Community Newsletter

Issue #326

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In this Issue:
Photo by Brendan K. Williams

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (hybrid)
Tuesday, January 24 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)

See the City Calendar for all scheduled City Council and board meetings + locations/links to participate. All agendas and packet material can be found on BoardDocs. This material will be posted by 4:30 PM on Friday the week prior to the scheduled meeting. See summaries of Council meetings here.

City Offices Closed Mon. Jan 16

City offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. South Portland Bus Service will run on a regular weekday schedule.

Update from the City Manager

This letter from the City Manager features important reminders, updates, resources and more!

Dog Licensing

License your dog by January 31, 2023! All dogs in the City must be licensed. To be licensed, you must show proof of your dog's current rabies vaccination. If your dog has been fixed (neutered/spayed), you must show proof, and the cost is $6.00. The cost is $11.00 for an unaltered dog. Visit the City Clerk’s office or license your dog online! After January 31, there will be a $25 late fee.

Winter Parking Ban Is In Effect

The Winter Parking Ban is in effect. Cars may not be parked on City streets between 12AM-6AM now through April 1. Parking ban hours may need to be extended during a heavy or long-lasting storm. Check our website and social media channels for updates.

Public parking lots at Waterman Drive, the Boat Launch at Bug Light Park, and the Willard Beach parking lot on Willow St. are available for temporary overnight parking, including during weather events. Vehicles should be removed or relocated to an already-plowed area of the lot immediately following a storm.

For those who don't live near the public lots, South Portland Bus Service has lines that stop near all three lots. For schedules and routes, visit: https://www.southportland.org/departments/bus-transportation/

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Submitted by Pedro A. Vazquez, Chair of the Human Rights Commission
MLK Day is more than just another day off. His legacy challenges us to be motivated by our own moral obligation to justice and fairness towards one another. That motivation requires us to be instruments of action within ourselves and our communities. How?

Dream Bigger Than Your Own Imagination
Think beyond your street, beyond your friend group, beyond your neighborhood and beyond what you already know is possible. Reach further and help others see the possibility of what lies ahead when we see through the lenses of justice, fairness, and love for one another towards solidarity.

Learn Something New (Know Then Grow)
Research your history as well as that of your community. Research issues that are expected to gain notoriety and impact humankind in the next 5,10,15 years. Learn about the ways that your neighborhood and circumstance may change.

Make A Commitment 
Dr. King is known for his tenacity and unwavering commitment to civil rights and social change. No matter what was going around him, he remained committed. Apply these principles to your own life. Be specific about your commitment. Examples of this could be committing to a healthier lifestyle, volunteering in your community, helping a neighbor. 

Let us remember the work and aspirations of an incomparable Black American who inspired us to seek a greater ideal and reality as we acknowledge the challenges along with the excellence that exist in our community. 

Upcoming Events

In honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine will host a weekend celebration of Black arts and expression.

From Saturday, January 14, to Monday, January 16, visitors are invited to participate in hands-on projects and art exploration while learning about the rich history of Black artists in Maine and across the region. 
Please join us on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 to celebrate the South Portland business community at the 2022 South Portland Business Awards!

The Economic Development Committee welcomes you to join us in celebrating our business community in recognizing the award recipients. It will take place at South Portland High School from 5-7:30 PM. Doors open at 5 PM for hors d'oeuvres and in-person networking (for the first time in a few years). The awards ceremony will start promptly at 6:00. We are coordinating tours of the high school to start at 4:30. Please reach out to bizsupport@southportland.org if you’d like to join the tour.
South Portland Land Trust Annual Meeting
Lincoln & Main Electric Bike Cafe
Wednesday, January 18th at 6:30pm

Featured speaker: David Kunhardt, Citizens' Climate Lobby, will introduce their climate advocacy work and speak to why we need local and national/international climate efforts, especially in Maine.
RSVP is required at the link below.

Food Waste/Recycling Survey

The South Portland Sustainability Department is conducting a survey to better understand food waste/recycling activities among City residents. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey!

Employment Opportunities

Start your new year with an exciting new position where you'll make a difference in your community! The City currently has open positions of Fire Chief, Firefighter, and more. Visit our website to learn more about these and other open positions.

Be Seen, Be Safe!

The library, in partnership with Maine Department of Transportation, Age Friendly South Portland, and South Portland Bike/Ped Committee, is distributing slapbands as part of the Maine DOT Be SEEN! Be SAFE! Program. Pick up your slapbands at the following locations:
  • South Portland Public Library
  • South Portland Public Library Branch
  • South Portland City Hall City Clerk’s Office
  • South Portland Police Department
  • South Portland Community Center
For more information, contact Lisa Joyce at ljoyce@southportland.org.

SoPo Teen Wins Statewide Writing Contest

Jules Vázquez, age 15 of South Portland, won a statewide writing contest for their poem "Older Sisters to Younger Brothers." A panel of judges including authors, teachers, and alumni and students of the Portland-based nonprofit the Telling Room selected Vázquez as the winner from over 500 submissions. Read the poem below.

Older Sisters to Younger Brothers 
Recently my younger brother smells unfamiliar
He leaves with little to no warning 
He returns with the lingering scent of grass stains, sweat,
And someone else’s living room on his sweater 
He walks out quickly and clean 
Returning with a mature, teenage kind of mud on his knees 
In the beds of his fingernails rests paint and dirt
I can feel him tearing away from our mother 
Ready to take on the vastness of his future 
Without me or our cozy beds to return to
I wish I had missed him this much when he was small and moldable
As foolish as it sounds maybe he’d want to stay 
Where blood was stronger than any friendship 


Coming Up at the Library

  • Sat., Jan. 21 at 2 PM: Author Talk with James Harris. Local author James Harris will discuss his first book Tales from the Hayloft: A Maine Farm Memoir.
  • Weds., Jan. 25 at 6:30 PM: An Evening with Author Meghan Gillis. Join local author Meghan Gillis as she discusses her new novel Lungfish.
  • Sat., Jan. 28 at 11 AM: Kick off the 2023 Winter Reading Program with an all-ages interactive family concert!

Visit the Library website for more information.
Some events are subject to change. Check spsd.org for up-to-date information.

Conservation Corner

Submitted by Barbara Dee, Chair of the Conservation Commission
Hello, my name is Shara Drew and I'm very happy to serve as the City of South Portland's Communications Officer!

I'd love to hear your feedback on our newsletter and other City communications, so feel free to send me a note any time at news@southportland.org.
This City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community.
The City of South Portland Community Newsletter is published by the City of South Portland.  It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication.  Events may be subject to change without notice in the time between publication of this e-newsletter and the actual event.  To send information to be considered for inclusion into this newsletter, send to news@southportland.org.
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