Civic-minded reader has palindrome stats on radar

The palindromically inclined are weighing in on the Black Cat’s palindrome of two weeks ago, when that linguistic lynx observed that Monday, Jan. 11 was a palindrome — no, not the day that marks the start of the workweek but the date: 01-11-10. To write the day a little differently, the second day of the year also fell into the category: 01-02-2010. A palindrome is a word, number or sequence that reads the same backward as it does forward. The cat wrote then, “looks like the next one on the calendar is 11-02-2011.”

But an ever more empirical reader countered: “Knowing how accurate Black Cat is, I might be wrong, but try today, Jan. 22, 2010 as calendar palindrome: 01-22-10. Did we really have to wait until 2011 for the next palindrome as Black Cat suggested on Jan. 13?”

Good wishes for a Lincolnville friend

On Jan. 23, Chris McKee of Lincolnville was involved in a devastating accident resulting in an emergency surgery and many months of recovery. Although McKee is an employed carpenter by trade, he has no health insurance and faces many months of being out of work and quickly mounting hospital fees. Any help and encouragement would therefore be greatly appreciated. Cards may be mailed to Houlton Regional Hospital, Attn: Christopher McKee, Room 301, 22 Hartford St., Houlton, ME 04730.

Donations to the Christopher McKee Benefit Account may be made in person at any Maine branch of either Camden National Bank or Union Trust.

Donations may also be sent to Christopher McKee Benefit Account, Camden National Bank, P.O. Box 310, Camden, ME 04843-0310.

To donate by wire transfer, contact JodyAnn or Randy McKee at 207-354-6934; leave voice mail to be contacted with account details. For more information, send e-mail to

Coyotes make urban visit

It has been verified that coyotes were spotted in downtown Rockland — well, on Broadway, at any rate — in recent weeks. Last spring, they were banking right up next to Thomaston subdivisions. Get your cats in at night.

A post at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Web site describes all the ways to bait and hunt and trap coyotes throughout the year and into the night. There’s also a plug for the culinary value of the canine cousin — just venison one critter removed, the advice reads. Well, irrational as we may may be, we’re just not taken with the idea. Too close to the family Lab, maybe. There are plenty of strong feelings about controlling the coyote population or letting them be, and we won’t belabor the issue here. There was a time when the Maine woods in the Midcoast were filled with bears and pigeons and moose. Read “Come Spring” by Ben Ames Williams to learn about a time when hunting was for survival purposes, not sport.

Just can’t leave the topic

Remember: dogs must be licensed by the end of January at most town offices, and if that small task is not completed, the financial penalties only grow. In Washington, all dogs six months and older must be registered by the end of January — $6 for neutered/spayed dogs; $11 for unaltered animals. The late fee is $15.

Dumbest bumper sticker of the year, so far

Spotted in downtown Rockland on the back of a truck window: “Islam=Fascism.”

Decorated for the month

Boynton-McKay in Camden is looking cheerful with its February decorations, including lights and artful cutouts descending from the ceiling and brightening our brains.