Author Archives: Patti Mikkelsen

Patti’s Jan. 19 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Nearly 100 enthusiasts hiked the loop trail to the summit of Pisgah Hill atthe Royal River Conservation Trust’s annual Full Moon Trek last February. This year’s trek is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1.

Full moon trek

Join Royal River Conservation Trust Thursday, Feb. 1, from 5-8 p.m. for a free self-guided hike and celebratory gathering atop 325-foot Pisgah Hill.

Kyle Warren, the RRCT staff member leading the hike says, “The full moon rises at sunset the day before, so expect to bask in the silver glow about an hour after sunset. It usually works out perfectly to enjoy the moonlight on your hike from the bonfire. It is a really unique and empowering experience to enjoy the woods at night.”

This seventh annual event is free and accessible to those with snowshoeing experience. All the fun happens at Pisgah Hill Preserve, south trailhead, 74 Dougherty Road, near the Pownal town line.

Last February nearly 100 RRCT members, neighbors, trustees, toddlers, grandparents and friends hiked the loop trail through a perfect amount of new snow, shared some cheer at the summit, toasted with hot cocoa, toasted marshmallows, and hooted at the big orange rising moon.

The trail is well marked and typically lighted with luminaries for the return. Organizers recommend bringing snowshoes, poles, a flashlight or headlamp, blanket, water and lots of good cheer. The trailhead has a small parking lot which fills quickly. Most vehicles are asked to line the shoulder of Dougherty Road. For more details, call 632-6112.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-135/

 

NG Democrats to meet on Tuesday, Jan. 23

The New Gloucester Democratic Committee will be hosting a meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Community Building, 381 Intervale Road, located behind Town Hall. The March 4 biennial caucus and other business will be on the agenda. All registered Democrats are invited to attend. Note that this meeting is not sponsored by the Town of New Gloucester. For more information, contact Nichole Stevens at (207) 807-7694.

Patti’s “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Sparks’ Ark

Meet Josh Sparks of Sparks’ Ark and the array of wild animals he rehabilitates. His talk is open to ages 3 and up in the Mount Washington Room of The Commons at Pineland Farms from 1-2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15.

Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, for $5 per person. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

History Barn closed Jan. 6

Due to the predicted extreme cold temperatures, the New Gloucester History Barn Open House scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 6 has been canceled

Help wanted

Check the town website for employment opportunities at http://www.newgloucester.com.

Winter sand

Winter sand is available at no charge to residents of New Gloucester. The sand pile is located beside the Sand and Salt Shed at the Public Works Garage, 1036 Lewiston Road, Route 100. Residents are limited to two five-gallon pails of sand. Bring your own shovel and containers. No commercial vehicles are allowed. Call Public Works Director Ted Shane at 926-4574 for more information.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-134/

 

Join the newly-formed Candidates/Referendum Issues Committee

CANDIDATES/REFERENDUM ISSUES COMMITTEE

The Town of New Gloucester is looking for five residents to serve on a new committee – Candidates/Referendum Issues Committee. The task of this Committee is to work with candidates or referendum issue spokespersons to create an agreeable format for forums.

Applications are due by Monday, February 5th, at 6:00pm, at the Town Office or send via email to smyers@newgloucester.com.

For an application, go to http://www.newgloucester.com

 

 

Physician Edmund ‘Ned’ Claxton to run for state Senate seat being vacated by Eric Brakey

The Auburn Democrat will run against Republican Ellie Espling of New Gloucester for the open District 20 seat.

By Steve Collins – Sun Journal

AUBURN — A longtime physician hopes to win a state Senate seat this year in an open district that Republican Eric Brakey has represented for the past four years.

Edmund “Ned” Claxton, 68, said his familiarity with health care and the struggles of his patients give him a unique perspective that would benefit Mainers.

Read complete article at http://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/03/physician-edmund-ned-claxton-to-run-for-state-senate-seat-being-vacated-by-eric-brakey/ 

 

Patti’s Dec. 22 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Hike Pisgah Hill Preserve

On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Royal River Conservation Trust will be sponsoring a Rain or Shine Club hike at its Pisgah Hill Preserve. Be mindful of the weather, and dress accordingly. Bring appropriate gear – for this outing, snowshoes, a thermos and a snack. The preserve’s trailhead, with a parking lot for four cars, is located at 97 Dougherty Road. Overflow parking is available along the shoulder of the road.

The RRCT invites everyone to join in on their free Rain or Shine Club guided hikes, conducted every Thursday at 10 a.m., to explore the land trust’s preserves and trails. Check the schedule at www.rrct.org. Call or text Kyle at (207) 632-6112 for more information.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-133/

 

 

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.