The season is upon us. The first events of the 2017 summer season have occurred. Check out the Calendar for upcoming events. The Gallery Page already has photos of happenings this spring. The June 2017 issue of the High Tide has been delivered this week by our volunteer Street Captains, along with the Tide Chart. A copy of the High Tide is on the High Tide page. Let us know if you did not receive either or need another copy. Copies will be available at the organizational meeting this Friday, June 30.
We have made some structural and style changes to this website which we hope you find helpful. The Events page is now the Calendar Page with all the dates filled out with scheduled events. Most of the links are now popups, keeping you on the website.
Welcome Back Potluck Dinner
The annual Welcome Back Dinner was held this past Saturday. Thanks to Lisa Jesmain and her volunteers for hosting this event. "How was your winter?" was the question du jour as members caught up on news of their neighbors, friends, and the Beach. As usual the food; salads, main courses, and desserts, provided by the members was delicious. Roger Chabot presented Stephanie Cox of Project Grace, a check for $2,800. The money was raised at the silent Auction held a few weeks prior. Pictures of the event are on the Gallery Page.
Higgins Beach Zoning Audit Meeting
The meeting was held Sunday June 11 at the clubhouse. Residents of the Beach dropped in to see and hear the experience of the first year of the new Character Zoning at Higgins Beach. Members of the Consulting team and Town Officials were on hand to discuss what they learned from the past year and heard from the residents what they did and didn't like. Most of the feedback from the residents was positive. The Code was designed mainly for the core of the Beach with fifty by one hundred foot lots. There are some unusual and unique lots on the periphary of the beach that will require more discussion. More information can be found on the Town website HERE. Some photos of the meeting are on the Gallery Page.
Silent Auction Raises $2800 For Project Grace
Over 80 members attended the annual Silent Auction and Hors D'oeuvres evening. Members brought tasty appetizers and delicious desserts. Sandwiches were provided by Rodney Laughton of the Breakers, and wine provided by HBA. There were many interesting and competitive items up for bid. Some of the items included tickets for Red Sox and Sea Dog baseball games, Golf at three area courses plus a golf lesson. There were dinners at area restaurants and a two night stay at the Higgins Beach Inn. A number of gift certificates at area businesses were bid, and a historic tour of Higgins Beach and Prouts Neck, and of course a ride in the famous "Talking Car". A total of $2600 was raised for Project Grace. Stephanie Cox of Project Grace addressed the gathering enumerating all the work that is done to help people in need in our area. Thanks go to Maura Gwyer and Amy Prue and their volunteers for organizing and hosting this event. There are some pictures from the evening on the Gallery Page.
Higgins Beach Inn Opens Under New Management
Peter Twachtman, Phil Kromemthol, Jesse Henry, Jed Porta, Inn Mgr. Sidonie Rodman
Our members Bob Westburg and Diane Garofalo recently sold the Inn to the Migis Group. Over the winter some significant changes were made to the Inn and new restaurant, Shade. Walking in the front door, gone is the formal dining room to right, replaced by guest rooms. One room includes the porch as a sitting area. All the rooms now have private baths and are tastefully decorated in pleasing colors.
Gone, sort of, is the deck. A permanent roof was placed over the deck and side curtains will be placed around the perimeter to provide 3 season use. Heaters will be installed in the ceiling to provide warmth on cool spring and fall evenings. A larger bar with seating has been added. On the back wall of the bar is a mural of the façade of the Inn.
A link to their website is provided HERE and on our Links page. There you can find the new breakfast and dinner menus, plus other Inn information.
On Thursday evening, June 8, the new owners and staff provided an open house BBQ for over 300 residents of Higgins Beach. The event included tours of the Inn, live music provided by The Delta Knights Band, and food, drinks, and dessert. The Inn is now considered officially open. Pictures of this event are on the Gallery page.
A link to an article in the Scarborough Leader providing more background and information is HERE.
Higgins Beach merchandise will be avaiable to purchase each Wednesday morning at Donuts. Merchandise will also be available at the Organizational meeting Friday June 30th.
Article on the surge of new apartment housing in Scarborough
There is an article from the Portland paper on the surge in new apartment housing in Scarborough. Read the article on the Civic page.
Meeting with Town and Police on the 2016 Season
The HBA Civic Committee recently met with the Town manager and the Police to review 2016. Those results are on the Civic Page.
Higgins Beach Zoning Repair Wins Award
This story was taken from the Town of Scarborough Newsletter and is on the Beach page.
Higgins Beach Zoning Repair
ARCH Daily, the world's most visited architectural website, has published an article titled "How to Foster Civic Engagement in the Age of Twitter". The article describes the process used by the Town and its consultants in coming up with a set of zoning rules specifically for Higgins Beach. Those of us who participated will recognize some of the elements of the process. The article describes other communities around the country following the same process. You can read the article HERE.
Fourth of July Parade
The theme for the 2017 Parade is "Simple Red, White, and Blue".
Maine Healthy Beaches
Maine Healthy Beaches - Higgins Beach
Higgins Beach is part of the Maine Healthy Beaches Program. Water is tested weekly, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, for the presence of enterococci bacteria which is an indicator of fecal contamination. Maine Healthy Beach signs are posted at all beach entrances.
Trained volunteers, including some high school students, take samples of the water at various locations along the beach. The samples are sent to a lab and if there is a high bacteria level, advisory signs and a warning flag are posted at the beach entrances. Results are also available on the Maine Healthy Beach website.
The Spurwink River is the primary source of enterococci bacteria on Higgins beach and a Contamination Advisory is posted all summer for the river. Some other sources of enterococci bacteria include bathers, waterfowl, dogs, and runoff. Enterococci bacteria can also be found in seaweed and sand as well as in the water.
There are two types of Beach Advisories:
Rainfall Advisories: These are posted at Higgins whenever there is more than an inch of rain. Higgins Beach has a history of high levels of enterococci bacteria after a significant rainfall.
Contamination Advisories: These are posted whenever the bacteria in the water exceeds an Environmental Protection Agency standard for water contact.
It is recommended that all water contact be avoided when an advisory is in place due to the possibility of illness.
Look for These Advisory Signs if conditions warrant
Posted at Beach Entrances
Click on the Healthy Beach link below for more information
"The old wreck down by the river has been a part of the scenery here at Higgins Beach so long that most folks just take it for granted. But there are some of us who can remember when it wasn't there and when it came. Way back in 1897, August 11, that was a bad, bad night-foggy! It was so thick it looked as if the space between earth and sky was stuffed with gray-white cotton.
"A bunch of "us kids" rode over to Bowery Beach on our bicycles to a square dance that evening. It was clear when we started; but when the dance was over and we set out for home, it was so foggy we were afraid of running into each other on the river coming down Meeting House Hill and across Spurwink. However, we made it without a mishap. About two o'clock my mother was awakened by loud curdling noises out towards the water, but she could see nothing. When morning came and the fog cleared, we saw a three-masted schooner stationed well inshore near the first point in the river. It was a beautiful ship-majestic-setting there as if at anchor. She didn't look at all like a wreck with a big hole in her hull.
"It was the Howard W. Middleton, strongly built of white oak and yellow pine in 1882 at Camden, New Jersey-a really noble ship. It had left Philadelphia on August 2 with 894 tons of coal for Peter Nickerson and Company in Portland. Captain Shaw was trying to make Richmond Island Harbor inside the breakwater to lay over till morning. Instead, he ran onto that rock near the mouth of the Spurwink. On our geodetic map that rock is charted simply as "obstruction" and it is only about 28 feet (8.5 m) deep there. If you stand at the foot of Champion Street at a very low tide, you may see the top of the rock beneath a breaker. You can always see a breaker there a couple of hours before and after dead low water.
"Well, there was lots of excitement! The crew came ashore and talked with the residents. Tugs from Portland Harbor plied the water for days taking off coal. She had soft coal in her lower hold and hard coal between decks. On August 12th, she was declared a total loss and was placed in the hands of the underwriters. People began to pick up coal on the beach by the buckets and barrels. Mrs. Kenney remembers that her father drove over from Westbrook with a cart and got two tons of coal for winter.
"People were eager for souvenirs, of course, and many of us remember when some big boys stole the ship's bell. But the Captain or the Sheriff made them return it to the Captain. "There she stayed on the rocks, pretty as a picture (although she was really broken in two), all the rest of August and was there when we left in September. Sometime that following winter a storm broke her up and washed her ashore where she now lies. There is a piece of it in the river, too, which can be seen at low tide. There are always changes around the old wreck. Years ago there was quite a big swimming pool around the ocean end of it with water as deep as eight feet near the boat. A twelve year old boy was drowned there one summer.
"Some years the ribs of the hull stand up head high above the beach and perhaps the next year they will be buried in the sand. For years we picked up beautiful iridescent pieces of coal showing red, green, and blue; and even now you may find a lone piece from the old Howard W. Middleton. A few people have a picture of this boat on paper weights. These pictures were taken from the beach and showed this proud, three-masted vessel in her last days of beauty.
"P.S. In talking with several people, I found that my memory did not agree with theirs. I had the date wrong and I couldn 't think of the name, but I did remember the number of tons of coal. However all the facts herein have been verified by the old newspaper records of August 11 and 12, 1897."
The Howard W. Middleton aground 1897
The Wreck Today
What to do when a Seal or Seal Pup is stranded on Shore
Call Marine Mammals of Maine
More information here
Gallery Page - June 26, 2017
High Tide Page - June 23, 2017
Links Page - June 9, 2017
Event Page - March 16, 2017
Civic Page - January 25, 2017
Beach Page - December 17, 2016
Organizational Meeting - June 30
Parade - July 4
Don Campbell Concert - July 25
Wednesday Donuts 9:00AM
Starting June 21
HBA urges you to bring your own coffee mug to reduce costs and help the environment
Bridge Mondays at 1:00PM
Starting July 10
Contact David Haskell 207-885-9958
Concert On The Lawn July 25, 2017 - 7:00PM
HB Open Golf
July 27, 10:30AM at Nonesuch
August 3, 10:30AM at Dunegrass Golf Club
August 10, 10:30AM at Valhalla
Contact Tom Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Clubhouse Use For Members Only
Mid-May to Mid-Oct
Contact Sue Naiden for Details
There are many activities that the HBA organizes for our members. Most of the time it is the same people doing all the work. If you would like to help at any of our activities, contact a Board member or email us.
Want to be a Board Member
Contact Barbara Bombaci, Nominating Committee Chairperson. Each year three positions become open. See the By-Laws for more information and deadlines.