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76-0

The July 27 special town meeting lasted just 15 minutes but started late because it was attended by nearly 80 Searsmonters. At one point the line to sign in snaked from the Community Building door down to the parking lot.

There was only one warrant item. Town residents voted 76 to 0 (those numbers are correct) to approve the town’s joining with Montville, Liberty, Palermo and Freedom to create a Broadband Utility District to be known as the Waldo Broadband Corp.

The vote comes a day after Palermo voted 16 to 0 to approve that town’s joining the district. Liberty and Freedom voted on July 28 (after this column’s press deadline) and Montville votes at the end of August.

No one we spoke with can remember another unanimous Searsmont vote in the last 30 years on anything but boiler plate town meeting warrant items to help reduce property taxes. It might have been because moderator Lee Woodward urged the town to “beat Palermo.”

We figure Searsmont may be more than a bit fed up with the current state of broadband and internet service in town and is ready to try for a solution with more local control, even if it takes two or three years from start to finish.

The July 27 vote is the culmination of nearly two years work by the Searsmont Broadband Advisory Task Force and the four other SWCBC towns. The vote means the broadband expansion process can move forward with fiber system planning, engaging with professionals to build a fiber network available to everyone in town, obtaining grants to do the work and signing up subscribers.

When the job is done, every resident and business in Searsmont can have access to the technology that will make it easier to work and study from home, download movies and games, use telehealth and do all the things that a high-speed broadband connection can provide.

The Halcyon String Quartet and actor David Troup join ecologist Janet McMahon July 24 for a Searsmont Town Library concert at the Searsmont Community Building. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Town Library

Nearly 60 people, many from towns around Searsmont, attended the library’s July 24 Halcyon String Quartet concert, featuring ecologist Janet McMahon. The music was well performed and Ms. McMahon’s message of climate change’s effects on Waldo County (and what people can do to address it) was timely and well received. Kudos to the library for presenting this special performance, funded by the Moosewood Fund via the Maine Community Foundation.

On Friday, Aug. 5, beginning at 5 p.m., there will be a reception for Searsport Artist Kate P. Chapin, whose work is now on the walls of the library. All works are for sale, and there will be refreshments at the reception. Ms. Chapin grew up in Searsmont and Vinalhaven. She now teaches and creates art throughout the Midcoast. Her works have a variety of textures and subjects, and are worth a look-see.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, 4 p.m., the Mes Amis Quartet returns for a free “Live Outside the Library” concert. They play “an infectious mix of traditional Gypsy, Latin and American jazz standards with bouncing bass lines and sweetly intricate melodies.” Bring a camp chair or blanket, and a picnic if you like. The concert moves indoors in case of rain.

The Hot Suppers, a seven-piece Midcoast folk-rock band, performs Saturday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m. The concerts are funded by Friends of the Searsmont Library and the library’s board of trustees.

Bits and pieces

August is a busy month in Searsmont for presentations, food and music.

On Thursday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m., the town’s Historical Society presents Peter Dalton, whose family comes from here, speaking on Searsmont and Maine soldiers during the Civil War. Peter is a Shenandoah Valley battlefield guide and ought to know a thing or two about this.

Then on Saturday, Aug. 13, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Searsmont United Methodist church’s “Lobster Feed to Go” public supper includes a 1-1/4 pound lobster, corn on the cob, Angler’s restaurant coleslaw and blueberry cake for just $20 (extra lobsters $12 each). Reservations should be made by 8 p.m. Aug. 11 by calling 323-1236.

By popular demand, another photo from your correspondents’ recent trip to the Canadian Maritimes. This is the narrows at the entrance to the harbor in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Finally, Muzzy Ridge Concerts, Bob Sirota’s chamber music series, performs in Searsmont on Saturday Aug. 20, 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 28, 3 p.m. The $10 and $20 tickets for these limited-seating chamber concerts can be ordered at robertsirota.com/muzzy-ridge-concerts.

Congratulations to Searsmonter Claudia Luchetti, whose Maine Celtic Celebration on the Belfast Waterfront July 22 to 24 was a great success. Its nonstop musical entertainment included The Napper Tandies, featuring Searsmont’s Chris Brinn on accordion.