Community Chatter: Watch the cashiers/baggers

To The Town Line:

Please pay attention when checking out of a supermarket. I have had two occasions when I should have paid more attention. Because they try to get by with the minimal number of baggers, that, in my opinion, is what caused the problem. Back in December I was at Hannaford at JFK Mall, in Waterville. The checkout cashier began to process my groceries before the person in front of me had their bags filled and placed in the cart. When I arrived home, I had five items – that I had paid for – missing from my shopping bags. The store, to their credit, replaced all the items with no questions asked, but I had the inconvenience of having to return to the store.

This past weekend, again at the same store, the cashier started processing the items of the woman behind me before the bagger was finished with my order. Upon arriving home, I noticed two items in my bags that I had not picked up nor paid for. I’m sure upon arriving home, that woman realized she had two items missing. I know exactly how she felt. So, my word of advice: watch the baggers and the cashier when checking out.

Dave C.
Vassalboro

Had some good or bad experiences? Good service? Concerns? Share them with your neighbors. Send your comments to townline@fairpoint.net, for consideration.

Letters to the editor, Week of February 8, 2018

Thanks to volunteers

To the editor:

The China Food Pantry exists because of volunteers. Every week four drivers travel to collect fresh items to be distributed on Friday and Saturday. These items are then sorted and prepared both mornings so as to offer good quality shopping. Because of the generosity of three Hannaford stores, Friehoffers Bread Outlet, in Fairfield, Bagelmania, Little Debbie’s, and food donations from community people, we have a wonderful selection of nutritious products for families feeling the “crunch” of winter costs. Kind locals plow the snow and sand the front driveway as their contribution to making China a safer community for all. Money donations arrive regularly from individuals, businesses, churches and local organizations making it possible to buy staple items and put gas in the pantry truck. Our thanks to everyone who has a part in making China a wonderful place to live.

Ann Austin
China Community Food Pantry

Please support benefit fishing derby

To the editor:

There is an ice fishing derby this weekend, organized by the Vassalboro Business Association. Proceeds are to benefit “Save the Mill,” which is a great cause. Tickets are available at The Olde Mill Store, Maine Savings FCU, and the Vassalboro Town Office. I’d like to encourage people to support the derby and Save the Mill, by buying a few tickets, even if they don’t enjoy ice fishing. I’d like to encourage people to contribute directly to Save the Mill. There is an account at the Maine Savings Federal Credit Union, in North Vassalboro. I have been there. They will accept a check payable to “Save the Mill.”

There was also an article in The Town Line in the February 1, 2018, issue describing the derby and where to buy tickets, and an article about Save the Mill.

I’d like to encourage members of the Webber Pond Association to contribute to Save the Mill and maybe indicate that you are affiliated with WPA.

Frank Richards
President, Webber Pond Association
Vassalboro

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
Harmony

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
Winslow

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
China

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
Washington

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
Somerville

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
Palermo