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Oooh, we are going to get a little blast of winter, coming in as I write this. But that’s OK, because NOAA says that March 2021 was Maine’s fifth-driest March on record. March! That is usually the snowiest month. I heard that some counties in Massachusetts have already been designated as being in a drought. I sure hope this turns around. That said, I am enjoying my fabulous daffodils in full bloom. They always get a toasty “greenhouse start” underneath the plastic from the banking.

Libraries opening up!

I am so pleased to learn that more and more libraries are opening back up, slowly but surely. Belfast Free Library has done an excellent job of keeping books flowing throughout the pandemic. Thank you! Currently it is limited to 10 people on the adult and on the children’s floor at any one time, with a 30-minute max each. Third floor by appointment only.

Bangor Public Library has made the change, too. Patrons can browse limited areas of the first- and second-floor adult collection from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Appointments are not necessary. As a reminder, becoming a member of Bangor Public Library is free to all Maine residents.

Monroe Library reopened to the public April 2. Hours are Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required, and due to the library’s small footprint, only one or two patrons at a time will be allowed to browse.

All three of these libraries are continuing to offer curbside pickup. No time like this time to get lost in a gardening book, after a hard session of turning over your veggie beds.

Town Office

A few reminders from the Town Office: The grace period for unregistered and uninspected motor vehicles has ended. As of May 1, new registration stickers for ATVs will be available. And a heads up that dog licensing late fees will go into effect as of June 2 this year. Be sure to have your dog’s rabies updated and bring your certificate in with you.

Maine history nugget

Many of you have probably seen me walking my dogs up and down the Jackson Village roads. Frequently I collect cans and bottles. The spring always brings a bounty of returnables floating in the roadside ditches. While I appreciate the few extra dollars, it is disappointing that littering is still alive and well.

The vast majority of my collections are beer cans, beer bottles and nips, with the odd “handle” thrown in for good measure — someone having a very bad day? This got me to thinking about drinking and driving, and our relationship with the drink.

The movement to promote complete abstinence from intoxicating liquors, aka the Temperance Movement, began in Maine. Who knew?!

“The world's first Total Abstinence Society was founded in Portland in 1815. A state organization of temperance societies was formed in 1834, and within a dozen years had developed enough political clout to force the enactment of a state law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic spirits except for "medicinal and mechanical" purposes.

Under the fiery leadership of Portland's Neal Dow — known internationally as the "Father of Prohibition" — Maine approved a total ban on the manufacture and sale of liquor in 1851. This so-called "Maine Law" remained in effect, in one form or another, until the repeal of National Prohibition in 1934 (maine.gov/legis/general/history/hstry8.htm).

Maybe all this yee-ha bottle throwing is still a reactionary reflex in response to over a hundred years of puritanical subjugation regarding alcohol.