Southport Column: A whole lot of closures in the works

Tue, 09/27/2022 - 8:00am

    The Newagen Alpaca Farm has three new babies born this summer: Theodora, born Aug. 7 with blue eyes and a white coat, but deaf; Georgie whose mother is Gracie; and Beatrice, whose mother is Winterberry. They are the last of the herd as Anne and Mike have decided that 27 animals are enough for the fiber they want. Could you have guessed that it takes 800 bales of hay to accommodate these 27 alpacas, each bale needing to be moved to the loft above the barn. Fortunately a conveyor belt does the lifting, but Anne must load each bale at the ground level, and Mike must offload and stack each bale when it arrives at the loft door. And that is only one task in caring for these lovely animals.

    The farm is still open Thursdays through Sunday with two tours a day, which guests can schedule online along with opportunities to browse in the fiber shop. Oct. 9 is the Maine Fiber Tour, which you can also book online and is free. The winter walk with the alpacas will occur again in March, and you can book lunch with the alpacas next summer.

    Tis the season for closings. The last day for The Pub at Newagen Inn is Oct. 6 although the Inn will be open for weddings and parties until Oct. 16. Good news is that the tennis and now pickleball courts are being rebuilt on the Inn property and should be ready for Inn guests and colony residents and their guests to play next summer. Cozy’s Harborside is closing Oct. 9. Until then you can enjoy the food with a view Wednesdays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Beginning Oct. 1 the Southport General Store will close at 5:30 p.m. The good news is that the gift barn plans to be open until Christmas with many unique items for Christmas presents.
    I am told that Robinson’s Wharf is closing Oct. 30, but may open again for Gardens Aglow and then open again for the season in mid-March. Until Oct. 30 they are open every day from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

    Our wonderful museum is closed for the season. Thanks to all the volunteers who have guided tours and kept the exhibitions interesting. I hear so many people say they had not previously visited the museum, but now are so glad they did. When our west coast family was here in July, they loved sitting again at the counter that was in Gus’s store. Unfortunately no blueberry pie was being served.

    Come Oct. 1 the Southport bridge will again open on demand rather than on the hour and half hour between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. as it does in the summer months. Other bridge news is that the ospreys have left their nest, having had no young this year that the bridge tenders observed, and with the pigeons again claiming perching rights. Various repairs to keep the bridge surface level will continue until major repairs begin, now scheduled for the fall of 2023.

    Although the website for seasonal water in the area does not give an exact day, it does say that seasonal water is usually shut off by the third Thursday in October, which this year would be Oct. 20.

    In spite of all these closures life does not stop. The group discussing improvements to the land around the Southport Island School met on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the school. Those attending looked at the suggested landscape plan for the area behind the school where the children have an outdoor classroom and a few play areas. From the play equipment and the map shown on the drawing, the group chose those items that looked the safest and yet the most fun and made a few changes to the paths. With monies earned by selling breakfast at the Firemen’s Auction and other funds raised or donated, the current balance for this plan is $3,453.47. When an estimated total cost is procured, and with concurrence of the school board and the planning board, fundraising will begin to complete the work. Several local folks have also offered to provide some services for free. Stay tuned.

    Southport taxes are due this Friday, Sept. 30. If you are a “last minute” person, note that the Southport Town Hall is closed on Fridays, but as long as you get your tax payment postmarked by Friday, it will be considered on time.

    Good news is the those who wish to remain on the Southport mooring waitlist now have until Nov. 1 to request retention on that list. Previously the date for such information was Sept. 1. You do have to request such retention in writing.

    About 23 Southporters signed up for flue shots administered by Nathan’s Wellness Pharmacy, at the Southport Town Hall last Thursday, Sept. 22, and some walk-in candidates were accommodated as well. Thanks to the pharmacy and to the Southport Island Association who set up this local and very easy way for Southporters to protect themselves and others against the flu.

    A reminder that absentee ballot applications for November’s election are now available at the Southport Town Hall. You may either call to ask Donna to mail one to you or stop by to pick one up.