joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Harvesting

Searsmont vegetable gardens are producing despite the heat and lack of rain. Time spent with the water hose and pulling weeds from hard, dry earth is paying off. Yes, the lettuce is long bolted, the spinach and peas are gone. But the beans are in, and the cucumbers and summer squash.

Most of all, the tomatoes are ready for picking. If anything tastes better than a sun-warmed tomato eaten in the garden right off the plant, we don’t know what it is.

Town Office

Abigail Curtis, the Bangor Daily News reporter in Belfast, wrote recently about how local councils and select boards just keep chugging along, taking care of town business. Searsmont is no exception.

Selectmen Arlo Redman, Pete Milinazzo and Chris Staples spent their Aug. 1 weekly work session dealing with contracts, roads and a resident’s building permit concern. Snow plowing bids have been awarded for next winter.

Bids to buy the old fire house were unsealed Aug. 4 (an Aug. 2 Planning Board public hearing on Jim Baum’s request to lease the property was canceled for technical reasons), and bids for winter sanding were to be unsealed Aug. 8.

Selectmen opened four bids on road construction work on Magog, Thompson Ridge, Morrow Hill, West Appleton and Pond roads. The winning bid by Appleton Ridge Construction looks to be for less than $40,000. The selectmen will talk with the apparent bid-winner before signing.

After the 76-0 special town meeting authorization vote on July 27, the selectmen will soon sign an Inter Local Agreement. The agreement will formalize Searsmont’s participation in a new Waldo Broadband Corporation (with Liberty, Freedom, Palermo and, if they also agree later this month, Montville) to provide affordable high-speed broadband in town.

Town Library

Two more free “Live Outside the Library” musical performances are coming up. The Hot Suppers, a seven-piece Midcoast folk-rock band, performs Saturday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m. Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra finishes up the summer series Saturday, Aug. 27, 4 p.m. Bring a camp chair or blanket, and a picnic if you like. The concerts move indoors in case of rain. A crowd also showed up Aug. 6 for the Mes Amis Quartet’s performance.

These concerts make the library a special place. They are free because Friends of the Searsmont Library and the library’s board of trustees fund them. Hearty thanks to both.

There was a good turnout for the Aug. 5 reception for Searsport Artist Kate P. Chapin, whose work is now on the walls of the library and available for sale.

Bits and pieces

Quite a bit of comment around town about the Searsmont roadside mowing job done in early July. Seems a lot of folks can’t tell the difference, and some are mowing again on their own property. Got to admit, the state road mowing looks a lot better.

Dry enough? Lawry Pond’s inlet is just a trickle. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Speaking of roads, local drivers are glad Belmont repaved the Searsmont end of Back Belmont Road. It makes driving “the back way” to Belfast a lot easier on shocks and back teeth. They did a lot of culvert work first, but did not rebuild the road. Fingers crossed that the repair work lasts through winter and spring.

Lots of house construction going on in Searsmont these days. New folks are moving in and “for sale” signs are joining “vote for me” reminders. Should be interesting to see what town meeting looks like in the next year or two.

Looks like the flock of sheep kept by a Muzzy Ridge Road resident are gone. Neighbors will miss the adventure of shepherding them back on the property after they got loose.

Speaking of animals, congratulations to Animal Control Officers Arnold Oulton and Robin Dow. Robin tells us that Searsmont will be hosting a statewide ACO training on Saturday, Sept. 24. It’s a big deal and a feather in the town’s cap.

It’s not too late to get down to the Community Building on Thursday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m., for the Searsmont Historical Society presentation by Peter Dalton on Searsmont and Maine soldiers during the Civil War.  And you have until Aug. 11, 8 p.m., to call 323-1236 and reserve your $20 Saturday, Aug. 13 “Lobster Feed to Go” from the Searsmont United Methodist Church (extra lobsters $12 each).

Muzzy Ridge Concerts, Bob Sirota’s chamber music series, performs in Searsmont 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 can be ordered at robertsirota.com/muzzy-ridge-concerts for these limited-seating chamber concerts.