Valuable community partnerships

Medomak Middle School recently completed its annual Community Studies Program. This program allows students to participate in unique learning experiences, both on and off campus. This program would not be possible without the timeless efforts of the MMS staff working in conjunction with many business and individuals in our surrounding communities. On behalf of the students at MMS, I would like to thank the folks listed below for their support. Here at MMS we highly value our community partnership and we look forward to continuing these relationships in years to come.

Liz McLeod – Strand Theater; Mike Florence – Atlantic Baking Company; Dot Black and staff at Rockland Lighthouse Museum; Robert Parent – Rockland Coast Guard Station; Katie and Ryan Thompson; Aaron Robinson; Dixie Weissman; Medomak Valley Land Trust; the Bodine Family from Sweetgrass Farm; Philip Genthner; Bubba and Laurie Lee; Andy Havener; Muriel Curtis and Station Maine; Suzanne Hall; Janet Spear; Georges River Land Trust; Marsha Robbins; Neil Lash; Monkey C Monkey Do; Knox Lincoln Cooperative Extension; Farnsworth Art Museum; Jason and Candace Wiley; Mike Drinkwater, firefighter/EMT instructor; MidCoast School of Technology; MidCoast Search and Rescue Team; MASRDS search dogs; Jon Powers, paramedic; Jesse Thompson, EMT; Union Ambulance Service; YMCA Childcare; Dorman’s Dairy Dream; Kathy Cole, Trent Giles, Brandy Erskine, and staff at Miles Memorial Hospital; Cathie Morrill at the State of Maine Cheese Company; Bob Fernald and Jim Butler of Down East magazine; Sharon and Gerry Chadwick of BenEva Farm; and Sally Lobkowicz and Haunted History Tours.

Thanks again,

Ben Vail
Medomak Middle School principal
Waldoboro

Trekkers thank you

The 2013 Trekkers had the pleasure of holding a multi-family yard sale on Saturday, June 4 in Thomaston. This was a fundraiser for their upcoming cross-country trip scheduled for this summer. Thanks to the generosity of the Strong Agency, a longtime Trekker supporter, the yard sale was a great success.

When approached, the Strong Agency quickly offered the use of their new facility and grounds at the former police barracks in Thomaston. The Route 1 site had ample off-road parking for the event, and any need the Trekkers voiced to Mark Strong and Tom Crowley of the Strong Agency was graciously provided. Tom made sure the event was promoted through a number of venues and the Strong Agency sign was customized for the sale. This Trekker group felt they were handed the perfect setup, with amazing business and community support from the entire Strong office.

Trekker students and their parents thank the Strong Agency for connecting with our need. Their help made for a huge success, and their part in the trip is noted and appreciated.

Betsy Rector
Trekker parent representing Ben, Cerra, Michael, Lindsey, Fox, Evan, Erika, Megan, Shale, Luke, Audra, Dora, Bethany and Elijah
(Learn more about Trekkers at trekkersonline.com)

Book sale success

The board of the Friends of the Rockland Public Library would like to thank all those who worked so hard to make our recent Book/Bake and Plant Sale such a success. Kudos go to Nancy Eugley and Jeanie Schaden who were in charge of the book section of the sale. Rebecca Albright and Kathy Thyng were in charge of the plants and Eileen Spectre and Lucy Levenseler oversaw the food table. All are very grateful for the support of the donors. A very special thank you is extended to members of the Rockland Fire Department who moved the books from the basement storage area to the back lawn tent. It is always accomplished in record time. Special thanks to our ever faithful volunteers who took money for the book sale. Also much gratitude goes to the estate of Martha Cobb for such an amazing variety of plant donations.

Perhaps the biggest thank you should go to the wonderful folks who bought the books, plants and baked goodies. Your generosity resulted in a profit of almost $2,500. This money will enable the Friends to purchase materials for the library, especially children’s books, to support programming and to update computers for public use.

Mary Gale, board president
Friends of the Rockland Public Library

Same-day voter registration

In November 2010, after 30 years living and paying all manner of taxes at the same address in Waldoboro, Maine, I went to perform my civic duty by casting my vote. I gave my name but was informed that I had been removed from the voter registration list for having moved.

I had not in fact, moved. I checked with the post office who said I had not filed an address change. I checked with the state Motor Vehicle Office and their records indicated that I still was at the same address. I checked with the state Department of Elections and was told I had to re-register. They refused to provide any information as to why I was removed from the registration list. The clerk in charge of voter registration at my town provided me with a copy of a document from the State Elections Commission that listed me as having moved. I asked her for an explanation as to why this information was provided and I received none. I have filed all manner of formal inquiry with the state into the reason for this false information and the state has provided me with no explanation. I re-registered to vote rather frustrated by the experience.

I now learn that our government seeks to eliminate same-day voter registration and I want to know now exactly who it is that I must take to court the next time my registration is pulled without notice or cause and I am unable to cast my vote? I personally suspect political fraud was behind my removal from the list but without any explanation from state government, I have nothing to go on. One thing is for sure and that is that if this can happen, people will be denied their right to vote.

Nathan Nicholls
Waldoboro

An awesome auction

On April 2, Medomak Middle School held its third annual Awesome April Auction. This community event is the primary fundraiser in support of field trips and class trips for our seventh- and eighth-graders. This year’s auction was another rousing success, bringing in 7,000! This result would not be possible without the wonderful support of our local businesses and individuals who so graciously donated goods and services. Those who donated are listed below and on behalf of the students of Medomak Middle School I would like to extend a hearty and sincere thank you for your generosity.

I would also be remiss if I did not also thank the many, many staff members, parents, grandparents and friends who contributed to this year’s auction as donors, volunteer workers or customers. Your contributions are greatly appreciated as well.

I would also like to thank our volunteer auctioneer, Mr. Dick Crosman. His wit and good humor continues to add a great deal to our success. We would also like to thank Mrs. Kathy Trueman for donating her time so graciously as our auction recorder.

Finally, I would like to thank our auction chairperson, Mrs. Jolly Hall, and our food concession leader, Mrs. Laurie Lee for the wonderful job they did organizing our auction.

Auction contributors: Shaw’s Supermarket; Moody’s Diner; Penny Morril; Moose Crossing Garden Center; Eagle’s Nest Yarns; Niki Libbey; Ben Vail; VillageSoup; Maine Sport Outfitters; Mid-Maine Forestry; Pen-Bay Glass Inc.; Penobscot Bay YMCA; Midcoast Marine; Plants Unlimited; Union Agway; Linscott’s Inc.; Mark and Debbie Jura; Kelseys Appliance Village; Anthony Martorella; Maddy Kelly; Atlantic Studios Inc.; Point Lookout; Jennifer Ankers; Warren True Value; Heather Soper; Kim Cohen; Nail Salon, Thomaston; Pik Qwik; I’m Puzzled & Kites To Fly; Peggy Kenney; Jacob Emerson; Wendy Cox; Flagship Cinemas; Well-Tempered Kitchen; the Cox Family; Wendy Kinney; Sunset Knoll Landscaping; Kathy’s Salon & Day Spa; Sterling Ambulance; Tera Corson; Kristi Burns; C.T.L. Land Management; R.F.O’Donell Construction; Prescott Excavation/Construction; Heidi Belcher; Windsor Veterinary Clinic; Craig Lewis; Marcie Creamer; Susan Ware Page; EBS Rockland; Curtis Custom Meats; Natalie Willis; Creek Hill Service Center; Kim Brickett; Michael Courtenay; Aleisa Roach; Beth Ahlholm; Michael Benner; Mary Logue; Portland Glass, Damariscotta; Reggie Burns; Gary Thorpe & Grayden Ironworks; David Felch; Heather Blastow; the Ganz Family; the Ells Family; Jeff’s Marine Inc.; Maine Coast Construction; Village Bakery & Café; S. Fernald’s Country Store; Doctors Marden and Lee; Delano’s Seafood; Cindy Rogers; Shanna Lee; Copeland’s Garage Inc.; Mr. Tire; Applebee’s; Park Street Laundry & Drycleaners; the Turner Family; Maine Gold; Lowe’s; Lincoln’s Country Store; Doug’s Barber Shop; Wallace’s Market; Amy McCollett; Coach Nick DePatsy; Eleanor Durgin; Donald and Kelly Benson; Matt Lash, athletic administrator; Faye Cain; Eastern Tire & Auto Service Inc.; Tekia Cox; Vandett Family; Sue Allen; RZR Hardware; Jin Lawrence; Dunkin’ Donuts; R/S Auto Works, Waldoboro; Chris deGroff; Curtis Jensen; Marilyn Sewall; the Harriman Family; Loretta Hooper; Chambers Jewelers; Joe Cloutier; Hair Loft; Amy Shepard; Julie Sanborn; Home Depot; Just Friends Hair Design; Brooks Trap Mill; Creamer’s Shellfish; Jason Northrop; Fred and Jan MacDonald; Jenni Brooks; Deb’s Diner; Schofield’s; The Common Market; Kim Linscott; Romeo’s; White House Lumber; Kathy Felch; the Laliberte Family; Melinda Fowles; Luce Dirt; Union Farm Equipment; Andrea Watmough; Hillside Collision Center; Camden National Bank; The Badger Cafe & Pub; Come See Daylilies/Helen Wilkey; the Weiss Family; Rod Mason; David Bryant; Carquest; Mrs. Kelly’s Homeroom; Spear’s Farm; Russell Brazier; Neil Lash; Bruce Thornton; Maine State Prison Showroom; Mrs. Drury’s Homeroom; Town Line Video; Mrs. Greenrose’s Homeroom; Dow Furniture; Lynne Shulman; Cooley Lobsters; Al O’Donnell; Jolly Hall; Kathleen Ocean; the Blum Family; Nanny’s Cookie Jar; Dan Tompkins; Kali Martin; Laurie Martin; the Beck Family; Herrick’s Garage; Tony Lash Excavation; Dick Crosman; Cathy Trueman; MMS Staff; Jennifer Ankers; Goodnow’s Variety; Rachael Collins; Kristi Burns; Maritime Farms; EBS, Rockland; USCellular, Thomaston; Sherwin Williams, Rockland; Houston-Tuttle; Shelby Collins; Dunkin’ Donuts, Thomaston; Make Your Own Craft Shop, Thomaston; Marine Supply, Thomaston; Shelley’s Flowers; Farnsworth Art Museum; Tony Laliberte; Wendy Kinney; Bridget Kinney; Linda Monroe; Lynnette Oldroyd; Lorraine Montgomery; Chris deGroff; Stetson’s Saab; and the Weiss Family.

Ben Vail
Medomak Middle School principal
Waldoboro

Honor the pollinators

As I write this, the blossoms in our raspberry patch are busy with pollinators — a happy hour of sorts, more like a happy week or more, when bees and other insects feed or collect the pollen and nectar from the flowers. The result is a meal for them — and for us a few weeks down the road when we can start picking the fruits of their activity.

It is state of Maine and National Pollinator Week. A quick Internet search is not turning up any press about this or many state activities to raise people’s awareness about the pollinators, mostly insects, who keep the engine of life — truly — going. Pollinators are responsible for one-third of all our food. Imagine not having strawberries, apples, blueberries, and tomatoes for a start. Nearly 75 percent of all plants on earth require animals to reproduce, and insects, especially bees, are the primary players, or workers. It’s not just people that benefit. Wildlife too is dependent on pollinators to maintain their food sources. What do deer, wild turkeys and other game creatures eat? Berries and seeds that are the result of pollination! If you are feeding the wild birds, where do the sunflowers come from? They are pollinated by bees! And the insects themselves are food for numerous other animals. If the pollinators disappear — well, most of life on earth would disappear also.

National Pollinator Week is a time to consider what we do for pollinators and to honor them, something that should be done every day, (like the answer to “when is children’s day? Every day is children’s day!”) A couple of months ago I was speaking about bees at an event and was amazed at how few people had even heard about Colony Collapse Disorder, the name given to the perplexing and disconcerting problem of disappearing honeybees. Last winter in Maine was a very bad year for beekeepers of all experiences with people losing a good number of their hives, in some cases all of them. But honeybees aren’t the only type of bee in the state. There are over 270 native bees, some of which are substantial and important pollinators of crops. They are disappearing too.

What is going on to put our pollinators at risk? Habitat destruction is at the top of the list as the reason why followed by the overuse of pesticides; diseases and parasites that never used to be a problem; the introduction of alien species that displace our native organisms, both plant and animal; climate change; genetically-modified crops that have pesticides built in; and some people even suggest microwave radiation from sources such as cell phones.

That is the bad news. The good news is that everyone can do something to help. The first thing is to become aware and concerned. You don’t need to keep bees to do this. Go out in your yard, a nearby park, even a planted strip near a shopping mall, almost anywhere this time of year there are flowering plants, and just look. You will see pollinators. Watch them for a while. See how many kinds there are. You will also see other insects, some of which are probably in the category “beneficial insects” such as flower flies that are often misidentified as bees. They help keep the populations of destructive insects such as aphids at bay. If you are doing your search at home, keep track of the plants they are feeding on and resolve to plant more. Watch for plants that are not so attractive and plant less of them. If you have plants that struggle without the use of insecticides to look decent, pull them up and plant something less of a hassle and safer for the pollinators. Other suggestions are to plant flowering trees and shrubs that offer more blooms — crabapples are a great choice since they also feed birds! Look for native species of plants since they have evolved with the pollinators and attract more than alien ornamentals do (as beautiful as they are). Leave a weedy patch for native bees in a corner of your yard. It is very justifiable and you can cut down on the herbicide use too! Birdbaths are a great addition for providing water sources for insects as well as birds but make sure you change the water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. You can even set up places for native bees to lay eggs — there are websites to find directions for constructing appropriate nesting “boxes” and you can even purchase ones already made.

The general population needs to become more aware of the importance of pollinators. The scientific community is already on alert. Now it’s our turn. Learning about pollinators is fascinating, and gardening for pollinators is really bringing it back to the beginning of this plea — remember that pollinators are responsible for so much of the food we eat. We need them — and now they need us to pay attention!

Amy Campbell
Rockport