Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Bethel Inn, 4:30 p.m. -- A public forum on “The Lewiston/Auburn/Montreal Passenger Rail Feasibility Study.”
Saturday, Sept. 18 – Harvestfest on the Common; Bethel Historical Society Barn Tour held in conjunction with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce's "Harvestfest," self-guided tour of a dozen or more local barns runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
School transportation management news
School district transportation initiatives have been in the spotlight at both state and SAD 44 level recently. Ron Deegan, SAD 44 (RSU44) Director of Transportation went over a lot of information about school bus mileage, bus driver training and qualifications but hit hardest on a new Web-based program. The initiative for this program started with a state-level committee which had as its main goal to find, test and buy bus route software that helped. Mr. Deegan wanted to get news of this initiative out first.
The District has acquired Route Finder Pro from the state and has linked it in the SAD 44 website. This program helps to achieve better accountability, efficiency and student safety. To see how Route Finder Pro works, open www.sad44.org. Click on the box labeled “Site Map” located near the top right of the page. In the next window, under Section Links, see Infofinder i. Click it to open Infofinder’s My Address page. When the program is fully operational registered parents will be able to use this page to get up-to-date information about their student’s bus schedule to and from school and pickup time at their address. The program uses 911 addresses.
When a parent registers at their student’s school for the first time, for example, at Crescent Park School, the student information goes into a management program known as Infinite Campus. At the District Transportation Office, certain student data including their 911 address is uploaded to Route Finder Pro.
Parents can/should register their e-mail address in Infofinder i. If there is general transportation information for dissemination, then individuals who are registered with their e-mail address will receive the information.
How many miles do our school buses travel each year? During the last school year (2009-2010), the grand total was 284,066 miles. Of the total, 194,879 miles covered to and from school; field trips accounted for 10,589 miles; sports: 17,872 miles; travel to Region 9 for 176 days: 17,867 miles; special needs travel: 15,637 miles; the 5 p.m. late run 3,517 miles; plus another 24,805 miles for other and summertime trips. There are 16 daily school bus runs to which are added the special needs runs.
Riverbank work at Sunday River
Last Monday through Wednesday a new type of riverbank erosion repair job was completed about six tenths of a mile up the Sunday River Road from Artist Bridge. Jay Milot of Caribou Springs, LLC, based in Gilead, directed the dredging and construction operation. Cross Excavation and D.A. Wilson were the two subcontractors who did the work. Three permits tacked to a nearby tree showed approval from the Maine DEP, the Army Corps of Engineers and a Newry Flood Zone work permit. The last one called the job “Rock Vane – Timber Crib Erosion Control.”
The unusual nature of the job was that instead of restoring the bank with gravel and covering it with a rock rip rap, a timber crib (imagine a horse’s crib filled with hay) was built and filled with biomass, timber debris/tree junk (instead of hay). The idea of using a biomass-filled timber crib was that what’s in the crib would absorb water energy from heavy run-off currents. Thus, downstream the river course would be more beneficially treated. According to Mr. Milot, a rock rip rap would add downstream energy and turbulence to the water flow. In other words rip rap pushes the problem downstream.
Tree trunks that were 10 to 16 inches in diameter were turned upside down and placed into the river bed like fence posts. Cross’s excavator was used to clear the river channel and in building the crib wall. D.A. Wilson Co. was providing the whole trees and hauling them to the work site from Rumford Point. After the crib wall was built and the crib filled with trees, the top was covered with a layer of soil, the border area re-bedded and mulched.
Photos of the work were sent to The Citizen and all of the photos are online at www.thebetheljournals.info/News/Riverbank_repair.pdf
Reception at Gould Academy – meet new faculty
Last Wednesday a crowd of 200-plus mingled, nibbled, sipped, and chatted in the Ordway Hall dining room ostensibly to meet new faculty arrivals. Head of School Dan Kunkle had to threaten a stay-after-school penalty for the crowd to quiet down so that he could make introductions. His threat worked. A minute or two later he could start presenting the newcomers.
Noticeable addition to the gathering of usual suspects was a small contingent from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department including Sheriff Wayne Gallant. Everyone joined lines to indulge in tasty platters, bowls and a beef carving station – all prepared by the chef’s staff. For many the reception is a much enjoyed midweek night out for dining and socializing. Some drove well over a hundred miles to attend.
Getting down to business - Jay Riley was introduced as the new Dean of Co-Curricular Programs and English teacher. Mr. Riley has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2003 and has spent thirty years in the world of business. He and his wife Beth will live near the campus.
Christopher Hayward will be an Assistant Director of Admissions. He has had 15 years' experience working with adolescents. Chris, his wife Heather and two sons live in Gilead.
Ashley Oliver, who graduated from Gould in 2003, earned a BFA from Alfred University. She will be a pottery instructor.
Thomson Riley will take over the Alpine Ski Coach position and gets to live in the Field House. Thomson graduated from Gould in 2002; Thomson began his coaching career at the Eldora Mountain Ski Club west of Boulder, Colorado.
Ryan Snee comes to Gould as an English Studies Program teacher and as Men’s Varsity Soccer coach. Mr. Snee comes to Gould from Danvers, Mass. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire.
Eric Ziner comes to Gould as this year’s Artist in Residence. He is a sculptor, blacksmith and with his wife owns the Greene-Ziner Studio on Deere Island, Maine.
Other changes for this year include: Cindy Brown will be the academic tutor for the On-Snow program; Brian Broderick will be a full-time ski coach; Carrie Lynch will become a full-time College Counselor; Kurt Simard will also coach Women’s Varsity Soccer; Martha Whittington will now be Head Field Hockey coach assisted by Katie Stack and Kim Tremblay.
Trappers Weekend at Neil Olson’s
If you drive by Neil Olson’s place on the East Bethel Road, you see his driveway, trout pond and buildings set to the rear of the pond. What you don’t see are the large fields. The fields were mostly filled with all kinds of camping rigs, cars, vans, pickups, etc., that are social and trappings stands of Trappers Weekend. The center of action is a tent-covered amphitheater, food galley and T-shirt/screen factory opposite the pond. The guest speakers hold forth to those in the center-ring audience. But the real show for a casual visitor like me lies in the mile or more of campsites and vendor’s stands that line the temporary driveways throughout the field camping area. Here was the market place, socializing corners and trading posts.
I couldn’t begin to name all of the gear that was displayed and for sale or trade at the weekend gathering. If you trap in the winter, you need snowshoes, so there were snowshoes. If you set traps, you need to make the area that they are in look undisturbed and natural, so there was “cover-up” material and supplies. If you want to bait the area or make it attractive to your targets, there is what I would call a trapper’s pharmacy with different scents. Of course, you have to eat; so there were stands with preserves for carrying with you on trapping forays. Overall, walking around through the camping area, one would call it a very sociable place. This last weekend was particularly enjoyable due to fine, sunny days – almost didn’t seem like Maine the weather was so good. Most of the license plates were Maine, plus a sizeable number from New Hampshire and Vermont.
For a look at the weekend scene at Olson’s you can see some of it at this Web address: http://www.thebetheljournals.info/Events/Trappers_Weekend.pdf.