Stockton Springs Report
Town seeks harbormaster
The town of Stockton Springs is seeking a new harbormaster. The position of harbormaster has changed over the years as the town has changed. At one time in Stockton history, the harbormaster of Stockton Springs was not only an important position within the town; the weight of the person controlling the workings of the Stockton Harbor was felt throughout the region. However, today the state of Maine Harbormasters Association's website does not even list the Stockton Springs harbormaster by name, and the phone number assigned to “harbormaster” is a Belfast number.
Mostly, the position has local implications. But the new Yacht Club and pumping barge at Cape Docks is moving the job forward. They even have a little building for him or her to stay in down at Cape Docks. Anyone who would like the key to the building may email Town Manager Rich Couch at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a much more accurate job description. Application review will start on Dec. 3.
Other town news
It was brought to my attention that in last week's column, I suggested that it was redundant to continue to copy and paste the town's hours, since the town has a perfectly good website and government access channel. I have been informed that some don't do the Internet and this person also had a critique to offer on the accuracy and timeliness of Channel 7. I have been told before that some don't go online. I find this quite unusual, but to each his or her own. The lady who told me that she didn't go online was 81, and I completely understood her position. But the rest of you really need to get with the program. It is 2012. What are you waiting for? The brain-implant iPhones are just something in the current sci-fi novels and you are not going to see that happen in your lifetime.
Run down to the library and have one of the volunteers show you how to open Internet Explorer. Then, type in www.stocktonsprings.org, and you will discover a whole new world. I promise. Until that time, I will try to keep you up to date on the happenings at this “small coastal community in Waldo County Maine ... located between Belfast and Bucksport on Coastal US 1 ... home to Fort Point State Park, Sandy Beach Park, Stockton Harbor and ... just south the of the impressive Penobscot Narrows Bridge.” By the way, that was from the website. I just wanted to show you what you are missing.
The Town Office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23, for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Shellfish Committee does not meet during the winter months and will resume its meetings the fourth Thursday in April 2013. The committee needs members; contact the town manager for more information or if you are interested in serving on the committee.
The Harbor Committee will not be meeting in December. It will resume its monthly meetings on Jan. 10, 2013.
Stockton Springs Historical Society
The Stockton Springs Historical Society will have its annual Christmas party at the Colcord House at Station and Main streets at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. All library volunteers are invited, as always, to share this special time with the Historical Society folks. It will be a potluck dinner with turkey and dressing, as well as ham furnished by the Society, along with mashed potatoes and gravy. Those attending are asked to bring their choice of vegetable, salad, breads or dessert. Drinks will be provided. There will be entertainment as well, so come and enjoy.
What's cooking at the Good Kettle
My late mother-in-law, Kitty McLaughlin, was a big fan of the Good Kettle. I often saw an empty container of their soup on her kitchen counter. However, up until last week, I had never been in there. They are open until 4, but I normally don't even consider supper until 5. I know that is no excuse, but it is the only one that I have. I could say that soup is the only thing I know how to make, but they offer other quality epicurean delights and have a nice wine selection for those who enjoy the fruit of the grape. If it is anything like beer, then here lately you could enjoy the fruit of the pumpkin.
But I have already written about the rest of the fine eateries about town and felt it only fair that I offer the Good Kettle the same courtesy. After all, this is not a food critic column. We are just talking about things that happen in Stockton Springs. And believe me, there are good things happening at the Good Kettle, as well. I happened in there right at closing and ordered the split pea soup for myself and clam chowder for Laverne. I will point out for those from away that I am not discussing Manhattan clam chowder. I know they make it, but in Maine, the New England part of New England clam chowder is implied. While our soup was being ladled up, I noticed that they have some Stone Fox Creamery salted caramel ice cream from Monroe. I knew some stone foxes in my young days, but I knew of none who went into the ice cream business. But the title of the ice cream had “salted” in it, and I assumed that was a sure bet. I was correct.
While I was there, Gay Dion also sold me a booth at the tree-lighting at French's Point. Seeing that it was near closing, I asked her if she would rather I fill the application form out later and bring it in. She clicked her ink pen, stuck it inn my hand, turned the application to face me and said she was in no hurry to close whatsoever. I am glad to see the volunteer spirit that is prevalent in the town of Stockton Springs has found a home in the Good Kettle. I am going to have to buy a bigger size Levis if I keep writing our column.
Tree-lighting at French's Point
In the event that my explanatory and bold-faced topic of the Good Kettle didn't strike your fancy and you skipped it and moved down, a practice that I still do not advocate, allow me to catch you up about the tree-lighting at French's Point.
Please take a red Sharpee and circle the date Dec. 2 on your calender and write in “the third annual Yuletide Community Tree-Lighting at French's Point.”
Hosted by French's Point and the Good Kettle, the event will begin at 1 p.m. with the opening of the Christmas bazaar, featuring Maine artists and craftspeople. Your not-so-roving reporter will share a booth with Rose Upton, who will be selling the CD she recorded with Grammy-winning artist Paul Reynolds, "Christmas – Pure and Simple." I will be trying to pawn off the two novels that I wrote.
The Belfast Bay Fiddlers will perform at 3 p.m. Santa is scheduled to arrive at 4, so adults had better watch out and had better not pout. The Christmas tree will be illuminated at 5, and the sounds of the seasons will follow as participants join in singing Christmas carols.
Admission for children is, of course, free. Adults will be asked to either pay the paltry sum of $3 or provide a nonperishable donation to the Searsport Food Cupboard. For further details, or to secure a booth at the bazaar, contact Jessika Brooks of French's Point at 567-3650 or Gay Dion of the Good Kettle at 567-2035.
Keep the heat on
Thank you, former town columnist Dawn Furbush, for this email regarding the town's attempt to ensure that all Stockton Springs residents can “keep the heat on” this winter:
"Donations in the amount of $370 were received on Election Day to the Keep the Heat On heating fund. Thank you to the volunteers that manned the table and to the members of the community that donated to this fund. As most of you know, this fund was established through a fundraiser several years ago to assist town residents who need help heating their homes and may not qualify for assistance through other sources. The fund has already helped two families this month, and winter hasn't started yet.
"If you need help heating your home, please contact the Town Manager. The fund will pay for 100 gallons of fuel oil or, if you heat with wood, pellets or propane, the equivalent of 100 gallons of fuel oil. The high cost of everything has all of us tightening our belts; there are some people in our community that will have to make the choice between medicine, food or fuel. It's my [Dawn's] understanding that the LI-HEAP Program at Waldo CAP is backlogged with applications and may not be available until December. This makes it even harder on those that need help heating their homes. If you are able to donate to the fund, please make your check payable to the town of Stockton Springs and write "Heating Fund" in the memo portion of the check."
From the columnist
Although it is too soon to be discussing Christmas, it is the time of year for all parents to start thinking about Santa Claus getting down the chimney. I won't get into the commercialism of the season. Linus has already discussed that at length. Suffice it to say that it is meant to be a joyous occasion, but when you are a parent who is having a hard time making ends meet during the other 11 months, then Christmas can lose some of its joy.
Fortunately, you reside in a community that understands and cares. When our children were of school age, Laverne and I covered for Santa one year and collected gifts for financially insecure parents in a program we called the Stockton Santa. Since that time, Holly has held the Angel Tree at both Wyman's Purveyors of Fine Foods and at the Main Street Market. I have not been informed where the tree will be this year, but some effort will be made to ensure that Stockton Springs children have the opportunity to unwrap something nice.
It is up to you, the parent, to get that gift from the hearts of the townspeople to little red tree shirt in your home. Stay tune to future Stockton Springs Reports for further details, as the reason for the season is made known by the glow from the hearts of our residents that shines like beacon from the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.