Tonight’s the night!

Town meeting will be held tonight, Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. at the Opera House. Come early for lemonade and cookies. This meeting involves among other things, voting on the town budget. Numerous citizens, upset about the cuts to the Public Works budget plan on trying to restore the funds cut which involves both a staff position and a truck. Immediately following town meeting, there will be a Select Board meeting, with the newly elected Select Board members.

For the books

By the time this edition of the Gazette comes out, the 2011 town election will be over and town meeting happening. Congratulations to all the newly-elected town officials and thanks to all who ran for office, and also those behind the scenes. Of particular importance this year was the great coverage of candidates from local media and for the impressive Candidate Forum. Hopefully the rancor and mud slinging of the past few weeks can end and the civility Rockport used to know will return, regardless of who won or lost the election.

Special thanks to our town office crew for once again pulling off a seamless Election Day and to the volunteers who assisted. And of course, it goes without saying, thanks to all those who voted (and yes, shame on you if you didn’t). Unless recent legislation in Augusta is overturned, Election Day as we know it (especially voter turnout), may never be the same.

Town

All meetings are at the town office unless otherwise specified. The Harbor Committee will meet Thursday, June 16 (time/location to be announced). Next week the Planning Board Social will be held Wednesday, June 22 at 6 p.m. A Zoning Board of Appeals meeting is also tentatively scheduled for that day at 7 p.m. at the Opera House.

Summer favorite

Although a bit farther afield than Rockport, one of my favorite summer time pastimes is attending Belfast Garden Club’s Friday “Open Garden Day.” (Great excuse to relax, “play tourist,” perhaps go out for lunch or picnic with a friend). Each week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. a different area garden is open to the public for just a $4 donation. This Friday, June 17, The Block Garden on Church Street in Belfast is the featured garden and it is a charmer. A city garden created for private space and planted to be attractive as a songbird habitat, the garden also features a charming potting shed and an herb garden. (Handicapped accessible). Check the website belfastgardenclub.org for detailed information, directions and upcoming, weekly gardens.

Special concert

The Midcoast Community Chorus will perform Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School. The concert, “Planting Seeds” will benefit Maine Farmland Trust. Remember, tickets go fast for these wonderful concerts, so get yours early ($15 general admission). Call 975-0582.

Merryspring

Tuesday, June 21 at 12 noon, Cindy Tibbetts will present “Clematis: Queen of the Flowering Vines.” Cindy and Brian Tibbetts, owners of Hummingbird Farm, added clematis to their line of interesting plants in 2000. They researched and experimented, constantly looking for rare and reliable varieties and developed the best techniques for planting and caring for them. They now sell 100 varieties of clematis, all disease resistant and hardy to Zone 4. The program will cover plant selection, placement, planting, and pruning and is designed to remove the mystique from growing clematis. Handouts are provided and live plants will give you the opportunity to see some rare specimens “up close and personal!” Check out their web site, HummingbirdFarm.net. MNC members and children free; $5 charge for non-members. For more information, call 236-2239 or visit merryspring.org.

“Roots, Shoots, Veggies, and Fruits,” MNC’s weekly children’s gardening program, continues, Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. “Seeds” will be featured June 22. Since every plant starts from seeds, learn where seeds come from, how they start the growth process and the different ways seeds adapt to survive and travel. Then make “seed buddies.” Open to all children free of charge. Most activities are best for kids aged 7-13, but all are welcome. If interested, contact Sarah Lambson at, 236-2239 or email education@merryspring.org or just bring the kids on Wednesdays!

Summer solstice

Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m., meet Sonia Spalding and other volunteer docents at the Beech Hill Road trailhead of the Beech Hill Preserve and enjoy a moderate 3/4 mile walk up Beech Hill to celebrate summer solstice. Once you reach the summit, gather at the historic stone hut and learn about the history of the preserve and the hut. Feel free to bring a picnic supper, but, (sorry!), please leave your canine buddies home. The event is free and open to the public, sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.

Keep in mind

Your last opportunity to buy Cancer Care Raffle tickets from Pen Bay Healthcare is next Thursday, June 23. The proceeds will help fund community outreach programs, including mammograms for women referred for screening who are without insurance coverage. For more information/tickets, call 594-6799.

Night skies

June’s full moon (Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Planting Moon) occurs tonight, Wednesday, June 15. Next Tuesday, June 21, the sun will reach its northernmost point for the year at 1:17 p.m., marking Summer Solstice, the beginning of summer. (And, sadly the “beginning” of fewer daylight minutes).

Reflections

Fathers’ Day will be celebrated Sunday, June 19. This spring, memories of my Dad, a usual occurrence during gardening/baseball season, seem to occur more often and are more poignant. (Dad died in 2000). It doesn’t take much. I’ll see someone of similar physical stature, who walks like Dad, observe or smell something unique to spring, or observing the ongoing political morass I’ll wonder what Dad would think, how he’d react. (An activist all his life, it was his tutelage during the McCarthy hearings and Adlai Stevenson’s first campaign that ingrained my love of political “sport”). I’ll celebrate Dad’s memory on this day as well as celebrate my son’s Dad and my husband Alan. Both our sons-in-law receive always receive special kudos for the incredible job they’ve done (and do) as Dads to our five grandchildren. We are blessed. Whoever the fathers are in your life, take a moment to remember and honor them.