Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Jun 13, 2014
Photo by: Charlotte Henderson A team of volunteers gathered in Washington Sunday to create an edible landscape around the town’s fire pond. A wide variety of food bearing trees, shrubs, and plants were put in the ground and labeled in the first stage of this Washington Conservation Committee project.

Unsung heroes present dinner

The Washington Fire Department Auxiliary, this year’s Unsung Hero Award winner, will put on its annual public dinner and auction this Saturday, June 14, starting at 4:30 p.m. It goes without saying that there will be plenty of good — great, even — food prepared by Auxiliary members and generous contributions. (If you want to, drop something off ahead of time or just bring a casserole, salad or dessert with you.) The dinner is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Besides good eats, there are loads of fine items to be auctioned: a sofa bed, a maple crib, a fishing pole from Hussey’s General Store, an overnight at Blueberry Fields B&B, lots of gift certificates, a large selection of furniture and much more. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. with our own Tom Johnston holding the auctioneer’s gavel. This event is always a fun time and the cause couldn’t be more in our own interest. Washington’s Fire Department Auxiliary exists to support our volunteer fire department and firefighters with beyond-budget equipment and supplies and care of the fire house. The Auxiliary was named Washington’s 2014 Unsung Hero, recognized for outstanding volunteerism and community service at Town Meeting this spring.

Post office hours change

This Saturday, June 14, new window hours will begin at the Washington Post Office. Window service hours will be 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Saturday window hours are 8 to 10:45 a.m. The lobby is open for P.O. Box access weekdays during the mid-day break and until 4:30 p.m. Saturday morning, box access is 7:30 until 11:30 a.m.

A big dig for future plenty

Following an example that’s been simmering in gardening circles since the 1980s, the Washington Conservation Committee spearheaded by David Spahr, set out a large number of trees and shrubs on Sunday afternoon. The open area around the town fire pond on Bill Luce Road is now graced with “edible landscaping.” It was a perfect summer day for the group to work and enjoy a special camaraderie. The idea of landscaping with plants that bear fruits and berries came to life in Washington since David Spahr and town clerk, Ann Dean, got to talking about it one day last winter. Besides acquiring the vegetation — some purchased by the Conservation Committee, some donated by Spahr, Dean, and several others in the community — there was finding a site. The land around the fire pond belongs to the town, seemed ideal and the edible landscape idea was well received around town hall. Dig Safe was contacted because, under Maine law, projects that involve excavation of all kinds, even small ones like installing a mailbox, require Dig Safe permission to assure no underground utilities are accidentally disturbed. So the work began as planned on what’s bound to be an on-going project. Many thanks to the volunteers who showed up to work, David Spahr for his expertise and leadership, and Ann Dean for knowing a good idea when she hears it. Also, Ann, thanks for the truckload of soil and the lemonade.

School Budget vote Wednesday

The RSU 40 school budget referendum vote will be held Wednesday, June 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Bryant Room of the Gibbs Library. All registered voters in Washington are eligible to vote.

Misinformation by any other name

Every so often I get an email that is so undeniably deceitful it makes me crazy. Most times they’re pretty easy to spot and delete. Sometimes, we reply-all to point out that it’s untrue or actually try to put together “the rest of the story” to inform the sender(s). Maybe I’m obsessed. Recently, we got an “exposé” in a new iteration (turns out it began in 2009). They never die, it seems. How to find out the truth? It takes some time. We use websites that specialize in distinguishing and clarifying mass emails. Snopes.com is a popular site that follows urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors and other misinformation. Hoax-Slayer.com exposes email hoaxes and scams and educates web users on security issues. TruthOrFiction.com checks out rumors, pleas for help, calls to action, virus warnings and other appeals. Scambusters.org has a website and newsletter and availability in other countries. Urbanlegends.about.com lists Internet hoaxes, rumors and reported misinformation. Mythbusters.com investigates fake news stories. FactCheck.org was given the 2014 Webby Award (excellence on the Internet) for fact-finding in the politics category. We’ve used them and lots of others for a reality check. It feels good to get answers to the persistent question, “are you kidding me?!”

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