SOLON & BEYOND: Keystone Eastern Star elects new officers

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Keystone Chapter #78, Order of the Eastern Star, Solon, will have an Installation of Officers on Friday, March 22 at the Masonic Hall in Solon.

Keystone Chapter #78 OES Officers for 2019 – 2020 to be installed are Worthy Matron, Eleanor Pooler PM; Worthy Patron, James A. Owens PGP; Associate Matron, Midge Pomelow PM; Associate Patron, Rance Pooler PP; Secretary, William Merrill PP; Treasurer, Elaine Jillson PM; Conductress, Jean Morang; Associate Conductress Freda Toneatti ; Chaplain, Robert Ward PP; Marshal, Timothy Pomelow PP; Organist, Douglas Drown; Adah, Charly Durgin; Ruth, Donalie Burbank; Esther, Kathleen Perkins PM; Martha……Electa…….Warder, Leon Hilton and Sentinel Neil Hunnewell PP.

The above event will be held at 7:30 p.m., and is open to the public.

The East Madison Historical Association will be welcoming spring by hosting a chili and chowder supper on Saturday, March 30, from 4:30 – 6 p.m., at the East Madison fire station, 1108 East Madison Rd., in Madison. On the menu will be items from the upcoming EMHA cookbook including corn and fish chowders, vegetarian and wild game chili, cornbread, a variety of beverages and desserts. Come join us as we usher out the snow and welcome spring.

I enjoy getting e-mails like the above very much, and get as many of them in as possible.

Solon Elementary School students win District Awards: We are proud to announce the Solon students who have won awards in the RSU #74 District MEA Awards Program, an annual program started in 2010-11, which is open to students from Carrabec Community School, Garret Schenck Elementary School, and Solon Elementary School. Awards are given to the top scores in the district on the Maine Educational Assessment in grades three, four and five in reading/English language arts and math and to the top scorers in fifth grade science.

Winners from Solon for the 2017-18 MEA’s were Kaylynn Clark and Kaitlin Dellarma for grade three reading, Kaitlin Dellarma for grade four math, William Rogers for groud four reading, Gavyn Easler for grade four reading and math, and Desmond Robinson and Gerald Rollins for grade five science.

We thank Mr. and Mrs. Chet Hickox from Embden and the PTO from Solon, CCS, and Garret Schenck for donating to this awards program. Each winner received a certificate, a check for $50, and his/her name on a plaque in the lobby at CCS.

Grades 3-5 students are getting ready to take the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA), which will start the week of March 18 and go until April 12. Students in all three grades will take tests in reading/ELA and math. After April vacation, the fifth graders will take a test in science.

The reading and math tests will be taken on the computer, while the science test is a paper-and-pencil exam. The test will be administered over multiple days so that students do not get too tired. Teachers are using practice items and teaching test-taking strategies with our students to help prepare them. Please encourage your child to do his/her very best on this important test, which helps us to assess each child’s achievement level as well as the progress of our school.

This week I’m going to use words from a little yellowed slip of paper for Percy’s memoir, entitled, Twelve Reminders: The value of time. The success of perseverance. The pleasure of working. The dignity of simplicity. The worth of character. The power of kindness. The influence of example. The obligation of duty. The wisdom of economy. The virtue of patience. The improvement of talent. The joy of originating. (words by Marshall Field) – Don’t know if some of you may not know that Percy’s real name was Perseverance!

Hope you all have a great week!

SOLON & BEYOND: Fondly remembering Carolyn Waugh

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

This weeks’ column is going to start out a little different. It is about friendship and an amazing woman named Carolyn Waugh, of Solon.

I received the following letter after Carolyn died, from one of her friends who lives in Laconia, New Hampshire. I have no idea how this good friend of Carolyn’s got my name and address, but it is a beautiful letter about friendship, that I think should be shared. She started out:

“Carolyn Waugh, Teacher, Mentor, Friend to 1,000 children. Today, the last day of February 2019, I lost my best friend Carolyn Waugh. We were elementary teachers in Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, and we were the only ‘New Englanders’ in our school. We became fast friends from 1958 to the present day perhaps because we had the same New England accent and enjoyed our conversations each day. They reminded us of home and our loneliness was less each time we talked. Of course, we could understand one another.

“Few people know how generous Carolyn was to others, especially school age children. She made hundreds of mittens, an untold number of shirts and hats, paid for their lunches when no lunch money was available, and bought school supplies when the school funds had run out. Not once did she tell anyone of her generosity. She was the great example of a teacher you would want for your child. She was their friend, the mother substitute for the one that had left the home, the father substitute for the one who was no longer in the home. She dried their tears and told them how important and worthwhile they were. And she never missed a day of school except for severe illness.

“Today, as we ponder the loss of a dear friend and colleague, we are reminded that very good people have been among us, near us, and we should not forget to celebrate their life’s efforts.

“Carolyn Waugh was, indeed, a special person. In her obituary it mentions that Carolyn was educated in one room school houses in Embden, and at Solon High School. After graduating from high school in 1931 at the age of 15, she went to Normal School, in Farmington, and left there two years later with full teaching credentials. She taught in one room school houses in Embden, Cornville, Chesuncook, and other places in Maine and also helped other people to become teachers in a college level school in Presque Isle for a time.

“In November 1942 she joined the Army as a WAAC and WAC and achieved the rank of Tech 4. For part of her years in the service, she served in the Military Intelligence Division War Department. She was honorably discharged in November 1945. And her remarkable life with many more accomplishments continued until she died on February 28, 2019, at the age of 103 years. She had held the Boston Post Cane as Solon’s Oldest Citizen for several years.”

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on Saturday, March 9, for their sixth meeting with Vice President Hunter Sousa presiding. Hunter Sousa is planning to do his demonstration on composting at the County Demonstration Tournament at the Somerset County Extension Office, in Skowhegan, on Saturday, March 16.

The club voted to make a basket for the Luck of the Draw on Saturday, May 4.

The following members gave their demonstrations: Desmond Robinson, How to make an Apple Swan; Isabelle Atwood and Jillian Robens, How to make Energy Bites; Kaitlin Dellarma, How to make Ice Cream; Macy Plourde, How to make Sun Catchers; and Brooks Sousa, How to make a Compost Barrel.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, April 13, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled Extra Prayer:

When the world falls down around you
And a prayer will see you through,
Say an extra prayer for someone
Who may need it more than you.
For who knows what hearts are breaking
In the silence of the night?
Just that extra prayer you whisper
May help someone see the light!
Every time you help a stranger
With an extra prayer – or two –
You are building secret blessings
That will all come back to you!

(words by Nick Kenny.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon Elementary School honor roll released

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good Morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Received the much welcomed Solon School News letter for February and will start this column with the Second Quarter Honor Roll.

All A’s: Karen Baker, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Kaitlin Dellarma, Cody James, Macie Plourde and Jillian Robinson.

All A’s & B’s: Isabella Atwood, Amellia Cooper, David Dixon, Lane Frost, Jayden McKenney, Madyson McKenney, Ella Mckinnon, Aiden McLaughlin, Riley Pelkey, Peyton Plourd, Mylee Roderick, William Rogers, Aaron Soosman, Kaitlyn Soucie and Fisher Tewksbury. Congratulations!

Fifth Graders Chosen For Chorus Festival: Two Solon students have been selected to represent RSU #74 at the District IV Chorus Festival to be held at Spruce Mountain School in Jay on April 3. Fifth graders Cody James and Elenoar McKinnon were nominated by their music teacher Mr. Gilbert to perform in the festival, and they were selected along with six other district students in fifth and sixth grade. This festival will include students from schools in Western and Central Maine.

Solon Elementary School is very proud of Cody and Ella!

Civil Rights Team at Solon Elementary School teaches about the Statue of Liberty. At an assembly on February 6, the Solon Civil Rights Team performed a skit on the book Her Right Foot about the Statue of Liberty. We learned a lot!

Preschool Applications Available At Solon School: If you have a child who will be four years old by October 15, stop by to pick up an application for our preschool program for the 2019-20 school year. Please call the school at 643-2491 for more information about our program.

Valentine Activities: Again this year Solon Elementary School scheduled some fun activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They held their annual Secret Cupid activity in which each of them decorated a heart with some kind words for another person in the school. The hearts are displayed on the bulletin board in the lobby.

As you faithful readers know, lately for lack of recent news, I’ve been using some old news in clippings that I collected over these many years. Was very surprised and grateful when I received an e-mail from Jeffrey M. Soper who lives in Windham. (I didn’t realize The Town Line goes that far!) Anyway, I don’t know how long Roland will let me stretch the BEYOND in this column, but I found Mr. Soper’s e-mail to be very interesting. He is trying to gather information about his ancestors for his grandchildren, who are interested. He wrote….”With information gained by my father years ago, I can trace my roots back to my great-grandfather William H. Soper.” He also wrote that he plans to come to Solon: “when the weather is better. Any information that you might be able to provide would be great.”

I wondered at first why he was interested in Solon and then I remembered about the old news I had been putting in The Town Line. …guess what? In the November 28, 2018, here was the answer…Mr. Will Soper owned the first automobile in Solon about 1905. It was a two cylinder Cadillac.” I think that is amazing and unusual and I won’t feel as guilty when I print old news now!

Afraid it’s going to take awhile before the weather improves, as I look out the window this morning the soft white snowflakes are silently drifting down!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club held their annual town meeting dinner on Saturday with less people than usual supporting them. They did take in $141.00 from the food sale they always have also, which they donate to the Solon Food Cupboard. Thank you to Eleanor Pooler and all your helpers for what you do every year.

I will be writing about what happened at the annual town meeting last Saturday in next week’s column when I get the facts straight.

Jeffery Soper’s e-mail was addressed to Percy also. For all of you who knew Percy when he helped me write this column, you know what an unusual animal he was…..and since you still appear to like his memoirs, this is the one for this week: Heavenly angels, protect my cat so dear, whose loyalty and love are always sincere. Help me keep my friend from harm, purr-fectly happy, well-fed and warm. Bless this darling kitty forever at my side to kiss, to nuzzle and hold with pride.

SOLON & BEYOND: 4Hers, scouts to raise funds at town meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club held a meeting on February 16 with 15 members and two guests, Rebecca Johnson and Cynthia Lewis from GGC Member on Youth.

Three older members did presentations for examples. Cooper made butter, Laci made muffins and Hunter did compost. Those three will be doing the above presentations in the County Demonstrations on March 16.

Members made food plates to be delivered after the meeting.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club members will be putting on the March 2 town meeting dinner from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., at the Solon School before the annual town meeting. They have been doing this for many years, money raised from this will be donated to the Solon Food Cupboard.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club will also being having a Food Sale from 8 a.m. -noon on town meeting day.

Hope many of you will go and support this worthy club with these young people.

Another e-mail that I received from Jennifer Hebert tells of the upcoming Solon Congregational Church’s Inside Craft/Yard Sale. “We are hoping that you will be part of our 2019 Inside Craft/Yard Sale this year. It will be held at the Solon Elementary School on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is a great winter blues buster for the community and always draws a good crowd! I am looking forward to hearing from you and having you at our event!”

Another e-mail that I received from Somerset Woods Trustees was very appreciated as usual. It is entitled, “CMP Transmission Line Proposal Wins Governor’s Support.”

Governor Janet Mills has issued her decision to support the 145-mile transmission line across western Maine’s North Woods that will carry hydropower to Massachusetts. Mills believes that the economic and environmental package offered by Central Maine Power is beneficial to Maine. A new 50-mile segment will be cut through the wilderness and a tunnel will be developed underneath the Kennebec River Gorge.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Clean Energy Project Director Dylan Voorhees wrote in a press release that, “Mainers don’t support CMP’s corridor project because it is a bad deal for Maine and our environment. This massive corridor would cause large-scale damage to Maine’s North Woods, would not reduce carbon pollution, and could block local clean energy projects that would provide real jobs and benefits for Mainers. CMP’s settlement offer doesn’t change these fundamental problems. It strikes us as being a desperate and calculated move to win support.”

For more information about the above, the address is Somerset Woods Trustees, P.O. Box 833, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.

As many of you know, I feel very strongly about this proposed CMP Corridor, along with many that I have heard from, after they read my first letter to the editor. And some that I don’t know who are placing their feelings on STOP signs. Wonder how many of you have noticed the big red STOP signs, with the letters underneath CMP? Or some say under the big STOP trusting CMP!

And now for Percy’s memoir: The only way to find rainbows is to look within your heart; the only way to live fairy tales is through the imagination and power of your mind; the only place to begin a search for peace is within your soul; because rainbows, fairy tales, and peace are treasures that grow from the inside out. (words by Evelyn K. Tharp) (I used the above words 12 years ago, even before we lost Percy, hope you like them.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Looking back on a journalism career

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

First I would like to thank the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club for the wonderful gift of love in the form of a very large plate of home made, delicious cookies on Valentines Day! It was delivered to our door by one of the 4-H members wishing us a Happy Valentine Day. This wonderful club has been in Solon for many, many years, thanks to the leader, Eleanor Pooler; we are truly blessed.

The next meeting of the Embden Historical Society will be on March 11, at 7 p.m., at the Embden Community Center. The DVD “Cut & Run” Changes in Wood Cutting in the 1970s will be played. The film was produced by Richard Searls.

As was voted a couple of years ago, there is no February meeting.

A Happy Valentine’s Day e-mail was sent to me by Happy Knits: The message is, “We hope you get to spend time today with the folks and things (yarn) you love.”

Some folks say that the snow is beautiful and, while we agree, we’re really ready for a bit of color therapy. As a cure for cabin fever, we’d like to prescribe a dose of Noro color!

When I hadn’t received any more recent news before I sat down to write this column, just in case, I had gone through some more old clippings and papers last night. (And there are many of them to look through and reminisce.) Anyway, I came upon this very impressive one written by Darla Pickett back on April 16, 1990. It states, Weekly tabloid, Somerset Gazette, steps into Reporter’s shoes. In bold, large letters are the words, The Somerset Gazette, Central Maine’s Weekly Community Newspaper, Serving The Route 201 Corridor.

It goes on to say: Jackman – Within a week of the closing of The Skowhegan Reporter, a new newspaper has stepped in to fill the gap.

Carrying the masthead, The Somerset Gazette, the weekly tabloid will be published in Jackman by Russ and Gail Lombardi, owners – publishers of the Jackman – Moose River Chronicle for the past two years.

The Skowhegan Reporter (more commonly known as Somerset Reporter until recent months) was shut down by its owner-publisher Howard James on April 3, closing the final chapter on the 150-year history of the paper published under several names.

The Lombardis’ didn’t take long to jump on the bandwagon.

The first complimentary issue of the Gazette is going to hit the mailboxes on Monday, according to Russ Lombardi, who said on Tuesday he is excited about the project.

“It will be a weekly mailed to about 12,000 mailing addresses in Somerset County.”

The Jackman-Moose River Chronicle, which the Lombardis began publishing in January 1988, will continue to be published, Lombardi said. Both papers will be printed in Waterville.

Lombardi said a random poll was made of people in Somerset County and “we found two things that everybody wanted: A tabloid, and the word Somerset in the name.”

The coverage area, Lombardi said, will include Lexington, Highland, North New Portland, Embden, North Anson, Anson, Madison, Starks, Norridgewock, Larone, Mercer, Smithfield, Kingsbury, Mayfield, Brighton, Solon, Athens, East Madison, Lakewood, Cornville, Skowhegan, Canaan and Hinckley.

The above one brought back many memories. I was writing for the Skowhegan Reporter when it closed and figured my reporting days were over, had written for other papers before that, and because of my curious nature, had enjoyed it immensely. But lo and behold, I got a phone call from Roland Hallee, asking if I would like to write for the Somerset Gazette, and the rest is history. My many thanks go out to him! It was a great pleasure to work for the Lombardis.

And so for Percy’s memoir entitled Hymns and Haws: Dentist’s hymn, Crown Him With Many Crowns; Contractor’s hymn: The Church’s One Foundation; Baker’s hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour;” Weather forecaster’s hymn, “There Shall Be Showers of Blessings;” Optometrist’s hymn, “Open My Eyes That I Might See;” IRS’s hymn, “All to Thee;” Shopper’s hymn: “By and By.” (words from a Guideposts in August 1996.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Surprise! CMP reimbursement check arrives in the mail

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

This is one of those weeks when I don’t have any real news to share, but I came across an old clipping (way back in 1988, when I was writing for the Skowhegan Reporter, and my byline back then was, Solon “The friendliest town in the state”). This particular column started, “After writing this column for over six years, some weeks I am hard put to think of something amusing or uplifting to share with you. Such was the case this week and then lo and behold on Saturday what should I find in my mail but an official looking letter from Central Maine Power Co. My heart skipped a beat and I opened it with trepidation because when I get riled over “the principle of the thing” I’m apt to get a bit sassy!

Anyway, inside, much to my wondering eyes, was a check for $48.73; this was the $50 deposit that I was told I couldn’t get back until 1993! They had added on $1.74 in interest and subtracted $2.74 for final bill, there is something very final about “final bill,” but keep in mind to run an air conditioner, sewing machine and a light bulb or two. Now whether this was one of those miracles that sometimes happen in my life or “the power of the press,” either way it did me a world of good and I had to share it with all of you.

Another thing in that same column was a picture of a pig with babies, and the head line, “And this little piggy went to Solon,” Linwood Tuscan, of Solon, got a surprise recently with eight piglets, the first litter from his sow.

In between all of that in this cut out column was lots of history that you don’t see any more (which bothers me, because it is hard to get personal news now, because of privacy matters). I’m going to print some of the old news that was in that column: “The Solon Extension will meet at the Firehall on Thursday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m., for the meeting entitled “What is U.M.C.E.S.?” This will be led by Ruby Gates, and the dinner will be in charge of the Bingham ladies. Another one is as follows: Officials From Solon who attended the Annual Maine Municipal Association Convention in Augusta were selectmen, first, Judy Robertson, second, James Hills, third, Dana Hall and town clerk, treasurer, and tax collector , Mary Jackson and her assistant Barbara Fish. Mary and Barbara stayed in Augusta for the three-day convention.

At the end of that column, also under the pig picture, were these words: ” Brings back memories of the pig rodeos we used to hold in Flagstaff on my uncle’s farm. My mother tried to bring me up to be a lady but probably because I was the littlest, I always got elected to ride the pigs. (Of course, she didn’t know about all of this until afterwards!)

I did get an e-mail about the Weston Woods is a 275-acre forest that has been part of the Weston Homestead of Madison for nearly 250 years. The classically-designed Federalist home, built in 1817, remains in nearly its original condition. The 55 acres of farmland with a mile of frontage on the Kennebec River is actively farmed and protected into perpetuity under an agricultural easement held by Maine Farmland Trust. The pristine forest remains to be protected and SWT holds an option to purchase, We have raised nearly half of the asking price but need your help.

Another little skrid of paper I found near my computer this morning is a good one for Percy’s memoir: “Never Be Discouraged: If we refuse to be discouraged and trust God’s Guiding Hand… So take heart and meet each minute with Faith in God’s Great Love, Aware that every day of life is controlled by God ‘s Great Love, Aware that every day of life is controlled by God Above… And never dread Tomorrow or what the Future brings, Just pray for strength and courage and trust God in all things… And never grow discouraged be patient and just wait For God never comes too early and He Never Comes Too Late!” (words by Helen Steiner Rice.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Articles discussed at selectmen’s meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Received a card for another budget committee meeting on January 30, at 7 p.m., at the Solon Town Office, to discuss more articles needed for town meeting regarding the McQuilken Road Issue.

The agenda consisted of the following:

1. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to purchase from James Farley, who claims to own property over which a portion of the McQuilken Road currently is located, a triangle of that property with a 10′ leg west of the pin set on the southeast corner of James Farley’s land (Map R2 Lot 14 on the 2018 Solon Town Maps) by Boynton & Pickett Surveyors and extending to the sideline of said Road at the location of the stop sign where it was located on October 17, 2018, and back to said pin for a sum of money, to pay for the associated survey costs, to prepare and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the new Road right-of-way and the deed(s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds.

Selectmen recommend Yes and paying Mr. Farley $500 for this portion of his land.

2. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to purchase from James Farley, who claims to own property over which a portion of the McQuilken Road currently is located, all of said portion of the property for a sum of money, to pay for the associated survey costs, to prepay and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the Road right-of-way and the deed(s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds.

Selectmen recommend Yes and paying Mr. Farley $!,000 for this portion of his land.

3. To see if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to use the funds raised in Article 5-20 to relocate and rebuild the section of the McQuilken Road where it meets the Drury Road with the right of way to extend three (3) rods to the east of the pin set on the southeast corner of James Farley’s land (Map R2 Lot 14 on the 2018 Solon Town maps) by Boynton & Pickett Surveyores;, to pay to purchase property on the east side of the McQuilken Road, if needed, for the right of way; to pay for the associated survey costs to prepare and execute deeds and related documents therefor, and to pay the costs to record the survey of the new Road right-of-way and the deed (s) for the land at the Registry of Deeds. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Discuss Salaries of Town Employees: Discuss Library Funding, Librarian salary of $14.50 per hour is &11.687 for the year. 2018 Library funds raised by the town was $11,810. For 2019 we recommend $12,5000. We would like to increase that amount to $13,000. Librarian salary at $16.00 per hour would be $$12,896 for the year.

Lief and I attended the above meeting, and on our way there the car’s weather stated it was only 2 degrees, and when we walked to the building, a cold wind was blowing, making it quite frigid! The three selectmen were present and budget committee members, Barbara Johnson, George Williams, Eleanor Pooler, Mike Golden, Frank Ridley, Alan Foss and Jeff Pomelow were there, but that wasn’t a quorum, so the meeting wasn’t held.

The Solon Food Cupboard has to be moved out of its present site by the end of February. The new location will be 120 Pleasant Street. For more information you may call 207-431-0388. (This was all very sudden, and I will be getting more information that I will share with you in another column.)

And so now for Percy’s memoir, entitled, The Blessing of Sharing: Only what we give away enriches us from day to day,For not in getting but in giving is found the lasting joy of living, For no one ever had a part in sharing treasures of the heart who did not feel the impact of the magic mystery of God’s love. Love alone can make us kind and give us joy and peace of mind, So live with joy unselfishly and you’ll be blessed abundantly.

SOLON & BEYOND: Week of January 31, 2019

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning dear friends, don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club had a meeting on January 12 with Cooper Dellarma presiding. At that meeting there were two leaders and 10 members present.

Three members have been invited to demonstrate and talk about 4-H. This will be done in the spring.

At the last meeting Hailey Dellarma did a presentation, followed by Debra Kanter doing a officer training, then she handed out pins and a folder with officer information on information on it.

On February 2, Sherri and Molly Thornton will be doing a work shop on winter care of animals from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Somerset County Extension office.

In February the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club will be doing the food trays for the elderly.

Also at the February 4-H meeting, Laci Dickey and Cooper Dellarma will be doing their demonstrations instead of the leaders. This is something new that is being tried this year. All of the other members should be thinking of something they can do at the March meeting.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, February 17, at the Solon Fire Station at 9:30 a.m.

On Saturday, February 2, the Solon Congregational Church will be having a baked bean and casserole supper from 5 – 6 p.m., at the Solon Masonic Hall.

I recently received another e-mail from the New Hope Church, in Solon, and it starts, Dear Friends of the Shelter, “This one thing we know, “God is good all the time….And all the time He is GOOD!” While we often look at events in our lives as something that is such a surprise to us, we can rest assured that absolutely nothing surprises God and also we can know with certainty that He will make something good out of every situation if we are surrendered to His will! It is through this lens we can know that, in His sovereignty, God has a plan for our future here at New Hope Shelter after the loss of our church pastor and board president, Tim Hunt. God’s people have sustained all of us through their prayers and support. Pat and her family are doing well and are thankful as well for your prayers. The church now has two two interim pastors who will bring the messages for us over the next few months as we prayerfully seek the Lord’s direction for the right man who is being prepared by God to come and shepherd us here at New Hope Church. Pastor Tim taught a weekly Bible study and loved spending time to get to know the women and children of the shelter. He will be missed but we rejoice with him that he is now with his Lord and those who have gone on before. We know that when he entered the gates of heaven that he heard Jesus say, ‘Well done good and faithful servant !’ Thank you, Pastor Tim for all you did here at New Hope Church and the New Hope Shelter.”

The shelter, operating under the umbrella of the church, has a board of directors who help with policy decisions, procedures and rules, financial direction, and other general guidance. While the loss of our church pastor and board president is strongly felt, we know because of our years of working on developing a firm structure that the shelter will continue to move forward successfully while still under the oversight of our board of directors.

The above letter was signed, Blessings to you all in the New Year, by Rebecca Philpot.

Last week, I wrote that I would try and find out more about our up coming town meeting, but I didn’t put in Article 2: To elect all municipal officials and school committee members as are required to be elected. Nominated candidates: Selectman, three-year term; Elaine Aloes; Road Commissioner: Gary Bishop; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, one-year term: Christine Jablon and MSAD # 74 School Board Director, three-year term: Deron Whittemore.

Percy’s very much looked forward to memoir will be a short one, because I’m almost out of space: entitled; Winter’s White Gown; Snowflakes are falling Winter’s white gown, Gentley in motion They cover the ground. Beauty awaiting Softly in sound, Crystallized snowflakes Have touched Winter’s gown. Thank You, dear Master, For all that I see, And the snowflakes of splendor Adorning the trees. And the beauty of Winter Seems silent in sound, Season’s own loveliness Dressed up in white gown. (words by Katherine Smith Matheney.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Abbreviated look at warrant as town meeting time approaches

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Here it is almost town meeting day! How time does fly!

I went to the town office, and got the 2019 budget meeting agenda for the meeting on January 19 to discuss the following: financial state of the town, budget overview, and warrant articles overview by the selectmen. Review of warrant articles and ordinances and review of proposed budget.

There will be a public hearing for the three ordinances that will be voted on at the annual town meeting: The proposed ordinances Shoreland Zoning Ordinance revision, Foreclosed Property Ordinance revision, and Home Cultivation of Marijuana Ordinance. I will try and let you know when that meeting is coming up.

The revenue from state revenue sharing is up about $4,000 from 2017. The excise tax revenues are up about $14,000 from 2017. The Road Paving Project ended up costing $137,906.85 less than was budgeted, so we did not have to borrow the $98,000. They did a chip seal process on the roads and also did crack sealing and crack repairing on the other paved roads in the town out of the Road Paving Project funds.

The town did not receive the BETE reimbursement for 2018 because the state was slow in processing them. The town will be receiving the $113,444 BETE reimbursement from the state this month. They will be asking to use those funds to reduce taxes in 2019.

New one time expenditures: LED electronic notice sign for town office; GIS mapping of the town; new furnace for the fire station; dump body for the 1995 Ford truck for the highway department; and surveying the Coolidge Library property.

There are also increased costs for the expanded town office hours to be open.

I’m going to print a few of the articles that I have room for in this column. Art.4: To see if the town will vote to increase the property tax levy limit of $572,934, established for the town of Solon by state law, in the event the municipal budget approved under the following articles will result in a tax commitment that is greater than that property tax levy limit. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 17: To see if the Town will raise funds for a land survey for the Coolidge Library property. Selectmen recommend up to $3,000 with the funds coming from the Library Capital Reserve Account.

Art. 18: To see if the Town will vote to change the Tax Collector/Clerk position from an elected position to a position that is appointed by the selectmen with the effective date of this change being March 7, 2020.

Art. 19: To see if the Town will vote to form a library building committee, with a minimum of five members, for the purpose of developing plans to build a Coolidge Library addition and exploring funding options. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 20: To see if the Town will approve creating a Swim/Camp Program Reserve Account with the funds to be used for the Swim Camp Program. Selectmen recommend Yes and with this year’s appropriation funds to be put in this reserve account.

Art. 21: To see if the Town will adopt the “Ordinance Limiting Home Cultivation of Marijuana for Personal Adult Use.” Selectmen recommend Yes. Also, on another page in the papers I got it states: WHEREAS, the Town of Solon deems it in the best interest of citizens to limit the cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use within the Town, without affecting cultivation, use, or distribution of Medical Marijuana as allowed by 22.

I was unable to attend the above budget committee meeting, (that is only the second or third one I have ever missed) my apologies, but I hope to have more to share with you about it next week.

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled “It’s Worth Pondering.” We must not, in the course of public life, expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us. (words by Benjamin Franklin, 1772.)

SOLON & BEYOND: More Solon school news

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends.

Didn’t have room for all the Solon Elementary School news last week, so I’m finishing the Solon School News email I received. This fall students have received a colored pom-pon each time they did a good job meeting school expectations, displaying positive behaviors, or being helpful and/or cooperative as part of the new Positive Behavioral Intervention Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Students put these pom-pons in a jar on the counter behind Mrs. Weese’s desk. The students were told that there would be a schoolwide celebration when the jar was full.

Right before Christmas the pom-pon jar was filled. Fifth grader Fisher Tewksbury suggested that for the pupils reward they all play a winter version of the Hearts game they play every Valentine’s Day. So they did! K-5 students were divided into multiage teams to play this game, which is similar to Yahtzee, on December 19.

They also had a contest to see which male student, female student, and staff member could come closest to guessing the number of pom-pons in the jar. There were 709 pom-pons, each one representing a positive action by one of the students. winners were Stuart Hamblen, Katelyn DeLeonardis, and Mrs. Campbell.

Winners of the Hearts Drawing was Hunter Pouliot and Kaitlyn Soucle.

Superintendent of schools, Mike Tracy, joined the kindergarten class for Thanksgiving dinner on November 15. The class enjoyed his visit!

My many thanks for sending me this information to share.

Received the following e-mail from Angie Stockwell from the Margaret Chase Smith Library, in Skowhegan.

Dear Readers,

It’s difficult to imagine that a new year has begun and the first of our newsletters is ready for your reading enjoyment. Our front cover news is the election of Maine’s first woman governor and her connection to Senator Smith. A new exhibit on the 19th Amendment is near completion. Interestingly, the California fires bring back memories of Maine’s forest fires in 1947. National History Day in Maine is always in the works, as is our annual essay contest for high school seniors. The passing of President George H. W. Bush recalls the friendship of the Bush family. And our heartfelt thanks to all our donors who responded to our annual fund drive. It promises to be busy year and we’re grateful for our continued support. Best wishes for 2019.

The following email is from Happyknits. We’re thumbing our noses at winter with another Wine and Twine. Come join us at the Miller’s Table (just downstairs from Happyknits) on Saturday, January 19, from 4 – 6 p.m. Bring your project and a friend while we laugh, sip and nosh. Don’t feel like “wining”? Don’t feel like “twining?” That’s ok – just come anyway! We promise you’ll have a good time!

Do you know about Knit Night at Happyknits? It’s held every Tuesday night from 5 – 8 p.m. It’s free and open to everyone. Does that not work into your schedule? Happyknits has open knitting/crocheting every day of the week, so bring your project, a friend ( or two or three) and sit by our cozy fire. We have set aside Thursday afternoons (anytime) and Friday afternoons, from 2 – 4 p.m., if you want to gather with a group, but you are welcome to relax in our shop anytime we’re here. It’s cheaper than psychotherapy, and a whole lot more fun!

And now for Percy’s memoir: Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not. O keep a place apart, Within your heart, For little dreams to grow! We see so many ugly things – Deceits and wrongs and quarrelings: We know alas! we know How quickly fade The color in the west, The bloom upon the flower. The bloom upon the breast And youth’s blind hour. Yet keep within your heart A place apart Where little dreams may go, May thrive and grow. Hold fast— hold fast your dreams! (words by Louise Driscoll.)