Spring arrives warm and sweet

Happy spring, courtesy of the vernal equinox, March 20, 2022. The vernal or spring equinox marks a day when day and night are an equal length of time and the sun rises due east and sets due west, which makes it a handy time to check the accuracy of your sundial setting, among other things. The vernal equinox is the beginning of our astronomical spring season — just in time!

Select Board Zooms re Axiom

Mark Ouellette, CEO of Axiom Technologies, attended last week’s Select Board meeting to discuss acceptance of a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant and Washington’s partnership with his firm. The Town of Washington received a grant of over $2.6 million from NTIA and a 10 percent match from Connect Maine Authority that will enable design and development of a fiber optic internet system to the entire town without incurring any debt for the municipality. This is a fantastic break for our community, with credit going to the BroadBand Committee for doing the legwork and crucial paperwork. Many thanks WBBC. Ouellette presented an overview of the entire project and answered numerous questions from the in-person and Zoom audience. The town will be asked to accept the offer from Axiom at the Town Meeting.

Town Meeting this Saturday

Whew! There’s a lot on the town warrant for people to hear and decide upon. Sometimes it seems tedious, but it’s an annual reminder there is a lot of energy and time and money (our money) going into running a town. Copies of the Town Report are available so you can see what’s on the docket ahead of time if you want to. Among several things to vote on are three articles that relate to the agreement with Axiom Technologies. Voters have to accept the arrangement with Axiom, authorize the Select Board to seal the deal, and approve creation of a permanent Broadband Committee.

(Warrant articles 22, 23, and 24) We voters will vote on changes in the Land Use and Dog Control Ordinances along with many other annually required affirmations from citizens. Town meeting is also an opportunity to see people who we may not have seen all winter and have a little chat during the break. Come to the Town Meeting; it’s a tradition like many others that’s slowly disappearing but remains the truest form of democracy in action. As you can see, I’m very much a fan of the Town Meeting and I hope to see everyone there Saturday, March 26, at 10 a.m. at Prescott School gym.

Friday vote — boo, hoo

On Friday, March 25, we have an opportunity to vote for a Select Board and School Board member. Wes Daniel is the only candidate on the ballot and is seeking a three-year term on the Select Board. There are no candidates for School Board. The up-side, if you can call it that, is in each position there’s room for a write-in candidate. To write in someone you would like to see serve the community, first you have to okay it with the person whose name you would enter on the ballot. Then you print their name on your ballot when you vote. It’s simple. But, hey, there is an abundance of people in our community who are well qualified to help run the town’s business or to assist in the governance of our school system.

Help! Where are you? If we are to maintain having our direct say in running things, we need people to be our eyes and ears and brains. Give it some thought. Sit-in on a meeting of any board or committee to find out about it. We’ll need you next time around. Tomorrow, Friday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. the polls are open in the Bryant Room of Gibbs Library. Call the Town Office to inquire about absentee ballots at 207-845-2897.

Free digital class 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 24, is the first of Gibbs Library’s first of (at least) three classes on digital literacy. The classes are presented by the National Digital Equity Center (NDEC) and created to help close the so-called “digital divide” between geeks and those of us who get minimal use from the macro-multi capabilities of today’s computer technology. Thursday’s class is “Understanding the Cloud Library.” It is a free service used by Maine libraries to borrow thousands of eBooks and audiobooks so we patrons can access, download, and navigate them ourselves. The class is free but a reservation is needed. It’s 6-7 p.m. at Gibbs Bryant Room. Masks and social distancing are required for anyone entering the Gibbs Library, regardless of their vaccination status. To register or for more information visit www.gibbslibrary.org/calendar/ or call 207-845-2663.

Maine Maple Sunday

This Sunday, March 27, is Maine Maple Sunday with nearly 90 maple syrup producers offering their sweet product around the state. Our local “syrupers” are Cyd and Deb Zeigler who are open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tax Day

Monday, April 18, 2022, is the deadline for 2021 Tax Returns. Under a month away. Groan. That’s all I have to say about that.