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Table of Contents
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- News & Issues
- Ongoing Initiatives
- Take Note
- Falmouth Public Schools
- Town Council, Board & Committee Meetings
Falmouth Town offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, June 20 in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day. In addition, Town offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
Online services can be found at: https://www.falmouthme.org/home/pages/online-services.
The regularly scheduled Town Council meeting will take place at 7:00pm on June 20 at Town Hall with a virtual option available. This will be the only Council meeting held in June. An agenda and Zoom link can be found here in advance of the meeting.
The Falmouth Focus
Please note, to maintain our cycle of publishing on the Friday prior to the Monday Town Council meeting, the next issue of The Falmouth Focus will be on July 8.
Unofficial Election Results
The unofficial results of the June 14 State Primary and Municipal Election can be found at: https://www.falmouthme.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif556/f/news/unofficial_election_results6.14.22.pdf
Town Council Chair Amy Kuhn gives remarks at the Gun Giveback Event on June 11. Community members dropped off 45 unwanted guns at the Falmouth Police Department during the event.
Falmouth PD Hosts Successful Gun Giveback Event
The Falmouth Police Department, in coordination with the Maine Gun Safety Coalition (MGSC), hosted a Gun Giveback Event on Saturday, June 11, one of many such events across the state and nation. Community members dropped off forty-five guns and approximately 60 pounds of ammunition throughout the day. Members of Maine’s Blacksmith Guild destroyed the guns on site. Parts from the collected weapons will be transported to the Guild's foundry to be smelted. The Maine Gun Coalition has partnered with Swedish-based Humanium Metal, which uses metal from the melted down weapons to make watches and jewelry. Proceeds from the sale of these items will benefit the Maine Gun Safety Coalition. "We were very pleased with the response to this event," said Police Chief John Kilbride. "Every unwanted gun brought in today is one less that could potentially be used with tragic results."
Officer Kathleen Oelschlegel
Falmouth PD Receives $20,000 Grant
The Falmouth Police Department has received a $20,000 grant from the Maine Department of Public Safety to partially fund its successful recovery coach program. Operation PHOENIX – Providing Hope and Opportunity through Education, Networking, and Information Exchange—is a community policing initiative which pairs Officer and Recovery Coach Kathleen Oelschlegel with persons suffering from substance use disorder. This non-punitive approach provides an opportunity for the police officer/recovery coach to work collectively with established partnerships within the recovery community to find tailored pathways and modalities of treatment unique to each individual. This community policing initiative recognizes that recovery from substance use disorder starts with motivation and the understanding that addiction is a chronic, relapsing medical condition. Officer Oelschlegel draws on her extensive training, knowledge, and experience as a police officer to complement her training as a Recovery Coach. “We are very pleased to be awarded this grant. This program has assisted over 80 people and family members in Falmouth towards recovery over the past two years,” said Falmouth Police Chief John Kilbride. “It is a vital program in our efforts to address substance misuse within the community.” To learn more about the recovery coach program and Operation PHOENIX, please call the Falmouth Police Department at (207) 699-5246 or visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/police/pages/recovery-coach-program
Neighborhood Clean-Up--Thank you, Falmouth!
Falmouth’s second Neighborhood Clean-Up Week was a huge success! During the week of May 14-21, more than 200 residents volunteered to pick up trash in neighborhoods and public spaces across town. Community participation greatly exceeded our expectations, and we appreciate everyone’s time and hard work. Thank you also to Flagship Cinemas for donating movie passes for each participant.
Veranda Street Bridge Project Nightly Closures
As part of the Veranda Street Bridge Project, MaineDOT will begin nightly road work on Sunday, June 26 on I-295 over Veranda and Washington Streets. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in work zones. This work will also include:
- Nightly closures of the Baxter Blvd Northbound on-ramp.
- Nightly full road closures of I-295 over Washington Ave southbound only. Traffic will be detoured to Washington Ave.
- Nightly closures of the I-295 Southbound on ramp from Veranda Street.
This work is expected to continue through August.
Tentative Schedule for West Falmouth Sewer Upgrades
As noted in a recent edition of The Falmouth Focus, work is moving ahead on the West Falmouth Sewer Master Plan, including upsizing the Falmouth Road Pump Station, its associated force main, and the sewer piping on Woods Road and Middle Road. These upgrades are critical to maintaining the efficient conveyance and treatment of wastewater, particularly from West Falmouth. The chart below indicates a tentative schedule for the upcoming work, including various locations and the anticipated impact to traffic. Residents can expect some delays when travelling through these work zones. Note, this is a tentative schedule and subject to change.
For the most current information on the project, visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/west-falmouth-sewer-project and subscribe to West Falmouth Sewer Project E-Alerts for regular email updates. For questions or more information, contact the Wastewater Department at 207-781-4462.
From the Wellness Committee: Falmouth Students Tap Sources of Strength
by Lisa Joy, Falmouth Community Wellness Committee Member
What can stand against the darkest downs of life, ebb the floodtides of despair and turn hope into health? In 1998, Mark Lomurray began harnessing the power of resiliency he’d seen as a young social worker in rural communities and among Northern Plains tribes. Today, his Sources of Strength (“SoS”) program is a recognized gold standard for suicide prevention and related issues. It’s widely used in schools, universities, detention centers, the military and community organizations. Robin Haley, Falmouth High School’s substance abuse prevention coordinator, introduced an SoS training for students and faculty in spring 2021 to help navigate through COVID-19. “This year was equally, if not more, challenging,” she said, and noted the alignment between SoS and the youth-driven Yellow Tulips suicide prevention program that a group of students implemented in 2020. “The programs complement each other,” she said, “the difference being that SoS includes staff directly and ways to create everyday opportunities through conversation and language in class curricula.”
The training inspired five art, music, and theater teachers to form a learning team and introduce roughly 60 students to SoS concepts and small group activities. This past spring semester, their students worked on projects individually or in interdisciplinary pairs culminating in a SoS performance arts event in conjunction with the Spring Concert. “We had a lot of creative freedom,” said sophomore and advanced art student, Spencer Furze. “We all got something out of it because we all put a lot of effort into it.” Spencer’s two self-depictions as a possum interacting with animals contrasted the struggle of being brought down by certain people with the sources of strength that his six close friends represent.
Falmouth High School student Quinn Hagerty noted how inherently personal it was to draw what you wanted and pick your own materials. Although he got the most out of technical aspects of the project, he said the process also prompted personal reflection. “There was a lot of looking inward and thinking ‘What do I really appreciate?’ and taking stock of that. It was therapeutic in a way.”
Both Spencer and Quinn described their enjoyment of the communal aspect of the art room. “I got to ask my friends what their pieces meant to them,” Spencer said, “so I learned about their struggles and strengths.” Quinn agreed, noting, “The friendships that everyone developed working on their pieces in close proximity were really strong.”
“We went from classes that caused a lot of anxiety and stress to one where we were all in a safe space creating art about how we honestly feel about different aspects of our lives,” explained Kaylee, a just-graduated senior. “So many classes, including history and English, focus on other people. This a chance to focus on how you are doing and what you are doing with your life. It was kind of therapeutic because we were all in it together,” she said, noting how atypical it was for an art assignment to require depictions of feelings. “It turned abstract emotions into a visual concept, so I could see the whole picture of my life better,” she said.
Elena Parr, who also just graduated, worked closely with a new musician friend. “My sources of strength are friendships,” she said. “Making this new friend reminded me of how friendships evolve, what they mean and how they’ve helped me through life, and so my artwork was based off that. It was very therapeutic and brought us closer together.” Her new friend wrote a song with Elena contributing lyrics, helping with the melody, and doing the required two art pieces. In the struggle, her friend is depicted with dark vines of anxiety and depression squeezing her neck and shoulders. “Behind her are overlapping thoughts and pictures that went through our minds while we were both in very dark places,” she said, “to give the sense of chaos you get.” The second piece memorialized the friendship with everything they love depicted in bright colors. The song’s three parts first described a slowly worsening progression of mental health, the paralysis that results and finally asking for and getting help. “It led to this big climax that ‘We’re going to be ok,” Elena said. Like the others, the exercise helped her visualize her thoughts. “When you are in that space, it’s hard to think past what you’re feeling,” she said, “and when you’re out of that space, it’s really hard to go back and process what you were feeling. So this process really helped me see all the things that I was dealing with.”
Robin Haley has been pleased with the student’s response to the program. “From an adult or teaching perspective, after reading some of their (required) reflections, I might see a more effective way of working with them after learning about their experiences and what they’ve shared through their art,” she said. “The hope is to continue tying in other departments,” she said, adding that it’s a long-term goal for all high school students and faculty to go through the training.
Living Lawns offers lawn care tips to help make your lawn healthy and vibrant. Over the spring, summer, and fall, Falmouth's Conservation Commission will share tips in The Falmouth Focus and on social media.
Living Lawns Tip #7: In a recent post, we suggested mowing at 3” because there are real benefits from mowing high! It promotes establishment of a larger root system, which is more drought tolerant. Mowing high also provides broadleaf weed and crabgrass control by shading the soil surface. Another benefit is that it also establishes a grub-tolerant lawn because of the larger root mass. So, remember, mow high and let the clippings lie for free, natural fertilizer!
Living Lawns Tip #8 Today’s post is focused on small engine exhaust such as chainsaws, leaf blowers and lawn mowers. Two-cycle engines tend to burn fuel and oil less efficiently than 4-cycle engines or electric motors. An older model, out of tune 2-cycle engine can produce as much pollution as a car or truck. As a rule of thumb, if you can see the exhaust from your equipment, it is running inefficiently and needs a tune-up. Make sure your power equipment is in good working order (tuned up, blades and chains sharp, and all parts lubricated. If your equipment is getting old, consider upgrading to a modern 2-cycle engine with a fuel injector. You may also consider upgrading to electric power equipment, many modern electric motors are nearly as powerful as their gas-powered counterparts.
For more information, visit the Livings Lawns web page at: https://www.falmouthme.org/environmental-initiatives/pages/living-lawns-your-healthy-lawn-care-resource
Wednesday Wellness Walks
The Falmouth Community Wellness Committee invites you to join us for walks at Maine Audubon each Wednesday in June. We’ll meet at 12:15 p.m. on June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, in the parking lot near the community gardens, Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth. Walk as long as you like along beautifully groomed trails surrounded by nature, peaceful views, and a few friendly woodland creatures. Come join us and your neighbors. Bring a friend. Hope to see you there!
Gardening for Wellness
On Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., the Falmouth Community Wellness Committee and University of Maine Cooperative Extension invite you to the peaceful surrounds of the Gardens at Tidewater Farm to stroll through marked beds of plantings that include over 50 native species, speak with master gardener volunteers, and affirm how gardening supports personal, interpersonal, and community wellness. The Gardens at Tidewater Farm are located on Presumpscot Point Road in Falmouth behind the Tidewater neighborhood off Farmgate Road. There is plenty of parking. This community event is sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Community Wellness Committee.
Concerts in the Park
Falmouth Community Programs Concerts in the Parks series kicks off on Monday, June 27! Bring your lawn chair, blanket, and picnic and join your neighbors for free musical entertainment in Village Park beginning at 6:30pm. The summer lineup includes:
- June 27--Delta Knights--R&B, classic rock, and swing (Plus, a special sendoff for Denise Macaronas, Senior Program Coordinator, upon her retirement from Falmouth Community Programs after 34+ years of service! Come out and wish her well!)
- July 11--Cumberland Community Band--marches, showtunes, and classics
- July 25--12OC--contemporary country
- August 8--Andi Fawcett--pop, country, and blues
In case of inclement weather, contact the FCP office at 699-5302 or check our social media pages. Rain decisions will be made by 2pm.
Mackworth Island Facility Assessment and Planning Informational Meeting
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 pm, the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will hold an informational meeting about facility assessment and planning work taking place on Mackworth Island. In early 2022, Harriman Associates, an architecture, engineering, and planning firm, began work on the Mackworth Island Concept Utilization Plan. Their work included: assessing all facilities, utilities, parking, circulation, transportation; considering environmental impacts; exploring potential future uses or necessary renovations of facilities and buildings; and developing a site plan with cost estimates. In this informational meeting, Harriman Associates will present the scope of work and their findings to date. There will also be an overview of the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf and the relationship of Mackworth Island to the Town of Falmouth. An opportunity for public input and a question/answer period will conclude the meeting.
The meeting will be held at Falmouth Town Hall Council Chambers and include an ASL interpreter. A recording of the meeting will be available online later with an opportunity for interested parties to submit questions and feedback. Find more information at: https://www.falmouthme.org/home/events/130636
Golf Tournament in Falmouth June 20-26
The Korn Ferry Tour Live & Work in Maine Open will take place at Falmouth Country Club June 20-26. Offsite parking will be at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds. Residents can expect some additional traffic during this event, especially along Winn and Blanchard Roads.
Falmouth Community Programs Seeks Seasonal Staff
The Town of Falmouth is looking for seasonal Parks staff to work and maintain the many parks, trails, and grounds run by the Town. We have full-time seasonal positions available May through August for groundskeeping, lawn care, and general maintenance. The ideal candidate will be at least 18 years old and have a basic knowledge of landscaping, trail maintenance and grounds equipment. Hourly rates are $15.00 - $18.00 based on experience. Must have a valid drivers license. E-mail or mail a resume to Jeff Mason, Parks Supervisor, or pick up an application at the Mason-Motz Activity Center, 190 Middle Road, Falmouth, ME 04105. The Town of Falmouth is an EOE. Jeff’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Falmouth Community Programs is looking for dynamic individuals with strong interpersonal skills, the ability to connect with multiple age groups, experience working with children, and the ability to train, motivate, and supervise staff to work with our summer camp program. We work with kids entering Kindergarten through Middle School on a daily basis. We take a weekly field trip, play, and immerse ourselves in the word FUN! Requirement: Willing to work with all levels of campers, training or experience in the field of childcare, camp or recreation setting a plus. Prior experience in a leadership or supervisory role as well as combination of educational and working experience is preferred but not required. Stop into the FCP office in the Mason-Motz Center for an application or find one online at: https://www.falmouthme.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif556/f/uploads/employment_application.pdf
Highlights: FMS Students Participate in a STEM Cubesat Launch
A group of FMS students have worked throughout the school year to design, build, and execute the construction of a cubesat satellite. The aim of this project was to test the vitality of worms to see if they are hearty enough to withstand space travel in future attempts of aiding the terraforming of Mars. This project was completely student designed and driven. The students decided their own mission, did their own research, and built their own cube. With sensors, circuit board, GoPro, and sensors all packed in a sealed up 10cm³ cube, the students’ satellite was tied to a weather balloon that brought the project from Lewiston to Sommerville, ME and reached an estimated height of 105,000ft into the atmosphere! For visualization purposes, that's about halfway into the stratosphere, or in other words, that's nearly three times the cruising altitude for a commercial plane. Watch the WMTW story about the USM Cubesat event.
Focus: Congratulations to Falmouth Schools!
A group of teachers recently applied for and won a Rethink Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) grant through the Maine Department of Education. This grant (called the Navigators Program) will provide students in grades 3-8 the opportunity to engage in authentic interdisciplinary learning experiences centered around the history of the Wabanaki and the waterways which make up the heart of our community, all allowing students to gain a larger understanding of the importance of water in both their community and globally. These hands-on experiences along the Presumpscot River (and others) will authentically connect students to nature, their community, the indigenous history of Maine, and their own sense of self.
Upcoming: Important Dates
School Board Business Meeting - Tuesday, June 21st @ 7:00 in the Falmouth Town Hall Council Chambers. The agenda is posted 5 days prior to the meeting on the falmouthschools.org website.
For more information on Falmouth Public Schools, visit: www.falmouthschools.org
Town Council Meetings, Monday, June 20, 6:00pm & 7:pm
On Monday, June 20, 2022 at 6:00 pm, the Falmouth Town Council will hold its Annual Caucus in person at Town Hall in the large conference room upstairs as authorized by Section 28, Policy Eight of the Town Council Rules and 1 MRSA §403-B. Members of the public may participate in the meeting by either attending the meeting in person or via Zoom. An agenda and Zoom link can be found here.
The Town Council will meet on Monday, June 20 at 7:00pm. This will be the only Town Council meeting in June. The meeting will be held in person at Town Hall in the Town Council Chambers as authorized by Section 28, Policy Eight of the Town Council Rules and 1 MRSA §403-B. Members of the public may participate in the meeting by either attending the meeting in person or via Zoom. The agenda and Zoom link can be found here. The Zoom application will allow attendees to connect and participate remotely via computer or phone. The public may also watch (no participation option) the meeting on Channel 2 or on the Town website streaming channel. Check out our Guide to Participating in Virtual Public Meetings. If you have questions, please call (207) 699-5335.
At the Most Recent Town Council Meetings…
The Town Council held a meeting on May 23. An agenda and video can be found here.
- The Council approved the minutes of the April 6, April 11, and April 25 Council Meetings.
- The Council approved the following appointments:
- Randy Harding – Regular Member to the Board of Assessment Review
- Richard Craven to the Shellfish Conservation Commission
- The Council approved an order for a new liquor license for Ocean View Management Co. (Gazebo Grille).
- The Council approved an order to appoint election workers for the 2022 elections.
- The Council approved an order to update Highland Lake Leadership Team Charge.
- There was a presentation and discussion with the Falmouth Land Trust regarding the future management of Town-owned open space.
- There was an introduction of ordinance amendments to Chapter II-7 and Chapter II-19 of the Code of Ordinances relative to removing outdated and unnecessary language, bringing consistency to policies, and improving the usability of the ordinances. A public hearing is scheduled for July 11.
- The Council approved an order to nominate Councilor de Lima to serve on the MMA Legislative Policy Committee.
The Planning Board considered the following at its June 7 meeting. An agenda can be found here.
- PUBLIC HEARING - Amendments to Chapter II-7 and Chapter II-19 of the Code of Ordinances relative to removing outdated and unnecessary language, bringing consistency to policies, and improving the usability of the ordinances. RECOMMENDED
- 117 Gray Road – Anthony Hayes – Request for Pre-Application Sketch Plan Review for a 6-unit major subdivision off Constellation Way. Map/lot U43-004; Zoned VMU, SZ-LC/RP, RT100CO. DISCUSSED
- Eagles Lane – Presumpscot River LLC (David Chase) – Request for Preliminary Approval for a 12 lot single-family Conservation Subdivision off Eagles Lane. Map/lot U56-11 & -14-A; Zoned RD, RCZO, SZ-RP/SP. TABLED
- 78 Leighton Road – 78 Leighton Road LLC (Dr. Kyra Chadbourne) – Request for Site Plan Approval for a 30’ x 38’ two-story building addition for Falmouth Dentistry. Map/lot U44-014; VMU, RT100CO. TABLED
Please note: Planning Board agendas for upcoming meetings may not always be complete at the time of this newsletter's publication. Within the agendas, when possible, links will be provided to direct users to any additional information available on projects at the time of publication, including building elevations, plans, and images when available. Information on Planning Board projects and activities, including agendas and minutes, can be found at: https://www.falmouthme.org/planning-board. For additional information or questions, contact Lisa Sangillo at 207-699-5303 or email@example.com
The Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the following items at its meeting on June 28. An agenda can be found here.
- 9 Avon Road – Jeffrey Bush – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-77 for a tear-down and rebuild of an existing non-conforming garage. Map/lot U01-080; Zoned RA, RCZO, WVOD. PREVIOUSLY TABLED. THERE WILL BE A SITE WALK ON TUESDAY, JUNE 28TH AT 5 P.M. AT 9 AVON ROAD. THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ATTEND.
- 28 Hammond Road – John & Sherman Kendall – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-77 to replace an existing patio with a deck. Map/lot U02-015; Zoned RA, RCZO, SZ-LR, WVOD.
- 23 Phillips Road – Carrie Hansen – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-77 for approval of 22” of additional foundation. Map/lot U01-048; Zoned RA, RCZO, WVOD.
- 25 Brown Street – Scott & Alise Koocher – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-84 for a tear down and rebuild. Map/lot U02-001-A; Zoned RA, RCZO, SZ-LR, WVOD.
For more information please visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/board-of-zoning-appeals
Stay Informed with the Town of Falmouth Website and E-Alerts
There are many Town committees and boards that meet on a regular basis. The events calendar on the Town of Falmouth website homepage lists upcoming board, committee, and Town Council meetings. We send E-Alerts when Town Council, Planning Board, and Board of Zoning Appeals meeting agendas and minutes are posted to the website. Subscribe via E-Alerts to those that most interest you. Agendas and Minutes for these meetings are also posted online and can be accessed from the home page. Town Council, Planning Board, and School Board meetings are live-streamed on Falmouth Community TV Channel 1301 (Former Channel 2). Recordings of these meetings are also available for viewing online. Board of Zoning Appeals Meetings are not broadcast live but can be viewed online within 24 hours after the meeting. E-Alerts allows you to subscribe to specific e-mail lists about Town-related issues that interest you. The Falmouth Focus, this bi-weekly newsletter, is another way to stay in the loop. Subscribe via E-Alerts. Please let us know what kind of information you would like to see included in your town newsletter.
Town of Falmouth, 271 Falmouth Road, Falmouth, ME 04105