The 4th of July, 2012: a special holiday
The United States flag with its fifty stars for fifty states is a major symbol of the celebrations of the 4th of July, but it didn't always have the number fifty. Looked at through the history of conflicts and wars the United States has fought the stars take on a new meaning.
Recently, two Waterville area residents spent five days in Kotlas, Russia to help celebrate the city's 95th anniversary. Since 1990, Kotlas has been sister city to Waterville and the surrounding towns, and the two visitors, Martha Patterson and Mark Fisher, are members of the executive committee of the Kotlas - Waterville Area Sister City Connection, the nonprofit organization that promotes and sustains the sister city relationship on this end.
A single stem of non-native milfoil doesn't appear to be much of a threat. The plant's fine, delicate, feather-like appearance makes it very attractive in the water. That's clearly why it was such a popular fish tank plant sold in pet stores for so many years, but when invasive milfoil gets loose there's not one stem but thousands and thousands growing in the lake and no natural enemies to stop it. This feathery plant can totally transform a lake from a recreational gem into a weed-infested nightmare that makes boating difficult, reduces lakeshore property values, and is expensive to control.
If you haven't driven through Hallowell since last February, have I got news for you! Boynton's market is back in business well, not the same market anymore that it was when the Bakers, the Boyntons, or the Bucks owned it. Today, it's in a different building, but let me assure you that the local people and those who come and go from time to time are really happy with the new arrangement.
As energy costs climb ever higher, Maine businesses are looking for ways to reduce consumption or find alternatives to produce their own energy. When considering energy solutions, conservation should always be the first consideration. Any energy audit that's worth the paper its printed on will stress this point. But once all the equipment is upgraded, and all the light switches are on motion-sensors, maybe it's time to look at energy production (or at least energy capture). The Kennebec Soil & Water Conservation District can help.
The day started out like any other: up early to get fuel for the boat and some live bait for a fun day of northern pike fishing. It was beautiful outside with calm winds and a slightly overcast sky — one of those perfect days anglers dream about.