May 22,2020 (Week 3) Newsletter (COVID-19)

Bristol Notes - May 22, 2020 (Week 3)

For the Bristol Selectmen:

Chris Hall, Town Administrator


This weekend, although the Damariscotta Memorial Day parade is cancelled, commerce is returning to our part of Maine as businesses open up. Restaurants and most other businesses are permitted to reopen in rural Maine counties, subject to rules about distancing and careful cleaning. We are taking a gamble – betting on the common sense and courtesy of people to keep themselves and their neighbors safe.

Overall, the shutdown and social distancing is working reasonably here, so far. The County’s total of Covid-19 cases has risen by three, to 18, since last week’s newsletter. The first local patient has been hospitalized (not at Miles). The real test will be over the next month as people inevitably begin to let down their guard. Alfred Ajami’s weekly Covid-19 graphs are on Page 4.

REOPENING NEWS

Bristol Town Office:

The town office will reopen to the public on Monday, June 1st. People entering the building will be asked to wear a face mask, and there will be a limit of not more than four people doing business (or waiting) in the office at a time. To meet with Code Enforcement Officer Joe Rose, or to apply for a marriage license (the paperwork for which can take some time), please call for an appointment: 563-5270. Most routine business can be done online, at BristolMaine.org.

Bristol Parks:

Pemaquid Beach Park will now officially open on Friday, June 19th, the Parks Commissioners decided this week. Food service and changing rooms will be available in the new pavilion, which will be so much easier to keep disinfected than the old. There will be a limit on the number of people in each changing area at one time. On the beach, social distancing must be strictly observed or Parks staff will ask people to leave.

Pemaquid Lighthouse Park is open effective May 21st. There is a one-way system for visitors to the Fishermen’s Museum, with only one family or individual in each room at a time. The Art Gallery opens on July 1st.

Residents and Bristol taxpayers can renew their park passes ($5) at the ticket booths at both parks. If you need a new or replacement pass ($8), the Ellingwood Information Center in Bristol Mills will be staffed 7 days a week, 9 am to 4 pm, beginning June 1st to take your photograph and issue a temporary pass good until the photo ID is ready.

Old Bristol Days, set for August 15 and 16, has sadly been cancelled. It is just not possible to practice social distancing at a festive event such as this, and Colonial Pemaquid State Park cannot permit a gathering of over 50 people.

Restaurants reopening:

Shaw’s Fish & Lobster Wharf on New Harbor reopens today, Friday May 22nd, for takeout. Inside and outside dining, subject to social distancing rules, begins on June 1st. Daily hours are 11.30 am to 8 pm. (207) 677-2200.

Deb’s Bristol Diner, in Bristol Mills, also reopens today (6 am to 2 pm) for both eat-in and carry-out. There’s a new menu, the interior has had an attractive makeover which will make social distancing possible, and there are picnic tables outside on the green by the watering trough. (207) 563-8005.

The Seagull Shop by the lighthouse park is also opening, for its 73rd season, on May 22nd.  Tim Norland writes: “Beginning Friday May 22nd there will be outside service at the picnic tables, weather permitting, 8am to 3pm, 7 days a week. Reservations are recommended.

 “Starting June 1st we will add limited indoor dining. Some tables have been removed from our dining room to allow for social distancing, so reservations are requested. We will begin offering dinner when demand is better known.

“Since many of us are returning to Maine over the next weeks we will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days per the Maine Governor's order. To help make your stay at home a bit more enjoyable the Seagull will be offering delivery service to customers in the Pemaquid Point and New Harbor area.” To order call (207) 677-2374.

Also at the point, The Bradley Inn reopens for indoor dining today, May 22nd – Friday and Saturday evenings for the time being, reservations for the Tavern Room from 5 pm and the Dining Room from 6 pm, also back deck tables outside subject to weather. (207) 677-2105.

Pemaquid Seafood restaurant is open as of Thursday, May 21, 12 noon to 7 pm, seven days a week. There is limited inside seating but most people prefer the outside picnic tables with a fabulous view of Pemaquid Harbor. Bring your own bottle! (207) 677-2642.

Across the harbor, The Contented Sole also opens Friday 22nd for the season. This Memorial Day weekend, hours are 5-9 pm Friday; 11.30 am – 9 pm Saturday – Monday. They say, “we will revisit the schedule weekly going forward.” Reservations, call (207) 677-3000.

Further afield, the Damariscotta River Grill, King Eider’s Pub, The Penalty Box and Moody’s Diner are all now open. Reservations are required. Newcastle Publick House are open for take-out only at present. Schooner Landing and Savory Maine are open for takeout and both have outside waterfront tables. Please call ahead.

If you still prefer fine dining at home, the best selection of fine wines on the peninsula, as well as oysters, cheeses and deli items, can be found at The Walpole Barn, on Route 129 just opposite the Walpole Meeting House Road. (It’s my great sorrow that they are just on the wrong side of the Bristol – South Bristol town line….) During May they are open for curbside pickup and free local delivery only, Thursday to Saturday. Starting in June they will be open Monday – Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-5. (207) 563-7050.

Unfortunately the Harbor Room may not be reopening for some time. There are rumors of a sale to a new owner, and hopefully there will be good news soon.

Travelers from outside Maine are asked to please respect the 14-day self-quarantine period. The same 14-day period applies when you travel (or return) to other New England states.  There has been much pressure from tourism-dependent businesses in Maine to lift the quarantine, but equal counter-pressure from other businesses and the public to keep and enforce it. As of the date of this issue, there is no end date set for the self-quarantine rule. It is likely that it will be lifted in coordination with other New England states.

Bristol Area Library

Librarian Jackie Bennett writes: “The Bristol Area Library is making every effort to serve our patrons and the community while keeping them and our staff and volunteers safe.  At this time we feel that offering curbside pickup is the safest option.

“Requests can be made by emailing ([email protected]) or leaving a voice message (677-2115). The library's collection can be searched online through our website (bal.tidewater.net) and the WiFi (BAL) is always accessible from the parking lot.  Every attempt will be made to answer your messages promptly and set up a convenient time.  72 hours is currently the recommended time a book needs to be quarantined.  We ask that you wear gloves when picking up your bag and set the bag aside for 3 days. All materials need to be returned through the bookdrop.

“As June approaches, in addition to curbside, we plan to start offering walk-in borrowing by appointment. We will need to limit the number of people and the time they spend inside the library building.  Borrowers will need to wear face masks and will be asked to use hand sanitizer. We appreciate your patience.  New information will be posted to our website regularly.”

Congratulations to the Old Bristol Historical Society

On Thursday, May 21, ownership of the Pemaquid Mill was transferred from the Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust (CRCT) to the Old Bristol Historical Society. This marks the end of the first stage of the preservation of the historic mill, which began in late 2017 when Hammond Lumber offered the property for sale. $400,000 was raised in the community in a remarkably short time, for both the purchase and the remediation of pollution, thanks to the good offices of CRCT who effected the purchase on behalf of the community. CRCT keeps a conservation easement, and OBHS has developed a plan to restore and open the building as a museum. More next issue!

Alfred Ajami’s latest Covid-19 graphs, as of Thursday. Not grounds for complacency.

Ajami Graph

Need help this summer? Here are some newer local resources that you may find useful:

Here4U – John Corson, phone 207 350-7284: driving to appointments, or for pickups; light housekeeping; lawn and garden care and general caretaking in the Pemaquid – New Harbor area.

SeaCreek, LLC – Nick Melehov, phone 207 560-7186: lawn care, handy man jobs, pressure washing, junk removal, plus winter plowing. Especially in the Walpole – Bristol Mills area.

Professional Computer Services – Nijel Terry, phone 207 380-7881: computer problem-solving and repair, by the hour or by annual contract, in person or over the net. Based Bristol Mills: serving everywhere on the peninsula. [email protected]

Thank you to all who have donated to Bristol’s Worthy Poor Fund. Sixty-two generous people have sent a total of $25,640 to date! In addition to direct assistance to a number of applicants, this has enabled the Town to supply $100 prepaid grocery cards for Reilly’s Market to families using the New Harbor Food Pantry.
For more information on any of the matters touched on in this report, please email Chris Hall at [email protected]. Stay home and stay safe!