joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

A Weekend Away    

When we planned our four days at a hunting lodge cabin near Baxter State Park, we knew we would get in walks in the North Woods and really good food (thank you, Mt. Chase Lodge). What surprised us was a camp with no Wi-Fi, and one of us felt bereft at being “out of touch” with Red Sox games and world news (spam emails, not so much).

Your Searsmont town correspondent Joyce Sirota relaxing at Shin Pond Stream near Mt. Katahdin. Photo by Mickey Sirota

A couple of good books helped, as did a lakeside view of loons and great blue herons, and bitter-root in bloom outside the screen door. The quiet, the green, the clear night skies and smell of pine reminded us that people come from all over to enjoy these things in the North Woods. Searsmonters get them at home.

Town Office

Got your tax bill yet —  on lilac-colored paper this year? If you haven’t, Tax Collector and Town Clerk Kathy Hoey says they’re online at searsmont.com and you can find yours by your last name. “Pay often, pay early,” she tells us, with a gentle reminder that the bills are due at the end of September. Select Board member Chris Staples and his road crew have been busy, repairing holes by the side of the road and patching. And Fire Chief James Ames reports an ambulance assist and a smoke investigation in July. Another lucky month for Searsmont.

Town Library

Sad to report that the Delta variant of COVID-19 means masks are “back on” in the library for the time being. Stay safe, Searsmont.

The Aug. 7 “Live OUTSIDE the Library” jump and swing blues concert by The Juke Joint Devils was a delight. Luckily for Searsmont, there’s another free concert on Saturday, Aug. 21, 4 p.m., thanks to the Onion Foundation, Maine Community Foundation and Friends of the Searsmont Library. Call 342-5549 or email searsmont.town.library@gmail.com to reserve your place on the lawn for Scott Ainslie’s special brand of traditional Piedmont and Delta blues, southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo.

And with a nod to the late Ron Popeil, TV salesman extraordinaire, “Wait – there’s more!,” Storytime is back on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. (masks required) and the library’s book group is still looking for members and suggested reading choices. Give the library a call or email for more information. A Searsmont gold star to Brad LaRoche, who has been presenting the Maine Outdoors program (thank you, Moosewood Fund of Maine Community Foundation) for more than three dozen Ames School students, on Wednesdays, filled with hands-on learning about rocks, minerals and geology.

Broadband Advisory Task Force

The Broadband Advisory Task Force is working with Liberty, Montville, Freedom and Palermo in a Southwest Waldo County Broadband Coalition effort to provide residents with the “what, where, and why” of expanding broadband access and speed for everyone. You can find out more by joining online at the group’s Thursday, Aug. 12, 6 p.m. meeting, or come in person to the Community Building. For the Zoom link, call Contessa at 342-5411. And don’t forget to fill out the online broadband survey at surveymonkey.com/r/SWCBCsurvey.

Bits and pieces

Congratulations to John Strassenreiter, Searsmont’s local “olympian,” who won silver medals in shot put

and javelin and bronze in the 1500-meter power walk at the July 31 Maine Senior Games track and field meet in Scarborough. With those wins, John qualified in all three events for the 2022 Senior Nationals in Fort Lauderdale. As a bonus, his power walk completed his St. Jude 100-Mile Challenge. We’re tired just thinking about it.

Reminder that composer Robert Sirota’s inaugural Muzzy Ridge Chamber Concert (flute, cello, piano) is Sunday, Aug. 15, 3 p.m., on Lawry Pond Road. Tickets may still be available at robertsirota.com/muzzy-ridge-concerts.