Author Archives: Julie Fralich

New Gloucester garage vote by residents nixed

By Ellie Fellers From the Lewiston Sun:

NEW GLOUCESTER — A warrant for a special town meeting Sept. 18 to approve building a town garage and a salt/sand shed was not signed by selectmen Monday night because the motion failed in a 2-2 vote. The project is dead, unless the motion is reconsidered or citizens put forth a petition requesting the vote be held.
Chairwoman Linda Chase and Vice Chairman Steve Libby voted in favor of giving voters the right to approve the project, while Stephen Hathorne and Joseph Davis were opposed. Selectman Lenora Conger was absent.
“This would be an overstep for us to deny voters the right to vote,” Libby said.  Following the vote, he stormed out of the meeting saying loudly, “Good show, real professional.”Libby has served with a citizen-appointed committee for two years working on the proposed six-bay garage and 80- by 160-foot sand/salt shed on 25 acres where fire station stands at 611 Lewiston Road.
Ganneston Construction of Augusta was chosen to build the garage and has provided engineering and technical service at no expense to the town.The $4.6 million cost for the garage and shed would been financed by a 25-year bond. With interest of $1.78 million, the total cost would be $6.38 million.
The warrant also asked voters to approve an amendment to the Pineland Municipal Development Tax Increment Financing District to allow a percentage be used for the project.
Two public informational meetings this month drew only a dozen residents each.
Hathorne has been opposed to the site, preferring Upper Gloucester village for a garage to replace one with cracked load-bearing walls and crumbling masonry block, roof and wall leaks and lack of insulation. The garage has outdated mechanical systems and driveway safety issues.
Hathorne said he fears a nearby groundwater aquifer at 611 Lewiston Road could be polluted if a garage is built there.“I am 100 percent in  favor of a new town garage, but I will not sign the warrant,” he said.
Davis said not enough people know about the project. He also said if town land near the site was used for a road it could impact the area and groundwater.
In other business, the board set the 2018 tax rate at $15.60 per thousand dollars of valuation, or 90 cents more than the current rate of $14.70. Taxes on a home valued at  $100,000 would be $1,560, an increase of $90.
The new rate allows an overlay of $59,110.60.

Upcoming Information Meetings, Hearings and Elections in NG

The following was posted on the New Gloucester Town Website:

Public Informational Meetings – New Public Works Facility
There will be two Public Informational Meetings on the proposed New Public Works Facility
Wednesday, August 2nd and Tuesday, August 8th,
each beginning at 7:00 p.m.,
at the AMVETS – 1095 Lewiston Road – New Gloucester
Public Hearing – TIF Amendments
There will be a Public Hearing on the proposed amendments to the TIF Document
Tuesday, August 15th, beginning at 7:00 p.m.,
at the AMVETS, 1095 Lewiston Road – New Gloucester
Water District Trustee Run-off Election
Monday – August 14, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm         12:30pm – 7:00pm
at the New Gloucester Town Office
Absentee Ballots are now available
Click here to view the ballot

Makeshift Coffeehouse in Yarmouth on Wed. June 21 at 6:30

This event is being held around the state in the next few months.
Makeshift Coffeehouse
Wednesday, June 21
6:30 to 10:00 pm
Yarmouth High School Cafeteria
No cover; free food and music
The Make Shift Coffee House is a place for people with different views to exchange and consider different views. Guided by a neutral facilitator participants share  experiences and opinions, ask each other questions, and try to understand each other.
It’s not about persuading or converting each other, or about condemning each other. It’s simply about learning each other’s perspectives.
In the new digital age it’s easy to choose our sources of information and reinforce what we already believe. It’s easy to surround myself with people that share my views. It’s easy to build opinions in isolation, each of us interacting with our own computer screen. It’s easy to avoid talking face-to-face.

The Make Shift Coffee House is a face-to-face place, in real time, with good old fashioned civic dialogue.
Make Shift Coffee Houses are facilitated by Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions. A professional meeting moderator, Craig facilitates a civil exchange of ideas as a neutral third party. It’s not about judging right or wrong or good or bad, it’s about understanding each others’ perspectives.
For more info; go to http://makeshiftcoffeehouse.com/

Meet Joe Davis, Candidate for Town Selectman

Meet Joe Davis
Candidate for Board of Selectman
Monday, May 22, 2017
7 pm
Vestry of First Congregational Church of New Gloucester

Joe Davis is running for the one vacant position on the Board of Selectman. Joe will be available at the vestry of the church on Monday night to tell us more about himself, why he is running for Selectman and the issues that he sees as important to the town. This will be a great opportunity to meet Joe and let him know about the issues that are important to you. Please come, bring a neighbor, and find out more about our potential new Town Selectman.

The election for the Town Selectman is on June 13. Mark your calendars!

The following is more information that Joe provided about himself:

My name is Joseph Davis and I have lived my entire 40 years in New Gloucester.  I have been married for 10 years to Beth(Barton)Davis, who grew up in Gray.  We have two sons, Carter (8), who attends Dunn School and Spencer(4), who is eager to start Kindergarten in the fall at Memorial.
I have been employed by the WalMart Distribution Center in Lewiston for 10 years.  I am a den leader and assistant cub master of Pack 135 of New Gloucester.  I serve on the Public Works Committee for the town.  I am a current member of Cumberland Lodge #12.  Mowing the Penney Road baseball field is another way I try to give back to my community.  My hobbies include golfing, fishing and camping with my family.
I  am running for Selectmen for the town of New Gloucester because I would like to see our small town stay small.  We pride ourselves on being a rural, family-centered community.  We have shopping areas in Gray and Lewiston/Auburn that are readily available.  I would be proud to be a spokesperson for our town.  Pledging to lower taxes is something I cannot promise.  What I can promise is to be a good listener as we try to find a balance for our wants and needs and our income.  Supporting a basic salary for our fire fighters is important to me.  Having them be a part of the conversation is critical.  My heart and soul belong to this town.  It would be an honor to serve as Selectmen.
See you Monday!
Joe Davis

Learn more about YCAN (Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors) on Sunday at 10:45 at the First Congregational Church

The Missions Committee of the First Congregational Church of New Gloucester has invited Leslie Hyde, President of Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (YCAN), to talk with interested church and community members  after  the church service on Sunday, April 2 at 10:45 am

Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (YCAN) is an all-volunteer group of community-minded Yarmouth residents who provide support services to community members in need. Residents who do not have the means to purchase fuel needed to warm their homes during the winter, or sufficient food and clothing for their family, or for other critical needs, can find assistance from a number of programs that YCAN supports. Some of the programs offered include: Fuel Assistance, Food Pantry, Nutrition Closet, Lunch Crunch, Rides Program, Aging in Place, Holiday Program,  Alzheimer’s Support, and Operation Bundle up.

The organization was founded in late 2008 by concerned citizens in Yarmouth, Maine with its mission to create a sustainable community organization that promotes the connection of resources with people who need them.  Leslie Hyde, who is also an interfaith chaplain with the Yarmouth Police, will provide an overview of  YCAN, its services, organization, and history. It will be a very informal gathering. All are welcome. Please come for some coffee and conversation.

Coffee House this weekend cancelled

Unfortunately we have to cancel the Coffeehouse that was planned for this weekend. We had hoped to have the Gawler Family Band but they had a family conflict. We hope to get them back in the fall.  Be sure to join us May 6 for a concert with Emila Dahlin.

Lots of opposition to Sen. Eric Brakey’s bill to allow concealed carry for those 18 to 21

AUGUSTA — Lawmakers are trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on a measure that would allow 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to carry concealed handguns. The age limit is 21.

Sponsor Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, told colleagues that “questions of age are beside the point” because every law-abiding Mainer has a legal right to carry a gun at age 18. The only question, he said, is whether that person can also wear a jacket that hides it.

The National Rifle Association backs Brakey’s controversial bill, calling it “common-sense legislation which restores fairness to all individuals who choose to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.”

But there’s considerable opposition to the idea.

“Eighteen-year-olds are not grown-ups, not adults,” said Peter Michaud, associate general counsel of the Maine Medical Association. “They think they are, but they’re not. An 18-year-old is an adolescent.”

The president of the Maine Psychological Association, Elise Magnuson, said her group has “concerns about shifting the age downward” given research that shows an 18-year-old’s brain is still developing. Continue reading

Alan Stearns from the Royal River Conservation Trust presenting at Historical Society meeting tonight, March 16 at 7 pm

Thursday, March 16th, 7pm, at New Gloucester Meeting House.  RRCT’s Alan Stearns will make a presentation and lead a discussion on Royal River Conservation Trust, RRCT initiatives that support New Gloucester’s quality of life and historic heritage.  Join us for a discussion on open space and historic interpretive opportunities in New Gloucester, farmland conservation, the Royal River Water Trail, and more.

Senator Eric Brakey seeks concealed carry for those 18 and older

AUGUSTA — Following up on his successful effort to get the Legislature to drop the requirement for a police permit to carry a concealed handgun in Maine, an Auburn lawmaker is seeking to extend the right to those 18 to 21.

“We shouldn’t have to have training wheels,” Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, said.

The existing law only allows those under 21 to carry concealed weapons if they are in the military or have been honorably discharged. The others simply can’t have a concealed firearm.

Brakey, who is eyeing a statewide run in 2018, said if society is ready to send those 18 and older off to fight and perhaps die, it should trust them as well to carry weapons safely.

The legislative leader for Moms Demand Action, Maine, Kathleen McFadden, said her group believes that “permit-less carry is unsafe at any age.” Continue reading

After the March: Action Options Resource Fair Feb. 12

After the march…. Action Options Resource Fair
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Vestry of the 1st Congo Church
19 Gloucester Hill Road
New Gloucester, Maine

Given the current political climate and administration, many of us are concerned for our democracy and are exploring options for social activism.  Because a lot of people are looking for ways to channel their energy, and because we each have our own passion, calling, and amount of time we can commit to volunteer endeavors, a few groups have been invited to come and discuss their work on Sunday, February 12 from 2:00pm – 4:00 pm in the vestry of the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester, ME.

Confirmed:
Natural Resources Council of Maine http://www.nrcm.org/
Maine Women’s Policy Center: http://mainewomenspolicycenter.org/
Maine People’s Alliance https://www.mainepeoplesalliance.org/
Information about 10 actions in 100 days (sign up here: http://mainemarch.com/)N
New Gloucester Food Pantry
Information about Indivisible actions
Consumers for Affordable Healthcare  http://www.mainecahc.org/Maine Democrats http://www.mainedems.org/
Emerge Maine http://www.emergemaine.org/