Letters to the editor, Week of February 1, 2018

Climate change

To the editor:

Isaac Newton, in 18th century England, discovered natural laws which formed a basis for classical physics. One of these relates force and motion. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Recoil.

On the scale of forces now possible with nuclear weapons, Earth’s path in space could be disturbed. Distance from the sun, a skewered axis, irregular tides and flooding.

Strata in the Earth’s crust are like pages in a book. They tell the history of the Earth.

Thus, it may be that another form of life in the distant future may uncover deposits which record two mass extinctions. The age of dinosaurs from a collision with a massive meteor, and the age of mammals followed caused by forces linked to lingering radiation.

Every species has a predator. Even us. Man is his own predator.

Russell Vesecky

Letters to the editor, Week of January 18, 2018

Firefighters thank supporters

To the editor:

Tim Theriault, China VFD Chief

The China Village Volunteer Fire Department has raised $48 through the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program. The Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program launched in October 2015 and is designed to support local nonprofits through the sale of the reusable Cause bag.

The China Village Volunteer Fire Department was selected by Hannaford store leadership as the December 2017 beneficiary of the program at the China Hannaford store. Every purchase of the reusable Cause bag during December generated a $1 donation to the department.

The amount of $48 may not sound like much, but every dollar does help. The Fire Department appreciates the support from our community and the great team at the China Hannaford store. The funds will go towards the kitchen renovations in the department building.

Founded in 1947, the mission of this organization is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of our community, the China Village Volunteer Fire Department Fire Operations Area, the town of China and our mutual aid response areas with high quality and consistently professional fire protection, rescue services, emergency management, and public safety programs.

Learn more about the China Village Volunteer Fire Department by visiting our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChinaVillageVFD.

For more information on the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program. visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com or facebook.com/hhbagprogram.

Tim Theriault
Fire Chief,
China Village Volunteer Fire Dept.

Letters to the Editor, Week of January 11, 2018

The China Bicentennial

To the editor:

Let’s start with the year [we had] without a summer, 1816. Imagine a town that bases its whole existence on farming or selling goods to the farmer. Without summer it’s impossible to raise food and grain for your family and farm animals. Families came together and survived.

In the summer of 1817 word was passed around that Maine would become the 23rd state with the Missouri Compromise. A non-slave state with towns incorporated by the Massachusetts Legislators. A delegation from the north end of Harlem traveled to Boston to get incorporated as China.

On February 5, 1818, an agreement was made but when ratified by the town in June the southern portion did not agree with their northern neighbors. They remained the town of Harlem for another four years. Was it because of a strong religious difference (Baptist in the north, Quaker in the south) or a strong community bonded by a bad year for planting in 1816?

Our bicentennial this year will look at what life was like in 1818. Living with wood heat, no electricity, canning, drying meats and fruits, making your clothes and making soap to hand wash them. Taking care of your neighbors just as you care for your livestock. It was a time of survival, but it also produced generations who lived and prospered in China.

For them, we must celebrate 200 years as the Town of China. Please join me.

Neil Farrington
China bicentennial coordinator

Letters to the Editor, Week of November 2, 2017

Vote Yes on local Question 1

To the editor:

A YES Vote, November 7, on Winslow local Question 1, School Construction Bond, is a vote for:

1) Consolidated, more efficient schools, closing the Junior High.
2) Renovations and additions to the Elementary School and High School to accommodate the Junior High student body.
3) Additions to gymnasium space to accommodate all student P.E. and sports program schedules, and even community rec programs.
4) Renovations to arts space due to addition of Junior High art, band, and chorus students.
5) Renovations to the library to house books and other resources for 7th and 8th grade students.
6) Construction of a theatre large enough to host programming for High School, Junior High, and Elementary School students.
7) Expansion of the High School’s refrigerator and freezer units to handle the increased storage for junior high meal programs.
8) Redesign of cafeteria service lines and seating to speed up food service, allow students time to eat, and increase healthy nutrition participation.
9) Reallocation of Elementary School wings to separate students into appropriate age groups.
10) Parking lot and traffic flow changes at both Elementary and High School to provide safer, more efficient vehicle access.
11) A precautionary fund for the demolition of the old Junior High building, if not sold.
12) A reasonable, steady, 20-year bond payoff schedule.
13) Quality school facilities more likely to attract students from China and Vassalboro and reduce the number of students leaving for charter schools.
14) Schools that attract employment applications from the best teachers in Maine.
15) Investment in local infrastructure that will serve our residents for many decades.
16) School facilities that recognize generations of social change, learning science, and student needs, and comply with modern building codes and educational requirements.
17) A stable community with a promising future, instead of a community of declining significance, declining investment, and declining services.
18) A community desirable to new and returning residents with families; these residents are likely to purchase, renovate, and build homes, increasing the tax base and thus reducing future mil rates.
19) Well-educated, well-rounded students with the best opportunities for success in the world.

This is not just an investment in buildings, but in our children, our community, and our future. I hope you will join me November 7 in voting YES on the Winslow school construction bond.

Thomas McCown

Tom McCowan is a Winslow resident, father, real estate lawyer, and the only non-committee member to attend all of the school construction committee meetings. Visit www.kennebectom.com/schoolbond for essays in support of this referendum.

Letters to the Editor, Week of October 26, 2017

Food drive to assist residents in Puerto Rico

To the editor:

Erskine Academy Spanish teacher Sonia Stevenson has informed me that the school is holding a food drive to assist residents of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico which, as I’m sure all readers know, was almost completely devastated by a recent hurricane. In an attempt to support three specific towns, Erskine students and staff are seeking foods that are stable and that will better survive what will possibly be a long journey to the island. This includes dry vegetables like beans, rice, canned foods like tuna and chicken and also, over the counter medications. There are drop boxes at the Erskine Academy campus and any and all donations will be greatly appreciated!

Bob Bennett

Local production nominated for Grammy

To the editor:

A few weeks ago I made reference to the music presentation that was done last year for the board in connection with the Holocaust. I told you that it was catching on nation wide. I was holding off until it became official, but I can now share with you the rest of the story:

On Monday, October 16, 2017, the Grammy Awards ballot was published by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In the Choral category is listed the Messalonskee Public Schools album “Songs of Darkness and Hope.”

Yes, the production that was produced by our students has been nominated for a Grammy. I heard from Kevin Rhein today, the CD is being sent to every Holocaust Museum in the country.

Congratulations to everyone involved. As you can imagine they are incredibly proud and excited. I know you are as well.

Carl Gartley
Superintendent of Schools
RSU #18

Urges large voter turnout on school question

To the editor:

On Election Day, Winslow voters will decide if they will borrow $10.325 million to consolidate the Winslow School system. Of that total amount, $5.14 million will be spent to expand and renovate the high school for the addition of the seventh and eighth grades, $755,000 to expand the auxiliary gym at the high school, $230,000 to expand the cafeteria at the high school and $2.95 million for a 600 seat Performing Arts Center. Another $600,000 will be dedicated to the renovation of the Elementary School to accommodate the sixth grade. In addition, $650,000 will be provided for demolition of the Junior High if other uses can not be found. Over the next 20 years, Winslow property taxpayers will repay at least $13.73 million including interest.

For the median household, property taxes will increase by at least $158 more per year to pay the annual debt cost of at least $687,000 per year for the next 20 years. Combined with the existing school debt payment of $415,000 per year, the median household in Winslow will need to pay over $250 per year to support the education debt. The Winslow School Board concluded that the Junior High structure was no longer viable due to the decrease in school’s sixth to eighth grade enrollment from 413 students in 2000 to a projected 227 students in 2020, and the significant capital investment needed to restore the structure to an acceptable standard. Overall, Winslow’s school enrollment is decreasing. In 2020, there will be 472 fewer students than were enrolled in 2000.

The proposed $2.95 million expenditure for a 600-seat Performing Arts Center is based on the stated need for more space to support the programs and activities. In 2008, there were 527 students in the high school utilizing the existing 210-seat auditorium. In 2020, there will be a projected combined 7-12 grade enrollment of 533.

When the school board voted to close the Junior High in August 2016, it was reported that the proposal to consolidate to the existing Elementary and High School would cost less than $5 million. Voters are now being asked to support a $10 million project.

I would urge Winslow residents to vote early or on November 7 since the outcome will have a significant impact on property taxes as well determine the voter’s approval to borrow $10.325 million to support the school consolidation proposal. A large voter turnout will ensure that the will of the people of Winslow is represented.

Ken Fletcher
Winslow Town Councilor

Letters to the editor, Week of October 12, 2017

Monarch article factful

To the editor:

My special thanks to Roland Hallee for his explanation of the Monarch butterflies’ migration journey. At last, after a lifelong interest, I “get” how it takes four generations. The whole article (The Town Line on October 5, 2017) is fact-filled and very easy to read. I enjoy The Town Line as a subscriber and always find something of special interest. The butterfly article is especially special.

Charlotte Henderson

Letters to the editor, Week of September 28, 2017

Small act of environmental kindness

To the editor:

My letter regarding roadside waste, published a couple of weeks ago, was not terribly uplifting. However, I’m writing this short note to add a positive postscript. This morning, Monday, September 25, I was on my bike for a bit of a ride and had just turned onto the Dirigo Road from Rte. 3. As I went up the slight rise, I noticed a lot of round white covers from sheet rock “mud” containers; I would guess they blew out of the back of a pick-up. I stopped and started to pick them up with the intent of piling them next to the road and retrieving them on my next trip to the transfer station. As I was working my way along, another pick-up went by and then backed up and stopped. The driver got out, picked up the covers I hadn’t reached and put those and my handful on the passenger side of his vehicle. We talked for couple of seconds, shook hands and off he went. He said he hadn’t realized what I was doing as he passed the first time, but returned when he did.

Long story short, this small act of environmental kindness is the perfect example of what we all should be willing to do to help save the world around us. I didn’t get the driver’s name but to the guy with the reddish hair and the blue pick-up, you’re a great representation of what we need. Keep it going!

Bob Bennett

Big oil will always control us

To the editor:

Something for you readers to digest and maybe recall President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower, when elected, uttered these famous words: “Beware the industrial/military complex.” Think he meant arms manufacturers as well as other nice people?

As per the authoritative Oil and Gas Journal (Oct. 13, 2011, Pg. 104), “Big oil will control some 82.8 percent of future Iraqi crude oil production: Exxon-Mobil 22.7 percent, British Petroleum (BP) 20.6 percent, LukeOil 20 percent and Shell 19.5 percent.

This to me is just another transfer of wealth from the Americans who shed their blood and paid treasure to open Iraq for exploitation by the West to the international super rich who, as we all know, run the world while the rest of us poor folks just go on plugging with our heads in the sand.

PS: Too bad Mr. Burns, in his documentary Vietnam, didn’t expose how many bombs were dropped there and what it cost, along with 58,000 poor GIs.

Frank Slason

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Week of September 21, 2017

Why was poster removed

To the editor:

I am writing with great disappointment that any individual would remove posters placed for a cause that could benefit many. Two weeks ago I placed posters for the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at public bulletin boards at the Palermo Town Office and Palermo Post Office. When I went to the Town Office Saturday, Sept. 16, they were both removed. I had not placed them over anything else nor had I taken down anything else, even if it was expired. The boards are public, especially on the post office property, and many non-Palermo events are frequently posted. The walk is a fund-raising activity held in support of Alzheimer’s disease research and these posters were appropriate for the sites. The local Walk is to be held on October 14, 2017, at Head of Falls, in Waterville, and my hope was to encourage participation. Although you may not have suffered the affects of Alzheimer’s personally, odds are that someone in your lifetime –family, friend, co-worker — will and it will touch you, too.

Pat Clark

Letters to the editor, Week of September 7, 2017

Roadside trash overwhelming

To the editor:

My wife and I and another couple took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River, in Quebec, [recently] to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these large, gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However when we crossed the international border from Edmundston, New Brunswick, to Madawaska, we noticed a great change and it wasn’t Belugas swimming in the potato fields of Aroostook County. No, it was the incredible amount of roadside trash.

All four of us are avid cyclists and as such, we are subjected to the disgusting amount of detritus along the roads here in central Maine. From “nip” bottles, to beer cans and bottles, to McDonald’s wrappers and cups, to plastic bags and paper trash, the amount of stuff thrown out of car windows in this part of our world is overwhelming. It almost seems like no one has waste containers in their vehicles or at home any more. This is even more distressing when one reads of the environmental impact that this waste has, not only here but on the world as a whole. By some accounts, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. And yet, the residents are seemingly much more thoughtful for and caring of their surroundings; why can’t we have the same respect for our environment?

I know that there is no simple answer to this issue, but I hope that those of you who read this letter at least think a bit before you toss your Dunkin Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window as you cruise down Lakeview Drive or Rte. 3. It will be better for all of us in the long run.

Bob Bennett
South China

Historical facts can’t be erased

To the editor:

Just a few historical facts concerning this lame-brained antifa and BLM, destroying all statues and memorabilia concerning the Civil  War history.

It would take too much writing to straighten some of the myths concerning some, not all, of the people of that era so I will just give one example: General Robert Edward Lee, one of the best soldiers on either side of the Civil War. Through his leadership the army of northern Virginia repeatedly defeated Union army contingents two and three times the size of his army. He graduated second in his class at West Point Military Academy, never receiving a demerit. He believed slavery to be immoral and inherited some from his family, but released them from bondage. To all who today besmirch and slander the name of Lee by taking down his statues and hiding them, as symbols of public disapprobation, I say shame on you. A black friend of mine years ago down south, and in the military, once told me he thought Lee was the greatest general the south ever had. Wish he was still alive to discuss this with me. [I will] close with the old sage words of someone much wiser than me, who said, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Frank Slason

Letters to the editor, Week of August 24, 2017

Thief among us

To the editor:

To the blonde driving a minivan that had a yellow dog with her.

On August 8, between 4:15 and 4:30 p.m., she took it upon herself to go onto private property, 13 Hime Hill, off the China Neck Road, and helped herself to what she wanted! If she had bothered to find out who owned the property we would probably have given it to her. We are pretty sure she would not allow or want some stranger going on her property and taking what they see that they would like to have. That is called “stealing.” All we can say is now you have to live the rest of your life knowing you are a thief.

Carrol and Susan White
Neck Road, China

Good Samaritan forced from town

To the editor:

I read in the paper the other day, in bold headlines, “Good Samaritan Forced to Leave Town,” because of his act of kindness.

This happened in Florida at a park. The gentleman noticed a little girl who seemed to be lost. He asked her if she was lost, and she replied, “I can’t find my father.” He took her by the hand and went up to people asking them if they knew her or her father? Nobody knew, however, the father noticed the gentleman with his daughter and yelled, “kidnapper,” to which another man tackled this man holding the girl, and threw him to the ground while the father arrived and started punching the man again and again in the face. Once the police arrived they gathered evidence from witnesses who stated that he did, indeed, ask people if they knew the girl or her father. It didn’t matter to the father who didn’t believe anyone and left saying, “I’m glad she is safe.”

Some father, if I would have been the cop I would have arrested the father for assault but the nice man wouldn’t file charges against him. This incident went viral on Facebook and Twitter and the poor man received death threats so severe that he had to leave town for his and his family’s safety.

A note to all you social media people, please reserve your judgment before going along with the Facebook crowd. Perhaps (President Donald) Trump is right calling the media fake news or, at least, in this case, I am sure he is right. In my opinion, the real criminal here was the girl’s father who wasn’t taking proper care of his daughter. Maybe, someone on Facebook should have found out the truth and sent that out viral.

Frank Slason