Wednesday, September 20, 2006


News from Maine

Last Saturday in Litchfield (from the Kennebec Journal police log):
At 5:49 p.m., at Huntington Hill Road there was a herd of goats in the roadway that was obstructing traffic.
Last Sunday in Sidney (ibid.):
At 12:27 a.m., deputies responded to an I-95 caller who said he had hit a moose.
Now is the mating season for moose, and amorous urges sometimes compel bull moose to approach even automobiles. My mother once encountered, but did not hit, a moose, also on I-95. It came up to her car, peered through the windshield for a while, and finally wandered off. It probably didn't help that my mother usually drives at about the speed of an ambling moose.

If I can ever afford to retire, I would like to move to Farmington, Maine (population 7,410), where I own some land. The news from Farmington was unsettling this week (from the Morning Sentinel police log):
Rumors of a possible gang fight among middle-school age youngsters at the Farmington Fair Monday night were baseless, according to Farmington Police Chief Richard Caton III.

"We had about 20 to 25 calls today from parents, teachers, bus drivers who said they had heard something was going to happen and wanted to ask us about it," Caton said.

"We looked into it, called lots of students whose names were passed on to us and we called their parents and we have no evidence other than rumors," he said. "We are all on high alert and will have zero tolerance for any illegal activity and will aggressively enforce the law. Warnings will not be an option."

He cautioned parents, however, to be alert to their children dressing in a particular color scheme, often an indication of gang activity. The youth mentioned attend schools in Farmington, Wilton, Jay and Livermore Falls.
Despite the risk of gang violence, I wish I could attend the Farmington Fair this week and see the draft horse pull, the beekeeping exhibit, the snowshoe making demonstration, the Franklin County Fiddlers, etc. Some members of the Young Farmers 4-H Club will be showing their pigs. I'll bet none of Farmington's wannabe gangsters are members of the Young Farmers 4-H Club.

The most shocking news from Maine recently was the gruesome multiple homicide in the small town of Newry (population 344). A headline in the Portland Press Herald said Businesses fear tragedy could deter leaf-peepers. A "leaf-peeper" is a tourist who visits to see the colorful autumn leaves. If I know anything of the human propensity to peep and gawk, I would guess that the tragedy will attract more peepers to Newry than it will deter.

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