joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Winter’s for the birds

When we bought this house in Searsmont 30 years ago, we’d come here every Friday night from Boston. Filling the bird feeders on Saturday morning became a joyful ritual. Those feathered foragers knew that when they smelled the wood smoke from the stove they would be fed.

Some mornings one of us would go out and pose as the Statue of Liberty, with seed instead of a torch in an upraised hand. It got so it only took 15 minutes of silence before the bravest chickadees would land and take food from that hand.

We were reminded of this when we filled the feeders before the last snowstorm. Standing quiet near the feeder meant being able to take a close-up photo of one of those brave souls coming to stock up. We try to remember those moments when we realize they’re eating us out of house and home.

Town meeting

Put it in your calendar! At a recent Monday working session, Selectmen Arlo Redman, Pete Milinazzo and Chris Staples set Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m., at the Fire Station on Pond Road as the date, time and place for this year’s slightly delayed town meeting.

Broadband for Searsmont?

Nine people attended the first Searsmont Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting “to bring high-speed internet to Searsmont,” and one of your correspondents is part of this group. Task Force meetings (the next one is March 11, 6 p.m.) are open to the public by Zoom and in person ― masked and distanced.

Topics already under discussion include ways to let Searsmonters know what’s going on, a survey to find out the internet access residents have now and what you need, getting information from other towns on how they increased broadband access for their folks, and funding source research for this project.

According to facilitator Kenn Ortmann, “participation by more Searsmont residents will be a big plus,” so let us know at 322-5671 or mickeysirota@gmail.com if you’re interested in being a Task Force member.

Town Office

Searsmont is growing. The Planning Board approved a four-lot Moody Mountain Road subdivision on March 2.

April is the deadline for people who want to sign up for the 2021 Tax Club Payment Plan (regular payments monthly through March 2022).

Clerk Kathy Hoey also tells us resident college students can now apply for the Searsmont Scholarship. Call the office at 342-5411 for more information.

And we’ll report next time on the March 9 Selectmen’s meeting.

Town Library

February’s library-sponsored “Exploring the Wilds of Searsmont” hike was weather-canceled twice and the next one will be on March 20.

Applications for the $500 H. Joyce Withee scholarship are being accepted through April 30 for a Searsmont college student pursuing education in library and information sciences or elementary education at an accredited institution. All it takes to apply is a letter to the Searsmont Town Library Board of Trustees at P.O. Box 56, Searsmont, ME 04973. Tell them about your course of study, name of the school, date your course will be completed, cost of the course(s) or books, and a description of your career goals (or a statement of purpose).

Where’s my vaccine?

Good news for Searsmont and Maine. Right now everyone over age 60 is eligible to be vaccinated. Come April 1, the eligibility age goes down to 50. To set up your appointment, contact Hannaford (the new Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine), the MaineHealth “virtual vaccine assistant” number at 877 780-7545, Spectrum Generations at 338-1190, or online at maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites.