Stockton Springs Report

By Jeff Davis | Jan 24, 2013
Photo by: Jeff Davis The frozen shore of the northwest edge of Fort Point Cove in Stockton Springs.

567-2029

jeffdavis55@hotmail.com

Town news

Dawn Furbush emailed to inform us of the rescheduling of the February meeting of the Stockton Springs Planning Board. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. Thank you, Dawn, for keeping us informed.

And thanks to the Stockton Springs town website, I know the Good Harbor Report on the LPG tank proposal for Searsport is now available. I followed the link they inserted and found very insightful, clearly explained information. The link is http://www.penbaylpg.org/. According to the town website, “the Town of Stockton Springs shares this link as a resource for town residents who are concerned about this issue.”

Town Recreation Director Candy Moore is still in search of new members. Contact her at 567-4330 or call Town Manager Rich Couch at 567-3404. The next recreation meeting is Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

The town is still looking for a Harbormaster for the 2013 season. For a job description and an employment application, contact the town manager at 567-3404 or by email at gmanager@stocktonsprings.org.

Stockton Springs library news

On Saturday, Feb. 2, Ground Hog Day, the volunteers of the Stockton Springs Community Library will be holding a story hour between from 10 to 11 a.m.. Also, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2, Maine author Eva Murray, who hails from Matinicus, will visit the library. She is the author of "Well Out to Sea," "Island Schoolhouse" and "One Room for All." She also writes a weekly column for several news publications. We are very fortunate to have seen many authors visit the library and owe a debt to the staff for finding and iniviting them into the old Colcord home.

The library is offering tax assistance, as it has been doing in past years. Tax appointments with free e-filing are available Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 2 through April 13 at the Stockton Springs Community Library. For a tax appointment, call Pat Snyder at 567-3137 evenings. This free service, sponsored by the AARP Foundation in conjunction with the Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition and the IRS, is available for low- to moderate-income taxpayers of any age, with special attention for those 60 and over. The volunteer tax preparers are IRS-certified.

Save Our Steeple Committee news

Pete Hardester emailed me announcing the Steeple Committee's challenge to raise $5,000 to receive a matching grant, giving the town $10,000 of the needed $23,000 to complete the bell section portion of the steeple. The entire cost of that section is $42,000; retired Stockton Springs Elementary school teacher and chairwoman of the committee Janice Shute advised me that $16,000 was raised last summer, and she felt up to the challenge of raising the remaining $13,000 if we are able to leap this $5,000 hurdle.

Donations may be addressed to: Seaboard Federal Credit Union, P. O. Box G, Bucksport, ME 04416-1207, Attention: Darlene, Stockton Springs Community Church. Or donations may be made online through Paypal at the SSCC website, www.communitychurchss.org. Save our Steeple is a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization. It has been a long struggle since the day the members of the church and non-affiliated members of the town and community joined together to work to not let this landmark pass from our landscape. Please help if you can.

Jerry Dobbins American Legion Post 157 news

The Stockton Springs American Legion Jerry W. Dobbins Post 157 will host a Vietnam veterans commemoration ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. at the Stockton Springs Town Hall. Lt. Col. Peter Ogden, director, Maine Bureau Veterans Services, will participate in the ceremony representing Gov. Paul LePage and Adj. Gen. of Maine, Brig. Gen. James D. Campbell. The United States sent 2,710,000 Americans to serve in uniform in Vietnam; they represented 9.7 percent of their generation. From the first U.S. military members killed in 1959 to the last in 1975, the United States suffered 58,200 dead and 304,000 wounded. The Feb. 3 ceremony will thank and honor local Vietnam veterans and their families for their service on behalf of the United States. For further information, contact Post Adjutant Lee Snyder at 567-3137 or at adjutant@mainepost157.org.

An observation

Your town columnist attended the Jan. 22 school board meeting held at Stockton Springs Elementary School. I did not stay for the entire meeting, as I felt that I was being duly represented in the persons of Denise Dakin and Sharon Catus. Nor did I attend the meeting as a representative of the oldest weekly newspaper in Maine. I went as a concerned citizen and was joined by what I personally observed to be an evenly distributed number of other concerned citizens, town officials, school officials and parents. I do have an opinion on the matter, but I do not feel this is the place to share it. I am at liberty to write a letter to the editor as well as any citizen. I take seriously my responsibility to maintain as much objectivity as humanly possible in our town reports. If I fail, and fail I shall, I feel it is your responsibility to bring the failure to my attention and to the attention of the paper's editors. I enjoy the column and feel the town enjoys it as well, and I do not wish to do anything to soil the paper's longstanding reputation.

The history of the Republican Journal was first noted by Joesph Williamson in 1877, and appears on pages 350 and 351 of his book, "The History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine." The paper's first presses and type were purchased from the Waldo Democrat, which opened in 1828 and lasted only a year. Robert White & Cyrus Rowe, who established the Republican Journal on Feb. 6, 1829, purchased the equipment “for $1,358 ... with only three hundred and thirty-three subscribers.”

Williamson praised both men and went on to tell how the paper prospered. He offers an abstract from the Jan. 6, 1830, edition: “The friends of education in Waldo County are invited to assemble at the Court-house, for the purpose of discussing the merits of the American Lyceum, or for improving common schools on common education. A meeting of the Belfast Musical Library Association is called at Mr. Kurd's school-room, on Sunday evening. Noyes P. Hawes announces that the Belfast Circulating Library has been enlarged to 500 volumes...” The rest was politics: the paper favored Jackson. And Misters White and Rowe kept the town abreast of local matters and printed weekly articles on matters of state, national and international interest. It is amazing when you consider that it all occurred in the days when it was a three-day sail to Boston. That was quite a feat. It makes me feel proud to be part of it, as the town columnist for the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.

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