From Valerie Gamage comes this heart felt ‘thank you’ for all who helped with the ‘Love and Lasagna’ event. She says “the Love and Lasagna Event was a big success and a BIG THANK YOU to every person who helped make this a heart warming event. Thank you to the Town of Southport for providing a safe, convenient place for us to distribute the 60 delicious meals. Our volunteers were invaluable in sharing the chores and spreading the love, too! In no particular order, our 2021 Valentine Cupids were: Nancy Long and the Southport General Store, Maria Kelly from Sweet Dreams Bakery, Brenda Tibbetts, Alice Mutch, Nancy Long, Carole Zalucky, Sandra Seifert, Marie Kelly, Mabel Kaler, Emily Hurd, Maddie Kaler, Connie Heroy, Andy Mutch, Jen Britton and the Southport Memorial Library, Laura Blake, Kit and Leigh Sherrill, Shawn Lewin, and Tom Blake.
Thank you to each person who donated to the event. The Association (SIA) is working hard for all our Island Neighbors!” And thanks to Valerie who helped organize the event. Stay turned. I hear we may have a similar eating opportunity on St. Patrick’s Day.
Driving to the beach on Sunday afternoon, I saw a young man with some helpers sweeping the snow from the school pond along with families sledding down the small hill heading toward the pond. This morning, Monday, I did not see the yellow flag flying, nor, when I drove by, did I see any skaters, but if temperatures continue as they have been for the past week, it seems to me skating would be okay. Stay turned.
Ignoring the temperature and enjoying the sun a young man at the beach on Sunday afternoon was just removing his wet suit and hauling up his paddle board when we arrived. When I asked him what the water temperature was, he answered, “about 41 degrees.” A lovely day certainly, but rather chilly for water sports.
Talking with Ashley and Donna at the Southport Town Hall this morning I learned a little bit more about how to untangle the school budget. In general the AOS organization, which consists of Georgetown, Edgecomb, Boothbay Regional Schools, and Southport, is the management arm of the school organizational structure. Their contribution includes, if I understood Ashley correctly, paying most the school bills and participating in the hiring of staff. Otherwise our local school board makes the physical repairs to our school building, and along with the principal, oversees the staff and general school activities. The total school budge for 2019-2020 was $1,063,262.96 and for 2020-2021 was projected to be $1,121,031.87. We are asked to approved $1,209,551.00 for this year’s total school budget. Again I am open to correction if I have misunderstood the information in the warrant and last year’s town report. Whatever the cost our local school is one of the most creative, warm, and encouraging schools I have seen, having been in the school business much of my working life.
Nancy Prisk reports that the Southport Community Broadband Committee extends their ongoing appreciation for the outstanding response to date to their Southport Broadband Survey, but notes also that they have not yet heard from all island households. It is essential that the committee identify all locations on our island where broadband service is either not available or does not meet the needs of the homeowners and businesses. To get a copy of this survey or to add your email address to their list for all updates on Southport's initiative to build a ‘Fiber To The Home’ network, please call 207-217-7743 or send an email to: email@example.com
By adding your email address to our Southport Broadband Email List you will receive the latest updates on our local project, information on how you can get involved, and links to Maine's statewide efforts to provide high speed internet access to all Maine communities. If you are still in the dark as to what broadband access is all about, or what it means to have a town-wide fiber optic network providing all households with robust and affordable internet access, then please get on that mailing list!
The Arctic is getting a lot of attention. This year’s, Camden Conference, held last weekend, but streamed to our homes with speakers Zooming in from around the world, focused on that topic with the title “The Geopolitics of the Arctic, a Region in Peril.” Since the Arctic region is mostly ocean, and with the sea ice melting and permafrost thawing, the eight countries, including the United States (Alaska), bordering the ocean, are having to adjust their lifestyles and expectations. Interesting to me is the Arctic Council, made up of these countries and several observers such as China, that meets to regulate the area and to solve problems, much like a mini United Nations.
Also, today when I picked up my new Smithsonian Magazine, the cover shows a polar bear lying on a melting piece of ice, staring at the water, with the title, “Polar Bears on the Edge.” Even the snow storm in Texas was explained due to climate change in the Arctic with warmer air there forcing the colder air south. But please don’t ask me to explain the physics of that phenomena.
I do know that our lasting snow cover and cold temperatures here on Southport have driven more deer into our yard and our neighbor’s yard. Next door they tore a covering off a bush to reach the green branches underneath and came up on our deck, hoping, I guess, for a handout. Stay tuned for some unusual bird sightings, too.