Category Archives: Regulars

The Evolution of the NG Fire Department, Part I: Following Smoke

 

By Penny Hilton
July 2017

A Several Part Series on the evolution of the New Gloucester Fire Department from the early 20th century to the present. Part One, 1899 – 1939, is history as interpreted through annual town reports of New Gloucester, Gray, and Auburn; New Gloucester Town Meeting Minutes; books on the history of these towns, plus Pownal; a number of articles and data from the State of Maine and other reputable on-line resources. Corrections and additions are welcomed. While not a source for the information below, Acadia Transformed: New Gloucester, Maine and the Rise of the City, 1740 to 1930 by Geoffrey Rosanno, was extremely helpful in confirming some of my conclusions, and a fascinating examination of New Gloucester.

The town of New Gloucester at the turn of the last century was a well-established rural community which had evolved from agrarian self-sufficiency to being part of the complex network of rural towns supplying the metropolitan centers of Portland and Lewiston Auburn with dairy and farm products, workers, and new customers. With many farms, more well-acred “homesteads”, some mills, a blacksmith, three churches and several one-room schoolhouses, New Gloucester spread over 47 square miles, with a sparse network of dirt roads connecting everyone. The town was governed by a board of three selectmen who were elected at the annual town meeting, when all the town’s most important decisions were made. As revealed in town reports down through the years, these voters were not a hasty bunch. They were inclined to put new ideas on hold at town meeting for several years before finally discarding an unpopular notion, or, in some cases, voting yes. One of the ideas that took years to become accepted as a  routine town matter was municipal fire protection.  Continue reading

How to Get RId of Moles and Japanese Beattles

How to get rid of moles and Japanese Beetles:
Use beneficial nematodes for grub control.

Moles eat grubs that are in your lawns and gardens. To get rid of the moles you must get rid of the grubs. One way to do this organically is to use nematodes.

Nematodes are microscopic non-segmented worms which occur naturally in soils all over the world. Beneficial nematodes attack only soil-dwelling insects and leave plants alone. Beneficial nematodes and the bacteria they spread are not known to be harmful to humans, animals, plants, earthworms and other non-targeted organisms but they do aggressively pursue insects like grubs. In field studies, they have been shown to be as much as 96% effective against Japanese beetle grubs.

Although many species of beneficial nematodes are available, Heterorhabdidis bacteriophora (Hb) are most effective against Japanese beetles , European chafer and other grubs that are lawn pests. Hb nematodes work better because they are cruiser nematodes that burrow down in the soil searching for deep soil-dwelling pests. They also have a special “tooth” that help them get into the grub.

NOTE; The best time to apply Hb nematodes is mid to late August. They are shipped in the juvenile stage and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks and are applied on an overcast day, preferably at dusk. The package is very small, 4”square at the most, and contain about 1 million nematodes. A handheld sprayer or hose-end sprayer is used to spread them. Directions are included when the package is purchased.

Nematodes are available locally at Paris Farmers Union, O’Donal’s Nursery, Skillin’s Greenhouses, Fedco Seeds, and online at gardeners.com.

Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester

7/21/17

Browntail Moth: How to identify these and Gypsy moths and Eastern tent caterpillars

Why are they a problem?
The browntail caterpillar has tiny (0.15 mm) hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
The microscopic hairs break off the caterpillars and are everywhere in browntail infested areas; on trees, lawns, gardens, decks, picnic tables and in the air.
The hairs can remain toxic for up to THREE YEARS so although the problem is worst from May to July, they may cause a reaction at other times of year as well.
Wind or activities such as mowing, leaf-blowing, etc., can stir up the hairs, leading to a reaction.
The rash and trouble breathing can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It is caused by both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and physical irritation from the barbed hairs. Contact your physician if a reaction is severe.
Browntail
Moth
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-2431
www.maineforestservice.gov
Maine Board of Pesticides Control
(207) 287-2731
thinkfirstspraylast.org
Life Cycle: Browntail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhea)
 One generation a year.
 Four life stages; egg, larval, pupal, and adult.
 Larval stage (caterpillars) lasts from August through to the following June.
 In the spring, as soon as the earliest leaf buds open, the caterpillars become active and leave their over-wintering webs to feed on tender new leaves. They may devour the leaves as fast as the leaves develop.
 When young, the caterpillars return to the webs at night, but later remain out on the leaves overnight, and are fully grown by late June.
 The caterpillars then form filmy cocoons between leaves on trees, under eaves, picnic tables, decks, etc.
 Adult moths are emerge from cocoons in late July and August, laying clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. The moths are strongly attracted to light.
 Caterpillars emerge from the eggs in August and feed on the upper side of the leaves of host trees.
 In the fall, colonies of caterpillars build winter webs on the tips of branches. The webs are made from leaves tightly wrapped with white silk. There can be 25 to 400 or more caterpillars in each web.
 The caterpillars overwinter within the 2-5 inch (5-10 cm) winter webs. The webs are found most often on red oak or apple trees.

Damage:
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of many hardwood trees and shrubs. Common host trees and shrubs in-clude:
 Oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, shad-bush, serviceberry, and rugosa rose.

Feeding by browntail caterpillars can cause reduced growth and branch dieback. A number of years at high population levels can lead to mortality of trees and shrubs.
Look-a-likes:
 Eastern tent caterpillars have a solid whitish line down the middle of the back with a row of oval pale blue spots on each side and are covered with long brown hairs.
 Gypsy moth caterpillars have pairs of blue and red spots along their back and are covered with long brown hairs.

Browntail Moth (adult):
 Both sexes of the browntail moth have snow white wings and a tuft of dark brown hair on the tip of the abdo-men. Only seen in July and August.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/
Identification:
Browntail Caterpillar:
 Dark brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two conspicuous red spots on the back. They grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/

New Gloucester Environmental Committee  5/14/2017

Community Service Club helps at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds

Students worked from 10am until 3 pm cutting and removing a massive amount of invasive honeysuckle bushes and other brush, taking the brush to the transfer station, weeding and mulching in the pollinators’ garden and planting more plants.The Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester is so very grateful for all their help.IMG_0123

Patti’s April 28 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Historic sign to be unveiled

A special monthly History Barn Open House will take place on Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m.-noon. At 10 a.m., the original 1776 Bell Tavern Sign, which is a gift from the Chandler Family, will be unveiled. It will hang in the barn as part of the New Gloucester Historical Society’s permanent exhibit.

The public is welcome to attend the open house and learn about the historic tavern. Refreshments, featuring goat cheese, or chèvre, from New Gloucester’s Lazy Dog Farm Creamery, and other tasty treats, will be served next door in the Community Building located at 381 Intervale Road, behind Town Hall.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-101/

Reminder: Solar 101 Presentation Wed. April 19th

The solar 101 presentation by Revision Energy is being held tomorrow night , Wed. April 19th, 7-8:3 at the Meeting House in New Gloucester.  The Meeting House is next to the Town Hall.

There is NO fee to attend!

If you are unable to attend in person, it will be televised on the local cable channel and also can be viewed there at a later time.

We hope to see you there!

Sponsored by the Environmental Resource Committee of New GLoucester

Solar 101 Workshop rescheduled for Wed. April 19 7-8:30, Meeting House

We hope you can join us for the presentation by ReVision Energy that had to be cancelled in March because of the snow storm.

The new time is Wednesday April 19 at 7-8:30.

Some New Gloucester residents that presently have solar systems will also be on hand to further answer questions.

The Meeting House is located next to the Town Hall at 385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester.

It will also be televised on the local cable channel.

Sponsored by the New Gloucester Environmental Resources Committee

Patti’s March 31 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Welcome, Neighbor crew Feb 20 2016

Welcome, Neighbor volunteers Kathleen Potter, front left, Penny Hilton, Beth Blakeman-Pohl and Beth Birch finish assembling packets of materials last year to be given out to new residents of New Gloucester. The Welcome, Neighbor group is in the process of assembling new packets.

Welcome, Neighbor provides free publicity

Local businesses and organizations can obtain free publicity by participating in Welcome, Neighbor, a grassroots community volunteer project conducted in conjunction with the town office. The project was developed to welcome new residents to New Gloucester by providing information that may assist in their transition.

Only New Gloucester-based businesses, organizations and community groups have the opportunity to include items, such as business cards, brochures or other promotional materials, in the 100 packets to be assembled. There’s no charge or obligation to participate. Drop off 100-count of your item to the town office by Friday, April 7, to have your materials included. For more information, call Beth at 650-5228.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-100/

SOLAR 101 PRESENTATION CANCELLED FOR 3/14

Because of the winter storm, it was decided to cancel and reschedule the Solar 101 presentation for Tuesday March 14th.

It has been rescheduled for Wednesday APRIL 19TH , again at 7-8:30 pm at the Meeting House.

We hope to see you there!!

New Gloucester Environmental Resources Committee

SAVE THE DATE: SOLAR 101 WORKSHOP Tues. March 14, 7-8:30 , Meeting House

Join us on March 14th as ReVision Energy partners with the New Gloucester ‘s Environmental Resource Committee as their guest presenter to bring you an educational presentation on solar energy.  Learn about hot water systems, solar electricity, efficient electric heating systems and more.

Find out what makes your home a good site for solar collectors, how much these systems cost and what you can expect for a return on investment.

Learn how you can use this renewable resource to  become more energy efficient, save money and have  less impact on the climate.

Some New Gloucester residents that presently have solar systems will also be on hand to further answer questions.

The event will also be televised on the local cable channel.

The Meeting House  385 Intervale Road New Gloucester

Tuesday March 14th 7-8:30

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