In Star Trek, "Q" is a mysterious mischief maker with godlike powers. In our world, "q" is a letter of the alphabet followed by the letter "r." Thought control and psychological warfare are real things. Fear can motivate or paralyze. The same applies to hope.

The Freedom Board of Selectmen met on Jan. 11 via Zoom. Fire Chief Jim Waterman shared a letter from the United Methodist Church in Unity which recognized both the diligence of the firefighters involved in fighting the recent fire there, and the Providence that allowed the building to be mostly preserved. He also shared his account of a fire on Hardwood Lane here in Freedom. There was literally an escape from the second floor of a burning building.

There was some talk of drafting an ordinance to be voted on at the next town meeting that would give the town the authority to tow vehicles at the owners' expense which are parked in violation of the winter roads policy.

Thank you to Rep. MaryAnne Kinney for the chat. It was a pleasure.

All property taxes from 2018 are paid, with the exception of one property which is actually owned by the town. That is incredible! Thank you to all who prioritized the well-being of our town over whatever else you could have spent that money on.

The Freedom Community Historical Society would like you to know that any donation, no matter how small, is beneficial. Some grants consist of matching funds. Other programs like to see that there are many people who support the organization. One-time gifts or recurring donations are greatly appreciated and will be put to excellent use. You can send donations to FCHS, P.O. Box 52, Freedom, ME 04941.

The Freedom Planning Board met on Jan. 12. There were no issues before the board, so the meeting was short, but I did follow the advice of Prentice to tune into the RSU 3 basketball game on YouTube for a few minutes. I was impressed by the power and excitement generated from opposing forces working within a fair and predictable system of rules to create a competitive, yet productive experience for all involved. Too bad that isn't a metaphor for anything.

The Waldo County YMCA is collaborating with area businesses to support the RSU 3 school food pantries. Food and monetary donations made payable to Mount View Food Pantry are being accepted at Down East Federal Credit Union, 58 School St. in Unity, and at the YMCA, 157 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast, 338-4598. The dates of the food drive are Jan. 18-23. They will collect food at the Belfast Hannaford on Jan. 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. Donations of nonperishable items may be dropped at the Y during the week, or by appointment at Mount View in Thorndike, 568-3255. Delivery will be the week of Jan. 25 to the schools. Please help if you can; together we can make a difference.

"Forgiveness doesn't mean that what happened is okay." — Sarah Weaver, Ruby Ridge survivor