Bring Back Sun

Where oh where has the sunshine gone? It is one thing to endure our long Maine winters, but when you add overcast, dreary rainy days to the equation, it is just plain ugly.

Even our cats are acting a little odd. It is difficult to believe that the groundhog actually saw his shadow because our solar powered walkway lights have not glowed in weeks.

Both of my brothers and their families are in Florida this week, enjoying brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures. My brother Andrew had the nerve to tell me it was too hot and the crowds were enormous. What do you think is going to happen when you book a vacation to Disney World during February vacation? It must be time for me to buy my ticket for a southern destination since I seem to be getting a little cranky. Andy, sorry I was not more sympathetic to your plight.

Thanks Kirsten

Despite the cancellation of the Naples Winter Carnival, there were a lot of people in town over the weekend. The restaurants (all two of them) were crowded and people seemed to be making the best of it. Speaking of restaurants, Sydney’s is officially under new ownership.

For well over a decade, owner/manager Kirsten Hewes has operated Sydney’s like a well-oiled machine. I think it is a credit to Hewes that for most of those years many of the same staff, chef, cooks and bartenders returned annually. It was always a sure sign of spring when Sydney’s kicked off their season with the “Tax Day” celebration.

Whether you were getting a tax refund or had to pay the government, it was always a great diversion. We wish our best to Kirsten in her new pursuits and I know I am joined by many in thanking her and the entire staff for all of the wonderful things they did for their regular patrons over the years.

A Day in the Garden

For all of you basketball fans out there, the Naples Recreation Department is sponsoring a coach bus trip to Boston. On Sunday, March 30, the Celtics will be taking on the Miami Heat and you can be part of the excitement. The bus will board at 1:45 p.m. and will leave from the American Legion in Naples at 2 p.m. for a 6 p.m. game. The bus is expected to arrive back at the Legion around midnight. The cost is $70 per person, which includes transportation and the ticket. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

This is a wonderful family trip for all ages, so for more information please call 693-6364 or pick up a registration form at the Naples Town Office. There is no better way to enjoy a sporting event in

Boston than by having someone else do the driving.

Showcase Coming

The Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber Of Commerce will again host the annual Lakes Business Showcase at Lake Region High School, Naples on Saturday April 12. This is a chance to be part of the “Best in Businesses of the Lakes Region.” Over 50 businesses will exhibit to the public and to their peers. The price to attend this event is extremely low and the chance to meet the business members is worth your time. Of course the Naples Lions Club will again be on hand to offer great food and beverages. There will be other surprises and many great door prizes too.

To sign up for this event, contact the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce at 647-3472, to grab a space. We plan to do extensive advertising for this event and the sooner you join us, the more marketing you will receive.

Derby Time

For all of you non-fishermen, there is still plenty of fun to be had at the Maine Winterfest and Chevrolet Derby at Point Sebago from Feb. 22 – 24.

Maine WinterFest is Maine’s largest Ice & Snow Sculpting event and draws carvers from around the world. There will be a slide down a giant Rapunzel sculpture for kids, free skating, dog sled rides, snowmobile jumping exhibitions, snowboard exhibitions, the famous “Ice Mall,” Ice Sculpture miniature golf, Ice Sculpture photo shop, plus food and beverages of all types.

Passes for adults are $5 per day. Three day passes cost $10. Children 12 and under are admitted for $1 per day and $2 for three days. You really must see these ice sculptures to believe the detail that is accomplished by these artisans. The backdrop would make a wonderful Christmas card photo for next year, so bring your cameras.

Special Meeting

Finally, there will be a special town meeting at the Naples Town Office February 25 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting is being convened to hear proposals on two tax increment finance districts. Several weeks ago the Naples Selectmen hosted a special meeting to explain the districts in laymen’s terms. Noreen Norton of Eaton Peabody Consultants explained the concept, benefits and purposes of the Downtown and Waterfront TIF and the Route 302 Corridor TIF.

There is a great “cheat sheet” provided by the consulting group, which is available at the town office and describes the tax increment finance process. For all of you planning to attend this very important meeting, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of this informative document in order to get a better understanding of the concept prior to the meeting.

It has been a little difficult for me to grasp the concept and the Naples Main Street committee has been working on this for over two years. Please plan to attend this very important meeting, as the approval of these proposed tax increment finance districts could mean wonderful things for out town.

Well, just as I finished my column, the sun came out. I am feeling better already, but now I have to try to remember where I left my sunglasses.

Have a great week and as always, if you or your group has information to share or suggestions, please let me know.

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