Thursday, September 27, 2001

Cape students respond to attacks

Published in the Current

At the September meeting of the Cape Elizabeth School Board, students and administrators spoke about the schools’ reactions to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

The Sept. 20 meeting, postponed from Sept. 11 due to the attacks, also saw this year’s first presentations from the high school and middle school student representatives to the board.

David Greenwood and Christopher Roy, seniors at Cape High School, said they were proud of the way the high school students responded to the terrorism. Some seniors donated blood at local blood drives, while others, including Greenwood and Roy, painted the rock on Rt. 77. The students also are looking to create a memorial for the emergency workers killed during rescue attempts.

Greenwood and Roy also reported the new administration is popular, saying new principal Jeff Shedd received an 89 percent approval rating in a Period C survey in the cafeteria.

Middle school representatives Brianna Bowen and Lily Hoffman said middle school students also were working to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, by collecting donations, holding a bake sale and selling ribbons.

Bowen and Hoffman also said Sally Foster Gift Wrap sales will begin Sept. 21 and continue through Oct. 4 to raise funds for the sixth and seventh grade outdoor experience trips.

In other business, the School Board also:
Received information about the college admissions and college choices of the Cape High School class of 2001. Ninety percent of the 112-member class is pursuing post-secondary education, 94 percent of whom are attending four-year colleges. Eight percent of the class is seeking employment or working prior to further education, and two percent are entering the military.

Heard the superintendent’s and principals’ reports on the opening of school, which
included reference to how the schools handled the issue of telling students about the
Sept. 11 attacks, and the students’ efforts to help victims. Pond Cove students are holding a penny drive; middle school students are selling ribbons; over 60 high school students have signed up for a brand-new Volunteer Club.

Heard the superintendent’s report on future direction planning and the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation.

Heard reports from the finance, policy and facilities subcommittees.

Approved new fall coaches for the middle school. Sarah Jordan will coach 8th grade
girls soccer. Tim Thompson will coach 7th grade girls soccer. Jeremy LaRose will coach 7th grade field hockey. Ben Putnam will be an assistant coach for 7th and 8th grade tennis.

Approved co-curricular fee positions throughout the district, including the senior
class advisor, high school student advisory council advisors, Bartleby advisor, and fall
art club advisor. Also appointed were the 7th grade representative to the student assistance team and several mentors for new teachers.

Received a request from teacher Andy Strout to defer his sabbatical for one year,
and a request from teacher Richard Rothlisberger to have a sabbatical for 2002-2003.

Noted that those who know men and women serving in the military should notify
board member Kevin Sweeney. A group of teachers and students has volunteered to
write them letters to keep their morale up.

The school board’s next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in the town council chambers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Verizon Online addresses complaints amid anti-spam battle

Published in Interface Tech News

PORTLAND, Maine ‹ After several months of concern, customers of the former Bell Atlantic have settled into new anti-spam security measures taken by New York-based Verizon Online. Verizon, the company resulting from the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, has been in the process of combining the two companies' policies.

Verizon Online introduced its New England and East Coast customers to a GTE policy of what it called "domain verification" for e-mail traffic being sent to its servers. When the new policy was introduced in mid-July, some customers were angered initially, but most concerns have since faded, according to company officials and industry Web sites covering the change.

Among those upset were Verizon DSL customers who hosted Web sites with companies other than Verizon. They wanted to send e-mail from addresses at their domains rather than their Verizon DSL-assigned address, from one of Verizon's domains, including,, and

The new security is not unique to Verizon, according to company spokeswoman Bobbi Hennessey. MSN and Earthlink have similar policies, she said.

It is intended to serve two purposes, Hennessey said: to ensure that people sending e-mail through Verizon servers are Verizon customers, and to help control spam.

Some critics say the change is not an effective means of achieving spam control.

"To even suggest that this is a move to prevent spam is a red herring," wrote Joseph Barisa on, a technology news site covering Macintosh and Internet developments.

InternetWeek recently reported that some Verizon customers are pleased with the change because it allows better system security.

Hennessey said the company has had positive feedback from some people, though not as many as have complained. The move is part of a series of updates to Verizon systems that will bring the former Bell Atlantic and GTE networks into a single integrated system.

"We're aware that there are many ways of doing this," Hennessey said. She added that the policy is one GTE had in place prior to the merger.

"This is simply the best way," Hennessey said. "There's a downside to everything you select."

Of the company's 60,000 DSL subscribers, only about 1,000 called to complain. She said most of the complaints were resolved with an explanation of modifying e-mail software settings to include the user's own domain, as well as the Verizon-authorized address.

Other customers began sending e-mail through their Web hosting company's servers, rather than Verizon's, she said.

Hennessey said Verizon is working on additional spam-proofing of its systems, but declined to describe the projects. The company is expected to make an official announcement in the coming weeks.

Monday, September 24, 2001

Clickshare moves toward large-scale micro-transacting

Published in Interface Tech News

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. ‹ Stepping up its support of Internet micro-transactions, Clickshare has brought a financial-services helper to the table: Multi Service Corporation, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan.

Clickshare's business is centered on micro-transactions, in which Internet users pay small amounts for specific pieces of content, such as an archived newspaper article or video clip. While many companies handle the transactions themselves, Clickshare not only moves the money, but also allows a user's registration at one member site to be valid at all other Clickshare member sites.

After the transactions, Clickshare makes sure the money gets funneled appropriately. Now Multi Service, a handler of private-label credit cards, will take care of the actual movement of money, in exchange for a cut of the transaction amount.

Forrester Research analyst James Crawford is skeptical about micro-transactions in the near term. "It's a technology in search of an audience," he said. "It's been an area that's seen a lot of activity and not a lot of success."

Name recognition is a big deal to consumers, Crawford said. He expects a micro-transaction standard to emerge, but not from small startups like Clickshare.

"It's going to come from a financial services provider," Crawford said. "Consumers just don't trust Internet startups."

ClickShare needs to process more than the $10,000 in daily transactions the company has cited as representative, Crawford added, noting that the company only retains a small percentage of each transaction.

"To be profitable, they're going to have to get orders of magnitude, more customers," Crawford said.

ClickShare CTO Richard Lerner said that is the company's major focus. "Mostly what we're doing is building up our network of clients," he said, adding that each client is a Web site with many regular viewers.

Lerner said the company has "about a dozen" live clients and is in talks with "a couple of dozen" more companies, serving what he called "potentially millions of registered users." He said the company does not have many registered users at the moment.

He hopes Multi Service's strengths will meet Clickshare's needs as it expands.

"They have a lot of expertise in handling financial matters and handling customer service," Lerner said.

Friday, September 21, 2001

$20 million adds voice recognition to Nexiq arsenal

Published in Interface Tech News

MANCHESTER, N.H. ‹ A late August infusion of nearly $20 million from its investors and Manchester-based Sunrise Capital Parters led off a round of partnership announcements for telematics hardware and software company Nexiq. The first, with Salt Lake City-based Fonix, will add voice-recognition and text-to-speech software to Nexiq's in-vehicle framework for integration of electronic devices.

According to company spokesman Brian Payne, the framework allows connection of personal devices such as mobile phones and PDAs to be connected to a car, allowing access to the devices through displays on the dashboard and the console often found between the front seats.

Payne said telematics also allows electronic diagnostics to be performed from remote locations. While it is commonplace for cars to have electronic components and require attention from mechanics using special devices, it is not yet common for managers of corporate truck and car fleets to keep track of their vehicles' maintenance schedules while they are on the road.

Payne added that telematics can be somewhat like the On-Star system currently offered in GM's top-line automobiles, in which drivers can press a button and ask for directions from their location to a restaurant, gas station, or other destination.

In a report published by TechMall, USB Warburg analyst Saul Rubin predicted the rapid expansion of telematics services and devices in the near future. He said vehicle manufacturers will likely brand their own telematics services, but will outsource the building of hardware and software to support it.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Small business tucked away in Cape Elizabeth

Published in the Current

Cape Elizabeth has a few storefront businesses, mainly found in the shopping plaza in the town center. But most of Cape’s businesses are less visible, though no less active, according to town business owners.

State law requires sole proprietorships and partnerships to register with the clerk’s office of the town in which they are based.

Corporations don’t need a town license, since their papers are on file with the state, according to Town Clerk Debra Lane.

Most of the businesses on file in the town office are service businesses, with a high concentration of design firms and financial consulting businesses. For those business owners, working from Cape Elizabeth is often as much of a lifestyle choice as anything else.

“In the graphics industry a lot of work can be done via the Internet,” said Kim McClellan of McClellan Graphic Services. She works out of her home, which enables her to adapt her schedule to her family.

“My hours are flexible,” she said. “It’s been really invaluable for me to work out of the house.”

Another home-based business is the Intelligent Design Enforcement Agency, run by Thomas and Candace Puckett. They are a writer and graphic-design team who lived in Washington, D.C., for years before moving to New England in search of a more laid back lifestyle.

“We live here for the beautiful scenery,” Thomas Puckett said.

With an office behind the house and one inside, the business isn’t exactly visible from the street.

“You would never know,” Puckett said.

High-speed Internet connectivity and reasonable shipping deadlines have enabled the Pucketts to work without much trouble.

Puckett called TimeWarner Cable’s RoadRunner Internet service “the spine of my business,” and said he has learned to work around the 4 p.m. FedEx deadline for overnight shipping.

Paulina Salvucci of Self Care Connection is also taking advantage of modern communications in her business. She is a personal coach for people coping with
chronic illness and those caring for them.

She sells her booklets and advertises her services on her business’s web site. It broadens her market base so that she can live in Maine and work with people all over the country.

“I love working at home,” Salvucci said. “It gives me a lot of freedom.”

She warned that there is a danger: “When you work at home, you can really overwork.”

She has set hours for the different tasks she needs to do, and has times of the day when she does things other than work. Even then, there are other challenges.

“You work in isolation unless you connect with other people,” Salvucci said.

She keeps in close touch with other professionals in her field, in Maine and elsewhere.

She loves living in Maine, and working in her Cape Elizabeth home office allows her to do that.

“I was one of those people who summered in Maine,” she said.

In 1979 she moved to Portland and eventually bought a house in the Cape. “I wanted someplace that was quiet and rural that was close to the city,” Salvucci said.

Businesses must file a form with the town clerk’s office and pay a one-time $10 fee, town clerk Lane said. When the business leaves town or dissolves, she said, the owner must notify the clerk. Home office businesses must also get a $50 permit from the town’s code enforcement officer.

Cape Fire Department raises $25,000 for NY relief effort

Published in the Current

In seven hours on Saturday, the town of Cape Elizabeth donated over $25,000 to help firefighters and rescue personnel in New York City.

Immediately upon hearing the news of Tuesday’s tragedies, the firefighters and rescue workers in Cape Elizabeth wanted to go to New York to help, said Fire Chief Philip McGouldrick.

“The frustration level was high,” he said. “They wanted to do something.”

McGouldrick checked with state emergency officials and learned that the rescue efforts had enough people. Cape’s crews are, he said, on a backup list if
they need more help down the road.

The department explored several options for fundraisers, but none of them seemed right. A bottle drive might have worked, if not for the recent Cape high school field hockey bottle effort.

Friday afternoon, McGouldrick said, Deputy Chief Peter Gleeson suggested a boot drive.

The department got approval from the town manager to do the drive, and on Saturday morning, members, the water extrication team and fire police fanned out across
town: by the town office building, at Fort Williams and near the town dump.

The major effort was in the parking lot next to the town building, McGouldrick said.

The idea was to have people pull off into the parking lot and give donations, he said. But traffic backed up, and firefighters headed out into the street with boots outstretched.

“The traffic got backed up a little but nobody seemed to mind,” McGouldrick said.

Donors, he said, were very generous.

“People would open their wallets and put all the money in,” he said. Donations included three $100 bills, and checks for $500, $300 and $100. Other donors
drove by again and again, dropping money in boots each time.

People responded well, McGouldrick said. “They were so happy that we were doing it.”

The effort was supported by several town children who set up their own fundraising sites and brought the money to the fire department, McGouldrick said.

The coins donated filled a five gallon bucket, he said.

“I’ve never seen so much change in my life,” McGouldrick said.

The coins have gone to be counted and are not included in the $25,000 total, McGouldrick said. The total includes only bills and checks.

The department is continuing to accept donations, but will not be soliciting on the town’s streets.

“The community gave and gave generously,” McGouldrick said.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Phone service snafu pits ISPs against Verizon

Published in Interface Tech News

CONCORD, N.H. ‹ Phone customers in New Hampshire have had problems getting telephone dial tones since 1999, leading to dangerous situations when even 911 is unreachable in some towns. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has been discussing the situation for two years and, despite the filing in May of a Verizon New Hampshire proposal that could alleviate the problem, the commission has not yet determined a course of action.

"We're still analyzing the filing," said PUC chief engineer Kate Bailey, who predicted there could be a technical review session before the commission rules on the proposal, and offered no projected timetable for a ruling.

High telephone circuit use has clogged some Verizon New Hampshire central office switches, causing dial-tone delays for outbound callers, fast busy signals for inbound callers, and, in some cases, lack of any dial tone.

The N.H. PUC requires that a dial tone be available within three seconds after a customer picks up a phone. If too many other phones are in use on the same circuit, this standard cannot be met.

The congestion, which the PUC, Verizon, and the New Hampshire Internet Service Providers Association (NHISPA) attribute primarily to increasing use of dial-up Internet services, has only worsened in the past two years. Verizon New Hampshire has been installing equipment at affected switching offices throughout the state and has been experiencing a form of rolling blackouts in the phone system: as congestion is eased in one place, another location becomes overloaded.

One proposed solution is for New Hampshire ISPs to reduce their use of dial-in, or "switch-side" access to the Internet, and move instead to higher-bandwidth, dedicated-circuit systems like DSL, which are called "trunk-side" services.

The ISPs like the idea, saying they do not presently have access to trunk-side lines. "We don't have alternatives to the dial-up. They're not cost-effective for us," said Brian Susnock, president of the Nashua, N.H.-based Destek Group.

Destek has a federal suit pending against Verizon New Hampshire alleging the company engaged in improper procedures regarding exceptions to standard tariffs.

Susnock said there are, however, cheap workaround products available from Verizon New Hampshire, including alarm circuits intended to maintain constant contact between a burglar alarm system and a security company or police station.

Susnock said those circuits are not engineered for data transmission, and can have reliability problems when carrying data, but he uses them anyway because they are so much cheaper.

The PUC's solution is for Verizon to sell so-called "dry copper loops" to ISPs for data traffic. In response to a PUC request, on May 29 Verizon New Hampshire filed a so-called "illustrative tariff" to show the PUC and others what a tariff for dry copper might look like.

The proposal, still being examined by the PUC, has come under fire from the ISPs for charging excessive service fees, being inconsistent with Verizon Online's pricing practices, and for being exclusionary to ISPs.

The proposal would allow Verizon New Hampshire to charge ISPs between $200 and $2,200 in one-time fees to condition a copper loop for data transmission.

Verizon spokesman Erle Pierce said removal of these devices is time-consuming and expensive. "It's a lot of work to go out and unload those copper pairs," he said. Susnock said there is no need for Verizon workers to remove hardware from existing cables, and said there is a database which will tell engineers whether dry copper lines already exist in an area.

"Are there records which will tell you whether a cable pair is loaded or unloaded? Absolutely," Pierce said, but said they are only available for lines which already carry Verizon New Hampshire voice traffic, not for cables which currently carry no traffic. And the records are available only to what Pierce called "authorized CLECs." Pierce added, "Generally speaking, [the ISPs] want all the advantages of being a regulated company, without the regulation."

Chip Sullivan, a lawyer for Destek and for the NHISPA, said the ISPs are willing to pay for access to Verizon's engineering database, but balked at having to pay Verizon $5,000 per month in registration fees, just to be able to place orders for dry copper. On June 6, the NHPUC agreed and waived the monthly fee.

As for the alleged pricing discrepancy, Verizon Online offers DSL service in New Hampshire for $49.95 per month, less than the $64 proposed monthly cost of dry copper Verizon New Hampshire proposes. The dry copper service does not include actual Internet access, Web hosting space or e-mail, which are included in Verizon Online's fee. Pierce said the price difference is because Verizon Online buys "pre-qualified" copper, which does not need to be unloaded, and gets volume discounts.

The proposal would also prevent ISPs from buying dry copper in areas where Verizon and collocated CLECS are offering DSL service. If ISPs were operating in an area and a CLEC extended service to that area, the ISPs would be cut off. In the proposed tariff, Verizon's justification is that the ISPs have no regulation and therefore could use non-standard protocols over their wires which would cause interference with the regulated companies' services.

While the PUC has been investigating and discussing the matter and its related issues for over two years, Sullivan said much of the wait has been due to understaffing at the PUC. The deadlines for commission responses to Verizon filings, he said, are "faster than staffing allows." And even Verizon filed its illustrative tariff in 60 days, rather than the 30 days ordered by the PUC on March 29. The PUC's order promised a response from the staff within 30 days of the filing, which was on May 29.

Because there is no timetable for the next step of the evaluation process, New Hampshire telephone customers will have to hope they have a dial tone when they pick up the phone to call 911.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Xanoptix rolls out fast optical switch

Published in Interface Tech News

MERRIMACK, N.H. ‹ As part of its work in miniaturizing switching components, Xanoptix has unveiled a collaborative effort with Camarillo, Calif.-based Vitesse Semiconductor to introduce a small 100+ Gbps optical-in, optical-out switch.

Xanoptix, which has based its business on parallel optical interconnections for the telecom and datacom markets, is increasing the density of available components for switching circuit boards, according to Harald Hamster, the company's vice president of marketing and business development.

In the space taken up by a 12-fiber interconnect, Hamster said, the new device, combining Xanoptix's XTM-1 optical transceiver and Vitesse's VSC838 36x36 crosspoint switch, can fit a 72-fiber interconnect.

At present, Hamster said, the hardware can only handle multi-mode fiber traffic, but the company is looking beyond this current limitation.

"We will certainly expand our offerings into other wavelength regimes," Hamster said.

The new device is entering beta testing and is expected to be available in early 2002, Hamster said. The companies demonstrated the combination product at the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference in Baltimore in early July.

Hamster called the demo a success, and said he got good response from potential buyers. "It shows we have a very real product and you can do real things," he said.

While the combination may work well, the marketing will still be carried out by both companies independently, Hamster said, though there may be some co-marketing.

The next step for Xanoptix is to carry the structure underlying the XTM-1 over to different optical wavelengths and longer-reaching systems.

Analyst Galen Schreck of Forrester Research is skeptical of the possibilities for Gigabit Ethernet. "We're still in the beginning phases," he said. "Once we get our protocols and applications lined up we'll be needing more high-bandwidth connections."

He expects the larger market to develop over the course of the next two to three years, though he is unsure whether Ethernet will maintain its dominance ‹ citing newcomers like InfiniBand, which will have some compliant components shipping in early 2002.

Schreck also said power and space constraints on switches aren't at a critical stage right now. "I don't see it being a widespread problem just yet," he said.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Blasts shake community’s peace of mind

Published in the Current

Radios and televisions in Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth were tuned to the same stations Tuesday morning. Even Burger King employees had the news on, rather than the energetic music that gets them through their shifts.

Aside from that, there was an unearthly silence. After-school activities were cancelled, government buildings around the country were closed, and even the Maine Mall in South Portland shut its doors. But perhaps the strangest view in Maine was overhead.

“It’s weird seeing no planes,” said Kim Mathieu of Scarborough.

Before the planes were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, two of the alleged terrorists flew on a U.S. Airways flight from Portland International Jetport to Boston, where
they boarded cross-country flights which were later hijacked, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Judy Hill of Maple Street in Scarborough works at the Oak Hill Dry Cleaners. One of her customers Tuesday dropped off his wife’s United Airlines flight attendant uniforms. She was safe
on the ground in Georgia. Everyone, who came in Hill said, was struck by
the tragedy.

“You just see their faces and the hurt,” Hill said.

She was stunned to hear the news just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

“I just had to take a deep breath and say a prayer,” she said. “I don’t know how those people are really going to get over this. It’s horrible.”

She was impressed by the efforts of rescue personnel in New York, and said President Bush faces a big challenge.

“I think President Bush has got a hard evening ahead of him,” she said.

Mathieu, whose brother is in New York, was concerned about what Bush and other leaders might decide.

“I don’t want to see anything crazy happen,” she said.

Her husband Tony echoed her concern, adding that the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. could lead to further terrorism.

“It makes me wonder how many people this is going to set off,” he said.

One person set off by the tragedy was Tim, who wore a Scarborough School Department uniform shirt but would not give his last name.

“We’ve been fighting these son-of-a-guns for years,” he said, insisting that the terrorism was the work of international agents bent on taking away Americans’ privately owned weapons.

“The United Nations is responsible for this whole thing,” he said.

Esther MacDuffie of Berry Road in Scarborough was more reserved.

“It’s very difficult to get an opinion because it’s so horrifying,” she said. Her son lives in New York and she hadn’t heard from him yet, because the phone lines were jammed.

She was concerned about security procedures, especially at airports.

“I feel as if somebody somewhere slipped up,” MacDuffie said.

A woman who asked to be identified only as Pamela was concerned less about what had happened than with what would.

“I’ll be interested to know what they do about it,” she said. “It’s a very very very bad day. Nothing
feels the same.”

The initial reaction was for people to check in with loved ones, even if there was no chance
they had been in danger.

“I’ve gotten like 400 calls from my mom,” Pamela said. She works in Scarborough and her mother lives in Windham.

Beyond news of the events themselves, the television news footage was stunning and disturbing
to people.

“I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m not sure I want to,” Pamela said.

Hill had seen the pictures in the morning before coming to work, but said she was near tears all

“I couldn’t watch it again tonight,” she said.

Tuesday night Cornerstone Baptist Church in Scarborough held a prayer service in the aftermath
of the tragedy. About 100 people attended, according to church officials, who noted the
church will be holding evening services Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, beginning with
a prayer session at 6:30 p.m. and a service starting at 7 p.m.

A blood drive was held Wednesday at the Maine Blood Center on Professional Drive in
Scarborough. At press time, 325 people had turned out to donate blood, according to Diane
Richard at the blood center.

Food had been donated by several local residents and businesses, she said.

Scarborough invites YMCA to consider building pool

Published in the Current

The town of Scarborough is talking to the YMCA about the possibility of building a pool next to the proposed community center on the old drive-in property near town hall.

Town Manager Ron Owens confirmed that he is meeting this week with the Portland-based Cumberland County YMCA.

Owens said there is demand for a pool, from both members of the community and the schools, but the Town Council decided not to include it in the tax-payer funded proposal for the drive-in property.

That $5.7 million proposal includes a teen center, senior center and gym and is going before voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“We felt that was too much to ask of the taxpayer,” to also fund a pool, Owens said. Instead, he is looking for a partnership with another agency to bring a pool to Scarborough.

“That’s where a Y would be instrumental,” Owens said.

The YMCA is not the only possibility, Owens said, mentioning the Boys and Girls Clubs as a possible alternative, but said the Y is the organization being talked about the most.

“That’s the first agency that we’ve approached,” Owens said.

Owens said a pool plan could involve the Town Council offering the Y land adjacent to the
proposed town center building.

There is space remaining that could fit a 50-meter pool, he said.

“For that to occur, we need some other agency to work with,” Owens said.

In return for the land, Owens said, the town would require the partner agency to allow some
level of access to the pool by town residents.

He hesitated to go into further specifics, saying talks are only just beginning between the Y and the town.

Scarborough resident Stephen Ives, executive director of the Northern York County YMCA in
Biddeford, said the town’s current plan for a community center leaves room for improvement.

“It’s a minimal facility. It’s a teen center, senior center and a gym,” Ives said. He said the Y could add a swimming pool and other services Ys traditionally offer, including childcare, afterschool
programs, sports, and recreation and fitness equipment.

The specifics of a Y in Scarborough would depend on the results of a study to determine the
town’s needs.

“A Y is supposed to be a response to the needs of its community,” Ives said.

One of the people working with Ives is fellow Scarborough resident, Gary O’Donnell.

“We’re still very much in the beginning stages,” O’Donnell said.

He is putting together a group of local residents to gauge community demand for services a Y could offer, and to evaluate the fundraising support the effort could garner.

O’Donnell is looking for people with energy and time to devote to the project, who reflect the diversity of town residents.

“Scarborough is a very diverse community of interests and needs,” O’Donnell said.

He has an idea of who might be a good person to join. “Someone who is passionate and retired
would be great,” O’Donnell said.

He also is concerned about how much building maintenance could cost taxpayers. A non-profit
agency, he said, would have to fund ongoing costs from donations, rather than taxes.

“There’s a wonderful opportunity to look for charitable and town partnerships,” O’Donnell said.

Ives said a Y in Scarborough would likely be a branch of the Cumberland County YMCA, which operates a swimming pool as part of its facility in Portland.

Sharing a recreation facility between the YMCA and the town of Scarborough is not without
precedent elsewhere in the country, Ives said, though it isn’t a common relationship for a municipality to enter into.

“Ys partner with everybody,” Ives said. “Ys are very attuned to collaboration.”

The national YMCA organization will get involved, through the local Y, to help O’Donnell and others study how well Scarborough could support a Y, and whether a Y would meet Scarborough’s needs. The study could take six months to a year, Ives said.

Without a solid base of willing participants and interested people, the Y won’t come.

“It really depends on the volunteers and the support from the community,” Ives said.

Scarborough residents will see a referendum for the community center on November’s ballot, but it will not include any reference to the proposed Y, Owens said.

The referendum will discuss the cost of preparing the site, building the community center, parking, a pond, picnic space and ball fields.

Any future referendum for the pool would depend on the level of the town’s involvement in the project, Owens said.

A referendum is not necessary for the Town Council to allow the Y or another organization to build on the drive-in property, Owens said.

In the end, he said, both the Cumberland County YMCA board and the Scarborough Town
Council will have to approve beginning negotiations between the two groups, as well as any
agreements reached.

Cape Elizabeth greenbelt plan moves forward

Published in the Current

The Cape Elizabeth Town Council unanimously accepted the spirit of the proposed Greenbelt Plan for trails throughout the town, while not formally accepting the specific priority recommendations made in the report from the town's Conservation Commission.

In its regularly scheduled September meeting, the council also approved a proposal to develop a master plan for the Gull Crest property.

The Greenbelt Plan proposed a network of trails throughout Cape Elizabeth, linking neighborhoods to each other and to the town center. Some of the trails already exist either formally on state and town land, or informally on private land, said commission chair Dan Chase. Others, Chase said, would have to be built.

In the public comment section of the meeting, several residents spoke in favor of the proposal.

Ogden Williams, a teacher and resident of Cape Elizabeth, suggested further development of the Gull Crest property, and volunteered to help do so next summer.

Mary Beth Richardson of Valley Road near Maxwell's Farm said the informal trails in that area get year-round use.

"Having a formal [trail] system would be wonderful," she said.

A resident of Sweetser Road said she liked the informal trails and wants a formal network, but was concerned about unanticipated uses of the trails, such as all-terrain three- and four-wheelers.

Tim Robinson of Shore Road was present to speak for his family, which owns some of the property on which private trails exist. He said he has found people coming to the trails from other communities and even other states. He was concerned with overuse of trails once they became publicly available.

Peter Mullen of Two Lights Road opposed the plan, which tentatively locates a trail abutting his property. He was concerned about privacy and public foot traffic near his home.

Other residents spoke about the opportunities for the town's student-athletes, with possibilities for both cross-country running and skiing trails becoming available for meets and practices. At present, the schools have to send their teams to other locations for practice and competition.

The council was also concerned about privacy issues and reiterated the Conservation Commission's promise not to locate trails on private land without express permission from the landowners.

Councilor Carol Fritz said she liked the proposal's principles of property rights, respect for wetlands and vegetation.

Councilor Henry Berry said he was concerned that the proposal was too dedicated to the construction of a trail system, with its stipulation that opposition to specific trails shouldn't stop the effort to construct the entire system.

"Certain opposition to a particular trail might well lead to abandonment of a trail," Berry said.

The council voted approval of the vision and goals statements, as well as the guidelines for possible trail expansions. It excluded from approval the priorities for expansion and recommended additional projects.

The next item on the agenda was a proposal from OEST Associates of South Portland to draft a master trail plan for the Gull Crest property between the schools and the transfer station. It was approved unanimously.

In other business, the town abated personal property taxes in the amount of $57.36 owed by the former Shear Madness business. It was deemed too expensive to collect the money, and the person owing the taxes was not present or able to pay.

The council noted that its next two monthly meetings will be held Wednesday nights because of national holidays. The October meeting will be on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The November meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Friday, September 7, 2001

Sonus refines market approach

Published in Interface Tech News

WESTFORD, Mass. ‹ Sonus Networks continued to broaden its partnership with companies in the packet-switched voice sector in early August by adding seven new companies to its roster, which includes nearly 150 companies providing add-ons to Sonus' hardware.

Sonus provides hardware and basic software for switching voice traffic on packet networks, allowing phone and data carriers to handle all of their traffic over one network, rather than two parallel ones, as is done presently.

Company CEO Steve Nill said Sonus puts together hardware and software and a basic set of applications for voice switching, and allows other companies to build additional applications, permitting clients to buy products and services that have already been tested together.

Mindy Hiebert, a senior analyst at the Boston-based Yankee Group noted that most of the company's announcements this year have been about companies testing Sonus products or working to build on them. With so much testing and so little roll-out, Hiebert said she is guarded about the company's future.

Sonus is changing its technical focus, Hiebert said. "The product that they have right now is very focused on (class 4) Internet offload," she said. "They're trying to migrate it to class 5."

Such a major change in technology, Hiebert said, makes her cautious. "I haven't seen them demonstrate the (technical) acumen to do what they're trying to do," she said. "(Carriers) want a viable solution in their network that they know is going to hold out. They can't afford any network outages."

Nill said the company and its partners are targeting the multibillion-dollar worldwide circuit switch market. He wants to see RBOCs, large CLECs, and "next-generation carriers" like Global Crossing and Qwest using Sonus products.

In April, Japan's Fusion Communications began using Sonus products. Fusion subscribers now number 510,000 customers in 17 Japanese cities. BellSouth has said it will use Sonus products to migrate traffic off its voice networks.

The company had second-quarter revenues up 27 percent from the first quarter this year, while spending 30 cents per share as compared with 51 cents per share in the first quarter. Sonus is expecting $200 million in revenue this year, Nill said.

"We're just not seeing and not hearing what their capabilities are moving forward," Hiebert said, adding there haven't been enough large-scale deployments of Sonus products to prove they can do what they say.

Nill remained confident in the potential of the company's products and services. "We're bringing client-server to voice," he said.

Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Metrobility makes short leap with Gigabit Ethernet range

Published in Interface Tech News

MERRIMACK, N.H. ‹ Working to appeal to telecom carriers, Metrobility Optical Systems has extended Gigabit Ethernet transmission distances to 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), considered by many to be a marginal improvement over the 40-50 km (25-31 miles) typically available.

"This is not the order of magnitude improvement the industry is looking for," said Aberdeen Group analyst Andrew McCormick.

Metrobility officials said the company offers signal re-timing to combat the attenuation of an optical signal over distance, and that there are several distances available, rather than just a 70-km length.

Company senior product manager Charlie Wang said Metrobility complements its extended network distance with its NetBeacon software. NetBeacon, Wang said, not only permits long-distance data transmission, but also troubleshooting capability for remote locations and network links.

"When you have a problem, our link-loss return capability allows us to do troubleshooting (remotely)," Wang said.

Wang said he sees the new development as a move toward expanding metropolitan regional networks and reaching rural locations.

"We extend the traditional WAN capability into a metropolitan Ethernet network," Wang said. "This type of capability can fit into all sorts of situations."

The company intends to offer more products for carriers, including optical Ethernetworking, which, as of press time, was expected to enter volume production in August.

McCormick was not enthused. "If you can get some extra distance, you can go a little bit farther," he said, noting there are some better services, like Sonnet and ATM for longer-distance high-bandwidth connections.

The distance extension comes as part of Metrobility's process to refocus on service providers rather than just equipment manufacturers. "We have realigned our company's product portfolio," Wang said.

Metrobility also has a patent pending on its "Stealth IP" technology, which Wang said makes use of space between Ethernet packets for network monitoring and maintenance without increasing demands on available bandwidth.