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Community news Oct. 13


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New Toys for Tots coordinator

Richard Vargas of Thomaston, has accepted the volunteer position of Toys for Tots coordinator for Knox and Waldo counties. Vargas is part of the Midcoast Marine Corps League 637 and has volunteered with Tots For Tots for several years. He attended the Toy for Tots convention in Leesburg, Va., in September. He serves in the Marine Corps League as commandant of the Department of Maine.

“The mission of the Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community,” said Vargas.

This year, Toys for Tots is operating from Nativity Lutheran Church in Rockport, where space has been donated. Donations and toy pick up at the church will be by appointment only. Donation boxes will be available at locations across the two counties starting Nov. 1. For more information on collection sites visit


Training scholarships for rescued dogs

An anonymous pair of donors has created three scholarships for therapy dog training in memory of their Labrador retriever, Buddha. One scholarship will fund the training of a rescued pup at Waggle Tails LLC in Belfast from puppy preschool through basic and intermediate obedience, and a therapy dog course. A second will go to a rescued dog whose basic training is already solid and will cover the therapy dog course at Waggle Tails, as well as evaluation and registration fees for Therapy Dogs International. A third award has been made to a dog who just began therapy dog training at Waggle Tails.

“Buddha had soothing presence and a passion for children and the elderly,” said Lane Fisher, owner of Waggle Tails. “After he died unexpectedly, his guardians wanted to turn their heartbreak into something good. They want to enable dogs who had rough starts in life to become ambassadors of love, which Buddha most definitely was.”

For information on therapy dog requirements, visit To apply for a Buddha Scholarship, call 338-1123.

Harvest Tea

The annual English Tea and bake sale will take place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. New and vintage cookbooks, and modern and vintage costume jewelry will be available for purchase.

The traditional Victorian-style party, now called a Harvest Tea, will offer live music, cucumber sandwiches, mince tarts, scones with clotted cream, molasses cookies, lemon pound cake and English tea, brewed and served from heirloom china teapots.

In addition to baked goods, the bake sale will feature dilly beans, pickles, salsas, fruit jams and preserves made by the women of St. Margaret’s.

Admission is free. The English tea service costs $10. Proceeds from the fair will benefit the Game Loft, the Belfast Food Pantry and St. Margaret’s General Fund.


Best foliage town

Camden was named the third-best foliage town in New England, up from sixth in 2010, according to a poll conducted at,Yankee Magazine’s fall foliage website. The voting took place from mid-August through Sept. 28.

To qualify for consideration, tourism professionals, along with some of Yankee Magazine’s writers and editors, convened to determine the Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England. Towns were then scored on a scale of 0 to 5 in 14 areas that make up the perfect fall foliage travel destination — color intensity, scenery, vistas, nearby water, scenic drives, hikes, culture, farmers markets and farm stands, orchards, covered bridges, state or local parks, the quality and variety of shops to browse, and tourism amenities such as hotels and restaurants.

To view a slide show of winning foliage towns from 2010 and to share comments, visit

Keynote speaker

The keynote speaker for the Camden Conference, Feb. 17-19, will be Bill Richardson, a 2008 presidential candidate, governor of New Mexico until last December, and before that U.S. energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration, 15-year congressman and international negotiator.

Tickets for the conference, including Richardson’s keynote plus two days of discussion and debate led by a roster of speakers representing a range of viewpoints on varied aspects of America’s role in the 21st century world will go on sale to Camden Conference members Nov. 7 and to the general public Nov. 28. Attendees can listen to and interact with the speakers in person at the Camden Opera House or watch a live-streamed video feed at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, the Hutchinson Center in Belfast or The Grand in Ellsworth. For more information, visit or call 236 1034.

Evening prayer service

St. Thomas Episcopal Church Choir will lead a service of evening prayer with music at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at the church. The choir will sing canticles set to music by Alec Wyton, David Hurd and Howard Walen. Come as you are. The event is open to all. The church is handicapped-accessible at the Wood Street entrance.

Bell ringers concert

Penobscot Bay Ringers, midcoast Maine’s community hand bell choir, will present its second annual Bells by the Bay concert 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at the First Congregational Church of Camden. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

The hourlong concert will showcase a variety of familiar tunes, most of them connected to a water theme. The concert also will feature solo bell ringer Debra Hall of Rockport, and vocal and tambourine accompaniment by Susan Weber of Union.

In addition, there will be a dedication ceremony for the group’s brand-new five octaves of hand bells and hand chimes, which were purchased in June after Penobscot Bay Ringers’ successful completion of its Malmark Give-A-Bell Campaign. The audience is invited to view the instruments and equipment after the performance.

The concert is free and open to all. Donations will be accepted to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine and will be taken at the end of the concert.

For more information about the concert or Penobscot Bay Ringers, call Leigh Smith at 230-6628 or email

Food business panel discussion

During “Green October,” the Camden Public Library will explore local efforts and local effects of the “green food” movement. Specialty food producers — often operating home-based microenterprises — are a growing Maine industry. Yet starting a Maine home-based food business can be a challenge, including licensing, food safety and business skill-building. In addition, some recipes and food products for sale may need to be reviewed by the Maine Food Processing Authority.

From Recipe to Market, set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, is a panel presentation of local food startups. A representative from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension service will offer experience and expertise on what an entrepreneur needs to do to prepare a new food product for the market. Speakers will include Beth Calder, food science specialist at the University of Maine; Allison Lakin of Lakin’s Gorges Cheese LLC; and others.

Auditions for ‘A Christmas Carol’

The Everyman Repertory Theatre will hold auditions 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Camden Opera House for its production of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” An ensemble of 10 actors-singers are needed. Members of the ensemble will play themselves and a variety of Dickens characters. Those auditioning do not have to prepare a monologue, but auditioners should come prepared to sing a short selection, such as a traditional Christmas carol. The cast includes men and women ranging in age from teens to middle age.

Rehearsals will begin on Nov. 7. Performance dates are Dec. 9,10,16,17 and 18 at the Camden Opera House.


Public hearing

A public hearing on the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance of 2011, which will be on the Hope town ballot Nov. 8, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Hope town office, 441 Camden Road.


Harvest Celebration

Lincolnville’s Harvest Celebration 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at Lincolnville Central School will celebrate the bounty of local food harvested by and for the community during the 2011 season. Events include a potluck meal, field games for children and families, a Halloween costume swap, a farmers market and a variety show. For more information, contact Jim Dunham at 789-5233 or


Family Fun Day

The Coastal Children’s Museum will welcome the public to its annual Fall Family Fun Day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Activities will include pumpkin crafts, rides, a falconry demonstration and more.

Horse and buggy hay rides will take place 10 a.m.-noon, and a falconry demonstration by Barbara Tomlinson and her bird of prey is set for 1 p.m. Tomlinson, a licensed falconer who brought her owls and hawks to the museum earlier this fall, will show visitors how falcons fly, soar and hunt.

Admission is reduced to $1 to nonmembers, free to museum members. For more information, visit or stop by the museum 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Concert at the museum

The Coastal Children’s Museum will present Daisy Lee, 9-year-old Friendship fourth-grader, in concert at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Oct. 16, at the museum, 75 Mechanic St. The concert is free to members and included in the price of admission to others. Daisy has been gaining attention with her songs, guitar skills and vocals around the midcoast area, singing her songs at ball games, on the radio, at open mike nights and at Friendship Day in July.

For more information, visit, call the museum office at 596-0300 or email


Birdseed fundraiser

The annual Mid-Coast Audubon birdseed sale fundraiser is now in progress. Orders must be received by Thursday, Oct. 20. Pickup time is 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 29, at Plants Unlimited in Rockport.

Available this year:

• Black oil sunflower seed, 25 pounds, $19; 50 pounds, $36.50.

• Sunflower “meaties,” 25 pounds, $24.25; 50 pounds, $39.

• Melody Mix, 20 pounds, $14; 40 pounds, $23.

• Niger (thistle), 5 pounds, $10.

• Suet blocks, $2 each.

Send a check with order to “Seedsale Sue” 117 Texas Road, South Bristol 04568. For more information, email or call 380-1370.

Mid-Coast Audubon members live from Edgecomb to Belfast and Augusta. Throughout the year the chapter offers free programs in Camden, Belfast, Rockland, Damariscotta, Tenant’s Harbor, Waldoboro and Washington. There are numerous field trips to see birds and learn about the natural history of Maine. Visit for more information.

Book club

Five Town CSD Adult and Community Education recently began a new monthly book club, Books and Conversation. The club features books you might have missed, including high-profile fiction, nonfiction and classics. The current selection is “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, for the next meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Camden Hills Regional High School. Participants should read the book before the meeting. Students will have input on books chosen for subsequent classes and will be responsible for obtaining their own copies of the reading material. Call Five Town CSD Adult Ed at 236-7800, option 5, or visit, to register or for more information.

Grant workshops

The Maine Community Foundation will host a free grant information workshop 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the Community Meeting Room at the Rockland Public Library, will be geared to nonprofits located in Knox County. Foundation staff will cover the guidelines and application process for the Community Building Grant Program. Members of the foundation’s Knox County committee, a regional advisory group that assists the foundation in making grants in the region, will be on hand to meet nonprofit organizations and answer questions. The workshop is free. RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 20, to Tim Williams at the Maine Community Foundation, 877-700-6800 toll-free or

Stockton Springs

Benefit supper

The Stockton Springs Community Church will hold the final steeple fundraising event of the season with a chowder supper 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Griffin Memorial building next door to the church. The cost is $7, $3 children under 10.

Though no further fundraising events are planned for the winter months, donations will continue to be accepted through the special steeple account. Mail contributions to: Save Our Steeple, Seaboard Federal Credit Union, P. O. Box G, Bucksport 04416-1207.


Benefit walk

The fifth annual CROP walk to end hunger will take place Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Thomaston Federated Church, 8 Hyler St. Registration will take place 9-9:30 a.m. Choose a mile-long walk or a half-mile route. Light refreshments will be provided when participants return to the church. For more information or to request a pledge sheet, call 354-0655.


Advance directives

The Rev. Robert George will talk about advance health care directives, answer questions and offer help with various forms that will be available at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at Broad Bay Congregational Church, 941 Main St. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 832-6898.

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