Searsmont News

By Joyce and Mickey Sirota | Feb 21, 2020


Winter is over

Forget the groundhog! The Red Sox (OK, and other) baseball players have reported to spring training. Brooklyn Dodgers fans used to say “Wait ’til next year.” Well, now it’s next year. Mookie Betts is gone, and no one knows most of the new Sox players. But as your correspondents, we will force ourselves to get down to Florida soon and let you know what’s what.

Goings on about town

The February Maine: the Magazine spotlights Searsmonter Fred Wardwell. His 97 years on this planet would make a fine novel, but the article focuses on a family tradition: Fred has been iceboating “for more than 90 years,” since the late 1920s. Fred hasn’t been skimming on Rockland’s Chickawaukie Pond since 1997, but he has built and raced iceboats, tipped over in them, and apparently can tell some mighty fine skimmer stories.

Memorial Day Parade Committee chairman Jesse Gogan wants you at the Town Office Monday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m. The Searsmont parade needs people, groups, businesses, farmers with animals, and vegetable growers who would like to create parade floats. Jesse says they’re looking for “new people and new ideas.” Call him at 342-4133 or email, subject line: Parade.

Town Library

Did you miss the fine Feb. 13 performance of Cold Comfort Theater’s one-act play, “To Fall in Love,” or the cold and glorious Feb. 15 hike led by Sarah Crosby and Bill Evans, or the Feb. 25 snow-postponed performance by Jordan Massan Benissan’s African Drum Ensemble? On Thursday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m., Geri Vistein presents “Coyote: American Song Dog,” a journey to discover the importance and resilience of our canine neighbor.

Moosewood Fund, through the Maine Community Foundation, funds the free nature programs and Onion Foundation helps with the free music, including the a cappella RenMen Quartet Thursday, Mar. 12, 7 p.m.

The book club is reading Kate Quinn’s historical novel “The Alice Network,” and will meet March 10 at 6 p.m. “Story Hour” is every Saturday, 10 a.m., and “Movie Matinee” is every Tuesday, 2 p.m. Call 342-5549 for information on everything.

Town Office

Get your absentee ballot for the Mar. 3 primary and referendum vote from the office or (search “absentee ballot request”) until Feb. 27. There are separate Dem and GOP primary ballots, and you have to be registered to vote for your party’s candidates. It’s too late to switch parties, but you can enroll for the first time right up to Election Day. Not sure if you’re enrolled? Call Kathy Hoey at 342-5411 with questions.

Anyone can vote on the referendum question, in person or by absentee ballot. “Yes” means you want to repeal the law that eliminates philosophical or religious reasons for not getting required vaccinations. “No” means don’t repeal the law and leave it in place.

Help still needed

Both the Searsmont Fire Department and Rescue Service are still looking to hire people who want to help protect the town. We hear they have at least one person interested so far. They will train you if you’re not already certified as a firefighter or ambulance driver or EMT. Call Interim Fire Chief Tracy Hanford at 322-9731 or Rescue Chief Dawn Bryant at 322-9411 to find out more.

You can get two 5-gallon buckets of sand per storm if you need it. Just be sure to use only the small sand/salt shed building. And speaking of storms, if the office closes, you’ll know by checking WLBZ-TV or WABI-TV. The town’s website also tells you about closures, phone outages, contact information, and more.

Our deadline and more online

To get your news in print, please get it to us by Wednesday at 5 p.m., eight days before it can appear in the paper.

More goings-on about town

We sometimes wonder how we let cell phones and computers and email take over. Some Searsmonters are old enough and wise enough to remember pen and paper, rotary telephones and typewriters and snail mail. The other day, Bill Gates and HP computers struck again. Our computer just wouldn’t turn on. Sure, the screen lit up and the little cursor thing moved around the blank screen, but we didn’t want to spend the day looking at a blank screen with an arrow on it.

We tried the “turn everything off, plug it back in” method, then the “hit every stray button” method. No luck. Then Mrs. Correspondent said “Press the power button off for a count of 10.” Whattheheck, said Mr. Correspondent, may as well try it. “Then turn it back on,”  Mrs. C. commanded. Abracadabra, the thing came back to life. Mr. C. bowed low in admiration, and agreed to wash the dishes for a week.

Seems this long-off-short-on thing worked a while back with a Kindle reader after a long session with tech support. Anyone out there know why this did the trick? We’ve decided to turn the infernal machine to “sleep” rather than “off” from now on.

More from the Town Office

Frank Therio, code enforcement officer and licensed plumbing inspector, has winter office hours Mondays, 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Wednesdays 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Awfully early start times. Because he’s out in the field a lot, Frank recommends you call 342-5411, ext. 208, and make an appointment before stopping by to talk with him.

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