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Washington news June 10

By Charlotte Henderson | Jun 10, 2021

Public supper at Grange

Evening Star Grange is having a public take out supper Saturday, June 12, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The cost is $10 per person for pulled-pork, baked beans, cole slaw and dessert. The “drive through” system is just as slick as the golden arches and the food and service are way above average.

Just do it.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic

In an amazing feat of coordination, communication and system savvy, COVID-19 vaccine distribution got a boost this week with a Vaccination Clinic Tuesday at Gibbs Library.

This writing is before the clinic so I don’t know the outcome, however, the planning for the clinic has been a beautiful thing to see. The outcome Tuesday will be the story, of course.

Next week, we’ll have that and comments on the voting, as well.

Annual Audubon loon count

Since 1983, the Maine Audubon has engaged volunteers to take inventory of loons on Maine’s lakes and ponds.

The 2021 Loon Count will be held Saturday, July 17, from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed in many Maine communities. By enlisting citizen scientists (as volunteers for scientific knowledge gathering are often called) to count the actual number of loons and loon chicks they observe in this specific time period, wildlife biologists can infer a probable number for the area.

Last year’s statewide count included 1,347 volunteers, who tallied loons they saw on 308 lakes in Maine. Since the loon count began, loon populations have gradually grown, partly because of more public awareness of their habitats and the need to keep one’s distance from nesting places.

In addition, according to Tracy Hart, Audubon’s conservation biologist, improved water quality helps loons. There are not enough loon counters to get reliable estimates for northern Maine or the area around Sebago/Long Lake regions.

If interested in counting loons nearby or further away, contact Maine Audubon at 781-2330.

Blueberry Fields summer plans

Cyd and Deb are back from vacation and in full operation. Here are some highlights to look forward to this summer.

Of course, Blueberry Fields B&B is a bed and breakfast, so it’s a great local place to find rooms for extra company if needed. Breakfast for the public will be served Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 11 a.m.

There are three exceptions to the breakfast schedule: June 13, June 26 and 27, when public breakfast is not available. The breakfasts are done with only Cyd and Deb cooking, serving, bussing and everything else, so consider their five-star food and service takes time (hint: that asks be patient).

Thursday Pub Nights at Blueberry Fields are underway each week from 4 to 7 p.m., with a yummy pub food menu to choose from, including pretzel bites with beer cheese at $7, fries with cheese sauce for $12, shrimp cocktail for $12 and other favorites. Blueberry Fields has a full bar, lots of outdoor seating and is accessible to all.

The Blueberry Fields family is looking forward to bringing a Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration in just a few weeks, too. There will be food trucks and entertainment starting from 5 p.m. The fabulous fireworks begin promptly at 9:15 p.m.

Any questions? Call 446-2407 or email BlueberryfieldsBandB@gmail.com.

Taxpayer benefit, environment, too

The current Maine Legislature is processing a ton of proposals for new laws and fixing old ones and doing very important things. Really.

Our people in Augusta are looking at some good proposals. I think two of them deserve our support (and theirs). They are LD 1541 (“An Act to Support and Improve Municipal Recycling Programs and Save Taxpayer Money”), and LD 1471 (“An Act to Establish a Stewardship Program for Packaging”).

Here’s why.

Right now, when state consumers buy most products, the consumer has to dispose of plastic, cardboard, bubble wrap, foil and who knows what else the item comes in. For us, a lot of that material goes to TriCounty. Then, TriCounty has to pay various organizations to take this stuff from us and process or move it on to yet another facility.

In many cases, there’s a considerable cost along the line. It’s complex, but these two proposed bills will help make it easier and cheaper for our local transfer station. Since TriCounty is supported with a per capita assessment each town pays to TCSWMO plus proceeds from materials it can sell, if they save, we save.

LD 1541 and LD 1471 propose to require manufacturers to help make packaging materials more easily processed and to help pay for costs. It’s complicated and I’ll be back with more next time.

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