The Budget Committee will meet Tuesday, March 30 at 6 p.m. and (if necessary), Wednesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. You are encouraged to attend.


A new four-week watercolor painting session, taught by Lesia Sochor, a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, will begin Thursday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Class size is limited and preregistration is required. To register e-mail or call.

Tuesday, March 30, the noontime talk features Diana George Chapin, who with her mom runs Heirloom Gardens in Montville, the family’s historic 100-acre farm, nursery and greenhouse. Diana’s talk, “Heirloom Plants Are for the Birds (Bees and Butterflies, too!), features slides that highlight some of the most colorful and fragrant plants that attract birds, butterflies and bees to the garden. Merryspring members and all children attend talks free; there is a $5 charge for nonmembers. For more information, call 236-2239 or


The annual Camden Hills Regional High School Aspirations Fair, funded by a MELMAC grant obtained by the Five Town Community School District two years ago, will be held Friday morning, March 26. Designed to inspire and facilitate students’ postsecondary aspirations, the fair is kicked off by a keynote speaker and also features activities for students to explore careers, postsecondary education and training options. Many community members and business people will take part in the fair this year and the keynote address will be delivered by Ben Fisher, a 2004 Camden Hills graduate who “followed his dream” and entered the field of technology, working and living in New York City. For information on the fair, contact Karen Brace ( or Pam Pleas at 236-7800.

Books, plus

Booklovers’ Cafe will meet Saturday, March 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with delicious refreshments and books shared by all. Join us! Tuesday, March 30 the Youth Advisory Board will meet from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. New members are always welcome. For more information about the library or programs, call 236-3642 or visit

Live from the Met

Ambroise Thomas’ “Hamlet” with Simon Keenlyside as Hamlet and one of my favorites, soprano Natalie Desssay as Ophelia, is the highly acclaimed production featured Saturday, March 27 at 1 p.m. at the Strand’s “Live from the Met HD” series. Check with the Strand at 594-0070 for ticket availability.

Equality Maine

The Equality Maine Foundation Annual Awards Dinner will be held Saturday, March 27. For more information or reservations, contact Betsy Smith at


You are invited to a “Women Rowe-ing for Steve” event in Camden Sunday, March 28. Call Amy at 236-0616 or e-mail for more information.

The Rockport Republican Committee will meet April 1 at 7 p.m. at the West Rockport fire station. The status of the repeal effort of LD1495 (tax reform legislation), the upcoming primary and the Maine Republican Convention to be held May 7-8 will be discussed. As always, all are welcome regardless of party affiliation or voter registration status. Call 594-5118 or visit for more information.

Nature musings

Off to Boston! I decided I’d earned a “day off,” a day of pure fun and dreaming, so off I went to the Boston Flower Show with friend Phyllis and the Plants Unlimited group. Look for orange-red Mars, visible just east of the moon, Wednesday, March 24.


Watching Sunday night’s House vote on health care reform, personal memories kicked in (with tears), recalling health care issues over so many years. My grandparents were farmers without health insurance and later at the financial mercy of insurance companies when they were able to self-insure. My dad worked for a shoe company that didn’t provide health insurance (they brought food baskets if you were hospitalized). My youngest brother completed his Vietnam rotation, ended his army stint and could only find a low-paying job delivering fuel oil (as he had in Vietnam), with no insurance. He obtained self-paid insurance when he married, but when two children were born with minor, correctable birth defects (later proven to be agent orange related), the necessary surgeries were deemed uncoverable by the insurance company because of “preexisting conditions.”

I had my own issues at various times with denial of insurance because of preexisting conditions and also with the astronomical cost of self-insuring while a single mom. Nor was my adult son immune from the woes of insurance difficulties. As a young, college graduate, unable at the time to get a job in his field and working in the restaurant business, with no insurance coverage, he was struck with a serious medical situation requiring surgery and hospitalization and astronomical bills mounted, creating for him a deep financial crisis.

That’s just some of the personal background that over the years led to my drive for health care reform that began during the Eisenhower administration and continued through successive administrations, Democrat or Republican. In fact health care reform was consistently the only issue where this lifelong Democrat agreed with the Republican presidents who championed the issue: Ike, Nixon, Ford and Reagan. I thank those brave men and women, past and present, who worked the past 60 years to enact a health care reform law. I celebrate this law, albeit tempered with the knowledge the law is far from perfect, but ruminating on the roughly translated German adage: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Now we at least have “good.” It’s a beginning.