EVENTS: Gibbs Library National Poetry Month event to be held Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jefferson Navicky (left), Dawn Potter (right)

Gibbs Library presents a National Poetry Month event Saturday, April 20, at 3 p.m., in the Bryant Room, Gibbs Library, 40 Old Union Road, Washington,. Celebrated and award-winning Maine poets Jefferson Navicky and Dawn Potter will read their poems and discuss their craft. A brief Q&A and book signing will follow the reading. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Jefferson Navicky is the author of four books, including Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose (2021), which won the 2022 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection.

Dawn Potter’s most recent book is the poetry collection Accidental Hymn. A finalist for the National Poetry Series, she has also won a Maine Literary Award in nonfiction. Her poems and essays appear in Beloit Poetry Journal, Sewanee Review, Threepenny Review, and many other journals. Dawn directs poetry and teaching programs at Monson Arts and lives in Portland.

FMI: 207-845-2663 / / and check us out on Instagram and Facebook.

Bickmore named to dean’s list (2023)

Jacob Bickmore, of Washington, has been named to the Commonwealth University dean’s list for the Fall 2023 semester. Bickmore is a student at the Mansfield campus.

EVENTS: Washington Challenge slated for Aug. 6, 2023

Washington Recreation’s Annual Washington Challenge, will be Sunday, August 6. Registration will take place from 7 – 7:50 a.m., and the Fun Run starts at 8 a.m., and the 5K starts right after.

Registration for both races is at the back parking lot of the Gibbs Library, 40 Old Union Rd., in Washington.

The 5K will be out and back on the Bill Luce Rd. The Fun Run will start at the monument out to Prescott School and back to the library. It is the Washington Challenge because there are hills on both courses.

Registration fees: $5 for 5K; $1 for Fun Run. T-shirts while they last and door prizes. Medals for 5K winners in all categories: male & female: 0-15 16-19 20-29 30-39, 40-49 50-59 60-64 65 and up. Fun Run Medals for first, second and third places, for both male and female.

They will also be selling our 50/50 raffle tickets as a part of the fund raiser for creating hiking trails in Washington. Tickets are $2 and a single winner will be drawn at the Axiom Broadband Festival, August 12. The winner gets half of the total pot, the Washington Recreational Trails the other half.

So put on your running shoes and come race the Washington Challenge. Walkers are welcome to walk the Fun Run.

Gibbs Library observes 30th anniversary

Gibbs Library in Washington, ME. (photo from:

The Gibbs Library, in Washington, is celebrating its 30th anniversary from 11a.m. -4 p.m., on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Highlighting the celebration will be book talks and book signing featuring Maine children’s author Chris Van Dusen and Maine novelist Paul Doiron. In addition, Student Art Show awards will be given, and a history of the library will be on display in the library. Refreshments will be served.

Events are free (although donations would be gratefully accepted), and will be held at the Gibbs Library and the Evening Star Grange. Events will be held at Gibbs Library, 40 Old Union Rd., Washington, and the Evening Star Grange, 31 Old Union Rd., Washington.

Schedule of Events

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Library open. Ongoing library history display;
11a.m.: (Grange) Raffle begins – Pick a prize raffle (tickets $1 each or 6 for $5) and hand made braided rug (tickets $5 each – only 100 will be sold);
11:15 a.m.: {Library} Student Art Show Awards;
Noon – 1 p.m.: (Grange) Children’s Author, Chris Van Dusen talk and book signing. Books available for purchase at the event from Kelly’s Books To Go;
1 – 2:15 p.m.: (Grange) Refreshments;
2:30 – 4 p.m.: (Grange) Maine Author Paul Doiron talk and book signing. Books available for purchase at the event from Kelly’s Books To Go;
3:45 p.m.: – (Grange) Raffle drawing.

For more information, call Gibbs Library at 207-845-2663.

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.