Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Jul 14, 2017
Photo by: Charlotte Henderson Washington firefighters get helping hands from local children to push the new pumper truck into the station after its dedication last Sunday. Reenacting an old custom -- firemen manually housing their wagon-wheeled vehicles -- added sentiment and fun to the occasion. Yes, this people-power was augmented by more men ... and the truck’s engine.

Oldest citizen, Connie Johnston

Constance R. Johnston was presented the honorary Boston Post Cane as Washington’s oldest citizen. The custom began in 1909, and the cane has passed from one to the next resident deemed the most elderly in town since then. “Connie,” as she’s known, was born Constance Raynes in Augusta 94 years ago. Around the end of World War II, she settled with her husband here in Washington in the Johnston homestead built in 1886.

Fire Department dedicates pumper

A shiny fire truck is quite a sight to see, especially up close. We were lucky to join other townspeople in a brief dedication of the newest addition to Washington Fire Department and have a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and peer (bewildered) at the vast number of controls. Our firefighters (in full uniform) proudly showed off the new pumper and the well equipped fire station at their open house last Sunday.

The ceremony was also attended by several Hallowell firefighters. Fire Chief Phil Meunier briefly dedicated the new truck to service before it was pushed into the barn. Engine No. 1 joins several other vehicles used to protect our community and provide mutual aid in the area. Meunier noted that our town’s rescue truck, which was also on display Sunday, was at the Pentagon on 9-11 before it was acquired here – probably an historical gem. Our fire department is well trained and well equipped, as well as being a terrific bunch of men and women. We are lucky to have you! Thanks and congratulations on this new truck.

Canoe-kayak races

On Sunday, July 16, there will be canoe and/or kayak races on Washington Pond. The races are just for the fun of it. There are no entry fees and no prizes. Race registration opens at 8 a.m. at the Washington Pond Boat Launch on Razorville Road (Route 105 West). The races will begin at 9 a.m. There are three categories: one adult, one child in a canoe or tandem kayak; two adults in a canoe or tandem kayak; and single paddler in a canoe or kayak. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and all participants must wear a life vest or jacket. The course will follow the east shore of Washington Pond from the access area to a buoy marker, turn and cross the lake to a marker on the west shore, and return to the landing.

Online burn permits OK again

Thanks to an emergency bill passed by the state Legislature last week, two online permit sites – Warden’s Report and Burning Permits – are back online. Washington subscribes to Warden’s Report. (BurningPermit.com is not available to us.) The bill allowing burn permits to be issued was passed into law July 4. This action comes following a kerfuffle with Maine Forest Service. The new law allows private services to issue permits, as long as they comply with all statutory requirements. Gary Hickey of wardensreport.com said about 60 Maine communities use the site. Matthew Scott’s BurningPermit.com serves about 12 ( not Washington, though).

The Forest Service’s concern about these third-party systems is rooted in safety considerations. While this story is of interest to many, the most remarkable aspect to us is that this issue was dealt with as “emergency legislation.”

Young Gavin Burns gets some pointers on operating a fire truck from Washington Firefighter Steve Olmstead. The controls on this and the other fire department vehicles have a dazzling array of dials, knobs, switches, lights, tubes, and gizmos. Mind-boggling, really. (Photo by: Charlotte Henderson)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.