Multi-town news

A call for artists

Senior College’s 8th Annual Festival of Arts is scheduled for Thursday, May 13 through Sunday, May 16 this year at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, Route 3, Belfast, per co-chairpersons Dorothy Alling and Cathy Bradbury.

Last year there were 135 artists from across Maine exhibiting at the festival. Visitors and artists numbered more than 900 people from 78 towns and cities in Maine and from 13 states. This year, with the new addition to the UMaine Hutchinson Center, we can accommodate twice as many artists

The call for artists for the Festival of Arts is open to any person 50 years or older, for amateur and professional artists of all types of visual arts: painting, photos, fabric, glass, jewelry, wood, sculpture in any medium, stained glass, pottery etc.

There are no entry fees for the artists, and the exhibit is free to the public. The show is non-juried. This year we have expanded the festival to also include a special youth exhibit in the new meeting room, featuring works from RSU 20. This truly is an art festival for all ages to be appreciated by everyone.

The Call for Artists is now out for the public and we hope you will take the time to secure your entry form from committee member Rainy Brooks, at: 548-2502, or, e-mail: rainysart@gwi.net. Deadline for entries is April 15.

For more information, contact co-chair Dorothy Alling either by phone at 548-2425 or by e-mail at mdalling@myfairpoint.net.

**************

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.

While on my trip to Belfast a week ago to drop off my column, I received a message from Beverly Thomas that I was not able to respond to until I got home later in the day, too late to make the column for the 10th. I need information by Thursday evening or by 8 a.m. Friday morning at the very latest. This is a reminder!

There will be a benefit supper for Roy (Rick) Smith Saturday, March 20, at 5 p.m. at the Waldo Town Hall, formerly the Van Poland School, on Route 131.

The Belmont Fire Department still has more some detectors available for Belmont residents who need them. Call Maxine Harford at 342-5192 for information.

Condolences to the extended Morse and Munson families on the passing of Virginia Morse at age 73 on Feb. 28.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has spent a lot of time in the valley the past two weeks, taking advantage of the early snowmelt, to get into the Ducktrap River Preserve and complete the boundary marking that was started last fall. As part of their project, IF&W has officially posted the old Dickey Road for “foot traffic” only, on any portion on which they share ownership. That portion abuts and forms the boundary to the Preserve from Dickey Mill Road to the third water crossing on the upgrade to Lincolnville, a distance of most of a mile.

I received a 2010 U.S. Census reminder in the mail earlier this week, so most of us in Belmont should be getting our forms by mail before you read this. When you read this column it will be time to return your form by mail.

The town meeting will have passed and I will have a rundown of the results in the next column. Hopefully, all that are physically able will attend the meeting and get their results first hand.

The comment about the hard freeze a week ago being a trigger for the maples was accurate and last Friday provided the first real flow after the trees took a week off. 18 degrees has been a popular number most of the week with four days checking in at that temperature and another at 12. Monday we topped out at 52 degrees, by 7 p.m. it was already in the 20s and at 22 when I let the dogs out at 9 p.m. The best day for sap has been 19 gallons. A few trees still aren’t giving as they usually have. Maples are a bit like humans, each tree has its own personality.

Maple Sunday 2010 will be the 28th of March. Weather permitting, we will do a Maple Weekend here in the Ducktrap River Valley from Friday, March 26th through Sunday, March 28. Hours will be Friday, 1-6 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. Ducktrap Valley Maple Farm and Wildlife Conserve is located at 153 Dickey Mill Road in Belmont, next to the Ducktrap River and the Preserve.

Remember March of 2007? 22 inches of snow with another 24 inches in April bailed out a very lean snow year and -8, -17, and -15 were the temperatures from the 6th through the 9th. The 17th, the date of this edition of the Journal, marks the 53rd anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day blizzard of 1957. Not wet snow, but powder, fell on Boston three times that March, and the coldest temperature I recall seeing in my lifetime, within five miles of Boston occurred that March 8th, I believe, at -8.

A news note from WLBZ Channel 2 earlier this week — the oldest person in the U.S.A., a Mary Josephine Ray or Rae, I did not see the spelling, passed away in New Hampshire at the age of 114 and over half way to 115.

**************

Freedom

The selectors will hold their meeting Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. at the Town Office. All meetings are open to the public

The Dirigo Grange will hold its meeting Thursday, March 18 at the Dirigo Grange Hall on Route 137 at 7:30 p.m.

**************

Jackson

In my notes, which I do on a pad for ideas to write about, I wrote spring, but what was I thinking? It sure hasn’t felt like spring these last few days, but what I will say about spring, is that Delbert has a new calf, a belted Galloway, and Johnny has a new Pinzgauer. Bet David can’t wait to see them. I’ve also seen a couple skunks, which are a sure sign of spring.

How about those little storms we had! They certainly were big enough, but we were lucky around here to not lose our power. Those poor people in York County and surrounding areas were not as fortunate.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see sun again, especially on a weekend? There was no basketball or soccer the other day, so I just drank coffee and read John Ford’s three articles about Moody Mountain I hadn’t read, and knitted, etc.

Allyn, Mark and Chase Weaver are home from Florida where they visited Robert and Sharon Eldridge, also Jeff and Laura Eldridge and family, and Steve and Barrie Fernald.

Tuesday, March 2: Was it ever good this morning to get on the bus at 5:40 and have the moon shining, then have some blue sky and clouds. I also saw 3 or 4 deer strolling in the woods, followed by the sun now and then. Not that warm, but oh well, can’t have it all.

Gotta get this in the mail. Not much going on, undergrad basketball is in Waterville this weekend, then next weekend, it’s in MDI. It’s a great getaway for the families, as most stay all weekend.

Things coming up

April 10, Spaghetti supper at the Jackson Community Center *

May 9, A Mother’s Day dinner. If there is enough interest, you’ll be called and asked to help with supplies. The dinners are to help raise money for the church checking account.

April 10, Flea Market at Brooks Grange. You can still rent a table.

The church is also trying to update its Jackson cookbook. If you live in Jackson, please get your recipes to Polly Dodge.

Jackson and Brooks town meetings are both on Saturday, March 20.

**************

Knox

Update on East Knox School grant

The East Knox School is in the town warrant again this year. The grant application for 2009 was turned down due to stiff competition and a technical oversight. We have been assured that many towns submit their applications more than once before success.

With voters’ approval at the annual town meeting Saturday, March 20 Knox will apply for $10,000 in Planning Grant funding and appropriate the $2,500 required local funding, as it did last year. Several public information meetings, including the required Title VI public hearing, will be held prior to the submittal of the application in the middle of May. Such meetings will reflect interest in the future of the old schoolhouse and will garner ideas and suggestions for inclusion in the grant application.

Information sheets have been distributed around town over the past few days and they will be available during the election of town officials on Friday, March 19 and at the town meeting the following morning. Please pick one up and review it.

[This information was submitted on behalf of the Knox Historical Society by Mary Ellen Twombly.]

Knox town meeting

Town meeting is Saturday, March 20 at 10 a.m. Friday, March 19 is voting for 1st selectman. Galen Larrabee is the only person submitting his name for this position.

Sympathy

Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Mary Emerson of the Webb Road, who passed away March 7. Mary was the daughter of Harold Emerson Jr. and the late Trudy Emerson. Thoughts are with all of you.

Wild turkeys and robins

I saw a dozen or more wild turkeys by Peggy Perkins’ house. I saw a flock of robins in the backyard. Glad to see they have arrived. Spring is just a ways away. Now to get that mud all dried up. Snow is melting fast.

I saw Lorna Curtis of Winslow on Route 137 out raking her yard as I passed by. They seem to be able to rake and work sooner than us. Our snow is still melting. Didn’t see any there.

Get well wishes

Get well wishes go out to Shawn McCue, son of Eric McCue and grandson of Ken McCue of Bangor. Shawn has been in Eastern Maine Medical Center. Get well soon!

David’s trip

I had to go pick up little David Doughty at his Kids Count Pre-school in Waterville. For a 4-year-old, he’s pretty busy. I took him to McDonald’s where he wanted to go for chicken nuggets. I’m paying for his lunch and in a flash he disappeared! I nearly had heart failure. Quickly he came back around the counter. He was checking out the drink counter. I said “Don’t leave me again — I nearly had a heart attack!” He said “What’s that?” I said “You nearly killed me when you disappeared.” I think he understood that. I thought someone grabbed him. Thank goodness he came back quick, as I was frantic for a few seconds. Kids!

Kinney’s Sugarhouse

Kinney’s Sugarhouse is open. They are located on Abbott Road. Info 568-7576, or mapleconfections.com. On Sunday, March 28 from 2-4p.m. they will have live entertainment from the Dave Rowe Trio. There will be samples of syrup, maple coffee and maple glazed doughnut holes to try. They will have syrup, candy, cream, sugar and other goodies on hand for sale. Sounds good. Come and check them out.

Need a passport?

Saturday, March 27 is Passport Day in the USA. Passport Applications will accepted at the Burnham Post Office from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Find more information at usps.com/passport or state.gov.

Hazardous waste day

Household hazardous waste day will be Saturday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the recycling center in Thorndike. This will cost $27 per unit, a unit being five gallons or 20 pounds. Get a list from the Town Office to see what you can bring.

Greetings

Hello to Fred and Rita Alley. Hope you are doing well.

Food pantries

The Happy Time Food Pantry is open Thursday, March 18 and Volunteer Regional is open Saturday, March 20.

Open house

Ingraham Equipment will be holding its 50th anniversary open house Wednesday, April 21.

Moose permits

The Moose Permit Lottery applications are in. For a $2 fee you can get this done at the Town Office as well. The deadline is Thursday, April 1.

Penny drive

Have any spare change? Consider giving it to Future MSAD 3 as part of its sixth annual penny drive. This fundraising campaign includes 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.

The penny drive will conclude Friday, March 26. The slogan for the 2010 penny drive is “When we work together, we are one team!”

Anyone can drop off pennies or change or even a check for the penny drive. If you wish you can drop it off at any school and specify if you wish it to be credited to any certain child’s class , school or grade, such as for your grandchildren. Good luck and have fun.

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.

**************

Lincolnville

Municipal meetings

All meetings are held at Lincolnville Central School unless otherwise noted.

The selectmen meet Monday, March 22 at 6 p.m., meeting televised.

The budget committee meets Tuesday, March 23 a 6:30 p.m.

Town Office

Nomination papers are available at the office for town positions — selectmen, school committee, Five Town CSD board and budget committee. The election is in June prior to the town meeting.

School

Kindergarten registration will be held Wednesday, March 31. If you’ve preregistered you should have received a packet in the mail with your appointment time. If you haven’t preregistered and have a child who’ll be 5 on or before Oct. 15, 2010, call the school, 763-3366.

The eighth grade is holding a bottle drive Saturday, March 20. Volunteer drivers will be making the rounds of the town starting at 9 a.m., so if you’d like to help out have your returnables bagged and out at the curb by then. All those bottles and cans are bringing the class closer to Quebec City in the spring!

The Hope-Appleton-Lincolnville wrestling team travels to Belfast Saturday, March 20 for a meet which starts at 9 a.m.

Pasta dinner and contra dance

A homemade pasta dinner at Walsh Common, LCS, Friday, March 19 will be followed by a contra dance featuring Ti’ Acadie, a Maine dance and folk trio. This is Partners for Enrichment’s annual fundraising event, and helps bring all the wonderful artists and performers to the Hope-Appleton-Lincolnville schools. The dinner starts at starts at 6 p.m. and dancing at 7. Admission is $5 per person, $20 for a family. This sounds like a fun evening for all ages, a chance for those of us without children in the school to support an organization that directly benefits our town’s children.

Jam session

A bluegrass/folk music jam session is going to be held in Walsh Common Saturday, March 20 starting at 9 a.m. Musicians and want-to-be musicians are invited to bring their instruments and come out for a good time, a morning of making music together just for the fun of it. It’s free and promises to keep things hopping in Walsh Common, especially following Ti’ Acadie and the contra dance of the night before. Call Rosey Gerry, 975-5432, for more information.

School consolidation

The new Reorganization Planning Committee will be re-examining the implications of school consolidation over the next few months. We are looking for a resident of Lincolnville to join the school committee and town committee representatives as part of this five town group. The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 18 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Bus Barn in Camden. Meetings are anticipated to be monthly thereafter. Please contact the superintendent’s office at 763-3818 or Yvonne Walker at 236-7790 if you’re interested.

Little League

Registration for softball, T-ball, minor and major league baseball will be held in the LCS Conference Room Friday, March 26 from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, March 27 from 10 a.m. to  noon. First-time players must provide a copy of their birth certificate. Cost is $30 per player or $50 per family. Payment is requested at the time of signup. Scholarships are available. Please call Thomas or Stacey Parra at 763-3642 or e-mail wyatt@tidewater.net with questions.

Sympathy

Condolences to the family of Duane Bearse, who passed away last week. Duane and his wife, Jan, are longtime L.I.A. members; he’ll be missed.

Three businesses open at beach

Within the past couple of weeks three stores have opened at the Beach. For those of us at the watery end of town that’s really good news. The first to open its door was Green Tree Coffee and Tea, located on Atlantic Highway just south of the Beach. Check out their Web site at greentreecoffee.com.

Next, right across the road, Dot’s appeared, a shop with lots of homemade goodies and local treats as well as wine and beer, and yes, coffee.

And then, the Open flag appeared outside the Beach Store. Di Lord, whom many of us know well from her years at Hillside Market, is running it, and has plans to be open from 6:30 a.m., for now, to 7 p.m. Stop in and wish her good luck.

So we’ve gone from a village without a single place to get a cup of coffee to three choices in little over a week. … Why not try them all out?

Albino chickadee

A nearly pure white bird, only its wings are black, hung out at Reed Mathews’ and Annie McCormack’s this winter. They’re pretty sure it’s a chickadee; when the squirrels cleaned them out, they took in their feeders and assume their beautiful little white bird found another neighborhood feeder. Has anyone up their way (Hope Road) seen it?

**************

Monroe

Support group forming in Monroe

About 10 people attended a talk on: “Making end-of-life decisions: Some non-traditional options,” held Sunday, March 7 at the Monroe Town Hall. Topics covered included: Advance directives like “Five Wishes,” green cemeteries, direct cremation, burial on your own land, home funerals and building connections with like-minded local people when you may not have family nearby.

If you would like to be part of a support group now forming in Monroe or would like more information, e-mail Karen Marysdaughter at karenmd@psouth.net.

Are you a woman who plays softball?

If you are a woman from age 30 to 90 and love to play softball give me a call or e-mail so that we can determine how much interest is out there. If you are on either side of those numbers, we won’t be exclusive. Our numbers will tell us if we will have an occasional game, some sort of abbreviated game, or are able to field a couple of teams. No one is too slow, out-of-shape, or inexperienced. Please call Martha at 525-3532 or e-mail goodwight@gmail.com.

See “Food, Inc.” in Monroe

The Oscar-nominated documentary film “Food, Inc.” will be shown Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the Monroe Town Hall.

The film lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing how our food supply is controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of our farmers, the safety of workers and our environment. “Food, Inc.” reveals surprising and sometimes shocking truths about what we eat, how it’s produced, and who we have become as a nation. Called “One of the year’s most important films” by the San Francisco Examiner, and from “O” magazine, “It might change your life.”

Thanks to last year’s donation, we now have a large screen for more enjoyable viewing.

Scholarship breakfast reminder

The Monroe Lions Club will be holding a public breakfast on Saturday, March 20 starting at 7 a.m. and running until 10 a.m. at the Monroe Community Church, on Route 139 in the village.

Come and enjoy pancakes, eggs, home fries, baked beans, ham, sausage, toast, coffee, etc. $7 for adults, $3 for children.

Proceeds will benefit the Bobby Porter Scholarship fund. This is given each year to a high school senior from the Monroe community.

Martha’s “Meet Monroe” Profile: Theona “Pony” Stubbs

Let’s address the most pressing question first. Why was Theona Hall called “Pony” and why was her husband, Alton Lee Stubbs, called “Pink”? Grandmother Hall, who lived in Portland, started calling Theona “Pony” because of her intense love of horses. When Alton was born, his mother couldn’t get over how pink he was and his father gave him the nickname by which he was known for his entire life.

Pony was born to Galen Hall and Thelma Gibbs Hall at the Brooks home of her grandmother, Hattie Work Gibbs, May 21, 1932. She was the third of 13 children, 8 girls and 5 boys, who now reside in Maine, Florida and Connecticut. Her brother Erlon Hall died of cancer at age 57. The family home built by her grandfather Hall in the late 1800s still stands at the foot of the Hall Hill Road.

Galen was a horse-and-wagon woodsman, selling pulpwood as the main support of his family. Thelma worked in the canning factory as well as the poultry plant, so that the responsibility for child care, garden chores, farm work and housekeeping fell on the oldest children, though all were expected to help.

Bread and biscuits had to be made every day and meals had to be prepared. Even though these were the years of the Depression, Pony rarely felt deprived. The government supplied flour, sugar, butter and cheese to struggling families, and they always had a garden. To receive an apple on a visit to her grandmother was a great treat. While she sometimes longed for a store-bought dress, Grandmother Gibbs made the children very serviceable clothing out of printed grain sacks, and hand-me-downs from older siblings, neighbors and relatives made up the rest of their wardrobe.

The coal-fired trains that came through on the nearby tracks always dropped coal, and collecting it became a weekly job that Pony thought of as an adventure. They picked in the bean fields, earning a penny per pound and were well-pleased with a 50-cent day. Pony and two of her siblings met the train each day at 6 a.m. to get 100 copies of the Bangor Daily News, which they then delivered on foot for a weekly take of $7 that was divided among them.

Morse Memorial School was about a mile walk, but they also came home for lunch so it was a four-mile daily exercise. Pony doesn’t remember much about school, but teachers Patty Brown, Miss Cilly, Herbert Ryan, Margie Fogg, and Madelyn Stevens come to mind. Reading didn’t have much appeal, though she did like math and followed that track in high school, taking bookkeeping, shorthand and typing.

Pony enjoyed playing basketball and softball, and recalls the day she and some girlfriends skipped school. Unfortunately, no one had a car, so they just sat by the river all day. Her father did have an old truck that she was allowed to use (without a license) to transport the children to the bean fields. The present Marsh River Theater used to be a movie theater in the 1940s, where a ticket was only 25 cents, and it later became a roller skating rink.

Another source of entertainment was the occasional train trip to Belfast with Uncle Nealand. It was a thrill to ride the train, which cost about 20 cents, though they didn’t have a penny to spend in town.

At the time of Pony’s graduation in 1950, she wanted to be a beautician, but her parents couldn’t afford the schooling, so she did housework at the present parsonage, and whatever small jobs she could find. She had known Pink Stubbs for some time, as he was a friend of her brother’s and worked at English’s Hardware Store (now True Value) in Brooks. He had attended the one-room schoolhouse called the Ford School on the Back Brooks Road in Monroe up to eighth grade, plus an extra year because he was unable to go to high school as his family needed him to work.

He took Pony to her senior prom, for which she had to teach him to dance, and not too much later, he offered her an engagement ring. Pink managed to go to the Ford Tractor School in Connecticut, where he learned tractor and truck repair. He added appliances, lawnmowers, furnaces and plumbing to his business and after they were married in 1951, Pony did the bookkeeping for him. He also transported the mail from Brooks to Monroe, and later became the plumbing inspector for seven area towns.

They moved the empty Ford School to their own land, gutted it, and rebuilt it, providing the home for their three children, Bruce, an electrician for Cianbro Corp., living in Brooks, Deborah, an RN in Blue Hill, who is also a very capable welder (thanks to her dad), and Doreen, who enjoys painting and handiwork, and lives in Swanville. All three attended the Monroe Elementary School.

Pony worked in the canning factory, did wallpapering and interior painting, and learned from Pink a great deal about carpentry and simple engine maintenance. They loved snowmobiling and once made a trip with about 20 other enthusiasts to Nova Scotia. Pony still belongs to a snowmobiling club, where she serves as secretary. Square dancing was another favorite recreation for more than 20 years at the East Side School in Belfast.

They also made out-of-state trips to visit siblings. Pony was a member of the Happy Valley Chapter of Eastern Star until it folded, and for years played golf in a ladies’ league at the Country View course. Pony and Pink had been together for 45 years and during most of that time, Pink had frequent debilitating headaches. In 1996, after years of being misdiagnosed, he died rather suddenly of an advanced brain tumor.

Today Pony is a very competent house painter, raises her own vegetables, and stacks her firewood. She started driving the ambulance for the Brooks unit in 1980 and has been an EMT for 29 years. She is currently their treasurer. Her EMT license has now expired, but she keeps her pager on, and if a friend or acquaintance is in need of assistance, she asks to be picked up, to offer comfort or be a calming influence.

Other than caring for her family, this job has given her the greatest satisfaction as each call is a new mission and a bit of an adventure. She may help to save someone’s life, or at the very least, give them the immediate medical attention they desperately need.

Pony recalls having to tend to her own parents who were in a crash on the Brown Road when they were in their mid-80s. Both were OK, but her father was swearing and ranting that he didn’t want anyone to touch him. No one could get through to him, so Pony let loose on him with a few choice words of her own and quickly got him settled down.

Three years ago, Pony was told she had ovarian cancer, and again she felt let down by the health-care system. She took an assertive approach and eventually got her treatment, but in the meantime, her condition had worsened. She is doing well at present, enjoying the frequent company of her six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, all of whom live nearby. She knits, crochets and makes hooked and braided rugs.

There is great satisfaction in helping people through the Varney Fellowship in Brooks, and she can usually be seen at the Monroe town meeting, forthrightly questioning warrant items. “I like to know what’s going on,” said Pony.

**************

Morrill

Town meeting is at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 20 at the Community Center, preceded by the annual meeting of the Morrill Village Water District at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to vote on town matters and have not yet registered, you might want to go a few minutes early, as the registrar of voters will be there. Town meeting dinner will be served at noon. If you haven’t received a call requesting a food donation and would like to contribute, bring along a salad, casserole or pie. If you would like a copy before Saturday, town reports are available at the Town Office.

There is no school Friday, March 19 because of parent-teacher conferences; also no school Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26, as these are in-service days. Please note that the speaking contest at the Ames School for fourth- and fifth-graders is being held Wednesday, March 24, not March 17, as originally scheduled.

A public supper will be held Saturday, March 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Waldo Town Hall for Roy (“Rick”) Smith, a former Waldo resident. He has been hospitalized with several heart operations and is still at Massachusetts General Hospital. For more information, call Beverly Thomas at 342-5482.

We have another birth to celebrate, Jack Elliot Loper, born March 3, son of Kristopher and Kristin Loper of Quincy, Mass. Jack has already had visits from his grandparents, Glenn and Denise (Whitcomb) Loper, of Cooper Road here in Morrill. Great-grandparents Ed and Jean (Sheldon) Whitcomb, also of Cooper Road, and other family members are going down this weekend. Great-great-grandmother is Hilda Sheldon, making Jack part of a living five-generation family. It is wonderful to see this sweet baby so wanted, so loved, so welcomed in a world where this is sadly not always the case.

Daniel Charles Piper and Gretchen Mae Isabelle Heilman, of Poors Mill Road, were wed on Thursday morning, Feb. 11. Danny owns Sundog Solar Store in Searsport, and Gretchen also has her own business, Alive and Awake Healing Arts, as an herbalist and health coach.

The ceremony was held under a willow tree in their backyard, performed by the Rev. Tim Wilson and his wife, Amy, who is a vocalist. They were attended by the couple’s midwife, Gina Forbes. Their parents, Theresa and Chuck Piper, Cheryl and Steve Heilman, and Maureen and Jim Rodgers, sent their blessings. The couple wrote their own vows. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Quebec City, Canada, enjoying Winter Carnival and Valentine’s Day before returning home to prepare for the grand opening of Danny’s solar store on March 13, and the birth of their first child in April.

To help townsfolk make connections with the Pipers, they live in the house on Poors Mill Road where the Colsons lived, across the road from the former Ray and Marge Parlin place.

Min Dutton, our oldest Morrill citizen, turned 94 on March 8. Unfortunately, Min spent her birthday at the hospital to receive two pints of blood, stayed overnight and then returned to Tall Pines. Family gathered at the hospital March 8, but didn’t give presents until the following day.

By the time this column is read, Daylight Saving Time will have already started. It surely did creep up on me this year. I’ll use the excuse that it is because the clocks used to be set ahead in April.

Tuesday, March 30 at 10 a.m. will be the first gathering of the Coupons, Cooking and Coffee Club. It will be a time to get to know your neighbors over a cup of coffee or tea while learning and sharing ideas for saving money. One of our Morrill neighbors, Tish Robothom, will be speaking. She has learned a number of money-saving techniques for couponing, and will be sharing her knowledge with us. We will meet at Morrill Baptist Church, where we are hoping to have babysitting available.

Please bring paper and a pen for writing on, and also come with a list of some of your favorite money-saving ideas and/or recipes to share. We will compile the ideas onto one form and have those available to share at the next meeting. Whether you are a seasoned pro at saving money, or a “shopaholic,” please come, as there will be opportunities for sharing and learning. If you have any questions, call Mindy Rowland at 342-4655.

I envy those who can put into a few words what takes me a paragraph to express, such as: “Never let the abundance of God’s gifts cause you to forget the Giver.” — from Our Daily Bread.

**************

Palermo (w/ pic)

Caption for pic: This is my Teddy. He is a miniature Collie. Teddy just celebrated his third birthday. He loves to run and play ball with my Dad. He is a great pet and my whole family loves him. PHOTO BY KAYLAH JONES

Well, not much has been going on in my life. I started a Granny Square stitch blanket for a friend of mine for her birthday and that has been really fun. It is going well. I am using some very bright colored yarn to make it. Granny Square is my favorite stitch of all, I think. It goes fast and it looks nice.

This warm weather has been wonderful for my Sheltie, Teddy. As you may or may not know, Shelties are very energetic. Teddy is that way. He also loves to be outdoors … all the time! So he has been outside a lot. It has been very good for him, gets all his energy out.

Last week we had an evangelist and his wife, Bill and Sylvia Farrin, visit our church. They just returned from Jordan. On Wednesday night they shared a slide show of their trip. It was very interesting. We enjoyed their ministry very much.

**************

Prospect

The Canada geese are in the river and on the marsh, robins in our back field and under the apple tree, snow is almost all gone, warm days and cooler nights, good for the sap run, an early spring and great family and friends — life is good! Wish you all the same.

Clarence Drew is feeling better and is now getting around. He and Florence were at Coffee Time Wednesday along with seven other people. We have missed them being there. Hope your strength returns soon, Clarence.

Rebecca Maguire has been having a hard time up to Ross Manor. Not eating or drinking and they thought her kidneys were failing, but her son, Arthur, called last night and said that she is getting a little better. It seems that her medications were mixed up and causing some of the problem. Wish her better days ahead.

Condolences to the family of Thomas Curtis, who passed away at his home on North Searsport Road March 7. He and his wife, Marilyn, have lived here for quite a while but I never met them. I went out after getting a call from Ed Maguire at the Funeral Home in Bucksport and discussed them using the dining room at the Community Club to hold the reception after the funeral. The family didn’t know where they could meet. I apologized for not being a good neighbor and sat and talked with her for a while.

The reception was held yesterday in the dining room and it was filled to capacity and everyone had plenty to eat as his son, Thomas Jr., and a brother-in-law had been in the culinary business in the past and made some delicious entrees. The Community Club catered the sandwiches, drinks and desserts. The donation from the family was much appreciated. Any time a member of the town passes away, the Community Club does not charge for the dining room. It can be rented by anyone from another town for that or any private affair.

Had a person ask me about the Prospect Food Pantry and its future plans. I do not know but you can call Richard or Jerry Patterson at 223-5757 and they can give you an answer. Hope that their plans will work out.

The Prospect Fire Department has its tanker truck back from the shop with a new body on it. Last Sunday the members were getting it outfitted with hoses, couplings, etc. This will give them the ability to have more water available when fighting fires. Remember in order to burn grass and brush, you need to get a permit from Fire Chief Tim Terry on Blanket Lane or his wife, Dee. The wind has really dried up a lot of the ground and with no amount of rain in the future forecast, it could be dangerous to burn.

Had the first meeting of the Community Club last night and made the plans for the bean suppers that will start April 10. and also will be doing the May baskets again this year. The people who received them last year were surprised and pleased to be thought of. Discussed fixing the wire fence on the basketball court. The fence is there but needs to be put up again. Just the back side and maybe two other sides. Will be asking for volunteers later.

This is a list of the dates for the Saturday bean suppers for the season: April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, Sept.11 and Oct. 9. All run 4-6 p.m. In November we will have the hunter’s breakfast, the first Saturday, Nov. 6 5-8 a.m.

Election of town officers will be held Friday, April 2 at the Town Office and the town meeting will be held in the Fire Station Saturday, April 3 at 9 a.m. The Town Meeting is later this year as the Selectmen hope the school budget and its cost to the town will be known. This is our biggest expense.

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

**************

Searsmont

Wow, what an awesome week with such spring-like weather. It’s been too good to be true and we have had a good week cleaning up outside and getting ready to break out the picnic table and lounge chairs! Spring will be only two days away after the printing of this article. The birds here and the squirrels have been just as excited as we have. Yesterday we watched a hairy woodpecker mom bring her newest female out for a “test flight”; it was so cute and awesome. We also have a family of three red squirrels and don’t they just scamper so cute all over the place. Yes, as our own kids, they are so… cute when they are babies.

News from the Town Office

The Cemetery Committee is looking for a sexton. The current sexton will no longer be able to do the job and has resigned from the position. If you are interested in this position, contact the Town Office for details.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the annual town meeting to be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 3 at the Searsmont Community Center. The town report is being prepared now, and we hope to have it available by March 22. Make sure you pick one up to review the warrant. As usual, there will be positions available on the various boards. Perhaps you, or someone you know, would like to fill one or more of the available positions. After nine years of service to the town as a member of the Board of Selectmen, Stacy Benjamin will not be seeking re-election this year. Please remember to bring some non-perishable items to be distributed to the local food pantries.

The Historical Society is proposing a lease agreement with the town of Searsmont for the construction of a barn to house the larger historical items that have been placed on loan to them. A copy of the proposed lease will be available at the Town Office once it has been finalized

Ames Elementary School

You are Invited to the Ames Elementary School Speaking Contest
Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. this is an annual event that fourth- and fifth-graders participate in.

“The Wizard of Oz” play directed by Karen Craig-Foley that stars the children from the Ames and Weymouth schools will be presented at Ames Elementary School Friday, April 2 at 1 and 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 3 at 1 p.m.

**************

Swanville

We’re only in the middle of March and it’s proper weather for burning brush. If you are interested in doing so, contact Terry Sawyer, 338-4436, for a burn permit.

Hey, kids, Easter is coming! There’s going to be an Easter Egg Hunt at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 3 for our town residents. Children in fifth grade and younger are invited to bring their own decorated Easter baskets and meet at the Nickerson School playground for the fun. The Easter Bunny is going to be there, and he’s hidden a Golden Egg that has $5 in it.

The sponsors would like parents to RSVP so that there are enough eggs hidden to go around. Please call Beth, 338-2028, or Helen at the Town Hall, 338-5834, and let them know how many children are coming. If you would like to donate plastic eggs to the fun, call Beth and she can pick them up, or drop them at her house. This military wife wants to see some town spirit happ’nin’. (A little birdie told me we’re invited join her in future plans for a Christmas party as well.)

Silent Auction & Indoor Yard Sale, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 27 at the Captain Albert Stevens School in Belfast. Stuff from all over the county, plus a silent auction including donated items from many area businesses. Gift baskets. Artwork. Bake Sale. Tools. Books. Gift certificates. Door prizes for $1 a ticket will be drawn at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

If you want to do some house cleaning for a good cause, we would love donations and will be available at the school for drop off/set up on Friday night, March 26, 5-8 p.m. The purpose of this event is to raise money for lumber and hardware for Swan Lake Work Camp 2010, a weeklong camp co-sponsored by Swanville Community Church to provide free home repairs to the elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged in our part of the county.

If you would like to donate to this effort, now’s the time. If you would like to join us in our preparations for this project, we would love to have you partner with us. If you need your home painted or repaired, applications are still being reviewed and we invite you to sign up immediately. The committee working on preparations meets every last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. at Swanville Community Church, and those interested in helping are welcome to attend.

**************

Thorndike — by Tina Durand

Hello, Thorndike residents,

I am loving this week’s weather, so nice to be able to go out and clean the yard. I have been thinking of where to plant the flowers and getting the garden ready to be tilled. I am excited  — I hope my cucumbers do better this year than last year! I so enjoy tuning the world out by sitting in the garden and weeding. It does make you feel accomplished when you see the finished product on your table during dinner.

News from Mount View drama:

They got second place at the regional One Act Festival this past weekend, March 6, with a play written and directed by Jason Fine, titled “Grounded.” Jason is a senior at Mount View High School. Jason competed against other people who write plays, some of whom were not high school students. Jason has done a wonderful job and I say congrats to him.

Thorndike Trail Blazers ATV meeting

The first meeting of 2010 will be Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at Unity House of Pizza. Membership is $15 single, $20 family, $35 business. Please come and join the fun; everyone invited.

The Mount View Elementary cheerleaders will be in the Cheerleading Invitational at MVHS Saturday, March 20.

The town meeting will be Saturday, March 20 starting at 9:30 a.m.

There is no school Friday, March 26, That is an in-service day for the district.

There was a superintendent meeting on the 10th, Some of the things the people want for the new superintendent are experience and capability to be an academic leader. There are budget meetings set for each Monday in March, all at 7 p.m. in the library of MVHS. The meetings are open to the public.

Happy birthdays :

Dakota Durand the 27th, Karen Turner the 28th and Jake Mehuren the 29th.

If you have any town news you want to share please e-mail me at shyshy@uninets or call me at 568-7172, thanks. Try and make it outside if you can, it’s absolutely beautiful.

**************

Unity

In my world

Short but sweet: Bill and I are celebrating our two-year wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, my sweet pea — I love you!

In your world

Saturday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to noon

Pysanky workshop

A pysanky is a Ukrainian Easter egg that is traditionally made with the coming of spring. The eggs are decorated using a wax resist method and are not painted on, but rather written with beeswax. The art of decorating eggs, or the pysanka, dates back to ancient times. Victoria Burwell will lead this workshop. She has years of experience creating beautiful pysanky eggs. All participants will be able to decorate their own eggs to take home. The cost for materials is $5. It will be held at the Friends of Unity Wetlands Education Center at 93 Main St. The workshop is limited to 12 participants and preregistration is necessary by calling the FUW office at 948-3766. They need a minimum of five participants for this program to run.

Saturday March 20

Join Faith Community Church for its March dinner and movie night at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts located at 42 Depot St., 948-7469. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. in the banquet room, followed by the movie “Secondhand Lions” in the auditorium at 6:30 p.m. “This comedic and touching family film follows the adventures of a shy young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is sent to spend the summer with his eccentric uncles (Michael Caine, Robert Duvall).

“At first shocked by his uncles’ unconventional behavior that includes ordering African lions through the mail, the boy soon becomes enthralled with unraveling the mystery that has followed the uncles for years. Hearing tales of their exotic adventures involving kidnapped princesses, Arabian sheiks and lost treasure not only brings him closer to his uncles but also teaches him to believe in something … whether it’s true or not.” Join us for great food, fellowship and a fun family film. For additional information contact Pastor Paul Keller at 557-1625, or -email paul@unityfcc.org.

Saturday March 20

MOFGA organic orcharding workshops: Pruning fruit trees and early spring orchard care. Fee is $30 per person. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Bring a bag lunch, course will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A snow date of Sunday, March 21 is planned.

Tuesday March 23

Unity College’s Lapping Lecture Series 6 p.m. at Unity Centre. Molly D. Anderson, principal, Food Systems Integrity and incoming chairwoman of sustainable agriculture & food systems, College of the Atlantic. “How sustainable can a major grocer be?”

Saturday, March 27 from noon to 4 p.m.

11th annual seed swap and scion exchange

For gardeners and orchardists, it’s like the most wonderful flea market in the world. Not only that, but most of the best stuff is free. Bring any seeds, scionwood or cuttings you have to share freely with others. Last year we gave away scionwood from more than 100 fruit varieties. These contributions are what make the day a success. We’ll supply the labels and tape and markers. On sale will be T-shirts, books, grafting supplies and rootstock. There is no admission charge, though donations are always welcome and benefit our Heritage Orchard. At MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. More info at mofga.org.

Saturday, April 10 from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

17th annual Rural Living Day

Complete details will be released March 15 at umaine.edu/waldo under Waldo County News

Preregistration is required. This year’s topics will include: Food Preservation and Storage, Seed Saving, Wind Power for the Home, Integrated Pest Management for Your Garden, Planting the Home Orchard, Low Tunnels for Home Gardeners, Top Bar Beekeeping, No-till Vegetable Gardening: What, Why and How, Common Owls in Western Waldo County, Life after Late Blight, You can Compost That?, Intensive Raised Bed Gardens, Managing Your Woodlot, Integrating Sheep & Goats into the Homestead and Troy Howard Middle School’s Garden Project.

Just outside your world

Items of possible interest

Bangor

Bangor Boating Marine Show

March 19-20

Boats, boats and more boats. Two buildings full of new fishing craft, pontoon party boats, ski boats, sail boats, canoes and kayaks. The perfect cure for a long winter, come on out and make a great deal or just daydream.
Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center. Adults $5, Children under 12 free. More info: 947-5555

Belfast

Movie night in Belfast. “King Corn” and its sequel, “Big River”

March 23 – 6:30 p.m.

Belfast Library. The screening of these movies will be the second event of a three-part Eat Local Challenge, hosted by the Belfast Coop. See how choosing local, organic food is better for our environment. Heather Spalding, MOFGA associate director, will lead a short discussion following the movies. For more information, contact the Belfast Coop, 338-2532.

Locavore Potluck and Variety Show

Wednesday March 24 from 5-8 p.m.

Belfast UU Church. Homegrown entertainment about homegrown food. This will be the third of a three-part Eat Local Challenge, hosted by the Belfast Coop. The Eat Local Challenge will show how choosing local, organic food is better for our environment. For more information, contact the Belfast Coop at 338-2532.

Statewide

Maine Maple Sunday is March 28.

**************

Waldo

The season is unwinding us here in Waldo, with its bright sun blaring the news. Swollen puddles on the walking trails, just itching for a running, both-footed leap into their midst, got just what they cried out for, after which Waldo resident Marshall Rolerson suffered for the damp all the way home. He reports that the deed was well worth the soggy bottom.

It’s hard to believe that spring is here, but there is no doubt about it. What with the economy in such shambles, gardening seems to be just the thing to stretch the food budget and explore new and fresh tastes in food. Lucky for us, writer and gardener Jean English brought her wisdom to the Belfast Free Library last night for an exciting talk on just this subject.

Her handout, from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, suggests that you test your soil first to determine what you need in the way of nutrients. Waldo is a proud home to the Cooperative Extension, so bring your soil sample down to the office on Route 137 and get it tested.

Jean uses compost in her garden, as do lots of other folks in Waldo County. If you’re new to gardening, you’re in for a treat with this stuff, the main ingredient of which is garbage without the meat. It’s a great way to cut down on your trash while building up the soil. You can buy or build a compost bin, adding fall leaves to the mix and composted horse, cow, or chicken manure. Find out more about compost at http://compostinstructions.com/.

I’m not much of a gardener, but I’m a wannabe. Marshall says that counts and that one day I’ll be a true farmer if I work at it. I see the potential benefits in the delicious fresh produce, but the dirt and bugs are daunting. I will be attending the MOFGA class, “Grow Your Own Organic Garden” at the Belfast Free Library on April 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. Hope to see you there.

I got a couple of nice e-mails this week. I’m so grateful for the input for our Waldo column and encourage everyone to add their news:

• Beverly Thomas (342-5482 or bevroythomas@yahoo.com) is hosting a benefit supper for Rick Smith Saturday, March 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Waldo’s Town Hall. Rick grew up in Waldo and has had several heart operations in the last year. If you can’t make the supper, contact Beverly to donate food items or money. Thank you, Beverly, for doing this, and to everybody who shows up and/or donates. This kind of giving is so beautiful!

Mark your calendars now for the Eat Local food celebration on Wednesday, March 24 from 5-8 p.m. at the UU church in Belfast. Bring something to eat that you purchased, grew or made locally.

And, whatever you do, don’t forget the Waldo Town Meeting Saturday March 27 at 9:30 a.m. Coffee and donuts will be served for local folks who want to socialize at 8:30 a.m.

**************

Winterport

A food bank for small pets, “Miss Millie’s Cupboard,” is located above the Post Office in Frankfort Village. It is open on Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m. Donations are needed. For more information call 223-4334.

The Wagner Middle School drama club will be prresenting the play “Thirty Reasons Not To Be In A Play,” Thursday and Friday, March 25 and 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the play begins at 7.

The Jazz Band from Wagner Middle School will travel to Nokomis to participate in the State Jazz Festival Saturday, March 20. Good luck, students!

Nomination papers are available at the Town Office for two Town Council members, two school board members, and one assessor. Sam Butler, Joe Brooks, Lance El-Hajj, Martha Harris and Bob Reynolds all have terms expiring.

Sewer work will be starting soon on Ferry and Dean streets, with the other side streets following.

I hope everyone has (or had) a nice St. Patrick’s Day and didn’t get into too much green beer.