Stockton Springs Report
The Shellfish Committee meets at 7 p.m. August 22 at the town office.
Single stream recycling can be set out on Thursday morning, August 22.
The RSU 20 Board of Directors have scheduled the following meetings in an attempt to obtain a budget for the upcoming year. Current failures at the polls have resulted in the school beginning the new year with an budget for accounting purposes only. Public participation in the proceedings appears to be the logical and rational way to proceed. I attended the Select Board meeting on August 15 when RSU 20 Superintendent Brian Carpenter came to speak. There was a spattering of attendees. One lady asked why these matters are broadly known. If I hear that one again, I'm going to scream. We've been discussing it since early spring. My own children won't visit because they know that I am going to be talking about the school budget. If you are reading this in a barber shop, the paper is one dollar. That's fifty two bucks a year to be informed. Plus, a lot of the questions I hear being posed could be answered at home by visiting www.rsu20.org. So, please visit it and please get involved in helping us get a budget. I would like to see my grandchildren again and I have chores around here that I want the kids to do. Isn't that why we have children?
At 6:30 p.m. August 20, there will be a Public Forum at the THMS. An identical meeting will occur at 6:30 p.m. August 21 at SDHS. The Finance Committee will meet at noon on August 22 and 23. There will be a Special Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. August 23 to approve the 2013-14 budget. This meeting is in BAHS Band Room. The BOD meets at 6:30 p.m. August 29 to sign warrants at Central Office. On Tuesday, September 3, the warrants will be posted in regions’ towns. On Tuesday, at 7 p.m. Sept.10, there will be a Budget Public Meeting at THMS. The Budget Referendum Vote is Sept. 17.
The Stockton Springs Community Library is offering their adult summer reading program, Dig into Reading between 1-3 p.m. August 22 at the library.
Pat Curley proudly announced that the library has a granite bench donated in the memory of Diane Davis. It had been placed above the gardens on the crushed stone. “We would love people to feel free to come up and sit, read or just relax.” She told me to word it any way that I wanted. But I think she got her point across well enough.
If you're in town, make sure you pick up some Stockton Springs souvenir merchandise. We have it now. Let me tell you how it all happened. I was doing lighthouse tours and people would ask me what else they could do. Vacations are short and people like to pack them with nonstop fun. I told them about our fine eateries and artist and craft offerings. But when they asked me where they could get some Stockton Springs souvenirs, I said, “If you look to your left you will see the bell tower.” So, when I got home that evening, I asked honey if I could buy a town shirt and coffee cup. She said yes. I actually said, “a gross of.” But I muttered that part. I have a friend in North Carolina that does this sort of thing for a living and she walked me through the process. We now have shirts, coffee cups and oval stickers with our town logo. All proceeds will go to buy more stuff and to start the Laverne Davis Town Beautification Fund. I had to name it after her. If you are married, then I am sure you understand. She bought our sofa during her Florida stage. It is form over function in the highest degree. Please help keep Stockton Springs beautiful and her town columnist off of that ungodly sofa. Purchase and proudly display your town merchandise.
Recent events concerning the RSU 20 budget have brought to light the need to expand the school drive that Select Person Lesley Cosmano has carried on for the past four years for the Stockton Springs Elementary School. The Stockton Springs/Searsport Ride for Supplies will try to help fill that need. At 10 p.m. August 24 motorcycle riders will meet in the Reny's parking lot with a list of supply needs provided by the school's principals. We have expanded the list to K-12 needs. They will purchase their donations and proceed to 1217 Cape Jellison Road where their kindness will be rewarded with a cookout by the shore. Town Manager Rich Couch has volunteered to serve up two grilled hotdogs, resident Joni Pendelton has offered to help complete the serving of chips, Basil's blueberries and whipped cream and a beverage. Supplies and cash donations will be given to Cosmano to add to her drive.
It is our hope that Supply Drives will be a continuing effort in the RSU. Facebook comments from teachers tell of the predicament they are in with frozen funds secondary to the lack of a budget. Principals don't know what to answer their teachers when asked if they should purchase supplies themselves. We may have but one vote in the budget, but we can all help control the collateral damage that is resulting in our inability to pass a school budget. We are planning on a seating of 50. We have 25 confirmations. We already have over $300 in donated supplies and cash and we are a little over a week away from the event. Any food not cooked at the event will be donated to the Sandy Point Community Club. They have a freezer. This is a win/win. Let's hope it expands.
The Stockton Springs 3rd Annual Steeple Fund raising Auction will be on Saturday at 5 p.m. August 24 at Down East Auctions. 328 East Main Street, Searsport. Previews are between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of the sale. Lots of great food, fun and bargains! Food is provided by the Stockton Springs Steeple Ladies. The drawing for the raffle items will also be done at this event. Come and enjoy! I have my eye on that quilt.
The entire mid coast region is grieving the loss of Prospect resident and former owner/operator of Perry's Citgo in Stockton Springs, Ed Perry. Ed was a dear friend. His loss is too personal to share in this forum. I will only say that “In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.” -William Shakespeare.
Thank you Danny Harrison for calling and straightening me out on Ellery Channing. I will have to go up and inspect that stone a little better and see if I can scrap the moss of off the name “Hitchborn.” According to our resident authority on the history of the town, Ellery Channing Hitchborn was the infant son of Nathan and Caroline. He was Faustina's younger brother, who died in infancy. He was named for Ellery Channing, founder of the Universalist Church in town. I noted that when I wrote about the town's churches. I should read my own column. Danny and I talked a while about Col. Jonathan Lowder, gunner at Fort Pownal and the namesake of the brook that transverses our property before it dumps into Fort Point Cove. I am researching the man's life for a book. It will be my first attempt at nonfiction. If I am to be successful, I have to give up fanciful imaginations about our town and just “stick with the facts” about the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.