LETTERS: Trash pick up response exceptional

To the editor:

The response for volunteers to pick up litter on July 13 on the main roads of China has been exceptional. We now have it covered from Erskine Academy to Rte. 3, South China village itself, Rte. 202 to China village, China village itself, the causeway, and a portion of the Neck Road from China village south.

It’s been suggested we do this on the second Saturday every month. When the snow flies, we may have to take a break and resume whenever it’s melted. Appreciation to the volunteers who have stepped forward and thanks also to the town office staff and the transfer station staff. It does indeed need the cooperation of everyone.

As Dennis Heath, town manager, said in a recent communication, it would help enormously if all property owners would take responsibility to pick up along their own frontage on China’s roads.

I think we all realize this effort can only really succeed if the litterers change their behavior. Please keep it in the car for later proper disposal and cover trash being hauled to the Transfer Station in an open vehicle.

We also welcome anyone living on roads other than the covered routes to consider stepping forward and help create a Litter-free China!

Richard Dillenbeck
China

LETTERS: Those extraordinary fireworks!

To the editor:

I would like to personally thank whoever that family is that shot an extraordinary, brilliant, 20-minute display of wonderful fireworks last night (July 4) off the north end of John Jones Island! My family floated up a bit to see who’s got what this year, but this display was well beyond anything I’ve ever seen on China Lake. Thank you very much.

Tom Lefferts
China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Doing “business” in E. Vassalboro

To the editor:

As an avid cyclist, I get to see a lot of this part of Maine, and from time to time, I need to take a break to “take care of business” in a biological sense. Whenever possible, I try and use a facility designed for that purpose and several times over the past few years, that has meant entering the “outhouse” at the boat landing in East Vassalboro.

This is certainly the most disgusting example of such a place that I have ever seen. I truly believe that to sit down in this stink hole would be life threatening. And yet, this is a very popular spot for putting boats into China Lake, and, in fact, the dock and ramp area was re-built just last year.

I brought up this issue to the folks at the Vassalboro Town Office a couple of years ago and even suggested that someone from there should go down and check out the place; nothing seems to have changed. It seems even more disconcerting when one considers the close proximity to a major public water supply. Now, I don’t know if any of the waste gets into the lake, but the smell alone is almost overwhelming. It seems like the investment in a portable toilet, like the one at the head of the lake in China, would be a prudent solution. Just a suggestion.

Bob Bennett
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Integrity of our voting process is at stake

To the editor:

Within the context of whether the Russians interfered in our elections, it should be apparent that we need to assure our voting system is not corrupted or hacked. It might not be much, my vote, but I’d like to think it counts. Sometimes, it feels like it doesn’t. Certainly Russia and other countries are interested in our elections but so are a lot of wealthy people, corporations like Monsanto, political parties too. At minimum, they each will find a way to sway our support/vote one way, or another. They all try; as an individual, I do too. There’s a lot of political competition and debate. That part, isn’t so concerning to me. But could we all be duped and controlled by fictitious election results?

Today, we see it too often: hacks and stolen data. It happens. Electronic voting and all computer tabulations are vulnerable to corruption and control. We did it to Iran’s nuclear program, messing it up. Every day, how many hackers are at work, in China, Russia, or the CIA? Computers put voter integrity at risk, or worse. How much would election results sell for, if it was possible?

What can give us more security? Paper ballots and real people counting them, what’s wrong with that? The more real citizens involved, the more secure it becomes. We have a system for obtaining jurors now, ever done that, been selected? Make it a legal, civic duty like that. I’ll even volunteer, many would. Anyone would have an improbable task of affecting the outcome of an election with so many responsible citizens participating. Run the whole voting process with people; and we know who they are. Make election day a holiday, get everyone participating.

Take any side you want, any issue; your vote is vulnerable at best, or stolen for the worse. Please, our legislators need to do something, to put some thought of safety into our voting process and how we vote. I’m asking each of them, in representing us, to assure the integrity of our voting process by enacting the “People and Paper Act.” (I don’t write ‘legal,’ it’s not written yet; any legal, elected volunteer?) I’m hoping many will join in, support the idea. No to Voting Machines! We can’t/shouldn’t trust them.

Dean DeWitt, China resident with Charles Lang Sr. and 12 others.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appraisal needed on property

To the editor:

On June 11, the voters of China will vote on whether or not to authorize the select board “to purchase a portion of the property at Map 38, Lot 15, including all costs, not to exceed $150,000….” The portion of the property consists of five acres with frontage on China Lake.

I am a strong proponent of preserving open space and public ownership of land to preserve it for current and future generations. As a 30-plus-year resident of China, and as a voter and taxpayer, this sounds like a great deal and one which I would normally support.

In this case, however, offering the owner of the property up to $150,000 may be a great deal for the town, but it may be a bad deal for the property owner. It’s important for the voters to know that the $150,000 figure came from a tax assessment of the property. There has been no property appraisal. The property may be worth less or it may be worth much more. I suspect it is the latter.

I believe that the town of China should have bought and paid for a property appraisal before putting this to voters. Only in this way would we know what the property is really worth and what we should pay for it. If the voters of China vote the purchase down, this is all a moot point. If the voters of China vote YES, I hope that the town pays for an appraisal and has another vote in November if value of the property exceeds $150,000. I also hope and expect the town of China to not pay the owner more or less than the property is worth.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Thanks from food pantry

To the editor:

The Palermo Food Pantry thanks the generous people of Palermo who donated food for the pantry in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive sponsored by our post office. It was a great success again this year and is much appreciated by many families. The pantry is open every Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to noon and is located at the Community Center across from the ball field on Turner Ridge Road.

Anyone who would like to support the pantry, please contact June for more information – 993-2225.

Palermo Food Pantry

Letters to the Editor: Pay more now for our children’s future

To the editor:

Last fall I was elected to the RSU #18 schoolboard representing the town of China. This has given me the opportunity to see inside the complex mechanism in running a large school system. Today’s education involves much more than I had experienced growing up. School today involves knowing each individual student, their character and their roadblocks in learning. Hiring social workers and drug councilors add to the crucial formation of these young minds. If we fail our mission to direct these young people to a bright beautiful future, then our social workers and/or drug councilors will follow them into their adult lives. Paying a little more now for extra support needed for success will be well worth the investment. Our children are our future, let’s teach and support them accordingly.

Please vote yes for education this June.

Neil Farrington
RSU #18 schoolboard member for China

Letters to the Editor: Point of letter missed

To the editor:

A person who didn’t like my second letter that was printed here, wrote a letter saying, “Maine will never become a prosperous state because no matter what is proposed, there is too much NIMBYism.”

Hadn’t realized that I was a so-called NIMBYist! But part of my concern is that some of you may not know what those five letters stand for, I didn’t, but a good friend solved the mystery! “NOT IN MY BACK YARD!

Afraid my main point that I am so upset about has been missed! I am fighting to retain the natural beauty and the animals that dwell there. In my opinion Maine is unique and special in too many ways to express here, but especially in the many places where anyone can enjoy ‘peace and quiet’ if they so desire.

But it is hard to fight big money, and so I am hoping and praying that there are enough of you out there that might agree with some of what I have written.

I am a proud believer that “God works in mysterious ways.” Hope you are too!

I would also like to make some corrections on the letter she wrote in which she stated that, “Central Maine Power displaced a whole town of about 300 people and flooded it.” Some in Dead River Plantation were also flooded out, and both were very small towns. I have no idea where she got those figures.

This quote from her letter states: “She says she grew up in nearby Flagstaff, but the real town of Flagstaff is under that lake.” (How well I know that!)

Anyway, here is the truth: I was born in Flagstaff, and grew up there, and graduated from Flagstaff High School.

When we had to move because Flagstaff was about to be flooded, I was still living in Flagstaff with my husband, Frank, and our son, Mark.

Marilyn Rogers-Bull
Solon

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Great article on Jack’s

To the editor:

What a great story about China General aka Jack’s. I grew up a few doors down and spent at least a few minutes every day picking a handful of the scrumptious sticks of Jolly Ranchers! Danny often made me an Italian for my lunch. Kim, Pat, and Ann had the biggest most genuine smiles each time anyone walked in. The crew there was a family, everyone could feel that! Jack’s was known for the best meats anywhere around. One could barely fit through every early morning when the men’s “coffee club” was in session.

Jack’s is the last place I remember being able to run a tab. Halloween in the village was a huge deal and Jack’s always gave a bag of chips and soda. The store was the heart of the community when I grew up. Jack’s, the post office, the library, and the church, made my childhood the stuff story books tales are made of. Great people everywhere.

It was a sad day when the new owners changed staff, didn’t sell gas, and finally infested the town with rats. Certainly not the business family the Sylvester family was. So sad to see the run down shamble left behind.

I feel blessed to have grown up in China before everything went downhill. And to everyone who treated me so well, I haven’t forgotten and never will.

Danielle Foster
former China resident

Letters to the Editor: Enforce immigration laws

To the editor:

The letter to Senator [Susan] Collins recently published urging her to support President Trump and secure our southern border brought back memories. As a former classmate of Mrs. Sutton, I would listen to similar stories from her outlining the troubles they had with illegal trespassing on their property in southern Texas. Her frustration was long-standing that the lawbreaker invaders got more sympathy than she did as an American tax paying citizen.

It was sad to see she did not feel safe on her own property and ended up moving twice, each time further from the border. We must enforce our current immigration laws and stop the flow of drugs, gangs and people promoting sex trafficking into our country.

Rodney Rolfe
Skowhegan