Town News for February 16, 2017

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Town News

Calais

Sharon Frost

454-3339

 

Marlene Bryant is back home from her knee surgery and is having therapy. Sorry to read about Dave Libby passing,  I’ve known him for years. Thoughts and prayers are with Carol Webster as she recuperates from her fall several weeks ago. She will also be having surgery. 

On Saturday, February 18th, Robbinston celebrates it’s 206th anniversary with a Family Day to be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Historical Society Visitors Center. There will be a history talk and other fun activities.  

Book Lovers’ Cafe on March 1st at 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Calais Free Library. Enjoy coffee, sweets, and chatting. 

A reminder that the Free Annual Winter Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday, February 18th at Boyden’s Lake Boat Launch 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Hot lunches, beverages, Bonfire, fishing derby, prizes and much more. Pray for a good day of fun. Sponsored by the Dennysville Snowmobile Club. 

Cut The Cake: 

Debra Hill, Kandis Davis, Kim Mathews, Flo Russell, Mary McAdams, Larry Gillespie, Fred Currier, Lisa Fo, Eunice Diveers, Sharon Frost, George Stevens, Sue Leishman, John Smith Jr., Joshua Sammer, Diane Footer, Pastor Beal, Kathleen Caso, Thursa Sawyer, Heather Townsend, Florence Russell, Dr. Grinage, Bernard Johnson, Denise Marrs. 

The picture in the Money Saver each week of the dam and bridge in St. George brings back many memories. For many years I walked to school across that bridge always checking the fullness of the falls. They were so beautiful. My dad worked at the Pulp Mill many years down at the lower bridge below that picture. I used to visit him when he was on his lunch break. Those were fun years, stopping along the way to talk to older folks out on their doorsteps. 

 

The 14th annual St. Andrews Seedy Sunday Seed Exchange will take place on February 26th fro 1 pm to 4 pm (CAN) at the Anglican Parish Hall, King Street, St. Andrews. No charge for the seeds. 

Meddybemps

Linda Baniszeski

 

Greetings from under the increasingly deepening snow here in Meddybemps.  Last Thursday night’s storm gave us about 15 inches of the white stuff.  Saturday’s snow showers and Monday’s storm added to the already impressive depths that could possibly blanket our landscape until Easter.  After the snows, we experienced wild winds that continued to drift shut our lanes even after plowing.  Regular plowing keeps things open and passable.  Scuffy sure doesn’t like the inconvenience of having to go out in deep snow.  Even though Barry plows areas for her, she is not at all happy.  She does what she needs to do outside, but with great displeasure. 

Continued get well wishes to Terry Reynolds who is recovering from recent surgery.  Tammi Smith, Danny Wallace and Bill Doten, Jr., are doing everything they can to get him back to good health and assist around his properties.  During the crippling storms, Terry’s considerable snow plowing talent has been missed in keeping the lanes and mail boxes open along Route 191.  Thanks to Danny Wallace, Barry Baniszeski and Bill Doten, Jr., we have been able to get through to the main road.  Friday morning, Bill Doten had to plow himself out before he could even consider getting his car out and on the road to work.   It’s a hardy bunch of Mainers out here, who manage no matter the weather.  We lost our electrical power only for about 20 mins. on Friday.  Scuffy has become such a sissy.  It scares her when the generator starts up and hums along to keep the lights on.  She’d rather have quiet and stay in the dark.

We trust everyone was properly appreciated and loved on Valentine’s Day.  Scuffy and Barry always completely bless me with beautiful cards, and we try to make him feel equally special.  

President’s Day is January 20th.  It still doesn’t seem right that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have their days lumped in with all the other presidents.  It’s nice for the school children to get the winter break, as well as teachers.  It is usually one of the most crowded days on the ski slopes throughout New England. All the new snow is sure to be a boon to ski operators.  

January 22 is National Margarita Day.  A little cold for that drink around here.  Although, it is sure to be celebrated in warmer climates and at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville locations.  

 

Stay safe, dry and warm.  Please send your news and wildlife reports to LBaniszeski@myfairpoint.net or phone 454-3719.


Princeton

Sandra Smith

 

The BEST news story for this week is that the Princeton Board of Selectmen has made the decision that we can now look into having a Princeton Historical Society. They felt other town projects have been finished and so it was time to focus on a structure to house the town’s historical documents and artifacts. There have been attempts and thoughts and hopes of doing this but never the right location. Five years ago we set up a small museum in a building behind the Bellmard that we did not use very much. Since then I have had donations of documents, etc., and have collected some things myself. Also the materials from the Princeton Grange and the overflow is upstairs in the Bellmard. I have worked on the scrapbooks at the library and put the pages in archival sleeves to better preserve them. Also I have whined that we really need a place for these special items and others would have liked to donate some of their personal collections but there was no place designated specifically for Princeton’s historical items. So, when Selectman, Stephen Cilley called and asked me to head this up, my response was, “Whatever it Takes!” I could hardly keep from jumping up and down. The Board is proposing to use the site of the old fire station. Once the building is gone the height of the cement slab can be raised and the building set up on it. No need to do septic, water, electricity or pavement so the cost would be minimal. Selectman Cilley is looking into the cost of a building and along with possible grants and donations the costs should be minimal. Our next step is to formally set up the Princeton Historical Society. Anyone that is interested can email me or give me a call.

On Wednesday, we had the library committee meeting from 5:00 - 6:15. Attending were librarian, Heidi Potter, Select Board Member, Doreen Wallace, Denise Hill and myself. We are looking ahead to having the ceiling finished, the side ramp demolished, a new drop box added to the front of the building, and new signage in the spring. Denise looked into a new program to register all the books on computer and it was decided to order the program. There have been many wonderful donations. among which is a complete set of Stuart Woods comprised of paperbacks and hardcovers now available for those mystery readers. Note that the library does not need any encyclopedias. We have one viable set and that is all that we need. The story hour for this month will be February 15 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Paul Beane from Talmadge has volunteered to read a story about moose. Heidi has scheduled a moose craft project and some special moose cookies. Also another reminder that the library is offering an opportunity to get help with your taxes at no charge. Sign up at the library for a 15 minute appointment with the consultant for Wednesday, February 22 starting at 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. The library hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10-3; Wednesday 12-6. Or call at 796-5333.

I noticed on facebook that Lots of Tots Child Care on Main Street is hosting a program, Child Care Provider Training, called Winter Kids-Guide to Outdoor Active Learning -Make it easy for preschool and elementary teachers to integrate fun and outdoor activity into their winter lessons--all while meeting education standards. This is free and the workbook is included. The training is Thursday, February 16 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. Register in advance: call Terri Woodruff 255-3741 ext. 106 or terri@healthyacadia.org.

During February vacation week, on Tuesday, the 21st from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM the Downeast Lakes Land Trust will be sponsoring a KIDS WINTER SURVIVAL CLASS in Grand Lake Stream for students in grades 4-8. The fun filled afternoon includes activities such as shelter building, fire making, wild edibles and much more. Participants should bring a lunch, water, and dress very warmly for the weather. Parents must pre-register their child in advance. For more informaiton or to register contact the Downeast Lakes Land Trust at 207-796-2100 or email cbrown@downeastlakes.org

On Saturday, February 25 from noon to 4:30 PM, the Princeton Rod and Gun Club and Doweast Lakes Land Trust will be hosting a FAMILY ICE FISHING DAY on West Grand Lake. Members of the rod and gun club will provide instruction and gear to anyone who needs help. Everyone will gather at the lake trust building in Grand Lake Stream and then will caravan out to the lake. Hot drinks and a warming fire on the shore will be set up but it is advised to dress warmly. For more information contact the Downeast Lakes Land Trust at 207-796-2100 or email cbrown@downeastlakes.org

The ServSafe Course that I mentioned previously is scheduled for March 15 & 16 at the Washington County Community College. The cost is $250 including the book. For more information contact Nichole Cote, Associate Dean of Community Education at 454-1012.

Upcoming Activities

Princeton Pathfinders - Workdays every Sunday at noon at Isaac Cilley’s home in Princeton, then on to the trails.

Princeton Library Story Hour - Wednesday, February 15 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at the library

Child Care Provider Training - Thursday, February 16 from 6:00 - 7:30 at Lots of Tots, 162 Main Street

Kids Winter Survival Class - Tuesday, February 21 from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Grand Lake Stream

Family Ice Fishing Day - Saturday, February 25 from 12:00 noon - 4:30 PM West Grand Lake

Town of Princeton Selectmens’ Meetings-First and Third Tuesday each month at 6:30 PM in the Conference Room

 

To send me news, just drop me a note princetonnews@outlook.com or give me a call after 10:00 a.m. at 796-2261. My deadline to submit the column is 4:00 p.m. on Monday, I need any news no later than early Monday morning.

 

Alexander School

Cassie Oakes

 

Winter Carnival will be taking place during the week of February 13th thru the 17th.  I didn’t get the information in time for the earlier part of the week but Thursday’s Theme will be Pajama Day or Mismatch Day (please have an extra set of clothes for this day).  Friday will be School Spirit Day (Black and Yellow)

This is an Athletic League Notice concerning the price of admissions at the up coming Elementary School Basketball games. The Eastern Washington County Athletic League has removed the “Family Rate” option from its admission charges for all sporting events.  The Adult and Child rates remain the same.  Adults are $2.00 and Children are $1.00.

AES will be having their first home game on Thursday, February 16th.  Girls will play at 5:30 p.m., with the Boys following at 6:30 p.m.  Please make sure to be there early.  AES could use water and Gatorade in the concessions. AES is looking for parents to help in the kitchen for concessions, the door, clock and books. If you are able to help with concessions, clock or door, please call Brenda at 454-2623.

There will be an away game on Friday, February 17th.  AES will travel to Beatrice Rafferty School and the bus will leave at 4:00 p.m.  Please make sure to be at the school by 3:45 p.m.  If you are taking your child home after an away game, please make sure to sign the form the coach has.  No games will take place during February vacation.

On Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, Alexander Elementary School graduated the very first ARDVARK class, consisting of students in grades 6, 7 and 8.  The program is delivered in Health class and is intended to teach to students to resist drugs and violence.  Throughout the program the students are faced with the challenge of respecting each others’ rights, finding ways to say no, overcoming peer pressure and finding alternates to drugs and violence.  They are presented with many challenges including how the media influences their daily choices and how the internet can track and determine their likes and dislikes with constant pressure to buy products they have shown interest in on the internet, relieving them of their hard earned money as they mature and become responsible.  Tolerance is taught as well providing opportunity to learn that any other person may think or act differently, but may deliver memorable moments or solutions the students might not have thought about.

The program also offers a comfortable place for students to ask questions (Mr. McCutcheon’s classroom) by allowing for anonymous submissions with answers provided by the instructor or instructors, obtaining answers they might otherwise find too telling to ask.  The students are taught ways to deal with stress, how to work out an uncomfortable situation with a step process for resolving conflicts, and ways to choose the best path to take when facing choices and consequences.  All students come to understand they are not alone in what they face and can always turn to their parents or a trusted adult.  Team building and community were also part of the education.  AES has been fortunate to have the Maine State Police attend several classes and would like to thank Trooper Blaine Silk for giving AES some of his valuable time with opportunity to inspect his mobile office and equipment used.

As this was Mr. McCutcheon’s first class, the students created an acronym for their program.  Together they came up with Alexander Resists Drugs & Violence, Advocating for Respectful Kids.  This program delivers a culmination where the students are asked to write an essay about what they have learned and the program itself.  

They received a graduation certificate and a t-shirt for taking an active part in the program.  Their essays spoke highly of the program with many commenting on how they enjoyed the role play placing them in actual situations, requiring a resolution using the techniques they learned.  AES looks forward to continuing the program in the future.  The Student Council graciously provided ice cream at the end of graduation.

Thank you, Mr. McCutcheon, for starting the program at our school and helping to make healthy, happy kids.  And thanks for the news too.

The AES Library was a little spotty this week.  It was open for regular business on Tuesday, the grades 4-8 coming in and out to sign out books or take advantage of the study hall.  In the afternoon the 2nd and 3rd Graders came in and got extra books since they will be missing their Library time next week due to their Valentine’s Day Party.  While in the library they also heard the story “Valentine’s Day” and made cards for family members.  The 2nd and 3rd graders were invited by a very colorful dragon to come to the gym.  So library was put on hold for the moment so they could go and see a performance by the 4th, 5th and 6th graders.  The short play was all about Chinese New Year and was acted out by all the students as Mr. Flood narrated.  It was fun, cute and informative.  Wednesday was a 2 hour delay for AES and since it was 100 Days of School the library was not open. Then Thursday came and school was canceled, so there was no make-up library to be had.

The 100 Days of School at AES was a huge success.  Pre-k, kindergarten and 1st graders, along with the 2nd and 3rd grade classroom had lots of plans and activities that ended with a 100 Days of School Party with some very special cupcakes supplied by parents.  Some of the activities for the day included, skip counting, reading books about 100s.  Student had fun with a scavenger hunt, counting m&ms and fruit loops. Each student received pencils, erasers and stickers. The classes also made a paper chain showing 100, along with a pair of 100th Day Glasses and a 100th Day Crown.  The 2nd and 3rd Graders also made necklaces and bookmarks and got a 100th day bracelet, along with a book called 100 snowmen to celebrate the day.  Yes a very successful day!

 

Alexander/Crawford History

 

By John Dudley & Cassie Oakes

 

Do you know that history is never complete?  History is a written record of the past.  The moment John Dudley typed that last sentence, it became history.  Beyond incompleteness by definition, we have error or omission by the writer of the history. In April 2011 ACHS published Biographical Sketches of Soldiers of the Civil War for Alexander and the seven townships that surround us.  John left out some names.

Ken Ross grew up in Red Beach and was at Calais Memorial High School at the same time as John.  Over the past decade he researched all Washington County Civil War soldiers.  The St. Croix Historical Society recently published the second edition of his book Washington County, Maine in the Civil War 1891-1866.  In it he listed a man from Alexander and another from Crawford that John had missed.  Here is a little about those two.

Thomas Foley was born ca. 1844, the 1860 census states born in Ireland, by 1870 census he was born in the US.  And so historic records disagree!  It appears that his father was James (b. 1805) and his mother was Johanna (1810).  His older siblings were twins Margaret and Michael (1839).  We also find a William born in 1861 in Maine.  This family lived on Breakneck, likely from before 1860.  John Dudley bets she supplied the money for 12 year old William in 1873.

Thomas joined the Navy in 1865 when he was 21.  He was a substitute for a man in Sangerville, Maine.  We know he survived whereas his brother Michael was killed at the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864.

George S. Elsmore was 22 in 1861 when he enlisted in Company A of the Maine 9th.  That was called the Calais Company and in one place George stated he was of Calais.  In another place he stated he was from Crawford.  His name is not on census records of Crawford or on any other list we have, but Ken Ross is a fine researcher and John believes his work.  George may have been in Crawford after the 1860 census as a hired man or on a haying crew.  He enlisted in the same company at the same time as Warren Munson and Daniel Augustus Smith, both young Crawford residents.

 

Ken added several names from area towns that were not in John Dudley’s 2011 newsletter.  From Cooper were Hiram and Martin Cary, both in the Cavalry; James Breen and James Whitney from Meddybemps; and from Princeton Charles Dow, Joseph Dunham and Hiram F. Smith.  Thank you, Ken, for the addition to our history and for all your work.  ACHS and all local historical societies depend on others to pass on material for the file and for publishing.  What bit of our history will you share?

Baring

Sally Doten

454-2625

The Baring news is usually written on Sunday nights; this week is no different. The snow has started, the Facebook pages are full of predictions, the weathermen are forecasting up to 25 inches and windy. The only thing any of us can do about this situation is to be prepared: flashlights, candles, water, and food. There is no way we can stand in the road and yell, “not in my town.” We await and do all that is necessary to stay safe. By the time you read this the storm will have passed and hopefully it was less serious than thought.

Get well wishes got out to Shelly Bodkin who is a patient at EMMC. She was life-flighted out of Calais on Wednesday. I received a note from her husband, Mike, this evening and she is much improved. Hopefully, she will be transferred out of ICU tomorrow.

Another patient in Bangor is Arthur Furlong. From what I understand he was found unresponsive in his truck. Hope you feel better soon, Arthur.  Sandra Sherrard will be going for a procedure at EMMC on Wednesday. Thinking of you, Sandra, and good luck. 

Someone cleared our walkway on Friday. I don’t think is was Greg Smith or Doug McLellan. Whoever you are, thank you. You have left Jim and I wondering who our mystery snow-blowing ghost is.

Home-baked cookies were delivered to my new neighbor last week. I don’t know how she feels about having her name printed so I will just say it was nice to meet her and hope she enjoys living in Baring.

Duane McLellan has returned home from EMMC.  Poor Duane had to have his leg re-broken and set again. He is now home at Pocomoonshine Lake. 

Is there more illnesses and flu this year than usual? It seems everyone has had a bout with something. Did everyone forget to have their flu shots?  Does it make any difference? So far I have avoided everything that is floating around and thankful for it. So sorry for you who are suffering.

Just a reminder....interest will be accumulated on your tax bills if not paid this month. It’s a sad thing, but death and taxes are unavoidable.

Here I go again.....The Town Meeting is set! Can you believe it? It’s true. Because of school vacation and the basketball tournaments it was decided to hold it later in the month. Mark your calendars and remember this: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6pm, at the Baring Baptist Church. If you have any opinions (good or bad) on town business, you should be there. Remember you can’t complain if you don’t attend.

Think I have written enough for this week to make my 30 cents. Have a wonderful week, stay well and out of jail. 

 

sdoten@roadrunner.com

Alexander/Crawford

Cassie Oakes

 

I am sitting here on a lazy Sunday afternoon finishing my column and waiting for the Blizzard of 2017.  It has been a rough week for me as Monday I woke up not feeling well and by Tuesday it was official I was home sick from the Beckett Center.  I stayed home every day this week and the weekend, thinking I might get back on Monday, but due to the storm transportation has been canceled and the Center has been closed.  One more day at home, for me and some more healing to do.

If there are any graduating high school seniors in Alexander and Crawford who would like to apply for the Alexander/Crawford Scholarship, please contact Rhonda Oakes at 454-2344 for an application.
Christine Henry of Crawford wanted me to let folks know that she and her husband Cortney are going to be first-time grandparents.  Daughter Briana is expecting the birth of a little girl near the end of April.  I am only an aunt, but I know that my mom says being a grandparent is the coolest thing ever.  Congratulations to the Henry family.

Christine also wanted me to let you know that Peaceful Postures has regular and gentle Yoga classes each week and an Essential Oils class each month to learn ways to use EO’s for a healthy lifestyle.  They have a Mosalic Workshop this month and monthly Hula Hooping classes.  They are closing a day in February with a day-long retreat called Dream and Vision, where they will spend the day Journaling, resting and restoring with Yoga, creating Vision Boards and indulging in some delicious food.  If you are interested you can contact Christine at Peaceful Postures by emailing peacefulpostureyoga.com, or call 454-1185 for more information.  I love it when I hear such great things members in our community are doing.

Congratulations are in order to Galen McDonough, son of Kelly and Brenda McDonough of Alexander, who recently Graduated from Beal College with a 2-year Associate Degree in Conservation Law Enforcement.  Galen is now looking forward to going to the Law Enforcement Academy.  Congrats on this wonderful accomplishment and a job well done!

I unintentionally omitted the name of Tianna Bacon last week when I was listing former AES students and their extra-curricular activities in High School.  Tianna is playing basketball on the Varsity squad at Calais High School.

Clayton and Cathy Blake of Alexander have welcomed another grandchild.  Son Caleb and his wife Tara have had a new baby girl named Ella.

With all this snow that we have already had and with all the snow we are expecting tonight several folks have asked at the store who might do some shoveling of roofs and other jobs.  Just so folks know you can contact Todd Berry at 454-0631 or 904-8890.

A very special get well wish is being sent out to Lois Faloon who recently fell and broke her hip.  Lois has had surgery in Calais but has been moved for Re-Hab to Bangor.

Mark your calendars for a Roast Pork Supper to be held at the Methodist Church in Baileyville on March 2nd.

Good thoughts are being sent out Phil McVicar, Fletcher Perkins, Charlie White, Sandy Lyon, Elwin Daley, Lynn Hill, Trudy Poole, Lenny Frost, David Carson, Avis McIntyre, Linda Richardson, Joan Dodge, Carl Perkins, Karen Moraisey, Shirley Hill, Ron McArthur, Joan Dodge and Linda Bohanon.  

We mustn’t forget those caretakers, who so lovingly take care of those they love making sure they have everything they need, sometimes giving up on things they would like to do to make sure their loved one is take care of.  Who is missing from this list? Please let me know.  

Upcoming Birthday wishes go out to John Gallant Jr., Deven Howland, Michelle McVicar, Casey Eliason, Vicki O’Neil, Dylan Lord, Norman Davis, Durward Scott, Jeannie Marshall, Travis Howard, Austin Niles, Arthur Allen, Joanne McGovern, Paula Johnson and Alyssa Cadett.

I would like to send two very special Happy Birthday wishes to my brother Mike Oakes in Baltimore, Maryland on the 16th and my dad, Carl Oakes, on the 22nd.  You are both very important men in my life and I love you both and hope you have a great day!

Lucky Loser this week at Randy’s Variety is Debbie Dow.  To be a lucky loser all you have to do is buy an online ticket at Randy’s and if it is a loser put your name and number on the back and put it in for a second chance winner.

If you have anything you would like me to share in this column you can email me at  ptcfan@hotmail.com, Facebook, or 1328 Airline Road, Alexander, ME  04694.  You can also call me at 454-2344 or drop off news at Randy’s Variety!  Thank you to all of those who support me and this column. Until next time, stay safe.

 

Cooper

Laurie Pike

piketaxcollector@gmail.com

 

The Cooper Town Office will be closed this Thursday, 2/16/17.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause anyone but due to a temporary commitment on Thursday Evenings until the end of March, I am changing my upcoming office hours with permission from the Cooper Select Board members.  Upcoming Office hours in the Town of Cooper will be held on Tuesday Evening on 2/21, 3/7, and 3/21/17 from 4:30-6:30 pm.  This is a temporary change and in the month of April my office hours will return to the first and third Thursday of the month from 4:30-6:30 pm.  I will also try to be available by appointment for those who are unable to come to the town office during the new temporary hours.  Please call me at 207-214-7335 if you need to make alternative arrangements.

The next select board meetings for March will be held on Saturday, March 4th and Saturday, March 18th, 2017 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the Cooper Town Office.  The next planning board meeting will be held on Saturday, March 4th at 10:00 am at the Cooper Town Office.

If you have a balance on your 2016 taxes please contact me at 207-214-7335 for exact amounts as interest is being applied per day until taxes are paid in full.  Please contact me rather than trying to figure interest yourself because I am getting checks that are way off the mark and my computer system gives me the exact amount owed quickly.  If you have a tractor your tractor excise was due with your property tax bills.  Tractor excise will be $50.00 for tractors that are 1-5 years old; $25.00 for tractors that are 5-10 years old; and $15.00 for tractors that are over 10 years old.  You can pay tractor excise during office hours or by mail by sending to Laurie Pike, Tax Collector at 152 N. Union Road, Cooper, Maine, 04657.

 

I am curious how the Nor’easter of 2017 will compare to the Northeastern Great Blizzard of 1978 and the historic Snowzilla blizzard of January 22-24, 2016.  Both the Northeastern Great Blizzard of 1978 and the Snowzilla Blizzard of 2016 were ranked as category 5 extreme events by the Northeast Regional Snowfall Index.  To qualify as a category five the regional snow value index must be in excess of 18 inches.   In all three of these blizzards, several states saw snow totals over two feet and some areas had over 30 inches of snow.  Some of these prior blizzards resulted in many deaths and injuries and huge economic loss from severe damages.  Hopefully this storm will not cause much damage and everyone will stay home and safe until the blizzard has passed.  For a storm to qualify as a blizzard, it must have sustained winds or frequent gusts that are greater than or equal to 35 miles per hour with blowing and drifting snow that reduces visibility to ¼ mile or less and is prolonged for three hours or more.  I think this storm qualified since there are areas of our state with over two feet of snowfall and some other areas with over 30 inches of snow.  The wind gusts have been over 50+ miles per hour with blowing and drifting and practically no visibility.  Snow has fallen so hard and has accumulated so quickly that plow truck drivers haven’t been able to keep up with clearing the roads and when they do clear the road the drifting caused by the wind keeps filling the road back in afterwards.  I’m sure that is frustrating for them.  I feel frustrated that the shoveling I’ve completed has to be done repeatedly.  The snow is halfway up my glass doors again and up on my house window panes.  I feel like I keep doing the same spots over as the wind blows the snow back to where I just cleaned up.  Oh well, I guess can chalk it up to winter woes in this winter wonderland.  I want to say thank you to everyone who plows the roads to keep them passable for those who must travel and a thank you to the people who plow our driveways and spend days cleaning up during and after the storms so we can get back at it.

Grand Lake Stream

 

Dave McCullough

 

As this column is being written a snow storm from Grand Lake Stream to Kittery is providing many inches and in some cases feet of the white stuff. The new trail groomer of the West Grand Lake Snowmobile Club will be having plenty of exercise for a spell. With all the trail improvements made over the past couple years riding should be excellent. For the latest conditions call the Pine Tree Store at 796-5027.  With school vacation next week take the young people out into the great outdoors of Maine!! 

With West Grand now open for fishing the reports have been fantastic. Ice is thick, bait readily available at Canal Side Cabins, Supplies and plenty of grub available at the Pine Tree Store. They also can issue out of state fishing licenses. Have a great time enjoying a wonderful area of Maine: Grand Lake Stream America!!

During the past few years I have heard many tales about people finding dead moose. Here is an interesting article on that topic. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) recently entered its 4th year of a moose mortality study in western Maine (west of Moosehead Lake).  This study aims at improving our understanding of mortality factors, mortality rates, calf survival and recruitment, just to name a few.  To gain this understanding, moose are equipped with a radio collar that communicates information to wildlife biologists via satellites.  Our findings thus far have been interesting and intriguing, and on December 18, 2016, that was especially the case.

“Wildlife biologists were notified that a radio collar had not moved in 4.5 hours, which generally means that the animal wearing the radio collar is dead.  Upon arrival, observers witnessed the evidence of a very natural but unfortunate mishap that otherwise would have gone unnoticed had this animal not been marked with a transmitter.  Somehow, the year and a half old moose had lodged its front, left leg into the crotch of a yellow birch that was about 4 ½ feet high off the ground.  The moose had apparently bucked up or reared up onto her back legs for one reason or another, accidentally slid that leg down into the crotch as she tried to land, and then got jammed at the hoof.  The split in the tree’s stem was just wide enough apart for the moose to get its leg into, but since the end of a moose’s leg is clubbed (because of the hoof, dewclaws, and all of the associated bones), this prevented the entire leg from coming out of the tree’s crotch.  The leg was not broken, but when a necropsy was conducted, there were numerous internal indications of a lengthy struggle.  In addition, there was a lot of missing bark (from struggling) along the side of the yellow birch where she was lying.  The locations transmitted from the radio collar had also indicated that she had been in that spot for several days before expiring.  There is numerous documentation of incidental mortality in moose across their range, but is the first of this exact type that we have documented on the mortality study here in northern Maine.

The deadline to apply for the 2017 Maine Moose Permit Lottery is May 15. APPLY NOW.

Here are some thoughts from the Hermit:   “In the late 1800s in a small Wyoming valley what would later become part of Yellowstone National Park there was a small herd of buffalo that had somehow escaped hide hunters.  It was the last stand of the millions of bison who had roamed the Great Plains for millennia.  Another example of extinction was the passenger pigeons. In a single flock in flight they could take six hours turning day into night to pass. 

The first European immigrants saw what they called the ‘new Eden.’ Clean air and water, endless forests, minerals and boundless fish and game resources. Didn’t the Scriptures grant us domain over the earth and its creatures?  Forgotten was that we were also charged to be “good shepherds.”  We were not. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the first stirrings of concern for wildlife and resource conservation was voiced by sportsmen who hunted and fished. Now the public concern and support has grown to the point where most wildlife species are more abundant than a century ago.  

Now annually over 100 million of us take to the woods and waters to hunt, fish and enjoy the great outdoors.  In turn we purchase licenses, pay fees and special taxes on all sporting goods.  That money provides critical funding for fish and wildlife conservation, propagation and protection.  Arrayed against us are powerful money interest groups including Hollywood celebrities.  Using the façade of “Animal Rights” their true agenda is banning gun ownership, hunting, trapping and off-road vehicles while locking up large areas of forest prohibiting most public access and usage.  It is absolutely critical we join and support our ATV, snowmobile and sportsmen groups, N.R.A., SAM and Downeast Lakes and Land Trust.  Our numbers give us strong political clout.  Thought for today:  Be the hammer not the nail. 

How about a little history?  At a town meeting in 1897 in  Grand Lake Stream it was recorded that there were fifty-two poll taxes, eighty students in the school, two hundred and twenty inhabitants, three hundred and fifty-nine hens and six dogs. Sounds like a pretty solid community 120 years ago.

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Have a great week! Your humble correspondent, Dave McCullough. 207-839-4205 or dmccull1@maine.rr.com