The news from Vinalhaven
It’s August, or Fogust as some folks call it on those pea soup days where the fog banks cling to the island. The goldenrod is already in bloom along with the tansy, adding a beautiful golden look to the roadsides and fields, and I noticed the cat-o-nine tails bursting in various marshy spots on the island. If you know the right spots it’s also becoming prime time for blackberry picking as well as huckleberry gathering. Those should be enough reasons to go out for a walk these days, and I’ve seen a good many people lately — especially around sunrise and sunset.
In an update on the Winter Moth issue on Vinalhaven, at least 70 folks showed up for the information session at the school auditorium, and Charlene Donahue, forest entomologist for the Maine State Forest Service, answered many questions after giving an overview of the history of Winter Moth, its hosts, life cycle and possible control measures that can be taken. To contact her in Augusta, you can email her at Charlene.firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Maine Department of Conservation’s Maine Forest Service Lab at 287-2431. The town of Vinalhaven or other organizations here may make further suggestions for control of the Winter Moth, but for now, landscape materials, soil, and weeds should not be moved from infested or even possibly infested areas.
In other town-related news, the SAD 8 2012-2013 proposed budget is available for people to read through in preparation for the District Budget Meeting at the Hokanson Memorial Hall at the school on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. It will be followed on Sept. 4 by the Validation Referendum at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The budget packet can be found at the school on the shelf at the front office window as well as at the town office. As folks in many towns will be surprised to hear, this year’s budget is proposed at $48,000 less than last year’s budget. Please do find the time to come out and participate by voting.
It’s that time of the summer when school inevitably creeps into thoughts and conversations, and so it is not surprising that the School Supply Lists are now out. These lists indicate what students should come to school equipped with for each grade level and subject area. Supply lists are in the Aug. 9-Aug. 15 Wind and are often posted downtown. There’s plenty of time to prepare, as school starts Tuesday, Sept. 4.
This year at the school there will be a number of new faces, as there are staffing changes for drama, high school science, middle school science, elementary special education, as well as for a couple education technician positions. In the middle school, science teacher Amy Palmer, who has been doing a wonderful job for years, is taking a year off and her position will be filled by Emily Cohn. Emily has been in Vermont most recently where she received her master of arts in education at Antioch University New England and has been teaching. She has been involved in Nature’s Classroom and Seeds of Peace as well. Both are inspiring organizations worth looking up on the Internet when you have a moment. Do say hi to Emily and welcome her to the community when you see her around town. Stay tuned for information about the other new school staff members in upcoming weeks.
Business around town
In a past column I included information about the newest physician’s assistant at the Islands Community Medical Center, and it seemed useful to include a little information each week about other staff members who work there in an effort to help folks get to know them better. A relatively recent arrival to the staff is Oscar Falconer who, as a physician’s assistant worked for the St. Mary’s Emergency Department in Lewiston and the Goodall Emergency Department in Sanford for four and a half years. Oscar, his wife and two children are enjoying Vinalhaven and getting to know the community.
Speaking of community, the ARCafe organized a wonderful local foods dinner at the Boyden Farm on the back of Carver’s Pond recently and folks from all over the community were there. The weather was perfect, the food delicious and artfully presented, and the barn was a perfect backdrop for folks to enjoy good food and good company. With this winter and spring’s offerings of themed dinners at the ARCafe on Main Street, and now this summer meal, the ARC is making a name for itself when it comes to the fine dining experience.
What folks are talking about
August is the month when everyone wants to get just a little more summer into every moment of their vacations, and for those of us who experience Vinalhaven during quieter months it seems that August moves at a breakneck pace. Every day has multiple offerings making our calendar boxes fit to burst with the options. As such, I feel that folks are mostly talking about what they’ve been to, what they’re planning on attending, and how they can get to them all and still have time to sit on the porch with a book and a cool drink.
Folks have enjoyed the Land Trust Beachcombing walk with Josie Iselin who has produced many art books based on her own beachcombing. Despite the hot weather and the uneven footing there were many treasures to be found, and much seaweed to admire. The VLT excursion run by Jim Boone to Margaret Wise Brown’s home and gravesite was extremely well attended, and as I drove by the walk focusing on the site of Vinalhaven’s Trotting Park (where it was in the late 1800s), there were many folks looking engaged in the presentation. There are so many things coming up that it’s more useful to give you the feeling of a single day’s options than to list everything on the horizon. The 22nd of August represents the necessity to plan what you want to attend. The 22nd includes a Bird Walk at 8 a.m. offered by the land trust, the ARC Food and Farms Celebration, the Grange Music Night, and of course the budget meeting at the school. Good luck with your decisions, and see you at one or all of the above events.
Previously I expressed wishes that the antique car rally that was conducted in inclement weather a couple weeks back would come around again. Then today I saw an advertisement for Vintage Vinalhaven — Island Oldies, an invitation by Vinalhaven’s Eldercare Services to come view vintage cars, enjoy food, fun and music and help support the island’s elders. It’s at the Flea Market Field on Friday, Aug. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. How nice to have my wishes granted so quickly! Whether you consider yourself an antique or just want to enjoy viewing some, come out and support your community and fit just a little more summer fun into your August.
If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please drop me a line at email@example.com or leave a message at 207-863-4134.