Stockton Springs Report
The Select Board convenes at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the town Hall.
Tax bills have been mailed out and the town office is busy processing the payments being made. Our son Jeff called from Bangor and said he was glad to read that Stockton Springs now accepts a partial payment. He noted that other towns offer this option. We are seeing many positive changes in the town hall. The decision made to eliminate the First Selectman position has resulted in a wiser select board, each member being required to carry an equal share of the burden. Personally, I think one of the best decision was to hire Rich Couch as town manager. As often as I have seen Rich in the past year, I really don't know him personally. I know he has a dog named Koop. I also know that his parents were involved in a village in upstate New York for his entire life. He grew up with a desire to serve in town government and went to college to become a town manager. And I know the evidence of his success is everywhere you look in town. He is a pragmatic man, who makes sound decisions. He doesn't wish to live in town as he is an employee of the town and doesn't want to confront a conflict of interest. But he sure does a lot of volunteering here. If the secret to success is to surround yourself with wise people, then I believe our town stands a good chance of successing.
Stockton Springs parents are invited to encourage their children to attend our 2013 Annual Harvest Parade. Rumors of its demise were premature and on Oct. 25, Searsport Elementary School Principal Linda Bowes is going to try to provide a bus to transport the children from the Searsport Elementary School to the Stockton Springs Elementary School when school lets out. We shall gather in the parking lot and proudly march down our new sidewalks to the town hall. While there, refreshments will be served in the lower level meeting room and the children will participate in our Harvest Program.
Prior to the event, Stockton Springs K-5 students are invited to enter our What Harvest Time Means to Me one-page essay contest. Parents are encouraged to remind their children that, although not many of us are farmers, we all harvest a crop in our daily lives. Essays may be dropped off at the SES library until Oct. 24. An informational letter will be sent home to parents prior to the contest. During the Harvest Program all children will be invited to read their essays and the children whose essays were determined beforehand to the best in their grade level with receive a hard cover book about harvest time appropriate for their age.
No one seems to what year the town of Stockton Springs held it's first Harvest Parade. We know that 2012 will not be the last year. Please support the 2013 Stockton Springs Annual Harvest Parade. We hope to see the children there and the cheering adults on the sides of the road.
And while we are in a festive mood, the Stockton Springs Community Library is proud to announce it's sixth annual Halloween celebration and parade. Library volunteer activity director Debbie Harris tells me that from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, the library will offer games, snacks (including Haystacks and Halloween Chez Mix), stories and best costume contests in the following categories; boy and girl, scariest and most creative. Part of the afternoon's activities will be a parade around town to show off their costumes. As you can see by this week's accompanying photograph, they will certainly be something to see. Thank you, Debbie for all you do for the town's children who visit the library.
I was happy to see the sign the Rocky Ridge Motel has displayed inviting those driving by to visit the Sandy Point Beach. Perhaps, they took a hint from the state who recently installed two nice-sized signs directing travelers to Sandy Point's hidden natural wonder. I once described the beach as being pristine. However, that would indicate that it has it's original purity or that it is in it's earliest, most primitive state. In another day, a fertilizer plant set on the beach. Its massive concrete and steel structures covered what is presently woods and grasslands. A long pier reached out into the Penobscot River to make easy transport of a product that now falls disgustingly off the lips of most environmentalists. One would not feel compelled to stroll the beach and gather their thoughts in that time as they do today.
The best way to describe the Sandy Point Beach is reclaimed by nature. I was recently down there and ran into Town Manager Couch and some members of the Friends of Sandy Point Beach. Not quite understanding the town's relationship with the state owned property, I asked. It was explained to me that it is owned by the state, who lacks available funds to keep it opened and maintained. The town is in an agreement with the state to care the park and beach area, but under the guidelines of the state. The Friends of Sandy Point Beach are instrumental in that care. The Sandy Point Community Club also provides assistance in keeping the beach clean, as do some private citizens. Their efforts are obvious to any who go there. However, the Sandy Point Beach, from the parking lot to the shore, is in a flood zone. Therefore, no buildings, picnic tables, nor toilets are allowed beyond the gate. So, we are limited to what we can do there. What we have at the Sandy Point Beach is the results of town officials and volunteers making the best of a bad situation. And they have succeeded. The trails installed and maintained by the Friends provide a place for safe and free exercise with magnificent scenic views. The concrete slabs pieces and foundation walls peppering the grassy slopes don't take away from the beauty. They add to the intrigue. The people you meet on the trail or beach, whether they are just walking along, sitting on one of the provided benches or lying in the sun down on the beach are always smiling.
So, if you are coming through town, swing down Steamboat Wharf Avenue and visit the beach. But please help keep Sandy Point Beach reclaimed by nature. If you brought it in, take it out when you go. And smokers, please field strip your butts and take them home with you as well.
Phyllis Hall would like to thank those who sent her cards and flowers for her ninety-first birthday. Ralph and Gloria brought her down last week to pick some of the cooking apples that we have growing in the back yard. I guess she is going to put some up. Its good to know that she is up for visiting and canning. Gloria and Ralph certainly are good caretakers and set a good example for us all to follow.
Cape Jellison's Jill Small is excited about son AJ's entree into the Tonka Restoration Project offered by neighboring Searsport Motor Company and Searsport Automotive and Tires. She said AJ worked very hard and that Brian and Paige also had an project entered. I hope they sell them. I'd like to have a restored Tonka.
Good luck to Dennis and Regina Larabee as they head to Greenville in hopes of bagging a moose. My wife roller-skated with Regina and, who was the middle girl of the Rhonda, Regina and Raye Rolston trio on Station Street, where the eldest still lives with her beloved Bert. Laverne would go to visit Rhonda by cutting through our back yard, crossing Lowder Brook and walking down the track to their house up town, a practice which is now forbidden and carries a healthy fine. You can still cut through our back yard and cross Lowder Brook, but the railroad doesn't want you walking the tracks. It was Regina's brother-in-law Bert who suggested that I wish the Larabees luck. When asked if he was going, Bert told a friend of his that he doesn't hunt anymore. I don't either. All of our boys are hunters, but the idea of sitting in a tree on a luggage rack and watching ice melt off the pine needles while waiting for supper to walk by no longer appeals to me. But good luck to Dennis and Regina. And might I add that Bert, like his lovely bride Rhonda, is into sun, surf and sand. Therefore the old Rolston homestead is currently up for sale and is a bargain for that family wishing into move to the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.