Category Archives: News

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

Sturgis Withdraws from MSAD 15 Board Race in Favor of Incumbent Gary Harriman

In a follow-up message to the community, New Gloucester selectman Laura Jane Sturgis has shared her plan to withdraw as a write-in candidate for school board in favor of Gary Harriman, a New Gloucester resident currently serving on the MSAD 15 board. Harriman will run in June as a write-in candidate. Sturgis’s full May 7 message follows. Continue reading

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

Annual Town Meeting Wrap Up in Sun Journal

New Gloucester voters ban retail marijuana

Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal

NEW GLOUCESTER — Voters at town meeting Monday banned retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs in town.

Two members of a committee tasked with coming up with a townwide ordinance on the issue agreed that the ban could be lifted once state rules governing such establishments were approved to guide the town.

“This issue is extremely important to our quality of life and public safety,” said committee member Richard Maguire, a retired state trooper. “I ask you to keep New Gloucester clean of drugs. Keep our children free. It’s a very serious issue and it affects you. It’s about the children, our children and children’s children.”

Member Peter Bragdon agreed with the ban.

“There will be an ordinance after the state comes up with rules,” he said. “Let the state establish standards.”

For now, retail marijuana establishments, including stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities and testing facilities, and social clubs are banned.

In another issue, residents voted 66-44 to approve an ordinance limiting selectmen to three consecutive terms. After an absence of three years, they may run for and hold the office again.

Read more http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2017/05/01/new-gloucester-passes-retail-marijuana-ordinance/2122353

Municipal Budget and More at May 1 NG Town Meeting

A 30,000 gallon cistern for fire protection near Route 100 and Morse Road, firefighter breathing apparatus, and plenty of paving are among the budget items New Gloucester residents will be asked to consider at Town Meeting on Monday May 1 at 7 pm at Memorial School. Traditionally an opportunity for neighbors to reconnect after a long winter, this year’s gathering will offer the chance to impose a ban on retail marijuana establishments, to establish term limits for selectmen, and to enact zoning ordinance changes, as well as set the municipal budget. The warrant for the meeting, detailing the budget articles and other initiatives, can be viewed here.

For the municipal budget, some $4.32 million in expenditures is proposed, about a 6 percent increase over current spending. Departmental operating expenses are up across the board; employee merit pay and new per diem stipends for emergency rescue staff on call overnight, seen as a first step in closing the pay gap with neighboring towns’ EMTs, are included as well. Continue reading

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/

Town meeting May 1st

New Gloucester’s annual town meeting will take place on Monday, May 1st at 7 PM in the gym at Memorial School. In addition to the usual roster of budget articles, there are several that deal with new or revised ordinances. Article  21 would ban retail marijuana businesses, (apparently a placeholder until the state gets its act together); article 22 would apply term limits to the Board of Selectmen; and several articles (23-27) that seek to modify zoning ordinances.

You can download the warrant on the town’s website: www.newgloucester.com

MSAD 15 Board Meetings Add Detail to School Budget Picture

The MSAD 15 Board and district staff continued to refine the proposed 2017-18 school budget at a series of April workshops. Tasked by the Board with further reducing a draft budget that reflected a 5 percent increase, district administrators sharpened their pencils. On April 12, they returned with a revised $25.5 million budget that limits the overall increase to 3.94 percent, down from an initial 8.8 percent increase at the outset of the budget development process.

The latest budget draft will be discussed at a board meeting on Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 pm at the high school. After that, information will be mailed to residents in early May and a school budget town meeting held on May 25. The budget goes to the voters on June 13. Continue reading

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

Community Town Hall with Rep. Espling and Sen. Brakey Sparks Spirited Exchange

TownMeetingEsplingBrakey.April2017

The chance to talk with State Representative Ellie Espling drew some twenty New Gloucester residents to the Congregational Church vestry in the early evening on April 5.  State Senator Eric Brakey, newly announced candidate for U.S. Senate, was able to join the gathering, a lively ninety-minute exchange of views and concerns.

Healthcare concerns dominated the conversation. Residents shared personal experiences and expressed a wide spectrum of viewpoints about alternative approaches, costs, and coverage issues.  In particular, community members wanted to know whether the two legislators support Medicaid expansion in Maine, a likely ballot initiative this fall.  On the matter of citizen ballot initiatives generally, residents asked how the representatives typically approach citizen-approved bonds and ballot measures and how they weigh the expressed will of the voters.  Other questions sought the legislators’ positions on proposed cuts to Clean Election funding, whether campaign funds from PACs should be spent within Maine, and what the state should increase spending on.

Briefly stepping back from specific issues to offer a broader view, Representative Espling and Senator Brakey acknowledged partisan differences in Augusta but noted considerable cooperation as well, with many bills enjoying unanimous support in committees and on the floor. Their New Gloucester meeting concluded on a similarly positive note. Attendees thanked Representative Espling and Senator Brakey, and the legislators expressed appreciation and plans to convene additional community listening sessions.