Community Newsletter

Issue #335

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In this Issue:

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (hybrid)
Tuesday, June 13 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 past Council meetings here.

Budget Meetings & Votes

May 23, 2023 - Final Budget Workshop: Items for which Councilors wished to add/delete/increase/decrease funding during previous workshops were placed in the “parking lot." These were discussed and decided upon during the 5/23 workshop. See the list of parking lot items and Council's decision on each in this workshop summary.
June 13, 2023 - School Budget Referendum: Voters decide fate of School budget at this June referendum. See below for more information.

June 20, 2023 at 6:30 PM - Budget Approval: City Council gives final approval to the City portion of the budget.

School Budget Referendum

There are several ways to vote in this year's Municipal School Budget Referendum. Learn more and request your absentee ballot here.

125th Anniversary Events

Thanks to everyone who came out for SpringFest with the City of South Portland and the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club! There are many more community events coming up over the year as the City celebrates our 125th anniversary. We hope to see you there! To learn more, visit: http://www.southportland.org/happy125th

Electric Tool Library & Swap Shop Grand Openings: June 3

The brand new South Portland Electric Tool Library (SPETL) and Swap Shop, both located at the Transfer Facility, will open for the season on Saturday, June 3, 2023!

The SPETL features all-electric EGO lawn care tools, which South Portland residents can borrow to use at home, free of charge, by simply using their South Portland Public Library card to sign out equipment. Residents can rent electric lawn mowers, leaf blowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and edgers for one week per rental.
Rentals from the SPETL are free to all South Portland residents over 18 with a library card. A credit card is required to leave on file in order to rent equipment. Residents who do not have a library card must sign up for one at the Main or Branch library prior to renting from the SPETL.
Swap Shop and SPETL Hours
(June - October 2023)
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
8 AM - 3:30 PM

Learn more about the Swap Shop and SPETL.

Visiting SoPo Parks with Dogs

As of May 1st, summer dog hours and rules are in effect on Willard Beach. Check out this fun video created by Parks and Recreation and our Animal Control Officer, Maggie Maxwell! To see when and where you can take your dog off-leash at Willard and other City parks, visit: http://bit.ly/dogsinsopoparks

Learn more.

Redbank Community Garden

Attention seasoned and beginner gardeners on South Portland's west end! The Redbank Community Garden has open plots for individuals, families or organizations that would like to grow their own food or plants. They're also looking for volunteers to serve in a leadership role to help manage the garden. If you're interested, please contact Donna Kane at (207) 767-4688 or dlarson.kane@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

The South Portland War Veteran's Memorial Association is sponsoring the following Memorial Day Programs:
Saturday, May 27 : Veteran Grave Flagging Program - Meeting at American Legion Post at 8:30 AM then departing at 9:00 AM, in designated groups, to place Grave Site Flags at various South Portland cemeteries.
Monday, May 29 : Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony - The Memorial Day Parade will form at Southern Maine Community College Parking Lot at the North end of Broadway, starting 9:30 AM and will step off at 10:30 AM sharp. It will continue down Broadway to the Veteran’s Monument, just beyond Pratt and Abbott, where there will be a short Memorial Day Recognition Service.
For more information or to participate, call 799-3997.
Maine’s Offshore Wind Roadmap: Charting the Course for Maine (Virtual) - Tuesday, June 13, 5-6 PM
Maine’s Offshore Wind Roadmap is a stakeholder-driven development plan that offers an analysis of how Maine’s communities, fisheries, and ecosystems can realize economic, energy, and climate benefits from offshore wind. Join presenters from the Governor’s Energy Office and Portland Waterfront on how offshore wind would diversify Maine’s energy sources to reduce fossil fuel dependence and emissions, as well as help Maine meet its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040. 
Coffee & Climate: Sustainability in the Arts (In-Person) - Friday, June 16, 10:30-11:30 AM at the Portland Museum of Art
Join the Sustainability Department for June’s Coffee & Climate event! Mike Brown and Graeme Kennedy from the Portland Museum of Art will shed light on how galleries like the PMA work towards sustainable practices and how artists are able to portray climate change in their work. Don’t miss the Tidal Shift Award Finalists – a prize for young artists who want to solve our climate crisis – on display on the ground level!
Entrance to the museum and event are free! Please reserve your ticket. Grab a cup of coffee and join us!
Juneteenth Celebration and Observance - Monday, June 19, 1-5 PM at the Redbank Community Center
The South Portland Human Rights Commission (HRC) invites you to the annual celebration and observance of Juneteenth on Monday June 19 at Redbank Community Center from 1-5 PM. We hope to see you as the community comes together and celebrate the abolition of slavery in America. Check this City newsletter and HRC's Facebook page for additional details, to be announced.
Skatepark Grand Opening - Wednesday June 21, 4-6 PM

Join us for the opening of the new South Portland Skatepark on 'Go Skateboard Day'! The event will include a ribbon cutting, music, skate demo, food truck, giveaways, and plenty of fun-in-motion!

Learn more.


City News & Updates

On May 18, the City held a swearing-in ceremony for our 8th Fire Chief since 1892, Chief Philip Selberg. Friends, family, City officials, and active and retired SPFD personnel gathered at the Community Center for the ceremony. Chief Selberg served as the City's Interim Fire Chief since February and is continuing his nearly 25 years of service with the South Portland Fire Department!

On May 20, the City hosted a ribbon cutting for its newly renovated park on School Street in the Ferry Village neighborhood. The park is named after Sgt. Jason W. Swiger, a South Portland native who frequented the playground as a child, and who was killed while serving in Iraq. We are pleased to announce that the park is open for play!

Work With Us!

The City is currently accepting applications for several openings! Check out open positions at: https://www.southportland.org/departments/human-resources/job-opportunities/

June Diaper Drive

South Portland Public Library is hosting a diaper drive during the month of June, in partnership with the KJFS Diaper Bank. Drop off diapers at the Main Library and the Branch Library. Sizes 5 and 6 are always in highest demand, but all sizes are accepted.

E-books and Digital Resources from South Portland Public Library

Have you explored cloudLibrary? South Portland Public Library now offers direct access to digital collections 24/7, from anywhere – all you need is your SPPL card! The cloudLibrary service gives you:
  • 27,000+ eBook and digital audiobook titles (hint: an audiobook on your phone makes a walk around the neighborhood – or the commute to and from work – much nicer!)
  • 3,000+ streaming movies and programs (including extensive BBC programming!)
  • 7,500+ magazine titles from around the world, with content in more than 60 languages!
 For more information, visit: https://southportlandlibrary.com/ebooks/

Coming Up at the Library

  • Tuesday, May 30 at 10:30 AM: Bug Light Storytime. Tuesday storytimes are beginning again at Bug Light Park!
  • Thursday, June 1 at 6 PM: Local author Jennifer Dupree will be discussing her novel The Miraculous Flight of Owen Leach.
  • Wednesday, June 7 at 6:30 PM: Master Beekeeper Phil Gaven, owner of The Honey Exchange, will teach about the behavior and contributions of honeybees. There will be live bees to observe and honey to taste! Open to ages 5+
  • Thursday, June 15 at 6 PM: Author Steven Rowley will discuss his new book The Celebrants.
  • Wednesday, June 21 at 6:30 PM: Local author and illustrator Rebekah Lowell will be reading her new children’s book, Catching Flight. This will be followed by a fun craft!
  • Various dates - South Portland High School sporting events
  • Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30 PM - All-City 5th Grade Band Concert at the South Portland High School gym
  • Thursday, June 1, 6-8 PM - Mahoney Raiders Final Assembly (see details below)
  • Monday, June 12 at 6 PM - Regular School Board Meeting

    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 Dee 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.
The City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects, and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community. It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication. Events are 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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