2016-11-11 / Community

In the Know

Notes, quotes and news bytes for residents of South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.

PARKING AMNESTY – South Portland is extending what Mayor Tom Blake deemed at the Nov. 7 city council meeting to be “an early holiday gift” – parking ticket amnesty. For those who pay their overdue parking tickets before Dec. 15, the city will waive overdue fees. Most parking tickets in South Portland range from $15 to $20, although fire lane violations cost $50 and parking in a handicapped spot will net a $100 fine. Those fees double if the ticket is not paid within 15 days of the violation, unless the ticket holder has filed an appeal with the police department, or else has elected to fight the ticket in Cumberland County Unified Court. The city last waived overdue fees in December 2012. That was the month the city adopted an ordinance allowing it to deny vehicle registrations to anyone with past due parking tickets.

“This helps get money into the city we probably wouldn’t get,” said interim City Manager Don Gerrish.

SOUND THE BELLS – At its Oct. 17 meeting, the South Portland City Council adopted a resolve it does every year at that time, asking that bells be rung throughout the city at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in observance of the end of World War I in 1918. The observance began with the establishment of Veterans Day, then called Armistice Day, in 1920. According to state law, each municipality shall recognize the moment by “cause any public bell or clarion within its possession or control to be rung” at the appointed hour, and to request voluntary participation by the owners of any other bells within its jurisdiction. However, this year is slated to have a little extra din in the air. At the Nov. 7 city council meeting, Councilor Eben Rose said he had spoken to engineers who work at the Rigby Yard terminal owned by Pan-Am Railways.

“They spread the word to other engineers and they are going to blast their horns or ring their bells as appropriate at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11,” he said.

TECH AWARD – MedRhythms, co-founded by Cape Elizabeth resident Owen McCarthy, is one of four development loans given Nov. 2 by the Maine Technology Institute. The $248,700 award was met by a $313,400 match from the company, which provides neurologic music therapy. MTI provides loans of up to $500,000 three times per year to support development of new products. The money will be used to create for market a gait-training device that uses music to improve mobility. Founded in 2014, Med- Rhythms has reportedly doubled in size over the past year, with offices in Portland and Boston. In late 2015 it established a first-of-its-kinds outpatient program for brain-injured patients of Massachusetts based Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.

HELP WANTED – South Portland has nine openings on various boards or committees, one of which, a seat on the conservation commission, has been vacant since February 2015. That prompted a plea for applicants from Councilor Linda Cohen at the city council’s Nov. 7 meeting.

“I’m getting quite a few comments from the public about the length of the appointment calendar, in terms of how far back they’ve been postponed,” she said. “I would really love to see some of these get cleaned up, so I don’t get any more comments about them.”

Three other seats on the conservation commission also are available, as two on the arts and historic preservation committee, and one, each, on the board of assessment review, the energy and recycling committee, and the economic development committee. The applicant for the assessment review spot must be a resident of District 2. The other positions are open to all adult city residents. Committee applications can be found on the city website www.southportland.org, or requested at city hall.

– Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington

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