Stockton Springs Report
Who's on First
In last week's column I mentioned that I didn't know who would be holding the gavel during the next regular meeting of the Stockton Spring's Select Board. After being referred to as First Selectperson, Lesley Cosmano kindly advised me by email about the board's decisions to forgo such titles and share the burden of heading the board. Not aware of Lesley's email, Town Manager Richard Couch emailed me yesterday in an attempt to answer my question. He told me the board was taking turns and that “Peter Curley gaveled us in in July, Lesley Cosmano led us through the process in August, and Wayne Kraeger presided over meetings in September. Peter is back at the helm for October and Lesley will take the center chair in November. You get the sequence.” I believe that is an excellent plan. And I agree with Rich when he wrote “There are some advantages to a small community - trying new forms of leadership is just one.”
The next meeting is scheduled for November 1 at 6:00 PM. Selectperson Cosmano will be swinging the gavel.
Normal town hours dictate that our town hall would be empty on Friday, October 26 from the hours of 3:30 to 5:30. However, considering that our town's elementary school children could be converging on the hall's parking lot on that Friday, Town Manager Couch decided that was not to be and intends to open the lower level to serve the children cider and cookies. That plan is contingent upon the DOT's previously announced October 21 completion of the Church Street Bridge.
The age of the Stockton Springs Harvest Parade is hard to pin down, but most questioned believe the tradition is at least a quarter of a century old. Some female residents did not wish to answer the query; fearing such admission may reveal their true age. But we know of one young lady who marched from the school to the town office twenty-five years ago.
Partners in Education president Ross Cotterell advised me that should the bridge not be completed the starting point of the Harvest Parade will still be the elementary school. But the children will march to Highland Avenue and back to the school for refreshments there. Mr. Cotterell tells me that other games and activities have been planned once the parade is over. He advises that final decision will be made by the principal. Partners in Education and town management will follow that lead. The spirit of cooperation in our town is flowing like the Penobscot River from Main Street to Church Street to see to it that children get their parade and parents get their tradition.
Partners in Education
While speaking on the phone to PIE president Cotterell, I asked him about his organization. I recalled Parents in Education that existed when my children were of school age. It was our answer to the former PTA. Mr. Cotterell tells me the change in the name reflected the change in the attitude that only parents should be involved in the school. With 71% of our property tax going to the education of our children, it would stand to reason that having school age children should no longer be a precursor to school involvement. PIE has produced a form, which is available at the school, where a volunteer can check mark areas and tasks in which one wishes to become involved. PIE, who sports the new tag line “parents, staff, community – making a difference”, meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month at the school from 3:30-5:00 PM and at the Lighthouse Road home of the Cotterells on the 3rd Saturday for an hour to an hour and a half; starting a 3:30. Mr. Cotterell tells me that he opened his home up for the Saturday meeting because parents told him they could not make the week day meetings. I think that is very accommodating and speaks of the man's desire to get the entire community involved. I may join the organization just to see the inside of their house. The outside is beautiful.
I've been waiting to write about this for a long time. On October 27, while most are snug in their beds, the men of the American Legion Jerry Dobbin's Post 137 will be amassing at the Sandy Point Community Center on Route One to serve up their 2012 Hunter's Breakfast. From the hours of 4:00-8:00 AM, Post Adjutant Lee Synder advises that “the firearms deer hunting season opens Saturday, October 27 with the Maine Resident Only Day. Come enjoy a hearty breakfast, support the Legion, and then bag you deer – best of luck!” The breakfast remains a bargain at $6 for adults and $3 for kids under 12.
Although I no longer hunt, I remain very proud of Maine's hunting tradition. On the other hand, it saddens me to realize that someone may die this year in a hunting related accident. Just as someone goes through the ice every winter, somebody could die in Maine despite our best efforts to push hunter safety. Most of us ensured that our children were proficient in hunter safety before we ever turned them loose on the deer. And Maine requires hunters complete a safety course before receiving a license. And yet, it seems that every year, someone is shot in our Maine woods.
Even though I no longer participate in the hunt, I still wear the orange when I walk down the road. And I stay out of the woods in November. I feel it is a small price to pay for my life. If you are new to the area, I suggest you follow my lead. You can find affordable hunter orange clothing almost anywhere. If you don't think you look good in plastic, Renys had some pretty nice Woolrich stuff.
This year let us all, hunters and non-hunters alike, ensure that Stockton Springs has a safe and incident-free deer season.
From the Columnist
The photograph I submitted this week is of Courtney Harvey and her friends Becca and Sherri. I took the picture while cruising the town's back roads looking for something to say about the fine people who live out that way. Its seems I'm always talking about the folks uptown or on the cape.
I knew a younger Courtney, but have no idea who Becca and Sherri are. I used to be a substitute teacher when Courtney was in elementary school. She was one of a group of little girls who walked in unison everywhere they went. When one sat on a swing, all sat on a swing. When one went inside to go to the restroom, she needed an escort of five or six. She was a wonderful little girl who grew into a wonderful young lady. I asked her to send me some information about her horses and her friends who rode together. She emailed me back saying “The girl on the brown horse Courtney, The girl in the middle is Becca and the last one is Sherri. Thanks so much, Courtney. I was wondering would you be able to send me a copy of that photo?” I emailed her the picture and asked for a little more information; how they made, where do they keep the horses, where they ride- that sort of thing. I haven't heard back from her as of yet. I think she must have to discuss it with Becca and Sherri first. I see she has narrowed her group down to three now. Courtney, if you read this, hurry up and answer my email. I have a column to write about he people who reside in the town of Stockton Springs.