penny@unityme.org

It has been a super busy week for me with meetings: Economic Development Committee, Board of Selectmen meeting, Comprehensive Plan Committee and Budget Committee. Last week I had Waldo County Regional Communications Center board and Waldo County Budget Committee meetings. The county budget is going up just under 6 percent for 2019. This includes some lost revenue because of the new courthouse being built.

Winterberries have been hard to find this year; my usual haunts were devoid of them. My husband was able to locate some though, and brought me enough to do my porch décor.

Good news on the LED conversion for the town's 44 streetlights. Everything is finally falling into place and since Unity was placed in the pilot program by CMP we will be scheduled for conversion in the first quarter of 2019. I'm sure not everything will be perfect at first, but adjustments will be made as needed.

The Sebasticook Regional Land Trust (SRLT) invites all interested birdwatchers to participate in the Unity Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, Dec. 15. If you like to feed the birds and will be around to watch your feeder on the day of the count, they would love to have your help!

This event contributes to the North American database for the National Audubon Society’s CBC, which is now in its 119th year. Birders of all skill levels are welcome at any level of participation.

A CBC is a tally of individuals of all bird species found during one 24-hour period from midnight to midnight within a 7.5-mile radius. The Unity CBC circle is centered at the intersection of Quaker Hill Road and Routes 202/9 in Unity and is divided into sectors, each of which is assigned to a team of observers.

You may either watch birds at your home feeders (if you live within the circle) or go out in the field for any part of the day.  SRLT will provide volunteers with instructions, bird lists, data sheets and the results of the tally.

All who participate are also invited to the SRLT’s bird countdown event at 93 Main St. in Unity at 4:30 p.m., where they will enjoy pizza and tally the birds found during the day. FMI: tom.aversa@gmail.com.

Tickets are available at Bangor Savings Bank for their annual Christmas stocking drawings. It is similar to a "festival of trees," with the proceeds going to local charities. I have won stockings in the past; I always seem to win the Patterson's Store (in Burnham) stocking, but I have also won North Country Press and Chase Toys prizes.

Yes, you can license your dogs now for 2019. If you need a current rabies shot, there are a couple of local clinics coming up: Jan. 9 at the Dixmont Town Office, 5 to 6 p.m., $8, and Jan. 19 at the Troy Town Office, 5 to 7 p.m., $10. Late fees are now $25 per dog.

The next time you visit your Town Office, look for the "Giving Garland" to help support your local animal shelter this holiday season. Please take an ornament in exchange for any money or pet supply donation. Our ACO Crystal Nichols made up a few of these garlands and they are placed in local town offices and businesses. Our administrative assistant's daughter, Schuyler, donated her money from her weekly job of taking care of the office plants to this great cause.

Cookies with Santa at Unity Shop ’n’ Save on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 10 a.m. They also have a mailbox set up for letters to Santa. Please include a return address so that Santa can send a letter back!

There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Village Cemetery on School Street Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. Following the ceremony, there will be light refreshments in the Community Center, along with a raffle that is a fundraiser for next year’s event. Special thanks to Melanie Cole for all the hard work she puts into this event each year.

 

On Dec. 15 and 16, Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm will be offering 10 percent off all socks to Waldo County residents. They are located on Crosby Brook Road in Unity and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Christmas Cookie Swap & Holiday Treats Contest

A fundraiser for Troy Union Church will be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1 to 3 p.m., at B. B. Cook Clubhouse, 597 Bangor Road in Troy. Come get your sweet tooth satisfied and schmooze with your friends and neighbors during our first Christmas Cookie Swap & Holiday Treats Contest.

If you’re a baker, bring your favorite Christmas cookies and/or candies to share with everyone and enter into the baking contest to be judged by attendees. All attendees will be asked to vote for their favorite holiday treat. Votes will be tallied at 3 p.m. and the winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to 93 Main in Unity.

The event is open to the public, whether you wish to bring cookies to swap or not. There is a suggested donation of $5 for everyone, which will go to the Troy Union Church. The church is in the middle of a multi-year restoration project. Thanks to the success of restoration efforts to date, services are once again being held at the church (9 a.m. Sunday mornings) for the first time in three years.

Your $5 donation nets you the opportunity to sample all of the goodies and a plate of Christmas cookies/candy to take home to your family. Coffee and tea will be served and are included in the donation.

For more information, contact Jennifer Wixson, 441-9453, or Jan Cropley, 948-2524. For more information on the church, visit their Facebook page.

Deepest condolences to the family and friends of Randy Reynolds, who passed away at home on Dec. 5. He was a great asset to this community and he will be missed by many.