Tri-Town-Notes: March 23

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Community Services director schedules meet-and-greets

Paula Paladino, the new executive director of Freeport Community Services, is holding a series of meetings to introduce herself and get to know the volunteers who enact the mission of the organization. Volunteers and staff are invited to have coffee and refreshments  and share input with Paladino 9 -10 a.m. Friday, March 24 in the Bradley Room.

Paladino is also planning a meeting for thrift store volunteers from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 29 to talk about the store and some ideas for the summer months. A Food Pantry Volunteer Meeting will be held 11 a.m.-noon Friday, April 7.  Paladino wants to begin holding quarterly meetings for both groups to regularly to update volunteers on news and events, policies, changes and anything else impacting the store and the pantry, and to get feedback on how things are going.

Paladino believes the backbone of FCS rests with the volunteers, committed staff, and board leadership. She has already met many people involved with FCS, and is interested in learning about volunteers’ motivation and interests in FCS. She has already heard a lot of suggestions and ideas that are very interesting, and is looking forward to hearing many more. Paladino wants to meet more of the many volunteers involved with FCS, and encourages people to stop by and visit anytime.

Space: the final frontier

We’ve all heard of black holes, but do you really know what they are or how they work? To learn, join award-winning science teacher Jon Wallace, who will present a free program called “Black Holes, Neutron Stars and Magnetars” at Freeport Community Library at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 3.

Did you know a teaspoonful of material from a neutron star weighs millions of tons? Did you hear that scientists have recently discovered gravity waves? Come explore the world of stars, their creation, and explore gravity at the extreme with Wallace, who retired to Maine after a teaching career in Meriden, Connecticut, that spanned more than 32 years. Wallace is past president of the Connecticut Association of Physics Teachers and a former instructor in Wesleyan University’s Project ASTRO program. He has managed the Naugatuck Valley Community College observatory and run many astronomy classes and training sessions throughout Connecticut. Wallace has had an interest in “non-visual” astronomy for over 30 years, and has built or purchased various receivers as well as building over 30 demonstration devices for class use and public displays. He was on the Board of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers and is now its education coordinator. He’s helped develop teaching materials for SARA and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for use with its  Itty-Bitty radio Telescope educational project, as well as beginner materials for the SARA website and journal.

In addition,  Wallace wrote a series of four articles in 2009 and 2010 about radio astronomy for QEX magazine. He is developing a video and support materials for a microwave antenna demonstration that he hopes to post on the SARA website soon. His other interests include collecting meteorites and raising arthropods and insectivorous plants. Wallace has a Bachelor of Science in geology from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in environmental education from Southern Connecticut State University.

Freeport sea captain featured in local book

Kristin Krause Nam, author of the recently released “Last Voyage of the Hornet,” will speak about her book Monday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Freeport Community Library.

The book tells the true story of Capt. Josiah Mitchell, a Freeport native whose ship, the Hornet, burned in the Pacific in 1866. After the first mate accidentally sets fire to the ship, 31 men must flee in three small boats with only three days’ rations. The crewmen must contend with the natural world in the form of enormous waves, swordfish, and a tornado. As resources dwindle they increasingly contend with each other as well. There is talk of mutiny, murder – even cannibalism.

Over the course of their adventure, the men drift an astonishing 4,300 miles – a feat that rivals the better-known stories of Captain Bligh or the whale ship Essex. When they finally reach safety, the crew meet an ambitious, but frustrated, young reporter named Samuel Clemens who recognizes this story as the break he needs. He writes up the tale and finds the fame he seeks as Mark Twain. Based on the diaries of Captain Mitchell and two passengers, “Last Voyage of the Hornet” is a tale of leadership, courage, and the refusal to surrender.

The library invites the public to attend this free book talk, when copies will be available for purchase and signing the same evening. For directions to Freeport Community Library go to www.freeportlibrary.com, or call 865-3307.

‘Grow Your Own Organic Garden’ 

Each year Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association sponsors a statewide educational event called “Grow Your Own Organic Garden” at over 30 different locations in Maine. The workshop held at Freeport Community Library will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 in the Community Meeting Room. This workshop is open to folks of all gardening skill and experience levels, and is designed to provide the essential skills and knowledge needed to make the transition from conventional to organic gardening. 

In the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to acquire an understanding of the basics of soil science, and how to enrich soil to produce healthy, high-yielding plants. Composting methods will be discussed. The principles of crop rotation, and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden will be discussed, as well as the difference between cultivated plants and weeds and basic weed control strategies. Common insect pests and methods of natural insect control will also be presented.

Presenter Dave Colson leads MOFGA’s Agricultural Services Program.  He has worked with MOFGA in countless ways since 1985, when his family’s New Leaf Farm in Durham first earned its organic certification. Colson has served for 18 years on MOFGA’s Board of Directors, including terms as president and vice president. The Colson Family has hosted dozens of farm apprentices, many of whom have gone on to start their own organic farm operations in Maine. 

A $5 materials fee (check or cash only) will be collected at the workshop. Pre-registration is required by calling Freeport Community Library at 865-3307. 

Get a ‘sample’ of Sample at FCS volunteer lunch 

The annual Freeport Community Services Volunteer Recognition Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 14. Comedian Tim Sample will provide the entertainment. Sample is a Maine native whose unique style of New England humor has gained him a national following. “Good Morning America” host Charles Gibson referred to him as, “The man who wrote the book – literally – on Maine humor.” Sample has also offered to be available after the luncheon for individual photos with volunteers and for autographs. 

Credit union has dollars for scholars

Applications for Atlantic Credit Union 2017 Scholarships are now available. The 2017 Atlantic Credit union college scholarship program is available to members who are graduating high school. The program offers seniors the chance to be awarded a $7,500 scholarship, a $2,500 scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship or one of eight $500 scholarships.

To be considered, applicants must fill out an application, write a 350-400 word essay pertaining to a selected question, and provide a resume and letter of reference. All applications and documents will be reviewed by the Atlantic Scholarship Committee.

To apply, members may download the application and rules document from the Atlantic Credit Union website, or obtain them at any Atlantic branch in Brunswick, Topsham, Freeport or Cumberland. Applications and rules will also be available in the guidance department at Brunswick High School, Mt. Ararat High School, Freeport High School and Greely High School. All applications must be received or postmarked no later than April 2.

Family-friendly fun at Wolfe’s Neck Farm 

Looking for some sure signs that spring is on its way? Pay a visit to Wolfe’s Neck Farm, where lambing is in full swing and family programs in the barn are soon to begin. Get a full glimpse of the new livestock barn, scheduled for a late spring opening.

Wolfe Neck Farm has an active Teen Ag Program. Make this summer tastier than ever with a CSA share grown by the Teen Ag crew. A weekly share supports efforts to cultivate sustainable growers and innovative social entrepreneurs. Reduced-cost shares are available to SNAP recipients. 

There are opportunities for teens to join in and spend the summer learning at the farm. Check out the Teen Ag Program by visiting wolfeneckfarm.org.

Check out the new Wolfe Neck Farm program line up for fun and educational family-friendly activities throughout the season. Be sure to check in frequently as more programs and details are added. Starting March 30, new activities include:

Toddlers through age 3 are invited to the farm to explore the barnyard through a variety of hands-on activity areas from 9-9:45 a.m. The cost is $5 per child and includes admission for two adults. Each additional adult is $3. 

Pre-K children ages 4-5 get to help farmers 10-10:45 a.m. with daily chores and care for the livestock during the Farmer for the Morning program. Activities depend on what is needed in the barn, and can include putting out hay, collecting eggs, sweeping, and filling water buckets. The cost is $5 a child, and includes admission for two adults. Each additional adult is $3.

Upcycle classes at Threads of Hope 

Threads of Hope Thrift, a program of Catholic Charities Maine, operates the thrift shop in Freeport, but also encourages re-purposing, renewing and reusing things from the shop. To that end classes are being offered to inspire people to reuse items. Upcoming classes include Tea Cup Candles at 5:30 p.m. March 29, and T-Shirt Bags, an all-ages class where beloved T’s become tote bags on April 8 at 3 p.m. Space is limited so registration is necessary at http://bit.ly/2np1RPG. Come early to purchase an item to upcycle or bring one from home. Additional supplies and instructions are free.

Calling all shutterbugs  

A reminder that the town of Durham is sponsoring a photo contest to find images that best share the beauty and character of the town.  The deadline for submissions is May 31 for photos that will be judged in three categories – Durham at work, Durham at Play and Durham’s Natural Beauty, with prizes offered in each category. First prize is $100, second is $50, and third prize is $50. The winning photographs will be featured on the town of Durham website and shown at the town office. For more information on submitting photos, visit www.durhamme.com.

Theater-lovers this week may want to check out “The Russian Who Checked Out,” Freeport High School’s winning entry into the state’s Class B Regional One Act Festival. The comedy with a satirical bite that may seem set in today’s national political culture competed at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish two weeks ago and walked away a winner. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. March 23 at the Freeport Performing Arts Center in downtown Freeport. On March 24 and 25, the state One-Act championships will be determined by a panel of judges at Yarmouth High School, this year’s host for the state finals. Freeport is performing its one-act play at noon March 25 at YHS.

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