SOLON & BEYOND, Week of January 5, 2017

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

As I sit down to write this week’s column, it is already 2017! Where did 2016 go? My mother-in-law always told me, “The older you get, the faster the years go!” Truer words were never spoken. It is nice to be busy, but there is such a thing as too busy! And that is what I was in 2016, hope 2017 won’t be quite so busy, ( I can dream!) Anyway, I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Starting January 4, for the months of January and February, the Embden Thrift Shop (and Lending Library) will be closed Wednesday afternoons. Bone Builders (9 – 10 a.m.) and Sewing (10 a.m. – noon) will meet as usual on Wednesdays.

Because the name of this column is Solon and Beyond, I have always appreciated news from other communities as well. This week I have room for some words from a very interesting e-mail I received from Somerset Woods Trustees about Bill Townsend receiving SWT’s 2016 Conservation Award. “Somerset Woods has many reasons to thank Bill, his dedication to conservation has bequeathed us with Townsend Preserve, the Land for Maine’s Future, free-flowing rivers and surely the best fishing stories in the county.”

Another one of Bill Townsend’s favorite hometown (Canaan), projects was the Canaan Public Library. More words from the e-mail I received: “Just a few feet from Rte. 2 sat the Canaan Public Library, located in a one-room schoolhouse from the 1850s. Despite its tough location and lack of a restroom, it was a popular place. Schoolchildren walked down in groups from the Canaan Elementary School for special occasions, people in need of a computer or wireless service logged in to connect to the internet , a knitting group met there, and books, DVDs, and a variety of items loaned.

“The Library’s trustees had long wanted to build a new library, but it seemed like a bridge just too, too far for our small town. But then Bill Townsend did something extraordinary. He donated 14 acres of land across the street, behind the town hall and fire station, and made it available to the library for a new location. His generous donation was catalytic. The townspeople, loath to take on debt, contributed up to $25,000 per year to a building fund; private foundations such as the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Skowhegan Savings Bank, Davis Family Foundation, Morton-Kelly Foundation, The Betterment Fund, and Plum Creek granted about a third of the cost of new construction; a local engineer Steve Ruell patiently designed the building with endless citizen input; and Friends of thye Library baked pies, sold used books, held events, and wrote checks.”

It took several years, with help from many people working together but in 2014 they reached their goal of paying cash for a new library on the land that Bill donated. “In 2014, we opened our doors to a lovely library that sits quietly in a field with old apple trees, ample parking, and a trail to the Carrabasset Stream.”

He envisioned a trail by the stream for children to fish from and it was built with the help of volunteers. A veteran’s memorial now graces the grounds. Flowers have been planted by the entryway and “thye little library that could” now sits on the brow of the hill that Bill Townsend donated.

“Bill Townsend will be remembered with fondness and gratitude for many, many generations, for without his generous gift to the town of Canaan, as well as his vision, this library would never have been built.”

My many heartfelt thanks for that e-mail, it was very heart warming.

I do have one more little piece of news to share. The Pilgrim Fellowship of the North Anson Congregational Church will be meeting at the church at 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 8.

Percy always did like to quote words from important people so this week his memoir is from Eleanor Roosevelt : “Do whatever comes your way to do as well as you can. Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people and about things that are interesting. Put a good deal of thought into happiness that you are able to give.”

TECH TALK: How safe is online shopping?

by Eric W. Austin
Computer Technical Advisor

My mother is paranoid. The idea of using her credit card to shop online fills her with dread. And she has good reason. A few months ago, she got a call from her credit card company asking whether she had recently used her card to purchase two round trips to Miami?!

She had not!

She was a victim of credit card fraud. In fact, 31.8 million Americans had a similar experience in 2014 – that’s three times the number in 2013. Very likely, this has already happened to you or someone you know.

Is it safe to shop online?

First, the bad news. Credit card fraud has become epidemic in the internet age. But it’s not just about hacking – it’s also about distribution: trading and selling stolen credit card information has become easier than ever.

So, how does your credit card get stolen in the first place?

Skimming is when a device is attached to a credit card reader like an ATM, gas pump, or merchant card reader which scans and stores card numbers as it is used. The thief then detaches the skimmer and downloads the credit card info.

Phishing happens anytime someone is able to trick someone into giving them personal information that they have no right to. They may do this by calling you and pretending to be a collection agency seeking a payment, or your electric company verifying your address. Or by building websites that look like your bank or favorite internet store.

SpyWare/Malware: This is software that is inadvertently downloaded and then attempts to siphon personal information from your computer and send that information back to a criminal who then sells your information, along with thousands of others on the internet black market.

Data Breaches/Hacking: You may have heard of the recent Yahoo data breach where over one billion accounts were hacked (if you have a yahoo account, and haven’t changed your password – do that RIGHT NOW!). What about Ebay, The Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, Michael’s, Staples, Domino’s Pizza, Sony Pictures Entertainment, or Target? Yep, all these companies have been hacked!

Scary? Almost makes you want to do all your holiday shopping at Hussey’s Hardware this year, huh? But it’s not all bad. And there are some things you can do to minimize your risk.

Credit card companies are well aware of this problem, and most major banks have policies in place to protect you. Often, they will call you when they see a charge that is out of character for you. Check with the bank that issued your card to make sure you are protected and are aware of the procedures in case fraud occurs.

Keeping a close eye on your account is also important so you can spot fraudulent charges and report them immediately. You can set up fraud alerts with most card companies and the three major credit bureaus.

Install anti-virus and malware protection software on your home computer, and run a scan before you do any shopping. Two good free anti-virus programs are Malwarebytes and AVG Anti-Virus.

Never use public WiFi or a public computer to do shopping. Also avoid checking your email on a public connection if you use that email for finance or shopping. Secure your WiFi at your home with a password and encryption. Activate Windows Firewall or install a third party option to further protect yourself.

Upgrade your credit cards to the new EVM chip versions. These new type of credit cards have chips which change the information being passed each time it is used, and thus prevents skimming. Countries that have adopted EVM, such as the UK, have seen a drop in counterfeit fraud by as much as 70 percent. The United States’ slow adoption is one reason this is so prevalent here.

Never give out your personal information to anyone without verifying their identity. This includes phone calls, emails, or letters asking you to provide personal or financial data. Get a phone number and call them back to ensure it’s an authentic representative of that company.

And what if it does happen? Relax. Credit card companies are so used to this by now that in most cases all that is required is a phone call and the charge is immediately taken off your account. Disappointingly, you’ll probably never know how your information was stolen. They will tell you an investigation is being undertaken, but the fraud is so prevalent that I think most companies simply consider it a cost of doing business.

How about purchasing on sites like Amazon? Amazon is one of the safest places to shop, storing all credit card information on servers not connected to the internet. While not all sites go to the extent Amazon does, generally shopping with reputable merchants online is as safe as purchasing in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Smaller online merchants typically use third-party services to process payments, so check out that service before committing to a purchase.

I hope that you have noticed that the lion’s share of fraud that happens is not the direct result of online shopping. Much of it occurs locally on your computer (malware & viruses), at a physical location where you use your card (skimming), by someone convincing you to give away information (phishing), or by hacking the companies that store your information. All of these things can happen to you even if you never buy anything off the web!

So, be smart, take precautions, but relax and enjoy the convenience of online shopping.

Have a tech question for me? Maybe I’ll answer it in my next column! Write me at ericwaustin@gmail.com subject line “Tech Talk” or use the contact form on the website.

Miller graduates from basic military training

U.S. Air Force Airman Aaron E. Miller graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Miller is the son of Franzie Pinkham, of Windsor, and Adam Miller, of Waldoboro.

He is a 2013 graduate of Richmond High School, Richmond.

Kilian named to president’s list

Grace Kilian, a senior special education major of South China, was among approximately 490 Bob Jones University students named to the fall 2016 President’s List, in Greenville, South Carolina.

 

KHS January program on researching house history

Did you ever wonder about the history of your house? When was it built and by whom? Did George Washington or Abraham Lincoln sleep there? We will discuss how to utilize existing land and other records to reconstruct the past of your house and learn about past occupants. Included will be an overview of the registry of deeds and other sources, strategies for identifying and extracting pertinent information and tips for dealing with “stone walls” and other problems.

Our speaker, Richard Bridges, is a Maine native and a graduate of the University of Maine and the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. He has been a practicing attorney since 1983, concentrating on real estate and probate law. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Central Maine Community College and as a research consultant for the Augusta Historic Preservation Commission.

The Kennebec Historical Society January Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lithgow Public Library, Community Meeting Room, located at 45 Winthrop Street in Augusta.

Richard Bridges homestead. Contributed photo

Obituaries, Week of January 5, 2017

DEBRA J. BURKE

WATERVILLE ­ Debra Jean Burke, 60, of Waterville, died Thursday, December 15, 2016, following a courageous battle with cancer. She was born May 20, 1956, the daughter of the late Blanche Burke.

She was a lifelong resident of Waterville.

Debra proudly worked as the head night custodian at NRF, in Augusta. She also worked at Harris Baking Co., in Waterville, for many years. Debra nursed her partner, Malcolm Brann, until his death and for several years cared for her disabled mother.

Debra was an avid reader and nature-lover who enjoyed camping, fishing and gardening. She loved animals. In recent years she acquired an interest in art and was learning to sketch and paint. She enjoyed her solitude, but she had a generous heart and was quick to share her garden bounty and help friends and neighbors in need.

She is survived by her sisters, Sharon L. Hammer and Cindy L. Burke, both of Waterville.

Arrangements under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, Skowhegan.

RICHARD R. MERRILL

CHINA – Richard R. Merrill, 80, died unexpectedly Friday, December 16, 2016, at his home. He was born in Augusta on July 2, 1936, the son of the late Frank Merrill, Sr. and Anita C. (Ayotte) Merrill Goodchild.

Mr. Merrill attended Augusta schools and was a communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.

He had been employed by McGee Construction for 15 years. He had also worked for Caterpillar Heavy Equipment and Power Systems, City of Augusta Public Works, Isaacson Lumber Company and Sargent Corporation.

Mr. Merrill enjoyed camping, fishing, horseshoes, playing cards, gambling and hunting. Most of all he loved telling stories (reminiscing) and enjoying life.

Mr. Merrill was predeceased by his wife of 44 years, Solange A. (Dulac) Merrill; a son, Richard W. “Billy” Merrill; his parents, Frank Merrill, Sr. and Anita C. (Ayotte) Merrill Goodchild; his paternal grandparents, who raised him as their own, Ernest and Clara (Lagasse) Ayotte.

He is survived by two sons: Andre Dulac and wife, of Augusta, and Ricky Merrill and wife Sarah, of Windsor, his daughter, Linda “Lynn” Ross and husband Danny, of Zephyrhills, Florida; his fiancée, Delores McCaslin, of China; Delores’ son, John McCaslin and wife Wendy, of Vassalboro; two brothers, Frank Merrill, Jr., of Eddington, and Ronald Merrill, of Chicago, Illinois; two sisters, Carlene Byrne, of Pittston and Priscilla Rideout, of Sidney; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at www.plummerfh.com.

Memorial donations may be made to

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, Tennessee 38101-9908.

CLIFTON L. GLIDDEN

VASSALBORO – Clifton L. “Cliff” Glidden, 91, passed peacefully at the Maine Veterans Home, in Augusta, on Monday, December 19, 2016. Cliff was born to Ona (Kimball) Glidden and Harold (Jack) Glidden of Vassalboro.

A survivor of World War II, Cliff joined the Army and was a participant of the Normandy invasion. His many active duty awards include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and the France Legion of Merit. He was later awarded the World War II Veteran Eagle-head Cane; and attended a luncheon at the Blaine House hosted by the Governor and Mrs. Paul LePage.

Cliff married Rita M. (Pare) Glidden on September 1, 1973, and resided in Vassalboro.

The majority of his career was spent at the City of Augusta Public Works Dept. While there Cliff initiated and led the Augusta School District School Bus Maintenance Program with a later promotion to maintenance supervisor.

Cliff and his wife, Rita, enjoyed most of their adult life camping with family and friends. As members of the Good Sam Club their camping trips led them through every state in the U.S. including an extended trip through Alaska.

He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Clarice (Glidden) Rabideau.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Rita (Pare) Arbour Glidden, of Vassalboro; four sons, Dale Glidden and wife Janice, of Manchester, David Glidden and wife Pam, of Readfield, Roland Arbour and wife Jean, of Sidney, and Robert Arbour and wife Sheryl, of Readfield; 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Cliff held a special bond with his granddaughter, Tamera Ellis and great-grandson, Thadd Clark.

A graveside Committal Service and Celebration of Life will be held this spring. Burial will be in the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Rd, Augusta.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at www.plummerfh.com.

Memorial donations can be made to your organization of choice.

Arrangements are under the care of Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta.

CLIFFORD J. FECTEAU

FAIRFIELD – Clifford James Fecteau, 65, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, December 20, 2016, at his home, in Fairfield. He was born December 15, 1951, in St. Petersburg, Florida, the son of Philmore and Georgia (Kenniston) Fecteau.

He graduated from Waterville High School class of 1970. He was a veteran who proudly served his country in the US Army until his honorable discharge and retired after 20 years of service with the Maine Air National Guard. He earned an associate degree in business administration with a major in marketing/management from Kennebec Valley Technical College in 1988 with honors. He became a building custodian at KVVC, in Fairfield, then was employed as a bookstore manager until he retired. After he retired, he opened Central Maine Textbooks which he owned and operated.

Clifford is survived by his mother, Georgia (Kenniston) Fecteau, of Waterville; brother, Thomas Little, of Westbrook; step sister, Elizabeth Glidden, of Augusta; uncle, David Kenniston, of Amherst. He was predeceased by his father, Philmore Fecteau.

Memorial donations may be made to HART of Maine, Inc., Adoption Center & Shelter for Cats, PO Box 351, Cumberland, Maine 04021 or the Humane Society-Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville, ME 04901.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.

DONNA M. FRENCH

FAIRFIELD – Donna Marie French, 65, passed away on Thursday December 29, 2016, following a courageous battle of many illnesses. She was born in Van Buren, October 5, 1951, the daughter of Maurice and Regina Ruel.

She was educated in the schools of Winslow and graduated from Winslow High School, class of 1971. Then continued her education and graduated from Kennebec Valley Vocational Technical Institute, KVC, and University of Maine Augusta School of Practical Nursing, and most recently, was a post-graduate in pharmacology. Donna worked at a local nursing home for 20 years until she opened French Residential Care facility for challenged adults, which she owned and operated for 15 years. She was also Queen Mother of the chapter of Red Hat Society (elegant red hat ladies).

She was predeceased by her twin sons; parents, Maurice and Regina Ruel; biological mother, Rita; biological sisters, June, Joyce and Christina McInnis; brothers, Robert King, Edward Paul King; nephew, David Goldsmith; a very special pet, Sir Rilley Ho French, a Bishon Frezie.

Donna is survived by three daughters, Rebecca Hughes and husband Mike, of Windsor, Monica Hammock and Paul Hammock, of Winslow, Tonia Savasuk and partner Keith Spencer, of Oakland; a son, Reggie French, of Windsor; daughter, Jillian French; 11 grandchildren, Samantha, Tasha, Reggie Jr, Dallas, Jillian, Jessica, Kyler, Paul Jr, Khristopher, Joshua, and Calia; two great-grandchildren, Bailey and McKenna; six biologial sisters; two biological brothers; many aunts and uncles; and a brother, Robert Ruel who was so special to her.

Memorial donations may be made to Beacon Hospice Inc. 45 Commerce Drive, Suite 12, Augusta, Maine 04330.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

MICHAEL SPAULDING

ALBION – Michael Spaulding, 61, of Albion, passed away on Saturday, December 31, 2016. He was three days shy of his 62nd birthday when he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Mike was born in Waterville on January 3, 1955, the middle of three children, to Helen (Economu) and Clyde Spaulding.

He graduated from Waterville High School in 1973, and from UMaine in 1977. Shortly after graduation he married Cindy (Jones), his high school sweetheart. This coming June would have been their 40th wedding anniversary. They went on to have two children, Michel and James. Mike was a devoted father, the kind who planned lots of camping trips and never missed a game.

He retired seven years ago after working in sales for Altria for 30 years, which included a three-year stint commuting to New York City and a year in Richmond, Virginia. Among his many hobbies and interests were traveling abroad and in the U.S. with his wife, sailing the beautiful coast of Maine with Cindy on their boat, bird hunting with his beloved dog Emma, and enjoying time with his four grandchildren. Mike packed a lot of living into his 61 years. He had so many interests that he was constantly picking up side jobs over the years: volunteer firefighter in Fairfield Center, Somerset County deputy sheriff, private pilot, sports referee, bus driver, tractor services, codes enforcement officer, plumbing inspector for Albion, and many more.

Mike is survived by his wife Cynthia Jones Spaulding, of Albion, his daughter, Michel Gross and husband Alex, of Maynard, Massachusetts, son James Spaulding and wife Carol of Mt. Vernon, four grandchildren Evan and Justin of Maynard, Massachusetts, and Trinity and Tyler, of Mt. Vernon, brother Greg “Kiki” Spaulding and wife Brenda, of Oakland, sister Kathleen Spaulding, of Aurora, Colorado, brother Mark Spaulding and wife Nancy, of Randolph, brother Timothy Spaulding and wife Martha, of Chesapeake, Virginia, brother Eric Spaulding and wife Megan, of Benton.

Memorial donations may be made to his favorite charity, Pine Tree Camp, 114 Pine Tree Camp Rd., Rome, ME 04963, www.pinetreesociety.org.

Arrangements under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, Skowhegan.

GARY C. PULLEN SR.

WINDSOR––Gary Chester Pullen Sr., 43, of Windsor, died unexpectedly on Saturday, December 17, 2016. He was born in Augusta to Gary E. Pullen and Debra E. (Hysom) Pullen on April 27, 1973,

He attended Windsor School, Erskine Academy, and graduated from Northeast Trucking School. Being a trucker was in Gary’s heart, he loved being on the road and driving big rigs.

Gary was predeceased by his sister Lynnette M. Pullen; uncle Warren Staples, and uncle Robert E. Pullen.

He will be sadly missed by his children, Alyssa Lee Pullen and Gary Chester Pullen Jr.; his mother Debra E. Pullen and father Gary E. Pullen; stepmother Wendy Gogan, Aunt Glenis Staples, aunt Louise and uncle Fred O’Clair, Aunt Sheila Hysom, uncle Jerry Day and Aunt Carlene Day; nephew Dakoda Cole; and many cousins.

CLIFTON L. GLIDDEN

VASSALBORO––­­Clifton L. “Cliff” Glidden, 91, passed away at the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta on Monday, December 19, 2016. Cliff was born to Ona (Kimball) Glidden and Harold (Jack) Glidden, of Vassalboro.

Cliff joined the Army and was a participant of the Normandy invasion. His many active duty awards include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, and the France Legion of Merit. He was later awarded the WWII Veteran Eagle-head Cane, and attended a luncheon at the Blaine House hosted by the Governor and Mrs. LePage. A survivor of WWII, he was considered a member of this world’s “greatest generation.”

The majority of his career was spent at the City of Augusta Public Works Dept. While there Cliff initiated and led the Augusta School District School Bus Maintenance Program with a later promotion to maintenance supervisor.

Cliff and his wife, Rita, enjoyed most of their adult life camping with family and friends. As members of the Good Sam Club, their camping trips led them thru every state in the US including an extended trip through Alaska.

Cliff married Rita M. (Pare) Glidden on September 1, 1973, and resided in Vassalboro.

He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Clarice (Glidden) Rabideau.\

He is survived by Rita; Dale and Jan, of Manchester, David and Pam, of Readfield, Roland and Jean, of Sidney, Robert and Sheryl, of Readfield; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at www.plummerfh.com.

Memorial donations can be made to your organization of choice.

CANDACE R. HILL

OAKLAND––Candace Ruth Hill died Tuesday, December 27, 2016, in Oakland. Born September 24, 1952, in Wakefield, Rhode Island, she spent her life helping others as a social worker, a bookstore owner, an educator, a health-care administrator, and a uniquely generous person.

She is survived by her husband, Stephen Collins; sons Sterling and Baron Collins-Hill; her father; her sister and her brother. She regarded family, friends, and others who connected with her life as gifts that she received.

Memorial donations may be made to the nonprofit Community Dental Center, 93 Main St., Waterville ME 04901.

NICHOLAS SHANE TYLER

FAIRFIELD––Nicholas (Nic) Shane “Tyler, 27, died unexpectedly at his residence on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. He was born in Waterville, on July 7, 1989, the son of Robin and Tammy (Coro) Tyler.

A 2008 graduate of Cony High School, Nic attended Lawrence High School until 2006, and strongly identified with Bulldog athletics, especially football and basketball. Nic could not dunk a basketball, but that never stopped him from trying. He also thought that the three-point line was added to the rules of the game with him in mind. He was also a fan of the Miami Dolphins.

Nic remained active in sports after high school. He did not invent disc golf, but he was confident that he could perfect the game if given the chance.

Blessed with a wide social network in center Maine, Nic was a stout friend to many. He was especially close to Robert Hubbard, who died in 2012.

Nic was a skilled telemarketer, employed by Integrated Sales Solutions and Great Falls Marketing, and was on a management track at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Kylie Paige Cheever Tyler; four daughters, Madilynn June, Amileya Marie, Annelise Paige and Gwendolyn Shyann Tyler; brothers Travis

Tyler and Benn Tyler; and sisters, Monica Gunning, Tia Brawn.

An online guestboook may be signed and memories shared at www.lawrybrothers.com.

Memorial donations may be made to the Asthma Research Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

OTHERS DEPARTED

MAGGIE J. BROOKS, 96, of Bocawen, New Hampshire, passed away on Friday, December 2, 2016. Locally, she is survived by brother-in-law Donald LaCroix, of Fairfield, and niece Evelyn Knights, of Fairfield.

ROBERT R. SOOHEY, 77, of Bremen, passed awat on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at the Togus VA Facility, in Augusta. Locally, he is survived by a son, Robert S. Soohey and wife Teresa, of Whitefield, and twin grandsons, Robert and Stephen Soohey.

MICHAEL J. BAUCOM, 60, of Gardiner, passed away on Friday, December 9, 2016. Locally, he is survived by a stepson, David Curtis and wife Kelly, of Windsor.

DENNIS W. HUTCHINGS, 76, of Cathedral City, California, passed away on Friday, December 9, 2016. Locally, he is survived by great-grandchildren Hannah Owen, of Windsor, and Allen Albert, of Waterville.

MARY J. EGELER, 84, of Cornville, passed away on Monday, December 12, 2016, at her home. Locally, she is survived by a daughter Wendy Sylvain and husband Shawn Sherman, of Benton.

KEVIN A. JOHNSON, 46, of Monmouth, passed away suddenly on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Locally, he is survived by his fiancée Janet Patterson, of Oakland; and brother David D. Johnson Sr. and wife Cherry, of Waterville.

DOROTHY A. SAUNDERS, 94, of Blackstone, Massachusetts, passed away on Friday, December 16, 2016, at St. Camillus Health Center. Locally, she is survived by and won, Lee M. Saunders and wife Darlene, of Jefferson.

AGNES E. MILLS, 82, of Mount Vernon, passed away on Saturday, December 17, 2016, at Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta. Locally, she is survived by a daughter, Karen Bowden and husband Bob, of Whitefield.

JACQUELINE BUMFORD, 84, of Lakeland, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, December 17, 2016. Locally, she is survived by grandsons Scott Bumford and wife Kim, of Oakland, Michael Bumford, of Windsor.

MONA RIDLEY, 87, of Nobleboro, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, following a long period of ill health. Locally, she is survived by her grandchildren Sarah Ridley Geroux and husband Jamie, of Jefferson, and great-grandchildren Cody Beaucage and Kaleigh Beaucage, both of Jefferson.

FLORENCE M. CARRELL, 91, of Belgrade, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, in Augusta. Locally, she is survived by sons Jon Carrell, of Augusta, and Robert Carrell and wife Linda, of Vassalboro.

BETTY JEAN WILLETTE, 49, of Smithfield, passed away on Monday, December 26, 2016. Locally, she is survived by a daughter, Marta Bourque, of Oakland; grandchildren Aliya and Bryson; siblings, Roger and wife Donna, of China, Ronnie and Lorraine Cox, of Freedom, Peter and wife Alnetta, of Unity, William and wife Kathy, of China, and Madelyn Morgan, of Clinton, and Arthur and wife Beth, of Waterville.

JEAN ANN BOURGOIN DIERIG, 62,s of Wichita Falls, Texas, passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. Locally, she is survived by her mother, Jeannette Bourgoin, and a brother John Bourgoin and wife Carmen, all of Winslow.

NOEL E. GILBERT, 83 of Chelsea, passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. Locally, he is survived by sons Michel Gilbert and wife Denise, and Jeffrey Gilbert and partner Tina Murray, all of South China.

Albion News: New books at Albion library

New books that recently arrived at the Albion Library include:

Maine Authors: Ghost Buck, by Dean Bennett; and Maine Sporting Camps, by George Smith.
Children’s: Finding Winnie, by Lindsey Mattick.
Adult: A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Backman; The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith; Driving Heat, by Richard Castle; and Warrior in the Shadows, by Marcus Wynne.

Vassalboro News: School board reaffirms existing policies

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members reaffirmed a list of existing policies at their Dec. 20 meeting, unanimously and without discussion.

Perhaps of most interest to town taxpayers is the policy entitled “Bidding/Purchasing Requirements,” which specifies when school officials must seek bids to buy things or have work done.

According to the policy, the school board expects all purchases to be “consistent with applicable laws and sound business practices.” The Superintendent of AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) #92 is responsible for developing appropriate bidding and purchasing procedures.

The policy’s main provisions say that:

  • Under state law, the school board must seek bids for “property and casualty insurance; school bus and transportation contracts in excess of $4,000; school building construction, alterations and repairs over $100,000; and bond anticipation notes for state-subsidized school construction projects.”
  • In areas not required by law, the policy is “to competitively bid purchases of equipment, supplies, materials or services over $20,000 provided that it is practical and cost-effective to specify the materials or services with sufficient particularity to allow meaningful comparison of bids.”
  • Otherwise, the superintendent is authorized to seek RFPs (requests for proposals) for purchases over $20,000, letting prospective vendors define how they will meet the school’s need.
  • The superintendent may omit both competitive bidding and an RFP only with school board approval.
  • Bids, but not RFPs, must be opened in public. Generally, the school board is to award contracts to “the lowest bidder which the superintendent and school board deem can satisfactorily fulfill the contract.” RFPs “are to be evaluated based on criteria appropriate for the project,” and the contract is to go to “the vendor whom the superintendent and school board deem best able to meet the requirements of the school unit.”

Other policies cover animals in classrooms, service animals in school and services for home-schooled students, among other topics. Policies, and a great deal of other information, are available on the AOS 92 web site under the heading “Our District.”

In other business Dec. 20, school board members accepted Libby Mitchell’s resignation from the board, with regret and appreciation for her services, because her Nov. 8 election as Kennebec County Probate Judge creates the potential for conflict of interest. Former school board member and state Representative Lori Fowle was appointed to take Mitchell’s place until June elections.

Board members approved two new staff members at Vassalboro Community School, Educational Technician I Kyle Irvine and secretary Alison Lessard.

The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Jan. 17.

China News: Selectmen call for special town meeting on marijuana moratorium

by Mary Grow

China selectmen decided at their Dec. 29 meeting they should call a special town meeting to see if residents want a moratorium on recreational marijuana activities in town, instead of waiting until the town business meeting late in March to ask for voter action.

Earlier in the month board members were ready to put off action to respond to the Nov. 8 state-wide legalization of recreational marijuana production and use. They assumed no China resident could get licensed to grow or sell marijuana commercially or operate a marijuana club until late 2017 at the earliest.

At the Dec. 29 meeting, however, consensus developed that a town resident could apply for and perhaps receive a local license before state regulations are in place, although the hypothetical businessperson could not open the business without a state license.

Since there are no current town regulations applying specifically to commercial marijuana operations, selectmen voted unanimously to ask voters at a special town meeting to approve a 180-day moratorium to give time to develop regulations.

Then they directed Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux to schedule the meeting at the earliest possible date, allowing time for publicity. A special town meeting cannot be held without a quorum; the number of voters to constitute a quorum will not be known until after Jan. 3, according to the Quorum Ordinance on the town web site.

The ordinance says: “A number equal to four percent of the residents registered to vote as of the first business day of January in the year in which the meeting is held shall constitute a quorum.”

Milton Dudley, the only planning board member who accepted the selectmen’s invitation to participate in the discussion of a possible local ordinance, suggested a public hearing to see if voters want to take any action before investing in the special town meeting. Selectmen thought it unnecessary, pointing out that public hearings seldom draw a large attendance.

Other topics at the Dec. 29 meeting included plans for the 2018 bicentennial of the incorporation of the Town of China and the planning board’s reconsideration of a controversial Neck Road application.

L’Heureux said there has been no response to advertisements for a bicentennial coordinator, leaving Selectman Neil Farrington the de facto head of the project.
Farrington said he and resident Tom Parent are working with the digitized version of the China Bicentennial History, published in 1975 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the settlement of the area around China Lake and updated in 1984.

The manager said there are two applicants for the vacant at-large seat on the planning board, including Neck Road resident Tom Michaud. Selectmen would like to appoint a planning board member at their Jan. 9 meeting so he or she could attend the Jan. 10 planning board meeting.

A major item on the Jan. 10 agenda is likely to be Parris and Catherine Varney’s application for commercial use of their barn on Neck Road, sent back to the planning board by the board of appeals.

Michaud has said that his area should be represented, because Jim Wilkens, the district representative and board chairman, is a neighbor of the Varneys and therefore is recusing himself to avoid conflict of interest. Selectman Joann Austin asked if Michaud, too, would be obliged to recuse himself from the Varney case if he were appointed. L’Heureux said he would get an answer to her question by Jan. 9.

Marie Michaud reminded selectmen of the petition she submitted in November asking them to declare a six-month moratorium on new commercial development to give time to reconstitute the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee “in order to establish Land Use Districts in accordance with the goals and provisions set forth and prescribed by the China Comprehensive Plan,” adopted in 2008.

Selectmen voted Nov. 14 to reconstitute the committee, and board member Irene Belanger has been getting in touch with former members to see if they want to serve again. Michaud reminded the board of the moratorium, which they did not impose, and asked for a legal opinion on whether they can ignore part of the petition.

Board Chairman Farrington and member Ron Breton said the petition should go to the March town business meeting, doubting the selectboard’s authority to enforce it.

Police conduct 11th annual Cops Care for Kids program Fairfield’s finest trade stetsons for Santa hats

by Mark Huard

The Cops Care For Kids Program was created in 2006 by Detective Kingston Paul who started shopping all year for small stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons which he would deliver to struggling families within Fairfield. After several years, then Chief John Emery found out that the program was being funded solely by Detective Paul and challenged all officers to donate $5 per week to the program. He himself donated $10 weekly and now the program raises about $1,300 per year. Once the officers started donating, the list was increased to include as many Fairfield children as possible and has risen to as many as 250 children.

Front, dispatcher Jeanne Kempers. Front row, from left to right, Officer Casey Dugas, Sgt. Matt Wilcox, Officers Jacob Boudreau and Patrick Mank. Back, Officer Shanna Blodgett, Sgt. Matthew Bard, Chief Tom Gould, Officer Blake Wilder and Captain Paul St. Amand. Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff

This year, members of the Fairfield Police delivered to about 90 households and they gave presents to around 200 children. They were able to get names of families and children in need with the help of the Fairfield Primary and Benton Elementary School staff. The schools handed out slips to Fairfield children and collect them for the officers. Fairfield officers then go to local stores and start shopping for gifts. This year, around 600 gifts were wrapped by about 15 people in the basement of the Fairfield Town Office. They were packaged with a small stuffed animal and a business card which was printed in memory of Kingston Paul who passed away earlier this fall. Some of Kingston’s family members attended the wrapping session as well as family and friends of the department’s officers and town office staff (who helped with wrapping most of the fall). Kingston retired as a captain in 2015 after serving 20 years with the town of Fairfield, and after his passing, we learned that he donated $20,000 to the program to ensure its existence long into the future.

Fairfield Police received gifts from many sources including local citizens, the VFW and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, although the officers are most proud of the fact that they donate the lions share of expenses for the program. Chief Tom Gould said, “It’s hard to put into words the emotions involved in the delivery process because it creates a unique connection between our department and the children who live in town. We’re just as excited to see them as they are to see us.”
Fairfield Police thank Skowhegan Printing for getting their 2016 program cards printed the same day they were needed. Also thank you to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office for patrolling the town and covering calls while all of their cruisers were busy making deliveries.

Thank you Village Market and the Fairfield Family Dollar Store for their continued support to the program.