On Deck, a sports calendar for May 26, 2016

BASEBALL HAMPDEN — The Hampden RH Foster American Legion Baseball Team will hold tryouts at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Bordick Park in Hampden. Players ages 15 to 19 from Hampden Academy, Nokomis Regional High School, and Hermon High School, are eligible to try out. Contact Pete Huston at …

BASEBALL HAMPDEN — The Hampden RH Foster American Legion Baseball Team will hold tryouts at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Bordick Park in Hampden. Players ages 15 to 19 from Hampden Academy, Nokomis Regional High School, and Hermon High School, are eligible to try out. Contact Pete Huston at …

On Deck, a sports calendar for May 26, 2016

BASEBALL HAMPDEN — The Hampden RH Foster American Legion Baseball Team will hold tryouts at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Bordick Park in Hampden. Players ages 15 to 19 from Hampden Academy, Nokomis Regional High School, and Hermon High School, are eligible to try out. Contact Pete Huston at …

BASEBALL HAMPDEN — The Hampden RH Foster American Legion Baseball Team will hold tryouts at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Bordick Park in Hampden. Players ages 15 to 19 from Hampden Academy, Nokomis Regional High School, and Hermon High School, are eligible to try out. Contact Pete Huston at …

Obama to lay out vision for Vietnam ties after ending arms ban

HANOI — U.S. President Barack Obama is set to lay out more of his plan for a stronger alliance with Vietnam on Tuesday, after scrapping an arms ban that was the last big hurdle between two countries drawn together by concern over China’s military buildup. The removal of a vestige …

HANOI — U.S. President Barack Obama is set to lay out more of his plan for a stronger alliance with Vietnam on Tuesday, after scrapping an arms ban that was the last big hurdle between two countries drawn together by concern over China’s military buildup. The removal of a vestige …

Obama to lay out vision for Vietnam ties after ending arms ban

HANOI — U.S. President Barack Obama is set to lay out more of his plan for a stronger alliance with Vietnam on Tuesday, after scrapping an arms ban that was the last big hurdle between two countries drawn together by concern over China’s military buildup. The removal of a vestige …

HANOI — U.S. President Barack Obama is set to lay out more of his plan for a stronger alliance with Vietnam on Tuesday, after scrapping an arms ban that was the last big hurdle between two countries drawn together by concern over China’s military buildup. The removal of a vestige …

Baltimore police officer acquitted in Freddie Gray death

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was acquitted Monday of all charges in the 2015 death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the second setback for prosecutors in a case that triggered rioting and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, who heard the …

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was acquitted Monday of all charges in the 2015 death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the second setback for prosecutors in a case that triggered rioting and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, who heard the …

Baltimore police officer acquitted in Freddie Gray death

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was acquitted Monday of all charges in the 2015 death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the second setback for prosecutors in a case that triggered rioting and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, who heard the …

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero was acquitted Monday of all charges in the 2015 death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the second setback for prosecutors in a case that triggered rioting and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, who heard the …

Interactive: population change in Maine towns, 2010-2015

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau on population growth among Maine’s municipalities indicate a growing urban-rural divide, with population growth limited to greater Portland.

Newly-released local population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that much of the state is losing population, but those losses are being offset by growth in a relatively small cluster of cities and towns in greater Portland.

Nationally, the population grew 4.1 percent during the five-year period, to 321.4 million people. In Maine, the overall population grew by only 967 people over the 5-year period – an increase of less than one-tenth of one percent.

Cumberland County had the strongest population growth over the period, gaining 8,303 residents for a total of 289,977 as of July 1, 2015, a growth rate of 3 percent since 2010. York County grew 2 percent, to 201,169. The Census Bureau estimates that Aroostook County, whose population was estimated to be 68,628 as of July 1, 2015, is Maine’s fastest-shrinking county, with a population loss of 3,242 people since the 2010 Census (a growth rate of -4.5 percent).

Mouse over the map to explore town-by-town estimates. Or scroll down to explore different regions in greater detail.

 

Greater Portland

Portland grew from an estimated population of 66,194 on July 1, 2010 to an estimated 66,881 on July 1, 2015, an increase of just over 1 percent. Other cities in the southern part of the state also saw growth, including Saco (up 3.2 percent), Westbrook (up 2.8 percent) and Scarborough (up 4.1 percent).

Maine’s 10 fastest-growing cities and towns

Town
2010 population
2010-2015 gain
Windham
17,001
815
Falmouth
11,185
803
Gorham
16,381
800
Scarborough
18,919
772
Portland
66,194
687
Saco
18,482
596
S. Portland
25,002
554
Waterville
15,722
539
Cumberland
7,211
420
Westbrook
17,494
392


 

Greater Bangor and Northern Maine

In northern Maine, cities mostly had declining populations, including Presque Isle, where the population dropped 5.4 percent from 2010 to 2015, and Bangor, where the population declined 2.0 percent. Central Maine cities also lost population – especially Augusta, which lost 3.5 percent of its population over the 5-year period.

In the Bangor area, population gains in the suburbs of Hermon, Ellsworth and Orono were largely offset by losses in the cities of Bangor and Brewer, which together lost an estimated 898 residents in the 2010-2015 period.

Municipalities with the 5 largest population losses, 2010-2015

Town
2010 population
2010-2015 loss
Augusta
19,136
-665
Bangor
33,039
-648
Presque Isle
9,692
-521
Lewiston
36,592
-390
Caribou
8,189
-373


 

Small towns, big impact

Another view of the data looks at population gains and losses in terms of annual percentage rates, which gives an idea of population changes on a per-capita basis. This emphasizes the effects of population gains and losses in comparatively small towns. For instance, Hope, in Knox County, gained 135 new residents between 2010 and 2015 – which means that for every 100 residents who lived in Hope in 2010, there were nearly 9 newcomers in 2015.

By contrast, Portland’s 687 new residents, in a city of 66,881, add up to a paltry 1 percent growth rate over five years.

5 fastest-growing towns, relative to current population

Town
2010 population
2010-2015 gain
2010-2015 growth rate
Waldo
762
80
10.5%
Hope
1,536
135
8.8%
Falmouth
11,185
803
7.2%
Hermon
5,416
383
7.1%
Cumberland
7,211
503
7.0%


Census estimates of population changes in such small towns are less statistically reliable than for larger towns,
and so this list excludes towns with fewer than 500 residents, such as Burlington in Penobscot County,
where the estimate of 55 new residents out of an estimated 418 would have yielded a 15.2 percent growth rate.

Eco-friendly lawns sprout up as a healthy alternative

Certain broadleaf plants and grass clippings add to a nutrient mix that keeps lawns healthier naturally.

Eco-friendly lawns are sprouting up across America as property owners realize they can get better results for less work and money. Some are getting improved drought resistance, too.

“We have to change our mindset about what our lawns should be,” said Tom Tiddens, plant health care supervisor at the Chicago Botanic Garden. “Some people don’t want to see a weed in their lawn. Although adding broadleaf plants will change its (manicured) look, it also will attract pollinators and reduce the need for chemicals.”

Lawns, traditional or otherwise, need suitable environments in which to grow, but many homeowners don’t even know what kind of grass they have, Tiddens said.

“They may be growing lawns in places where it’s not going to work for them,” he said. “If they’re growing under maple trees, for example, they’re asking for trouble.”

A typical eco-lawn is a combination of turf grass varieties with broadleaf plants such as white clover, which supplies nitrogen to the roots, said Alec Kowalewski, a turf grass specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Yarrow can be added for drought tolerance, along with flowering plants like baby blue eyes, English daisy, chamomile, California poppy and creeping thyme. They are tough enough to tolerate family activities, yet require less effort to keep up, he said.

“The kinds of turf seed used varies from location to location; for instance, perennial ryegrass in moderate climates, fine fescue in shady environments, tall fescue in warm, sunny areas,” Kowalewski said.

Both eco-lawns and regular lawns can be organic: “meaning you fertilize with organic products and don’t apply pesticides,” he said. “Both eco-lawns and traditional lawns require mowing.”

Homeowners can take the environmental middle ground if they don’t want to go completely organic, Tiddens said.

“Organic is a squishy word, anyway,” he said. “Anything we can do to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers makes things in the yard more friendly. Go to spot spraying rather than area-wide (chemical) applications.”

Try to manage your lawn in a way that encourages health and vigor, which out-competes weeds and resists pests, he said.

Even simple things can help. Consider:

• Mowing height and frequency. Tall grass, or anything from 2½ to 3 ½ inches, needs less water. Mowing frequency depends on how much flowering is desired and whether rain has encouraged heavy growth.

• Mulching. “Get a mulching mower,” Tiddens said. “You reduce the need for fertilizers by 20 percent by returning grass clippings to the ground.”

• Chemicals. Only use pesticides or herbicides when pests or weeds are at a higher-than-desired level. Even then, limit their use.

• Irrigation. Irrigate deeply and infrequently, about 1 inch of water per week.

• Aerator. “An aerator pulls plugs from the soil of a lawn about the size of your thumb,” Tiddens said. “That helps improve rooting, irrigation, and improves the health of the lawn. It helps especially when you’re not dealing with good soils. It perks the lawn up.”

Wednesday’s Bangor-Hampden softball summary

High school softball BANGOR 9, HAMPDEN ACADEMY 2 Hampden Acad. (5-4) 001 001 0 — 2 6 2 Bangor (7-2) 103 104 x — 9 16 2 Hatch and Dysart; Bragg and Payne E: Leland, Scott; Gilmore 2; 2B: none; Gilmore, Conner, Bishop, Bezgembluk; 3B: none; Payne; HR: none; Bragg …

High school softball BANGOR 9, HAMPDEN ACADEMY 2 Hampden Acad. (5-4) 001 001 0 — 2 6 2 Bangor (7-2) 103 104 x — 9 16 2 Hatch and Dysart; Bragg and Payne E: Leland, Scott; Gilmore 2; 2B: none; Gilmore, Conner, Bishop, Bezgembluk; 3B: none; Payne; HR: none; Bragg …