Jackson Town News
By Cindy Ludden

Correction…
A women’s only clothing sale will be held on Saturday, March 6 at the Jackson Community Center from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Table or space rentals are $10 each. Last year’s sale was a huge success; sell your women’s clothing, or women’s accessories at your price. Breakfast ad lunch will be available. Clothing for the food pantry table is also needed, if anyone has any to donate, call Cindy at 722-3205 or Diane at 722-3759.

The following Saturday, March 16, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., the same event will be held, except it will feature children’s clothing and accessories (toys, furniture, etc.) only. Call Cindy or Diane for table/space rentals.

Recipes are needed for the Community Cookbook that Polly Dodge and Ann Hartley are putting together. Each person can have 3 recipes to put in, and the deadline is Feb. 28, so that the book will be ready for Mother’s Day. You can drop off your recipes at the town office, or call Polly at 722-4199 for more information.

 

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Belmont

Town office hours are Monday, 1-6 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.; and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The board of selectmen meets Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m.

The Town Office phone number is 342-5722 and the fax number is 342-2252. Code enforcement hours are 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays. The phone number is 342-3179. Availability is by appointment most of the time.

The Belmont town meeting is scheduled for the evening of Monday, March 15 in the Community Room of the Town Office.

The Warden Service is issuing warnings about ice conditions again. The recent weather is actually more like that of March and is generally what starts the thawing process on our lakes and ponds. Therefore, some ice may be starting to melt and soften. There is no true winter weather forecast for the foreseeable future, either cold or snow of meaningful proportion. I mentioned last week about the chagrin in the Southland over the snow and cold; well, there is a measure of chagrin right here in Maine over the lack of snow.

The January rain took much of what was on the snowmobile trails and that which was left is getting thinner with each day in the mid- to upper 30s, with the sun getting to greater heights with each passing day. At West Forks, the snow was so thin with February vacation and much of the season remaining that they have resorted to making snow on the trails. Sunday River has loaned snow-making equipment to them to assist in getting the trails in shape.

I logged 42 degrees here in the valley yesterday, my high for the month to date. However, there was not enough sun beating on the sides of the maples to warm them and create a decent flow. Preparing for the sugaring season is a little like Christmas, except the trees are maples, the ornaments are sap pails and there are garlands of blue tubing. The sap is flowing, but many trees still aren’t giving. I’ve collected just enough to boil a couple of batches.

We are now three weeks with almost no precipitation in February. That little bout of snow was probably worth no more than .2 of an inch, melted. It reminds me of a February back around 1990 or so, when the entire month only produced .2. That was in New Hampshire, where the official records are generally kept at the Concord Airport. It was much colder. I anticipate that if we do not return to normal cold, the sugaring season will end early. Don’t wait another two weeks to set those taps!

Another weather oddity, on Feb. 13, there was measurable snow in 49 of the 50 states, including Florida. Only Hawaii was totally snow-free, and that is unusual because several of the volcanoes are normally snowcapped in winter, but are not at this time.

Two weeks ago, I started to comment on a news conference at the Statehouse in Augusta Jan. 28, that was held by Maine Natural Resources Council, the organization that is in the news and is most widely associated with the legal battle against Plum Creek and the decision by Maine LURC relative to development of the Moosehead Lake region.

The article in The Republican Journal of Feb. 3 was entitled “Resources Council: Oddball weather is wake-up call”, by Sam Shain. I believe most of the information disseminated at this news conference was misleading at best, and totally false at its worst. Personally, I could not believe what I was reading. I commend the Republican Journal/VillageSoup for having Sam Shain at that news conference to hear what was said by the representatives of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Lisa Pohlman, deputy director, and Mr. Tim Peabody, a former chief of the Maine Warden Service, and report it.

It appears to be the position of the Natural Resources Council, that one day of 50 degrees, over less than one third of the land mass of Maine, accompanied by a 50-mph wind, is a sign of climate change due to global warming, and that heavy rain and ice jams on the Kennebec River in January are something new.

Evidently Lisa Pohlman has not heard the term “January thaw,” as she related, “these weather events all seem peculiar.” The fact is, over most of Maine, and in a majority of years, thaws and 50-degree readings occur not just in January, but also in December and February. This is normal New England and Maine weather.

On channels 2 and 5, take note of the record temperatures each day and the years that they were established. This has been going on for generations and centuries, since before the U.S. Weather Bureau started to keep records. If you have journals or diaries that are among the antiquities that have been passed along by ancestors, check out any weather-related notes.

Ralph Richards, who delivered mail in Lincolnville in the horse-drawn wagon days, kept such notes, now transcribed into notebook form for all to read at the Lincolnville Historical Society. My great aunt, Martha “Mattie” (Lenfest) Hills, kept such a diary over at least part of her life and it now belongs to Ramond Hills Sr. of Winterport. In it, she records for the day of her marriage to Ruphus Hills Jr., Feb. 3, 1880, that it “Snowed and blew all day.”

There is an old law of physics that states, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” and this often applies to weather as well. 2010 has brought cold to the Midwest and South, while Vancouver was warm and New England relatively so. All directly related to the path of the jet streams as they meander around the Earth.

Our current weather may be unusual, but it has all happened before, and worse. Twenty-nine and 30 years ago, in 1980 and 1981, the winters were largely thaws from start to finish with little snow over much of New England. In 1981, during one period of three consecutive days, Feb. 17 to Feb.19, Bangor recorded record highs of 55 and 57 degrees.

Around the mid-1970s, in Derry, N.H., the rye grass in the farmland was five inches tall at the end of February without a frost after mid-February. There was a year back there before snow-making that the state of New Hampshire shut down Cannon Mountain in the middle of January.

I hope you catch the drift of this column. I’ll start winding it down. I could fill a book with data like this and/or a long string of columns, as I once queried Diane O’Brien of Lincolnville about the process for such. Our recent wind was nothing that we don’t see several times a year. Most of us have seen old newspaper photos of snowdrifts up to the eaves and cross arms of utility poles. These weren’t just 20- or 25-mph winds; more likely, close to hurricane force.

During December of 1963, (and I have told this story before) I was on the USS Essex CVS 9 in the North Atlantic, returning from a Med-Cruise. A storm or storms that raked the Maine coast with heavy snow and high wind were still intensifying as they reached the Essex‘s position, as many of our winter storms do, and wreaked havoc and damage upon the Essex, such as the Japanese were unable to do in World War II.

When it snows and blows and gets to the -30s in Minnesota, it makes national news. When it snows and blows in Maine, and the temperature dips to -50 in Big Black River, as it did on Jan. 16, 2009, nobody knows but us. We grin and bear it, and go about our daily chores.

A few years ago, while Katie Couric was still with NBC News and the “Today” program, she had an appointment with former Sen. George Mitchell for an interview. A blizzard was churning up the East Coast with record snow, and New York City was being buried. Mitchell arrived on time and was asked by Katie, how he did it. Mitchell simply replied, “I come from Maine.”

Enough said. I feel the Natural Resources Council was blatantly irresponsible in attempting to make anyone believe that global warming was responsible for that Maine weather. The Natural Resources Council should tender an apology to the Maine Legislature, and to all Maine residents for this flawed performance.

Yes, there is global warming and we do have to do something about it, but false theory is not necessary to make us believe it. It is already understood.

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Brooks

Where do you keep your spare change? The sixth annual Penny Drive sponsored by Future MSAD 3 will include all SAD 3 schools. Funds raised through the Penny Drive will support Future’s campaign for enhancements to Mount View’s new and existing athletic and recreational facilities.Since 2004 participating SAD 3 elementary schools have raised $7,362.59 to support enhancements to the new Mount View, including The Clifford Performing Arts Center and the new campaign for athletic and recreational facilities.

Morse Memorial Elementary School will launch their Penny Drive activities March 1. The Penny Drive will conclude March 26. The slogan for the 2010 Penny Drive is “When we work together, we are one team!” The fundraiser is being coordinated by Future MSAD 3 Event Committee Co-Chairs Bev Winship and Barbara Higgins.

For more information on the campaign, Mount View athletic facility naming opportunities, or to contribute: call 948-6120, e-mail futuremsad3@yahoo.com or visit futuremsad3.org. Find Future MSAD 3 on Facebook. Contributions can be sent to Future MSAD 3, P.O. Box 151, Unity, ME 04988.

Brooks fire department

On Feb. 6 the following Brooks firefighters attended the mandatory Bureau of Labor Standards class: Jeff Archer, Roscoe Kenney, Paul Muir, Clayton Ellis, Arthur Butler, Paul Lawrence, Steve Hegstrom, James Coulsey, Chris Schiessl, Jennifer Kenney, Chris Quimby, Dan Miron, John Purinton and Lewis Brown. We also have some junior firefighters in training, who are also required to attend the BLS class. They are Theo Lawrence,Travis Hegstrom, Malcolm Leeman and Kris Ravin. Also the following Brooks ambulance personel attended: Paul Lawrence, Sandy Whitcomb, George Gallagher and Theo Lawrence .

BLS consists of the following segments, which each run approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Hazmat Awareness, Hazmat Communications, Respiratory Protection, Blood-borne Pathogens, Fire Extinguishers, Hazardous Assessment of Personal Protection Equipment, Hearing Conservation and OSHA laws and rules that apply to firefighters.

Thank you, firefighters and junior firefighters, for setting up the firehouse for this program and taking six hours on a beautiful day to attend these mandatory classes.

Brooks Preservation Society
The Brooks Preservation Society is campaigning to return train service to the city of Belfast. Please send us your letters of support.

The BPS Leased the Belfast ROW from Unity Property Management. This allows them to operate trains up to the Route 1 overpass. Recently memebers filled in several washouts and cut brush along the Belfast ROW in preparation for our return to Belfast. On Nov. 21 last year, they operated a special event train from Brooks to the the Route 1 overpass and return to celebrate the return of trains to Belfast. Maine Rail Group awarded BPS a grant for $1,000 for their efforts to return the railroad to Belfast. A huge thank-you to Maine Rail Group for the grant. Thank-you to Russ Barber for communicating BPS’s efforts to them!

There is still a large list of things the BPS would like to do for this summer. If you are interested in joining the group contact Brooks Preservation Society by e-mail at jfeero@fairpoint.net or by phone at 722-3899.

Mount View musings

Congratulations to the Mount View boys’ basketball team for making it to the semi-finals this past week. After a great season which included a defeat of the unbeaten No. 1 team, Camden Hills, the boys should be proud of their performance in the tournament in Bangor, which was televised on Channel 12. The team lost to Ellsworth, but they should be very proud of themselves for a great run.

Last week I went to Mount View for the postponed Coffee House, which is a talent show of sorts, which was supposed to take place last November, but was rescheduled a few times. The event was filled with talented students and took place in the lobby of the school. My beautiful and talented niece, Alyssa Schiessl, sang two songs with local musicman and member of Tree by Leaf Cliff Young. I might be a bit biased, but I thought she was one of the best. It’s good to see that the arts are alive at Mount View, not just sports.

Town meeting

The Brooks town meeting will be Saturday, March 20. Please put that date on your calendar. This year we need to elect two people to the office of selectperson, so this year it is very important to attend, as it will shape the direction of our town.

Rug-hooking class
For those of you who might be unfamilliar with what rug-hooking is, here is a brief history.

It is believed that the earliest forebears of hooked rugs were the floor mats made in Yorkshire, England, during the early part of the 19th century. Workers in weaving mills were allowed to collect “thrums,” pieces of yarn that ran nine inches long. These by-products were useless to the mill, and the weavers took them home and pulled the thrums through a backing. However in the publication “Rag Rug Making” by Jenni Stuart-Anderson, the author states that the most recent research indicates “…the technique of hooking woolen loops through a base fabric was used by the Vikings, whose families probably brought it to Scotland.” There are also early examples of rugs from France and the Canary Islands.

Rug-hooking as we know it today developed in New England. In its earliest years, rug-hooking was a craft of poverty. The vogue for floor coverings in the United States came about after 1830, when factories produced machine-made carpets for the rich. Poor women began looking through their scrap bags for materials to employ in creating their own homemade floor coverings.

Women employed whatever materials they had available. Girls from wealthy families were sent to school to learn embroidery and quilting; fashioning floor rugs and mats was never part of the curriculum. Another sign that hooking was the pastime of the poor is the fact that popular ladies’ magazines in the 19th century never wrote about rug-hooking. It was considered a country craft in the days when the word “country” was derogatory.

Since hooking was a craft of poverty, rug-makers put to use whatever materials were available. Antique hooked rugs were created on burlap after 1850, because burlap was free as long as one used old grain and feed bags. Every and any scrap of fiber that was no longer usable as clothing was put into rugs. In the United States, yarn was not a fiber of choice if one did not have access to thrums. Yarn was too precious, and had to be saved for knitting and weaving. Instead the tradition of using scraps of fabric evolved. Yarns and other creatively used materials have always been used for hooked rugs. Everything from cotton T-shirts to nylon stockings was cut and used.

The modern preference for using only cut wool strips in hooked rugs originated with Pearl McGown in the 1930s, and may have saved the craft from disappearing in the United States. McGown popularized strict guidelines for rug-hooking and formalized its study.Today rug-hooking or mat-making, as it is sometimes referred to, has been labeled in Canada as a fine art.

Now in our third class, we have learned much about not only rug-hooking but each other as well. Each rug reflects the personality of the person hooking it. I can only imagine groups of women getting together, much as we are, a hundred years ago, sitting and talking as they worked on thier rugs. It’s fun to watch what each person is working on and the progress they make each week. I must confess that I was getting ready for tax time and didn’t get much done outside of class. One of the reasons I look forward each week to the class is just sitting and making time to do something I have always wanted to do.

Fireside chat with Betty Littlefield

Here is the second installment of Brooks history memories by Betty Littlefield. The real pleasure is sitting with Betty and just listening to her talk about all the goings-on of our town in years past, but I know not everyone can do that, so I thought this would be the next-best thing.

Brooks Historical Society greatly appreciates the thoughtfulness of our fellow townspeople and those of neighboring women in donating items relating to our town’s history. One such item is an album of pictures of local folks donated by Wanda Kenney of Knox. The pictures were taken by her father-in-law, Leland Kenney, who participated in most Brooks activities. One picture is of Clair Roberts, who operated the woodworking mill that his grandfather had founded. I am placing the photos in an acid- free album, which you may peruse this summer at the museum. Who knows? You may find your own picture there.

Also of special interest from Wanda is an audiotape of a very long conversation between Clair and Leland in which Clair relates coming home from a quick trip to the store to find his mother engulfed in flames from a cooking fire. This tape is also available to the guests at the Pilley House.

A recent acquisition of the museum from Randy Hall of Dixmont is a book published in 1902 for Golden Crown Lodge No. 108 Knights of Pythias of Brooks. As I recently stated, organizations were an important part of Brooks social life from the late 1800s throughout half of the 20th century. One such organization was the Knights of Pythias, better known as the K.P.s.The Brooks chapter was instituted Feb. 13, 1896, with 30 members. We expect that it was a charitable organization. Records also indicate that the Knights of Pythias sponsored many grand social events at Union Hall, now the Marsh River Theater.

A picture from the centennial parade of 1916 shows the Knights in full regalia. By 1925 membership had grown to 88. I remember that my dad, Lawrence Brown, attended K.P. meetings, and his badge, along with other items from the organization, are on display at the Brooks Museum on Route 7 at the Pilley House. After World War II membership declined, and the days of the Knights of Pythias in Brooks were soon over.

Thank you, and goodnight. Betty Littlefield

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Freedom

The selectors will meet at the Town Office Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 25 the budget committee will meet at the Town Office at 6:30 p.m.

If you would like to learn more about the town, you can go to freedomme.org. There is a variety of information available there to read.

Town Office phone: 382-6177, fax: 382-3040

Town Office hours: Monday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; first Saturday of each month: 9 a.m. to noon

Remember to vote
Election will be held Friday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Town Meeting will be held Saturday, March 13 at 10 a.m. Absentee ballots are available to be picked up at the Town Office.

Winter fun events to be rescheduled
The series of events that had been scheduled to take place Feb. 21 were canceled and will be rescheduled for a date to be announced later. The events, which were being coordinated by the folks at The Village Farm, were to include a pancake breakfast, horse-drawn sleigh rides and hot dogs, cookies, cocoa and coffee being sold as a fundraiser for the fire department.

For more information about these events, contact Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi at The Village Farm by calling 382-6300 or checking their Web site (villagefarmfreedom.com) for a new date.

Voice of Freedom
Well folks, hockey and basketball seasons are over! But don’t fret, in a few weeks baseball practice will begin and we’ll be hearing “Play Ball.”

That is a sure sign of spring!

Things around town have been quiet and really nothing much going on.

I believe that people are watching the Olympics and watching the weather channel and watching all those storms coming in and the many inches of snow that have fallen in places that never expected it. I guess weather was the conversation of the day.

If you have anything of interest that you would like to share with the readers, please notify me.

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Knox — by Rita Doughty

Sympathy
Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Sidney “Sonny” Bailey of Montville. He passed away Sunday. He had knee surgery and was recuperating. We send our thoughts and prayers to the family. His father, Freddie, lives next door down the hill from me. His sister, Joyce Thompson, lives on Quaker Hill Road in Unity. We are thinking of you folks as well in your time of sorrow.

A benefit luncheon for Sonny’s family will be held at Unity Elementary School Sunday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. Donations at the door, plus raffle and 50/50. To donate food call Mindi Boon at 385-7581. Donations may also be mailed to Cheryl Grass for the family at P.O. Box 59, Freedom, ME 04941. See you there.

Sympathy is sent to Gerald Spencer of Benton on the death of his wife, Ardrian “Jo” Spencer, Feb. 9. My father, Roger, my brother Dwayne, and Uncle Frank Drew all worked for them. Jo was the bookkeeper for the Polaris Snowmobile Co. and Construction Co. and the Trading Post in Fairfield. She also had Clothes of Yesteryears. She will be sadly missed.

Also, sympathy is extended to Ina Moulton and family on the loss of her sister, Mary (Merry) Opdahl of Swanville.

My aunt, Thelma M. Drew, age 90, died Feb. 13. She had resided at Cedar Ridge Center in Skowhegan for the past two and a half years. A graveside service will be held in the spring. Thelma was the widow of Cecil O. Drew (Dad’s oldest brother).

Fire
An electrical fire on Saturday at the old Bryant Steel Works burned a big Quonset hut-type storage building. This was owned by Eric Bryant. Thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and personal recreation vehicles were lost. Sorry to hear of your loss, Eric.

Belated birthday
A belated birthday wish to Emily Perkins, who turned 18 Feb. 7. May you have many more.

Get well wishes and prayers
Get well wishes and prayers to Joyce Thompson of Unity as she undergoes her treatments. We are thinking of you.

Rabbit hunt and pig roast
The ninth annual rabbit hunt and pig roast is Saturday, March 27 at the Pine Tree Coon, Cat and Bear Hunters Club House on Tyler Road in Albion. The pig roast and all the fixings for non-hunters (public) is adults $6, children under 12 $4 at 4:30 p.m. For info call Victor Buker at 437-9212, Sonny Sylvester at 437-7037 or J.R. Sylvester at 437-9397. Info on hunt entry forms for the hunt is at Freedom General Store.

Basketball
The Mount View High School Boys Basketball Team made its second trip to the Bangor Auditorium Feb. 17. They lost to Ellsworth, 84-65. At least they got to go and do their best. How about those mohawk hair do’s? Even the news reporter was commenting on the hair — way to go, guys!

Winslow High School Girls Basketball Team played Wednesday night, and lost 32-23 to MDI. My grandkids attend Winslow Elementary, so I have to keep informed. Sara, age 9, made the All Star Team.

Birthdays
Ava Nickerson will celebrate her birthday Sunday. Happy birthday.

Feb. 14 Gabe Doughty and a few of his buddies from school with their parents went to Hermon Mountain Tubing for the 7th birthday party of his friend Sam Levesque of Liberty. They all had a great time and the weather was perfect!

Olympics
Many folks are watching the Vancouver Olympics; the U.S. is doing well getting gold medals.

Penny Drive
Have any spare change? The sixth annual Penny Drive, sponsored by Future MSAD 3 will include all SAD 3 schools in 2010. Funds raised through the Penny Drive will support Future’s campaign for enhancements to Mount View’s new and existing athletic and recreational facilities.

Since 2004 participating SAD 3 elementary schools raised $7,362.59 to support enhancements to the new Mount View, including The Clifford Performing Arts Center and the new campaign for athletic and recreational facilities.

Mount View Middle School and Mount View Elementary will launch their Penny Drive activities March 1. The Penny Drive will conclude March 26.

The slogan for the 2010 Penny Drive is “When we work together, we are one team!”

The fundraiser is being coordinated by Future MSAD 3 Event Committee Co-Chairs Bev Winship and Barbara Higgins.

For more information on the campaign, Mount View athletic facility naming opportunities, or to contribute: call 948-6120, e-mail futuremsad3@yahoo.com or visit futuremsad3.org. Find Future MSAD 3 on Facebook. Contributions can be sent to Future MSAD 3, P.O. Box 151, Unity, ME 04988.

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Monroe

Instructional DVDs added
The Monroe Community Library has just added seven instructional DVDs on the topics of pre-calculus, Italian language, geology, physics, world geography, chemistry, and trigonometry. They will be available for borrowing during regular Town Hall hours.

Penny Drive at elementary school
Find the jar of coins! The sixth annual Penny Drive sponsored by Future MSAD 3 will include all SAD 3 schools. Funds raised through the Penny Drive will support Future’s campaign for enhancements not covered by the state or the district by providing water and electrical conduit to new and existing athletic fields and water, power and sewer lines to a planned outdoor concession building.

The 2010 Penny Drive slogan is: “When we work together, we are one team!”

Monroe Elementary School will launch its Penny Drive activities March 1. The Penny Drive will conclude March 26. Event Committee Co-Chairs are Bev Winship and Barbara Higgins.

For more information on the campaign, Mount View athletic facility naming opportunities, or to contribute: call 948-6120, e-mail futuremsad3@yahoo.com or visit futuremsad3.org. Find Future MSAD 3 on Facebook. Contributions can be sent to Future MSAD 3, P.O. Box 151, Unity, ME 04988.

Extension homemakers get creative
The Monroe Extension Homemakers Group held its February meeting with 24 members present. The group discussed plans for the lunch they will be providing at the Cabin Fever Reliever Day to be held at the Troy Howard School Saturday, March 13. Thank-you notes were read from various charities to which recent donations were made.

The program was conducted by Sharon LaSota, who provided materials for members to make greeting cards and who gave instructions on various ways to decorate the handmade cards. Although the basic design was the same, each card was different, showing the different personalities of those making the cards. A potluck lunch was served following the program. The next meeting will be held at the Monroe Community Church at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 16 and the public is invited. The program will be a speaker on Safe Driving for Seniors.

Community table At farmers’ market
The Monroe Farmers’ Market, set to re-open at the end of May, will provide a “Community” tent for any local group (Lions, Extension, Rebekahs, Odd Fellows, Boy or Girl Scouts, recreation committee, church, etc.) to use free on any Saturday they choose, from 9 a.m. to noon. More than one group may occupy the space at the same time.

Activities may include how-to demonstrations, promotion of an upcoming event, sale of homemade items (we ask that you avoid produce, baked goods, meats or ice cream, which are the livelihood of our vendors), musical performance, art displays, contests or other possibilities.

Individuals wishing to sell homemade crafts, locally grown berries in season, nuts in the shell, honey, maple syrup, cheeses or other specialty food items may set up a table for $5 for the day. If you would like to be present every Saturday for the season, the fee is $40. Call Martha Goodale at 525-3532, or e-mail goodwight@gmail.com for information or clarification of market policy.

Fine dining reminder
The Italian restaurant “Trattoria Monroe” is bringing forth a new and delicious-sounding menu at the Monroe Community Church, Saturday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The local chefs have built a reputation for quality and presentation over the past 12 months of international cuisine dinners, managing to keep the ticket price at an affordable $10.

The menu will include escarole and bean soup, homemade Italian bread and focaccia, chicken cacciatore, soft polenta and a variety of cheesecakes for dessert.

Reservations are advised. Call Joyce Hillman at 525-9908.

Making end-of-life decisions
You are invited to attend a talk on: “Making end-of-life decisions: Some non-traditional options,” Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. at the Monroe Town Hall, corner of routes 141 and 139.

Topics covered will include: Advance directives and making end-of-life decisions, green cemeteries, direct cremation, burial on your own land, home funerals, casketless burials, bookshelf coffins and more.

Presenters are:

• Karen Gleeson, a social worker who has worked in the hospice and end-of-life field for the last 10 years. She is a certified grief counselor.

• Paul Sheridan, a retired educator who teaches at Senior College at the Hutchinson Center, works as an AARP driving safety instructor, and serves on the board of the Belfast Co-operative.

Karen and Paul are working with one of a growing number of small local groups in Waldo County that are preparing to provide support for each other in carrying out their end-of-life decisions.

For more information, call 525-4538 or e-mail karenmd@psouth.net.

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Morrill

Moose permit applications are now available. Prices are $7 for one application; $12 for three applications; and $22 for six applications. The deadline for paper applications is April 1, and the deadline for online submissions is May 14 at 11:59 p.m. The town clerk will be able to process moose permits online. A credit card is needed.

Remember the Tri-Town Parent Teacher Group meeting at the Weymouth School at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.

A very enjoyable evening was spent Feb. 14 in the lower level of Morrill Baptist Church. Materials were provided to make Valentines for young and old, with a special card created for Pastor Mike and Debbie. The night ended with sundaes, cookies and cupcakes while listening to favorite love songs that people brought in on records, tapes and CDs.

Abe Bagley spent 11 days at Waldo County General Hospital, but is now home and doing much better, recovering from a bout with viral pneumonia. He had a follow-up appointment to see if he needed the last round of chemo Feb. 23.

Notes from my friend and neighbor, Sandi Buck: “This February, I had the opportunity to travel through Israel from the coastal city of Tel Aviv, north to Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights, south to the tell (several layers of civilization built on top of each other) of Jericho, and up to the city of Jerusalem, making stops at many sights held sacred by the people of Israel, and the world.

I met many Israelis — Jewish, Arab, Christian and Muslim — and found them all warm and welcoming. Our tour guide was American-born, and our bus driver was Arab. Both live in Jerusalem, and enjoyed showing off their country. I left inspired to pray for the peace of Israel and all her people.”

Sandi is the daughter of the late Wilbur and Alice Buck. Wilbur was our beloved mailman for many years, always going the extra mile for those on his route, no pun intended.

I was out of town for five days this past week, visiting family in Connecticut. My headquarters was in Ellington, at the home of my oldest daughter, Vicki White, and her family. Her husband, John, has severe diabetes. He has had to have several amputations, and is on dialysis three days a week, so they haven’t been able to come to Maine for a long time. It’s a busy household down there with my two older grandchildren, John and Jocelyn, attending Manchester Community College and living at home, and Brittani, a senior in high school – they are going in different directions all the time. One of the highlights of my trip was young John’s bowling a perfect 300 game in a “bowl off” competition. As top bowler, he received scholarship money, much needed and appreciated.

While there, we had visits from my daughter Betty and her husband, Doug Landeen, grandchildren David and Annie Bullock, and Bob’s brother, Charlie, and his wife, Marilyn Harrington. We all played table games, watched the Olympics and had lots of our favorite family meals. Brittani and I spent an afternoon in Willington with my forever friends, Barbara and Jim Austin. I also had the privilege of attending Columbia Baptist Fellowship, where Bob and I and the kids went to church when we lived in Connecticut. The same pastor and friend, Jack Schneider, still preaches there at 77, and his wife still plays the piano.

To round out my trip, I stopped to see cousins Ike and Dotty Mahurin in Tolland, Connecticut, but had to make it a short visit. I was already a day late getting back because of a wet, slippery storm down there, which missed Maine completely.

My sister, Mary Jean, “babysat” the starter for my Amish Friendship Bread while I was gone, mushing it to get out the air bubbles and all. She commented that she had watched houses, cats and dogs for people on trips, but she had never had to take care of bacteria!

The turkeys have returned to Poland Woods Road. There were 10 out back this morning, and then 10 crossing the road down by the pond, so I figure they were the same group, As usual, one got separated from the rest, and dithered around in the ditch for a few seconds before running in front of the car to join his peers.

From “Our Daily Bread”: “Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another person up.”

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Montville

All roads lead to Montville on Saturday, Feb. 27 as the New England 2010 Runner Sled Championships draw hundreds of enthusiasts to compete for bragging rights and enjoy the festivities. Details were in last week’s column, or you can log on at noumbrella.com/runnersled/ for the full scoop. Looks to be a record crowd this year; carpooling is encouraged. Look for signs on Route 220 North near the Bragdon Rd.

On a sad note, we send condolences to the family of Sonny Bailey. He was a hardworking dairy farmer, devoted family man and a true character. He will be missed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help defray funeral expenses and sent to Donna Bailey, 2023 North Mountain Valley Highway, Montville, ME 04941.

It’s been a wonderful stretch of weather if you dislike shoveling snow or plowing; not so good if you like to snowmobile. My cousins in Virginia have been keeping it all down there. It’s been so long since I had to plow, I forgot where I left the truck. …

If you have any news you’d like to see in this column, call or e-mail me. See you at the races!

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Northport

Hello Northport!

I’m baaack! Sorry for the confusion. … things have been a little hectic, but I am back to writing the column.

Hasn’t this been a lovely February? We have received a lot less snow than the South. Did you know that Hawaii is the only state that has not had any snowfall this winter? There is a volcano on one of the islands that gets some snow, but it hasn’t seen any so far.

Census takers are needed. There will be a testing session at the Northport Town Office Tuesday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. Call 203-1020 or 866-861-2010 to schedule an employment test. Please bring ID to your test: Driver’s license and Social Security card or birth certificate or U.S. passport. Veterans should bring a photocopy of their DD 214. This job pays $13.50 per hour, part-time, temporary. Flexible hours and mileage is reimbursed. Visit 2010censusjobs.gov for more info and a practice test.

Keep the information coming in as to what is happening around town. You can call, e-mail or drop it off at the Hideaway Diner. See you next week.

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Palermo

Hello!

My name is Kaylah. I am an 18-year-old home-schooled girl. I love to write, so when I saw the ad for someone to write the Palermo town news I jumped at it! I am really excited to get the job and am going to try my best to keep you up to date with what is happening in our little town.

I have been enjoying this nice weather we are having by taking walks, snapping photos, playing with my Sheltie, Teddy, or taking the two little kids my mom babysits outside.

I can’t wait for spring to come. It is one of my favorite seasons. I can’t wait to start my vegetable gardens, go fishing and kayaking and maybe a little camping in between. My family owns six acres of land and up in our woods there is a perfect spot to set up a tent and a campfire.

If you have any news or events for the town of Palermo, please contact me. I would love to hear from you. Have a good week and enjoy this wonderful spring-like weather.

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Prospect

It was 28 degrees this morning with a light dusting of snow. This afternoon, it is 41 degrees, light breeze, no snow and a caterpillar is crawling on our hot top driveway. Can spring be nearer than the groundhog predicted?

Need help to get your taxes done? The AARP-trained people will be at the Stockton Springs Library every Saturday for low income and senior citizens from now until April 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call Pat Snyder to make an appointment at 567-3137 and ask her what papers you will need to bring to make the session go smoothly.

According to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Curley, the library was very busy last Saturday. I met them when they came down to Tall Pines to visit with Mary Staples. When I got there, she was on her way to therapy, so I went with her. I think she is doing good and is eating well. A home visit was to take place today to see if everything is ready for her to come home.

While there, I also inquired about some other people I know — they are not patients but I met their relatives who work there. One was Beulah Larrabee of Stockton. She and her family used to live in Prospect many years ago and went to the Marsh School. Her daughter told me that she has to have The Journal as soon as it comes out so she can see what is going on in the old hometown.

I went to school with her brothers Carl and Maynard. Her sister, Polly, was older but we were all in and out of each others homes. Have a great week, Beulah. Also asked about Dorothy Gordon of Prospect. Her daughter-in-law works there also. Dorothy is having trouble with the circulation in her legs. I pray the doctors will be able to help her. My brother, Harold, suffered greatly with the circulation in his legs due to diabetes.

Monday, Clarence Drew was taken to Waldo County Hospital in Belfast with a fever, very high blood sugar and an infection, which is still being tested for. As with any unknown problem, there have been a series of tests and doctors and Florence has been there almost all the time. Florence is not in the best of health, and this is taking its toll on her also. I pray that they both will get better and Clarence will be able to come home soon.

Six years ago, the Newport Entertainment Center opened a bowling alley and one of the special prizes was $2,500 to the first person to bowl a perfect game. Two weeks ago, a young 15-year-old sophomore from Bucksport High School, McCauley Donna, of town achieved what others had failed to do. He bowls in the high school league and his parents, Town Clerk Lisa Donna and her husband, Jerry, were ecstatic with his win. Instead of the money, he will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Way to go, McCauley.

Town Clerk Lisa Donna is compiling a list of businesses in town and trades that people do as a hobby or for extra income. Examples: Snow-plowing, selling wood, gravel, construction, landscaping, carpentry, wiring, remodeling, repairs and etc. If you want your name added to the list, call her at 567-3661 on Tuesdays from 1-7 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with your name, specialty and telephone number. With new people moving into town and needing services, she can give them a number to call.

Kathy Parker is now home from Eastern Maine Medical Center after having surgery for a hernia. This time, her operation went well and she doesn’t seem to have any ill effects from it. She will be out of work for a few weeks, but I know that she is glad that it is over. Take care, Kathy.

The first Sunday of each month, The Redeeming Love Church will hold fellowship right after the morning service. The service starts at 10 a.m. and then they will go down to the dining room at 11 and have visiting and food. Usually, they also have a 6:30 p.m. service, but the first Sunday of the month, there will be no evening service. All are welcome to attend.

The children love the puppets and so do the adults. Rev. Sybille gives a fine sermon and her husband, Steve, provides the musical ministry. Their daughter Monica does the visuals and designs the program and daughter Emile is the greeter. Come and enjoy.

I want to wish you all a safe and healthy week and remember those who need a card or a prayer. God bless you all.

Word of caution on a scam

A word of caution: There is a scam going on where a person will call and tell you that he is a relative and has had an accident, far away from home and needs money for repairs or insurance. This happened to a couple here in town, but luckily they did not send any money.

After telling the caller to call his father, the man of the couple abruptly hung up. The woman called the mother of the supposed grandson and was told he was still in the same state and hadn’t made contact with his grandmother. Please be careful about any information you give a caller, as it can be used to trick you. These people are devious.

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Searsmont

As this week is approaching, it will be only a little over one month until spring, can you believe it? Better yet, Daylight Saving Time starts the 14th of March, and that is a sure sign of good things to come! I will be so glad to see some good, clean rain and get this dirty snow and winter blahs all washed away.

This winter wasn’t all that bad, but when we got it, we got it good. My husband finished a porch during the winter and I am so excited to go out there and make plenty use of it soon. Next to come, a much needed mud room and the sooner the better. I haven’t heard from any Searsmont folks with news or information other than the Town Hall. Would love to hear from you with anything you may like to add.

I would like to send best wishes to the Marriner family whose son, Travis, was injured on Thursday, the 18th. His dad and him were cutting wood and Travis was life-flighted to Eastern Maine Med, where he is recovering from several serious injuries. I pray he recovers fast and his family are doing okay too. It’s so hard when you are enduring these times; they can use all our support and prayers.

News from the Town Office
Argent Communications, LLC recently acquired Windjammer Communications, LLC, the cable company located in Searsmont. As of April 30, 2010, Argent will no longer provide services to the town of Searsmont. Please contact Argent at 888-815-0610 if you have any questions or concerns.

As voted on at last year’s town meeting, this year’s annual town meeting will be Saturday, April 3 at 9 a.m. This change will allow Searsmont residents to participate or watch the annual canoe race. Please remember to bring some non-perishable items to be distributed to the local food pantries.

This is the year the selectmen will appoint ballot clerks. The appointments are for a two-year period. The duties of a ballot clerk are monitoring the ballot box, checking in the people as they come in to vote, passing out ballots, or counting ballots. If you are interested in being a ballot clerk, notify Kathy Hoey at the Town Office.

If you are concerned about pesticides sprayed near your home, you can be placed the Pesticide Notification Registry. To be on the registry, your name must be submitted by March 15. To sign up on the registry, go to: thinkfirstspraylast.org. Or call the Board of Pesticides Control at 201-287-2731 for an application form. More information is posted at the Town Office.

A look ahead
Cribbage is played on the first and third Fridays of the month at 7 p.m. They meet downstairs in the Community Building.

SWAG will meet Monday, March 8 at 1 p.m. in the Community Building.

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Searsport

Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. the Economic Development Committee will meet in the Town Hall. This meeting will be televised.

Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m., the Recreation Committee will meet in the Dan Rich Public Safety Building.

Saturday, Feb. 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. a Cabin Fever Reliever for the whole family will take place at the Captain Albert Stevens Elementary School in Belfast, sponsored by the Swan Lake Work Camp folks. Three bounce houses, crab races and various games will be held in the gym for a $5 per child/$15 per family of three kids or more gate fee, no charge for adults.

There will be cake walks for $1 per entry. Kyle Edgerly will be creating balloon animals for a buck or two each. In the cafeteria, several musicians and groups will be playing bluegrass and assorted music. Hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, cotton candy, coffee and a big cake sale full of goodies will be available to raise money for the work camp. Come on out and get the little ones tuckered out, feed’em supper, and shoot’em into bed on Saturday night.

Tuesday, March 2 starting at 10 a.m. the municipal elections will take place in the Dan Rich Public Safety Building.

Friday, March 5 at 6 p.m., the Searsport Republican caucus will take place in Union Hall.

The Searsport Police Department received 33 calls for service for the week ending Feb. 14.

On Saturday, March 20 there will be an Italian lasagna supper to benefit the people of Haiti who recently suffered through the devastating earthquakes. The Italian public supper event is sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship of the First Congregational Church, located on Church Street. The dinner starts at 5 p.m. and there will be an $8 per person suggested donation. Dinner includes lasagna, bread, salad and dessert.

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Stockton Springs

This has been a very slow month for news. As the weather begins to warm I hope there will be more activities and more news to get out. Give me a call, send me an e-mail or drop a note at the Town Office and I will make sure it gets in the paper. My deadline for submitting the column has changed to noon on Friday, so I will need your information on Thursday in order to get it in the next week’s paper.

Can you believe that March is almost here? The weather this week has been nice, but it sounds like by the time this column hits the paper we might have some more snow. At least we haven’t had the snow that they have had in the southern states. My brother, Howard, lives in Salisbury, Md., and they had more than 20 inches of snow,.Schools were closed for two weeks and the roads still aren’t clear — school buses were getting stuck Monday morning when they were picking up the kids and schools were two hours late starting. They just do not have the equipment and expertise to manage that much snow. Plus, Howard said that it was a heavy, wet snow, which made it that much harder to move.

Free tax assistance with e-filing will be offered Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stockton Springs Community Library on Main Street through April 10. For an appointment, call Pat Snyder at 567-3137. A volunteer who has passed the IRS certification test will be on hand to assist low- to moderate-income taxpayers. Please bring photo ID, social security cards, a copy of last year’s tax return, and all 2009 tax documents and itemized deductions. This program is sponsored by the AARP Foundation, and is offered to taxpayers of all ages (no membership in AARP required).

Keep the Heat On fuel assistance funds are still available for residents of Stockton Springs who do not qualify for LIHEAP or other assistance programs and need help heating their homes. The fund will provide 100 gallons of heating oil, or the equivalent in other fuels, to each qualifying household. Some income restrictions apply. Contact Joe Hayes at the Town Office if you need help in heating your home this winter. General Assistance is also available through the town if you need help with utility bills and other essential needs.

The “Save Our Steeple” fund at the Stockton Springs Community Church has set out jars at the Town Office, Wyman’s General Store and Perry’s. Drop your loose change in the jars, if you can, and help support the church in replacing the steeple. It’s amazing how quickly a few pennies, nickels and dimes can add up. The SOS fund has raised almost $50,000 towards the replacement of the church steeple, but still has a long way to go. This will be the only fundraising activity they are doing during the winter months and every penny helps. If you would like to donate more, you can send your check to Save Our Steeple, c/o Seaboard Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box G, Bucksport, ME 04416-1207, Attn: Darlene.

I am sure by now most of you have either seen Steve Fuller’s article in the Republican Journal or the news item on Channel 5 about the flag that was found in a storage room at the Town Office. The flag is on display at the Town Office and if anyone has any information or insight into the history or origin of the flag, please call the Town Office at 567-3404. Through information obtained by the report on WABI, it appears that this flag is a United States Yacht Ensign. It must have some local history and hopefully there is someone out there who knows what that history is.

Veterans residing in the Stockton Springs area are invited to join Jerry Dobbins American Legion Post 157. The post is located on Route 1 in Sandy Point and is active in a number of state and local events. The Legion participates in Memorial Day and 4th of July parades, as well as holding Veterans Day remembrances in the local communities.

The post holds an annual yard sale in August, sponsors Boy Scout Troop 235, American Legion baseball, sends a representative to Boys’ State, and provides scholarships to local high school seniors. If you would like to join or need further information, contact Commander Robert Hanish at 567-3391 or Membership Chairman Clarence Elden at 567-3571.

Applications for the Lighthouse Scholarship are available at the Town Office and the guidance office at Searsport District High School. Applications are open to any Stockton Springs resident who will graduate from high school in 2010 and will be attending college or technical school after graduation. Deadline for return of the application is Wednesday, March 17. For more information contact Gay Dion at 567-4072.

The Recreation Department’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams participated in Travel Team tournaments Feb. 13 and 14. The results in each division were: 3rd – 4th Grade Girls, 2nd Place; 3rd – 4th Grade Boys, 2nd Place; 5th and 6th Grade Girls, Did not place; 5th and 6th Grade Boys, 3rd place. The teams will participate in a number of travel tournaments during the month of March. I hope someone will keep me informed of the results of those games.

Meetings for the upcoming week are: Recycling Committee, Monday, March 1; Budget Committee, 6:30 p.m.,Tuesday, March 2; Planning Board, 6:30 p.m., Recreation Committee 7 p.m. and Board of Assessment Review 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3; Selectmen, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4. All meetings are held at the Town Office and are open to the public.

Universal Waste Day is Saturday, Feb. 27, 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Garage. A list of acceptable items is available at the Town Office.

Sara Bradford has been doing a good job keeping the public access channel up to date with local information. If you are a Time Warner subscriber, Channel 7 is the town’s local public access channel. There is a lot of useful information for citizens and visitors.

There were a number of birthdays in the month of February. Belated wishes go out to Linda Patterson, Donna Sanborn and Pat Curley.

If you have birthdays, anniversaries or other important days that you would like to see in this column let me know.

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Swanville

For those who understand the vision changes that come with age, please forgive me for being uncertain, but I think I saw a goldfinch fly across the road yesterday. It couldn’t have been yellow paper, because it was dipping and rising like they do when they flit.

However, there was no mistaking one of the bald eagles, which was flying only about 50 feet above North Searsport Road with its talons full of dried grass for nesting. It was headed towards the nest behind Bunker’s Bait Shop. We’re all a little euphoric at the warm weather we’ve had these last couple of weeks. I haven’t worn a coat outdoors for several days, and while the ground is still frozen, there’s a mini-mud season that goes about an inch deep between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Be careful out on Town House Road, where the seasonal frost heaves are now quite large, especially as you go down the hill towards Ellis’s. There’s a car-sized olympic high jump that will put your kids’ hearts in their throats!

Another week goes by blissfully free of snow and ice. I believe that I am finally seeing the beginning of the cycle of weather start again. The years of big snow were in my childhood, and happened again for my kids. When I first started visiting Maine, the winters were like this one — cold with little snow. We all appreciate being able to get out on the roads safely for so many weeks in a row. The temps are up in the daytime, and folks are getting their gear out to start tapping the maple trees. The sun is warmer.

A Cabin Fever Reliever for the whole family is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Captain Albert Stevens Elementary School in Belfast, sponsored by the Swan Lake Work Camp folks. Three bounce houses, crab races and various games will be held in the gym for a $5 per child/$15 per family of three kids or more gate fee, no charge for adults.

There will be cake walks for $1 per entry. In the cafeteria, several musicians and groups will be playing bluegrass and assorted music. Hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, coffee and a big bake sale full of goodies will be available to raise money for the workcamp. Come on out and get the little ones tuckered out before supper so they’ll sleep good on Saturday night!

At a certain birthday party last week, a certain Mr. Kerrigan was seen to have played several jolly songs on his harmonica, with the addition of a jig on the last number.

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Thorndike — by Kari Hunt

The Muddy Paws Grooming has moved from Depot Street to Annette McCormick’s home on the Hunter Road in Unity. If you have a pet you want groomed, contact Annette at 322-6044.

Selectmen’s meetings are the first and third Wednesdays of the month. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Thorndike’s town meeting will be Saturday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. If you have moved to town and need to register to vote, come to the Town Office. The Town Office hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday 1 to 6 p.m. and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Thorndike Volunteer Fire Department has chosen its new slate of officers for 2010. They are: Peter Quimby, fire chief; Clyde Rolerson, deputy chief; Jake Gurney, captain; and Clayton Tebbetts, lieutenant. The officers and members of the fire department welcome anyone interested to stop by the fire station on any of the first three Mondays of the month from 7 to 9 p.m. for information, fire permits, or to discuss becoming a new member of the department.

The department is recruiting volunteer firefighters, junior firefighters ages 16 to 18, and ladies auxiliary members. Your town’s fire department needs your support. Quimby can be contacted by telephone at his home at 568-3706 or by cell phone at 323-0664. The department’s e-mail address is thorndikefire@gmail.com.

If you have any news, events or celebrations you would like to share with your fellow residents call me at 568-3655 or e-mail me at thorndikenews@yahoo.com.

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Unity

In my world
I have a houseplant commonly known as an asparagus fern. It grows long, vine-like stems with small barbs. Many of the vines are up to four feet long. It was getting out of control, so I got an idea. I cut down a well branched alder and stuck it in the large pot, using it as a topiary, winding the vines around the branches. The vines were on the verge of starting to “fern out,” growing long, feathery, delicate fern-like side stems.

I was thinking I was pretty smart. This morning, I looked at it and at first glance, it looked like the whole asparagus fern had spent the night creating many little side-stem ferns. However, upon a closer viewing, I realized that the alder branch I stuck in there has now begun to leaf out — furiously. It doesn’t look bad, but I think I’m going to have to dismantle the whole thing. Back to the drawing board. …

Thanks goes out to Jamila Levasseur of Waldo who so kindly e-mailed me advice for Bichu.

And yippee! I’m going to be a first time auntie to a niece! I already bought her a little outfit that says “I love my Auntie.”

In your world
MSAD 3’s Central Office has moved into the Unity Elementary School. The new address is: 84 School St., Unity, ME 04988.

Friday, Feb. 26 from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Producing Quality Organic Grains for Maine: Disease Management and Grain Cleaning, Drying & Storage at the MOFGA Common Ground Education Center. Preregistration required by Feb. 17. Cost: $10 per person per event includes lunch. For information, contact: Ellen Mallory, UMaine Extension, 207 581-2942.

Tuesday, March 2 at 5 p.m.
The Unity Area Rotary Club invites to the public to attend a special presentation by Nate Nickerson, the executive director of Konbit Sante, a Maine based NGO that works in Haiti providing medical training, at its regular club meeting. The Unity Area Rotary Club meets at Crosstrax on Depot Street beginning with a social at 4:30 p.m., followed by the guest speaker at 5 p.m. Mr. Nickerson will give a presentation on his post-earthquake trips to Haiti.

Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gaining Ground Workshop at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center
This workshop will show farmers how to form partnerships with conservation organizations to gain affordable and permanent access to farmland. The workshop will be approximately 5 hours and includes lunch. Cost: $15. For more information and a registration form, contact Erin Quigley: erinquigley@gmail.com, 272-8696, equitytrust.org.

Unity Elementary School will launch its sixth annual Penny Drive activities March 1, continuing through March 26.
Look for the loose change! The Penny Drive will include all SAD 3 schools. Funds raised through the Penny Drive will support Future’s campaign for enhancements to Mount View’s new and existing athletic and recreational facilities.

For more information on the campaign, Mount View athletic facility naming opportunities, or to contribute: call 948-6120, e-mail futuremsad3@yahoo.com or visit futuremsad3.org. Find Future MSAD 3 on FaceBook. Contributions can be sent to Future MSAD 3, P.O. Box 151, Unity, ME 04988.

Just outside your world
(items of possible interest)

Montville
Annual Runner Sledding Championships
Feb. 27, more info at .noumbrella.com/runnersled

E-mail questions, comments and concerns: sappail@hotmail.com.

Knox
Tractor Safety for Youth and Adults
UMaine Extension and Ingraham’s Equipment are offering a tractor and farm machinery safety course. The class will run for five consecutive Wednesday nights starting March 17.

Agricultural machine operation is dangerous. Each year, thousands are seriously injured or killed. While machinery has become safer in recent years, the potential for accidents is very real. Although this class is designed for young adults, ages 14-16 who want to earn a federal certificate so they can operate farm machinery as part of their employment on a farm, it also draws many adults and new farmers who want to learn how to drive tractors and operate implements. Participants will receive a manual and be expected to operate machinery during the class. A written and driving exam will be administered during the last class in April.

For more information and to register, visit extension.umaine.edu/waldo and click on Tractor Safety or contact UMaine Extension in Waldo County at 800-287-1426. There is a $15 enrollment fee to cover the manual and some safety equipment.

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Waldo

Mark your calendars: It was this week that Waldo resident Marshall Rolerson proclaimed, “Spring is here.” So far, he’s been proven correct. Whether this is a prediction based simply on a strong wish, or a deep-seated premonition based on his inner animal, the coming weeks will decide.

Your Waldo reporter broke down this last week and attended the second in a series of three book discussions at the Belfast Free Library on Transition Towns, aimed at doing something locally to stop the destruction of our planet.

Feelings were irrationally hot in the family car on the short ride home; neither of us was in the mood to censor ourselves. By the time we reached the Hungry Heron Farm’s driveway, however, and began the steady ascent up the hill, calm descended and the consensus was that just facing the issue took an incredible amount of courage. We came inside feeling warm and grateful for a community with visionaries willing to reach out and address such an impossibly vast problem. Our evening’s discussions took on new importance.

The part of the process designed for dreaming up new ideas was cool. Our table imagined a depot in each of the county seats in Maine. When folks in rural areas like Waldo come to cities like Belfast, they could carpool and have a place to stay while waiting for rides home. The suggestion that it be open 24 hours, and that it be light and comfortable and connected to the police station were good additions. We could do this right now.

They say that you need a war to bring a country out of a depression, like World War II brought us out of the Great Depression. I got to wondering why that is so, and I came up with a reason: It’s because during war, people get all patriotic, they conserve, happy to sacrifice for “the war effort.”

Why not skip the war and start conserving now? What if it became patriotic to recycle, what if victory gardens became as ubiquitous as the family sink or bathtub? What if we all pulled together to stop pollution and slow down the use of oil and coal and electricity? We could wage a war to keep human beings off the endangered species list. Pollution could be our enemy and our ammunition for defeating it could become our creativity. Boom! Cannon fire! Kill the smog! Use the waste! The campaign is to strengthen our muscles and resolve. We will prevail!

Meanwhile, there is fun to be had here in Waldo, a front line in the war against apathy. Folks here like Dennis Payeur, Shirley Caler, Greg Coleman, Kellie Jacobs, Nancy Whitcomb, Debbie Hills and Jeanne McIntyre are boosting our moods by presenting activities for us to get to know each other.

For more information about the following activities, call Kellie Jacobs at 342-3295:

• Students in Waldo: apply for the Rena Whitney scholarship
• Volleyball and basketball games are being planned for the coming months
• A March supper is on the schedule
• The next meeting of the Waldo Boosters will be March 1
• Facebook “Waldo Boosters”