Town News

Linda Baniszeski

Here we are in Meddybemps, traveling through a maze of tunnels cut through mountains of snow to get around town and into Calais, and places beyond.  It is actually simply beautiful!  Perhaps not so beautiful for people who must get to work or other important places.  For us retired folks, we are fortunate to be able to stay put in our warm homes as we look out our windows upon the winter wonderland.

For anyone who can make it out of their property and to the Meddybemps Post Office, information is posted by the US Army Corps of Engineers about the public hearing period regarding the new Route 191/Meddybemps Bridge.  The hearing period ends February 27.  For anyone who does not get to read the posted details at the Community Center, here is a brief summary:

“ ... The US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, has received a permit application from the Maine Dept. of Transportation to conduct work in waters along the Denny’s River at Meddybemps ....

“ACTIVITY: Place permanent or temporary fill below the ordinary high water line of the River .. in order to facilitate the replacement of the existing deteriorating Route 191 bridge. The project will result in approx. 180 s.f. of permanent river bed impact (abutments and shore stabilization) and 1,800 s.f. of temporary river bed impact (temporary access and cofferdams).  This work is designed to replace critical transportation infrastructure, insure public safety, and protect the economic vitality of Maine’s transportation network.

“... the Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity.  

Comments should be submitted in writing by February 27, 2015 to: Jay I.Clement, US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Maine Project Office, 657 Western Avenue #3, Manchester, Maine  043551 - e-mail:    Questions can also be directed to Jay Clement at 207-623-8367, ext. 1  at the Manchester, Maine Project Office.” 

It seems nomatter the time of year, there is always something going on with Route 191.  We traveled to Marshfield (near Machias) last Wednesday to take Scuffy to the groomer.  The roads were snowy but safely passable.  Cudos to all of the fine folks out there taking care of snow removal.  Many of us are also dealing with too much heavy snow on certain kinds of roofs. 

Snowy, Happy Birthday wishes also go to Louise Lee and Diane Gibson who celebrate theirs on February 13 and 15, respectively.  Sally Ketchen said, “It’s hard to believe that Kobe Saunders turned 11 years old last week.”  Kobe is the nephew of Dawn Winchester.  Many of us have enjoyed watching him grow since we first met him at Meddybemps Church, where Dawn and Ike took him since he was a little tyke.  Sally said she believes Kobe enjoys playing basketball.

Sally Ketchen also mentioned, “Bill Reynolds (who passed away recently) was 92 years old and a veteran of World War II,” like her Dad, Ed. Sally also said that “Bill earned a Bronze Star in the War.”  We are, and have been, surrounded by many silent heros. Sally also shared how it saddened so many when Winnie Archer passed away not too long before Bill.  Winnie was 82.  Our community has been blessed through the lives of many extraordinary people who have lived here.  They are greatly missed.  But we are better for having had them among us. Sally continues to visit various Meddybemps shut-ins.  She regularly stops in to see Ed and Maxine Arbo at their home, and said “they are doing well, and seem happy and content.”

Sally and I were also talking about the wildlife that continues to make its way through the deep snows.  There were moose tracks across her pond, and through her field and driveway.  She also saw a white weasel with a bit of black on its tail.  We discussed if a winter white weasel is referred to as an ermine, or if that is an entirely different species.  Can someone answer that for us? If not, I’ll do some research and report more about it next week.

Barry traveled to Perry to take photos of his brother’s properties along Mountain Road on East Bay.  While snowshoeing through the properties, he saw three deer walking through a plowed area.  Without the plowed paths, he has no idea how they could safely get around.  It is no wonder that complete herds of deer have been known to perish in high snows in the western states and parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England.  Nature certainly can be cruel.  Barry also saw a large coyote walking across the top of snow.  

Sally Ketchen said she hasn’t been able to get to her bird feeder, but some Redpoles have been around her house.  She mentioned that Liz and Pete Trouant have also have had Redpoles at their feeder. We have had the usual Blue Jays here, and several adorable Chickadees. It took them awhile to rediscover our feeder once we returned from our travels.

In Arkansas, we saw a huge flock of Snow Geese in a field. It made me wonder if this could be part of the huge migration of Snow Geese that we have often seen resting on a dam during migration months when we were in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  In Louisiana, a crane flew across the highway in front of us.  It is fascinating how regionally we come to take certain animal and bird species so for granted; and then are filled with amazement when we see other kinds in different states.  Among other beautiful sights, were the gorgeous horse farms outside of Louisville, Kentucky.  The hundreds of miles of fencing surrounding entire properties plus interior sections are surely worth more than all that we have ever owned.  The magnificent horses, houses and stables that fill the farms are nearly priceless and beyond description. Calumet Farms is where the famous race horse, Man O’ War was from; and one of the most spectacular Kentucky farms that we passed by.

For those who might have “cabin fever” by now and wanting something enjoyable to do this weekend, why not consider “The Red Hot dance” hosted by Calais Lioness Club on Friday, Feb. 13 at the Calais Motor Inn, 6 p.m. at a cost of $13.00 per person at the door or $10 for advance tickets.  Second Baptist is also hosting a concert on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 featuring great music and refreshments for a free will offering.


Please phone me with your family, organization and community news at 454-3719 or