joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Settling in

It can be tough to come back to Searsmont after being away. So much unstructured time, so much sleep. There is comfort settling back into routines that, for both of us, include volunteering at the Searsmont Town Library. Check it out (pun intended). Our library is a real gem.

With its bright airy layout and good use of space, new patrons will find loads of books and other media for all ages, and programs as varied as yoga, a seed library, help getting jobs, fast computers and free music performances.

Unlike libraries we remember back-in-the-day, there is no “shushing.” In fact, a guitar and a piano are available for playing. The library is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Check searsmont.com/searsmonttownlibrary for hours.

Your Searsmont columnist writing on White Head Island in the Bay of Fundy’s Grand Manan archipelago. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Town Office

The Sept. 20, 6 p.m. special town meeting took no vote. The 27-acre New England Road property is too wet to build a salt and sand shed on it. But selectmen had a work session Sept. 19, with residents attending the open meeting. The old firehouse property is just about sold for $211,000, with a three-year town lease on the salt and sand shed piece at an estimated $100 or $200 or year. That gives Searsmont time to look for a place to build a new shed, since the town now owns only the Community Center area, fire station and transfer station properties.

Remember, Searsmont property taxes are due Sept. 30. And the town is still looking for a “permanent, part-time” Planning Board clerk.

You can vote early, but not often

The Tuesday, Nov. 8, election will decide the Jared Golden-Bruce Poliquin congressional race, and votes for governor, state senator, state representative and county sheriff. You can register to vote in person until Election Day or register by mail until Tuesday, Oct. 18. Get your mail-in application at the Town Office or at maine.gov/sos/cec/elec. Online, select “Voter Information,” then “Voter Registration” on the left side of the website. Send or bring your application to the Town Office with a photocopy of your driver’s license, or a utility bill or bank statement with your name and address on it. In Maine you do not need identification to vote after providing it when you register. Good for Maine.

You can vote absentee for any reason (or no reason at all). Absentee ballots should be ready Oct. 11. Deadline to request one, online, by mail or in person, is Thursday, Nov 3. Just be sure your absentee ballot is received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Election officials recommend mailing it by Nov. 1.

Want to vote early? You can fill out and cast an absentee ballot at the town office any time through Thursday, Nov. 3.

Searsmont Town Library

New books include “The American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Maine,” David Baldacci’s “One Good Deed,” Karen Joy Fowler’s “Booth,” “My Year Abroad” by Chang-rae Lee and “To Kill a Troubadour” by Martin Walker. Large print new titles include “Every Cloak Rolled in Blood” by James Lee Burke, “The Mitford Vanishing” by Jessica Fellowes, and Dolly Parton’s “Run Rose Run.”

Kids will enjoy Casey Lyall’s “A Spoonful of Frogs,” McTavish on the Move” by Meg Rosoff and the delightfully titled “How to Make a Mountain in Just 9 Simple Steps and Only 1000 Million Years!” by Amy Huntington. There are music CDs from “Live at the Library” performers including Mes Amis, The Hot Suppers, Emilia Dahlin, Jud Caswell, The Blues Prophets and Scott Ainslie. New DVDs, too.

The “Gentle Yoga” library program is growing, offered Tuesdays at 10 a.m. by Searsmont’s own certified instructor Janneke Zaadstra. The classes are free, though donations are suggested and gratefully accepted. Bring your own yoga mat.

Bits and pieces

Looks like the Land for Maine’s Future program is ready to approve a $102,500 grant to help Searsmont buy the 64-acre McLellan Property. The town’s $150,000 request to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to pay for the rest of the $250,000 purchase is pending. Lots of numbers. But if and when Searsmont is awarded that second grant, none of the $125,000 that voters approved at town meeting will be needed.

Gold stars to all the library volunteers who stepped up to cover for the town librarian while he took a well-deserved vacation.

Maple leaves changing color and falling now, and the first few nights with a fire in the wood stove to take off the chill. Where did the summer go?