Stockton Springs Report
At their regular meeting on Jan. 3, the Selectmen voted 3-0 to appoint Stockton Springs businessman Darren Shute to the Harbor Committee as an alternate. The Harbor Committee is chaired by Bruce Suppes. Mr. Shute joins committee members Stan Russell, Jerome Weiner, Steve Henkel, Ken "Skeet" Wyman and David Laing (Alternate). The committee meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall. Town committees consist of five members and two alternates. This addition gives the Harbor Committee a full roster. Committee assignments are for three years (one year for alternates) and follow the town's fiscal year (July-June); therefore Mr. Shute's appointment will need to be renewed in July. Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Select Board," Town Manager Rich Couch explained. The harbormaster (currently vacant) is a non-voting member of the Harbor Committee, as well.
Couch pointed out that "Stockton Harbor is a tremendous asset for the town and the Harbor Committee plays a large part in the success of the facility." Selectmen Peter Curley, who serves as a liaison between the Select Board and the Harbor Committee, stated that "Darren Shute is a well respected fisherman, lobsterman and town resident, and will be a great addition to the Harbor Committee."
Darren recently suffered the loss of his garage, and the fire damaged the trailer he put in next to it. Our hearts go out to Darren, and our appreciation for his decision to step forward to aid the community serves to strengthen our hopes that only good fortune lies ahead for this longtime friend and town businessman.
The town is still accepting applications for a harbormaster! Please contact Town Manager Rich Couch at 567-3404 or email@example.com for a job description and an employment application. Applications will be accepted until a candidate is selected.
The American Legion Jerry W. Dobbins Post 157 will host a Vietnam veterans recognition ceremony at the Legion Hall, 5 Sandy Point Rd., on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. The ceremony will include state of Maine recognition. Refreshments will follow the ceremony. Vietnam-era veterans (Feb. 28, 1961-May 7, 1975) living in the towns of Frankfort, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs, or Verona Island, should call Commander Lance Weddell to be included in the ceremony. Weddell may be reached at 223-5357 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The following information is needed for inclusion in the ceremony: full name, dates and branch of service, rank. A veteran's home of record did not have to be Maine while he or she was in service during the Vietnam era.
Twenty-six Stockton Springs residents and friends came out for the first senior luncheon in the community room of Town Hall on Jan. 9. Gay Dion and the staff of the Good Kettle treated folks to hot baked mizotti and a fresh tossed salad with garlic bread and home-baked cupcakes for dessert. No one left hungry! If you are feeling regret that you missed the first one -- don't fret. Lunch will be served again on Jan. 23 at noon. The Good Kettle will be filled with spaghetti and meatballs next time. Remember, RSVP by Monday, Jan. 21,t by calling Town Hall at 567-3404.
Congratulations to Bailey West, an eighth-grader at Searsport District Middle School. She is one of four Stockton children on the Searsport Middle School Math Team and the daughter of Stockton Elementary School volunteer and PIE member Barbie West. Bailey received kudos for her T-shirt design, which was chosen for the 2013 Math Team T-shirt! Go, Vikings, and way to go, Bailey.
Stockton Springs Elementary School is doing a community project for the month of January. They are collecting donations for the Belfast-Waldo County Humane Society, Inc./Town Line Animal Shelter in Belfast. The shelter has requested the following items: towels, kitty litter, blankets and Purina Cat Food (dry & canned, non-chunky). For more information, call 567-3264.
Thank you, Sharon Catus, for providing this week's school news.
Eat a few mackerel -- or not
I met one of our local fishermen -- I did not actually meet him and he is not yet a fisherman, but he called me on the phone and is about to get his license. He called regarding his concerns about my writing that I would not eat the fish out of the bay. Being a fisherman, he doesn't really want me giving fish a bad name. I completely understand his position. I told him that I would personally not eat a mackerel if it fell as manna from heaven, but would relay his opinion that a few mackerel won't kill you.
I am not advising that you take his advice. After all, he does not yet have his license. Maybe he will fail the test. We do not know. Neither do I suggest that you let what I do or say guide your thinking. I am a relater of information, not a purveyor of wisdom. From the eating of fish to whatever you may read about here, if you are young, seek advice from your parents. If you are old, ask your doctor, attorney or, on matters of town history, Mrs. Fisher. I am not saying that you should not read the column. Just don't take it too seriously.
Although we pay shoreline taxes, I don't like to complain about it. I still pay less in taxes than my brother in Georgia, and I believe if I am paying less for anything than Tommy pays, then I win. I realize that he has more advanced police and EMS services. But I have to make sure that I am properly dressed before calling 911, because I know that moments after hitting the last 1, I will have 10 or 12 pickup trucks on my front lawn. I don't think Tommy can say that.
However, our taxes are high, and to get my money's worth, I try to get out on our two acres as often as possible. If I went to the shore every day, it would only cost me about $10 a walk. I cannot make it every day. So, to reduce the price of the daily walk, I bought some snowshoes and have been going for walks in the snow. You see a lot of tracks in the snow and the animals you miss while you sleep, you can imagine as you stop to catch your breath. I did not say it was easy.
The snow hides the progress of man, allowing you to imagine what it must have been like for the Native American who “plyed the paddle of his light canoe along the grand Penobscot, unvexed from source to mouth,” as historian Faustina Hichborn imagined in her account of our history. It also puts one in awe of the early settlers who tamed the land. It lends understanding to Hichborn's assignment of the Shakespearean quote to our torchbearers, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
I am constantly amazed at the things I find on the shore of the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.