Week 63: COVID-19 RANDOM NOTES WHILE SHELTERING IN PLACE

Covid-19 Random Notes, Featured, Human Interest

By Phyllis Merriam — The Buzz


Just when Rockland’s home and property owners thought the city was satisfied with last year’s re-assessments, KRT (Kryptonite Realty Taxation) has been re-hired by the city for a do -over of property assessments. We taxpayers fund KRT’ s fees, which the city has not disclosed. A Village Soup article says, “For most properties in the city, it has been since 2005 that this information was last verified. ”Say what? ! Then what was KRT doing last year when they roved our neighborhoods and citywide properties were re-evaluated, as evidenced by our tax bills?

Now the city is asking property owners to cooperate and allow KRT inside our properties. There is no legal way owners must cooperate. Looks like the city wants to crank up the taxes on the many lots and properties being built or re-habbed by out-of-staters with bags of cash and all the rest of us. When the temporary Covid real estate bubble bursts, we’ ll all be stuck with inflated property values and few buyers. Insanity. I guess we old timey Rocklanders will all have to move to trailers in Warren.


The State Dept. has issued its highest travel advisory warning Americans not to travel to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. IOC is still pressing on despite spikes in Covid-19 cases. Many Japanese are demonstrating against the Olympics. This must be crushingly disappointing to our American athletes. But athletes’ safety first.


Most mid-coast area stores are still requiring customers to be masked. If more Americans don’ t get vaccinated, a fall or winter surge is predicted among the unvaccinated. Since I and my husband are vaccinated, we are protected. I just need to get used to not wearing a mask where they ’ re not required. I do trust the Covid vaccines, having a long history of arm jabs growing up as an Army Brat. Maine CDC reports all the Maine people hospitalized with Covid were never vaccinated.

Day after day of glorious weather j ust reinforces how lovely a Maine spring can be. My neighbor’ s red and white tulips wave their cheerful colors in the wind off the water. They look like peppermint candies or Christmas candy canes. They remind me of the colors of female Candy Striper hospital volunteers’ uniforms in bygone days. Now hospital volunteers wear drab green smocks or their street clothes.


Snow Shipyard has an immense ship on the ways for repairs. It is so huge it looms over Mechanic Street. Maybe it’s a Maine state ferry? Capt. Israel Snow, whose home at 9 Water Street houses the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, founded the shipyard in the 19 th Century where his seven sons worked. The shipyard is now Rockland Marine but will always be called, “Snow’s” by locals.


My neighbors walk year-round on Dick’s Beach, across our harbor in Owls Head. Yesterday they showed me their findings: A tiny white porcelain hand from a doll and six stems from clay smoking pipes, one of which had some indecipherable markings on it. Clay pipes were first introduced during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign when tobacco was discovered and continue to be manufactured. The pipe bowls were small because tobacco was so expensive and the stems long to provide a cool smoke. How did these broken pipe stems end up in Owls Head, Maine? Did 19th Century shipbuilders on Mechanic Street discard broken stems overboard?


Looked out my kitchen window this morning to see one random yellow tulip in my backyard. I’ve never planted tulips, so how did this lone flower bloom? Maybe a squirrel dug up the bulb from a neighbor’s garden and stored it in my yard for winter foraging? Another serendipity from Mother Nature.


This story was first seen in The Buzz newspaper. The Buzz printed version is distributed in Rockland Maine each week at these locations:

Good Tern Co-op • Dunkin’ Donuts • Jensen’s Pharmacy • Rock City Cafe • Southend Grocery

The Buzz online version is available each Friday at www.TheBuzz.me.

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