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Hello Monroe!

Our chickens have started laying eggs! I went with seven different layer varieties this time around to get a nice range of egg shell colors; from different shades of browns, to white, to blue and green. When my nieces and nephew were here for “camp” a couple of weeks ago, they would excitedly check the coop multiple times a day to see what they could find for eggs in the nesting boxes. I’m up to collecting almost a dozen a day now!

Anti-Racism group meets at town park

There is a group of people from Monroe who have been meeting weekly to discuss anti-racism. Specifically, they have been looking to examine where racism exists both personally and within the community. They are planning community events that will keep the conversation going about racial justice and education, and ways to promote racial equity in our community.

This group meets on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. at Gesner Park in Monroe. Anyone from Monroe or any surrounding community who might be interested in being part of this group is happily invited to join.

The topic to be discussed on Sunday, Aug. 23, is “What does racism look like in rural Maine?”

Worth celebrating

Happy belated 80th birthday to Pat Roberts of Brooks! I received a nice phone call from her the other day and she would like to extend her gratitude to everybody who sent her a birthday card. Pat reported, “I was very happy with all the cards I got!”

Studio 846 Salon in Waldo recently congratulated Monroe resident Jazmin Tomlin for passing her state board exams. Well done, Jazmin! Call 342-4747 to make an appointment with her.

Orchard opens

Hooper’s Orchard is open for the season! The corn maze is ready and Pristine and Strawberry Lowland apple varieties are available now, as well as apple cider and cider doughnuts in the farm store. You can purchase corn maze tickets online and print them or have them on your phone for contactless purchase, or you can purchase tickets in the store. The cost for the corn maze is $8 per person. Apples are being sold this year by the bag ($18/peck or $32/half-bushel). There will be no touching or self-selecting fruit inside the farm store this season.

If you go, the address is 856 Back Brooks Road, Monroe, and a contact number is 323-8226. Current open hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Friday hours possibly being added in September.

Town news

A “Monroe Falls” conversation attracted over 50 comments from a number of interested and concerned community members recently on a closed community-oriented Facebook page, Our Monroe Community, Monroe Maine.

Shabdsangeet Khalsa, an abutting property owner to the Falls, sought to make community members aware that "the falls are constantly overrun by about 200 people a day. Loads of trash (broken glass, remnants of cigarettes, beer cans, bottles, tops, etc.), noise, painting rocks, boom boxes…I think it has gotten way out of hand…I am looking for input solutions. I can close my land to access and not allow anyone at all….”

Suggestions ranged from slightly comical and playful (playing classical music, really LOUD; appointing a Monroe Falls constable) to constructive and appropriate in addressing the reported issues at hand (the town could install and maintain trash cans, the metal cage type mounted on trees like at state parks; call the police to report rowdy, disruptive behavior).

Town Selectmen Jacki Robbins and Holly Emerson confirmed to readers online and in a separate follow-up conversation with me that the falls and the trail leading to them are, in fact, town property and that access cannot be closed. They also reiterated the need for everyone who visits the Falls to be respectful and, certainly, take out what you carry in. If you see someone not following the posted guidelines, call the police.

I reached out to the author of the online post, the abutting and concerned property owner, but did not receive a response.

Youth soccer canceled

Area youth soccer organizer Hauns Bassett regretfully announced to many surrounding towns via the Mount View Community Youth Soccer News Facebook group:

“It’s with a very heavy heart that we have decided to not have a 2020 soccer season. There are many factors that led to the decision. Everything from the age of the players, finding volunteers, facility use, safety protocols, equipment and trainings are the biggest safety challenges. Safety, fun and skills is how we prioritize, and at this time we’re unable to ensure proper safety of our players and families. As a community, we’ve really built up an amazing soccer program and we’re all looking forward to kicking it on the pitch again as soon as possible! Thank you all for your continued support and understanding.”

Have a great week!