Friday, January 19, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Firefighters Responds To 50 Gordon Drive (Fisher) 2nd-Alarm Structure Fire

Update 12:40pm: According to Rockland Fire Department, The Knox County Regional Communications Center was alerted by plant workers of a confirmed fire within a dust collector/air handler with flames visible. Workers on scene attempted to extinguish the flames and waited for our arrival. Upon arrival of our first due engine, smoke and flames were still visible from the air handler. The building had been evacuated due to the volume of smoke filling the building. Coordination between firefighters

and plant supervisors was flawless and the fire was extinguished without further extension to the rest of the plant.

Construction work was happening in the area of origin and we believe a spark from a grinding wheel was the ignition source.

30 firefighters (estimate)

Apparatus Assigned:

Rockland Tower 3 Rockport Engine 23

Rockland Squad 3 Rockport Engine 22

Rockland Engine 1 Camden Ladder 1 for RIT

Rockland Rescue South Thomaston FD

Thomaston Fire North East Ambulance

Update 10:41am: All fire units are clearing the scene.
Update 10:09am: Interior fire knocked down, Northeast cleared per command.
Update 9:51am: 2nd-alarm companies are reporting to Rockland station. Still have some active fire.
BREAKING NEWS: Rockland, Maine - Firefighters from multiple fire departments responds to structure fire at 50 Gordon Drive on Friday, January 19th, 2018 in Rockland, Maine.

Squad 3 reporting flames showing from a 1 story commercial building.

"Maine Schooner Heritage" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Maine Schooner Heritage" by Doug Mills
Maine schooner Heritage sailing the waters of Penobscot Bay.

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact:


Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Maine Built Schooner" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Maine Built Schooner" by Doug Mills
Maine built schooner Harvey Gamage at Rockland for Maine Windjammer Association's Schooner Parade.

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact:


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Rockland Report January 12, 2018

 The City has designated the Council Chambers, Library and Flanagan Center as warming stations. All citizens should feel welcome to stop by those locations anytime during normal business hours to keep warm.
 Public Services has cleared an area on Chickawaukie Lake near the swim area for public skating. The City will advertise a night skating event in the near future. Please skate at your own risk.
 Received an estimate from LCI to run Fiber to all City Buildings to keep in line with our technology plan. We are working on how to make this fit into our FY18 Budget.
 Met with Dan Whittier from our Workers Comp Insurance Company. The City has been complimented on their safety program which should in turn lower our insurance premiums over time.
 Numerous meetings with staff, citizens, businesses and contractors. It is gearing up to be a busy year with paving projects, storm water projects, fish pier and landfill redesign.
 Met with an individual that was inquiring on old projects that never made it off the shelf. In particular, Camden Street and Tillson Ave Redesign Projects. Staff is looking at these plans and will be discussing with council in the near future.

 Economic development/seaweed. Reached out to the University of Maine and the Maine Seaweed Exchange to learn more about seaweed as a possible economic development opportunity and scheduled a meeting for January.
 Practical Seaweed Farmer Conference & Fair coming to Rockland. Assisted the Maine Seaweed Exchange with finding venues for a conference and fair. The conference will be held at the Strand on July 27 and the is expected to bring about 200 people to Rockland Main Street. The fair will be held on July 28 at Snow Marine Park, and organizers expect it to attract 1,500 people. (The Park
will remain open to other users.)
 Business expansion and attraction. Assisted a local company interested in pedestrian-oriented signs to help direct visitors to their business. Also assisted a company that is considering locating a small commercial/light manufacturing business and retail space in Rockland in future.
 Downtown signs. Joined a Rockland Main Street Design Committee meeting to learn more about their work on potential designs and cost estimates for Downtown signs. Discussed opportunities for coordinating with REDAC and City staff, and the process for bringing something to Council for consideration.
 REDAC. Met with the new REDAC Chair to discuss how City staff can best support REDAC efforts. Scheduled Lincolnville Communications to brief REDAC on the status of broadband in Rockland. Provided REDAC with background information related to the City’s Housing Rehabilitation
Program to assist REDAC in its consideration of future opportunities.
 Grants. Reached out to US Economic Development Administration and the Northern Border Regional Commission to discuss grant opportunities for the fish pier and harbor development.  Working with Midcoast Regional Planning and the Department of Public Service to pursue a small grant opportunity related to bike trails.
 Relationships and resources. Met with the Pen Bay Chamber, Rockland Main Street, Island Institute, Maine Street Finance, and Maine Department of Labor, Rockland Heart & Soul, URock and others to build relationships and identify resources and shared interests relevant to Community Development. Toured Bartlett Woods, attended the ribbon cutting for Infinite Fitness, and attended both Rockland Main Street and Chamber events to learn more about our business
community and its needs.
 Stakeholder suggestions. We continue to receive various resident and stakeholder suggestions related to community development. Ideas advanced include: revisiting past planning work that was done for the area around Tillson Avenue; revisiting past planning work that was done for Camden Street; recruiting individuals to Rockland who can freelance or work remotely for
companies out of state; considering offshore wind as an onshore opportunity for taxable infrastructure; developing/grooming trails for cross country skiing; developing regional trails to both support a healthy community and make Rockland a recreation destination; developing a skating rink, fire pit and concession in Harbor Park; using quarries for rock climbing and perhaps
providing campsites nearby; and developing pickleball as a community development opportunity. (We have forwarded the recreation-related items to the Parks Commission chair and Public Services staff for
their consideration.)

Administration –
 We met with representatives from the Knox County Community Health Coalition to discuss grant funding for officer training, enforcement community outreach programs.
 Chief Boucher and DC Young attended a meeting with area Law Enforcement leaders to discuss training, enforcement and technology areas that impact the local region police departments.
 Chief Boucher is working with District six Maine Chiefs of Police Association members host a block of mandatory training here in Rockland this spring.
 DC Young attended a Knox County Regional Communication Executive Board meeting and was nominated Vice Chair of the committee.
 DC Young attended a Maine Chiefs of Police Awards Committee meeting in preparation for the upcoming Maine Chiefs of Police winter meeting.
 Welcomed Rockland P.D.’s new officer, Ken Smith to the department and assisted him with completing administrative paperwork.
 Met with the departments Field Training Officers to discuss the status and progress of our new officers that are currently assigned to field training.
 DC Young and I worked to finalize and submit the first draft of the FY19 budget to the Finance Director.
Criminal Investigations Division –
 Continued working on ongoing criminal investigations.
 Conducted firearms qualifications for the new officer.
 Coordinated a child abuse investigation with detectives from the Conway NH Police Department.
 Assisted Probation & Parole with probation checks on Rockland residence that are on probation to ensure they are in compliance with the conditions of their probation.
 Conducted Sex Offender compliance checks on Registered Sex Offenders living in Rockland.
 Assisted the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with weapons maintenance.
 Coordinated with a local vender to update the security system at the police station.
Patrol Division –
 Assisted the Criminal Investigations Division with Sex Offender compliance checks.
 Conducted security details at several high school basketball games at Oceanside High School.
 Conducted a city wide check for people that currently have outstanding arrest warrants for various violations.
 Conducted alcohol compliance checks at establishments in Rockland that serve alcohol.
 Delivered City Council Packets.
 Assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with locating a male that was presumed drowned. The male was located at a city warming station.
 Conducted targeted traffic enforcement details throughout the city. The focus of these details was speeding and illegally parked vehicles.
 Officers responded to 185 calls for service, investigated 6 traffic accidents and conducted 26 motor vehicle stops. As a result 9 people were either summonsed or arrested for various violations. Parking Enforcement / Animal Control –
 Issued 29 parking tickets.
 3 animal welfare complaints.
 Issued 1 summons for dog at large.

 Work on replacing the North Pump in Q2N Transfer Station.
 Repairs and odd jobs at Library and City Hall.
 Picked up pedestrian signs for winter.
 Review of road and sidewalk plow runs for new operators.
 Picked up picnic tables for winter.
 Prepared trucks for upcoming weather.
 Several pieces of snow and ice control equipment have had to be repaired resulting from multiple snow and Ice control events.
 Removed and inspected the contents of several basins to assist in a Police investigation.
 Remove Beaver Dam on Thompson’s Meadow Road.
 Cold patch applied throughout City.
 Cleaning basins in preparation of warming and rain.
 Street, sidewalk and walkways have been cleared and treated on the following winter weather events so far, 12/11, 12/12, 12/18, 12/19, 12/22, 12/23, 12/25, 1/4-1/5, 1/5, 1/8.
 Crews called in for overnight sanding due to slippery road conditions on 12/16, 12/19, 12/29, 1/8.
 Ongoing snow removal and transportation to the snow dump from the multiple storm events.
 Completed and sent out RFP for CDD disposal.
 Completed and submitted on FY 2018/2019 Budget.
 Interviewed for several Public Services Openings.
 Attended Energy Committee meeting.
 Met with the Community Development Director, Anne Krieg, and several Rockland Residents regarding the possibility of a Biking Grant Opportunity.
 Started survey work on Limerock Street, geo tech work has also been completed.
 Inspected a used recycling compactor for the single stream conversion.
 Snow removal bids were awarded to JBI.
 Met with Waste Watcher group and several more commercial haulers.
 Attended RSMS training.
 Participated in the DOT pedestrian Forum.
 Park and Main Street cross walk improvements are in engineering’s hands and we are waiting final approval of design. RFP’s for construction should go out in January of 2018.
 Inspected Beech and Grove Street sidewalks. One section of sidewalk on Beech Street may be a good candidate for spring reconstruction. This was a concern that was raised at the DOT pedestrian forum.
 Plowed off Skating area at Johnson Memorial Park.
 Responded to a water main break on Main Street. The area had to be treated due to slippery conditions created by the freezing water.
 Submitted monthly sewer report.
 Working on demolition remediation plan for 9 Rockland Street.

 Sundays, Sundays, Sundays! The Library resumed Sunday hours, on January 7; two of the three new Sunday staff, Pam Bryer and Wyatt Porter, under the seasoned shift leader, Barbara Bibro had a great first day. Thanks go to the Friends of Rockland Public Library and the Rockland Public Library Endowment Association’s for funding the return of Sunday hours.
 Thanks, always, to Public Services for cleaning away the snow (and all the other things they do), and from rescuing us from the ice-skating rink which had formed overnight the Thursday of the storm, which was so intense the built-in ice-melt system couldn’t keep up.
 This week, Catinka Knoth cancelled the Adult drawing class due to weather; the Children’s drawing classes drew polar bears.
 Mechanical Services was called back in this week, as it was extremely cold during the Rockland Historical Society’s regular hours on Tuesday; our Mechanical Services technician worked with Maine Controls to repair the problem, which appears to have been caused by an electrical surge, which created a problem with the automated controls.
 On Tuesday evening, we presented a Destination Wellness Talk: Healing the Heart through Writing, with Kathrin Seitz. Studies have shown that when people are given the opportunity to write about physical and emotional upheavals, they often experience improved health and a deeper understanding of, and affection for, who they are. Seitz guided students through writing exercises and prompts to explore challenges in their lives.
 We held a weekly staff meeting on Wednesday morning. One area of discussion was the upcoming annual Open House/Love Your Library event, scheduled for February 16 this year.
 Coastal Copper was here to do some remedial roofing work, as well as to install heat tape to prevent or minimize the buildup of ice dams in the corner near the Children’s Room/Children’s Garden.
 For Wednesday Storytime, Jean Young read some favorites of the attending children, including Big Cat, Little Cat, by Elisha Cooper, Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell, and Hello, Puppy! by Jane Cowen-Fletcher. Also, with an eye towards the upcoming craft, Jean concluded with Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert. In Snowballs, the author depicts several inventive snowmen along with pictures of fun additions including popcorn, feathers, and raisins. At the craft table, the kids constructed their own unique snowmen with construction paper, chalk, and other fun items.
 I had an enormously fun reference question about where Rockland’s Boston Post Cane might be. I had not realized they were given only to towns and not cities. IF you want to know more, please give me a call at the Library.
 Katie Drago played with the very littles at Baby Time on Thursday morning. She reports that she had a fabulous TWELVE attendees at Baby Time today, as well as three adults and their assistant who she could see following along with her hand movements from the back table. Miss Katie was excited to share that she received her first “hello” Thursday, from a baby who started coming in
September. All the babies focused during Old MacDonald and every one of them shook the shakers during multiple Shakey Eggs songs. Clearly, it was a big success, full of giggles and smiles.
 I finalized and submitted a grant application for supplemental funds to the Checkout Healthy Living at your Library, already partially funded by a grant from the Maine Public Library Fund. These MPLF funds are available from the money raised by the voluntary State Income Tax return donation checkoff to support local public libraries. Look for programming (and more!) to begin in
late February or early March.
 On Thursday, Katie Drago hosted the Creative Art Crew, making Magazine Beads. As part of this month’s overarching theme about recycling and less waste, Miss Katie showed participants how to make these beads, by cutting, rolling, and gluing their own homemade beads, made from old library magazines. The Creative Art Crew is for all ages and abilities, so consider joining us next
 For the Thursday evening Community Event, we presented Claire T. Weinberg, co-creator of the seaweed skincare business Dulse & Rugosa. As alluded to above, we are trying to help make 2018 your year to begin the Zero Waste/Plastic Free journey. Weinberg, will teach you simple tips for using less plastic in the New Year. Upcoming: Tech Workshop: Cloud Library--Every patron has access to free ebooks and audiobooks through their Library card. Maine libraries changed from Overdrive to Cloud Library last March. Come
learn how to use the new(ish) ebook service to read and listen to books at home and on the go. Also, a Reading Room Concert: Gardenia. Local trio Gardenia (Cindy Millar, Shaun Bolduc, and Dick White) will perform music from the Golden Age in originally written arrangements.

 John attended a meeting of the Rockland Planning Board.
 John and Bill attended a MBOIA meeting in Lewiston.
 John attended a City Council Meeting.
 John attended a GIS workshop.
 John and Bill attended a Comprehensive Planning Board meeting.
 We issued two Certificates of Occupancy for 74 Cedar St and 117 Tillson Ave and a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy at 265 Camden St.
 Bill and Fire Department performed a Pre-conveyance Inspection at 171 Main St.
 Bill performed 10 yearly victualers’ license inspections at the following addresses: 235 Camden St, 75 Maverick St, 145 Camden St, 2 Park St, 279 Main St, 345 Main St, 419 Main St, 190 Camden St, 96 Limerock St and 435 Main St.
 John and Bill met with contractors, property, and business owners regarding various proposed projects throughout the city, some of these meetings were in conjunction with the Fire Department and included on-site inspections.
 We issued nine building permits. We issued a permit for a new construction at 19 Farwell Dr. We issued a permit for Change of Use at 104 Camden St. Additionally, we issued residential building permits for renovations on Warren St, Cedar St, Main St, McLoud St and New County Rd. We also
issued a Demolition permit for Crescent St.
 We continue to be busy with various other permits, inspections, and assisting the public with questions. The following permits were issued by the Code Office:
 9 Building Permits
 19 Electrical Permits
 10 Plumbing Permits
 1 Sign Permit
 4 Excavation Permits
 11Complaints
 1 Domesticated Chickens Permit

 The annual budgeting process began mid-December. As of today, all preliminary operating budgets have been received. All information is being input into our main system (Munis). This process will allow immediate comparative (current and historical) reporting. Meeting for an initial review with all departments will be scheduled for February.
 The storm water separation project $3.0MM BAN financing has been completed. Minimal spending has occurred so far, but this is slated to increase with project planning costs.
 The lease financing for our 2017/2018 capital improvement programs (CIP) was also completed. A new fire department vehicle’s improvements are in process to have it field ready. Requested bids on a new police vehicle went to O’Connor Auto Park. The $29,738 vehicle is on order, and should be available next month. Public Works has completed their requests. Along with a new rack body truck, they’ve added a third sidewalk snow blower. To date all but three projects are substantially completed. 73% of funds have been spent to date.
 Our annual audit process, that took a break over the holidays, is back in motion. A few requested items from outside vendors have finally been made available. Historically this has been completed by the end of March. We are in hopes of having it sooner than that.
 Our staffing is now at 100%. Lisa Heal was hired into the Clerk’s office, and will be taking on the payroll responsibilities. Finance will continue to do the back-end and tax processing. Welcome, Lisa!
 The General Fund Account cash balance per the bank: $6.0MM.

 Treatment plant flows have been low recently but expected to increase with the recent warm weather and predicted rain.
 The lab is doing B.O.D. testing for North Haven.
 The Sludge de-watering is running eight hours per day and sending one trailer per day of processed sludge for composting.
 Received a quote for replacement cost of the vortex underflow pumps. The #1 pump has worn out and can no longer be rebuilt. Due to the age and huge number of operating hours after this pump is replaced the #1 pump will be replaced also.
 Repaired and installed the snow blower on the Kubota Tractor.
 Repaired the gate at the Tillson Ave. pump station.
 Power Products Inc. completed the annual service on the backup generators at the Waldo Ave. and Thomaston St. pump stations.
 Completed the preventative maintenance on the R.A.S. pumps.
 Repaired broken wheels on one of the grit containers.
 Checked and filled the primary drives on the secondary clarifiers.
 Responded to an alarm at the Mechanic St. pump station, cleared a blockage and restarted the #1 pump.
 Adjusted the belt on the incline conveyer in the belt filter press room.
 Completed the preventative maintenance on the two sludge holding tank blowers.
 Replaced the filters on the #2 aeration blower.
 Repaired the unit heater in the secondary pump building electrical room.
 Rebuilt the #1 belt filter press feed pump.
 Installed a new sump pump in the plant water pump area.
 Completed the preventative maintenance on the polymer mixer.
 Adjusted the packing gland on the pump for the grit removal system.
 Responded to a Dig-Safe request from Maine Water for a water service repair on Park Street.
 Worked with Wright-Pierce Engineering on transfer of the sewer inspection database to them for use in engineering upcoming sewer projects.
 Tested the charging system and replaced the battery in the E-150 Ford van.
 Continued entry of new sewer inspection data into the G.I.S.
 Responded to a Dig-Safe request from Maine Water on Main St. to repair a broken water main.
 Worked with tech support from CUES Inc. on some issues with the GraniteNET pipeline inspection software.
 Responded to a Dig-Safe request from Summit GeoEngineering on Limerock Street.

Over this preceding week, in addition to the response to 72 Fire and EMS calls, conducting apparatus checks, daily cleaning, routine repairs and maintenance to the fleet and of the quarters, the following occurred:
 It’s cold out there!!!! This is also a great time to remind residents on the importance of a clean chimney. The county fire departments have been busy this month with chimney fires and have a high potential to spread from the chimney and into the home if they are not extinguished quickly. If you burn solid fuels (wood or other approved wood products), please follow these important
guidelines to allow for a save burning season:
o Make sure your stove/fireplace is installed per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
o Make sure the chimney/flue is both approved and free from damage.
o Have your chimney cleaned and inspected AT LEAST once a season.
o Only burn seasoned firewood, stay away from freshly cut or “green wood”
o If you have any questions as to the safety of your chimney, please call the fire station and we will send someone out to inspect it.
 The past few weeks have been focused on warming shelters and making sure Rockland is in the best position to help its citizens. As the cold snaps have come and gone we are looking into ways

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact:


"Under Full Sail" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Under Full Sail" by Doug Mills
Heritage under full sail off Owls Head Maine.

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact:


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter Weather Alert: Winter Storm Warnings Issued For Southern/Central Maine 11pm Tonight-7pm Wednesday

Winter Storm Warning = Pink
Winter Weather Alert: Southern/Central Maine - National Weather Service out of Gray, Maine has issued a winter storm warning for southern/central Maine starting at 11pm tonight through 7pm Wednesday.

...Snow will impact New Hampshire and Maine tonight into

.Low pressure is expected to develop off the Mid Atlantic coast
this afternoon then move northeastward into the Gulf of Maine on
Wednesday. Snow will begin tonight, during the evening in New
Hampshire, and midnight or after in Maine. The snow could be
heavy at times late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in
southern New Hampshire. The snow will end, from west to east,
during the afternoon and early evening Wednesday.

Interior York-Interior Cumberland-Androscoggin-Kennebec-
Interior Waldo-Coastal York-Coastal Cumberland-Sagadahoc-Lincoln-
Knox-Coastal Waldo-
Including the cities of Hollis, Alfred, Lebanon, Sanford,
Goodwins Mills, Buxton, Limington, Berwick, New Gloucester, Gray,
North Windham, Gorham, Bridgton, Greene, Lewiston, Sabattus,
Wales, Minot, Turner, Auburn, Livermore Falls, Augusta, Sidney,
Windsor, Vassalboro, Waterville, China, Palermo, Brooks, Jackson,
Knox, Liberty, Montville, Morrill, Waldo, Winterport, Unity,
Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Kittery, Portland,
Cape Elizabeth, South Portland, Westbrook, Yarmouth, Brunswick,
Arrowsic, Bath, Phippsburg, Bowdoinham, Topsham, Bowdoin,
Whitefield, Dresden, Alna, Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta,
Newcastle, Boothbay Harbor, Wiscasset, Waldoboro, Owls Head,
Rockland, Appleton, Camden, Hope, Rockport, Thomaston, Belfast,
Northport, Searsmont, and Lincolnville


* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Plan on difficult travel conditions,
  including during the morning commute on Wednesday. Total snow
  accumulations of 5 to 8 inches are expected.

* WHERE...Portions of, south central and southwest Maine.

* WHEN...From 11 PM this evening to 7 PM EST Wednesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Be prepared for significant reductions in
  visibility at times.


A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected. If you must travel, keep an extra
flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an
emergency. For a more precise forecast for your specific
location...go to

"Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse" by Doug Mills
Maine's tall ship Victory Chimes at the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact:


Monday, January 15, 2018

"Tall Ship Corwith Creamer" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Tall Ship Corwith Creamer" by Doug Mills
Tall ship Corwith Creamer hauled out on Rockland's south end.

Photos provided by Maine Windjammer Project
The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007 to preserve the modern history of the Maine Windjammer and to make it available to the generations to come.
This historical archive is available to museums and for historical research.
For more info contact: