“You must have fun doing ‘Valley Voices,'” a friend remarked last week.

Indeed I do. License to poke around, call strangers – almost without exception friendly – to ask questions, to find the facts.

Last week, for example, I saw a little piece in the Rumford Falls Times headlined “Crop for Life.” What? Winter wheat?

Missy Timberlake answered my call and explained.

“Cropping” is a term for what goes on at an event at which people whose chemical-free addiction drives them to crop photos for their scrapbooks. The Canton Relay for Life, American Cancer Society’s major spring campaign team is sponsoring its “Crop” on Saturday, March 21, at Dirigo High School. Doors open for the all-day event at 8:30 a.m. Call Missy (597-2640) or Kathy Walker (597-2560) for details.

In the same issue of the Times was a photo of three Mt. Valley High football captains, Tom Puiia, Travis Ruff, and Tom Gorham, wearing broad smiles and Falcon Pride T-shirts. Place your order no later than this week for March delivery.

Proceeds will go to the purchase of jackets and other gear for the team. Be reminded, Falcons, that yours truly possesses two “Rumford Cougars” T-shirts – a daughter’s solace for my big blunder in this column last spring. Yours for the asking, might fetch a dollar or two.

Some facts come to our attention unbidden and annoying. Not long ago Bob Colby bought a box of his favorite crackers. Back at home, he opened the box and found just three paper cylinders of “Ritzies” where there used to be four in a box.

In a related discovery, squinting at the tiny type on the vanilla ice cream carton, I realized that a half gallon had become – who knows when? – 1.5 quarts.

Haven’t checked this fact, but I’m betting the price didn’t drop with the contents of either product.

Last week, David Denby, a fine movie critic, was on the air promoting his new book, “Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation.” For Denby, snark is the kind of slanderous, unkind, sarcastic stuff that abounds on the Internet; one specific example is a site called “Gawker.”

Snark is an invented word. The inventor, Lewis Carroll, the author of “Alice in Wonderland,” may have melded snake and bark to get snark – no one really knows.

Fact-finding is challenging and critically important. Take wind farms.

Google “wind farms in Maine” and you’ll find advocacy for wind power. Google “opposition to wind farms in Maine” and discover its detractors. The gargantuan size of the turbines is stunning.

What of the deforestation necessary to establish a wind farm? And construction of access roads? Health issues? What of the economic benefits? Fact-finding is prescribed. And our close attention to the complex of issues tied to wind farming, urgently needed.

Linda Farr Macgregor is a freelance writer from Rumford. Contact her at [email protected]



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