Poster contest winners announced

The China Lake Association sponsored its fifth annual poster contest for the fifth and sixth graders at China Middle School. They learned about alewives. Until the Dams in Vassalboro were built about 100 years ago, the alewives could naturally swim up the rivers to China Lake and stay for the summer months. In the fall, they swim out of the lake taking with them the phosphorous that fosters algae blooms, to return to the ocean. Alewives were a very important fish for our lake’s balance of nature.

In May, the students went by bus to see the alewives swim up the Webber Pond fish ladder. Nate Gray, a biologist from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Frank Richards, president of the Webber Pond Association, were there to teach the students and answer their questions. After learning about alewives, they were given poster paper to illustrate a theme about alewives. Some of the topics were:  Alewives life cycle, advantages to have alewives in China Lake, alewives migration from the ocean to the lake or how dams are preventing them from coming into China Lake and what we are doing to fix that barrier.  They were free to draw a picture, do poetry, write a slogan or write a story on the poster paper. Completed posters were judged according to the student’s imagination and presentation.

Winner for the fifth grade were: first prize, Lauren Tyler, second prizes went to Maddie Pacholski and Alexis Rancourt, third prizes went to Alivia Gower, Angel Bonilla, Cuden Clark and Reiana Gonzalez.

Winners for the sixth grade were: first prize to Cameron Speck, second prize Madison Lully, third prizes went to Julia Barber,  Emily Clark, Alonzo Michaud, Jacob William Fisher, Mackenzie Roderick and Cailee Elsasser.

Monetary awards will be presented at the China Lake Association’s annual meeting at the China Primary School 9 a.m., Saturday, July 23.

Winslow Family 4th of July Celebration 2016 Schedule of Events

Winslow Family 4th of July Celebration 2016Saturday July 2: Family Fun Kids Day and Golden Oldies

Noon – 1 p.m. – Michael Krapovicky-Acoustic performer.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.m – Adam Laverdiere – acoustic performer.

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. – Rfactor 13 – Classic Rock.

4:15 – 5:45 p.m. – Borderline Express – Country.

6:15 – 7:30 p.m. – 4th of July Idol Competition.

8 – 9:30 p.m. – Radio Thieves – Classic Rock.

Sunday July 3

Noon – -1:30 p.m. – Dance Yourself Clean –

Pop Rock ‘60s to today’s music.

2 – 3:30 p.m. – The Resistance – Rock/Alternative.

4 – 5:30 p.m. – Right Amount of Wrong – Classic Rock.

6 – 7:30 p.m. —Tina Kelly Band – Country.

7:45 – 10:00 p.m. – Chris Rush, DJ.

8: – 10:00 p.m. – Street Dance in the Park – Out of the Blue – ‘70s and Early ‘80’ – Arena Rock and one hit wonders.

Monday July 4

Parade 10 a.m. – noon.

Noon – 1:15 p.m. – Cold Blue Steel – Country.

1:30 – 3 p.m. -J uke Rocket Blues – Up Tempo Blues Band.page7pict1

3:30 – 5 p.m. – Illusion – Classic Rock.

5:15 – 6:30 p.m. – Diem Store Heroes – Country/Rock.

6:45 – 7 p.m. – Pizza Eating Contest, Sponsored by It’s a Good Pizza , of Winslow.

7:30 – 9 p.m. – Scarab – Journey Tribute Band.

9 p.m. – Maine State Police Bag Pipers /God Bless America – Crowd & Committee.

National Anthem – Sung by Idol winner.

9:30 p.m. – Central Maine’s largest fireworks show.

Shuttle Buses to run all day July 3 and 4.

Compost tea: the stinky secret and why it is so good for your plants



by  Emily Cates


Part 2 of 2

Last time we touched on how compost tea is made and its purported benefits for plants. Now, let’s discuss what materials we could use to make it. Prime candidates include finished compost, livestock (not pet) manure, worm castings, seaweed, coffee, comfrey, nettles, horsetail, garlic, or even weeds. Feel free to experiment with single-variety or mixed brews. Many sources recommend aerating the tea as it brews – though some folks don’t and still get good results. The kind of bubbler that’s used in fish tanks will work. (Try it with recipes of all the different materials mentioned in this article.) Let’s look at these materials one at a time and see what they are claimed to be especially good for. For helpful, in-depth information regarding soil microbiology- which is the system on which benefits of compost tea are based upon- follow this link:

A tea made from finished compost provides nutrients and beneficial microorganisms that promote health and growth. Why water with plain water when you can add a spot of tea? Brewing compost tea is thought to make the nutrients easier to absorb, especially when aerated. Also, when working with compost or similar substances, it might be helpful to place the contents into an old pillowcase or something similar to make a “tea bag.” That way it’s much easier to handle. For more info on compost tea, check out this link:

As long as the manure used is completely Compost teafinished and sourced from herbivorous animals, manure tea is a viable option to the adventurous gardener. Similar to compost tea, it too provides a web of beneficial microbes and may help plants increase their hardiness and resistance to pests. There is debate on the safety of un-aerated manure teas; to be on the safe side, it may be wise to use a bubbler. Also, when applying manure tea to plants that will be eaten, it is advised – just as when applying manure to a garden – to wait 90 days to harvest above-ground plant parts, 120 for below-ground parts. Here is a link for info about making and using manure tea:

If you practice vermicomposting, then you no doubt have a supply of worm castings to make tea with. If you’ve never tried composting with worms, you should! (More on that in a future article.) Every gardener I have talked with over the years has a special place in his or her heart for earthworms. Their rich castings, a.k.a. “poops” are a known benefit to soils and are a pillar on which healthy soils stand. One could reason that something this good for healthy soils could be good for healthy plants. Many sources recommend adding molasses when making worm casting tea. Here’s a link:

Loaded with minerals and plant growth-promoting and regulating substances, seaweed has been used for ages as a secret to great gardens. In addition to being a valuable soil amendment, it, unsurprisingly, makes a good tea. Just make sure yours is sourced from un-polluted areas. I found this link entertaining and helpful:

While we’re talking about tea, we might as well mention coffee. Before you toss the grounds into the compost pile, why not brew up some coffee-tea? Some folks swear their roses, citrus, blueberries, and other acid-loving plants perk up from a dose of it. Here’s a link about using coffee grounds in the garden: http://organicgardening.

Comfrey: This herb is a blessing or a curse, depending on where you plant it. The bad news about comfrey is that it can be invasive. It needs to be controlled with a regular harvest without going to seed. Disturb the roots and it will spread. If you plant it in an area where you can mow it and the roots and flowers are kept far away from the compost pile, you should be okay. Think orchards. Also, comfrey may be grown in large containers. The good news about comfrey is that it is regarded as practically a miracle plant by gardeners. Its deep roots bring up nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and many other nutrients from the soil. It is also a potent activator for soil microbes. It grows into a fairly large plant, so it is quick and easy to harvest a lot of it. I just stuff it into a 5-gallon pail halfway or so, fill with water, and cover. I try to stir it every day for about three weeks, and then it’s ready to dilute at least 1:10 as a liquid fertilizer. For more info, follow this link:

Nettles: You’re going to need gloves for this one. Stinging nettles, known for their stinging properties when brushed against, are also known to be loaded with minerals and nutrients for man, beast, and flora. Nettles are said to even strengthen neighboring plants as they grow, and to increase yields. Whilst gathering the early spring nettles for cooking, I make it a point to gather as many as possible for the compost tea bucket, following the same method as for comfrey. Here’s a helpful video:

Horsetail: This herb is abundant in silica and is oftentimes used in tea on fruit trees to strengthen them and help with diseases that are worse in wet weather.

Garlic: Garlic and other alliums are abundant in sulfur compounds, which are known to be helpful against fungal diseases in plants.

Weeds: Plants with long roots such as burdock, curly dock, and dandelion are believed to confer strength, vitality, and resistance to stress. Have you ever tried to pull them up? Those thick, strong taproots bring up nutrients from deep down, so you know they are loaded with minerals. It is also said that vigorous, hard-to-eradicate weeds such as quack grass or knotweed infuse the tea with their heartiness. Others, such as mint, tansy, and chamomile, have aromatic qualities that may help repel pests. Really, just about any weed that doesn’t cause you an allergic reaction can be brewed into compost tea. What better way to gain retribution for noxious invaders in your garden?

Obituaries, Week of June 30, 2016


WINSLOW––Raymond M. McCaslin passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. He was the son of Martin and Etta (Holt) McCaslin, born in East Winslow. Raymond grew up on the Nowell Road, in East Winslow.

Raymond attended Winslow High School and in 1942 enlisted in the United States Navy. He entered active service of World War II on June 18, 1943, where he would serve as an electricians mate on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill and two repair ships, the U.S.S. Kent Island and U.S.S. Minotaur. He was honorably discharged on May 11, 1946.

He married Yvette (Marcia) in 1947, celebrating 68 years of marriage. They purchased a home on the Nowell Road, not far from where Ray grew up. Ray and Yvette worked hand-in-hand on their farm in Winslow. He was a gifted craftsman; loved farming, gardening and working in the woods. Later, he and Yvette enjoyed snowmobiling for many years during their retirement.

He was predeceased by his parents; his beloved wife, Yvette; his sister, Virginia Lang; his brother, Bernard; his devoted friend and neighbor, Larry Pelotte; and his cousin, Walter McCaslin, who was like a brother.

Raymond is survived by his sister, Geneva Ahearn; his son, Daniel McCaslin and wife Betty, of Waterville; his daughter, Jean Ann Main and her husband Richard, of Lebanon; and his granddaughter Shannon Olson and her husband Tim, of Cutler; as well as several stepgrandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Norma McCaslin; many devoted nieces and nephews; and his cousin, Leola Mae (McCaslin) Roberts who was born on October 31, 1913.


WINSLOW––Horace “Hod” Clinton Libby, 90, passed away on June 15, 2016, at home. He was born to Howard and Christine (Bradbury) Libby, in Lewiston on July 18, 1925, and grew up in Auburn.

Following graduation from Edward Little High School, Hod served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1947, he married Roberta Watson and they settled in Freeport where he managed The Men’s Shop, was owner and proprietor of Mid-Town Apparel, and worked as a retail clerk for L. L. Bean before retiring in 1987.

Hod was well-known for his baking/cooking, gardening, crafting and singing (choir/barbershop). His sense of humor and caring ways made him loved by all who knew him. He loved traveling with Roberta to many places especially Europe for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day.

Horace was predeceased by his wife, Roberta, and brothers Arnold, Gerry and Robert.

He is survived by daughters Wendy (Robert) Nutting, of Oakland, and Cathy Brann, of Topsham; grandchildren Cheri Nutting (Michael Briggs), of New Hampshire, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Michaud, of Topsham, Christine Nutting (Tyler Jandreau), of Waterville, and Steven (Elizabeth), of Oakland; and great-grandchildren William Potter, Anna and Eliza Briggs, Keely and Stella Nutting, and Nolan and Miles Michaud; brother Warren Libby, and sisters Harriett Kilbride and Geraldine Call; plus many nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to Winslow Congregational Church, or a charity of your choice.


OAKLAND – Nancy Marie Lagasse Smith, 53, passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, following a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. Nancy was born in Waterville on January 7, 1963, to Alfred and Irene (Vigue) Lagasse. Nancy graduated from Winslow High School.NANCY M. SMITH

Nancy spent most of her working years at Hannaford Supermarket and made many lifelong friends there. Nancy’s dedicated work ethic spilled over into her personal life, making her a caregiver to her parents, her husband Wayne, and Bill’s mother, Shirley. .

An active home-body, Nancy enjoyed taking walks, cooking, knitting, finding a treasure while lawn-saleing, and tending to her garden. Having been welcomed into the church, Nancy helped out at various events at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church despite her failing health, quickly becoming a cherished part of their family. Nancy was consistently supporting her nieces and nephews in their milestone events. Despite the difficulties of her health issues, Nancy remained positive and cheerful, always welcoming visitors. If you were lucky enough to know Nancy, then you were lucky enough.

Nancy was predeceased by her parents Alfred and Irene Mary (Vigue) Lagasse; and her husband Wayne Smith.

Survivors include her fiancé Bill Paquet, of Oakland, her sisters Joan Cates, of Winslow, Anita Howard and husband Tim, of Vassalboro, Diane Murphy, of Leeds, Theresa Kimball and husband Mike, of Vassalboro, Janice Knowles and significant other Jarod Waraskevich, of Waterville; brothers Donald Lagasse and wife Linda, of Winslow, Robert Lagasse and wife Tina, of Vassalboro, and Richard Lagasse and wife Penny, of Vassalboro; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews; greatnieces and greatnephews.

Memorial donations may be made to MaineGeneral Hospice, PO Box 828, Waterville, Maine 04901-0828.


EAST VASSALBORO––Christine Thomas Wright passed away at her home in East Vassalboro on Saturday, June 18, 2016. She was born in Lewiston on September 22, 1926, the daughter of Carl Anton and Dorathea Thomas.

She grew up in Eustis, spending summers at King and Bartlett Sporting Camps. She graduated from Stratton High School in 1943, and from Augusta General (MaineGeneral) Hospital School of Nursing in 1947 as an R.N. She began her nursing career at Augusta General (MaineGeneral); then went to Franklin Memorial, in Farmington, and Thayer Hospital, in Waterville, retiring from the state of Maine hospital licensing board in 1987.

She was predeceased by her husband, Louis E. Wright Jr., in 1975; and her brother, John Thomas, in 2011.

She is survived by her daughter, Lynn Pulkka, of Ocala, Florida; her son Scott Wright, of East Vassalboro; grandchildren, Karen Pulkka, of Ocala, Florida, Nicole Wright, of Augusta, Nathan Wright, of East Vassalboro; great-granddaughter, Amya Hertler, of Augusta; and special friend and cousin, Arlene Smiley, of China.

She was a class act, right to the end!

Memorial donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House or the Humane Society of your choice.


Marlene “Mo” Ann Bernier, 66, died Saturday, June 18, 2016, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta, following a lengthy illness brought on by the complications of diabetes.  She was born in Waterville on October 13, 1949, to Eugene and Rita (LeClair) Pomerleau.

She was educated in Waterville and graduated from Mount Merici Academy in 1967. She attended Rivier College, in New Hampshire.

MARLENE A. BERNIERShe married Daniel Gene Bernier in 1969.  They had three sons together and she stayed at home to raise them.  In the 1980s she and her husband operated D&M Variety, in Winslow.  Mo enjoyed quilting.  She loved candlepin bowling, cooking for her family, and any time she could spend on any lake.  She enjoyed trips to Addison to purchase fresh wild blueberries.  She also looked forward to the Windsor Fair every year to bet on the horses and watch her children attempt to win her a stuffed animal at the games, though they weren’t always successful.

Marlene is survived by her husband, Daniel, of Winslow; three sons, Scott and his wife Claire Curole, of Augusta, Christopher and his wife Yvette, of Winslow; and Jonathan, of Winslow, and his girlfriend, Amanda Doucette, of Albion; one adopted daughter, Joanne Quirion, of Waterville; one step-granddaughter, Paige Spears, of Winslow; two adopted grandsons, Ronnie and Cody Quirion, of Waterville; and many cousins, nieces & nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents and several aunts and uncles.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 1, 2016, from 6 to 7 p.m., early arrival no earlier than 5:30 p.m., at the VFW, in Winslow located at 175 Veterans drive.  A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 2, 2016, from noon to 6:00 p.m., with potluck optional at the home of Christopher andYvette Bernier, 12 Woodlawn Drive, Winslow. Interment will be at a later date.

If you wish to assist with funeral and medical expenses, there is a Go Fund Me page set-up at: or you can mail a check with “Mo Fund” in the memo to the attention of: Yvette Bernier, 12 Woodlawn Dr., Winslow, ME  04901.


FAIRFIELD – Bernice C. “Bunnie” Nutting, 95, passed away quietly on Saturday, June 18, 2016. She was born on September 11, 1920, the only daughter of Cecile and Henry McGraw. BERNICE C. NUTTING

She attended schools in Fairfield, and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1938. In 1940, she married Cecil L. Nutting and their legacy of the “Nutting Clan” began.

She was a busy homemaker for most of her life, but still was able to  participate in many minstrel shows and in later years danced with the Foxy Ladies. She was formerly employed by Dunham’s of Maine, in Waterville, and the Bonnet Shop, in Skowhegan.

Although plagued by tragedy and loss, and the aches of older age, she always maintained her “move forward” attitude. She was a weekly player of bridge, an active participant with her “Thursday Girls,” a well-outfitted lady in the Red Hat Society, a popular patron of Eric’s Restaurant and, with some help from her family, maintained her home, independence, and her active social life.

Her grandchildren’s memories are filled with special foods she made for them, trips to Greenville, and the surprising fact that Nana, always the lady, “got” a bawdy joke.

She was predeceased by her husband of over 50 years in 1991; two daughters, Carol and Betsy, in a fire in 1961; a daughter, Sandra Laliberty in 1971; daughter-in-law, Judith Nutting in 1982; and grandson, Michael Batey in 2015.

She leaves behind her son, James Nutting and his wife, Lynne, of Fairfield, and children, Kimberly Dunton and her husband, Travis, of Pittsfield and their son, Mackenzie, and Michael Nutting and wife, Jane, of Fairfield and their sons, Jordan and J.T.; Michael Batey’s wife, Jennifer, of Vassalboro, and their daughter, Adelia, Cory Nutting and wife, Jill, of Fairfield, and their son, Conner, Kelly Alley and her husband, Jeff, of Albion, and their son, Zachary and daughter, Raygen, Kevin Nutting and his wife, Jaime, of Waterville and their son, Kobe; her son Lindsay Nutting and companion, Tammy Long, of Belgrade, and his daughters, Meghan Nutting and Morgan Nutting, both of Colorado, and her daughter, Etta; granddaughters, Jane Leathers and husband, Carl, of Fairfield, and their sons, Alex and Jimmy, and Jill Duelly, of Waterville, and her sons, Kyle and Kris.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at:

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of choice.


WINSLOW––Robert Russell Melcher, 78, passed away on Monday, June 20, 2016, at the VA Healthcare System in Augusta. He was born on March 6, 1938, in Claremont, New Hampshire, the son of Edward R. and Laudina M. (Coulombe) Melcher.

He was educated in the schools of Jay and graduated from Jay High School in 1956 and then continued his education at the Auburn Maine School of Commerce, graduating in 1957. He was a veteran who proudly served his country in the US Army until his honorable discharge. On October 6, 1957, he married Rhoda L. Cameron, of North Jay.

Over the years Robert was employed by Norrwock Shoe, in North Jay and Norridgewock, Truitt Brothers, in Belfast, and Bass Shoe, in Wilton and South Portland. He was a member of the American Legion of Skowhegan and a volunteer firefighter for the town of Norridgewock. Robert enjoyed collecting coins as well as playing golf, baseball and rag ball with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also had a strong love for old time country music.

He was predeceased by his parents; and sisters, Violet Viotto and Marceline O’Brion.

He is survived by his wife, Rhoda L. (Cameron) Melcher, of Winslow; children, Robert and Erica Melcher, Dwayne and Ming Melcher, Cindy and Doug Wyman, Jeff and Jenny Melcher, and Anne and Mike Latendresse; grandchildren, Justin and Kelly Melcher, Colleen Melcher, Daryl Wyman, Jimmy and Kristin Melcher, Colette and Kassidy Latendresse; great-grandchildren, Spencer, Brandon and Brooklyn Wyman, Jude Melcher Le and Tanner Melcher; siblings, Terry Bergeron, Edward Melcher Jr., Larry Melcher; and several nieces and nephews.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan ME 04976.

Memorial donations may be made to The Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, 19 Colby Street,

Waterville ME 04901 or Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville ME 04901.


FAIRFIELD––Maynard Carl Gray, 84, passed away on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. He was born on January 25, 1932, in Belfast, to Carl and Ethel (Boynton) Gray.

He attended Belfast schools, then served in the U.S. Air Force for four years as a radar technician. After an honorable discharge, he attended Coyne Electrical & Technical School, in Boston, for electrical drafting and estimating. He was employed by Bath Iron Works and later was self-employed, selling and servicing farm machinery and milking systems throughout the state for many years.

He was known for his wonderful dry sense of humor.

On November 11, 1952, he married the former, Larita Walker, of Belfast, and together they had five children: Mitchell (wife Marianne, children Austin and Colette), of Florida, Pamela Gray begin (husband Lewis, daughter Alisa Johnson), of Fairfield, Joel (wife Judy, daughter Tarsha Donar) of Utah, Sandra Gray Brice (husband James, sons Christopher and Evan), of Florida, and Nancy Gray Green (children Kyle and Kari Stevens), of Clinton.

Maynard and Rita loved to visit flea markets, looking for collectibles to restore. He restored many antique cars, gas pumps and Tonka toys. They also enjoyed traveling to various states to visit their children and grandchildren.

Maynard was predeceased by his parents; and brother, Robert Gray..

He is survived by his loving wife; his five children; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Richard Gray, of Washington; sister Marion Anderson, of Searsport; and brother, John Gray, of Belfast.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at:

Please make memorial donations to your favorite charity.


WINSLOW––Patricia M. Pelletier, 80, of Winslow died unexpectedly on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at her home, following an illness. Born in Winslow, she was the daughter of Anthony and Florence (Vigue) Paradis.

She attended Winslow schools and married her husband Don in 1955.

Pat loved caring for her children and all of their many friends who visited. There was always room for one more at the table with plenty of home-cooked food and baked goods; she continued this spirit and generosity until the day she passed. She loved having craft days with daughters, grandchildren and her many friends. She was always full of life, listening to her music, all the while dancing and singing for everyone, especially her grandchildren, who would always brighten her day when they visited.

She was predeceased by her husband of 29 years, who died in 1984; her son, Donald; two brothers, Larry Paradis and Anthony Paradis; her sister, Theresa Drouin; and a very special aunt and uncle, Adelard and Emeline Paradis.

Patricia is survived by her special friend John Lucia; her four children, Donna Desmond and her husband Larry and their two children; Dean and his wife Tina and their daughter Lydia; and Heidi; Brenda Palumbo and her husband Greg and their two children, Jessica and her husband Mike and their son Trevon; and Nicole; Jeff Pelletier and his wife Robin and their two children, Zack and his wife Melissa and their children, Mikayla, Eban and William; and Jeffrey; Ken Pelletier and his wife Michelle and their three children, Nick, Kyle and Krysta; as well as several nieces and nephews who all held a special place in her heart.

Memorial donations may be made to American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough ME 04074.

Albion Neighborhood News – Week of June 30, 2016

by Mary Lee Rounds

Albion 2016 Field Day events  July 28-July 30.

July 28, 2016 will be a fun filled search for a Queen or Princess of the Field Day. Girls age 7-12  (need minimum of five contestants); or girls 7-9 for Princess and 10-12 for Queen. Dressy casual clothes,( please no gowns) must have a minimum of three contestants in each category  Must be  Albion residents or attend Albion Elementary School.  Please remember this is not a beauty contest but is based on stage presence, public speaking and talent. There will be prizes.  More information can be obtained from Sue Stevens at 649-4293 or stevens129@  Deadline for participants to sign up is July 4.

Field Day begins with the Albion Lion’s Club Fun Run at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, behind the elementary school.  One mile walk or run; Free T-shirts to all who register before July 10. Trophies  for male and female K-8. First place for male and female – overall. Ribbons to all participants.  Entry fee is $8 per runner. Checks made out to the Albion Lion’s Club need to be sent to Cindy Drake, 116 Crosby Rd., Albion, ME 04910. Please arrive early. Registration forms  can be obtained from Cindy at 437-2445.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Hussey Road and will proceed down Main Street. The field behind the Besse Building and beside the fire station will have its activities following the parade at approximately 11 a.m.

Activities will consist of: a cash raffle, chicken barbecue, hot dogs, fries ,an auction, beano, white elephant tables and whoopie pies, children’s games. There will be a white elephant table and the Lion’s Club auction.

Come see what else there is this year. If you have items for the auction and need a pick up of the items; call Hilton Drake 437 -2445, Leonard Dow 437-4151 or Gail Drake 437-4461;100 percent proceeds to charity.

No air conditioners, dehumidifiers, appliances, tires, propane tanks, TVs, computer monitors, paint, etc.  If you can not get rid of it, neither can we!  The auction begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Albion Highway department is doing a good job and should be commended for their work.  The East Benton Road is much better than it had been and I understand other roads have also had some repairs done.  Thumbs up!

There will be no column from me the week of July 4. I hope you all have a great day celebrating the independence of this country.

School budget winding down for FY ‘15-’16

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro school officials, like town officials, are winding up the 2015-16 fiscal year and preparing for 2016-17, a process AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) #92 Facilities Director Shelley Phillips described to the school board as “like two worlds colliding.”

Phillips’ tasks for Vassalboro Community School, she reported at the June 21 school board meeting, include getting the new equipment shed built, the diesel fuel tank repaired (a job that requires state permits) and roof repairs planned.

Finance Director Paula Pooler said the year is ending about as anticipated.  With more bills, but no big ones, expected before the fiscal year ends June 30, she said the books ought to balance without dipping into the $78,000 allocated from the undesignated fund balance.  However, she does not expect a surplus at the end of the year to add to the balance.

The undesignated balance now stands at more than $198,000, Pooler said, with $132,000 allocated for the 2016-17 budget if necessary.  She commented that the figure is small, considering the total budget voters approved at the Vassalboro town meeting is almost $7.4 million.

Assistant Superintendent Peter Thiboutot reported on the new teacher evaluation plan that had just won preliminary state approval, conditional on school board endorsement.  The system has been three years in development, he said; it is based on the Marzano model, which he called “a leading teacher effectiveness training model.”

The school board unanimously approved.  New board member Elizabeth Mitchell commended the plan as based on stakeholder involvement, rather than dictated from the top down.

On Superintendent Eric Haley’s and Principal Dianna Gram’s recommendations, board members approved hiring three new teachers: Crystal Uleau for second grade, Traci Norwood for fifth grade and Jill Ouellette (who did her student teaching in Vassalboro, Gram said) for seventh and eighth grade social studies.

They accepted with regret the resignation of Educational Technician II Judith Whitley.      They unanimously authorized Haley to issue contracts to new staff in July and August, since the board is not scheduled to meet again until Aug. 16.   Without the authorization, Haley said, he might lose a good teacher to another school system while waiting for the board meeting.

Selectmen rehash past issues at meeting

by Mary Grow

China selectmen discussed multiple issues during their three-hour meeting June 27, most of them rehashing past events.

The major new topic was the Snow Pond Arts Academy (SPAA), a charter school opening in September at the New England Music Camp in Sidney.

Dean of Students David Holinger said the school presents a free alternative to the high schools currently available to China students.  It will provide a traditional high school education plus a focus on dance, music (instrumental and vocal) and theater (dramatic and musical).
Holinger said SPAA is the eighth charter school in Maine and the first based on the performing arts.  Students in grades nine through eleven will begin in September; school officials will apply to add grade twelve for the following year.

Buses will be provided within a 15-mile radius of the campus, and the school is seeking host families for students who live too far away to go home every night. Two China eighth-graders have already enrolled at SPAA, Holinger said.

More information on SPAA is available by calling 844-476-6976 or viewing

China selectmen spent more than an hour June 27 on forestry issues.  District Forester Morten Moesswilde, invited at Tim Basham’s suggestion, recommended an approach to town-owned land, especially Thurston Park: visit other towns’ forests to get ideas, develop long-term (20 to 50 years) goals and form a relationship with a licensed forester to help set and implement the goals.

Basham, a member of the town Forestry Committee, and several spokespeople for the Thurston Park Committee seemed to disagree over whether there are inter-committee disagreements that require a new plan.  Judy Stone and Philip DeMaynadier, Thurston Park Committee members, said the existing plan calls for developing roughly half the park for recreation and managing the other half for revenue-producing timber-cutting.

The second goal has been less emphasized recently, they said, because so much time and energy have gone into recreational development and because in 2007 forester Vite Vitale recommended delaying cutting for five to 10 years, due to heavy losses after the 1998 ice storm.

Robert MacFarland, chairman of the selectmen, closed the discussion by encouraging the two committees to work together and to report back to the selectmen.  Selectmen also revisited the issue of transfer station charges.  After another 20 minutes’ argument, they voted 3-2 to accept the Transfer Station Committee’s recommendation to leave the fee charged to local haulers who go over the scales at two cents a pound.   The fee increases approved May 2 for demolition and debris will still be implemented July 1.

Transfer Station Committee members have not yet made a recommendation on the other issue selectmen referred to them, where to relocate the swap shop to alleviate traffic congestion near the hopper.

Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux said Palermo selectmen expect to know by the end of the month when they will stop using the Tri-County transfer station and begin sharing China’s.  China selectmen are invited to the Palermo selectmen’s next meeting, he said.

In other business, selectmen voted unanimously to ask voters in November to approve two purchases, a lot adjoining the town office lot and the portable classroom beside China Primary School.  They did not make a decision on whether to recommend buying the former Fairpoint building on Route 3.  They made five appointments: Adam Ellis as superintendent of cemeteries, Frank Soares as a member of the Tax Increment Financing Committee, Sheri Wilkens and Christian Wilkens as members of the Thurston Park Committee and Brian Plato as a member of the recreation committee.

Selectman Irene Belanger said she did not know the town had a superintendent of cemeteries.  L’Heureux said Ellis’s job will be to make sure people are buried in the right plots.

Selectmen unanimously rejected two bids to replace the handicapped access ramps to the old town house and the former portable classroom on the town office lot.  The lower bid was $19,000, a figure selectmen considered too high

They unanimously approved the manager’s plan to have the new access driveway from Alder Park Road to the town office parking lot paved.  L’Heureux expects the work to be done within a few days.

Following up on the June 13 discussion of making China more friendly to senior citizens, they voted unanimously to spend up to $500 for a demographic survey.

Items tentatively on the agenda for the selectmen’s July 11 meeting include a recommendation from the TIF committee on recreational development at the causeway at the head of China Lake, continued discussion of solid waste issues and draft ordinance amendments from the planning board dealing with shoreland zoning, seasonal conversions and signs.

Masse lumber mill to be dismantled as part of plan to restore migratory fish

by Landis Hudson

Using trucks to move thousands of fish into a lake isn’t exactly the way nature intended it, but sometimes that’s what it takes.  In the spring of 2014 Maine’s Department of Marine Resources stocked 21,000 adult alewives into China Lake as an important first step in the Alewife Restoration Initiative. Another important step in the works  is to dismantle the Masse saw mill in East Vassalboro. The mill’s owner,  East Vassalboro Water Co., LLC, supports the project. Donald Robbins (co-owner)  has given presentations to members of the community at the Vassalboro Grange and the Vassalboro Historical Society. Plans to remove the dilapidated saw mill and leaking Masse Dam will benefit the water company customers.  The project calls for water pipes to be relocated, they are currently at risk of damage and contamination if the dam breaches or if the mill collapses into the stream.  Masse lumber mill

While this part of the project will benefit customers of the East Vassalboro Water Company, the overall goal is to reconnect Outlet Stream’s historic alewife habitat. Alewives are native to Outlet Stream and China Lake but haven’t been seen there for generations, not since mills and dams were built hundreds of years ago.

A migratory species, adult alewives (also known as river herring or by their Latin name, Alosa pseudoharengus) migrate every spring from the ocean to lakes and ponds to reproduce before migrating back to the ocean.  They are a ten-inch long silvery fish, known as the “fish that feed all” because of the great number of creatures eat them – from whales, eagles and osprey to turtles, brook trout, otter and mink.

In assessing the options at the Masse site, project partners determined that a dam removal was the best option but two other dams on the Outlet Stream will remain. The China Lake Outlet Dam will remain because it regulates the water level of China Lake. The Ladd Dam will also remain and a technical fishway will be installed to keep the swimming hole, protect sanitary sewer pipes and so that alewife harvesting can take place there. The site of the Masse Dam would be very challenging and expensive for installation of a technical or rockramp fishway because of the naturally occurring curve of the stream, the nearby road and the gradient of the slope fish would need to swim up in order to make their way up in the stream.

Removing the Masse Dam will not dry up the Outlet Stream. The level of the water in China Lake is regulated by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and controlled by the Outlet Dam that is owned by the Town of Vassalboro. The minimum flow rate for Outlet Stream, also set by DEP, is 10 cubic feet per second (10 cfs).

page1pict2Dismantling the Masse saw mill is a considerable undertaking. The history of the site is being fully documented according to precise specifications of the Maine Historic Preservation Office.  Efforts are being made to find homes for as much of the historic equipment as possible. Volunteers and staff from the Maine Forest and Logging Museum, in Bradley, will be visiting the site soon. As Sherry Davis, director of the Museum writes, “It will be nice if there is potential for us to help save some part of the Masse heritage.”

While the saw mill and dam will be dismantled, the historic “grist mill” building will remain on the site, with the Outlet Stream flowing by. “We’ve got a lot of work to do this summer and in the coming seasons to complete the project, but I look forward standing on the stream banks with my kids, watching alewives swim by the Masse grist mill,” says Jennifer Irving, executive director of Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, a project partner. As Richard Behr, Vassalboro resident and Registered Maine Guide says, “These are complicated projects to take on but the successes are so important.”

The Alewife Restoration Initiative is a collaborative undertaking with state, federal and nonprofit organizations working together, with the towns of Vassalboro and China offering their support.

Obituaries, Week of June 23, 2016


WINSLOW – Wade Bullard, 57, passed away in his home on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, after a good-natured battle with terminal cancer. He will be remembered always for his laughter, his generosity, and his love of family.


Wade was an active member of his community. He enjoyed supporting the local theater company, ACAT Theater, as set builder, lighting technician, and fun-loving host of cast parties. He donated regularly to the Winslow Snowdrifters and the Maine Snowmobile Association. Wade brought great enthusiasm to the music boosters when his daughters were in the local school system, cooking up hot dogs in the Band Shack and also serving as the organization’s president. Wade never hesitated to chaperone his daughters school trips when asked to do so, and segued easily into supporting his grandson William, cheering him on at sporting events and play swordfighting on demand.

Born in Milwaukie, Wisconsin, Wade’s formative years were spent in the Waterville area, and though he graduated from Unionville High School, in Pennsylvania, he always considered himself a Mainer and loved living here. Wade loved telling tall tales in an exaggerated Maine accent, and loved his work as proprietor of The Stove Barn, in Winslow. His knowledge ran deep in his chosen field and he could sit for hours chatting with customers and friends. He spent equal time with oldtimers coming in to shoot the breeze, young folks just starting out, and everyone in between. All benefited from Wade’s generous nature and his ability to create solutions for alternative hearing needs and desires.

Wade was predeceased by his mother, Beverly Jane Bullard.

Wade is survived by his wife Suzanne and two daughters, Esther Bullard and her husband Mark Bouchard and their children, William, Victoria and Dylon, and Christine O’Brian and her husband Jeremy and their daughter Ehlaina. He is also survived by his father Mack Bullard and partner Elizabeth Luber; his sister Deborah Bullard and her family Mark Fry and Annie; and brother, Brett Bullard.

Memorial donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1848, Longmont CO 80502, or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 114 Perimeter Road, Nashua NH 03063.


FAIRFIELD – Stephen “Stiffy” N. Wainer, 98, passed away peacefully at the Togus Hospice Facility in Augusta, on Friday, June 10, 2016. He was born July 17, 1917, in Massachusetts, the son of William and Anna Wainer.

He was an avid outdoors man who loved fishing, hunting, was a past member of the NRA, gardening, and woodworking when he was able. He traveled and was fortunate to turn age 75 in Alaska! In his younger years, he was a veteran who proudly served his country in the Navy during World War II, until his honorable discharge.

Stephen is survived by his son, Michael Wainer and wife Barbara, of Fairfield; three grandchildren, Debra Labonte, of Waterville, Michael Wainer and wife Wendi, of Rome, Kimberly Wainer and Danyl Dixon, of Benton; seven great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; many nephews and nieces.

He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Dorothy Wainer; son, Stephen Wainer; three brothers; three sisters.

Memorial donations may be made to the Travis Mills Foundation at

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.


WHITEFIELD – Avalon Joyce Vigue, 88, of Whitefield, passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Avalon was born, in Gardiner, on August 8, 1927, the daughter of Lyndal and Olive Goud.

She grew up in Dresden.  Avalon graduated from Bridge Academy class of 1945 and Kennebec School of Commerce, in Gardiner.

On February 28, 1953, she married Thomas Vigue, of Whitefield, where they lived and raised their family.

Avalon worked for the Price Administration (USG), Maine Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor, where she retired from in 1987.  Avalon was a former member of Eastern Star, Whitefield Fire Dept. Auxiliary, and PTA.  She attended the Sheepscot Valley Community Church and was a member of the Maine Draft Horse & Ox Association.

She and Tom spent many winters in Florida.  Avalon enjoyed traveling and in the summertime would attend every horse pulling event at the state fairs.  She maintained notebooks of these results as well as the scores of her children and grandchildren’s ball games.  She was an avid Boston Red Sox fan.   Avalon also loved playing Bingo, reading, crafts and family gatherings. She enjoyed time spent with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Avalon was predeceased by her husband Tom and son Brian Paul Vigue.

She is survived by her sons, Thomas L and his wife Linda, of Whitefield, Dean A. and his wife Jean with whom she resided, Gary M. and his partner Shirley Warren, of Whitefield, Timothy E. and his partner John Hume, of Litchfield, Jeffrey L. and his wife Bethany, of Whitefield, and her daughter Julie Ann, of Lahaina, Hawaii;  three granddaughters, Shannon Brann and her husband Jimmy, Sarah Finley and her husband Steven and Jennifer Vigue; five grandsons, Shawn, Brian, Thomas, Jeffrey Jr., and Jacob Vigue; three great-grandchildren Olivia Avalon and Cassidy Brann and Carter Vigue who kept their Armie amused; several nieces, nephews.


Miriam Keller, of Palermo, lost her brother, Dr. Carl Ulbrich, of Peach Tree, Georgia.

Helen (Simon) Ballew, of Waterville, lost her husband JOHN A. BALLEW, 86, of Waterville, on Sunday, June 5, 2016, at the Maine Veterans Hospice Unit, at Togus. Also, Dr. David Ballew and wife Sonia, of Clinton, Corey Ballew and wife Janie, of Waterville, Dylan Ballew, of Waterville, and John Ballew and wife Gina, of Fairfield, all lost their father.  Also, Connor Ballew, of Waterville, and Erin, Ethan and Clay Ballew, all of Fairfield, lost their grandfather.

Jim Walker and wife Billie Jo, of Chelsea, lost his father, DONALD E. TRIPP, 81, of North Anson, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at Inland Hospital, in Waterville.

Kolbie-Jo Danforth, of Winslow, Tammy Auclair and husband Jim, of Fairfield, Trudy Reid and partner Todd Littlefield, of Benton, all unexpectedly lost their father, BURTON G. DANFORTH III, 50, of Readfield, on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Also, Paityn and Aaliyah Danforth, both of Winslow, lost their grandfather.

Alexander Boudreau and Alyssa Boudreau, both of Vassalboro, lost their grandmother, CAROLYN M. BOUDREAU, of Clinton, on Sunday, June 12, 2016, following a brief, but courageous battle with cancer.


JULIETTE E. (QUIRION) WARD, 66, of Wakefield, Rhode Island, passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, following a brief illness. Juliette was born in Waterville, and graduated from Winslow High School, class of 1967.

Give Us Your Best Shot! – Week of June 23, 2016


PRETTY YELLOW SLIPPERS: Pat Clark, of Palermo, snapped these beautiful yellow Lady Slippers at the Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay, last weekend.


teens sailing on Sheepscot Lake

HANG ON: David Tyndall, of Kittery, photographed these teens sailing on Sheepscot Lake, in Palermo.



BEAUTY IN NATURE: David Mosher, of Burnham, was able to record these beautiful wild flowers on his property.