Greetings

This is the first regular column I've written since my years as editor for the renewable energy newsletter, The Maine Sun. Back in the 1980s and '90s, Maine was more like a small town than it is today. To communicate, we relied on old-fashioned telephones, the post office, newspapers and face-to-face meetings. I produced an eight-page newsletter on a simple word processor, cut-and-pasted with double-stick tape. Times have changed.

In 2000, I overcame my resistance to the computer age. I now do my cut-and-paste on the computer screen and can send an email or Google a web page, but I sympathize completely with those who are computer illiterate, or who still correspond by "snail" mail and telephone and get their news from TV or newspapers, rather than through the internet, iPhones and social media. I'm grateful that newspapers continue to be a reliable source of local, as well as national, information.

In discussions with our St. George town manager, Tim Polky, about ways to improve town-wide communication about local issues to supplement the town website, biweekly newsletter online or by mail, and the St. George Dragon, the idea for a column in the Courier-Gazette was an attractive option. I'm grateful to editor Dan Dunkle for agreeing to let me provide this column. It is a great honor to become a part of our local print news network.

Those who know me agree that I can be an outspoken activist on issues I believe are important: protecting the environment, using renewable energy, women's rights, road safety, education and community activism. I promise you that this column will not be burdened with my opinions. My role is to keep people informed about what's happening in St. George and answer questions about plans and progress on various town projects and issues. Regular Courier-Gazette reporters will cover hard news for you, while Letters to the Editor and Guest Columns continue to be the place for impassioned opinions.

Invitation

Besides the Town Office and its boards and committees, St. George has several civic groups that work hard to address important issues. I invite the following, and others I have omitted by mistake, to submit coming events, updates on activities, photos and contacts that I may pass along as space allows:

St. George Business Alliance, Jackson Memorial Library, Herring Gut Learning Center, St. George Elementary School, St. George Community Development Corp., local churches and granges, Friends of St. George, Preserve Our Remarkable Town, and Neighbor-to-Neighbor.

Town Office

Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone 372-6363. Website: stgeorgemaine.com.

Meetings

Conservation Commission meeting, Thur.sday, March 1, 4 pm.

Democratic Caucus, Sunday, March 4, 2 p.m.

Select Board and Parks & Recreation, Monday, March 5, 6 p.m.

Solar

The Conservation Commission and the Select Board have been working with ReVision Solar to install a solar power system on the south side of the roof at the transfer station. A grand opening is planned for April.

Road safety

The town manager and the Select Board are working on drafting a warrant article for town meeting to present a petition to improve road safety.

Report problems

The town manager invites anyone to report problems, such as streetlight outages, potholes or other complaints, directly to him at 372-6363.

Community activities

The Port Clyde Baptist Church continues to serve free soup lunches to the public every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The food is homemade and delicious, and it's a nice opportunity for neighbors to gather throughout the winter.

The Jackson Memorial Library's after school program is sponsoring a student art show throughout the month of March. Come and support our budding young artists.

I hope you are enjoying these longer hours of daylight in the last three weeks before spring. Be good to one another and stay tuned.