Municipal meetings

All meetings are held at Lincolnville Central School unless otherwise noted.

The conservation commission meets Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m.

Also Wednesday, the comprehensive plan review committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincolnville Improvement Association building.

The board of appeals meets Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

Town office

If you’re accustomed to checking the town Web site at town.lincolnville.me.us for the schedule of upcoming meetings you’ll notice the calendar format has changed. Just click on the entry and a little box with all pertinent information for that meeting will pop up.

Census testing

The test for census takers will be administered at the LIA building on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. Schedule an appointment to take the test at 203-1020 or 1-866-861-2010. Also, an evening test will be offered at Lincolnville Central School on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

School

No school on Monday, Jan. 18 as it is Martin Luther King Day.

Congratulations to eighth-grader Marissa Libby, winner of the school National Geographic Bee. Ten classroom winners and runners-up competed for school champion — Marissa Libby, A.J. Silverton, Nate Williams, Brendan Carey, Brooke Veyette, Gavin Decker-Griffith, Alex Carver, Keira Hayes, Isaac Young and John Underhill. Sixth-grader Keira Hayes came in third with seventh-grader Brooke Veyette coming in second. The next step for winner Marissa is to complete a qualifying test for the state National Geographic Bee in January. Good luck!

As I write this week’s column the middle school spelling bee is being conducted. The nine contestants are Jet Magri, Sarah Englander and Carrie Helmholz, sixth grade; Annie Young, Ben Rollins and Matt Watts, seventh grade; Max Geffken, Zoie Magri and Crockett Lalor, eighth grade. The winner will compete in the district bee to be held in February.

Congratulations to the December students of the month: kindergarten, Joey Corey; first grade, Willa Rainy and Ruby Cohen; second grade, Olivia Lydon; third grade, Libby Maguire; fourth grade, Daphne DeVeau; fifth grade, Emily Morse and Noah Botley; sixth grade, Emma McGurren; and eighth grade, Jaclyn Gilson.

Free to a good home

We’ve got a 24-inch GE wall oven to give away. It has a new element, and although it’s seen many years of use, I’m sure it has many more in it. And 24 inches is a hard-to-find size. Give me a call if you’d like it.

Far from home

Brian and Holly Underhill, along with their children, Hattie, 10, Isaac, 8, Eli, 3, and Annie 5 months, are new missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship assigned to Indonesia, as a pilot/mechanic family. Brian, the son of Carol and Roy Underhill, sends out a regular newsletter detailing the family’s adventures and adjustments to their new life. They arrived in Indonesia in mid-November and Brian writes: “When moving to a new culture and having zero language, you might be surprised at how difficult ordinary daily life can be. The simplest task can be completely overwhelming while you are steeped in the stresses of your new surroundings. There is a part of it that is exhilarating and thrilling, the taste of fresh mango, the musty smell of the jungle, the unfamiliar sound of the Muslim call to prayer five times a day, but on the other hand you are unable to cook meals for your kids or understand how your really strange looking washing machine works or explain to the guy that you want the drinking water that has really been filtered (thankfully there are people here to help us that speak English).” Their address is bunderhill@maf.org if you’d like to be added to Brian and Holly’s e-mail list to receive their newsletter or to write them with news of home.

Have you noticed how many of our young people are finding their way across the country and around the world these days? I’ve often thought it would be a great idea to have a “Where Are They Now?” bulletin board at LCS, showing where Lincolnville graduates have traveled to and what they’re doing, a way of showing current students that the whole world is theirs if they want it. I’d love to hear where your offspring have gotten to and what they’re doing these days. And of course, they don’t have to leave home to find satisfying lives — hearing where and how they find themselves can help the aspirations of our teens, wondering what they’ll do with their lives.

Animals

Lois Lyman writes: “This morning Ross and I were treated to the sight of a large, probably male red fox trotting casually across our open yard, not 50 feet from the window and nowhere near any trees. He stopped and looked at the house for about a minute when I called Ross to look at him, then continued purposefully across the yard at a trot, pausing by the birdhouses, and then out into the road, down the road and across into Earle Brown’s driveway, still at that same steady trot. I haven’t seen one so close before, beautifully outlined against the white snow. Snowshoeing later, I found many fox tracks in a field above the house as well as in our own field, coming and going from the woods on what looked like a regular basis. I was surprised to see him at 8:15 on such a bright morning, as though he hadn’t a care in the world.”

Dwight and Jan Pitcairn were driving in an Ottawa snowstorm recently when they spotted a kitten in the road. Pulling over (and watching in terror as cars narrowly missed it) Jan got out to try and catch it. As she bent over a hawk swooped down for the helpless thing, but at the last moment, pulled up and flew off. It crawled under the car, and Jan went after it, but so did the hawk, making still another attempt. Jan won, the customs people let them take it over the border, and the Pitcairns have a new pet. They’re still trying to think up a good name for it.

Earlier in the fall, Dwight discovered a juvenile loon hiding under their car, parked in front of their house at Chester Dean Road. He called Avian Haven in Freedom, expecting someone would come out and get the bird. When he was told to “listen carefully — get a box and a towel, don’t let your head get close to the beak,” Dwight knew it was going to be up to him. Once he delivered the loon out in Freedom, it was immediately X-rayed and diagnosed with a broken wing bone. Though the wing was successfully operated on and pinned, the Pitcairns were sad to hear that the bird suddenly died, probably of a blood clot from the surgery. They were told that in the dark loons sometimes mistake wet asphalt for the pond’s surface, Coleman Pond in this case.

Making us a community

Lincolnville has six ponds: Moody, Levenseller, Coleman, Pitcher, Norton and Megunticook, and like ponds everywhere, they are vulnerable in many ways to environmental problems — invasive plant and animal species, silting, pesticide and herbicide runoff, septic system runoff, pollution from boat motors and probably lots more. Several of our ponds have their own associations; the ones I know of are Megunticook, Pitcher and Coleman. Let me know of others.

Thanks to Whitney Oppersdorf, the Coleman Pond Association has become a solid little organization dedicated to educating Coleman Pond landowners (and renters) on the various threats to their lovely pond and its surrounding watershed. Whitney puts out a newsletter one or two times a year for association members, telling them about studies and grants that pertain to small ponds like theirs. For instance, land owners learned this summer that their pond had low enterocci levels relative to some other ponds (a result of failing septic systems and heavy rainfall) shown by the water quality studies conducted by Rob Lovell, a retired Camden Hills Regional High School teacher. Every summer at their annual meeting, held at the Oppersdorfs’ place, there’s a speaker on a particular topic, such as last year’s talk about BioDiversity Research’s loon cam, set up on the pond for the past several seasons. Whitney doesn’t do this alone, of course, but it always takes one person to get these things started and to see it through. Because of their association, Coleman Pond landowners know a lot more about the sensitive environment they border.

How do we make it?

Recent guests from far away have asked the question, “What do people do for a living around here?” There are easy, obvious answers for lots of us, but just as many work from home using the computer to communicate with a workplace or a market. Do you have a product or a service that you’d like folks to know about? Let me know and I’ll mention it. Here’s one: Hanji Chang is an artist (and our daughter-in-law, by the way) and here’s her Web site: chairmanmeowstudio.blogspot.com. Check it out!