Elders-group bus coming soon

The Freeport Elders Association at Freeport Community Services has reached its goal of fundraising for a new bus. Approximately $55,000 has been raised through raffles, Christmas fairs, gift-wrapping at L.L. Bean, memorial donation and other gifts.

The new bus is being built by O’Connor Motors in Augusta and is expected to be delivered in April. The new vehicle will replace the 13-year-old bus that was taken out of service in July 2012 after a host of structural problems caused the bus to fail a state inspection.

School to host tasting, film screening

Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport will host David Levi, chef/owner of the new Vinland Restaurant in Portland, who will provide fresh, local, organic snacks and a brief talk prior to the screening of the documentary, “Fresh,” on Monday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m., at Merriconeag Waldorf School’s Community Hall, 57 Desert Road. Tickets are $15. The snow date is Feb. 10)

The documentary celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Levi’s new restaurant, Vinland, 593 Congress St., is the first restaurant in the United States to serve 100 percent local, organic food.

Tickets to the event can be ordered online at brownpapertickets.com/event/559512. For more information, see www.merriconeag.org or call 865-3900, ext. 105.

Low-cost spay/neuter clinic in February

Warmer weather may still be months away, but Community Spay-Neuter Clinic in Freeport is urging cat owners to “Beat the Heat” by spaying cats in advance of their heat cycles and preventing unwanted litters from being born this spring. The clinic is offering a special “Beat the Heat” campaign sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America. The clinic will provide $20 spay and neuter surgeries for female cats during the month of February.

Spaying and neutering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population and is safe for kittens as young as 8 to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Spaying a female cat before the first heat cycle can be beneficial, improving the health of the pet by reducing the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.

Community Spay-Neuter Clinic will provide 250 female cats sterilizations for $20 in February. Visit www.communityspayneuterclinic.com or call 865-0772 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Benefit dinner for fire victims

Two Ware Road families lost their homes and all their personal belongings in separate fires on the weekend of Jan. 19. Neighbors have scheduled a benefit bean supper, Saturday, Feb. 1 from 4-8 p.m., at the Freeport Masonic Lodge, 33 Mallett Drive. The cost is $7 for the dinner, and additional donations would be appreciated. Accounts have been set up through Atlantic Regional Federal Credit for “The Argraves Family Fund” and “The Scott Family Fund.” Visit the Facebook page for more information, www.facebook.com/WareRoadFires. The link to donate online is GoFundMe.com.

The Freeport Fire Department will be on hand at the dinner on to help promote fire safety and provide information about preventative measures and proper placement of devices in the home.

Yo-Yo People coming to town

The Yo-Yo People – John Higby and his wife, Rebecca Loomis Higby, who grew up in Yarmouth – will be at the Freeport Theater of Awesome on Depot Street this weekend, performing an entire show based on the yo-yo, reminding audiences of old favorite tricks such as Walk the Dog and Rock the Baby, then amazing audiences with new and bizarre tricks, such as Boingy-Boingy and Iron Whip.

Yo-yos attached to bouncy balls, yo-yos with 10-foot strings, and multiple yo-yos looping while hula hooping and unicycling are just some of their feats. They have been seen on David Letterman, hold three Guinness world records, a 2008 Yo-Yo World Champion title, and have performed in some 25 countries. Their shows are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, see www.theaterofawesome.com.

AARP offering free tax prep aid

AARP will again be providing free tax preparation assistance for low to moderate-income households, with special attention to those 60 years and older, Wednesay mornnings, Feb. 5-April 9, at the Freeport Community Center. Assistance is available by appointment only. Call 865-4743, ext.120, to schedule.

Food historian talking on comfort food

For its first public program of the year, Freeport Historical Society will host food historian Sandy Oliver, who will present a new program entitled “Comfort Food: Now and Then,” Sunday, Feb. 16, from 2-3 p.m., at Harrington House, 45 Main St., Freeport. Storm date is Feb. 23.

Oliver, who lives on Isleboro, will discuss the concept of American comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and spaghetti and meatballs. These and other foods evoke homey, familiar and comforting memories and longings. Since the term “comfort food” is a recent development, she will speculate on what foods might have been considered comfort foods in the era in which these dishes were developed. She will also be signing copies of her new book, “Maine Home Cooking.”

Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door. For more information or to purchase online, see www.freeporthistoricalsociety.org.

Freeport Players present ‘Talking With…’

“Talking With…”, a play by Jane Martin that consists of a collection of monologues, will be performed Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m., at the Freeport Community Center, 53 Depot St., Freeport. The play was the winner of the 1982 American Theatre Critics Association Award, Best Regional Play. “Talking With…” gives voice to idiosyncratic characters who will both amuse and move the audience. Tickets are $10, and are available online at www.fcponline.org/tix.htm or in person at the Thrift Store at Freeport Community Center. Seating is limited.

For more information, visit www.fcponline.org or call 865-2220.

Good reports from town manager

Town Manager Peter Joseph reports that, despite the rain and ice, 42 dogs were licensed during a rabies clinic Jan. 11 at the town hall, held in conjunction with Freeport Veterinary Hospital

In other canine-related news, Joseph said that Freeport Police Officer Matt Moorhouse and his K9 partner, Cassie, performed their first successful “track” on Sunday, Jan. 12, when they were called to assist the Cumberland Police Department. An individual feared to be suicidal had run into the woods and needed to be located. The K9 team tracked the person for about 2 miles. The person was escorted out of the woods safely and was able to receive assistance as a result.

Joseph also noted that the town has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2014 Fiscal Year budget from the Government Finance Officers Association. This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and represents a significant achievement by the town’s Finance Department, he said.

Tech ‘Petting Zoo’ on display

Through Jan. 30, the Freeport Community Library will have e-readers and tablets on display in the main lobby area for visitors to try out. Included will be the Nook SimpleTouch (e-reader), Kindle Paperwhite (e-reader), Kindle Fire HD (tablet), Apple iPad mini (tablet), Nook HD+ (tablet) and Google Nexus (tablet). will be on loan to the library thanks to the wonderful folks at the Maine State Library.

Farm hosting vacation camp

Wolfe’s Neck Farm has invited children in grades 1-5 to participate in a day or two of winter fun and learning on the farm during school vacation days, Feb. 20 and 21 (one or two days), from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) In the morning, campers will join the farmers in the barn full of animals, helping them care for the sheep, goats, chickens and pigs. Campers will learn about the special care farm animals need to stay healthy in winter and the changes the animal mothers are going through as they prepare for their spring lambs and kids. Other activities include snow study and play, learning about tractors and farm equipment, animal tracking, greenhouse planting and wilderness survival skills.

For more information and rates, visit www.wolfesneckfarm.org or call 865-4469 ext. 106.

Chocolate factory tours

Wilbur’s Of Maine factory tours are held Saturdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visitors are invited to tour the factory and hear a little Wilbur’s history and see and taste the products. The cost is $4.50 and the Freeport locations are 174 Lower Main St. and 13 Bow St.

Chamber sets after-hour event

The Business after Hours for the Freeport, Yarmouth and Southern Midcoast Maine chambers of commerce has been scheduled at Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern, Freeport, on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 5-7 p.m. There will be food, including samples from the Topside Tavern menu, and drink, raffles and a 50/50 drawing. Gritty’s will be providing a one draft beer voucher to each attendee. Space is limited. For more information or to register for either event, contact the chamber at 847-5240 or email [email protected].

First Friday features bluegrass

Freeport First Friday will present bluegrass music by the Windy Ridge Band on Friday, Feb. 7, at the Freeport Community Center. The concert is at 6 p.m., and dinner is at 7.

The Brunswick-based Windy Ridge Band has been playing bluegrass music at festivals, coffeehouses, restaurants, civic clubs, parades, weddings, private parties and even a rodeo since the band was established in 1989.

Freeport First Friday is a joint project of MASISTA (Maryellen and Sam In Support of The Arts) and the Freeport Community Center. Call Kim Hudak at FCS at 865-3985, ext. 202 for tickets. Cost is $15 in advance, $20 on Friday. Seating is limited.

More armchair travelogues

Several community members have agreed to share photos and travelogues of their adventures abroad at the Freeport Community Library’s 2014 Winter Armchair Travel series. The remaining destinations in the series, starting at 6:30 p.m., include:

Wednesday, Feb. 5, visit the Great Wall, old Beijing & the Forbidden City with Andrew Finnegan.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, visit Yellowstone National Park, with professional photographer Jonathan Strout.

For more information, see www.freeportlibrary.com or call 865-3307.

Tickets on sale for Flavors of Freeport

The 2014 Flavors of Freeport will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport on Friday, Feb. 21, from 5-8 p.m. Featured are two events, the Chef’s Signature Series, showcasing chefs and food producers in the Freeport area, and the Flavors Ice Bar, featuring an elaborate ice sculpture, ice luge, fire pit, barbecue and music.

Participants include The Garden Grille & Bar, Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern, Azure Cafe, Fiore Olive Oils, Gritty McDuff’s, Buck’s Naked BBQ and more. Tickets are $35 and offer access to both the Flavors Ice Bar and Chef’s Signature Series, plus one beverage (21 years and older). For more information, visit www.freeportusa.com.

Upcoming meetings

RSU Withdrawal Negotiating Committee, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m., Freeport Town Council Chambers.

Hunter Road Fields Advisory Committee, Thursday, Jan. 30, 7:30 a.m., Freeport Town Hall Conference Area.

Freeport Appeals Board, Monday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m., Town Council Chambers.

Freeport Community Library Board of Trustees, Monday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m., Freeport Community Library.

Freeport Town Council, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., Town Council Chambers.

Freeport Municipal Facilities Committee, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7:30 a.m., Town Hall.

Freeport Planning Board, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6 p.m., Town Council Chambers.

After years of fundraising, a bus similar to this Ford F-450 is being prepared for the Freeport Elders Association. It is expected to be delivered in April. 

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