Neighbors Driving Neighbors - fundraiser

Many of you already know about the good Neighbors Driving Neighbors (NDN) does to help our several towns' citizens age-in-place, even in some ways during the pandemic. This is one of NDN's major annual fundraising events.

The NDN online auction is now open for bids! It will run until August 1st with new items added throughout. Go here to bid high and often!

This annual fundraiser, along with donations and grants, allows us to pay for our modest staffing, insurance, background checks, and other expenses associated with running NDN.

Thank you and have a wonderful summer!

Mary Beth

PS Spread the word!

Mary Beth Paquette, Executive Director 
Neighbors Driving Neighbors
PO Box 142
Mt. Vernon, ME  04352
207-441-1264 (cell)

Planning Board Meeting - May 26, 2021



The meeting convened at the Town House at 7:00 PM; members present were Waine Whittier, Alan Williams, and Creston Gaither. Minutes of the April 28 meeting were read and accepted.

Waine has had some inquiries about boats moored in the ponds. The possibility of an ordinance dealing with this was discussed. It was agreed that the Board should not move forward on this matter until the entire Board is present. Waine may discuss this issue with MMA.

The meeting adjourned at 7:25 PM.

Creston Gaither, secretary

Warning! Brown Tail moths are here in Vienna

Vienna is now being invaded by the brown tail moth which is not only a serious forest pest, but also a human health concern.  For anyone who has experienced the rash caused by the exposure to the hairs of the caterpillars it is really uncomfortable and can cause serious problems.  There are some precautions folks should take now and some methods to manage the population at other times of the year. 

Follow this link to important information from the Maine Forest Service.

Particularly there is a very comprehensive list of frequently asked questions that should provide lots of answers to questions.

Vienna Record: Jun-Jul 2021

View the Jun/July 2021 issue here

Selectmen's Minutes April 6,  2021 through May 25, 2021

Planning board minutes - March 24, 2021 and April 28, 2021

From the Health Officer "A Little Jab Will Do Ya: Part II"

Mill Stream Grange - Celebrating National Grange month

Dr. Shaw Memorial Library News

Mount Vernon Community Center

Vienna Broadband Committee News

Fire Department News - Vienna Fire Department’s annual Chicken Barbecue! Sunday, July 25th

A Little Jab Will Do Ya, Part II

A Little Jab Will Do Ya, Part II

Getting a COVID-19 Shot Locally

Dan Onion, MD, MPH

Mt. Vernon/Vienna/Fayette Health Officer


June 2021

Last edition, I wrote about why and how to get vaccinated to protect yourself, those you love and the whole community. Then, the single shot Johnson and Johnson (J+J) vaccine had just come out, Covid variants were just being found, and shots were just becoming available for those under 60. 

A lot has changed for the better since then. The Pfizer vaccine now is approved to be used down to age 12, and it looks like the Moderna one will be soon too. Both those take 2 shots, 3 or 4 weeks apart respectively. The nation, led by Maine, is now over 50% vaccinated and climbing, even counting the ineligible kids under 12. As of the 3rd week in May, 57% of eligible Maine residents had had at least one dose of vaccine and 54% were fully vaccinated. I’m sure those numbers will be close to or over 60% by June 1. This last week in May has seen average daily rates drop under 100 new cases/day, the lowest since a full year ago. Just the week before those numbers, I had a brief meeting with Maine CDC director, Dr Nirav Shah, who was ecstatic they had just dropped under 200. Things are getting rapidly better. So, with fingers crossed, we can hope that the surge in hospitalizations and deaths will also drop, as they should with a several week delay. And newest data suggest that is indeed happening. The elderly population, now vaccinated at rates over 75% in Maine, has seen a huge drop in COVID hospitalizations and deaths. Unfortunately, the younger age groups in their 20s and 30s now represent nearly 50% of Covid deaths in Maine. Nearly all the mortality is in the unvaccinated. And all the states are experiencing a similar decline, correlated with vaccination rates. 

Now, the Maine and Federal CDCs as well as Governor Mills are relaxing most restrictions including in- and outdoor distancing, masking, and handwashing, because vaccinated people appear to be enjoying the promised 90+% protection from symptomatic illness. Subsequent follow up of mass vaccinations now show that the vaccinated are also very rare transmitters of Covid to others. The usual precautions like masking will remain in place in medical settings, public transportation and a few at risks groups. 

Many of unvaccinated residents remain hesitant about the vaccine, worrying that it is “too new”, not fully studied, not effective enough, or responsible for intolerable side-effects. But those concerns are proving unwarranted when compared to the risks of the disease itself including hospitalizations,mortality, and “long Covid”, the chronic fatigue and various organ impairments seen after acute Covid and causing months and maybe years of impairments. The scare about J+J causing brain clots has diminished, appearing to be very, very rare, barely a dozen cases among millions of shots. Vaccines do often make recipients sick with body aches, pains and a low-grade fever in the first 24 hours or so afterward; be encouraged by that, it means the shot is helping your body develop strong immunity to the virus.

Given that level of protection, as good as or better than vaccines for any other disease, the relaxation of restrictions make sense for the fully immunized. There still are and will be the few (under 8%) who still get the disease, but usually mild cases, despite being vaccinated. In the trials with 70,000 people, none suffered severe illness or death. Those outcomes are proving proving fewer than 1 in 100 thousand. There have been a few in Maine, mostly in people with impaired immunity, though some not. Don’t be discouraged that this represents vaccine failure. Like most things in medicine, vaccines are never 100% protection but they always reduce the risk of severe infection, like the flu shots do.

So, my hope now is that we can get the rest of the population vaccinated ASAP, in order to reduce the rate of illness and death as well as decrease the viral population in our communities. The fewer people the virus infects, the less likely it is to mutate/change into a more resistant bug. The new variants have already mutated into more transmissible strains, though so far remaining sensitive to present vaccines. The pharmaceutical industry is also gearing up to modify vaccines quickly to meet any such transformations.

The Maine CDC just last week posted vaccination rates by zip code and ranked by those over or under 60% ( They show that Fayette/Kent’s Hill is doing the best by far with 78% of its eligible population fully vaccinated, followed by Mt Vernon (63%), Belgrade (61%), Rome/Oakland (57%) and Vienna (53%)). How surprised I, from Vienna, was by that!! COME ON VIENNA, CATCH UP!!


One way to help people in our towns who aren’t yet vaccinated, is to provide free shots locally. The Mt Vernon Rescue service is organizing a local vaccine clinic to administer either the PFIZER or J+J vaccines to all comers, at a Mt Vernon Community Center clinic on Sunday, June 13, 11 am-5:30 pm. We are also arranging transportation to the clinic or even home visits if needed. 

There are still cases popping up in the unvaccinated in our towns. Please get vaccinated, if you haven’t already, and urge family and friends to do the same if not for themselves, then for their unvaccinated older friends and family. The jury is in, the definitive data is there now, it is far better to be vaccinated than sick or dead from COVID!





11 am to 5:30 pm

Mount Vernon Community Center

By town beach, across from fire station



(More of the former, 2nd clinic 3-weeks later; J&J one shots mostly for the homebound)









Dan Onion, 293-2076 or 242-6224

Or Tom Ward, 293-1016



Planning Board Meeting - April 28, 2021



At 6:15 PM regular members Waine Whittier, Creston Gaither, Ed Lawless, and Tim Bickford visited the Heath Dolloff lot on Flying Pond, shown on tax map 11 as lot 13-H to consider Mr. Dolloff’s proposal to add a platform and deck with a porch on the southerly end of the existing house along with a porch and stairs on the westerly side of the house.

The regular meeting convened at the Town House at 7:00 PM, with the aforesaid members present along with regular member Alan Williams. Minutes of the March meeting were read and accepted.

Bob Nurse appeared; he wants to build a 2-car garage within the Stream Protection District. He would like it to be about 50 feet from the brook. Waine read from pertinent sections of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, which indicate that the Board of Appeals could issue a variance for this use based on a finding of hardship. Bob was advised that the Planning Board would be unlikely to approve an application for the garage as Bob described it. The requirements for a finding of “hardship” were reviewed; it seems unlikely that Bob could meet them.

It was noted that the Board had not made Findings of Fact regarding the Morin permit it approved in March. The permit has not yet been issued. Findings of Fact were made and the Board voted 4 – 0 to reaffirm its approval of the permit. Tim Bickford abstained as he had missed the March meeting.

The Dolloff application outlined above was considered. An informal site plan has been received. It was agreed that, given the steep slopes on the site, that conditions of approval should include the stabilization of the soil in the vicinity of the proposed deck. Based on its on-site observations and on the site drawing, and a subsequent examination of the pertinent flood hazard map, the Board determined that the project as outlined above:

  1. Will maintain safe and healthful conditions;
  2. Will not result in water pollution, erosion, or sedimentation to surface waters;
  3. Will adequately provide for the disposal of all wastewater;
  4. Will not have an adverse impact on spawning grounds, fish, aquatic life, bird or other wildlife habitat
  5. Will conserve shore cover and visual, as well as actual, points of access to inland waters;
  6. Will protect archaeological and historic resources as designated in the comprehensive plan;
  7. Will avoid problems associated with floodplain development and use; and
  8. Is in conformance with the provisions of Section 15, Land Use Standards.

The Board voted 4 – 0 to authorize Creston to issue the usual permit by letter, with the said condition of approval included. Alan abstained as he has represented the applicants.

CMP “pole permit” policy was discussed. Tim said the pertinent statute covers all permits under 30 MRSA & not just subdivision and shoreline zoning. Waine proposed that individual Board members be authorized to sign Form 1190 provided that they are confident that any proposed structures have the requisite Notification of Construction and SSWD permits, along with any SZO permits required, and that it is not part of an illegal subdivision This was adopted as Board policy 5 – 0.

The meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM.


Creston Gaither, secretary

Vienna Record: Apr-May 2021

View the April/May 2021 issue here

Selectmen's Minutes Jan. 26,  2021 through Mar. 23, 2021

News from the Town Clerk - Municipal Election Results

Planning board minutes - Jan. 27, 2021 and Feb. 24, 2021

From the Health Officer "A Little Jab Will Do Ya: Getting a COVID-19 Shot"

Mill Stream Grange - Dorothy Waugh Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Shaw Memorial Library News

Mount Vernon Community Center

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