Town Office

The Town Office will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

For the past year the office has had extended hours on Tuesdays. Turns out that they were not used and perhaps people are using mail or online services (such as online re-registrations) instead. So, the Board of Selectmen has voted for Town Office hours to return to Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Don’t forget to license your dog(s) before the end of the month to avoid a state-mandated late fee of $25. (Proof of rabies vaccination may be needed.)

The selectmen have set this year’s town meeting for June 15 at 9 a.m.

Regional School Unit 20, Searsport and Stockton officials have met about the Stockton Springs Elementary School (keep in mind that the school still belongs to the school unit). The town is waiting on updated information about the mold issue; however, the town manager anticipates public hearings and probably a referendum vote in June about the building.

Community Library

The Stockton Springs Community Library has received another grant, this time to improve health literacy by increasing access to and awareness of the National Library of Medicine's free, easy-to-use health resources.

Led by a trained facilitator, participants will explore sources of trustworthy health information on the internet and in the library’s own expanding collection, as well as materials available through inter-library loan.

These sessions will take place on Sunday, Jan. 27, and Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. Call 567-4147 or visit stocktonspringslibrary.org to register. This is also available to non-residents of Stockton Springs.

Tai Chi is offered for free downstairs at the Town Office on Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for Stockton residents (space may be limited). Tai Chi is sponsored by the Stockton Springs Community Library and the town of Stockton Springs. So if you are feeling in need of some exercise, try the Tai Chi class.

Condolences to the family and friends of Bruce Bicknell of Stockton Springs and Tucson, Arizona. For many years, Bruce owned L. S. Robinson Insurance Co. in Southwest Harbor and was very active in the Mount Desert area. He was a down-to-earth, moral and generous man and a true Mainer. He will be deeply missed in my neighborhood.

Don't forget to watch the total lunar eclipse on Monday, Jan. 21. The eclipse will start at 9:37 Sunday night and the moon will be completely immersed in Earth's shadow by 11:41 p.m. The entire eclipse will end by 2:48 a.m.

According to an article I read on the subject, the moon will turn a coppery red color, which is a reflection of the sunrises and sunsets on Earth projected onto the moon.

The days are getting longer now with the sun setting around 4:17 p.m. The sunset is making its slow progress from Sears Island to the right on the harbor's horizon.

January has been a quiet month and I am still waiting for the January thaw. Today as I write it is a balmy 15 degrees out with a wind chill factor making it just too cold outside! Perhaps the cold weather will kill all the germs out there, as many people have been sick, including me, with bronchitis or stomach bugs.

I finished reading "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens (excellent read) and my family sent me a copy of the Grant biography, which will take me the rest of the winter to finish.

This is the time of year when all the good movies are out, so what better way to spend a cold day then going to the movies. I just saw "Vice," which is the story of Dick Cheney, vice president under George W. Bush. Very powerful story.

Thought for the week: "In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of exalted simplicity." — John Burroughs