The volunteers at the China Food Pantry express their appreciation for all those in the community who gave non-perishable food items during the annual Post Office Food Drive. The shelves are currently well-stocked thanks to the many residents who gave so generously.
At their May 14 meeting, the China Selectmen introduced Dennis Heath, of Oklahoma, as the new town manager. He will begin appearing at the town office on May 29, and will take over from retiring town manager Dan L’Heureux, on July 1.
Senator Scott Cyrway congratulated Lt. Col. John-Paul Cote, of China, following a unanimous vote by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to confirm him as the next Chief of the Maine State Police.
“Lt. Col. Cote has dedicated much of his adult life to law enforcement in the state of Maine, and we on the committee are honored that he will be continuing that work with the Maine State Police,” said Sen. Cyrway.
Lt. Col. Cote will be finally confirmed following a vote in the Maine Senate.
Neil Farrington, China’s bicentennial coordinator has announced that on Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m., they will be burying a time capsule for 100 years. The capsule will contain a paper scroll with China grammar school children’s thoughts written in cursive. They will tell what it’s like in the world today and what they imagine life will be like in 100 years.
Why the children? They have an untainted view with their limited knowledge of adult life. They are brutally honest and will not second guess if they are politically correct. Hopefully, with the advancement in medicine and increased longevity, they will be alive to witness the opening of this capsule.
The monument above will celebrate the bicentennial with a granite symbol of the incorporation as the town of China by the Massachusetts Legislators on February 5, 1818. It also shows how the south end (Harlem) joined China in March 1822 and “The Gore” part, of Palermo, in March 1830. On the front will celebrate the first settled date of 1774.
Finally, on a black plaque, it will show the slogan, “The friendliest town in Maine,” and identifying the four distinct villages: China, South China, Weeks Mills and Branch Mills. At the front bottom are instructions to open the time capsule on the first day of summer 2118.
Farrington stated, “Please join in our celebration and enjoy some BBQ chicken cooked by the South China American Legion. The meal and cake are free but only 120 meals will be cooked. Show everyone that we truly are ‘The friendliest town in Maine.’”
China’s Thurston Park Committee is sponsoring a photo contest, with winning pictures to be turned into a 2019 calendar featuring “photos that best illustrate the beauty, history, and character of China’s amazing recreational destination.”
All pictures entered must be taken in the park in northeastern China. Photographers are welcome to submit pictures of flowers, trees, seasonal phenomena, historic artifacts and other natural and man-made features, wildlife and people engaged in recreational activities. Photos cannot be touched up or have filters added. They must be horizontally oriented.
Photos should be in the form of high-resolution images digitally sent to email@example.com or on a CD that can be left at the China town office on Lakeview Drive. Accompanying each entry should be the photographer’s name, address and phone number; the date the picture was taken; what category it is entered in (landscapes, flora/fauna, people/pets, activities); and the names of any people shown with proof they have given permission for use of the photo.
The deadline for submissions is May 31. Photos will not be returned. By submitting his or her photo(s), the photographer gives the Thurston Park Committee “full and exclusive rights to print the photo in Thurston Park literature and electronic media and without further obligation to the photographer or those people who have their persons, property or items pictured.”
In addition to a calendar appearance, the committee offers a grand prize for the best photo, which becomes the cover picture, and prizes for the best photo in each of the four categories.
Winners will be announced, prizes awarded and calendars on sale at the 2018 China Community Days celebration.
People who need more information about the contest are invited to call Thurston Park Committee Chairman Jeanette Smith at 968-5016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
China selectmen have chosen as the new town manager Dennis Heath, an Oklahoman who will be moving to China.
Heath is expected to start appearing at the town office late in May, for a month’s training before current Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux retires June 30.
Selectmen made the announcement at the end of their May 14 meeting, which included another long discussion of the already much-discussed fire pond on Neck Road and varied other items.
Repeating their finding that the fire pond was dug incorrectly, with too-steep sides, selectmen decided they need to wait for a plan from an A. E. Hodson engineer before talking about additional costs.
Meanwhile, however, they authorized spending up to $1,000 from their contingency fund to spread the pile of clay dug up to make the pond that is obstructing planting a field. Tom Michaud, on whose land the pond was dug, offered to use his bulldozer at no charge to assist the contractor with the work.
Abutting landowner Leo Panda attended the meeting and supported the pond as valuable protection for the neighborhood, as long as he’s not asked for funds and his water supply is not affected.
Board Chairman Robert MacFarland blamed “ill-advisement” for the steep-sided pond. The to-be-engineered revised version is tentatively planned to have sloping sides plus a shelf about three feet below the water line as a safety measure in case a person or animal falls in.
Meanwhile, Michaud said, someone who did fall in could get into Panda’s side of the hole and get out from there.
The fire pond has already cost the entire $8,500 voters approved in November 2017. Additional funding will require voter approval; since a November vote would be late to start construction, MacFarland mentioned the possibility of calling a special town meeting.
In other business May 14, selectman and Bicentennial Coordinator Neil Farrington showed plans for a granite obelisk to be put up near the old town house beside the town office, with a time capsule to be buried under it and opened the first day of summer 2118.
Farrington is planning a ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the obelisk site. If Heath is available, he would like to follow it with an informal welcome party for the new manager.
Selectmen appointed Jean Conway and George Weber to the Comprehensive Plan Committee and Conway also to the China for a Lifetime and Tax Increment Finance committees.
Selectman Irene Belanger reminded those present of the Regional School Unit (RSU) #18 budget vote scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at the Performing Arts Center at Messalonskee High School, in Oakland. Selectmen signed China’s warrant for the June 12 referendum at which local voters in the five RSU towns will accept or reject the budget approved May 17.
Because the next regular selectmen’s meeting date would be Memorial Day, board members rescheduled the meeting. As of May 14, it is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29.
China’s TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Committee members got an update on the causeway and other projects and on internal application forms and heard more fund requests at their May 7 meeting.
The causeway bridge update by Joe McLean, from Wright-Pierce Engineers, was intended as part of a public information session, but only people who had business with the committee attended the meeting.
The causeway project starts with replacing the current bridge at the head of China Lake’s east basin. Future plans include making more room for recreational use east of the bridge, including additional parking. McLean had an artist’s rendering with a bigger boat ramp and large new areas of concrete north of the causeway and some on the lake side.
McLean showed plans for a new bridge that will be close to 50 feet wide, with a wider two-way lane for vehicles, a 10-foot pedestrian way on the lake side and an eight-foot space on the muldoon (north) side for ATVs and snowmobiles.
The bridge will be enough higher than the current one to let canoes and kayaks pass under it.
Working in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Army Corps of Engineers, McLean expects to have needed permits within the next two months. Meanwhile, he said, Wright-Pierce is ready to seek bids on the work, which is scheduled to be done in October and November of this year, during China Lake’s fall drawdown.
McLean said Maine Department of Transportation officials told him the Causeway Road speed limit is 45 miles an hour – left over, people suggested, from the days when Routes 202 and 9 went across the causeway and through China Village. The bridge is therefore being designed to safely accommodate pedestrians, recreational vehicles and 45-mile-an-hour traffic.
The MDOT might do a speed study, McLean said, and the study might result in a lower speed limit, especially if it showed that most traffic moves at less than 45 miles an hour. Several people endorsed a lower limit.
TIF Committee members voted unanimously to start studying the proposed next phase of the project, which includes parking, the boat launch and reconfiguring the shoreline. They hope to make enough progress by late September to know whether future plans will require any changes in the bridge plan.
In other business, Christopher Hahn, chairman of the China for a Lifetime Committee, reported that the committee is working on improving communication within the town, especially to and from the town office.
Landis Hudson from Maine Rivers said the project to restore alewife access to China Lake is proceeding, with one of the Outlet Stream dams removed, a second to be removed in 2019 and fishways planned at the others.
Neither Hahn nor Hudson asked for TIF funds. Committee members did hear two fund requests, one indefinite and one with a preliminary price tag.
Robert O’Connor and Tod Detre of the Broadband Committee are still exploring ways to expand and improve internet access in town. They are considering various alternatives, including one that would require one or two more telecommunications towers. TIF Committee Chairman Amber McAllister asked them to develop a proposal with a cost estimate.
Anita Smith repeated her request for funds for a building in the China School Forest behind China Primary School. Local contractor Blane Casey designed a four-season center for storage, programs and classes, at an estimated cost of $270,000.
McAllister asked for other, less costly designs and whether grant money could supplement town funds.
The TIF Committee does not yet have an application form for people seeking funds. Committee members agreed they need one.
Also lacking is an application form for the planned Revolving Loan Fund. Amy Gartley, head of the RLF subcommittee, said the group has a draft form and a draft program outline. The RLF is intended to provide bridge loans for China businesses seeking to open or to expand.
As the meeting ended, Joann Austin reminded committee members that China’s comprehensive plan puts gaining public access to China Lake as a high priority.
CORRECTION: This article previously stated incorrectly that Landis Hudson was with American Rivers. He is not. He is with the Maine Rivers organization. We apologize for the error.
Join this special one-time screening and Q&A with the filmmaker of a documentary that explores the strange relationship between Kosovo and the state of Iowa.
Central Maine Filmmaker, Luke T. Harwath, will be hosting a one-time screening of the documentary “With a Cup of Sugar” at Railroad Square on May 22, at 7:15 p.m.
Having been the frequent battleground for political and cultural unrest, Kosovo has emerged from war to become Europe’s newest country. In a fight for the future, Kosovo must bolster its war-torn image and forge meaningful relationships across the world if it is to survive. One of these relationships is with the U.S. state of Iowa.
View the trailer for the film at the bottom this page, or on Youtube using the link: https://youtu.be/6Qbz_Er3EB8
Q&A with Filmmaker Luke T. Harwath to follow the screening of the film.
Harwath, who lives in Central Maine, was provided unprecedented access in Kosovo and spent years filming the documentary. He says, “Information about Kosovo tends to focus primarily on tear-gas in parliament, rows with Serbia, or a handful of extremists that have since been dealt with. It paints a picture of instability and a country that’s not ready to participate in a dialogue with the rest of the world. That picture is incomplete and leaves out the majority of the story.
“I wanted to create a clearer picture of the nation as it exists today from a number of different perspectives. Kosovo is here to stay. At the same time, it’s important to be honest about the challenges faced today in Kosovo, because there are some heavy obstacles that it faces if it is going to continue its steady work toward a bright future.”
On Kosovo’s relationship with Iowa, Harwath says, “The relationship between Kosovo and the state of Iowa is well recognized in certain circles, but perhaps not to the general public. This relationship demonstrates, for any small nation, the importance of establishing genuine, mutually-beneficial connections in order to ensure stability.”
Erskine Academy has announced the class of 2018 Top Ten Seniors.
Valedictorian is Caleb Tyler, son of Regan and Jason Tyler, of Palermo. Throughout his four years at Erskine, Caleb has participated in such activities as National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Soccer, and Lacrosse and he has completed a variety of community service projects. Caleb is a Maine Principal’s Association Award recipient, he is a Rensselaer Medal recipient, and he has received high honor roll distinction every trimester with awards of excellence in the areas of Algebra, Integrated Science, Chemistry, and US History. Caleb plans to attend the University of Maine to study Mechanical Engineering.
Salutatorian is Kayla Hubbard, daughter of Phil and Julie Hubbard, of Palermo. Kayla is a member of National Honor Society and she has participated in such activities as Student Council, EA Leadership, the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club, Drama Club, Soccer, Tennis, and she has participated in numerous community service endeavors. A student who has received high honor roll distinction every trimester, Kayla has received awards of excellence in the areas of Algebra, Social Studies, PreCalculus, and Physics, she was the recipient of the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, and she has received Renaissance Recognition and Senior of the Trimester awards. Kayla plans to attend Lancaster Bible College where she will major in Elementary Education.
Third in academic standing is Kassandra Nadeau, daughter of Christine and Andrew Nadeau, of Vassalboro. Kassandra is a member of National Honor Society and she has participated in such activities as Business Club, Prom Committee, Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Track & Field. Kassandra has completed a variety of community service projects and she was selected to attend the New England Student Leadership Conference. Kassandra plans to attend the University of Maine with a major in Biology.
Fourth in academic standing is Luke Hodgkins, son of Lisa and Craig Hodgkins, of Jefferson. Luke is a member of National Honor Society and he has participated in such activities as Student Council, EA Leadership, Math Team, Future Business Leaders of America, the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club, Cross Country, Tennis, and he has served as a class officer for three years. Luke has received an award of excellence in English and he has received Renaissance Recognition and Senior of the Trimester awards. Luke plans to attend the University of Maine to pursue studies in Biology.
Fifth in academic standing is Maggie Anderson, daughter of Michelle Anderson, of China, and Frank Anderson, of Augusta. Maggie is a member of National Honor Society and she has been a participant of the Drama Club, Prom Committee, and TLC (Erskine’s community service group). Maggie was a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Award and she has received high honor roll distinction every trimester. Maggie plans to attend Gordon College with an undeclared major.
Sixth in academic standing is Megan Lemieux, daughter of Debbie and Richard Lemieux, of Vassalboro. Megan is a member of National Honor Society and she has participated in such activities as TLC (Erskine’s community service organization), Drama Club, Math Team, and the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club. Megan has received the Society of Women Engineers award, she has received high honor roll distinction every trimester with an award of excellence in English, and she has received a Renaissance Recognition award. Megan plans to attend Unity College with a major in Biology.
Seventh in academic standing is Emma Stone, daughter of Katrina Johnsen Smith, of Palermo, and Andrew Stone, of Hope. Emma is a member of National Honor Society and she has participated in such activities as Drama, the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club, and Tennis. Emma plans to major in Business at Gordon College.
Eighth in academic standing is Gabriella Pizzo, daughter of Deanne and Greg Pizzo, of China. Gabriella is a member of National Honor Society and she has been a participant of the Drama Club, the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club, and Tennis. Gabriella has received high honor roll distinction every trimester and she has received a Senior of the Trimester award. Gabriella plans to attend Sarah Lawrence College with a major in Theater.
Ninth in academic standing is Kaylee Porter, daughter of Deann and Shawn Porter, of Palermo. Kaylee is a member of National Honor Society, she has participated in such activities as Student Council, EA Leadership, the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club, Soccer, Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Track & Field. In addition, Kaylee has completed a variety of community service projects. Kaylee was the recipient of the Smith Book Award, she received the Most Valuable Member of Student Council award, and she has been a Renaissance Recognition award recipient. Kaylee plans to major in Nutrition at the University of Maine.
Tenth in academic standing is Carleigh Ireland, daughter of Amy and Scott Ireland, of Vassalboro. Carleigh has participated in such activities as Math Team and Prom Committee. Carleigh has received awards of excellence in Health, English, and French. Carleigh plans to major in Nursing at the University of Maine.
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