Area students named to the University of Vermont dean’s list

The University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vermont, has announced the following local students have been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester.

Jillian Brown, from Augusta, is majoring in human development and family studies.

Autumn Boody, from Washington, is majoring in communication sciences and disorders.

Abbigail Doiron, from Augusta, is majoring in health sciences.

EVENTS: No-till garden; getting started

On April 21, local master gardener, Sharon Turner, will describe how to start a home garden using simple, no-till, organic techniques and get your vegetable or ornamental garden growing this season.

Sharon’s talk ‘Starting a Garden from Scratch’ is Friday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bryant Room of Gibbs Library. The free event is sponsored by Washington Lakes Association of which Sharon is a long-time member and two term past president. She is a gardening consultant, educator, and designer who, with her son, Eli Berry, operates Crystal Lake Farm and Nursery here in Washington. They specialize in heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable and flower seedlings, as well as native perennials, shrubs, and trees. Sharon is devoted to the no-till method because it doesn’t disturb the native soil but, instead, continuously enriches it.

No till avoids erosion, as well. Importantly for many of us, no-till enables planting without labor intensive digging or expensive tilling equipment. Everyone is invited to come and learn about no-till gardening that is a perfect method for home gardens. Friday, April 21, 6:30 p.m., Bryant Room. Free.

Gibbs Library presents: Art Teacher as Creator

The Gibbs Library presents Art Teacher As Creator, an exhibit of works of art by six area art educators. This is a special show, as it reflects the artistic expression of the professionals who give our children opportunity, encouragement, and guidance in their own creative outpourings. Art teachers introduce materials, techniques, and structure, but even more, they inspire students to experience creativity as an exploration and to convey meaning through objects and images.

The show will run through the months of March and April. Please take time to stop by and read the statements of each teacher and appreciate their own artwork and the inspiration they offer to our children and community.

A reception will be held on Monday, April 3, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The teachers are Sherry Casas, Prescott Memorial Elementary School, Union Elementary School, Friendship Village School, Rivers Alternative Middle School; Brooke Holland, Medomak Valley High School, Photography; Anthony Lufkin, Miller School; Crystal Priestley, Warren Community School; Libbie Winslow, Medomak Middle School; Krisanne Baker, Medomak Valley High School.

The artwork can be viewed at the Gibbs Library, 40 Old Union Road, Washington, Maine. Library hours are Mondays, 4 – 7 p.m., Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – noon and 4 – 7 p.m., Wednesdays, 3 – 6 p.m., Thursdays, 9 a.m. -noon, and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon. For more information, call (207) 845-2663 or see

EVENTS: Gibbs Library to host “Legends and Legacies”

Connie Bellet displays her pheasant piece.

Submitted by Connie Bellet

Local artist Connie Bellet will display her paintings, drawings, and scrimshaw at the Gibbs Library, in Washington, during January and February. The show opens on Sunday, January 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., and refreshments will be available. The library is just east of Rte. 220 at 40 Old Union Rd. The public is invited to attend, and all pieces will be for sale.

The show is a retrospective containing pieces that were produced as part of “Inspirada Americana,” a live concert multimedia touring production that ran for nearly 25 years. Bellet’s husband, singer/songwriter Phil White Hawk, composed the songs and presented the Native American legends and history that made up the performances. The couple toured all over the West, from the Mexican border to the subarctic, “usually at the wrong time of year,” quips White Hawk. They performed over 1,000 times for conventions, universities, schools, reservations, and service clubs.

Scrimshaw is a relatively rare and ancient art form, which Bellet has mastered over the years when she wasn’t touring. Images are carved, poked, or scratched into ivory, horn, or bone, and then pigments are rubbed into the scratches. The oldest piece known was done on a mammoth shoulder blade. However, Bellet’s pieces, which mostly involve wildlife art, are generally scratched in with an exacto knife and colored with inks and oil paints. One piece in the show, “I Am the Walrus,” won an international trophy. Bellet’s scrimshaw is collected internationally.

Special guests, members of the Great ThunderChicken Drum, will enliven the exhibit with hand drums and songs in the Children’s Area. Fifteen years ago, the Drum coalesced at the Gibbs Library to learn and perform the Ceremony of 8,000 Drums. This healing ceremony was brought to Maine by Jody King and Dabadi Thaayrohyadhi, the Wisdom Keeper of the Otomi/Toltec/Teotihuacan Peoples of central Mexico. This teaching was mandated by a prophecy that is over 500 years old in preparation for the arrival of the new Baktun in 2012. The Great ThunderChicken Drum will return to Gibbs in March to perform this ceremony, which is open to the public.

“This is probably my last art show,” says Bellet. “So come out of hibernation and join us for songs, legends, and some hot cider. Let’s have fun with this!” For more information, please go to or call (207) 845-2663.

EVENTS: Art show at Gibbs Library

Gibbs Library in Washington, ME. (photo from:

There will be an art show at the Gibbs Library, in Washington, through December 31. Library hours for art viewing are Monday, 4 – 7 p.m., Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon, and 4 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, 3 – 6 p.m., Thursday, 3 – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Family Tree explores themes of place and personality. These oil paintings, created over the last year, started with old family photos of Armenian Genocide survivors and new photos of Maine locations where the artist likes to hike. “I think of myself as an expressionistic painter and work in an intuitive way combining real and imagined imagery,” said artist McGuiri.

Communities come to the aid of a neighbor

The Emerson family of Washington, from left to right, Travis, Kim, and Kandace. (contributed photo)

by Charlotte Henderson

Kim Emerson is on a long journey through cancers, kidney failure, organ transplants and long recuperations. The 39-year-old Washington wife of Travis and mother of Kandace is now in line for a second kidney transplant. Kim is exceptional. As a teenager, she had eighteen months of chemotherapy to treat a tumor on her rib. She made it into recovery and went on with her life.

She and her husband, Travis, were married in 2011. In 2013, when her daughter, Kandace, was just a year old, Kim was diagnosed with kidney cancer and her left kidney was removed. In the meantime, the chemo she had during the tumor treatment years before had damaged her heart which finally required a heart transplant in 2018. The new heart was protected by anti-rejection drugs, but those strong medicines led to damage to Kim’s remaining kidney. That had led to the search for a kidney donor again.

Finding the donor whose organ has the best chance of success is complicated, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking. Kim says the Tufts Medical Center team, in Boston, is very helpful and supportive of patients facing these devastating health conditions and provides education and assistance with solving the many challenges they face.

Because no one in Kim’s family was a good match for donating an organ and because she has a rare blood type that seldom arrives in the organ bank, Kim and the team knew she would need a live donor rather than an organ from the organ bank. With emotion in her voice, Kim says that her special angel donor has been found. So, now the count down to the transplant begins.

Kim is currently being treated using an AV graft device that facilitates the work of the non-functioning kidney (blood cleansing). When her body is ready, the operation will be scheduled. After it’s performed, Kim will remain in the hospital, being monitored for organ rejection, infection, and any other changes. Once she is released to home, she will be traveling back and forth to Tufts Medical Center, in Boston, every week for six months of observation and tests that are routine for post-operation patients. Six more months of less frequent (probably bi-weekly) Boston trips and then regular trips to Maine Medical Center, in Portland, essentially forever.

The cost of these trips is one of the many expenses beyond the med-surg fees and it is a focus of a community fundraising supper planned for Friday, November 11, (Veterans Day) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The supper is supported by Washington’s nonprofits Central Maine Bird Fanciers, Evening Star Grange, Four 4-H, Mt. Olivet Masons, Prescott Memorial Parent Teacher Organization, The Village Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary, Washington Town Office, and Washington Fire Dept. Auxiliary. The meal will include homemade baked beans, casseroles, salads, biscuits, beverages and desserts. The cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children. If you would like to make a larger donation, simply add it when you buy your meal.

There are over 110,000 individuals on waiting lists for organ transplants here in the USA and only about 35,000 organs available. This website helps understand the basics for donors and recipients. Anyone considering being a living donor can contact Tufts Medical Center in Boston (617-636-5000) and ask for a transplant coordinator. The website at Tufts concerning being a living donor is .

Organ donors are literally life savers. Kim Emerson says nobody knows better than she that “organ donors save lives.” She knows that better than most and is continuously grateful for all the support through this long journey.

Friends of Razorville Chapel begin fundraising for refurbishing

Razorville Chapel 2002

Washington, ME — After a long idle time, Razorville Chapel will have crucially needed refurbishments when the Friends of Razorville Chapel succeed in raising the needed funds. The familiar building was acquired from The International Society of Christian Endeavor after a years’ long search to ferret out the legal owner of the property. Originally a schoolhouse, the structure was relocated in 1897 to a tiny plot purchased for the purpose for $15 by trustees of the “Razorville Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor,” namely W.E. Overlock, L.T. Marr, Lewis Day, Newel Jones and O.B. Collins. It never changed hands from then until last year.

Friends of Razorville Chapel know that the building was used by the Christian Endeavor organization for meetings and for Sunday school and, probably, church, but the timeline is unclear and far from complete. Everyone with experience and knowledge about the first century of the chapel is warmly encouraged to post facts to our Facebook page . In time, with the public’s help, we will have a good record of those earlier years.

Ten years ago, a speaker at Washington Historical Society spoke about Razorville Chapel and related the (then) difficulty in finding the owner. The conversation led to a question about whether any group in town could take responsibility for it if, indeed, it could be acquired. At that time there was no interest. Over its long dormant time though, neighborhood residents watched over the place and donated to or outright paid for urgent repairs. Residents like the Sidelingers, Victor Chapman, Mary Merrifield, Bradley and Judy Brann, Steve Melgard and several others warded off serious damage by keeping the building weather tight.

By 2018, the Christian Endeavor Society had been located and a transfer of the property was proposed to them by Roy Garnett, Patty Manson, Jillianne Jermyn, and Charlotte Henderson. In fact, the International Society of Christian Endeavor, headquartered in the Midwest, had lost track of this property which was so remote from their activities they were unaware of it.

While Christian Endeavor considered the proposal, Garnett, Manson, Jermyn and Henderson filed papers to become a non-profit corporation, the Friends of Razorville Chapel. Ignoring Covid and other challenges, the Friends took a leap of faith and accepted responsibility for the property as soon as the Society agreed to let it go. Friends of Razorville Chapel envision the small building being used for special services, meetings, private events, small theater presentations, or music recitals, guest speakers, and other purposes that are suited to an intimate sized of hall.

The Friends of Razorville Chapel organizers, with the addition of Zelma Williams, have gotten appraisals and estimates for the work that needs to be done to make the structure solid and safe for public use. It includes foundation and sill replacement, new roofing, and new windows. The estimates, which are now several months old, total about $95,000. The group will be seeking funding from many sources with fervent hope to raise enough to make the chapel long term weather tight before another winter.

The Friends of Razorville Chapel invite you to check out their Facebook page Contributions may be sent to: Friends of Razorville Chapel, c/o P. Manson – Treasurer, 55 Youngs Hill Road, Washington ME 04574. If you would like to talk to someone about the project or want to discuss a contributions, please inquire at

Lois Eastman – Ukrainian Folk Art at Gibbs Library

Gibbs Library in Washington, ME. (photo from:

WASHINGTON, ME — The Gibbs Library will present works of Ukrainian folk art by Lois Eastman, including a display of the process and materials used in creating psyankyi eggs. The exhibit will run through June

Lois Eastman’s interest in art began in childhood. She began making pysanky when she was five years old. Growing up in a household that included her grandparents, she was surrounded by family members engaged in a variety of art forms and Old World traditions. Although her childhood was spent in New Hampshire, she later moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where she established a photography studio. Lois later moved to Maine and enjoyed a 20-year career as a high school art teacher. She now resides in Rockland where she continues to create art.

“I was introduced to making Ukrainian Easter Eggs (pysanky) by my grandmother, who was from the ‘old country’, a small village in the Carpathian Mountains. She told stories about her life there and how she met my grandfather at a village dance in the valley between two mountains.

“Every year before Easter, my mother, aunts, various cousins and I would gather at my grandmother’s kitchen table to make pysanky. We were taught the “pin-drop-pull” technique, which meant to stick a common pin over a candle, dip the hot tip into a cake of beeswax, then drop the tip onto the egg and pull a teardrop shape. A series of teardrops created designs all over the surface of the egg. We could change the color of designs by dipping the eggs into colored dyes, lined up along the shelves in my grandmother’s pantry.

There was a large collection of eggs that had been made over the years. The Ukrainian belief is that as long as pysanky are made, good will overcome evil.

This exhibit can be seen at the Gibbs Library, 40 Old Union Road, Washington. For library hours check the website or call: (207)845-2663.

EVENTS: Gibbs Library presents students art exhibit from Prescott Memorial Elementary School

Gibbs Library in Washington, ME. (photo from:

The Gibbs Library presents the 17th Annual Student Art Exhibit featuring the wonderful work of the student artists from Prescott Memorial Elementary School. Art Teacher Anthony Lufkin has guided the students, using a wide range of materials and cultural art forms, to express their creativity in these remarkable works. The pieces, representing all of the K-6 students, were selected and artfully framed and displayed by Mr. Lufkin. If you are in need of some inspiration or maybe a smile or two, come to the Gibbs and enjoy. They will announce a reception as soon as risk levels permit. The show runs through March and April.

The Gibbs Library is located at 40 Old Union Road, in Washington Village, and is open on Monday 4 – 7 p.m.; Tuesday 9 -noon and 4 – 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 3 -6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 pm. Phone (207)845-2663. Email, Website:

EVENTS: Gibbs art to feature Rachael Richmond

4 Tinkers by Rachael Richmond.

The Gibbs Library, in Washington, has just had the pleasure of hanging a lovely watercolor show. Sea creatures and other animals…and one landscape. A must-see for all ages. The artist is Rachael Richmond, from Jefferson, and the show will run through November and December.

Rachael Richmond is a Maine-based watercolor artist. Her work is primarily representations of animals—lots of fish, shellfish, birds, and farm animals, with an occasional landscape or boat. Rachael does some commissions as well—again, mostly of animals. She wants her art to generate the viewers’ memories of things or places they have seen.

Rachael attended the University of Southern Maine, in Gorham, where she studied art education (where, ironically, painting was her least favorite art form). She gets her inspiration from places she spends time at—including her hometown of Caribou, in Aroostook County, her farm in Jefferson, and her parents’ home in Little Deer Isle, on the coast of Maine. In addition to painting, Rachael is a full-time teacher in Jefferson.

To see more of her artwork, you can visit her Facebook page, Watercolor Fish, at Gibbs Library is located at 40 Old Union Rd., Washington, ME 04574. (207) 845-2663