Area residents named to dean’s list at UNE

Photo credit: University of New England Facebook page

The following students have been named to the dean’s list for the 2022 fall semester at the University of New England, in Biddeford.

Albion: Emma McPherson and Olivia McPherson.

Augusta: Valerie Capeless, Zinaida Gregor, Jessica Guerrette, Brooklynn Merrill, Daraun White and Julia White.

Benton: Jessica Andrews.

Fairfield: Caitlyn Mayo.

Jefferson: Mallory Audette.

Oakland: Kierra Bumford and Francesca Caccamo.

Palermo: Peyton Sammons.

Sidney: Sarah Kohl.

Skowhegan: Wylie Bedard, Elizabeth Connelly, Ashley Mason and Dawson Turcotte.

South China: Richard Winn.

Vassalboro: Adam Ochs.

Waterville: Mohammad Atif-Sheikh, Elias Nawfel, Grace Petley and Evan Watts.

Winslow: Juliann Lapierre, Kristopher Loubier and Justice Picard.

Palermo resident to celebrate professional pet sitters week March 5 – 11

Sandy Patrick and Bacci.

Business owner Sandy Patrick will use the annual observance to celebrate industry growth and encourage local pet owners to learn more about the advantages of using a professional pet-sitting company.

Country Roads Pet & Farm Care LLC encourages local pet parents to join her in celebrating the 29th annual Professional Pet Sitters Week, March 5-11, 2023. Professional Pet Sitters Week (PPSW) was introduced by Pet Sitters International (PSI) in 1995.

Pet Sitters International is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters and represents more than 4,000 member businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 20 other countries.

Sandy has been a member of PSI since 2001 beginning with her previous pet sitting business before moving to Maine in 2015. She now offers services to pet parents in Palermo and surrounding towns. She is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter, a Pet Tech CPR/First Aid Instructor and a Certified Fear Free Professional.
PSI created Professional Pet Sitters Week to educate pet owners about the advantages of using professional pet sitters.

“With pet ownership at an all-time high and the need for pet-care services continuing to grow, it’s important for pet parents to understand that they don’t have to rely on friends, neighbors, or family members to care for their pets,” said PSI President Beth Stultz-Hairston. “Whether pet parents are traveling or working long hours at the office or from home, we encourage them to look for qualified, professional pet-care providers who have the business credentials and training to offer top-notch services.

“These business owners and their staff sitters truly deserve recognition for the optimal pet care they provide and the ways they’ve adjusted their services to meet the needs of today’s pet parents,” added Stultz-Hairston.

“Country Roads Pet & Farm Care is happy to join PSI and thousands of fellow pet-care professionals around the globe in celebrating this week that recognizes professional pet-sitting businesses like mine,” said Sandy Patrick, owner of Country Roads Pet & Farm Care LLC.

“It’s also an opportunity to remind pet owners that professional pet sitters like me are available and that professional pet-care businesses can provide peace of mind that other options cannot. With over 25 years of experience, I value continuing education that allows me to offer reliable service to the pets entrusted to my care. Earning and continuing the designation of CPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter demonstrates that I am an animal steward committed to delivering excellent service, “ added Patrick.

This year, Country Roads Pet & Farm Care LLC is commemorating Professional Pet Sitters Week by making a donation to the Waldo County Pet Food Pantry.

To learn more about Country Roads Pet & Farm Care LLC visit www.countryroadspetcare.com. To learn more about PPSW or the pet-sitting industry, visit the PSI website, www.petsit.com.

Palermo Foundation receives Bigos donation

Palermo Community Foundation (photo by Connie Bellet)

Submitted by Connie Bellet

PALERMO, ME — The Living Communities Foundation has received a generous donation of $3,000 from Michael Bigos, son of Ted and Jeanne Bigos, of Palermo. Michael Bigos, an attorney living in Auburn, has donated the funds to honor his father and late mother, who were founding members of the foundation, originally called the Palermo Community Foundation. The Bigos family was active in civic and community service in Palermo, also being involved in building the Post Home for American Legion Post #163, as well as the Palermo Community Center. Before he retired, Ted Bigos worked for the USDA as a loan officer, and for the Town of Palermo as its Assessor. At this time, Ted Bigos is residing at the Veterans Home, in Augusta.

The Living Communities Foundation is an all-volunteer Charitable Foundation that Ted Bigos helped become registered under IRS code 501(c)3. Its mission is to respond to the needs of the community in an adaptive, sustainable mode using traditional values, ancient wisdom, and common sense. The Palermo Community Center has been home to Palermo Online, an early Internet Service Provider; a digital learning center; an art studio; a recording studio for music and Native language preservation; the Palermo Food Pantry; and the Great ThunderChicken Drum. Programs have included classes in American Sign Language, Biblical studies, guitar and art lessons, as well as free Dinner-and-a-Movie nights.

The board of directors, officers, and volunteers of the foundation join together to thank Mr. Bigos and his family for his kind donation. It is support like this that keeps the foundation fully functional well into the difficult times we all face.

Local Town Meetings Schedule for 2023

Town meetings 2023

ALBION

Municipal Election
Friday, March 17, 2 p.m.
Besse Building
Town meeting
Sat., March 18, 10 a.m.
Albion Elementary School

CHINA

Town meeting (election format)
Tues., June 13
Use Alder Park entrance

FAIRFIELD

Mon., May 8
Fairfield Community Center

PALERMO

Town meeting Fri., March 11, 9:00 a.m.
Palermo Consolidated School

VASSALBORO

Town meeting
Mon., June 5, 6:30 p.m.
Elections
Tues., June 13
Vassalboro Community School

WINDSOR

Municipal Election
Tues., June 13, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Town meeting
Wed., June 14, 6:30 p.m.
Windsor School gym

*   *   *

To be included in this list, visit our Contact Us page or send an email to The Town Line at townline@townline.org.

Community response overwhelms the Bakos

by Connie Bellet

Ann and Peter Bako have given their time, energy, and resources to people of the greater community all their lives. Their tragic house fire of January 5th turned their lives upside down and prompted an avalanche of aid, which is desperately needed, but the couple feels a simple “Thank you” is not enough to express the depth of their gratitude. Sometimes it is harder to receive than give.

Much of the fundraising effort was captained by Mary Haskell and Cheryl Parkman, who headed up a team, which included the Palermo Grange, to put on a very successful benefit dinner at Erskine Academy. There is a long list of business donors who contributed gift cards that were raffled, including four for $100.00. Several tables full of other raffle items, including a Traeger Smoker and many homemade items helped to raise a hefty sum, and 50 pies and desserts were auctioned off. The 50/50 sum was returned in full to the Bakos by the winner, who prefers anonymity.

Other fundraising efforts are in progress on social media, and the Palermo Community Foundation has established a secure and tax-exempt donation portal, with 100 percent of the monies received going directly to the Bakos. Checks may be mailed to: Palermo Community Foundation, P.O. Box 151, Palermo, ME 04354. On the “notes” line, please write Bako 23.

Ann and Peter thank each and every donor personally, and as soon as they get a refrigerator, will cover it with the names of each donor, so they never forget the kindness of family, friends, neighbors, community members, and people who happened to see the story in the papers or online. The Bakos have moved into a trailer, which they are renting until they can rebuild on their property in South China. Several contractors have offered their services, as have a number of volunteers. Ann and Peter have promised quite the celebration when the new home is completed, and Ann has said that everyone who helped is invited.

Palermo voters to consider mooring ordinance

by Pamela McKenney

The subject of mooring and houseboating has become controversial in Maine. A minimal online search will reveal the conflicts between town and summer residents throughout Maine who recreate and live on Maine lakes, ponds, and streams versus those who moor or “colonize” a body of water without land ownership nor permits or permission. Some believe the lack of accountability leads to abuse and violations while others see it as a right since “you can’t own the water.”  In an attempt to deal with the issue, many municipalities in Maine have developed ordinances in the interest of safe navigation, the rights of shorefront property owners, and the health of inland water ecosystems. The Town of Palermo is considering adopting such an ordinance to limit and control the placement of moorings and houseboats on waters bordering and within the town. Voters and stakeholders have an opportunity to learn more prior at:

  • A Public Informational Meeting on February 16 at 5:00pm at the Palermo Library,
  • Town Meeting: Saturday March 11th at 9AM at the Palermo Consolidated School (discussion prior to vote at Town Meeting)

With few exceptions, the State of Maine does not regulate the placement of moorings nor the anchoring of houseboats within the Water Safety Zone of Maine lakes, great ponds and streams. This supports established Water Safety Zone regulations, defined as the first 200 feet from the high-water mark of any shore or ⅓ distance to the opposite shore, whichever is less. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Boating Facilities does regulate moorings beyond the Water Safety Zone and any marked channel or public boat launch that might impede free navigation. This means that placement of moorings and anchoring of houseboats inside the Water Safety Zone is left up to the discretion of individuals.

In regards to Palermo, without regulation, a person from any town or state; Augusta, Waterville, or Revere, Massachusetts, for example, could decide to moor a boat or a houseboat for the summer on Branch Pond, Sheepscot, or any other inland water. An individual could anchor a houseboat on Sheepscot for the summer or set up a mooring anywhere within the Water Safety Zone, and, currently, there is no method or means to restrict or limit the choice of location. Additionally, shorefront property owners might decide to moor their boat or swim float in front of a neighbor’s dock without permission. Or a boat leasing company with no shorefront ownership could set up a mooring platform for customer use. With access from a public boat launch, this is possible and without regulation – legal.

Municipalities have little to gain and much to lose if moorings and houseboats are abandoned or seep sewage or sink. Houseboating has become a particularly contentious issue. Perhaps due to the rising costs of shorefront ownership or maybe the tiny house trend, the popularity of staking claim to a mooring patch within the Water Safety Zone has increased. Many residents complain these property tax-exempt burdens are noisy, polluting, and a hindrance to fishing, navigation, and recreation.

Although the state does not regulate the placement of moorings and anchoring of houseboats, local municipalities in which a body of water lies can take action to develop standards to avoid leaving the health of public waters to the mercy of individuals who may have no stake in it. The Town of Palermo has taken the initiative to do so. As promoted by the Palermo Selectboard and as notified on the town website, a committee of stakeholders gathered last fall to examine other ordinances from other Maine towns (such as Belgrade, Harrison, Wayne, Casco, Rangeley…), to discuss the potential need for an ordinance, and to develop standards for mooring and anchoring on Palermo waters. These standards are designed to ensure that mooring installation, use, and maintenance as well as overnight anchoring does not:

  • impair the public’s health, safety and welfare;
  • result in degraded water quality, loss of aquatic habitat, or interference with navigation;
  • infringe on the rights of shore land property owners.

See the Town of Palermo website for the full article or read it in the Town Warrant, available at the town office.
Maine’s inland waters exist for all to access and enjoy. Beyond human use and enjoyment, these waters sustain ecosystems vital to the health and identity of our state. In consideration of the standards outlined, Palermo voters have an opportunity and responsibility to decide the importance of regulation in protecting Maine waters by exerting control over mooring and anchoring houseboats.

ALBION/PALERMO: HealthReach welcomes Melanie Morin

Melanie Morin

This March, staff at Lovejoy Health Center and Sheepscot Valley Health Center will be welcoming Melanie Morin, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, to the team.

Melanie earned her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from Husson University, of Bangor. Previously, she earned her Bach­elor’s de­gree in Nursing from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and her Associate’s degree in Nursing from Kennebec Valley Community College. Melanie brings a wealth of experience in whole-person (holistic) patient care, and specifically in evidence-based treatments for mental illness.

Melanie shares, “My philosophy of care is to treat patients with respect and dignity – providing care for patients in the same way as I would want to be treated if I was in a similar situation. It is my belief that this way of caring for patients creates an environment of attention that is more conducive to healing. Focusing on the whole person means caring for their physical wellbeing as well as considering their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Each of these aspects is integral to the whole person.” Melanie joins physicians Dean Chamberlain, Ann Schwink and Kathryn Wistar; physician assistants Nichole Johnston, Anna Simmler, Craig Urwin, and Zachary Wissman; nurse practitioner Keiko Kurita; licensed clinical social worker Deborah Daigle; and licensed clinical professional counselor Ashley Rancourt. Our clinicians offer medical and behavioral health services for patients of all ages.

Relief fund set up for Ann and Peter Bako

Following the devastating house fire early the morning of January 5, the Palermo Community Foundation set up a special account to receive donations for Ann and Peter Bako. The Bakos were not at home when the fire started, so they lost everything, with no insurance. They were left with the clothes on their backs, their vehicles, their dog, and each other.

The Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 Charitable Foundation (EIN 01-0510937), is giving 100 percent of all donations to the Bakos, tax free for both donors and recipients. To help Ann and Peter, please send your tax-deductible check to: Palermo Community Foundation. P.O. Box 151, Palermo, ME 04354. on the “notes” line of your check, please write “Bako23.” All checks for $250 or more will receive a written receipt for your tax records.

There will also be a donation can set up at the Community Benefit Dinner which will take place at Erskine Academy, in South China, on Saturday, January 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., with a snow date on Sunday, January 29th. It will be a spaghetti dinner with beverages, salads, and desserts. A pie and cheesecake auction will be held at 6 p.m. The dinner costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. To donate pies, please contact Mary Haskell or Cheryl Parkman at cparkman@fairpoint.net. For additional information, please contact Connie Bellet at 993-2294.

Thank you for helping the Bakos, who have donated countless hours of community service helping others.

Gofundme organized by Jeanna Verney: https://www.gofundme.com/f/peter-and-ann-bako-weeks-mills-maine

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to reflect the dinner will be on Saturday, with a snow date of Sunday. See comment below.

FISHY PHOTO: Netting a good one

Leighann Mazoki took this photo of her dad, Gary Mazoki, netting a bass on Sheepscot Lake, in Palermo. Leighann’s son, Manny, stayed with his grandparents for two weeks last summer. (photo courtesy of Leighann Mazoki)

Citrus orders deadline nears

The deadline for ordering bright, tangy, and sweet citrus in time for Christmas is December 11. You can have it shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states for one low price. Just go to https://www.floridaindianrivergroves.com/ecommerce/1018996 and take a look at all the healthy goodness you can send!

Proceeds from this sale benefit the Living Communities Foundation, which hosts the Palermo Food Pantry, in the Palermo Community Center, as well as the Palermo Community Garden and the Great ThunderChicken Teaching Drum.

The Palermo Community Garden is also eligible for a Challenge Grant from SeedMoney.org. Last year they raised over $1,100 through this crowdfunding platform, and they hope to get somewhere near that this year, but they only have until December 15, so please share your resources with them so they can share fresh, organic food with neighbors! Please go to https://www.donate.seedmoney.org/7991/palermo-community-garden and know that your contribution helps to alleviate food insecurity right here in our area.