Prescott Memorial “smarts” shine

Congratulations are in order. Our wonderful elementary (K-6) school, Prescott Memorial, is ranked No. 1 elementary school in SAD 40 and No. 16 in the state of Maine by U.S. News & World Report (U.S. News).

Since 1983, U.S. News has taken data reported by state education agencies and ranked it for public use. Due to their numbers – 93.3 out of 100 – Prescott Memorial is eligible for a U.S. News Best Elementary Award badge, and nation recognition in the magazine. Data on reading proficiency and performance at Prescott is rated as, “somewhat above expectations” and for math, “well above expectations.” There are just over 100 students at Prescott, with a teacher ratio of ten students to each teacher. All of Prescott’s teachers are certified. Our little town is very fortunate that our teachers and school staff are doing a fine job with academics. In addition, with Prescott’s rural location and nearly half the students from economically disadvantaged homes, the Prescott crew – from principal, food service team, custodians, teachers, support staff, and special ed techs – watches out for student’s well being in general. Salutations and gratitude to everyone for making Prescott shine by achieving this “good school” rating.

Election Day ordinance change vote

As we’ve all heard a bazillion times, there are three state referenda — or referendums as I hear it said sometimes — coming up Tuesday, Nov. 2. Besides the state referenda, there’s a proposed ordinance change for our town’s Land Use Ordinance. It reads, “Shall the Town of Washington enact the following changes to the Town of Washington Land Use Ordinance? Any conforming residential or commercial building or structure which is hereafter damaged or destroyed by fire, or any cause, may be restored or reconstructed to be used as before within 24 months of the date of said damage or destruction with permit approval by the Code Enforcement Officer. Expansion of the prior structure during reconstruction shall be governed by Article IV, Section 6, Subsection A.” If this passes, applications for rebuilding would be reviewed by the CEO as usual, and if it includes an expansion the CEO and/or Planning Board. Please get to the Bryant Room between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2 to cast your vote.

Souper Supper inside across the street

Whether you’re going to vote, leaving the Bryant Room, or, even neither, there’s a nice hot and hearty soup waiting across from the town office at Evening Star Grange’s Souper Supper. From 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, inside at the tables — where it’s warm and cozy — there will be at least ten soups, chili, biscuits, and, of course, pie for dessert. The cost is $10, and if you bring a non-perishable item for the Washington Food Pantry, you get a dollar off. This is always an exceptionally social hour. With the decision to give in to cold weather and go inside, everyone is asked everyone to observe precautions so we don’t spread germs – not just COVID-19 — but any germs.

Loving this extra long season

I still have simple cosmos flowers blooming profusely in my raised bed. I was worried they’d get frosted at the recent full moon, but it clouded over that night, which helped keep the temp at a balmy 40 degrees. I love these flowers that seem to withstand wind and rain and chill. Some people think that the extra long season — for cosmos and many other plants that are continuing to bloom so late — portends a hard winter. The Farmers Almanac predicts that, too. So, meanwhile, I’m loving the flowers and saying hello to them every day. Before long, though, we’ll be getting our bouquet fixes from the seed catalogs, and, cleaning up the yard. I have a small pile of seedy weeds I plan to burn.

Permit a must for outdoor fires

When we need to have an outdoor fire, we “Washingtonites” almost always need to obtain a burn permit. This is easy using the online site You can also phone Fire Chief, Phil Meunier, at 845-2899, or Deputy Fire Warden, Ken Boisse, at 845-2525. Only if it’s actually raining, or if the ground is snow covered, can you burn without a permit. Cooking and warming fires, if they are enclosed in a fire ring, don’t require a permit, either. Permits allow burning after 5 p.m. and the Wardens Report site won’t let you in until 5 p.m. Oh, and you have to have the printed permit ready to show if a warden should ask. So, don’t use it to help kindle your fire as I once did.

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