If you have never attended one of the City Council’s annual district meetings, I highly recommend that you do so. Not only are these meetings highly informative, but they also provide an inside view of the democratic process in action. At these meetings, district councilors as well as councilors at large and city officials are available to answer questions and listen to the concerns of district residents. City government may not be the most glamorous institution, but it is where so many of the decisions that affect our lives directly and on a daily basis are made. It is well worthwhile to take the time to participate in this important process. The meetings happen in November and December of each calendar year. We will keep you informed of the dates, times, and locations of next year’s meetings. In the meantime, here is a brief wrap-up of the 2015 District 4 and 5 meetings with Councilors Justin Costa and David Brenerman. Continue reading WRAP UP 2015→
It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since the Deering Squirrel made its debut. Over the past twelve months we’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people. We would like to thank our amazing contributors for helping to make this crazy dream possible: Evie Ford, Anne Schaff, Nathan Hall, Fleur Hopper, Michele Praught, Ellen Gilliam, Deirdre McClure, Gail Belt, Wayne Cowart, Isaac Van Voorst Van Beest, Richard Farnsworth, Erik Jorgensen, Anne Haskell. We would also like to thank Elizabeth Tarasevich for helping to get us off the ground. We are especially grateful to our advertisers for taking a chance on our little paper and helping it to thrive. As an all-volunteer enterprise we are proud to be able to say that all our ad revenue goes directly to printing and production costs. On a personal note, I would like to thank Dorothy Royle, our design and layout guru, who has put in countless hours ensuring that each issue of the Squirrel is a pleasure to look at and read. Finally, we would like to thank all of you for taking the time to pick up our paper. We can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.
Woodford Food & Beverage: a Newcomer with Old Roots
On a rainy night in early December friends and neighbors gathered inside the historic Woodfords Club for an evening of drinks, dancing, and good food. The neighborhood mixer was hosted by Oakdale residents Birch Shambaugh and Fayth Preyer, the husband and wife team behind the long-anticipated new restaurant, Woodford Food & Beverage. Part community celebration, part sneak peek of what awaits diners once the restaurant opens in January, the event, like its hosts, was both sophisticated and relaxed. Plates of deviled eggs and delicate lobster puffs, created by chef Courtney Loreg, whose impressive resume includes stints in the kitchens of award-winning Portland restaurants Fore Street and Bresca, circulated through the animated crowd while Shambaugh and Preyer chatted easily with guests. Continue reading TRADITION AND PROGRESS MEET AT WOODFORDS CORNER→
The Deering Center Neighborhood Association, with leadership from Naomi Mermin, is forming a committee to maintain the Ludlow Street Pond for skating during the winter months. The committee’s goal is to coordinate with the City of Portland to share the work of maintenance using volunteers from the community for both advocacy and manual work in the form of timely and regular snow shoveling. Continue reading Help Needed to Preserve Beloved Skating Pond→
In the deep freeze of January, starting to plan a spring garden can bring welcome relief from the winter doldrums. It may not feel like it right now, but spring really isn’t too far away! And garden planning presents a great opportunity to support our feathered friends. One of the greatest threats to bird populations in our area is loss of habitat. Go out with any long-time local birder and you will hear story after story about how this park or that neighborhood used to to be rich with bird habitat, now lost to development. We humans aren’t going to stop building houses or shopping plazas anytime soon, but we can attempt to offset habitat loss in our own yards by selecting native plants that help birds thrive. Continue reading Plan your spring garden→
I think I am in a position to talk about what is going on now in Augusta; I have seen a lot, but nothing that compares to the vitriol that is being spewed by the current Governor. I have been around the State House for over 20 years. I was elected as a State Representative from 1988 to 1994, representing part of Gorham. John Martin was Speaker of the House, and during my tenure State government was shut down and Martin was pilloried for his proximity to a ballot tampering scheme. Continue reading What you learn if you hang around for a while→
With the arrival of the New Year one cannot help but think about the passage of time and its unceasing movement through our lives. For many of us, the increasing use of cell phones and digital devices has replaced our watches and sometimes even wall clocks. And yet the importance of checking the time is still ingrained in us from the moment we are taught the big hand from the little. It’s then especially appropriate in this neighborhood, chock-full of schools, that three public clocks remain in place. They are important reminders of the development of community patterns and agreements of time when gathering for school, work, prayer and play. Continue reading Clock→
The Squirrel tackles your thorniest etiquette dilemmas. Drop your questions in the question box at the Black Cat Cafe or firstname.lastname@example.org.
My dog, “Sophie,” has been repeatedly attacked by another dog, “Rex,” during our morning walks in Baxter Woods. Rex’s owner thinks Rex is just being “playful” but I feel he is inappropriately aggressive. We try to avoid Rex, but the owner always flags us down to be friendly. I appreciate the attempts to be neighborly, but not the biting. What should I do?
Have you considered Capisic Pond for your morning walks? Or how about a Kevlar Dog Vest? Maybe the easiest solution is simply to reverse your walk or leave home a little later so you don’t run into that hell hound. Passivity is in order in this thorny situation, as arguing this point will surely cause your neighbor to regard you as overreactive. Think I’m kidding? You have only to Google “Willard Beach Dog Ban” to know how friendship-wrecking passions can quickly erupt when you criticize your neghbors’ canine parenting skills. This is a quagmire. Don’t dip into it. Continue reading Outrage feels so good!→