter tracking

Naturalists Polly Haight Frawley and Karen Massey are leading the next Get Out! Nature Walk from 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22. The location is Pisgah Hill and the curriculum is winter tracking. Get Out! Nature walks are offered jointly by the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust.

A 1.2-mile loop trail begins at a trailhead near 74 Dougherty Road. The small parking lot is off-road and plowed in winter. This primitive trail has a few short steep ledges that require some agility. The trail is ideal for trekking or snowshoes.

Members of the public are invited to join the group for a well-planned, free outing held rain, snow or shine. Because the purpose is nature observation, dogs are not allowed. For more information, email or call the Royal River Conservation Trust office at 847-9399.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Sen. Claxton’s latest newsletter

In his mid-January newsletter, Senator Ned Claxton invites students to participate in the honorary page program at the Maine Senate, writes about a recent community fundraising dinner for an area resident, and looks forward and back as the new legislative session gets under way.

Eagles donate $10,000 to Fire & Rescue for life-saving device

The Town of New Gloucester would like to thank the New Gloucester Fraternal Order of Eagles #4131 for their wonderful donation ($10,000) to the New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Department for the Lucas 3 Chest Depression System. The Department is fundraising for this device and the donation is a huge step towards acquiring the Lucas 3. Thank you!

Rep. Arata’s latest newsletter

In Representative Amy Arata’s early January newsletter, read about results from the Maine CDC student health survey, tips for winter safety on Maine’s ponds and lakes from the Maine Warden Service, warnings from the Maine Office of Securities against fraudulent investment schemes, and more.

Shirley Teresa Hartford Hotham, 81

|Obituary in Portland Press Herald|

Shirley Teresa Hartford Hotham, 81, died Jan. 10, 2020. Born in Calais May 27, 1938, the daughter of Eral and Mary Newell Hartford.She grew up in South Portland and attended Holy Cross Schools. Keep reading

LMPC to finalize draft ordinance on solar energy projects at January 22 meeting

| Joanne Cole, NGX |

Insightful suggestions and thoughtful deliberation at its December meeting meant the Land Management Planning Committee was unable to wrap up its draft solar energy ordinance by year’s end, as members had hoped.  No one is complaining, though, as the December conversation refined LMPC’s thinking about siting and scale of projects, what project proposals must include and who should review them, decommissioning and removal of arrays, and more. 

LMPC and town planner Scott Hastings now expect to consider a final final draft on January 22.  This timetable would permit a joint meeting and review with the Select Board and Planning Board in February, a public hearing in March, formal adoption on the town meeting warrant in April, and consideration by voters at town meeting in May.

Recurring questions for LMPC have included whether to allow solar arrays in any zoning district and whether to impose a cap limiting the maximum size of arrays. December’s conversation resolved that the draft ordinance will permit solar arrays in every zone, including the historic district, and will not limit their maximum size, except in the resource protection zone. There, ground-mounted arrays must be less than 1500 s.f. to minimize impact on groundwater or other resources. 

Member Don Libby was vocal in opposing an overall cap on the maximum size of arrays, framing it as a matter of principle and policy. “How serious are you for reducing the carbon footprint?” he asked rhetorically. “Are you serious or not serious?” Alluding to climate activist Greta Thunberg, Libby answered his own question, saying “How dare we not try to do something?”  

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Parks & Recreation January newsletter

NG Parks and Recreation offers lots of activities for residents of all ages. Sign up for the newsletterfor January updates and to learn about openings in the after school program, Mad Science, family cooking, adult rec volleyball, family craft night, group fitness and toddler gymnastics.

Important information on imminent Property Tax Relief payments

|Office of the State Treasurer|

The Office of the State Treasurer would like to thank you for your continuing support of “An Act to Return Funds to Maine Property Tax Payers”. Checks will begin to process January 8th and continue until all 310,000 checks have been issued.

Timing of check payments
Due to the large volume of payments, we will process 20,000 per day for 4 days each week. A full list of payment batches and what municipality will be impacted can be found on the State Treasurer’s website. Additionally, we will update the public daily through social media; our Facebook page

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Bid accepted for culvert, dam work

|Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal|

Selectmen on Monday evening accepted a bid of $715,555 from Shaw Brothers of Gorham to repair the culvert and dam on Stevens Brook.

The decision is contingent on funding approval from voters at the annual Town Meeting in May and approval of permits. Keep reading

New Year’s Ride

| photo: Michael Fralich |

| Michael Fralich, Norumbega Farm |

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

I went down to the barn at approximately 7:00 am. It was not quite day yet but it was also no longer night. As I neared the barn, the heady aroma of large animals came to me in the cold winter air. Mocha was bounding through the new eight inches of snow to keep up with me. Cyra and her barn mate, Teddy, were out in the pasture. They were standing in the small stand of pine trees at the far side of the pasture. I grabbed Cyra’s riding halter and trudged through the new snow to get to them.

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