Written by David Carkhuff
A partial rainbow glistening over Scarborough Marsh last weekend depicted the serene calm of pristine weekend weather, but now a big blow is coming, forecasters said.
Mike Bettes, meteorologist and co-host of AMHQ on The Weather Channel, said, "It's an early season storm that promises to bring raw conditions, with persistent rain and a cold northeast wind. If this were a month later in the year we might be talking about a powerhouse snowstorm with epic power outages. We're lucky that temperatures will be warm enough that it will be all rain this time."
An upper-level area of low pressure will slide southeast from the Great Lakes and develop a surface low off the Mid-Atlantic coast Tuesday night, forecasters said. This low will then remain off the New England coast through at least Thursday.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 01:04
Written by David Carkhuff
The Kora Shriners welcomed the public to a display of miniature tractors, businesses rolled out the pumpkins and the public converged at Buck's Naked BBQ in Windham Saturday for the Octoberfest Family Fun Day Celebration.
The Community Coin Challenge and other events on the day raised money for area food pantries. Songo Locks School donated 96,000 pennies for $960 toward the benefit — or the equivalent of 6,000 pounds of food, organizers said. On Friday, organizers reported that the total funds raised as of that date totaled $13,242.39.
The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce reported Monday, "We had a large crowd all day enjoying the many fun games, give-a-ways, rides and contests! We are still totaling the proceeds from the Community Coin Challenge and will report our final amount raised ASAP!"
A highlight that offered a bird's-eye view of the region: Windham Weaponry, maker of high-quality rifles, provided a helicopter, which offered rides over Sebago Lake. Views from the helicopter included scenes of Sebago Lake and Little Sebago.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 01:06
Written by Staff Report
The deadline to sign up for the Portland Police Department's last 2014 RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) self-defense course is approaching, on Oct. 29, the department reported.
Each course is comprised of five classes. The first four classes meet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the fifth class meets on Saturday from 8 a.m. through noon. All classes will be held at the Portland Police Department at 109 Middle St. The $25 per person course registration fee goes to the Amy St. Laurent Foundation.
The deadline to register is Oct. 29 for the five sessions that will be held Nov. 4, 6, 11, 13 and 15, a press release stated.
The registration form can be accessed at http://www.portlandmaine.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=419.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 22:32
Written by Staff Report
Hillary Rodham Clinton will campaign with Democratic nominee for governor U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in Scarborough on Friday, Oct. 24, , the Michaud campaign announced.
"There is so much at stake in this election, and we can't take anything for granted. If we want change in Augusta, we have to make it happen," Michaud said. "That's why I am so humbled and excited to have Hillary Clinton coming to Maine to rally voters and join me in energizing supporters so we can ensure a great turn out on Election Day."
Clinton is one of many national figures to campaign with Michaud, who is in a tight race against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Earlier this fall President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned with Michaud. President Barack Obama will also be joining him on the campaign trail on Oct. 30.
Clinton will headline a free event at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Scarborough High School. RSVP for the event at www.michaud2014.com/hillary.
President Barack Obama will campaign with Michaud on Thursday, Oct. 30 to kick off get-out-the-vote efforts just days before Election Day, the Michaud campaign announced last week.
President Obama will headline a free rally for Michaud in the early evening at the Portland Exposition Building. Sen. George Mitchell will also speak at the event, the campaign announcement stated. Tickets are required. The public can RSVP for the event at www.michaud2014.com/presidentobama.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 22:02
Written by Staff Report
The Portland City Council has lined up a series of public meetings so residents and business owners can participate in the review process for a proposed stormwater service charge, the city reported.
The City Council's Finance Committee will hold its Thursday, Oct. 23, meeting at Casco Bay High School to encourage increased participation. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 250. The next public meeting will take place on Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Portland City Hall. A presentation of the proposed stormwater service charge will also be on the agenda during the five City Council districtwide neighborhood meetings that are scheduled throughout November, the city reported in a press release.
"Portland's sewer and stormwater infrastructure is deteriorating and in need of repair or replacement," the press release stated. "The systems are designed to handle three kinds of pollution — stormwater runoff, sewage, and a combination of the two. When it rains, the combined system is overwhelmed and pollution dumps directly into local water bodies. Without reliable infrastructure, the city cannot promote development. Federal law requires the city of Portland to reduce pollution. The current sewer fee, which funds the city's stormwater and sewer systems, is based on water use. Pollution washes off hard surfaces (impervious areas), like roofs or parking lots. Many properties with a lot of impervious area use very little water. This puts the responsibility of clean water on water-users."
The press release emphasized that the newly raised funds, under the proposal, will be used "solely to maintain and improve the City's sewer and stormwater infrastructure and cannot be used to pay for schools, police, fire, and other city services."
Instituting this new charge will require changes to the way that stormwater is billed and collected. Currently, stormwater is billed through the wastewater (sewer) fee and shows on the water bill sent by the Portland Water District and remitted to the city monthly along with wastewater fee collections. With the initiation of the Stormwater Service Charge, the city will bill and collect for stormwater services directly, while PWD will continue to bill for water and wastewater services.
Under the proposal, all properties with rooftops and paved areas are subject to the stormwater service charge. All government properties are subject to the charge including, city, State, and Federal property as they currently are charged for sewer charges. Property tax payers and non-property tax payers are also subject to the charge as they currently are charged for sewer charges. The only properties that will not be subject to the charge are:
• Land with less than or equal to 400 square feet of impervious area is exempt from charges.
• Publically accessible roads, sidewalks, pathways, and railroads, and airport runway are exempt from charges.
• All islands except for Peaks Island are exempt from charges given the limited services being received with regard to stormwater and sewer.
As proposed, in order to adequately allow enough time to prepare Portland's ratepayers for the changes to how revenue will be raised to pay for the sewer and stormwater program, the stormwater service charge will begin in January 2016.
As proposed, both residential and commercial properties pay the same rate. That rate will be $6 per month per 1,200 square feet of impervious area at the start of the fee. There will be a corresponding reduction in the sewer rate of approximately $1.50 per HCF at the start of the stormwater service charge.
For most residential properties, the new funding system will result in little or no change in monthly costs, the city reported. Some properties may see an increase depending on impervious area and overall water use.
Property owners will be able to reduce stormwater or sewer charges through water conservation to lower sewer charge and reduce stormwater runoff from properties to lower stormwater charge either by reducing pavement area or applying for stormwater credits, according to the city's press release.
For more information on the proposed stormwater service charge, the public can visit: http://www.portlandmaine.gov/1331/Stormwater-Service-Charge.
Last Updated on Sunday, 19 October 2014 18:27