Business Association Holds Annual Member Banquet

The Gray-New Gloucester Business Association will be entertained by Maine comedian Karen Morgan on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the annual membership banquet.

Known as “Maine’s Funniest Mom,” Morgan was one of seven finalists in Nick at Nite’s first Search for the Funniest Mom in America, chosen from more than 1,000 entries nationwide. Her weekly radio spot, “The Mother Load,” is featured on The Coast Morning Show. Her new TV series, “You Gotta Be Kidding Me,” can be seen each month on WCSH Channel 6’s “207” show. Her book, “You Might Be A Mama!” is available online and in national and local bookstores.

As a corporate speaker, audiences applaud Morgan’s sharp, clean and hilarious views on life and the office. In addition to her individual appearances, she can be seen on TV, in comedy clubs, and in theaters nationwide with her trio of funny moms. I

caught her act in Portland at the St. Lawrence Church and can tell you she had us laughing her entire set. She’s worth the ticket!

The event will be held at Spring Meadows Banquet Center in Gray. The night starts at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and social/networking opportunity, a wonderful dinner at 7 p.m., a short business meeting to award the Business Person of the Year award and other association business at 8 p.m., followed by the comedy of Karen Morgan.

The night is also a fund-raising event for the scholarship fund. Every year the association gives two scholarships totaling $1,500 to Gray-New Gloucester seniors. Ticket prices are $40 per person for the dinner, entertainment and a portion to the scholarship funds.

This event is open to the general public. To purchase tickets, contact the association at 657-2033, [email protected], or at the following businesses: Key Bank, Androscoggin Bank or Gray Chiropractic Center.

Gray Water District Wins Award

The Maine Rural Water Association is a private, nonprofit organization representing rural water and wastewater systems throughout Maine. The association recently awarded the town of Richmond with the honor of best-tasting water in Maine, at its annual conference in Freeport two weeks ago.

Gray Water District has won that honor in the past, but this year district head Jim Foster accepted the award for Outstanding Operator, according to Gray Water District Trustee Ralph Wink.

The association provides training and information to rural water system operators and I really liked this line on their Web site: “We don’t have all of the answers; we just usually know where to find them.”

A Sad Day for Gray

Dick Prince passed away on Dec. 14, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Beverly, and daughter, Terry.

His list of lifetime accomplishments is a long one, involving military service and leading the American Legion in Gray for many years. He set an example for all of us as he made the world a better place, wherever he found himself and whatever task was at hand. We’ll miss this good, hard-working neighbor with a twinkle in his eye and a good story to share.

In honor of his memory, a scholarship fund to annually benefit a student from Gray-New Gloucester High School has been established by Beverly Prince. Donations may be sent to: The Richard F. Prince Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 431, Gray, Maine 04039-0431.

Rabies Clinic Scheduled

The Gray-New Gloucester Animal Hospital, located on Lewiston Road in Gray, will hold a rabies clinic Saturday, Jan. 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The cost of the vaccine is $10.

Gray Public Library Holiday Hours

There will be no Story Time on Dec. 28. The Library will close at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 and will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 for Christmas.

Adult Education Offers New Programs

Keep your eye out for the new Adult Education program booklet that will arrive in your mailbox sometime in the next couple of weeks. If you’re an adult who is considering going back to college, there is a new program called College Connections, which is designed to help you every step of the way. Check the Web site at www.msad15.org to read the new booklet online.

Assistance with Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program

The 2008 open season for those newly eligible and those wishing to change their enrollment in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program began on Thursday, Nov. 15 and continues until the end of December.

Once again this year the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging is offering assistance at the Gray Public Library to anyone in the region who is seeking information about the program or is considering a change to their present enrollment.

The assistance will be offered in the reference room of the library on Thursday afternoons from 1-3 p.m. For more information and/or to assure timely assistance, call vounteer Phil Ohman at 657-5446 for an appointment.

Interesting Traffic Information About Gray

The next meeting of the Central Corridors Coalition will be on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Location to be announced. Visit the Web site at www.gpcog.org for updated meeting information and the location. If you would like to read the toll diversion study commissioned by the Maine Turnpike Authority, I will be happy to forward you an electronic copy.

The study found that one in 10 trucks are traveling Main Street/Route 100 to avoid the New Gloucester turnpike toll. Route 202/100 has a relatively high percentage of truck traffic, about 12 percent. Comparable routes around the state can be expected to have truck traffic make up 5-6 percent of the total traffic mix. From the study, license plate data was collected on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007 and Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007.

License plate observations were made during the morning peak period between 7-9:15 a.m. and during the mid-day travel period between 9:45 a.m. and noon. Estimated diversion around the New Gloucester Toll Plaza on Route 202 was calculated to be 2.9 percent for northbound traffic, and 3.3 percent for southbound traffic.

Looking at truck traffic only, the estimated diversion around the New Gloucester Toll Plaza was calculated to be 5.3 percent for northbound truck traffic, and 6.2 percent for southbound truck traffic.

Gray will always have its traffic, what we should be asking is if the Maine Turnpike Authority and Maine Department of Transportation are doing their best to make sure that the village is a safe place to walk and drive. We know from the Village Master Plan study that minor improvements to the intersection could have a huge impact on safety for through-traffic and pedestrians. Sadly, minor does not mean inexpensive, and no one is willing to pay that price for safety…yet.

I have asked the transportation department what the service level is for the village intersections at this time, but have yet to receive an answer. Last I knew, it had gone from F (failed) to D with the latest improvements. Question is, with the traffic expected to continue to increase, how soon before it’s a level F again? Give me a call at 657-6649 if you’re interested in more information about safety issues in the village.


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