2015-06-26 / Community

In the News

Three join land trust board of directors

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust (CELT), now in its 30th year, has welcomed three new members — Wyman Briggs, Nikki Dresser and Jim Fisher — to its 14-person board of directors.

“We are fortunate to have such great additions to our board, their collective experience and varied perspectives will certainly strengthen CELT’s land acquisition, land stewardship, and education programs,” Executive Director Chris Franklin said, noting that in addition to their new duties, all three will continue to serve on CELT’s Stewardship Committee.

Wyman Briggs is an Environmental Response Planner for the Coast Guard. His service with CELT began as a volunteer, helping to build new footbridges at the Robinson Woods II preserve.

A regular user of CELT trails, Nikki Dresser brings to the board her experience as a real estate broker and former teacher.

Jim Fisher is president of Scarborough-based Northeast Civil Solutions, for which he has assisted CELT in the past with permitting and regulatory compliance.

Founded in 1985, CELT permanently conserves and provides stewardship for more than 660 acres in town, including shorelands, marshes, farms and wooded areas. It is a member of the Maine Farmland Trust, the Maine Land Trust Network and the Land Trust Alliance.

Girl Scouts give big throughout state

The Girl Scouts of Maine, headquartered in South Portland, announced in a June 10 release that the group has donated more than 11,500 packages of cookies to various community programs in Maine this past year. Among the recipients was York County Food Rescue, which distributes to 47 food pantries and soup kitchens in York County.

“As a nonprofit, we know the importance of supporting our local organizations,” said Girl Scouts of Maine CEO Joanne Crepeau. “Giving back is an essential element of Girl Scouting and we are proud to be able to support these organizations and all the wonderful work they are doing in our communities.”

In addition to 7,500 packages donated to York County Food Rescue, the Scouts gave 3,900 packages to additional locations in the greater Bangor area, as well as the Backpack Program at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick, and the Grace Interface Food Table in Presque Isle.

Girl Scout officials bill the organization’s annual cookie sales event as a financial literacy program that teaches girls about goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and the business ethics – aspects essential to leadership and life.

Girl Scouts of Maine provides services and support to more than 12,000 youth and adult members statewide. It operates service centers and shops in South Portland and Bangor.

Librarian to retire from Cape Elizabeth library

After nearly a decade leading the charge for a new library in Cape Elizabeth, the town’s librarian will not witness the fruits of his labor.

Renovations to Thomas Memorial Library, made possible by a $4 million bond approved by voters last fall after several false starts and rejection of a larger request in 2012, are expected to be complete next year.

However, Librarian Jay Scherma plans to retire Jan. 1, after 20 years on the job.

Town Manager Michael McGovern announced the impending retirement at the June 15 town council meeting, at which councilors approved changes to the library’s use policy.

Chief among the changes — in case the time-honored tradition of keeping quiet inside a library is not clear — is the establishment of “phone-free” zones. Library patrons also will be made to turn off cell phone ring tones while in the building, while the library’s fee for making photocopies will increase from 10 to 15 cents.

However, the policy changes generally incorporate broader language than the previous document, outlining a list of “expected behaviors,” rather than outright prohibitions.

“Basically, they give more leeway to library staff to make judgment calls,” said Town Councilor Patty Grennon, who serves as council liaison to the library board of trustees.

Meanwhile, more policy changes are expected when the library renovation project is complete and a new head librarian is on board.

“Looking at moving forward (the trustees) know they need to look at all the different policies,” McGovern said.

– Compiled by Duke Harrington, staff writer

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