Contributed to The County.me by Steve Dobson owner of Aroostook Hospitality Inn located in Washburn and Van Buren
I own and operate two small mom and pop motels in The County, by the name of the Aroostook Hospitality Inn.
That was a great Crown and Down column Paula Brewer wrote about supporting local businesses, and I agree with everything said. However, the local business owners also need to understand they cannot scalp the local shoppers and tourists who shop here.
Let me give you an example. I needed some toner for one of my laser printers. I had been buying my equipment from a local office supply store. When I went back to the store where I bought the printer, I told them what I needed. No problem, they had it in stock. When they brought it out to me the bill was $145. I thought that was a bit much but it was a local person so I paid it.
When I got back and opened it up, it was an Amazon product. I decided to check what the store paid for the product through Amazon. Much to my amazement, they paid $35 for the product, and it was shipped free.
I took it back and complained. This particular business said they had to make a living and they could not take it back because the package had been opened. Needless to say I have never returned to that particular business, and I tell everyone who happens to ask what my experience has been with that business.
I believe that businesses can and will thrive in Aroostook County, if everyone would work together and treat people fair and honest. I believe that most businesses in The County are fair and honest, but it only takes a few to give everyone else a bad name.
Steve Dobson Aroostook Hospitality Inn Washburn Van Buren
Some photos from around the Crown of Maine over the last few days.
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A slideshow of harvesting potatoes along the Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick. Like Maine, this area has a long history of farming potatoes and people working hard to get the crop in.
I Survived Picking Potatoes T-Shirt
For many years in Northern Maine, school would recess in the Fall and kids would spend long hard days working in the potato fields. Pick up potatoes, fill a basket, dump the basket in a barrel and repeat. When the barrel was full you earned $0.25. Repeat until sunset or longer. Many kids would use the money to buy school clothes or other necessities. Were you part of this tradition?
Fort Fairfield, Maine (AP) – Fort Fairfield Police with backup from the Maine State Police, U.S. Border Patrol and Maine Warden Service arrested three individuals Saturday afternoon on the South Caribou road in Fort Fairfield. No names have been released.
An anonymous tip led Fort Fairfield police to 3 individuals harvesting young fiddleheads out of season on the banks of the Aroostook River around 4pm. “We weren’t expecting any problems with this so early in the season,” said Fort Fairfield patrol office Jim Simmons. “The snow is still so deep which provides sprouting fiddleheads some protection from being harvested out of season.” The individuals had to dig through almost three feet of solid packed snow to reach the sprouting plants. When apprehended, they had filled almost three 5 gallon coolers with the green delicacies.
The young plants were estimated to have a street value in New York of almost $5,000. Officer Simmons says the confiscated plants will be donated to local food pantries.
In Aroostook County, fiddlehead season runs from April 25th to May 25th explains Fiddlehead Warden Lucas Green of the Maine Warden Service. While no permits are required to pick them, out of season poaching has become an increasing problem with each passing year. “As word spreads and popularity of the plants grow we have more people trying to make a quick buck from them”, says Green. “Picking the plants too early hurts the sustainability of the species. We encourage everyone to harvest fiddleheads in season only.” Harvesting fiddleheads out of season carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $10,000 fine.