Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits


Yeah, yeah, yeah; we know…it’s WEDNESDAY, for goodness sake!

We had intended to get this post done and published yesterday, but life intervened, as they say, and we didn’t make our deadline.  And we couldn’t come up with any cutesy alliterations to go with Wednesday. 

So just think of what follows as ‘day old’ product, at a reduced price.

Breakfast Joints:

We’ve been going out for breakfast on Saturday’s for decades.  We see Breakfast joints as a matter of habit as much as anything else.  Oh, you want good food…no question.  But you also want comfortable and familiar surroundings, staff who know you and you know, and very importantly, the ability to get a refill on your coffee without having to chase somebody down.

In recent years, Boot and Buckle, on 196 in Topsham, just beyond the Topsham Fairgrounds Mall and 295, had been our chosen joint.  So we were a bit verklempt when we learned a few weeks ago that it had been sold, and would be converted to Sylvester’s Sea Food Restaurant, to be operated by folks who previously operated in the Cooks Corner area.

We were told they might be offering breakfast when they reopened, and that many of the servers expected to stay on. They shut down for ten days or so to ‘redo the place.’  We expected a thorough changeover and a place we wouldn’t recognize.

None-the-less, we decided to check out the new operation this past Saturday.  At first blush, other than the sign out front, hardly anything had changed.  The same booths and tables, the same counter and stools, and the same cheerful wait staff.

Turns out the menu is fundamentally the same, at least for Breakfast.  And the same red dishware, with down-home chips here and there.  And wouldn’t you just know it, the prior owner Nickie (sp?) was cooking breakfast in the kitchen, just like she often had at “B & B.’'

After looking the place over, we concluded that other than a good scrubbing, the only serious changes were to the prior equine themed chotchkies, which had been replaced with nautical themed items.

We had a fine, familiar breakfast, and plenty of coffee refills from friendly faces.  Color us happy campers, at least on this account.

Amtrak Presence:


As we made our way across town yesterday, we spied this vehicle, which was new to us, and entirely unexpected.  You probably can’t make out the markings, but they read “AMTRAK POLICE.”  We first saw the vehicle in the parking area just to the west of the Mid-Coast Walk-In Clinic, across from the McLellan – our Town Hall.

When we did, it was stopped next to some cars, as if it was checking plates or some such official act.  We turned ourselves around and decided to see if we could make contact with the vehicle and speak to the occupant.

That was not to be; he appeared headed out of town, rather than to the proposed MLF site or any other accessible Amtrak area of interest.  We have no idea what brought the patrol to our perfect downtown location.  Perhaps reports of suspicious behavior from arriving or departing passengers; who knows.

Mary Heath/John Eldridge/NNEPRA:

We reported on the letter from Cedar Street resident Mary Heath to the town council and the Interim Mr. Manager, John Eldridge, in this post:

Surprisingly, the town council backed Ms. Heath up on her request, and John and Mary both appeared at the NNEPRA board meeting on Monday the 23rd to make her case.  By all accounts, both acquitted themselves very well in their remarks to the Board, and an action item was assigned to follow-up on Mary’s request.

We’ll have more to say about this meeting in an upcoming post, but for now, kudos to Mary for coming forward and following up, and to IMM (you’ll figure it out) for placing the town’s imprimatur upon her request.

Forecaster Updates on Incoming:

Regular readers know what we mean when we use the term ‘incoming.’  Recently we warned you about school construction cost increases in this post:

Separately, we noted the appearance of an item named “Graham Road Landfill Update” on a town council agenda, which sounded ominous to our practiced ears.

Well, you better make sure you have a bucket or two handy, because the water drop treatment on these items has begun, and we have no doubt we’ll all going to be getting much wetter.

Witness this article in The Forecaster on the landfill issue.  You know what a landfill is; that’s a ‘dumps” that costs a lot more than you ever realized.  Focus on this very big water drop:

Eldridge estimated the cost of closing the facility could be as high as $5 million.

Such estimates virtually always go up, up, and then up some more.  So think of closure as the equivalent of another new Police Station in a dollar sense.  The real question, though, as yet unmentioned, is what it will take to replace it, or otherwise come up with a new arrangement for dealing with our pay per bag habits.

We see alarms going off everywhere on this one, and a pressing need to raise the cost of bags by a factor of 2 or 5 to start a fund for the inevitable ‘unexpected expenses.’

Which will have to fall upon the shoulders of the same taxpayers that will pay to replace the ‘dumps’ we currently use as schools for our children.  This article in the latest Forecaster talks of the dilemma the school department faces.  Well, it’s not so much a dilemma as it is a challenge to figure out the easiest way to place the burden on the taxpayers who’ve seen a continuous stream of sizable annual increases in the property tax rate.

Well beyond that of any other towns in the area.  None of them, of course, are as perfect as we are.  But there’s always more perfection to seek out and finance, isn’t there?


Well, there you have it; ‘day old’ product.  But who doesn’t love day old critters like us.


Even if our eyes aren’t open yet.

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