Southport Column: Winter walk, Valentine’s Day, broadband and more

Tue, 02/09/2021 - 8:00am

The Southport Island Association (SIA) Winter Walk on Saturday was a great success with about 40 people attending. Anne Gobes and Mike Ciccarrelli, owners of the Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm, arrived with an alpaca on each hand whom they introduced and then gave us a short course in being around and handling the animals. We were invited to bury our hands in the soft fur along the animals’ backbone, allow them to give us a kiss, through our masks, of course, and we could take the rope and walk them, with the caveat that should the animal bolt, we could let go with the assurance that the animals would run for home. Although a bit antsy when a couple of the young boys began wrestling in the snow, no-one bolted for home.

From the Southport Memorial Library to the town landing and then down Bayberry Lane before returning to the library where Valentine’s Day treats awaited, we all trekked, enjoying the chance to be together with our four legged friends. Thanks to Laura Blake, Geoff Chatterton and Sandra Seifert who were our SIA hosts. If you wish to schedule your own trek, just google Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm for more information. Thank you Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm for making our walk extra special.

Next up on the SIA schedule is “Love (and Lasagna)” on Valentine’s Day. In partnership with the Southport Island Store and Sweet Dreams Bakery they will distribute 60 lasagna dinners to those who call 633-0754 to reserve a meal, which can be delivered to you, if you wish. Otherwise you can pick up your lasagna, lightly dressed Caesar Salad, a small garlic baguette, a scrumptious dessert made by Sweet Dreams Bakery and a chocolate treat in the front parking lot of the Town Hall on Valentine’s Day Sunday, Feb. 14, from 1 until 3 p.m. The meal is free, but donations are welcome.

The Southport Island Store also has Valentine’s Day treats available with a special wine sale (chocolate wine!), gluten free sugar and snickerdoodle cookies, and some other chocolate treats. The sale will go on until the end of February, and so does love for our “Valentines” goes on after the special day.

Last week I wrote that absentee ballots were available at the town hall. Not quite correct. Forms to request an absentee ballot are available at the town hall. When ballots are available, they will be sent to you, or you can pick them up. Although the ballots may well be available before the town report is printed, I suspect you will want to read the articles in the warrant before you vote on them. The warrant is often posted in the town hall, but I, for one, would rather read the approximately 50 warrants in the comfort of home, so will wait for the town report. Ballots must be returned to the town hall by the time of town meeting, which is April 5.

From Nancy Prisk comes this news about meetings concerning broadband for residents of Southport. “Members of the Southport Community Broadband committee met with the Southport Select Board on Wednesday evening, Feb. 3. They were joined by Mark Ouellette, representing Axiom Technologies. A planning grant from the Island Institute provided the funds for Axiom engineers to review the existing broadband service available on Southport, determine future service needs, and design a network that would enable Southport to offer state of the art internet access at a fair cost, equally available to all residents on the island. The proposed “Fiber
To The Home” network would meet the needs of our island community well into the future.

“On Monday, Feb. 1 the Southport Broadband committee met, by Zoom, with Susan Corbett, director of the National Digital Equity Center, for a discussion on how island residents can benefit from the greatly enhanced internet access through educational programming and access to equipment (iPads, etc) to have connectability available in their homes, especially if there are currently economic barriers to doing so. The message is Southport is getting ready to take a major town-wide step, investing in the future of our community. Please get in touch and let us know if we can include you in our meetings as we roll out our community engagement initiative. Nancy Prisk (chair, Southport Broadband Committee) 207-217-7743 or at