Meddybemps

Linda Baniszeski

Deepest sympathy to the family of Hilda Lord.  She passed away August 1 after a year long illness.  Barbie Clark’s daughter and family are here from New York State during this time. Her daughter and Barbie’s granddaughter, Morganne could not be here, as she is in Guatamala on a missions trip.  

Linda Gordon asked me to tell everyone who worked, donated, attended and was involved in the Meddybemps Summer Festival, “it wouldn’t have been a success without you.”  She also said, “it was the largest parade we’ve ever had.”  Among the great entertainment not noted in last week’s news was singer, Melissa Cushing who accompanied herself on guitar.  Also in town for the Festival were Chris and Mindy Brown and Alyssa Shaw and her mom, Jennifer Doten. Seasonal residents are essential to our events success; and included the extended Teele, Rothberg, Bloomhardt, Hews, Saeger, Doran, Bogden, Adelman families and many more.   My sister Michele and her daughter Andrea from PA and VA, respectively, greatly enjoyed the Festival and meeting many residents.    

Linda Gordan reported on behalf of Meddybemps Cemetery Committee, “old fence posts are being removed and new ones are being installed where needed.  It is a work in progress.” Dan Wallace has been contracted to do the work, which is paid for through donations.  

Happy, healthy birthday wishes are extended to Paul Johnson - August 8, Carolyn Furlong - 11; Bill Doten, Jr. - 12,  and Bob Gordon - 13.  It is always good to see Ruth and Bill Doten, Sr., back in Meddybemps for the summer.  

Alyssa Shaw has been staying with her grandfather, Terry Reynolds over the past two weeks. Alyssa enjoyed Sunday afternoon with Terry and Tammi Smith at the rim.  There was a nice crowd there -- people and pets. Jeff Dineen’s adorable little girl, Violet, charmed everyone; along with her Boston Terrier, Molly.  Molly continually stole tennis balls from Debbie and Carl Gordon’s fun loving golden and lab retrievers.  The Delmonico’s grandsons, Everett and Easton had a great time swimming.  Some fun loving folks from Bear Cove asked me to put some of their news in the news.  It was great meeting them; but I told them I couldn’t because they don’t live in Meddybemps.  

Karen and Dennis Gilbert and their son and family returned to Pennsylvania on Friday.  Corey, Andrew and TJ Gilbert (ages 6, 4 and 2) woke their parents, Todd and Tammi, at 5:30 a.m. their first morning here.  They said, “it’s perfect for fishing.”  Todd and Tammi said it was the only time, other than Christmas morning, when the boys woke them that early. They didn’t want to leave.

 The boating population of Meddybemps Lake most likely tripled during last weekend’s Junior Fishing Derby.  Sixteen boats were processed through the Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) at the town dock.  The CBI program needs more volunteers for weekends throughout August until Labor Day.  Shifts are 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Penny Lurie is at the dock during morning hours.   Meg Teele Rothberg trains volunteers and provides a free T-shirt for CBI “agents” (my word, not hers).  All kidding aside, this is a very important program to keep our lake free from damaging, invasive plant life that often comes into lakes by way of visiting boats that have been on other, not so pristine bodies of water. 

Lake Meddybemps Association’s (LMA) Annual Pancake Breakfast with silent auction was a great success.  Proceeds continue to fund quarterly and annual lake water sampling and testing. LMA members, officers, directors and friends prepared, served and cleaned up the breakfast.  Thanks to all involved for a delicious meal!

The LMA annual meeting, August 3 was well attended by seasonal and permanent Meddybemps residents. There was a Maine Audubon Society presentation about loons, updates on water purity and future testing, and election of officers and directors.  Plaques were presented to Pete and Liz Trouant for their service as outgoing President and Treasurer, respectively. Current LMA officers are:  Liz Bloomhart Doran - President; Karen Putnam - Vice President; Diane James - Treasurer, and Katy Hews - Secretary. Directors are Beth Teele Haidinger, Carey James, Glenn Ball and Margie Stockman.

During the LMA annual meeting, Pete Trouant and Carey James reported that phosphorous levels remained normal throughout 2013.  This is good news. High phosphorous levels create algae blooms which choke the oxygen out of lakes and kill fish. Meddybemps property owners are doing a good job so far in keeping the lake healthy. Phosphorous free fertilizers are essential to keeping a healthy lake, due to run-off through storms and streams going into the lake that carry pollutants.  Oxygen, conductivity and temperature readings are taken in August and September.  All 2013 values fell within normal ranges.  For more details contact Carey James at  chemjames@gmail.com.  

Kara Papykyrikos from Maine Audubon Society provided a comprehensive presentation about loons -- particularly the dangers of lead fishing sinkers, lures and gear and how they effect loon mortality.  Fascinating facts about loons is that they eat about 2# of fish per day.  Groups of loons are called “rafts.”  Chicks ride on their mothers’ backs from 1-2 weeks to keep them warm and safe from predators.  They can fish for themselves after 10-12 weeks.  Pete Trouant shared, “During the annual loon count, no chicks were counted.  Since then, however, quite a few have been spotted around the lake.  That’s good news concerning our loon population.” Ms. Papykyrikos presented research indicating Maine’s loon population has been stable over specific periods of time, despite some annual fluctuations due to storms, flooded or marooned nests, and predators.

Black flies target loons and are the cause of emerging diseases including hemo (blood) parasites, intestinal and fungal illnesses.  Other causes of death are mercury deposited atmospherically in water, monofilament fishing line enganglements and lead poising from sinkers and lures that loons ingest.  

Maine’s loon population trends have been consistent.  Since 1980, the loon population in Maine has actually grown, based on the Audubon Society’s Loon Project which began in 1980; with an annual count the third Saturday of July. Visit www.maineaudubon.org. for more comprehensive details about loon programs.  

Next week, news about the visiting missionary family at Meddybemps Christian Church will be shared.  Also to be reported  are more details concerning LMA Fundraising Committee activities; Audubon initiatives for loon characteristics and safety; water testing schedules and related costs; Ed Ketchen Memorial Fund for water quality testing; new Maine Department of Transportation Bridge in the village; Isabella Bertrand property; and emerging tree blights we need to be aware of: unwanted Aian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer.

 Please send news to LBaniszeski@myfairpoint.net or phone 454-3719.