Southport Column: Fiber optic meetings, school events and more

Tue, 05/24/2022 - 7:30am

Mark June 7 at 7:00 p.m. on your calendars as the date and time of the annual meeting of the Friends of the Southport Historical Society, which will take place at the Southport Town Hall. After a short business meeting to elect new officers and directors, both members and the general public are invited to attend to hear local historian and lawyer, Chip Griffin, describe “Life in Maine in 1820,” especially as lived by those in the Boothbay and Southport areas. You are also invited to stay to enjoy refreshments after the meeting. See an article by Jack Bauman to learn more about the historical society and this meeting.

About 50 people gathered in the Southport Town Hall last Wednesday at 6 p.m. to ask questions and participate in discussions about the progress of the plan to bring fiber optic internet to all homes on Southport, for which the town voted on May 7, 2021. Another opportunity for participation in such a meeting will be June 22, also at the Southport Town Hall at 6 p.m. At the meeting on Wednesday, May 18, a representative from Spectrum explained that they are working on plans as to what they could provide for Southport in the future. The representative from Axiom explained their plans to deliver fiber optic cable to all homes on Southport. Gerry Gamage, as head selectman, explained what actions the town has taken, and how much money will be lost if the project does not go forward. Town voters can vote again at a special town meeting on June 28 as to whether to continue this project as currently planned or whether to discontinue this project and use town funds to provide service to those homes for whom internet service is not currently available. Joe Gelarden also attended the meeting, so perhaps you can find more information in his column.

The Southport Broadband Committee's website,, is another great place to find the latest updates and news on Southport's municipal broadband initiative. Currently Axiom Technologies is under contract with the Town to build and operate a fiber-optic high speed, affordable and reliable network that will be equally accessible to all Southporters. The answers to your questions about why the town's project is a fiber optic based network, and what subscribers can expect for speeds and rates will be found on that website. There is also a link to the committee's gmail address where you can send questions, and they will be glad to refer these on to the best source for an answer.

For the vote on June 28 to decide whether to continue with the fiber optic project or not, absentee ballots will be available beginning May 27 and may be requested either in person from the town clerk or by phone to her as noted above. Requests for this election’s absentee ballots cannot be made online. Information about the project can be followed online by going to the town’s website. Another vote comes up on June 12, this time for political candidates in the primary election. Absentee ballots are currently available at the town hall from the town clerk, Donna Climo, or by a phone request during office hours (633-6311), or by an online request through the Secretary of State’s website.

Newagen Inn is now open, although access to the Pub during the middle of next week is in doubt due to a private event. But this weekend and after the event the Pub will be open with live music on Thursday and Sunday evenings. Unfortunately the tennis courts have been torn down and will be replaced, at least this summer, with grass. Croquet anyone?

Now a little more about the new sculpture in front of the school. It was constructed by Southporter Bill Royall, and is named Galaxy. School Principal, Lisa Clarke, says that the former spruce tree was planted many years ago in memory of Scott Brown, a local boy who died in a motorcycle accident on Southport. The sculpture was going to be placed on the school grounds as part of the region's Sculpture Walk but was purchased by a town leader to be placed there long-term. The base of the sculpture is engraved to commemorate Scott Brown.

School events for our calendars are Thursday, June 2 - School Talent Show at the Southport Town Hall, beginning at 6 p.m., and Wednesday, June 8 - the School Spring Concert at town hall, also beginning at 6 p.m.

Cozy Dockside is planning to open soon, but the date depends are a variety of factors, enough staff among them. Most businesses on the island and also in town could use more help, so if you want a summer job, plenty of opportunities are available.

The Southport General Store is now working summer hours, which means it will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. The Gift Barn will open on May 27. Please note: the dumpster at the store is for store use only, not a community receptacle.