Island Briefs

A native of Northeast Harbor, Durlin E. Lunt Jr. has lived in Mount Desert all his life. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN SWARTZ 

Town treasurer job upgraded 

MOUNT DESERT — The Board of Selectmen has approved Town Manager Durlin Lunt’s recommendation to upgrade the position of treasurer/tax collector to director of finance/treasurer. That action reverses a decision made in 2011 when, Lunt said, it had become hard to find someone who was capable or willing to take on the extra responsibilities of finance director. 

Now, however, he told the board, “As governmental finance continues to evolve in complexity, the time has come to return to the finance director model.  

The newly configured position will be at level seven on the town’s salary scale, the same level as the public works director and police chief and one notch below the town manager. 

The current treasurer, Kathi Mahar, has announced her retirement effective March 31. The new job designation will become effective with the hiring of her successor. 


Sweet Fern Forest program 

MOUNT DESERT — Applications are now being accepted at The Community School of Mount Desert Island for next year’s launch of a program for 4- to 6-yearold students.  

Students in the Sweet Fern Forest Kindergarten program will start in the fall and are scheduled to have their own year-round yurt for a learning classroom. 

“In a time when a strong social-emotional foundation, along with inquiry-based learning, problem solving, physical development and a sense of wonder [are] more important in early childhood development than ever, we are excited to be able to offer this program to our greater community,” said founder and director Jasmine Smith in the school’s newsletter.  

To learn more about the program, go to  


Northern Neck culvert solution 

MOUNT DESERT — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection will allow residents of Northern Neck Road to solve the problem of two deteriorating culverts beneath a short causeway that links the two sections of the road by sliding a new culvert inside each of the existing ones. 

Public Works Director Tony Smith had suggested that as a less expensive alternative to removing and replacing the galvanized steel culverts that were installed in 1983. Residents of the road have said those culverts had become a safety hazard, particularly the jagged ends. 

It is my understanding that once the new ones are in position, the portions of the old ones sticking out of the embankments will be removed,” Smith said. 


Stranding response workshop 

BAR HARBOR — If you are interested in marine mammals, would like to learn what a stranding is, or simply interested in the winter seals that inhabit or visit our waters each winter, join College of the Atlantic’s Allied Whale for a virtual Winter Marine Mammal Stranding Response workshop.  

The workshop will cover what a stranding is and why COA responds, the importance of investigating strandings, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, seal identification, a guest appearance from COA’s Dr. Sean Todd who will talk about Antarctic seals, health assessment, zoonotic diseases, and safety, plus photo-documenting the stranding scene.  

To attend, email [email protected] for a link to the Zoom workshop.  


Vaccine forum March 5 

BAR HARBORCommunity Compass is holding a forum on Friday, March 5at 5 p.m. where folks can ask experts about the new COVID-19 vaccine. Retired pediatrician Bob Holmberg will host local panelists from Northern Light Health, school nurses and more to talk about the facts and to answer 
questions. Send questions, register and get a Zoom link by contacting [email protected] 



Town manager in training 

TREMONT — Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Dunbar has been appointed by the Board of Selectmen to be deputy town manager starting March 8.  

That decision was made following an executive session during the board’s meeting on Tuesday night.  

According to Town Manager Chris Saunders, Dunbar will train with him through June to take over as town manager when Saunders departs that position. During that time and the first six months in the position of town manager, Dunbar will be on probationary status.  

“The select board and I look forward to working with Jesse to make this transition seamless and successful for Tremont’s residents,” said Saunders in an email to the Islander.  



Pet of the Week: Meet Miss Bell

TRENTON Sweet Miss Bell has only been here for a week. She has not been spayed yet, but her appointment is scheduled for Feb. 17. Miss Bell does not like other animals so she will have to go to a home where she can be the only princess in her castle. She loves catnip and cuddles and she is the perfect type of kitty to have on your lap. Miss Bell is 5 years old and in great health. She would be great for any size home. She would really just like to be spoiled rotten and have all the cozy blankets and toys she could ever want. She is very photogenic and loves any attention she can get. At this time in the shelter, she is using a highsided litter box. Miss Bell can be preadopted or she can go into fostertoadopt situation. Just call us up and ask about hershe’d be the perfect addition to any two-legged family!  


Darling’s makes donation 

ELLSWORTH  Darling’s Auto Group has donated a combined $7,500 to local cancer care centers. 

“Throughout the years, we’ve worked together to help support countless charities and organizations as they seek to make a difference in our communities,” said Jay Darling, president of Darling’s. “In October, we featured pink plates on all of our vehicles in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One weekend during this month, Darling’s donated $100 from every vehicle sold to local cancer care centers. Our customers were able to choose which of these centers would benefit from their purchase. We’re pleased to have donated a total of $7,500, which was shared by the Mary Dow Center, Sarah’s House, The Hair Preservation Program and the Harold Alfond Cancer Care Center.” 



Apt find

SALSBURY COVE    Diver Ed Monat finds an unexpected—but apt—item in Salsbury Cove during his latest plunge off the F/V PISSPOT. The sunken treasure was found on Feb. 4. while diving for scallops. 


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