Town offices will close in holiday observance

The town offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday and again Jan. 1 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s holidays.


Rines Thompson Fund gives $118,732 in grants

The Rines Thompson Fund, a component of the Maine Community Foundation, has awarded 22 grants, totaling $118,732, to support community-based organizations that contribute to the vibrancy of Greater Portland.

A committee of community leaders reviewed and recommended the grants, that were awarded to: Greater Portland Landmarks, to expand educational programs for residents and visitors; the Portland Public Library, to translate key resources into five foreign languages to better serve the immigrant community; and to Environmental Health Strategy Center, to promote early childhood health by reducing exposure to arsenic in wells in rural Cumberland County.

The children and grandchildren of Henry P. and Adeline B. Rines established the fund to give back to the community that has supported businesses owned by the Rines/Thompson family, including the Congress Square Hotel, the Eastland Hotel, WCSH Radio, and WCSH Television.


Maine Maritime vessel having her hull restored

Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, the official vessel of the state of Maine and a National Historic Landmark, is undergoing hull restoration at Bristol Marine, The Shipyard, in Boothbay Harbor. The project requires refurbishment below the water line of 18 planks identified for replacement in a marine survey conducted by GF Full and Associates.

“Our goal is to maintain the boat to the highest standard, to go above and beyond, in order to preserve this living piece of history,” said MMA Marine Operations Manager Dana Willis. “At this early stage of restoration, we are pleased to see that the vessel is in good condition, which attests to the excellent workmanship and care Bowdoin has received over her lifetime.”

Work is expected to be completed in time for the summer sailing season. When the project is done, the ship will again be home to groups of students in sailing training courses within the vessel operations and technology major at Maine Maritime Academy. Students sail coastwise and offshore in summer, learning to navigate and maintain the vessel to fulfill degree requirements and competencies toward a U.S. Coast Guard limited license.

Bowdoin joins the Ernestina-Morrissey, also known for its role in Arctic exploration and research, at The Shipyard this winter. The historic schooner, sometimes referred to as Bowdoin’s “Arctic sister,” is undergoing a restoration of her hull and deck for the state of Massachusetts.

“We are excited to welcome the Bowdoin back to Boothbay Harbor where she was launched by Hodgdon Brothers nearly 100 years ago,” said Ross Branch, director of operations, Bristol Marine, The Shipyard.

To follow the Bowdoin hull restoration project, visit the project blog: mainemaritime.edu/waterfront/schooner-bowdoin/hull-restoration-project.


Kids Fishing Derby set for Perley Pond

The second annual Kids Fishing Derby, hosted by the Sebago Center Community Church, will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on Perley Pond, off Folly Road.

Registration is $10 per family for kids age 15 and under and includes raffle tickets. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners.


Maine PUC announces availability of text to 911

The Maine Public Utilities Commission announces that text to 911 is now available at all 911 Public Safety Answering Points throughout Maine. The PUC’s Emergency Services Communications Bureau has been working with major wireless telecommunications carriers over the last several months to complete and test this advancement in technology.

The PUC urges Mainers to keep the following in mind if they send a text to 911:

n The texting option should only be used when making a voice call to 911 is not an option. Using a phone to call 911 is still the most efficient way to get emergency help.

n Providing location information and the nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the 911 PSAPs will not receive the location of the cellphone. Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.

n Cellphone users must be in range of a cell tower in Maine. If they are outside or near the edge of the state, the message may not reach a Maine Communications Center.

n Texts sent to 911 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages.