March

The board of directors of the newly-consolidated Regional School Unit 20 chose former SAD 34 Superintendent Bruce Mailloux to serve the new district in the same capacity for a period of one year. The new district went into operation in July. In December the board voted not to renew Mailloux’s contract.

Former-governor-turned-wind-energy-entrepreneur Angus King spoke at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, opening his talk with a quote from a speech that Abraham Lincoln delivered to Congress in 1862:

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present,” he said. “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then shall we save our country.”

King likened the Civil War-era quote to the present energy situation in Maine, and the difficulty of converting to environmentally sustainable energy practices.

Around the same time, an experimental building at Unity College was awarded LEED Platinum designation, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating for environmentally sustainable construction. The heavily insulated, solar panel-clad demonstration project, dubbed Unity House, was conceived as a “net-zero” building – one that produces as much energy as it uses. Since winter 2008, it has served as the residence of Unity College President Mitchell Thomashow, who spearheaded the green building project.

First Lady Michelle Obama ordered a wool throw from Swans Island Blankets of Northport. The blanket, which was to be a “protocol gift” to Irish dignitaries on St. Patrick’s Day, had to be cranked out on short notice, which wasn’t typical of Swans Island Blankets.

Fortunately for owner Bill Laurita, there was a green throw on the loom when he got the call on behalf of the first lady. It was the right color green and it was almost complete. Workers cut it off the loom, finished it and sent it out the next day. “We can make the very best blankets,” Laurita said, “but there aren’t a lot of shortcuts to take to do what we do.”

A group of young graphic designers from around the country working under the name “Project M North” appeared in downtown Belfast one afternoon in a blaze orange van and served free pie to passers by. The event, called “Pieromania” was conceived as a way to create a memorable event out of a simple gesture, sharing some pie.

The Belfast Museum and Historical Society recommended that Belfast add a year to the incorporation date on a prominently-displayed sign at the entrance to City Hall. The city, as it turns out, was incorporated in 1773, not 1772.

Verlesta and Clyde Wellman, who have served Belmont as town clerk and administrative assistant, respectively, for more than three decades, resigned. At the town’s annual meeting, Selectwoman Barbara Bubar presented the Wellmans with an engraved clock honoring the couple’s service to the town.

“This is a day we hoped would never come,” Bubar said. “Some of us,” Clyde Wellman responded dryly.

In a meeting that was attended by a deputy from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, Frankfort residents tested the bounds of law and order, making a bid to secede from SAD 56 and setting aside $5,000 “to pursue legal action against the West Frankfort Fire Department Inc. to obtain return of the title to the 2006 Sterling fire truck and clarify ownership.”

In Belfast, Darby’s restaurant expanded into an adjacent building. The renovation – the first under the recently enacted mandatory compliance InTown Design Review process – appeared to go off without a hitch.