Passing of Capt. Ted Spurling of LCI.
From Hugh Dwelley:
"Capt. Ted Spurling, Sr. died at 10:10 this morning (Tuesday 27 Jan.). I'm sad, sad, sad... That's all that I can say."
From Kay Gibson:
"Thank you... for letting us know about Captain Ted. He was such a gentleman, and I loved corresponding with him. He always had a way of including with his messages a little history, a little bit of memory, and always mentioned Mrs. Spurling. They were so close that this will be very difficult for her. Their marriage defined the word love better than any I can think of.
Ted came to see us in Bass Harbor soon after Hannah II was launched, and typical of his style, he came bearing gifts he had made. A pull for our bell, a float for our key chain, both of which we use all the time.
A couple of years ago, Ted wrote a review of Dana's swordfish book [Charles Dana Gibson is Kay's husband -- BK] for the Island Institute's paper. It was a wonderful review, not because of what he had to say about the book but because he included a lot of history about his own experiences with fishing and swordfish as well as his father's experiences as a fisherman as well. He put those bits of history in, as he did with his letters, not for the purpose of casting light on himself but in order to put things into context and allow the reader to know that he wrote about the book with some authority.
I am afraid the world is losing people like Ted Spurling faster than we are creating them, and it is that loss which deepens my sadness of Ted's passing.
Please feel free to share this with others who also are today remembering an outstanding man and praying for those he left behind."
GCI Fitness Center Progress -- Implementing an idea first proposed by Richard Gaither earlier this year, the Futures Group will oversee the creation of a Fitness Center on Great Cranberry Island. The center will be in the basement of the Church. The Futures Group will arrange for heating, lighting, and electrical outlets to be installed for the exercise equipment. Donations of money or equipment will be gratefully accepted -- and are tax deductible, as the Futures Group is a 501(c)3 entity. The center is expected to be ready for use this summer, and will be open year-round.
What looks like a new 2-car garage has literally gone up in one day, constructed on Town property on Great Cranberry Island, where the dump bins had been last year. This structure will house a new trash compactor. The motorized parts of the compactor will be inside, protected from the elements, while the sealed crush-bin will extend outside, where it can be removed and carted off-island for emptying.
As you can well imagine, operating the compactor is hazardous. So islanders will not be able to "go to the dump" and throw away anything at any time, as we did previously. This year there will be posted hours when refuse will be accepted. A person from Ed Gray & Sons will be on hand at those times to open the building, and accept and sort through the "offerings" to deal with them appropriately, i.e. garbage, metal, newspaper, recyclables, etc. They will also operate the compactor as needed.
The new system is expected to save money in three ways. First, proper sorting of the garbage by a knowledgable attendant will save penalty fees imposed by the mainland dump sites when improperly-mixed materials are dumped. Second, crushing the garbage will save tremendously in trucking costs compared to the old system, which did not pack the old dump bins to capacity. Finally, since dump fees on the mainland are weight-based, there will be a slight savings as the crush-bin, although outside, is totally enclosed and will not collect rain water, like the old dump bins did.
Ed Gray informs me that he will also start an Island direct-benefit redemption center. Any deposit-bottles and cans will be separated from the garbage. No cash will be paid to the person who brings in these items. However, they will be redeemed on the mainland, and the proceeds so raised will be placed into a fund which will be paid out, at his discretion, to situations, persons, or organizations at need on Great Cranberry Island.
A similar arrangement for garbage and recycling, with a new building, compactor, Island direct-benefit redemption center, etc. is also being built on Islesford, behind the Fire House.
Walk-In Wireless Available on GCI! -- Karl Beiser, from the Maine State Library, today visited Great Cranberry Library bearing gifts: Walk-In Wireless equipment. Karl installed and tested the new wireless equipment, explaining all the settings and options to Ruth Westphal and Bruce Komusin.
The library now has free wireless service. Patrons with wireless laptops or PDAs can now view the internet and access e-mail by merely being "near" the library--either inside or outside. Tests show that the signal reaches outside at least as far as the playground, and also works sitting inside a car.
The connection is available even when the library is closed. It is active 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. [updated to 24 hour service in 2006 - BK]
This free service effectively augments the 4 fixed computer stations available inside the library, for patrons with their own portable computers. Two wireless adapter cards are available, on loan, for patrons with laptops without wireless capability built-in.
A new laptop is also part of the grant, but was not available for delivery today. It will be shipped to the library in about a week.
Telephone Service Upgrade -- Verizon engineers today started a project to upgrade Cranberry Isles telephone service to 21st century standards. A new fiber optic cable was laid under the Western Way, the first step in the process.
Plans call for new digital switching equipment to be installed on a cement pad just north of the Parsonage on Great Cranberry Island. Verizon is leasing a small 20' x 20' plot of land there, from the Ladies Aid.
When finished, the system should offer "pin drop" phone lines and high speed internet access for local residents.
click to enlarge photos
Digging a hole for a telephone pole. Phone wires will go from across the street to a new pole in that hole, then probably underground to the equipment pad, behind the Parsonage clothesline.