2016-05-27 / Community

In the Know

Towns recognize Memorial Day

Both towns in the Sentry coverage area will stage Memorial Day parades to honor the nation’s fallen heroes. In Cape Elizabeth, the parade begins at 9 a.m. in the town center and concludes with a wreath laying ceremony at the War Veteran's Memorial, located between the elementary and middle schools. The South Portland parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. from the Southern Maine Community College campus and proceeds up Broadway for a ceremony at the Veterans Service Monument in Mill Creek Park. Then, at noon, a wreath-laying ceremony will follow at the public boat landing in Bug Light Park.

Delays in traffic should be expected

Plan to leave some extra time for the post-Memorial Day return to work, Tuesday, May 31, if your route takes you along Ocean Street (Route 77) in South Portland. The area will be reduced to one lane of traffic between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. while public works crews conduct a sewer repair job at the intersection of Wild Rose Avenue, between Highland Avenue and Sawyer Street. The city hopes to have all work done in a single day. However, street paving may continue into June 1.

Likely to cause less of a traffic snarl is the re-striping work to be done on Ocean Street in Knightville, on the block between E and D streets. That work will be done overnight on Tuesday, May 31, weather permitting. Angled parking spots on the street will be repainted to become parallel parking spots. One Knightville resident, Curtis Bates, has begun circulating a petition to undo the work, hoping to put an ordinance change before voters in November that will allow for a return of angled parking, currently banned throughout the city. That’s a rule that’s been in place since 1966, but was overlooked when angled spots were first put in on Ocean Street following construction of the Casco Bay Bridge in 1997, and again when the angled spots where repositioned in late 2012. For an article that appeared in the May 20 issue of the Sentry, Bates gave a July 31 due date for his petition. However, City Clerk Emily Carrington has since corrected that, saying he actually has until July 15.

Public works vehicle to go pink

Expect to see a different color in the South Portland Public Works fleet of vehicles starting soon, with a new “roll-off” truck used to haul solid waste containers from the transfer station painted pink in support of breast cancer awareness. At its April 20 meeting, the city council voted unanimously to buy a 2017 Freightliner 114SD from Freightliner of Maine for $173,665. Of that, $120,000 comes from the city’s 2016 appropriation for capital improvement projects, while $53,665 was taken from its undesignated surplus fund. One lower bid for $168,505, from O’Connor GMC, was rejected because it required the truck be sent to Indiana for installation of the equipment needed to pick up the waste containers. However, the council was split on an idea presented by a city resident, unnamed at the meeting, to paint the cab pink. Four of the councilors present voiced support for the idea, while Councilors Maxine Beecher and Linda Cohen objected. Both women said they feared a rainbow fleet for trucks on the road, supporting every cause imaginable. But no formal vote was taken on the pink cab idea and Public Works Director Doug Howard made no immediate announcement of how he might proceed. However, a spokesman for the department confirmed for the Sentry last week that the new rolloff truck will indeed be pink. So, if you see a South Portland City Truck on the road hauling garbage trailers, and you wonder why it’s pink, now you know.

Superintendent to be determined

The Cape Elizabeth Board of Education was slated to meet in executive session Wednesday, May 25, to vote on an interim superintendent candidate. That meeting took place after the Wednesday morning deadline for this week’s Sentry. The name of the candidate being considered was not divulged beforehand.

“The school board will release the name of the interim superintendent after interviews have been conducted and a contract settled,” board chairman Elizabeth Scifres wrote in response to a Sentry request.

The board initially had two finalists to take the top education job in town, to replace Meredith Nadeau, who is leaving July 1 after five years on the job to take a position in New Hampshire. Of the two prospective superintendents, Steven Bailey, head of the Lincoln County school system, withdrew his name from consideration in mid-April. A week later, RSU 10 Superintendent Craig King pulled out after the Cape school board failed to reach a decision on offering him the job at a closed-door meeting April 27.

Celebrate Trails Day locally on June 4

Just in time for National Trails Day on June 4, Cape Elizabeth’s Cross Town Trail is freshly festooned with signs marking the way. A little more than half of the 7.5-mile trail, which links Fort Williams Park to Crescent Beach, is on land or easements held by the town, with the rest owned by the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, on land jointly managed by the trust and the town. About one mile of the trail uses town roads as connecting points.

The land trust will lead a Trails Day walk on the newly marked trail, starting at 8:30 a.m. from the dirt parking lot nearest to Portland Head Light. Anyone interested in joining the trek can sign up on the Cape Elizabeth Community Services webpage.

– Compiled by Wm. Duke Harrington, staff writer

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