Lovell

Governor Mills -- Emergency Declaration

Governor Announces Significant Recommendations & Signs Civil Emergency Proclamation to Respond to COVID-19 in Maine

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Governor Announces Significant Recommendations & Signs Civil Emergency Proclamation to Respond to COVID-19 in Maine
March 15, 2020

In the wake of several new presumptive positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Janet Mills announced several new significant recommendations to respond to COVID-19 and signed a proclamation of civil emergency (PDF) to further protect public health. Governor Mills is recommending:

  • Ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical.
  • Postponing all non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments at hospitals and health care providers across the state until further notice.
  • Restricting visitors and all non-essential health care personnel to long-term care facilities except for certain compassionate care situations such as end of life until further notice.
  • Postponing all events with 50 or more people all gatherings of more than 10 that include individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, until further notice.

Governor Mills issued the following statement:

“With several new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Maine, it is important that we prepare and respond – but not panic. The Maine CDC has prepared for this eventuality since last year and we are coordinating across government and with communities statewide to respond to this threat. Proclaiming a state of civil emergency unleashes critical state authorities and allows access to federal funds that will support our response efforts to delay and mitigate the outbreak in Maine. These new recommendations will also further protect Maine people.

“Perhaps it is some odd fate that today we also celebrate Maine’s 200th year as a state. Two hundred years ago, we separated ourselves from Massachusetts and embarked on creating our own destiny as a state. We then, as Maine people, learned to be self-reliant and, at the same time, to rely on each other. Today, we are self-reliant and, at the same time, we rely on each other.

“Time and again, Maine people have risen to the challenges put in front of us. We have conquered them because we are a strong, resilient people – borne of the western foothills; the northern potato fields; the bold, rocky coasts; and the tall, pine forests. We have been lifted up by the courage, conviction and resilience that comes from loving a place and its people. Together, we will get through this.”

The Proclamation to Further Protect Public Health signed by Governor Mills today brings the State of Maine to highest alert and allows Governor Mills to deploy all available state resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people and to take every action she reasonably deems necessary to help respond to and protect against the spread of COVID-19 in Maine. It also eases Maine’s access to critical federal aid to boost response efforts.

Governor Mills also strongly recommended that:

  1. Ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical.

    The Maine Department of Education has been working closely with school systems in preparation for this step and has secured a waiver from the USDA to allow schools to provide meals offsite to students.

    Governor Mills has also directed the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to pursue federal waivers that will help ensure additional child care capacity. Additionally, she has directed Maine DHHS to work with health care organizations on standing up child care centers for their workers along, along with other options to keep front-line workers protecting the public’s health and safety.
  2. All hospital systems and health care providers across Maine postpone non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments until further notice.

    This will relieve the strain on the health care system as Maine prioritizes COVID-19-related cases.
  3. All long-term care providers prohibit all visitors and non-essential health care personnel; except for certain compassionate care situations such as an end of life situation, until further notice.

    Recognizing the difficulty of this situation, Governor Mills urges Maine people to find other ways to show older people or those with chronic conditions their love such as by calling them on the phone; writing them, emailing them, using Skype or FaceTime.
  4. All events with 50 or more people be postponed and that all gatherings of more than 10 that include individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, be postponed until further notice.

    These recommendations significantly enhance the previous social distancing recommendations offered by Governor Mills. Social distancing is one of the most effective methods to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Janet Mills has also taken strong steps to protect Maine workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. She has requested that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. She has also submitted emergency legislation, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon, that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

Governor Mills has also directed the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to examine additional ways that the State can support Maine’s small businesses, including working with the Finance Authority of Maine and other potential lending partners. Her Administration is also working around the clock to prepare emergency legislation and enact a budget that helps response to the issues presented by COVID-19 with the goal on minimizing its impact on Maine people and reducing its spread.

These new steps from the Governor build on the work done by the Mills Administration to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, including:

  • Convening a Coronavirus Response Team, led by Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and comprised of key individuals in the Mills Administration, to coordinate State government’s response across departments and local agencies and health authorities.
  • Declaring a health insurance emergency to require health insurance carriers providing health care coverage in Maine’s commercial market to cover costs related to coronavirus testing and increases access to care.
  • Directing the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ensure MaineCare does not charge copays for office visits and prescription drugs that may be needed for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, and to allow for a prescription refill of up to 90 days so people have to make fewer visits to pharmacies.
  • Distributing personal protective equipment to first responders and health care professionals across Maine as it becomes available.
  • Temporarily suspending non-essential, out-of-state travel for all State employees and reviewing leave policies and telecommuting options.
  • Applying for and receiving a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow schools the ability to provide meals offsite to students, if the school or community currently has, or qualifies for, a USDA Summer Food Service Program.
  • Requesting that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
  • Submitting emergency legislation, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon, that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Launching a 211 option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

For more information on Maine’s response to COVID-19 and updated testing results, visit the Maine CDC website. Additionally, Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

The best thing that Maine people can do to protect their health is to take the same preventive measures that avoid catching a cold:

  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness. Health care providers will make the initial determination on whether COVID-19 testing is advisable. As appropriate, health providers will take samples and submit them to Maine CDC.

2020 Lovell Town Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday March 7th, Lovell residents once again came together in the historic Town Hall for the Annual Town Meeting. Sixty people were in attendance for the three-hour meeting.

The meeting started with Jon Bliss elected as moderator. With the elected officials and staff on the elevated stage, the first of 84 Articles were presented. Unlike last year, there was an absence of controversial proposals. There were two articles that drew extensive discussion. Article 4 covered the Mill Pond Dam and whether the town should continue to pursue solutions to the antiquated dam. Excessive cost was a valid concern to residents but there was a greater concern for the loss of the pond not only for recreational purposes but as an important source of water for local Fire Departments.

More time was spent on Article 59 where the Budget Committee reduced the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library’s request by $1,700. The value of the Library to everyone, from young children to senior citizens, was discussed by several people. Donna Woodward, President of the Library’s Trustees, made a strong presentation that highlighted all of the Library’s important services as well as their numerous fund-raising efforts. In the end, the voters agreed to restore the $1,700 to the Library’s budget request.

Stephen Goldsmith was elected to a three-year term as Selectmen and numerous elections and appointments were made to various Boards such as the Planning Board, School Board, Budget Committee, Board of Health and School Fund Trustees. State Senator Lisa Keim came to give an update on both road and school funding. The many 'frost heaves' throughout the region were discussed at length.

The remaining Articles met with minimal discussion, were quickly approved and the Town Meeting was over just before noon.

A great New England tradition continued for another year!

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2020 Kezar Realty Calendars

    Happy New Year! The 2019 edition of the Kezar Realty magnet calendar is now available.

    I will be sending the calendars out via mail and they will also be on the counters  in local stores  Or pick one up at the Kezar Realty office. You may also send me an email at stan@kezarrealty.com and I will be happy to drop one in the mail for you.

    This year's aerial photo is used with the permission of Kirk Erickson of      MaineScape Media (mainescapemedia.com, kirk@mainescapemedia.com, 207-330-0828).

    As always, not only is the calendar functional but it sure dresses up your refrigerator!

Toys for Tots

Marine Toys for Tots Program

Kezar Realty is proud to serve as a collection point for this year's 'Marine Toys for Tots Program'. You can drop off unwrapped toys here at the office (224 Main Street, Lovell). If no one is here, feel free to leave them at the front door. The last day for collection will be December 13th. The Toys for Tots charity began in 1947 and annually delivers more than 18 million toys to needy families. Find out more about the program here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Bowls & Brews!

Calling all Chili and Chowder aficionados! The Second Annual Bowls & Brews will be held on Saturday, November 9th from 4-6 pm at the Lovell VFW Hall on Smart's Hill Road. This event will provide an opportunity for both professional and amateur chefs to compete for top awards and bragging rights.

Bowls & Brews donates all profits to MSAD 72's Sunshine Backpack Food Program. This Program sends weekend food home to children in need in the three elementary schools within the system.

Residents, businesses and organizations throughout western Maine and Mt Washington Valley are invited to participate. There are two distinct categories: People's Choice and Judges' Favorites. Special awards will be given to all winners.

Building on last year's large and enthusiastic turnout, the well-known musical trio of Dave Kobrenski, Jed Wilson and Craig Bryan will be playing.

Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and under. In addition to the variety of great chili and chowder, a number of Maine craft breweries will have their beer available for tasting. This lineup includes: Atlantic Brewery -- Bar Harbor; Rock Harbor Brewing -- Rockland; Lake St. George Brewing -- Liberty; Norway Brewing -- Norway; Saco River Brewing -- Fryeburg and Oxbow Brewing-- Newcastle.

And local bakers will be contributing delicious deserts for the popular bake sale!

For more information regarding the Second Annual Bowls & Brews, please contact Stan Tupaj at 207-925-1500 or stan@kezarrealty.com. Click here to print an entry form.

      

2019 Lovell Old Home Days 5k Run

 

How could this be the 15th year! Come join the fun and sign up for the 15th Annual Lovell Old Home Days 5k Run Saturday, July 20th! As always, runners lead the parade on a fun and fast course down Route 5 and ending at the Lovell Athletic Field. A second water table will be on the course, just past the VFW on Smarts Hill Road. Great prizes and t-shirts to the first 100 registered runners. Register early to guarantee your t-shirt designed by Fryeburg Academy student Grace Marshall.

Click here to register online.

2019 Kezar Lake Ice Out

It is official — 2019 Ice-Out on Kezar Lake is today, April 29th. The determination is made by Lovell’s resident expert, John Bacchiocchi. Some sun and rain over the past few days helped to open up the North End.

The State of Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Land uses the following to establish the date: “Ice Out” is defined for this webpage as when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other. There may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline in some areas, but when a person can traverse the entire waterbody without being stopped by ice floes we will consider the ice to be out.

To see the list of Ice-Out dates around the state, click hereFor a list of ice-out dates in Maine from 2003-2018, click here. For a historical New England list, including Kezar Lake, that dates back to 1901, click here.

Now, who will be going for a swim on Memorial Day?

2019 Lovell Town Meeting

Resident Steve Bender makes a point about Shoreland Zoning

Lovell Town Meeting, March 2, 2019

Nothing like a couple of hot-button issues to draw a record crowd to Lovell’s historic Town Hall for the Annual Town Meeting on March 2nd. Close to 150 people were in attendance with many forced to stand throughout the proceedings as all of the seats were occupied.

Months of Planning Board meetings, a public hearing and a citizen’s petition led to a vote on whether the town should retain Lovell’s more restrictive shoreland zoning issue or to revert back to the state’s minimum standards. Moderator Jon Bliss orchestrated an orderly discussion in which proponents from each side of the issue were permitted to speak. Voting was by paper ballot and with a vote that was not very close (76-50), residents voted to retain the town’s more restrictive shoreland ordinance.

A proposed zoning ordinance to prohibit all retail marijuana establishments generated some discussion but, in the end, was approved. The new ordinance prohibits all retail sales as well as any cultivation.

There was a very close vote for the open selectman seat vacated by Turf Ramsden. A difference of only five votes separated the two candidates. Retired tax collector Janice Arsenault won with 68 votes while Jack Jones garnered 63. All in attendance gave Turf a rousing round of applause to thank him for his years of service.

The remaining articles met with minimal discussion, were approved quickly and the meeting was over by 12:30. Still plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful winter’s afternoon.

Another Lovell Town Meeting in the books.