2012-11-23 / Community

In the News

– Compiled by Staff Writer Jack Flagler

South Portland Council appoints new mayor

SOUTH PORTLAND – City Councilor Tom Blake will serve as mayor of South Portland in 2013.

Blake’s fellow councilors unanimously approved his appointment at the mayoral caucus after the Monday, Nov. 20 meeting. The retired South Portland firefighter has served one previous term as mayor of the city, in 2008.

“There is a lot of unfinished business on his agenda and everyone else’s,” said Councilor Tom Coward, who nominated Blake as mayor. “He will be able to move things along expeditiously with the best interests of the city at heart.”

‘Just for Kids’ Shopping is Dec.1 at center

A ‘Just for Kids’ shopping day will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at the South Portland Community Center. It is an opportunity for children to shop for the holidays without their parents seeing what they buy.

High school student volunteers will help children with their shopping and some of the center’s older adult volunteers will help with gift wrapping. A waiting area will be available for parents while the children make their purchases. All items will cost between 50 cents and $10. Most items will cost $3 to $5.

For more information, contact the community center at 767-7650.

SMCC to hold early morning classes

SOUTH PORTLAND – Southern Maine Community College will offer early-morning classes, with start times of 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., beginning this spring semester.

SMCC Director of College Relations Matt Wickenheiser wrote in a media release the new start times will serve two purposes. They will provide more flexibility for “an increasingly diverse student population” that includes working professionals and those with family demands, and they will also help ease traffic congestion on Broadway.

City staff, residents and college representatives met in a public forum on Oct. 18 to discuss ideas to reduce Broadway traffic. Commuters can experience significant delays on the stretch leading from the Casco Bay Bridge to SMCC during peak hours.

The early-morning classes will only be offered at SMCC’s South Portland campus, where most of the school’s 7,574 students attend class. The spring semester begins at the college on Monday, Jan. 14.

Cape’s Robinson Woods II to be preserved

CAPE ELIZABETH – Residents in Cape Elizabeth have enjoyed the fields and ponds in Robinson Woods along Shore Road as a natural sanctuary. Now, the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust and the town council have ensured the property will continue to be used that way for years to come.

The town council approved a $350,000 donation to the land trust at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14 that aided the trust with its $1.2 million purchase from the four Robinson brothers. The council made the donation on the condition that the land trust include a public easement to ensure the trails, woods, ponds and fields are available for resident use in the future.

The land trust’s fundraising efforts to purchase the property have been ongoing since May of 2011. The 63.6 acres adjoin the 79-acre Robinson Woods property that is already publicly-owned. The land trust bought the original parcel in 2001.

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