I’m Just Curious: T-shirt awakening!

by Debbie Walker

Yes that is correct. I saw a T-shirt in a picture on the computer this week that really caught my attention. Now I will admit that if I hadn’t decided to volunteer in a first grade class this year I might not have paid as much attention.

Words on the shirt were, “Teachers Make all Other Professions Possible.” Wow!! How true that really is. Think about it. It amazes me that in this day and age sports people and various other professions are paid so much more than teachers. Hard to believe really. I know that a lot of people think teachers only work part of the year and have all these holidays off ……….ya ya ya. Those people are laboring under a huge misconception.

I know you hear about teachers needing more pay, I am reasonably sure that if you followed teachers around for a few days your opinion would change. There are teachers who do work year round. Their days are not 8 to 4. Most teachers I believe leave the school and take care of their family roles and after all that settle down to correcting papers and planning their coming days. When shopping they are aware of what is available to help keep children interested and enthused about learning. What I have witnessed is whatever the grade I think teachers are on the alert 24/7!!

All right, so all that running off at the mouth leads me to my reason for writing this column. Volunteers are needed in our schools,  even people who can’t be out and about but can help teachers from their homes by cutting and other preparation work that would relieve the teachers to do other things. You would be amazed the ways you could help. Some people think it takes a special skill, however, having another body sometimes is just helpful, another set of eyes or lap. You can make a big difference in a child’s life just by letting them read to you. We all have skills that we don’t acknowledge but others appreciate. Think about yours. Did you tell your kids stories, here is your chance to pass on your stories. It is amazing the difference you could make by volunteering a few hours a week.

I am looking forward to all the reading and writing stuff. I am hoping to pass on my passion of reading and writing. If I can help one child to find learning as enjoyable then all the hours will be worth it. Oh yeah, and the little extra energy I can share in the classroom will be appreciated by my teacher.

I love listening to little ones tell their stories or talk about their experiences. They get so excited. I am hoping to put their little imaginations to work. Maybe I’ll be able to help them write their own stories. Yes, I am excited and I hope others will have an awakening to assist the teachers prepare these children for their future professions.

I’m just curious if you could fill in at least a couple hours a week. You can always be an “aunt,” “uncle,” “grandparent.”

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, sub line: Awakening. See you at school!

Week of August 11, 2016

Week of August 11, 2016

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Simon family receives LakeSmart designation

The China Lake Association is delighted to announce that Irma Simon’s family property on China Lake has just won the coveted LakeSmart Award for their lake-friendly management that protects our lake from harmful stormwater runoff.  Irma’s family has enjoyed their camp since around 1927. […]

Local residents on St. Joseph’s dean list

Five area students at St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, were named to the dean’s list for the spring 2016 semester. They are:  Alexander Terry, of Benton; Meg Nadeau, of South China; Marisellia Greenlaw, Marselina Greenlaw, and Rachel Pelletier, all of Winslow.

Give Us Your Best Shot! – Week of August 11, 2016

rose breasted grosbeak and an indigo bunting

ODD COUPLE: Pat Clark, of Palermo, snapped this photo of a rose breasted grosbeak and an indigo bunting together at the feeder.



ORANGE AND BLACK…: but not a Baltimore Oriole, is what Diane Rawson, of China, photographed in June.


pine warbler

SOAKING IN THE SUN: That was what this pine warbler was doing when Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, photographed it.

…but it’s still baseball season

Lars Jonassen

Erskine Academy head baseball coach Lars Jonassen is working on footwork drills during a recent baseball camp. Jonassen has been coaching for 43 years.
Photos by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography

Football season around the corner…


Football players Isaiah Watters

Winslow Youth Football players Isaiah Watters, above, and Hayden Lockhard, going through opening night practice on August 8.          Photos by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff





Pileated sightings becoming more frequent

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

You catch a fast-moving, swooping bird navigate through the thick forest of trees. It looks more like a shadow. What was that? It lands on the trunk of a nearby tree, and begins a slow, rolling whacking sound against the bark of that dead tree.  You look closer, it’s a pileated woodpecker.

Although very common in the eastern United States, it can sometimes be quite elusive. You don’t generally see them often, because they prefer the protection of dense deciduous or coniferous forests.

Pileated woodpeckers

Pileated woodpecker photographed by Michael Bilinsky, of China Village.

The pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, lives in Canada from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia. It can be found in most areas of the eastern United States, and west from Washington state south to California and east to Idaho and North Dakota.

Their numbers have increased from 1966 to 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding popultion of 1.9 million with 67 percent living in the U.S. and 33 percent in Canada.

The reason for the subject of this bird this week is the numerous photos that readers have been sending to this newspaper.

I have seen several of these birds around camp, and even saw one, once, sitting on an apple tree stump in my backyard, in the middle of Waterville.

The pileated woodpecker is one of the biggest forest birds on the continent. It is close in size to the crow.

Pileated woodpeckers

A pair of Pileated woodpeckers photographed by Pat Clark, of Palermo.

They drill distinctive retangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects. They are loud with whinnying calls. They also drum on dead trees. There flight is undulated (a bounding motion) as opposed to other birds straight flight paths.

Besides carpenter ants, pileated woodpeckers like woodboring beetle larvae, termites and other insects such as flies, spruce budworm, caterpillars, cockroaches and grasshoppers. They will also eat wild fruits and nuts. However, ants comprise 40 percent of their diet. Occasionally, you will find a pileated woodpecker at backyard feeders for seeds or suet.

Building a nest is quite a construction project that can last up to six weeks. The male begins excavating the nest cavity and does most of the work. The entrance hole is oblong rather than the circular shape of most woodpecker holes. For the finishing touches, the bird climbs all the way into the hole and chips away at it from the inside. The female begins to contribute as the nest nears completion. The cavity depth can be from 10 to 24 inches.

Of course, then you have the disagreement on how to pronounce the name. Well, in actuality, it can be pronounced two ways. You can use he soft “i” as in pill-ee-ated, or the hard “i” in pile-ee-ated. So, now we should have no arguments about that subject.

Pileated woodpeckers photographed by John Brown, of Waterville.

Pileated woodpeckers photographed by John Brown, of Waterville.

Many people, though, confuse the pileated woodpecker with the ivory-billed woodpecker.  The ivory-billed woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America, other than the imperial woodpecker of Mexico, which is feared to be extinct. The pileated is the second largest. Because of habitat destruction and, to a lesser extent, hunting, the numbers of ivory-billed woodpeckers, Campephilus principalis, have dwindled to the point where it is uncertain whether any remain, though there have been reports that they have been seen again, in Florida and Arkansas, although nothing has been substantiated. According to various sources, including the Cornell University Lab on Ornithology, almost no forests today can maintain an ivory-billed woodpecker population. Ivory-billed woodpeckers were most prominent in the southeastern U.S.

So, if you see that large woodpecker in Maine woods, you are most probably seeing a pileated woodpecker.

Legal Notices, Week of August 11, 2016



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates.  These matters will be heard at 9 a.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be, on August 24, 2016. The requested appointments may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard.  This notice complies with the requirements of 18-A MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2012-168-1 –    Estate of TATIANA TAYLOR, Minor of Dexter, Me.  Petition for Resignation of Guardian filed by Bobbie Jean Taylor, 5 Wakefield Place, Apt 4, Detroit, Me  04929.
THIS NOTICE IS ESPECIALLY DIRECTED TO:  Gregory Flato, father, who is of address unknown.

Dated:  August 1, 2016 /S/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of August 11, 2016

Katie Ouiletteby Katie Ouilette

Well, here you are!  Yes, your accolades to Karen Lambke for doing such a superb job in making the Kneading Conference and Bread Fair so successful again this year, and certainly the many who attended the Run of River’s many activities deserve so many thanks for the organizing and hard work to bring fun to the many who attended.  Speaking of ‘attending,’ many thanks to the many supporters, as well.

Next, we shall welcome those who have planned another Skowhegan State Fair for us.  Imagine it, faithful readers, our Skowhegan State Fair is the oldest continually operating fair in our U.S.A.!   WALLS, much has changed over the years with our wonderful fair. Goodness, I remember when women and little girls got all dressed up and the men wore their Fedora hats. What’s more, the walk through the Exhibition Hall brought new and exciting things for folks to learn about, as they met friends and talked-the-talk during the walk.  Those were also the days of fish swimming in the water that had been prepared for them under the grandstand.  Oh, yes, the ‘back gate’ became a reality as we drove past the sign for Joe and Katherine Cayoette’s Somerset Motor Lodge,  The Roxiettes danced to entertain and the Banana Man did likewise every night.  Yes, and we had fireworks after each night show.  WALLS, have you ever wondered why those animals kept their cool and didn’t stampede through it all?  Oh, yes, the horses will race, but only at night, this year!  Well, as Judy Garland once sang:  “Hi-ho, come to the fair.”  Oh, lest you forget, WALLS, the Allan Karns Building is now showing floral displays….but, when we were young, we could ride by or bike past the magnificent display of gladiolas that Allan planted on Greenwood Avenue, in Skowhegan.

Y’know, WALLS, you made some promises to Vi Ferland, of the Skowhegan Garden Club, and you should tell folks about it.  Yes, yes, when she was asked how to ‘let folks know,’ she quickly told them about WALLS.

First, Vi told you about Amanda Black’s creating a beautiful wedding spot for those who prefer to plan an outdoor event.  She is a hair stylist, but she and her husband have purchased a home on Norridgewock Avenue, in Skowhegan, and hope they will have many brides-to-be calling them with a preferred wedding date.  They have also done over the historic barn, in case the couple prefers to not worry about our ‘sometimes’ unpredictable weather.

Secondly, Vi told you about the Skowhegan Garden Club’s planting a tree in honor of Charlotte Tripp, at Coburn Park, on August 16.  10 a.m. is the gathering time.  Yes, Vi told of the many good deeds that Charlotte did when a member of the garden club, and that ‘doing good for people young and old’ was her life’s work.  And WALLS adds (Surprise to Vi and Edna) that Edna Marshall and Vi Ferland are the ‘eldest’ members of the Skowhegan Garden Club.  Y’all invited!

In ‘signing off’ for this issue of The Town Line……….we hear about ‘older’ folks, but we are truly lucky to have folks who remember the goodness of days past.