Southport Column: SIA financial help, voting and more

Tue, 04/06/2021 - 7:15am

    Additional information to add to last week’s news about financial scholarships for Southporters and other financial help from the Southport Island Association (SIA) is that applications are available on the counter at the Southport Post Office for each of the three programs: (1) educational grants for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade to finance trips, special projects, or summer programs that add to one’s educational experience; (2) for residents over 18 who may need a ‘leg up’ to attend a course not part of the regular academic curriculum; (3) monies to help persons needing a boast to cope with life’s other financial needs. Applications are
    also available through counselors at our schools, at the Methodist Church, or by contacting Carole Zalucky at czalucky@gmail.com or 207-841-0577.

    Other good news is that our two librarians now have their two COVID-19  shots so they are planning to re-open the library April 17 for in-person browsing. The system will be the same as in the fall, which is entrance will be by appointment for a 1/2 hour time slot, and only five people at a time, and no group gatherings for the time being. You may still call the library (633-2741) to order a book, which will be waiting for you outside on the bench.

    From the number of cars driving by my house early Easter Sunday morning I assume the sunrise service, hosted by the Southport Methodist Church at town landing, was well attended. Our daughter, grandson, and I attended the service at Hendricks Head Beach, conducted by clergy and members of the Boothbay Harbor Congregational Church, which was also well attended. We were greeted with a laminated book mark, on the back of which was an Easter prayer, and after the service offered a wrapped piece of delicious coffee cake. Thanks, everyone who made both services possible.

    When I visited the Southport Town Hall today, Monday, April 5, all was set up as usual for voting. Donna Climo said she had responded to request for about 88 absentee ballots, so we will await the results of all votes on the articles presented in the town report. Both the pending sale of the Ship Ahoy Motel and the prospect of broadband connection on Southport are resulting in opportunities for citizens to learn and ask questions about both
    situations. Various articles with more explanation are available elsewhere in this paper, but I remind you of the dates: April 7, at 5:15 p.m. at the Southport Town Hall for the Planning Board review of the Ship Ahoy development project. This will be an ‘in person meeting for up to 60 people, with a change in plans if more people show up.” Masks are required.

    A public hearing on installing broadband availability on the island will be held on April 10 at 1:30 p.m.with a town meeting for a vote on the matter to be held May 7. For more information on the project and the upcoming informational opportunities, email southportcommunitybroadband@gmail.com or call (207) 217-7743.

    No word yet on the precise date for turning on summer water, but I do know a crew of men were working on the conduit that flows by our driveway. Last year I think the water went on throughout the system about May 1, and a call to the office confirmed that date was guaranteed. Other good news is that Hugh tells me Robinson’s Wharf will open for procurement of food on April 14 with a new chef named Jacob. I expect they will have distancing requirements and masks necessary when you are not actively eating.

    Before a busy Easter Sunday, I finished Skip Simonds’ book, “The Genesis Chair,” my first venture into a science fiction novel. Though the imagined science is a challenge, while the characters move forward to life in 2345 and then taking lessons learned in the chair and elsewhere, back to 2020, the characters come to life, and their story is compelling. Skip says “The book is allegorical, like all really good science fiction. The medium is excellent for lifting concepts out of the mundane-ness of our day-to-day existence and put them in a totally fantastic setting so that we can see the concept apart from our opinions of the concept. The underlying concept is selflessness. But the more precise "reveal" is that it (selflessness) is the essential nature of maturity.” My summary, which I wrote to Skip, is “To me the book reads like a secular Bible, the message being helping those close to you ultimately helps all, but not if you help others to bring praise onto yourself; only if you help others because you really want to help them, “ bringing a solution to all rather than to one.” Even if, like me, you are not a fan of science fiction, you will enjoy the imagination, the adventures, and the message found in this book.

    Seems fitting to end this week’s column with a “good-bye,” but also a “hello.” Carl Jordan has been a close observer of the osprey who have been inhabiting the nest on the top of the Southport Bridge. He reports this year the they first sighted the osprey on Saturday, March 27, but that unfortunately, the recent winter windstorms have all but destroyed the nest. He says that “it remains to be seen if the birds will rebuild in their historic location. We have not seen them making the attempt so far. In the meantime, the resident pigeons are taking advantage of the vacancy and are squatting in the remnants of the nest.” The reason this is also a “good-bye” is that last Friday was Carl’s last day as our bridge keeper. He is moving on to retirement but says, “I have greatly enjoyed my time at the bridge and wish all my Southport friends the best.” And so do we wish for you, Carl.