Author Archives: Patti Mikkelsen

Patti’s Dec. 8 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Wreath making for kids

Children ages 3 and up are invited to make a beautiful balsam wreath for the holiday season at the Pineland Farms Education Barn, 100B Valley Farm Road. Classes are held from 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 9; Tuesday, Dec. 12; Thursday, Dec. 14; and Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Fifty tickets are available at $5 per person. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to allow time to purchase tickets, which are sold at the Education Barn on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

Story time lunch with Santa

Join Santa for a fun gathering from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14. He will be reading “The Night before Christmas” and having lunch at the Dish Café, 59 Pineland Drive. Your child can interact and have their picture taken with Santa. Children 10 and under can have lunch, a holiday cookie, and a special craft for $5.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-132/

Patti’s Nov. 10 “Inside New Gloucester”

Get Out! Nature Walk

Get Out! Nature Walks are volunteer-led regular trips with trained master naturalists and other skilled volunteer leaders. Join them for a well-planned, no-cost, guided adventure occurring once-per-month on Wednesdays, rain, snow or shine. Their programs are jointly offered by the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust, as well as the Royal River Conservation Trust.

Be mindful of the weather and dress accordingly. Bring appropriate gear, snacks and a thermos or water bottle. Check www.rrct.org for any updates or changes. Nature walks typically involve getting on your knees with a hand lens or standing still for 10 minutes craning up at a treetop. Trips are great for kids, but inappropriate for those under age 6. Their curriculum is targeted at adults and engaged youth. Because the purpose is nature observation, please don’t bring dogs.

The next Get Out! Nature Walk takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road. The curriculum is Winter Weeds, led by volunteer Karen Herold. She is a Natural Resources Council of Maine board member.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-130/

Q&A with Carl Wilcox: New Gloucester thru-hiker fulfills decades-old dream

By Matt Junker

NEW GLOUCESTER — Carl Wilcox has wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail for decades, and this year, the 54-year-old from New Gloucester checked it off his list.

His 6½-month journey began in Georgia on March 7, and finished Sept. 21 at the top of Mount Katahdin. Wilcox took time away from his job as a wastewater engineer at Woodard & Curran to complete the trek, which wasn’t without its challenges.

Wilcox spoke with the Lakes Region Weekly about his hike of more than 2,000 miles.

For the interview, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/qa-with-carl-wilcox-new-gloucester-thru-hiker-fulfills-decades-old-dream/

Tensions flare at NG meeting

By Matt Junker

NEW GLOUCESTER — The New Gloucester public works garage saga took a turn for the vulgar at Monday night’s Selectboard meeting, when several audience members used colorful language not usually on display at public meetings.

One audience member told another to “shut your [expletive] mouth,” while a third resident said certain accusations amounted to “bull[expletive].”

Tensions escalated to the point that Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office was called. An official from the Sherriff’s Office said that someone at the meeting apparently texted their husband to say things had become heated, and the husband then called the sheriffs.

Though a deputy came and stood in the meeting for a few minutes, things had already calmed down and the deputy left.

Both of the residents who used the less-than-cordial language apologized.

Accusations of a possible conflict of interest and misuse of town resources relating to the “vote yes” signs purchased before last week’s special town meeting made for a tense Oct. 23 selectboard meeting – and those tensions bubbled over in the audience.

Pat O’Brien introduced a petition to reconsider the results of the special town meeting, where voters approved the public works garage proposal 168-138.  The push to reconsider stems in part from allegations that came up at the town meeting that Ganneston Construction, the company slated to build the new garage, paid for signs encouraging people to vote yes, and that town public works staff later put some of those sign up.

Later, while another resident was at the microphone asking about the sign issue, O’Brien made a comment from his seat.

Dennis McCann, who was sitting behind O’Brien, told him, “You had your time to speak, sir.”

O’Brien then told McCann to “shut your [expletive] mouth.”

O’Brien said Wednesday that he felt McCann was threatening in both his language and demeanor and that McCann had made a number of comments to him on Monday night.

“I will defend myself,” O’Brien said. “This man was threatening to me.”

His comment to McCann elicited an immediate and fiery reaction from others in attendance, including calls to have O’Brien kicked out of the meeting.

McCann stood up, and at least one other audience member moved closer to O’Brien after his remarks and stood behind him. O’Brien said that “it didn’t feel safe to me in there.”

“Get out of here! Get him out of here,” shouted Beverly Cadigan, who served on the garage design committee and was one of the leaders of the first petition effort.

“That language is not allowed in this room,” said a clearly upset Libby, who served as a Selectboard liaison on the design committee.

Cadigan continued to push for O’Brien’s removal.

Earlier, during O’Brien’s time at the microphone, he wondered whether there were “favors” or “kick-backs” such as concert tickets, vacation packages, golf outings, or meals from Ganneston as part of the garage process.

Libby strongly denied that any such things occurred, and later said that misinformation circulated on social media “seems to have spread inappropriately like wildfire.”

“There was no concert tickets or any of that jazz that was listed off,” he said.

In her brief back-and-forth with O’Brien, Cadigan seemed agitated by his questions and suggestions about the committee.

“Who are you to talk to me that way?” O’Brien asked Cadigan as she was yelling for him to get out.

“I’m a citizen in this town, too, and I’m a committee member, and you just accused me of taking money that I didn’t,” Cadigan said.

“Potentially, you have,” O’Brien told her.

“Bull[expletive],” Cadigan responded forcefully.

Chase said she did not want any more of that type of language, and both Cadigan and O’Brien apologized. No one was kicked out.

O’Brien said after leaving the meeting later in the night that his language was “inappropriate.”

“I apologize for that,” he said, also saying that Cadigan’s language was “equally inappropriate.”

“Emotions are running high,” continued O’Brien.

McCann said he thought that O’Brien’s language was “a little hostile” but didn’t seem particularly bothered by it after the meeting. McCann also stood up at one point during the special town meeting last week when another resident mentioned him by name.

Kathleen Potter, one of the self-described “old ladies” (including Cadigan) who led the initial citizen’s petition to hold the special town meeting, said McCann helped collect some of the signatures for that effort.

Potter also said that this issue has “frayed the nerves of the community” like she had never seen before in the 15 years she’s lived in town.

During Monday night’s discussion, Libby said he was “disgusted” by the level of “hate and discontent” surrounding the garage issue.

“We’ve had emotional issues in the past, but people haven’t reacted this way,” Libby said after Monday’s meeting.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Patti’s Oct. 27 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Anne Gass of Gray discussed her book, “Voting Down the Rose,” as the guest speaker at the New Gloucester Historical Society’s meeting on Oct. 19. The book is about her great-grandmother, Florence Brooks Whitehouse, who helped win women’s voting rights in the U.S. about a century ago.

Medicaid expansion discussed

How will you be voting on Referendum Question 2 on the Nov. 7 ballot? Two informational meetings covering both sides of the issue will be telecast on New Gloucester’s local access Channel 3 on Friday, Oct. 27; Saturday, Oct. 28; and Sunday, Oct. 29 beginning at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The program will be replayed the first weekend in November following a similar schedule. It can be viewed by cable television customers in Gray, as well. The informational meetings can also be viewed as video on demand at www.newgloucester.viebit.com.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-129/

 

Outbursts Erupt at the Oct. 23 Special Board of Selectmen’s Meeting

Controversy over the proposed new public works facility continued at the Oct. 23 Special Board of Selectmen’s meeting. You can watch it as video on demand at https://newgloucester.viebit.com/

Patti’s Oct. 13 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Callie Kimball

Callie Kimball, a longtime member of The Friends of the Shakers, volunteers at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village’s Harvest Festival by serving barbecue pulled pork sandwiches to the throngs of visitors in attendance on Oct. 7. Kimball is a resident of Cape Elizabeth.

Women’s suffrage talk

Family historian Anne Gass will speak on “Women’s Suffrage in Maine and the USA” at the Thursday, Oct. 19, meeting of the New Gloucester Historical Society, beginning at 7 p.m. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road. Refreshments will be served.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-126/

Medicaid Expansion Forum, Oct. 12

For those interested in learning more about ballot Question #2, regarding the expansion of Medicaid to provide health care coverage for low income individuals ….

…. PLEASE JOIN US!  7:00 PM on Thursday, October 12th at the First Congregational Church Vestry located at 19 Gloucester Hill Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

There will be a panel of experts followed by a Q&A session: Ned Claxton, M.D., a doctor’s perspective; State Rep. Drew Gattine, a state legislative perspective; Charlie Dingman, Esq., a lawyer specializing in reimbursement, regulatory, and government contracting issues for a wide range of clients in the healthcare sector.

CANVASSING OPPORTUNITY: A New Gloucester canvass in support of Yes on 2 will also be taking place on Saturday, October 21st from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  This will also be taking place at the First Congregational Church located at 19 Gloucester Hill Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

Patti’s Sept. 29 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Indie Author Day

New Gloucester Public Library is proud to announce it will participate in the second annual Indie Author Day celebration with a free event Saturday, Oct. 14. Three local authors will conduct a panel discussion, which includes reading excerpts from their books, starting at 1 p.m.

This event provides an opportunity to help local self-published and independent authors get discovered and for readers to find new books written by fellow community members. Joan Dempsey, Dave Jefferson (Dr. J) and Steve Rogers will share their experiences with various types of writing, fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

The library is located at 379 Intervale Road, Route 231. For more information, contact Suzan Hawkins, library director, at srhawkins@newgloucesterlibrary.org or 926-4840. To learn more about Indie Author Day, visit www.indieauthorday.com.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-123/

Patti’s Sept. 15 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Mystery story

“The Explosion So Many Never Heard” is the title of a talk by Dr. Steve Rogers, retired Department of Justice historian, to be given beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road. The presentation, sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society, is free and open to the public.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-121/