Welcoming spring in a world of social distancing
First, some information to make it easier to navigate this new COVID-19 way of being…
Westport Island COVID-19 Services & Resources
Town Office staff are working remotely and are regularly at the Town Office to collect mail and deliveries in the mail drop slot to the left of the Town Office front door where residents can deliver checks and other correspondence. Staff are conducting town business during regular office hours by phone and email (Tuesdays: 11 am – 6 pm; Thursdays: 9 am – 2 pm). Please leave a message, and staff will get back to you.
Many services are also available via the Town website’s online resources – consult the “I Want To” section for an easy link to what you may need.
Where services rely on proof of identification, please be sure to mail or drop a copy of your license in the night box or take a picture of it and email it.
Martha Hayward, Treasurer/Tax Collector (207) 882-8477, ext. 1
Dedee Greenleaf-Hodgdon, Municipal Agent (207) 882-8477, ext. 2
Julie Casson, Town Clerk/Registrar (207) 882-8477, ext. 3
Gaye Wagner, Deputy Clerk/EMA (207) 882-6084 (leave a message)
George Richardson, 1st Selectman (207) 882-8477, ext. 4
• Bureau of Motor Vehicles Public Notice (Note: Registrations issued by a municipality, including temporary registrations, are extended until 30 days following the end of the state of emergency.)
• Registering Motor Vehicles and Trailers (To more easily provide required information to Dedee, please complete & return this re-registration form with your check. If you call or email her in advance, she will provide you with the amount of the fees.)
• Registering Boats, Snowmobiles & ATV’s
• Hunting & Fishing Licenses
• Parental Residency Affidavits to Register Children for School
• Registering to Vote or Requesting an Absentee Ballot
• Dog Licenses (Note: Dog licensing is canceled for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency plus 30 days.)
• Vital Records
• Marriage Licenses
• Shellfish Licenses
• Business Licenses
• Burn Permits (Note: The WVFD is not currently issuing burn permits due to the COVID-19 situation.)
• To have questions answered about COVID-19 at any time, individuals may call 211 Maine by dialing 211; by texting our zip code, 04578, to 898-211; or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
• Lincoln County COVID-19 Resource Page — a one-stop collection of current Executive Orders, Maine CDC, health information, food resources, etc.
• Helping Hands for island food pantry and transportation resources
• Unemployment claims
• Small Business Administration Assistance
• Locally produced hand sanitizer
And finally, some reasons to smile…
To welcome spring, some of our neighbors have been busy “dressing up” the town (observing appropriate social distancing, of course). The Horticulture Committee has been sprucing up the Wright Landing gardens; Richard DeVries has been installing new flooring in the Wright Landing House; Ken Shepherd and Cheryl Anderson have been dressing up the Main Road with their artistic mailbox sentinels; and Bailey has been “homeschooling” her children in community service and landscaping while pruning and building a stone walled planter at the Westport Volunteer Fire Department — it seems another of Bailey’s lessons may have taken place at the Town Hall. …Others have just been taking time to smell the daffodils.
from the Island Christmas Program
In a tradition that goes back for more than 100 years, Islanders gathered for a neighborly Christmas celebration with caroling and a tree at the historic “town center” (the Community Church and the Town Hall) on December 9. It’s always nice to visit with neighbors and friends and take pause to appreciate what a nice community we have.
May the young and the young at heart enjoy this Christmas Day and season of giving and forgiving.
Thank you to the Westport Community Association, Pianist Carol Blake, Choir Director Rowan Etzel (who joined us from Bowdoin), the Choir — Brad Adler, Paul Arthur, Newt Blakesley, Maren Cooper, Richard DeVries, Lydia Kitfield, Cyndy Lewis, Deb Lorenson, Virginia Milligan, Marcia Richardson and Maryanne Seredynski — and publicist Laurie Jaramillo for their work in creating a welcoming “Old Fashioned Christmas.”
Puts on a spread, helps us connect and leads a community thank you!
For those who followed the Burma Shave signs leading onto the island last Saturday and accepted the invitation to attend the Westport Community Association’s annual “Meet & Greet,” life was good. The Meet & Greet provides an opportunity for year-round and summer residents to reconnect, sip wine, sample hors-d’oeuvres and trade laughs — and perhaps an occasional fish story.
This year also gave us an opportunity to thank Bill & Jill Cooney for years of service dedicated to preserving and caring for our historic Town Hall. Bill resigned this year as Chair of the Town Hall Committee where he has led fellow volunteers in a tireless effort to maintain and update the hall as well as to beautify the grounds of this historic property. Since the inception of the Town Hall Committee in 1993, the town has seen the Town Hall transformed from an historic structure in need of care to a well-preserved and proud symbol of our island’s history, as well as a functional gathering place for our community. Bill had been its chair from the beginning — February, 1993 — to April of this year.
Thank you Bill and support team Jill and fellow members of the Town Hall Committee. Of particular note, a special thanks to Bob Mongeon — carpenter, heating technician and jack of all trades — who also retired this last year. And thank you to the Community Association for the work, refreshments and thought put into this delightful event!
Selected photo credits to Laurie Jaramillo
Masquerade and hocus pocus at the Town Hall
The Community Association’s annual Halloween party included pirates, a bat, a convict, a jester, a zombie bride, town elders and a fairy princess that turned her grandma into a rabbit. Were Vincent Van Gogh and King Arthur also spotted? No, it wasn’t Van Gogh! It was Bob Ross, PBS’s silly artist, promoting “his” philosophy that “there are no mistakes – just happy accidents.”
Fashionistas wore black and white, and the dashing Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara grabbed the spotlight. Scarlett was the belle of the ball with a hooped ball gown fashioned from drapes — with the rod still attached — winning her accolades for most original costume.
Deciding awards for most original, funniest and scariest costumes taxed Judges Deborah Williams, Christy Hopkins and Debbie Speed. All of the masqueraders exhibited award-winning Halloween spirit. One must wonder what the loon, who has been presiding over town hall events since 1889, thought of the Halloween hijinks.
Photo credits for “Bob Ross” to Johnny Scott and for the fairy princess to Laurie Jaramillo
May peace now come to the air waves and the home telephone…
Westport Island cast a record number of absentee votes this year, and an impressive number of townspeople filed into the Town Hall yesterday to vote…all hoping to make a difference — and to make all the signs and telephone calls go away.
The Town Hall mascot, the “Island loon,” has now been presiding over Westport elections for 125 years — since 1889 — and has seen a lot of voters come and go. Yesterday, it saw the six voting booths full many times during the course of the day with about a 70 percent voter turnout.
Including absentee voters, Westport Islanders cast a total of 432 votes in this election. Throughout the day, poll workers confronted questions and problems with an eye to maintaining the right of people to vote and the integrity of the process. The final count for the day — with three ballots — took counters into the wee hours. Thank you voters, poll workers, and ballot counters for your dedication to the process and making this another “good vote”!
How Islanders voted the contested races:
|United States Senator||Shenna Bellows (D)||141|
|Susan M. Collins (R)||289|
|Christopher A. Lyons (I)||0|
|Deril V. Stubenrod (R)||0|
|Governor||Eliot R. Cutler (I)||32|
|Paul R. LePage (R)||214|
|Michael H. Michaud (D)||184|
|J. Martin Vachon (U)||0|
|U.S. House District #1||Isaac J. Misiuk (R)||147|
|Richard P. Murphy (I)||34|
|Chellie Pingree (D)||235|
|Barry Stephens (R)||0|
|Maine Senate District #13||Leslie T. Fossel (R)||209|
|Christopher K. Johnson (D)||202|
|Maine Legislative District #89||William H. Coombs (I)||206|
|Stephanie Hawke (R)||179|
|Register of Probate (write-ins)||Stephen Brian Gottlieb (D)||15|
|Kenneth S. Maguire (R)||4|
|Catherine H. Moore (R)||58|
|District Attorney||Geoffrey A. Rushlau (R)||207|
|David A. Sinclair (D)||186|
|Question 1: Bear baiting referendum||Yes||227|
|No||192||Question 2: Maine agriculture bond||Yes||247|
|No||160||Question 3: Small business loans||Yes||242|
|No||162||Question 4: Cancer Center||Yes||238|
|No||166||Question 5: Biotechnology jobs & training||Yes||199|
|No||202||Question 6: Clean water bond||Yes||250|
|No||158||Question 7: Marine economy bond||Yes||248|
|No||157||Municipal Budget Committee referendum||Yes||195|