A. D. Gray School development

Waldoboro residents who are interested in the A.D. Gray School area development will get a chance to hear all about the senior housing plan at a pre-application meeting on Jan. 26, 6 p.m., at the town office. Volunteers of America and Walsh Engineering will share the plan drawing and details at the meeting as well as get feedback from the planning board and residents. The public is welcome to attend in person or via the town’s YouTube channel.

The former school building has been vacant for years while the town has tried to find a suitable use and preserve the structure. At this point, the building will need to be razed as too much deterioration has occurred to make renovations feasible. Last June, voters approved the sale of the school to Volunteers of America and now the project will begin the planning phase. This first meeting will provide a great foundation for those who wish to follow the project and really know what to expect going forward.

EMS service in 2022

In 2022, Waldoboro EMS responded to 1,709 calls for service. That includes all types of calls: 911 emergencies, interfacility transfers, medical transports, and mutual aid calls. The department expressed gratitude to the community for its ongoing support.

Waldoboro Food Pantry

The next Waldoboro Food Pantry Day is on Jan. 17. On the first distribution day of this year, it served 137 families and a total of 365 individuals. There were four new families, all from Waldoboro. Of the 137 families, 127 were from Waldoboro, six from Bremen, and four from Nobleboro. The pantry distributes on the first and third Tuesday of each month and welcomes new families.

RSU 40

High school sports are being livestreamed for free on Lincoln County Television’s YouTube page, or can be viewed later there as well.

There is a new Facebook group to address concerns about local public schools: “`Get Informed’ Dedicated to RSU40 Families.” In the past few months, several school issues have come up on Waldoboro-related Facebook groups, and they usually bring a mix of good information, falsehoods, random name-calling, and the ever-present rumor of students identifying as furries and demanding litterboxes (which has never happened, but the myth has probably encouraged a few tails to be added to backpacks to mock the foolishness and niggle some adults).

All schools have challenges simply because of the diversity in staff and students. Some people need more support than they are getting, whether that is needed at home, at school, or everywhere. Prior to the holiday break, Medomak Middle School had a difficult event where the administration was limited in what it could legally share with parents.

When another incident occurred right after break, Principal Kate Race promptly informed parents that she was aware of what happened and that appropriate measures would be taken. Since the initial details were vague, parents and community members discussed it online with inaccurate and incomplete information. Following the school’s protocol, interviews and assessments were done to confirm no threat to students or staff.

Many of the challenges seen in schools right now are community challenges. Schools don’t exist in a vacuum – they are little microcosms of the communities around them. Everyone has had a challenging few years, and even as activities normalize, almost nothing is fully staffed. Schools have the added challenge that taxpayers want perfection, but they don’t want to pay the bill.

Editor’s note: The following letter is from MMS principal Kate Race regarding the above-mentioned incident at RSU 40.

January 4, 2023

Dear Parents and Families,
I wanted to follow-up with additional information regarding yesterday’s incident at MMS. Yesterday, four students reported to me that a student at MMS had a pocket knife and an airsoft toy gun in their possession at school.
I immediately removed the student from Fresh Air Time. When I asked the student if they had a pocket knife, without hesitation, the student handed me a knife and explained that it was a Christmas gift.
Once in my office, I was made aware that the student also had a non-functional airsoft gun in their backpack. The student had forgotten to remove this item from their weekend bag and inadvertently brought it to school. Parents were immediately notified, came to MMS, and participated in the interview process. All witnesses were interviewed as well.
Today, our threat assessment team completed the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) protocol and all five members concluded, although the student made two poor choices, the student posed no threat to any persons at Medomak Middle School.
As always my goal is to ensure the safety of our children and staff.  By working together as a community, we can help our students accomplish anything. However, to achieve this we must work side-by-side as a cohesive unit and model civility.
I know that no family wants to receive a message indicating there was any incident at school, and I hope I do not have to send any such messages again in the future. We take these incidents extremely seriously, and will continue to do so. I hope that by sharing additional information it will alleviate some of the concerns and rumors regarding this situation that I have heard from families. However, if any family has continued concerns regarding our plan or the safety of our students, I urge you to reach out to me directly anytime.

Business briefs:

Morse’s Sauerkraut is on a two week break and will be back open on Jan. 25, while Spear’s Farmstand is closed until spring.

Kendall Delano has announced some expansion plans for this year at Delano’s Seafood Market and Seafood Shack, which includes adding and a memorial garden for Michelle Winkley Creamer.

Extended hours and increased menu items have been the highlight at J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Shop as they continue to shift their store from Damariscotta to the town line of Warren and Waldoboro.

The Cornhole Connection has been hopping with activity. If you are interested in a singles night at the establishment, give them a call or stop in and let them know.