While the rest of us were shoveling, eleven dedicated citizen-volunteers were working on New Gloucester’s Fiscal Year ’18 budget with the help of Town staff. The result of the Budget Committee’s efforts will be open to public comment and questions on Wed. March 1 at 7 p.m. at the Meeting House. You can study up ahead of time: the proposed FY18 budget in line-item detail—from postage to plowing—is available for download here. The 119-page document sets out the Budget Committee’s FY18 recommendations alongside those of the Board of Selectmen, with prior years’ data included for comparison. Following the March 1 public hearing, the Committee and the Selectmen will finalize their respective budget recommendations for voters’ consideration at Town Meeting on Monday, May 1.
The municipal budget is only part of a larger tax picture that includes the county and schools. Indeed, if New Gloucester residents’ total tax expenditures were a pie, the town’s slice can resemble what your weight-conscious cousin takes at Thanksgiving so as not to offend Aunt Rose. Last year, for example, more than three-quarters of the tax-dollar pie went to the SAD 15 school budget and Cumberland County. Even considered on its own, though, this year’s proposed $3.9 million municipal-only budget is “particularly challenging,” according to Town Manager Paul First. Continue reading
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.
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/
Unfortunately, a member of the Tricky Britches Band badly hurt his hand and the band will not be able to play tonight. BUT Caroline Cotter has very graciously agreed to step in and play for us. It’s a very special treat to have Caroline join us tonight on short notice – particularly as she is just passing through her home town of Portland as she continues her world and nationwide tour.
You hear it over and over, “Don’t quit your day job!” but that’s just what Caroline Cotter did at the start of 2015 when she released her national debut album, Dreaming as I Do. Receiving national recognition, the album reached #5 on the Folk DJ charts in February, with the second most played song of the month, Bella Blue.
Since the album’s release, Caroline has been on the road touring non-stop throughout the US and Europe, playing over 200 shows a year in venues from Club Passim in Boston, MA to the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon. She has shared the stage with Loudon Wainwright III, David Wilcox, and Dan Bern, played festivals including 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Boston, Al Ras Festival in Barcelona, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in New York, and showcased at the Northeastern Regional Folk Alliance Conference as well as the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference.
Don’t miss a great concert with Tricky Britches at the Village Coffeehouse on Saturday, Feb. 4. Show starts at 7:30 but doors are open at 6:30. Come early to be sure to get a seat.
Raised in Maine, cured on street corners and next to woodstoves, string-band Tricky Britches is a unique culmination of country, contra-dance, bluegrass, and rock. They’ve played festivals and concerts across the US, Europe, and Hawaii, always being shaped by those places, and using those experiences to inspire their original music. Enjoy some mountain music, rockabilly and country swing. Great for a night out in February!
With Town Manager Paul First due to step down on April 4, the search for his successor is under way. The Board of Selectmen has retained the Maine Municipal Association to coordinate the search, and the ad is now posted on the MMA’s job board as well as on the town website.
The Selectmen have invited residents to suggest what criteria the Board should use to choose among applicants and what questions to ask in interviews. Interested citizens may offer that input in person at the Board’s Monday February 6 meeting at 7 pm or in writing by submitting this form to the town office by 4 pm on Thursday February 9. The Board asks that written comments be kept anonymous and submitted in an envelope marked “Confidential – Town Manager Search.”
The Gray Public Library is having a show of paintings by local artist Wendy Patterson of Gray . The show, entitled “The Twenty – An Elegy for the Children of Newtown, CT,” includes a series of small encaustic paintings of children being held, hugged and embraced by an adult, and a larger abstract piece that she calls “Children’s Laughter in the Apple Tree”. It also includes relevant quotes from T.S. Elliot and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
“Wendy Newbold Patterson cannot change history. She cannot go back to Dec. 14, 2012, and stop the gunman who killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. But with her art, she hopes to help the rest of us live with more compassion and love.”
Want to shake off those mid-winter blues. There will be 2 workshops at the Norumbega Yurts on February 11 to quiet the mind and nurture the body.
From 10 am to 1:30 pm learn about Ayurveda, the traditional yoga system of medicine focused on prevention and natural healing through strengthening of the body and the spirit. Learn the basics of an ayurvedic diet and enjoy a light vegetarian lunch of red lentil dal and tulsi and chai tea. Cost is $70.
A second workshop of classical yoga will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. This will be simple, slow and gentle yoga practice to quiet the mind and relax your body.
Both workshops will be led by Sophia Maamouri of Blue Heron Synergy. Cost is $40. Both workshops together are offered at a discount price or $100.
To register, call Sophie Maamouri at 207-329-1422 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A New Gloucester Christmas” was a benefit concert organized by Jim Gallant and performed at the First Congregational Church in New Gloucester on Friday evening, December 16. Conceived as a charity benefit with New Gloucester musicians, Jim drafted the Bald Hill Band and some of their friends, and the decision was made to have the proceeds go to the Emergency Fuel Assistance Fund maintained and allocated by the First Congregational Church for New Gloucester residents. According to Jim,
“the idea for the concert was to have the community come together to have a night of Christmas music performed by local musicians — New Gloucester has such a wealth of talented musicians. That would give them a chance to do just Christmas music arranged the way they wanted and to perform it in a beautiful concert setting. It was a win for us musicians to be on stage and present the music and also for the audience to take part not only to listen but to have the community join in and be part of the music with a sing-a-long at the end.”
The concert was well-attended with many braving a very cold December night. After such a successful event, there’s hope that it will become an annual tradition. If you want to see the full concert you can find it on the video section of the “New Gloucester Christmas” facebook page.
The free-will donations received that night and in the following days have reached over $1700. New Gloucester residents who find themselves unable to buy heating fuel may contact the church’s pastor, Rev. Gard, 926-3260, to apply for help.
Many thanks to Jim and the musicians who worked to put the concert together.
The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce has recently released their new video, 48 Hours in the Sebago Lakes Region. The video is now highlighted in the Visitor’s Center of the Gray Town website but can be seen with the link above. The video has some great footage of Shaker Village, Outlet Beach, Pineland and Hodgmand’s Frozen Custard. Nice to see such coverage of our town!
Join us for a lively evening with JimmyJo and the Jumbol’ayuhs tonight at the Village Coffeehouse. Show starts at 7:30.
JimmyJo & the Jumbol’Ayuhs hails from the “bayous” of coastal Maine. Based in Phippsburg, the Jumbol’Ayuhs serve up music from Cajun Louisiana with a Downeast accent. Featuring Jim Joseph on accordion, second fiddle, and vocals, and Pam Weeks on lead fiddle and vocals, the Jumbol’Ayuhs play lively two-steps and waltzes that tug at your heartstrings. Bill Olson on guitar, Elna Joseph on bass, and Kit Garovoy on percussion round out the sound and provide the bottom end that will keep you dancing!