Gathering info for town report
Town Clerk Ann Dean is collecting reports from the various town committees and local organizations for inclusion in the 2013 Town Report. In order to prepare the materials for printing, everyone should deliver their report to the town office by the first week of February.
Historical society update
At last week’s Washington Historical Society meeting the group outlined a tentative schedule of activities for 2014. A list of events will be published as soon as dates and topics are confirmed. Society president, Wendy Carr, reported that member and local historian, Cheryl Swift, found an item in an old newspaper that William McKinley visited Washington and spoke at the village church in 1887. McKinley was U.S. president from March 1897 to September 1901. Members wondered what would have brought McKinley to Maine. Around 1887, Maine Governor James G. Blaine was candidate for the U.S. presidency and possibly McKinley — who was then a U.S. Congressman from Ohio and rising star in the Republican Party — might have come to Maine to campaign for his friend and associate. The society would be very pleased to learn more about this occasion. The next meeting of WHS is Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. at their resource room in the Masonic Building, 44 Liberty Road. Everyone is welcome.
Full day of mid-winter events
“Time,” it has been said, “is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once.” So it seems with the Saturday of next weekend. As we list what we know about, here’s a quick reminder that if you or your Washington group has an event, project or activity, please send it along by phone or email (shown above).
Gibbs Library to hold sale
A Bonanza Book Sale and Café will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gibbs Library. There will be a huge selection of gently used books on sale as well as coffee and an array of baked goods. Here’s a chance to browse until your heart’s content, sustain yourself with homemade sweets and support our fabulous local library.
The second Ice-Out Contest, sponsored by Washington Lakes Watershed Association, will be held in conjunction with the SnowFest and Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 8. Entering the contest is free and everyone is welcome to enter the date they think ice will be gone from Washington Pond. Lakes Association judges watch for the precise time later when the lake is passable, end to end. They report the date and time to organizations that collect this data for research purposes. They also award a $50 prize to the person whose choice of date and time is closest to the actual event. Entries can be made all day at the SnowFest. Put this date on your calendar and enter your guess.
Snowfest and Fishing Derby
The 27th Annual SnowFest and Fishing Derby will be held, Saturday, Feb. 8 from dawn to 3 p.m. There are prizes for the overall largest fish and for the largest fish in each of the several species found in Washington Pond. There are raffles to enter and lots of warming and tasty food from the Snack Shack all day long. Spend the day or stop by for a look-see at this enduring event that’s fun for the whole family. Rain date is Feb. 15.
Chowder supper Feb. 8
Mt. Olivet Masonic Lodge will host its annual chili, fish chowder, and beef stew supper, also Feb. 8. The meal is served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Hall, 44 Liberty Road, Washington. You’ll have your choice of chili, fish chowder, or beef stew served with biscuits, dessert, and beverage.
About those prescription cards
Our curiosity takes us on some noteworthy journeys. So it was with an interest in the real value of the United States Prescription Discounts card we received in the mail last week. First of all, the card is not backed by our U.S. government, it is not associated with the Affordable Care Act in any way whatsoever, and it’s not an insurance card. Better Business Bureaus in several states [Louisiana, Nevada, Florida, South Carolina, New York, among others] are not calling the cards a scam but suggest that they just aren’t always worth much, or even anything. It depends. The cards are a marketing tool distributed by Script Relief LLC which gets its “pay” from pharmaceutical companies each time the card is used. So it works like a coupon with no expiration date. The cards misrepresent the amount of discount as most consumers will receive a 5 to 10 percent cut, if any. Many pharmacies do not accept these cards at all because they can be billed something for each prescription. It’s significant that many pharmacies have discount programs of their own and honor national discount programs [for instance, AARP] which may be greater than the USPD card offers. What’s in it for the company? Besides the fee they get from the pharmaceutical companies, the Rx recipients name and address becomes known to the company and may be targeted for future marketing. Script Relief states that it doesn’t sell or rent personal information to a third party but also disclaims any confidential relationship and says they may contact you about other services that “may be of interest.” The USPD Prescription Savings Card is a perfect example of caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware. It doesn’t hurt to take the card to your drug store and ask what it might do for you, but, take care, it may not help. If you find it not useful, it’s OK to simply throw it away. If you want a list of citations on this paragraph, contact me and I’ll get it to you.