Town meetings

All meetings are at the town office unless otherwise specified. Thursday, Jan. 21 the Legacy Rockport Board of Directors will meet at 8:15 a.m. and the RES Redevelopment Committee will meet at 7 p.m. The Ordinance Review Committee will meet next Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7 a.m. The Mid-Coast Solid Waste Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and the Zoning Board of Appeals will also meet at the Rockport Opera House (tentatively) on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

Whoops!

Even though I did get our 6-month-old new puppy’s license before Christmas, I forgot to remind you to do the same. You need to license your dog before the Feb. 1 deadline to avoid the $15 late fee. Remember to bring proof of current rabies vaccination, and if this is your dog’s first license and it’s been neutered, bring that proof also since it will save you money.

Books, plus

Booklovers’ Cafe will meet at the library Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. This is a perennial favorite with folks joyously sharing a favorite book read since the last cafe. It’s hard to winnow down to just one book (especially during the winter when we have more time to read), but often you’ve found a new author that really impressed you or you’ve discovered an old classic or just a great escape book. Plus Iris takes additional titles to put on the monthly list. Go to the library’s Web site, rockport.lib.me.us, and click on “Booklovers‘ Cafe” to see past lists and also some of the recipes from morning treats. All are welcome; come give the group a try. For more information, call 236-3642.

Pies on Parade

In honor of National Pie Day, the Historic Inns of Rockland will celebrate on Sunday, Jan. 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. with the sixth annual Pies on Parade (rain, snow or shine). Proceeds go to the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry and with need at an all-time high, your participation is all the more important. Nearly $20,000 has been donated from this event in the past four years and it’s hoped that with this year’s donation Historic Inns of Rockland will surpass the $25,000 donation mark. Tickets for the tour are $25 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. Tickets are only available from participating inns, and include a keepsake recipe collection and plenty of pie to sample. To order tickets in advance, call 1-877-762-4667.

In addition to the inns, a number of Rockland restaurants and shops will join in the fun, offering samplings of everything from chicken pot pie to pizza pie. Trolley service between the participating inns and businesses will be provided by All Aboard Trolley. Hop on!

Bluegrass

This is sure to warm you up! There will be a bluegrass jam session Sunday, Jan. 24 at noon at the Strand Theatre in conjunction with Bay Chamber’s 2:30 p.m. concert that will feature Ralph Stanley (legendary bluegrass musician known for his work on the film “Brother Where Art Thou” and the Cinch Mountain Boys. You do need to purchase tickets for both the jam session and the concert, but if you contribute two items for the food pantry, the $15 ticket for the jam session will be waived. Call Bay Chamber at 236-2823 for more information, reservations or tickets.

Spring dreaming

Merryspring’s winter and spring talk schedule continues Tuesday, Jan. 26 at noon with Patrick Keenan from the Biodiversity Research Institute. Patrick’s talk, “Mercury Pollution in Maine,” will cover an ever-growing problem and one we all need to learn about. And even though this might not abet your “spring dreaming,” there are lovely plants displayed for sale as well as great garden books and other nature related crafts and items that will get those dreams going. Merryspring members and all children attend talks free, with a $5 charge for nonmembers. For more information, call Merryspring at 236-2239 or visit the Web site at merryspring.org.

Politics

The first 2010 Knox County Policy Forum will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the Camden Library from 5:15 to 7 p.m., with $5 payable at the door. To RSVP or for more information, contact Erin Clark at erin@engagemaine.org or call 553-7157. Light refreshments will be available. This month’s program features Benjamin Dudley, executive director of Engage Maine, and George Christie, Engage Maine’s director of programs and outreach. They will discuss “The Hidden Victory On Question 1: Understanding the Results of the 2009 Maine Referendum Election and Implications for 2010.” Analysis, based on the best available data, will be presented on how despite the loss on marriage equality, the “No on One” campaign was instrumental in moving progressive policy making for the months and years to come.

This comes as the California Supreme Court begins hearings about the constitutionality of the referendum recently passed in California that denies gay citizens equal rights in the civil laws regarding marriage. Not only does the outcome of the case have implications for states like Maine that created a similar injustice, there is a very good chance the case will make it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nature musings

Ahhh! Driving home late last Saturday afternoon, I realized it was a bit after 5 p.m. and not quite pitch black. That hint of daylight at 5 p.m. is one of my favorite “spring is coming” benchmarks. Of course it snowed Monday, but (except for the highway crews) fortunately it was already a holiday for school children and many folks.

Monday morning as I was writing, I happened upon a Reeser Manley article I’d clipped, “Enjoying a Garden in Winter,” especially the Katherine S. White quote Reeser used: “As I write, snow is falling outside my Maine window and indoors all around me half a hundred garden catalogs are in bloom.” Post writing and shoveling, I fixed a pot of tea and spent the rest of the afternoon in those same gardens.