Helmet Haven

As an avid cyclist, I spend several hours each week pedaling my bike over the roads of Raymond and its surrounding towns. It pleases me to see other cyclists enjoying the scenic roads and their undulating terrain.

I would like to remind everyone that in 1999, the State of Maine passed MRSA 2326. Maine’s bicycle helmet law requires bicyclists under the age of 16 to wear a helmet at all times while riding a bicycle. The law maintains the “educate first” provision, but then establishes a $25 fine for a second offense.

Last week, a local high school student and Girl Scout, Katie Allen, hosted a bike rally to reinforce bicycle safety. The rally was very successful, with more than 50 kids attending along with their parents. Participants were given a safety talk, helmet checks were provided to ensure proper fitting, and inspections were done on all bike. Kids enjoyed playing several games including Simon Says, pin the helmet on the bike rider, and helmet ring toss. The young cyclists also enjoyed riding through the bike course several times while practicing safety techniques like using hand signals. Some kids even learned to ride for the first time without training wheels.

Allen is attempting to earn her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. A requirement for this achievement is hosting an event that positively affects the community. Allen secured 50 free helmets to offer participants and has donated the remaining helmets to Raymond Elementary School. If your child was unable to participate in the rally and needs a properly fitting helmet, please contact Principal Norma Richard at 655-8672.

Excited about the turnout, Allen said, “I know that the rally was a success, because I have seen several of the blue ProRider helmets around town today!”

Plants and paperbacks

Summer is here, and with it comes the wonderful opportunity for relaxing near the lakes and enjoying a good book. The Raymond Village Library will be holding their annual paperback book sale Saturday, June 14.

Shelves of previously read paperbacks are available at incredibly low prices. The large inventory contains all your favorite authors and tittles, both fiction and nonfiction. Stop by the library to stock up on your summer reading material.

In addition to beginning the book sale, June 14 also marks the date for the annual plant sale. Hearty plants of all types, including perennials, ground covers, herbs, flowering shrubs, hanging plants, bedding plants, annuals and houseplants, are available. The hours of the sale are 7 a.m. until noon, and because of its popularity, shoppers are encouraged to come early for the largest selection.

Discover Libby Hill

The cub scouts of Pack 800 were invited to participate in Spring Discovery Days at Libby Hill Forest in Gray last weekend. Just a few miles past the Raymond town line, Libby Hill is located directly behind the Gray-New Gloucester Middle School and comprises 125 acres with a trail system designed by John Morton, who also designed popular trail systems at Pineland and Twin Brooks.

Libby Hill offers a wide variety of opportunities, including 7.5 miles of trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. New this year is a permanent orienteering course with maps downloadable from the Web site that could also be used for compass skill training. Identification signs highlighting Maine trees mark the forest, while four caches are available for geocaching. Neither camping nor fire building is permitted. There are no toilet facilities available with the exception of the portabled toilers at the school athletic fields.

Parts of the Libby Hill system have a backcountry flavor that’s hard to find in and around the greater Portland area. The invitation to use this treasured piece of land is extended to all Raymond residents. Maps, orienteering guides and other information can be found at libbyhill.org.

Swimming Lessons

With the pleasantly warming temperatures, many people are already enjoying our lakes by boating and cooling off with a swim. To make swimming enjoyable and safe, the Raymond Recreation Association will once again be offering a Red Cross certified summer swimming program.

The half hour lessons will be held daily Monday through Friday at Crescent Beach from June 30 to July 24. Children in kindergarten through the seventh grade are encouraged to participate. The cost is $25 per child. The instructor and lifeguard will be Jessie Howard, last year’s assistant instructor and lifeguard. Howard knows our families, the facility and the program. She is excited to be returning to work with the children for her second year. To register, please contact program director, Kim Plummer at 655-2448.

Back to the beach

To prepare Crescent Beach for the summer months, there will be a Beach Clean Up Day on June 14 (with a rain date of June 28) from 9 a.m. until noon. Volunteers are needed so please bring a rake and help us get the beach ready for summer.

Town Meeting recap

The gymnasium was filled with residents attending the annual town meeting on May 28. Several discussions were had, mostly regarding the school budget. After a series of questions and answers, all items on both the town and school budgets were passed by the majority of attendees.

Raymond residents will now vote at the polls Tuesday, June 10. At referendum will be the school budget, town budget and school choice. Additionally, the town officials’ election will be in conjunction with the primary election. Voting will take place at the Jordan Small Middle School, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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