Give Us Your Best Shot! for Thursday, December 12, 2019

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RESTFUL SPOT: Tina Richard, of Clinton, snapped this foliage photo during her walk, in Winslow. The view from there was “breath taking.”

FIRST MOOSE: Pat Clark, of Palermo, saw her first moose on a fall foliage trip this fall near Moxie Plantation.

PICTURESQUE: Jayne Winters, of South China, captured this picturesque spot on Back/Sheepscot River, in Boothbay, near Knickerkane Island.

Unsung heroes: our amazing school librarians

Each school is staffed by dedicated professionals who give so much to the students

by Mandi Favreau

If you go into any school in RSU #18, it doesn’t take long to find the hub of the action. There are a few common telltale signs: the space is always welcoming, it’s full of books, and each one is staffed by dedicated professionals who give so much to our students. Our librarians and library assistants across the district do a wonderful job providing classroom support and bringing educational opportunities to everyone from our pre-k students to our community members. They are there for our students in so many ways, and we cannot say enough about all the good they do.

For the last four years, Kathryn Bailey has overseen the libraries at our elementary schools in Oakland, Belgrade, and Sidney. During that time Kate has been instrumental in creating reading spaces, developing opportunities for families to read together before and during school, and organizing and finding funding for numerous authors’ visits. “Kate works hard, at each school, to provide a functional and inviting library that supports school curriculum and recreational reading,” said Belgrade Community School Principal Gwen Bacon.

“She somehow finds the time to collaborate on projects and develop relationships with instructional coaches, building administrators, teaching staff and other district library staff.”  Kate works with a gifted team of library assistants across much of the district. In each location, they provide learning displays and activities, coordinate the student choice book awards and the scholastic book fairs, and support teaching curriculum.

Atwood Primary School is where the weekly Rise and Read program was first started by Kate Bailey and Amy Grenier. “All Atwood students and their families are invited into our library where they are warmly welcomed and they get to listen to a wonderful story to begin their day,” said Jennifer McGee, Atwood Principal. Recently, the Atwood library has also started hosting a monthly reading event with the Snow Pond Senior Center where senior volunteers come to read with the students.

At BCS, Rita Daniels is at the helm of day-to-day operations. This year, Rita’s focus has been on coordinating with teachers to encourage increased library time for students. Rita is also a dedicated staff member who is always coming up with new ways to improve morale and goes above and beyond to help anyone at BCS. “Rita is integral to our building and student success,” said BCS Guidance Counselor Jamie Wade. “With her positive mindset and team approach, she is a pleasure to work with each and every day!”

Lisa Dugal, the James H. Bean School library assistant, wears many hats. She works with the kindergartners during the daily intervention block, assists teachers by gathering books and videos to augment their units, and is always the first to volunteer if a recess or lunch duty needs covering. She even makes sure students’ birthdays are special through the “Birthday Book Club.” “She goes above and beyond with everything that she does,” said Principal Erica St.Peter. “It is impossible to capture all of the little things that Lisa does on a daily basis to ignite the love of reading in our students at Bean.”

The Williams Elementary School library is run by Rose Smith. Smith and Bailey facilitate book talks during W.I.N (What I Need) time to provide practice in active listening, processing, and comprehension. They do so much to get students excited about new books that come in. “Our librarians offer read-ins to our students and teachers which incorporate read-alouds, book trailers, and independent reading,” said WES Principal Melanie Smith. Students even get to wear their pajamas at read-ins to give them that cozy and festive feel.

Sonja Boudreau, the librarian “par excellence” at both China schools, does so much to instill the love of the written word in her students. “Last year, author Lynn Plourde read her books and conducted writing workshops with our students,” said China Primary School Principal Darlene Pietz. “What a great experience for our children!”

Mrs. Boudreau also facilitates several structured study halls, oversees reading interventions, and teaches a library skills class to all the fifth-grade students. “When students arrive at middle school for the first time, they welcome the familiar friendly face of Mrs. Boudreau, who has already instilled the love of books in so many of them at the primary school,” said China Middle School Assistant Principal Meghan Murphy. “Her enthusiasm for books and learning is truly contagious to all that enter her library.”

“Libraries are the cornerstones of our schools,” adds Messalonskee Middle School Principal Mark Hatch. He describes the MMS librarians, Rebecca Cobban and Denise Rivard, as “masters of information” and a great resource and support for MMS students. They are dedicated to helping teachers find the right information to tackle any topic and teaching students to recognize bias and false information so they can get to the true facts. He adds that librarians can be “the key holders to the love of reading” by finding the right books to spark students’ interest. “For all these reasons and more our librarians should be the ‘Most Sung Heroes’ of our schools.”

The Messalonskee High School library has long been the domain of Sylvia Jadczak and Kiri Guyaz. The two women create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that many students seek out. The space is set up to make it possible for group work, club meetings, class lessons, and independent reading or study to happen comfortably all at the same time. Anyone can request a book, whether for reading or pleasure, and Jadczak will find a way to get it. She often takes extra time to write grants to supplement the book budget for this very purpose. The library also hosts various education opportunities during lunch, including basic healthy cooking lessons, the ever-popular lunchtime music series, and guest speakers on any topic imaginable.

The latest addition to these activities is the return of Lunchtime Forums where students learn how to discuss tough topics in a diplomatic way. “Sylvia is an advocate for all our students and will go the extra mile to help a student in need,” said Paula Callan, MHS Principal. “Kiri has worked with students outside of the library through her photography club. Both ladies play an integral role in our school.”

There is absolutely no way to fully capture the scope of what these amazing people do in our district. From daily operations to taking the time to connect to a student in need or working to instill a love of reading in all our students, our librarians are true educational heroes and we are grateful for them.

Mid-Maine Chamber and KV Connect to host “Meet the Reps”

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and KV Connect will host “Meet the Reps,” an event that brings members of the business community and public together with elected officials at all levels of government, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, from 5:30 – 7 p.m., at Chace Community Forum, located at 150 Main Street in Waterville (Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons).

The two organizations renewed their partnership for the upcoming legislative session in order to continue to encourage communication between business and community leaders, professionals and young professionals, and their government representatives.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is appreciated. Please contact Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce at 873-3315 or if you plan to attend. This event is possible thanks to the sponsorship of Central Maine Growth Council and Kennebec Savings Bank.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Wandering Nanas using winter hacks

by Debbie Walker

Do you remember my column on November 14 was about “Winter Hacks?” When I wrote that I might have been a little cocky because I am in Florida and avoiding your nasty, snowy cold winters. I should have known better than to be so brashy. It’s not good, it will come back to haunt me every time! We will get back to ‘weather’ in a little bit.

So… The Wandering Nanas (my friend, Nana Dee and myself, Nana Daffy) had been planning another trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania. We went up in June and were making a return trip to celebrate Dee’s Aunt Jean’s 95th birthday.

It is a beautiful trip going up to Walnut Creek, Ohio. You go through a section of the Smokey Mountains, what a view! Driving isn’t too bad in most cases, however, there are some aggravating road nit-wits. And then there are also some of Mother Nature’s critters who make driving tricky. We came so close to hitting a deer. We were aware that some of the deer, five to be exact, had gone to Deer Heaven that day on the side of the roads. We did not want to add to the list. A couple of nights later we met a deputy who wanted to forewarn us that the deer are in rutting season and are subject to some crazy, careless decisions.

Aunt Jean had a very nice birthday. She celebrated with her son, his wife, the Wandering Nanas and some of the residents of her assisted living center. She is looking forward to more birthdays! We plan to be at each one.

The next day we made our way to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, without getting lost. The day after we got there it snowed! The next morning we had to do the snowy, icy, clean off the truck dance. I brought my snow brush and scraper, thank goodness. Now if you remember the ‘ Weather Hacks’ comments from the column on November 14, I spoke of the alcohol spray for the windshield and windows.’ I used it there and left it for Dee’s niece, Jackie, who had never heard of such. She liked the idea.

Just before we left, I missed a three-inch step. That’s right, I fell directly to the floor and I must admit to thinking I heard something crack. When I was able to stand on it I figured it was just a sprain. It wasn’t easy to walk but I could drive easily, and I drove us the two days back to Florida. The next morning I went to the doctor and was sent for X-rays. Oh yes, I had done it, and it was, indeed, broken, and would require surgery. Yuck!

Nana Dee in the meantime got hit with a sinus and ear infection but we made it back to Sunny Florida! It has been a bit chilly but nothing like Ohio or Pennsylvania. I dug out my Christmas sweaters this morning. I will start wearing them the day after Thanksgiving. I sincerely wish for you all had a wonderful day with family and friends.

I’m just curious what your favorite part of the meal is. Every family seems to have some special thing they do or cook, share your favorites with us please. Some of us might enjoy trying it for Christmas.

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Two live links from the Met at the Waterville Opera House

Anthony Roth Costanzo

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Saturday, November 23: Philip Glass’s 1983 opera, Akhnaten, deals with the Egyptian pharaoh of that name who launches monotheism as the country’s faith upon replacing his late father, Amenhotep III, on the throne. He marries Nefertiti, throws out the pagan polytheism and its priests, lives in a very insulated world with his Queen and family and is eventually overthrown via a rebellion by the former subjects and murdered. His son, King Tut, restores the old pagan order.

Zachary James

Having watched this well-produced, directed, conducted and performed new Met production, I found it a very good example of dance, narration, acting and juggling – and a smaller than usual amount of opera singing. Certain musical melodies and rhythms take on a repetitious quality at a sometimes monotonous level yet a wonderful beauty and vibrancy is communicated, too.

J’Nai Bridges

Anthony Roth Costanzo gave a fine performance in the title role with good work by J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti, Zachary James as the narrating ghost of Akhna­ten’s father, Amenhotep, and others. Guest Maestro Karen Kamensek directed the orchestra brilliantly, being already experienced in conducting this work abroad and other Glass compositions.

The original 1983 re­cord­ing on CBS Sony can be heard on youtube, along with other excerpts.

Karen Kamensek

Sunday, November 24: Puccini’s Madame Butterfly was postponed from the live November 9 broadcast due to projector problems here. The opera is one of the most frequently produced in the entire repertoire. Its story of the tragically deluded geisha girl, Cio-Cio-San or Butterfly, and the jerkish Lieutenant Pinkerton was colorfully produced, directed and staged with generally captivating results as theater.

Contralto Elizabeth DeShong sang Butterfly’s maid Suzuki warmly while baritone Paulo Szot was good as the American consul Sharpless. Soprano Hui He handled the middle and lower notes of Butterfly and gave a very convincing portrayal of her hopes and anguish, really building to her heart-breaking suicide. Her high notes were not good. Tenor Andrea Care’s Pinkerton was bland.

Pier Giorgio Morandi’s conducting was quite good in balancing the tragedy and lyricism.

The next link, Alban Berg’s opera, Wozzeck, will be January 11, 2020.


FOR YOUR HEALTH: Christmas Dreams Come Early For Wife Of Work-Life Balance Expert

(NAPSI)—It could be said that everything Troy Amdahl learned to love he learned in kindergarten. No kidding. He met Kristen, his wife of 29 years, at age five, remained friends, took her to the senior prom, married and raised four children.

Recently, Amdahl had a post on his Facebook page go virile for an act of kindness for his wife that he never, in his wildest dreams, could have imagined.

Amdahl, along with Dave Braun, is one of the OolaGuys, and has co-authored several international bestselling Oola books on finding the proper work-life balance. With a simple message, “Live the life you deserve,” they recently published their newest collaboration, “Oola for Christians: Find Balance and Grow.”

A self-avowed “Christmas curmudgeon,” for decades Amdahl approached the holiday season with a debate: when to put up the Christmas tree. Kristen, on the other hand, loves Christmas and everything about it—decorating the house, gatherings with their large family, making homemade gifts, the Hallmark movies and, most importantly, the meaning of the season. Yet, through it all, Troy tried to rein in the holiday cheer.

For all of Amdahl’s lessons as the Oola guy, he was about to walk the talk.

The couple had recently moved out of their home while renovations were being completed. That’s when the idea hit him. He thought about how he wanted to try to give back some of the joy and happiness to this woman who has been by his side for his whole life.

Unbeknownst to Kristen, Amdahl put a call in to their decorators to fully decorate two stunning trees: one “blank canvas” for the many family ornaments the kids had made over the years, and another Pinterest-worthy tree to surprise his wife as she walked in the door.

He never expected the response he got when they returned to their home on Halloween. Their son was there to capture the magical moment when his mom saw the first tree and cried tears of joy. When she saw the “other” tree, she lost it. Jumping up and down and crying.

“Why did I put these restrictions around when, what and how,” mused Amdahl, “when enjoying Christmas early gave my wife such joy?”

“Love well the people who love and support you,” Amdahl says. “Invest in their dreams, even if they are different from your own.” By his wife’s reaction, he continues, “My only disappointment is that I didn’t do this years ago. Heck, if it makes someone I love this much this happy, it can stay up all year as far as I’m concerned.”

You can purchase “Oola for Christians: Find Balance and Grow” at

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Getting the upper hand

Katelynn Shores, 8, of Benton, grappling with Kayla Joseph, 8, of Oakland, at the Maine Skirmish Grappling Tournament on November 10. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

SOLON & BEYOND: Model flyers meet for indoor fly-in

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

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

I am pleased to have some news about Lief’s favorite club that he enjoys so much, the Franklin County Aircraft Modelers Club, Deadstick Landings. The club members hold their Indoor Flying at the Calvary Pentecostal Church, in Madison, every Thursday 9 a.m. – noon. (Donations Appreciated).

The meeting of the club was called to order on November 26 by president Lew Gordon with five members present. The secretary’s report for the October meeting was approved as printed in the November Newsletter. The treasurer’s report was read by Frank Bedard and accepted as read.

Under old business: It was mentioned for the record that the club owns two lawn tractors and a field roller. The roller will be used by the airport owner to maintain the runways which we also use.

Under new business: As no new nominations were made for the club, a motion was made to close nominations and for the secretary to cast one ballot for the slate of officers as listed in the November Newsletter. That list is as follows and the secretary did cast one ballot for the nomination. Elected were: Wayne White – President, James Towle – Vice President; Frank Bedard – Treasurer, William Connor – (Randy) – Secretary and Wayne White – Safety Officer.

A motion was made, and seconded and passed after discussion that Lew Gordon be removed as a second signer on the club banking accounts and Wayne White, newly-elected president, be added to the accounts as a second signer. Treasurer Frank Bedard will see that this is accomplished.

After the business was concluded, a lengthy discussion ensued of all the benefits of growing old! (I would really liked to have been there to hear that one!)

Motion made to adjourn past at 7:28 p.m. Minutes respectively submitted by secretary pro tem Joseph Gilbert.

The next meeting will be on February 25, at 7 p.m., at the Calvary Pentecostal Church.

There won’t be any Embden Historical Society, Inc., meetings during the months of January, February and March. The April 13, 2020, meeting is at 6:30 p.m.; Program at 7 p.m.: Properties, Trails & History of Somerset Woods. Chairperson; Carol Dolan, (slide presentation) by Jack Gibson, location: Embden Community Center, 797 Embden Pond Road, Embden

We have a beautiful guest at our large window off the living room in our home recently. She has been knocking on the window and staring in at us all day for over two weeks, it is a beautiful female cardinal. The male cardinal quite often comes and drags her away, appearing quite upset with her, but she persists and comes right back! (I wonder if any of you who read this have ever had it happen at your house?) We are enjoying watching this beautiful creature, and even put a small feeder which glues to the glass for her but she continues to tap on the glass!

Peter and Sherry had their annual family get together for Thanksgiving on the Sunday before and we all look forward to it! This year there were 28 of us who enjoyed all the love and great food together. They always have a different game after the dinner, and seems as though that gets better every year, there was lots of laughter and good fun going on. As always, Mark and Karen drove up from Florida for the wonderful event, the awful snow and rain storms made it more difficult, but everyone got back home safely!

And now for Percy’s memoir called, “Heart Gifts.” It’s not the things that can be bought that are life’s richest treasure, it’s just the little “heart gifts” that money cannot measure. A cheerful smile, a friendly word, a sympathetic nod are priceless little treasures from the storehouse of our God. They are the things that can’t be bought with silver or with gold, for thoughtfulness and kindness and love, are never sold. They are the priceless things in life for which no one can pay and the giver finds rich recompense in giving them away. ( words by Helen Steiner Rice.)

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust kicks off second annual Holiday Toy Drive

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust kicked off its second annual Holiday Toy Drive on Monday, December 2. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any Bar Harbor Bank & Trust from December 2 through December 13. All the toys collected will be donated to local nonprofit organizations throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“When you are doing your holiday shopping this year, consider purchasing an extra toy and bringing it to your local Bar Harbor Bank & Trust branch,” said Joseph Schmitt, SVP, chief marketing officer at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “Together we can bring smiles to children in our communities who are in need of holiday cheer.”

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust collected more than 1,200 toys during the inaugural Holiday Toy Drive in 2018.

Mt. View Chamber Singers to be featured in Winslow

One of Winslow’s most beloved and eagerly-anticipated Christmas concerts is coming soon! Once again the beloved Mt. View Chamber Singers will bring their magnificent, candle-lit Christmas concert-in-the round to Winslow Congregational Church (12 Lithgow Street), on Sunday, December 8, at 4 p.m. The singers also will perform at Vassalboro United Methodist Church on Thursday, December 5, at 7 p.m.

All concerts are FREE, with donations gratefully accepted. CDs will be available for purchase at a “meet and greet” with the students immediately following each performance.

The Mt. View Chamber Singers will perform at numerous locations throughout Maine this Christmas season. For a complete list of upcoming concerts, please visit:

For more information, please call Winslow Congregational Church at 872-2544.