Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of May 18, 2017

LOON WAGGLE: Emily Poulin, of China, captured this loon foot waggle last fall.


JAYS ARE BACK: Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, photographed this bluejay at his feeders recently.


FIRST ORIOLE: Betty Dunton, of Gardiner, snapped the first Baltimore Oriole she has seen this spring.

Week of May 18, 2017

Week of May 18, 2017

[avia_codeblock_placeholder uid="0"]

Vassalboro group announces scholarship recipients

Ally Clark Bonsant, Madison Grass and Kassidy Richards.

The Vassalboro Business Association has announced three Vassalboro residents have each been awarded $500 scholarships by the association.  This scholarship particularly honors community service. Ally Clark Bonsant, daughter of Kelly Clark and Tim Bonsant, has attended Erskine Academy all four years of her high school career. After graduation, she will be attending the University of Maine with a major in nursing. She enjoys playing basketball and throwing for her track and field team. She has participated…. […]

We’d like to feature stories about you, your neighborhood, schools, events and places you remember in Maine from the 1960s or before. Photos, too!

Send your story, with name, phone, or email, to or P.O. Box 89 Jonesbrook Crossing, So. China, ME04358. FMI: 445-2234.

[avia_codeblock_placeholder uid="1"]

Belgrade couple to ride for addiction awareness

On September 6, Belgrade residents Karen , left, and Stephen Hardy will set out on a 700-mile bike ride around the state of Maine to raise awareness about addiction. Contributed photo

On September 6, 2017, Belgrade residents Karen and Stephen Hardy will set out on a 700-mile bike ride around the state of Maine to raise awareness about addiction. Both Karen and Stephen have been personally affected by the devastating effects of addiction and with this ride will raise funds for two Maine organizations. The Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, in Augusta, will receive funds raised to support the education and training in the use of the lifesaving drug, Narcan, also called Naloxone. They will also donate money raised to the Oxford House. The need for safe and supportive housing for those in recovery is critical. Representatives of both of these organizations have been identified.

In the state of Maine, one person dies daily from a drug overdose, as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2015, it was determined that 144 people every day died of drug overdoses in the country. Those numbers are likely to be higher for 2016.

Karen and Stephen are raising money through the Facebook page, Cycle for Addiction Awareness, and GofundMe pages have been set up for each of these recipients with more information. People are invited to like the page, share their stories of recovery and what they want people to know about addiction, and also to ride and support the awareness-raising in that way as well.

The ride will begin in Belgrade and will go North as far as Caribou and Presque Isle, Houlton, and will also pass by Mt. Katahdin. Karen and Stephen will welcome financial support but plan to fund their ride, lodging and food on their own. Other fundraising efforts will be ongoing until September with events held at the Wellness Center they run, Mind, Body, Soul Wellness, LLC located in Belgrade.

For those interested in donating to their endeavor, you can go to GofundMe pages:, for the Oxford House, or for Maine Alliance for Addiction.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Those lovable little critters announcing spring’s arrival


by Roland D. Hallee

Camp is open! Last Friday and Saturday my wife and I worked diligently to get things squared away at camp. Open the shelter, put away necessities for the summer, arrange outdoor furniture, check out the grill, etc. It was a busy two days, and Saturday night we finally sat down around the first campfire of the year.

Before I proceed, let me set the scene.

Next to our camp is a rather large gully that drains spring runoff from the top of the hill down to the lake. Just before you get to the pond, there is a large swampy area.

OK, got it? So there we are sitting around the campfire. At sunset came the sounds for which we have been waiting. The peepers. The unmistakable sound of spring. If you live east of the Mississippi River, you have definitely heard the sound of hundreds of chirping frogs.

A spring peeper, left, and one with its vocal sac inflated. Internet photos

While spring peepers are the most famous of all the frogs, they’re not the only species native to North America. Spring peepers, Pseudacris crucifer, exist in the eastern half of North America from Florida to Canada. You can distinguish the spring peepers, also known as chorus frogs, because their noise sounds very much like jingling bells when there are a lot of them around.

If you have ever seen a spring peeper, you have probably noticed a peculiar bubble that forms around the frog’s mouth. The bubble is actually the frog’s vocal sac. To make their calls, peepers close their nostrils and mouths and squeeze their lungs to inflate the sac. The peeping sound happens as air leaves the lungs, passes over the vocal chords and into the vocal sac.

The sounds they produce are mating calls emanating from the males, which are made from the edges of the bodies of water in which they breed. Even when calling, peepers may be difficult to locate. They typically breed from March to June when the warm rains start. The female will lay around 900 eggs, but up to 1,000 are possible. Egg clusters are hidden under vegetation, and they transform into frogs about eight weeks following the hatching.

Their environment includes marshy areas, especially wooded wetlands and swampy areas near forested areas because they like to hibernate under tree bark or fallen logs. Thus, the perfect habitat is what I described earlier.

They are an extremely small frogs, reaching a maximum size of about 1-1/2 inches and weigh about 0.18 ounces. Because of their diminutive size, they feed on small bugs like ants, small beetles, flies and spiders. They have large toe pads for climbing, although they generally spend their time amid loose debris.

Spring peepers are nocturnal and do most of their hunting at night.

Peepers, are among the first frogs in the region to call in the spring, and will make their first appearance shortly after ice goes out on the wetlands.

How to identify a peeper? That’s easy. They are tan or brown in color with a dark X-shaped marking across their back. Now, go out and try to find one.

The spring peeper has no special endangered status in most areas. They are common and widespread over the region. However, their habitats are quickly changing due to loss of wetlands. In some areas, their populations have decreased significantly. Where have we heard that before?

If you get the chance, spend an evening outside listening to the sounds of spring, and among them you will hear the chirps of these amazing little frogs.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of May 18, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Yip-e-e-e! I am so happy, as of last Thursday, I now have a driver’s license again! I had been without one since my birthday, and it was a terrible feeling not to be able to drive legally for two weeks, and I surely didn’t want to see my name in the police log!

Was thrilled to receive the Solon School News and let all you interested readers know that an assembly was held at the Solon School on April 26 announcing the Coolidge Library Bookmark Contest winners. They are Elizabeth Berube, Preschool; Maxxwell Caplin, Grade K; Lane Frost, Grade 1; Emerson Golden, Grade 2; William Rogers, Grade 3; Ciara Myers- Sleeper; Grade 4; and Sascha Evans, Grade 5.

The contest was a joint project of Solon Elementary School and the Coolidge Public Library, in Solon. Each student in grades PreK-5 created a bookmark promoting reading. The contest was judged by Coolidge librarian Megan Myers and RSU #74 art teacher Richard Reichenbach.

At the assembly, each winner received a book from Ms. Myers and library trustee Rich Roberts. The Solon selectwomen Elaine Aloes and Sarah Davis also attended the assembly.

The winning bookmarks were duplicated and will be handed out to patrons at the town library. Congratulations to the winners!

The third quarter honor roll at Solon Elementary is as follows: All A’s: Emily Baker, Jayden Cates, Cooper Dellarma, Gavyn Easler, Sascha Evans, William Lawrence, Summer Lindblom, Aiden McLaughlin, Macie Plourde, Desmond Robinson, William Rogers, Aaron Soosman, Hailey Wyman and Dystany Young. All A’s& B’s: Karen Baker, Delena Cabral, Tehya Caplin, Sarah Craig, Alex Enos, Reid Golden, Riley Graham, Courtney Grunder, Nevaeh Holmes, Elisha Ireland, Cody James, Ella McKinnon, Abby Parent, Paige Reichert, Alyssa Schinzel, Brooks Sousa, Fisher Tewksbury, Lucas Vicneire and Ciarrah Whiiemore.

Winners of the Sea Dogs Most Improved Student Awards were Veronica Hoffman, Riley Graham,Cooper Dellarma, Abby Parent, Brooks Sousa, Hunter Pouliot, Paul Craig and Abby Leeman.

Kindergarten students at Solon Elementary School enjoyed the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at the Portland Science Center on April 13.

Solon Elementary School celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with lots of special activities back in March. These included daily guest readers, dress-up days, crafts and games, and even a Dr. Seuss-themed lunch. We thank Mrs. Jen LaChance for organizing the week’s events.

The North Anson Congregational Church will be having an indoor yard and bake sale at the church on Saturday, June 3, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Missionary Charles Sagay, from Cameroon, Africa, will be at the North Anson Congregational Church to share the gospel and more about what is happening at the Mission School of Hope. Charles arrived on May 15, and will be staying with Pastor Dave and Mary. Please consider yourself invited to come and get to know this wonderful man and become a part of the Mission School of Hope.

There will be a $1 and $2 clothing bag sale at the Embden Community Center Thrift Shop on May 19 and 20.

Don’t forget the special Solon Town Meeting on Monday, May 22, at the Solon Elementary School at 7 p.m. This will be to vote on the four items I wrote about recently. I was unable to attend the budget committee meeting on May 8 because that night was our last meeting of this session of my adult painting club at Skowhegan, and we always have a party. The only thing I heard about the budget meeting from one of the members, was that there was quite a bit of discussion about article 2, the sidewalks on Pleasant and School streets.

And now for Percy’s memoir which has to do with Love which he had a lot of: Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. (Unknown)

Until next week….

I’m Just Curious: Amazing uses

by Debbie Walker

I bought a book (yup another crazy book!) of 501 Amazing Uses for Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, Olive Oil & Lemons and wanted to share some of it with you.

SALT: Almost every food is improved with the addition of salt. Salt is also used to preserve food. Salt has also been used successfully as a cleaner; its slight abrasiveness without scratching makes it perfect for some cleaning. It also has a use as an antiseptic.

One of the uses I had not seen before is to prevent frost from developing on inside of windows. Wipe windows inside and out with one part salt to eight parts water applied with lint-free cloth.

Keep line-dried clothing from freezing. Add a small amount of salt to the final rinse cycle.

Lay out an ant barrier. Spread a 1/8-inch thick line of salt along window ledges and doorways where ants commonly enter.

VINEGAR: It has numerous uses as a preservative, a condiment, a healing agent and a cleanser.

A teaspoon of white vinegar might fix a recipe that you added too much salt to.

Reduce gassy effect from beans by adding one tablespoon white vinegar to water while cooking.

Degrease the stovetop. Equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray stovetop and wipe clean.

Remove stickers with full strength white vinegar to the sticker with a paint brush or cotton ball, let stand 60 minutes. Scrape off.

There are many more uses for these products, but I don’t have room to put them all here. I got my book through Amazon.

OLIVE OIL: Where in the world is Asia Minor, I don’t remember that from our geography class! But it’s one place where olives are grown. It can be used in foods, personal care, natural remedies, home maintenance and cleaning.

Store olive oil in a cool, dark place to last longer. Make sure to keep it in a container that won’t let light in. Both light and heat will cause it to deteriorate.

There are all kinds of food uses but one use I liked was to add a teaspoon to a pot of water to prevent it from boiling over! (I also know that a wooden spoon across top of pan somehow stops the water from boiling over.

BAKING SODA: Of course “baking” soda is used a great deal for cooking although it has many other uses. Useful in labs, medicine cabinets, an effective antacid, soothes irritated skin and insect bites. Around the house it can be a cleaning agent, deodorizer, stain lifter and a polishing agent. It can be used for brushing teeth, baths and even an aftershave (?).

The book didn’t list many hints other than in their description. But most of what I am aware of is using baking soda in a paste form.

LEMONS: uses in the kitchen for cooking and for cleaning. They have an antiseptic and preservative, deodorizer, bleach and disinfectant and the list goes on and on!!

Hate to do this but I have run out of space. Next week I will add to this. I hope that is OK with you.

I’m just curious if you like this stuff like I do! Contact me at sub: Lemons next. Thank you for reading!

REVIEWS: Composer: Jean-Baptiste Loeillet; Film: Carousel; Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky


by  Peter Cates

Jean-Baptiste Loeillet

Jean-Baptiste Loeillet

Sonatas; Trio Sonatas; and Lesson for the Harpsichord
Pierre Pouleau, recorder; Andre Chevalet, oboe; and Yvonne Schmit, harpsichord. Music Guild MS-113, 12-inch stereo vinyl LP, released 1965.

One of a select group of baroque composers who wrote truly beautiful music for both the flute and recorder, Jean-Baptiste Loeillet (1680-1730) was born in Belgium, became a very talented player on the flute and harpsichord during early childhood, and traveled to England at 25 years old where he settled for life. He composed mainly for the flute, taught and arranged concerts for the wealthy, through which he became financially quite comfortable.

The performances are superb, and, fortunately for those with a record player, the album is still available through several Amazon vendors for prices starting at six dollars.


starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell, etc.; directed by Henry King; 20th Century Fox, released June, 1956.

Gordon MacRae

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel began as a hugely successful Broadway musical in 1945, but its transformation into a film shot in exquisite living color, and with better singers, superior orchestration by Alfred Newman and, for most of the film, the backdrop of our own Boothbay Harbor, turned it into a true cinematic classic – worthy of the several best film lists it has made. It and the 1945 State Farm are my two favorite R & H films.

Shirley Jones

The manner in which the movie segues at the beginning from a mundane conversation in heaven to the glorious Carousel Waltz is a case in point. Three of the greatest songs in Broadway musical history – If I Loved You, When the Children Are Asleep, and You’ll Never Walk Alone – are given the best performances they have ever received in the most pleasing seaside settings. The choreography along the marina and, later, on a lonely beach are dazzling set pieces of limber, supple virtuosity. And watching Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones and Barbara Ruark singing in their prime is a singular pleasure!

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting the USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra; Eurodisc 201 984-250, 12-inch stereo LP, recorded 1967.

The conductor, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, is, at 85, one of the more accomplished and interesting conductors to have emerged since the early ‘60s. First, he is accomplished because he was barely 22 years old when he was scoring successes in his appearances with various major Russian orchestras and both the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet through live appearances and recordings. He also has upwards of 1,500 musical works of a wide range of composers committed to memory. Finally, all of the recordings I have heard of his are consistently good, unlike several of the shining stars of the firmament of today. And I own at least a shelf of them.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Secondly, he is interesting because of the manner in which he conducts. I once saw him live in Boston’s Symphony Hall back in ’73 when he was on tour with the Leningrad Philharmonic (now, since the fall of the former Soviet Union, referred to as the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.). That evening, he used very precise but conventional gestures.

However, I have seen footage of him not conducting the orchestra at all while it is playing but walking around the stage smiling a lot, yet barely moving his arms. Other times, he has been known to flail his arms without the baton or grabbing it with both hands effortfully, as though it weighed 50 pounds. Still, he gets quality work while being the ham!

The Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique is one of my favorite works to collect in duplicate recordings and, it being a special favorite, I own at least 40. Rozhdestvensky’s LP is good but not great. My absolute favorite is the 1975 recording of Herbert von Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic has been available through Amazon and its vendors as a CD for years and, more often than not, inexpensive. The third movement, Scene in the Fields, has rarely sounded more serene or sublime while the fifth movement’s Dream of a Witch’s Sabbath is most colorful and ominous.

PAGES IN TIME: Horror films scared me out of my gourd


by Milt Huntington

Frankenstein, The Wolfman and Dracula were the trio of terror who lurched from the silver screen to scare me out of my gourd during the early days of horror films. They survive to this day in sequels and parodies, but they’re not nearly as frightening as they were in their original form.

How well I remember, crouched in a darkened theater, peering through my fingers with my hands over my eyes as the music swelled to indicate something really bad was about to occur. My most horrific nightmares and trepidations of terror were brought to the surface by the monsters on the screen as I continually reminded myself: “It’s only a movie.”


If I had to pick a favorite spook, I guess it would be Frankenstein, adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel and originally starring Boris Karloff. In spite of his square head, borrowed body parts and electrodes sticking out of his neck, he was kind of pitiful as he walked stiff-legged through the film, not quite understanding what the heck was going on. What fun Hollywood had with their countless repeats of the Frankenstein theme. When Abbott & Costello met Frankenstein in the movie of the same name, Costello looked down on the prostrate monster and scared poor Frankenstein half to death. Herman Munster, of course, was the epitome of modern day Frankenstein parodies.

The Werewolf

The werewolf flicks will never die. They go on endlessly from the original 1935 “Werewolf of London” in which a scientist brings the wolf curse upon himself. Next was the 1941 version of the Wolfman with Lon Chaney Jr, whose remarkable make-up transition from man to wolf captivated me every time. The type-cast Chaney then appeared in a bunch of B-grade sequels, including “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.”

The full of the moon brought the Wolfman into full bloom with his evil eyes, two big fangs and hairy face and body. Only a silver bullet could take him out. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was the latest to do a take-off on the werewolf legend in his top-selling “Thriller” album.


The well-dressed but blood-sucking Dracula may have been the most successful of all the horror films. The vampire has been portrayed nearly 200 times in horror films since the first one was released in 1931, starring Bela Lugosi. No silver bullet for him! You could hold him at bay for a spell by holding a cross to his face, but it took a stake through the heart to really do him in. Daylight was also tough on his skin, so he hunkered down in his casket and waited for night fall to take a bite out of life.

I love the story about Bela Lugosi’s actual funeral. It seems that his real-life friend, Boris Karloff, was standing and peering into the casket. Lugosi was looking ghastly white and very dead, not unlike the way he looked when he was made up for the movies.

Karloff was heard to say” “Bela, you wouldn’t put me on, would you?” Some of the humor born of horror films is equally entertaining. I remember George Hamilton, in a Dracula tale-off movie, being asked: “How do you like your stake?”

Lon Chaney Sr. was undoubtedly the best of the beasts. Known as the man of a thousand faces, his most famous role was perhaps “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. Quasimodo, the poor deformed bell ringer, was enthralled by a lovely maiden, but he was hopelessly unattractive. I remember the scene when he clamored to the top of the cathedral and said sadly to the cement decorative cornice: “Oh, Gargoyle! Why am I not made of stone!” James Cagney had the leading role in the film depicting Chaney’s life and turned in a memorable performance.

Chaney delivered big time with his portrayal of “The Phantom of the Opera” in which he gets unmasked to reveal a hideous face. Several versions of the movie followed Chaney in the years ahead, one with Claude Raines. “The Phantom” was also a smash on Broadway.

Then, there were the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde films with leading actors like John Barrymore, Frederic March and Spencer Tracy. The kind doctor was transformed into the evil Hyde by drinking some concoction he had devised. Miriam Hopkins and Ingrid Bergman each took a shot at co-starring as the wicked, slutty prostitute. More recently, Julia Roberts gave the role a little different spin with her portrayal of Dr. Jekyll’s innocent maid.

Creaking doors, sudden sounds, fog-shrouded moors and the ever-present scary music all combined to keep my hair standing on end in movies like “The Mummy’s Ghost”, “The Invisible Man”, and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” with Sherlock Holmes. I particularly enjoyed being terrified by “The Beast With Five Fingers” in which a separated hand walks around throughout the flick. In the final close-up scene, the hand appears to be crawling up the shirt front of the narrator. When he sees the hand approaching his throat, his eyes bulge and he grabs at the hand only to find it is merely one of his own.

All the morbid tales of the living dead, the mad scientists and the half-man–half-animal creatures were cinematically designed to slip into the minds of theater-goers like me and keep us on the edge of our seats. Every kind of slimy, over-sized, reptilian monster is being brought to the screen today in movies like “Jurassic Park”. Then we have the movie, “Jaws”, which featured a great white shark approaching unsuspecting victims as the beat of a drum grows faster and louder to herald the monster’s arrival. As a grown-up adult, I handled that scene very well. I simply lifted my feet off the movie house floor and placed them under me on top of my seat.

Ah yes, all these classic monster movies from years gone by and all the scary films of today with their horrifying special effects are designed to raise our blood pressure and send chills down our collective backs. All those vampires, zombies, ghosts, and other grotesque and supernatural fiends play on our fears of the unknown and eventual death. Hey! Get over it. It’s only a movie!

Milt Huntington is the author “A Lifetime of Laughter” and “Things That MakeYou Grin.”

University of New Hampshire’s dean’s list for the fall 2016 semester

The following students have been named to the dean’s list at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, New Hampshire, for the fall 2016 semester.

Bayleigh Logan, of Augusta, honors; Michaela Hinckley-Gordon, of Benton, highest honors; Kyle McLain, of Fairfield, high honors; Carly LaRochelle, of Fairfield, high honors; Jessica Hosea, of Oakland, highest honors; Hannah Duperry, of Oakland, highest honors; Taylor Ferguson, of Sidney, high honors; Kelly McCormac, of South China, highest honors; Adam Bovie, of Vassalboro, high honors; Kellie Bolduc, of Waterville, high honors; Luke Violette, of Waterville, highest honors; Sarah Wildes, of Winslow, highest honors.

Letters to the editor, Week of May 18, 2017

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. Anyone who would like to support the Palermo Food Pantry may bring non-perishable food items on Tuesdays after 10 a.m., or call for a pick up. The pantry is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. – noon and is located at the Community Center across from the ball field on Turner Ridge Road.

Palermo food pantry volunteers