IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of November 3, 2016

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, were you surprised to have snow ‘spitting’ in Madison yesterday? Well, it is going to be Winter, if we are ready or not, you know! In fact, faithful readers, Lew and I and Cousin ‘Skeet’ visited with Cousin Ernald and Mal on the weekend and, you guessed it, there was snow on all the mountains as we headed to Maine from Grantham, New Hampshire, on Sunday! So our Maine Weatherman, no matter what TV station is telling it, says ‘snow’ is on the way, but let’s hope for rain first, as this drought is needed for our very dry land. Yes, I wonder if the predicted rain will really be beautiful white snow in ‘Solon and Beyond’?

WALLS, please tell folks about learning a lot about apples yesterday, when Heather Davis, co-ownerr of Cayford’s Orchards near Skowhegan was guest on Keeping Pace on Beeline Channel 11. Fascinating, for sure! Y’know, WALLS, you sure did do listeners a huge favor by bringing all that information to folks.

Speaking of bringing information to your faithful readers, WALLS, surely you have noticed the big new barn behind East Madison’s Historical Association’s Museum. They are next to the East Madison Fire Station and what a great job the volunteers have done. Yes, whenever folks drive to East Madison, they will see that the Farm and Farmland Museum now has a roof. Those men who have worked so diligently say the building will be completed by Christmas.

WALLS, you seem to be letting faithful readers know the latest news with this column. There was a meeting at the Lakewood Golf Course Clubhouse about the new movement that concerns making faithful readers aware of the effort to make folks in the communities along U..S. Route 201 realize the possibilities that await those who are very talented in the arts and other cultures in the entire Area. Y’know, faithful readers, Maine does have so much talent in so many ways, whether painting on canvas, making beautiful pieces of ceramics, or, yes, playing or singing wonderful music. WALLS, this will be the perfect time to tell faithful readers that Amber Lambke, is the person who brought new life to our old Somerset County Jail by introducing our Grist Mill to folks again. Yes, for sure there are those who remember the train’s pulling up to Watson’s Grist Mill, in Skowhegan, and delivering ‘Skowhegan grown wheat’ to Massachusetts and beyond. Yes, Amber was a feature in DownEast Magazine recently.

WALLS, you have so much to tell our faithful readers this week. Surely, you will make them proud of be able to say, ‘I’m from Maine and glad of it.”

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Singer: Dottie West; Composer: Sir William Walton; Author: Charles Dickens

Peter Cates

by  Peter Cates


Dottie West
A Legend in My Time; RCA Camden CAS-2454; 12-inch stereo vinyl LP; released 1971 and consisting of nine selections from 2 previous LPs from 1965 and 1967.

Dottie West

Dottie West

Dottie West (1932-1991) recorded upwards of 28 albums for RCA alone between 1965 and 1975, many with the Jordannaires and the arrangements of Chet Atkins. She had a particular gift for cutting to the agony and ecstasy of a given song, especially when it was the high caliber writing of Don Gibson, Dallas Frazier, Willie Nelson, Mickey Newbury, etc., examples of which are featured here. As stated above, a sampler album but a very enjoyable one.

Copies available from the Amazon site starting at five dollars for the lp and eight for a cd reissue containing both this and her 1965 Sound of Country Music.

Belshazzar’s Feast; Coronation Te Deum; Sir Georg Solti conducting the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Benjamin Luxon, baritone; Ralph Downes, organ; London OS26525, 12-inch vinyl stereo LP, recorded March, 1977.

Sir William Walton (1902-1983) was one of England’s foremost 20th century composers and first achieved fame with Belshaz zar’s Feast at the very young age of 29 in 1931. This oratorio, a term describing a work for choir and orchestra with a Bib­lical subject as its theme, is probably the most scorching, high-spirited and, in its quieter moments, atmospheric, if not creepy example of the genre, light years different from Handel’s Messiah.

Sir Walter Walton

Sir Walter Walton

The subject draws on the years in Babylonian captivity of the Jews, the evil of Belshazzar the king and the depraved feast that he holds for his court, climaxing in God’s destruction of everyone – there is a passage depicting the hand from out of nowhere scrawling the miraculous writing on the wall – “Mene mene tekel upharsin, thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting !” – just before God’s wrath against these folks is totally vented.

A later, shorter work included on the record is the 1953 Coronation Te Deum, specially composed for the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II. Walton paid numerous visits to Westminster Abbey to check out every possible corner for the best projection of the music. Although not a masterwork, it has a listenable festive majesty .

Solti conducted performances of both works with power, zest and beauty, clarifying and negotiating Belshazzar’s tricky rhythms with suave effect.

CD editions of this recording start at $7.50 on the Amazon site while the LPs begin at $4.89.

Charles Dickens
Barnaby Rudge

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge, along with Tale of Two Cities, are the only Dickens novels I have read from cover to cover. Having made this statement, I intend no sort of contempt for his formidable storytelling gifts but merely to convey that too many other activities obstruct my intentions to enjoy the several unread volumes on my shelves.

Written in 1841 when Dickens was only 29, its several hundred pages are a depiction of an assembly of good and bad characters in London during the Gordon anti-Catholic riots of 1780. It has engaging sub-plots of compelling interest and a sinister Dennis the Hangman who loves to editorialize on both the meaningful and humorous implications of his work, praising the gallows as a very practical and most civilized tool of true justice.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of November 3, 2016

Solon and Beyondby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The annual Holly Shop Craft Fair at the North Anson Congregational Church will be held on November 12 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

And now for the adventure that happened to us in Rangeley on our vacation there a week ago. Lief loves shrimp, and especially shrimp on a stick, which is served at an establishment in Rangeley. We decided to go to this place on the Friday before we returned home for supper. When we got near the place, a parking spot was hard to find. As we finally were parking we noticed a cop coming out of the building, and my thought was whether I really wanted to go in there, but we did.

We were met right at the door the minute we walked in by one of the loud party goers, and his first words to Lief were, “You have a lovely young lady with you tonight.” He was obviously either high on drugs or alcohol or both, I didn’t pay attention to anything else he was saying to Lief, but was looking over the noisy gathering in front of us. All of a sudden I saw Lief start to go through this raucous bunch and couldn’t believe my eyes when he drew off and punched a guy on the shoulder, that was standing across the room. My immediate thought was, this could get nasty…and so I sent a quick prayer heavenward and marched into the fray! I grabbed the back of Lief’s jacket and dragged him back toward the door. Was shaking pretty bad by that time, and there was an empty table, so we sat down. The first thing I said to Lief was, “Why did you do that?” And his reply was “The guy told me to do it!”

One of the things I love about Lief is his great sense of humor, but he took it to a new level that night! And no, we didn’t sit there very long, but left and found another calmer place to have a meal. Will we go back again for Lief’s shrimp on a stick, definitely, but not on a Friday night! (I let Lief edit this and he said it was OK to send it but you can ask him for his version when you see him!)

I will laugh even harder the next time someone says to me, “What can you possibly find to do in Rangeley for a week?” (So many have asked that question!) But we do other odd things as well, like we did this time, it was much calmer and we laughed a lot! We sat for two hours beside a moose waller (mud hole where moose have been) on the road between Stratton and Rangeley hoping to have a moose come out so we could get a picture of it. Finally, when it was getting along toward dark, with no success, we traveled back to Rangeley.

After reading the above, you all must know how desperate I am for your news, please do contact me (soon) with your goings on.

And hope you will enjoy Percy’s memoir, he has used this one before, but I feel it is worth repeating! “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” (words by Albert Einstein.) Hope all of you reading this believe in miracles!

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Too many cooks spoil the soup

by Al Althenn
China resident

When I was just a kid living in China 60 odd years ago I remember my grandmother saying, “Too many cooks spoil the soup.” My grandmother and those words keep coming to mind when I think of what has happened and is still happening with China Lake.

China Lake has become a mismanaged and polluted algae soup.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began peddling its influence as protector of our environment in the late ‘60s. China Lake was not spared this new Crime against Nature.

The issues with China Lake began about 45 years ago due to federal legislation regarding clean water. Vassalboro was being required to treat its raw sewage that had been dumped into the lakes outlet stream at many locations along the winding streams banks.

Vassalboro didn’t want to spend the federal dollars it got to send that sewage to the Waterville Treatment Plant, there appears to be a profit motive there somewhere. The DEP allow raising China Lake five vertical feet insuring a reliable source of flushing water for The Outlet Stream where they (the DEP) located and licensed three crude sewage disposal plants dumping 72,000 gallons of wastewater per day into that stream. Using its influence, the DEP granted the licenses for the plants Vassalboro is currently forced to close due to the plants chronic and abysmal failure.

As the predictable wetlands problems associated with keeping the China Lake water level artificially high and stable through the critical spring and fall growing season became evident, the DEP started making increasingly complicated excuses for its actions. Seeing the writing on the wall the local special interests got involved protecting their very special interests in deeper water at their unique individual properties by pushing the formation of the China Lake Association to walk in a cozy lock-step with a crooked DEP and to act as propaganda artists confusing and misleading the local politicians and voters.

Now along comes interest #3 Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW) tinkering with the very special environment of the uniquely slow water exchange rate (every 2.5 years) of China Lake. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife allowed increased involvement of Coastal interests from the Lobster Bait Industry to take virtually all the natural lake suckers (catostomus commersoni) from China Lake in recent years. I personally observed the way IFW and the bait industry conveniently got around the regulations in place for years to accomplish another crime against nature by IFW manipulating both trapping methods and inspections.

Lake suckers, although edible and vital to the health of this slow exchange rate, are not considered a game fish and therefore not protected by a self-interest motivated IFW (IFW is not funded from the general fund and therefore is in business for itself) hence the big spending IFW did to keep the bear hunt licensed the way it is and keeping a fat cash cow for the bosses at IFW.

I now have reason to believe IFW, in cooperating with the total removal of all the lake suckers, was working with DMR (Department of Marine Resources) prepping China Lake for this next state special interest that was to follow, re-introducing alewives to our lake, not seen here for almost 200 years due to the building of the high dam in North Vassalboro, built there for the mills around the time of the American Civil War.

DMR’s interest and duty is to the Gulf of Maine where, through DMR’s mismanagement, the fisheries, including the herring fishery, collapsed. (Alewives are a sea run anadromous herring). An anadromous fish means a fish born in fresh water and spending most of its life in the sea returning to the same fresh water where it hatched, to spawn.

Getting the herring re-established is critical to the entire fishing industry in the Gulf of Maine. Due to the many disruptive dam removals and, to maximize the quickest return of the alewives, removal of any and all competition to alewives like lake suckers was needed. To do this DMR used lakes and streams that were not coveted for their great fishing otherwise, with the history for the past 45 years of China Lake and the laissez-fair hands off attitude of the residents of China, our lake was a prime target, they could tell us anything and we are ready to believe it.

DMR tried a few alewives (less than six alewives per acre of lake) to snow us. The lake never suffered so many free ranging alewives in the past as the lake had a robust natural predator system alive and well to keep the numbers of sea run alewives in check.

Alewives will out compete and eat everything left in the China Lake basin if this new one-sided self interest of DMR is allowed to go forth in China Lake. Come on selectmen, suck up your courage, research this so you understand what the issues are, and don’t allow the rest of the natural lake to be driven to the same sad extinction the game fish in China Lake have been driven during the past 45 years of DEP and other state agencies’ crimes against nature influence peddling to special interests.

China questions 11 & 12 comment by TIF chairman

by Amber McAllister, Chairman
Tax Increment Financing Committee

The November 8, 2016 local ballot contains two questions requesting appropriations based on recommendations from China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee. As Chairperson of the TIF Committee, I wanted to provide you with information about the Committee two proposed ballot questions.

In 2015 the Town of China was successful in a TIF application to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, resulting in the creation of Municipal TIF District and Development Program; the District term being 20 years with a town revenue allocation projected at $5.2 million. Projects associated with this Development Program are obligated to be connected directly to economic development.

The Select Board appointed a TIF Committee to develop prospective economic development projects and to provide guidance on those projects; to progress from original concepts through an ultimate town vote for final approval of projects. The TIF Committee is obligated to be mindful of the areas within the district and within the China municipality that are eligible for approval and funding. The TIF Committee has met over several months and has initially proposed the two following local ballot questions that the China Select Board has approved to be put on the November 8, 2016 ballot with recommendations for approval. A short reasoning statement is below each question and respective Select Board and Budget Committee recommendation.

Question 11. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of $50,000 from the Development Program Fund (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of Trails Maintenance and Bridge Capital Projects/Repairs associated with the China Four Seasons Club Trails Program; said maintenance and capital projects of the Four Seasons Club to be done on the CMP Powerline in the current fiscal year.

Select Board Recommends: Yes
Budget Committee Recommends: Yes

A major focus of China’s TIF Program application included trails maintenance. The current request is directly connected with economic development and will be used to fund much needed repairs and maintenance of trails. Our trails system attracts many visitors to the area and provides outdoor recreational options to residents.

Question 12. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Municipal Officers/Select Board to acquire land, more specifically described as Map 63 Lot 059-A, and further to appropriate an amount up to $10,000 from the Development Program Fund, (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of acquiring the property, and further to authorize the Select Board to execute said transaction as they deem in the best interest of the Town of China.

Select Board Recommends: Yes
Budget Committee Recommends: Yes

The Causeway Road was also a specific focus of the TIF Program application and the TIF Committee chose the improvement of the area as its highest priority. The proposed purchase of this land would provide options for the town as it proposes to improve Causeway Road pedestrian and vehicular safety, to implement measures to improve and sustain water quality in China Lake along the Causeway Road such as erosion control and sedimentation processing, to improve recreational activities on the Causeway Road, and to enhance the aesthetics of the general area. There would not be any fill-in of the wetland on the property. This property would be significant in the plan for improvements on the Causeway Road. The proposed property purchase is integral to the TIF Committee plan. Please help us move forward on these initiatives.

China: Select board information relating to respective local ballot questions

Question 1. Shall amendments to the “Town of China Solid Waste Flow Control Ordinance” be enacted?

Question 2. Shall amendments to the “Town of China Solid Waste Disposal Ordinance” be enacted?
The Select Board asked the Transfer Station Committee to review and update the town’s dated ordinances, to reflect current day realities in solid waste processing.

Question 3. Shall amendments to the “Town of China LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE,” Chapter 2, LAND USE ORDINANCE and Chapter 11, DEFINITIONS be enacted?

The Planning Board reviewed the town’s respective sections of the China Land Development Code and proposed specific changes to reflect current State Law.

Question 4. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the municipal officers/Select Board to acquire land, more specifically described as Map 38, Lot 010-C, and further to appropriate $12,000 from the town’s

Unassigned/Unrestricted Fund Balance for the acquisition of the land and further to authorize the Select Board to execute said transaction as they deem in the best interest of the Town of China.

The town has an opportunity to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the town office property at a reduced price, assessed value of $21,000. The property would allow the town to determine use of adjacent property. It could be incorporated in the town’s long term plan for a community center or any other centralized concept plan.

Question 5. To see if the Town will vote to accept an unconditional gift of land from Wachusett Properties, Inc., more specifically described as Map 63, Lot 008 in the town’s tax map records and located off Lakeview Drive, and further to authorize the Select Board to accept a Warranty or Quit Claim Deed on behalf of the town for said described and gifted property.

Wachusett Properties, Inc. intends to unconditionally gift a 38 acre parcel (13 lot subdivision) to the town. Conversations about use of the land focused on a potential future relocation of an emergency services building from the Causeway Road to this site. The remaining unused land could be sold if not useful for long term planning; the town’s cost basis would be $0.00.

Question 6. To see if the Town will vote to create a Transfer Station Capital and Equipment Account in the Town of China Reserve Fund and to appropriate the Town of Palermo’s $18,000 Annual Town Contribution for the use of the China Transfer Station for the Account; the Account established for the purpose of major capital purchases or repairs of transfer station buildings and equipment, the funds in which may be used upon a majority vote of a quorum of the Select Board; and further, said appropriation of the Town of Palermo Annual Town Contribution to the Account to continue through the length of the multiple-year agreement (initial 17 year agreement with three 5-year options) between the towns of China and Palermo for Palermo residents’ use of the China transfer station.

The Town of Palermo will contribute $18,000 annually toward the capital maintenance and capital replacement needs at the China Transfer Station. The Select Board felt it important to dedicate those annual contributions to a China Transfer Station Capital and Equipment Account that would ultimately fund capital equipment and maintenance over the long term, helping to stabilize the town’s mil rate. Palermo residents are also charged and additional per bag cost that offsets operations costs and would adjust if China’s cost of operations increases.

Question 7. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount up to $3,800 from the Unassigned/Unrestricted Fund Balance to conduct a community needs assessment relating to the understanding of the challenges facing older residents as they age in China.

A recent demographic study of China indicates the general average population age to be increasing significantly. The funds requested would take a deeper dive into the needs of the China community that might allow residents to “age in place”, that is, to remain in their own homes as long as possible, or move to nearby housing in China if made available to them.

Question 8. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Municipal Officers/Select Board to appropriate an additional $5,000 from Unrestricted/Undesignated Fund Balance for police services.
The town is experiencing a significant increase in calls regarding speeding and nuisance activities. The current low budget of approximately $11,000 for policing services is not sufficient to respond appropriately. The additional funds will provide for additional policing details to augment our community policing program.

Question 9. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate $100,000 from the Unassigned/Unrestricted Fund Balance for the Municipal Capital and Equipment Account of the Reserve Fund (established for the purpose of major capital repairs and purchasing and/or repairing vehicles to be used for snow plowing, grading, transfer station operations, and other public purposes), the funds in which may be used upon a majority vote of a quorum of the Select Board.

The town has significant investments in capital buildings and equipment; over $1,300,000 in emergency services equipment, winter maintenance equipment and transfer station equipment. The Municipal Capital and Equipment Account, used to do major repairs to and replace that equipment, has a low balance and would be able to accommodate most circumstances (emergencies) with this added amount to the account. It is seen as a smart long term planning step in financing. The current balance in the account would not be enough to replace one of the town’s plowing vehicles.

Question 10. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Select Board to sell to the South China Public Library a Portable Classroom owned by the town for $1.00 and costs incurred by the town associated with the moving of the portable, said portable to be used for library purposes; offer by the town to the South China Public Library to be valid for 60 days after town vote, if passed; and further to authorize the Select Board to execute the sale and transfer of the portable to the South China Public Library under such terms and conditions as the Select Board deems in the best interest of the Town of China.

The town recently acquired this Portable Classroom from RSU#18 for $1 and moving/relocation costs. The Board feels that repurposing this unit for use by the South China Library would be appropriate.

Question 11. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of $50,000 from the Development Program Fund (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of Trails Maintenance and Bridge Capital Projects/Repairs associated with the China Four Seasons Club Trails Program; said maintenance and capital projects of the Four Seasons Club to be done on the CMP Powerline in the current fiscal year.

A main purpose of a Tax Increment Financing Program is economic development. A focus of China’s TIF Program application included trails maintenance. This request is directly related to economic development and will be used to repair trails.

Question 12. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Municipal Officers/Select Board to acquire land, more specifically described as Map 63 Lot 059-A, and further to appropriate an amount up to $10,000 from the Development Program Fund, (established through revenues received from the Central Maine Power/China Lake Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program) for the purpose of acquiring the property, and further to authorize the Select Board to execute said transaction as they deem in the best interest of the Town of China.

The town is considering economic development opportunities on the Causeway Road and this property would provide better options for the town. The improvements would positively affect pedestrian safety, lake water quality, and recreational activities and also improve the aesthetics in the local area. The property to be purchased would be integral to a comprehensive Causeway Road improvement and is a high priority of the TIF Committee.

Obituaries, Week of November 3, 2016


BENTON––Danette D. Gower passed away on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Danette was born to Terry (Brown) and Harold Eastwood, in Torrance, California, on November 2, 1957.

She attended Lawrence High School and graduated in 1975.

Her husband, Ricky first saw Danette at the age of 11 and chased her until she caught him. The were married on February 28, 1976, and they enjoyed 40 wonderful years of marriage together. Theirs was a true love story.

Danette had a love of horses like no other and all animals since early childhood. She enjoyed being creative and crafty as well as spending time outdoors fishing, going for scenic adventurous drives and spending lots of time ono the beautiful river setting where family and friends have gathered for years. Her infectious laugh, beautiful smile and witty sarcasm will be missed by all.

Danette was predeceased by her son Aaron Gower; father Harold Eastwood; sister Debbie Brann; and her stepfather Basil Spalding.

She is survived by her husband Ricky; daughter Liza; five grandchildren, Alyssa, Alixandra, Tryus, Kali and Jaycee; and her siblings Becky Green, Peter Boothby, Toni McDougall, Tami Cecil and DJ Eastwood.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, November 5, at 10 a.m. at Benton Falls Cemetery at 1121 Clinton Avenue, in Benton.

An online guestbook may be signed at www.lawrybrothers.com.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, MaineGeneral Health Office of Philanthropy, PO Box 828, Waterville ME 04903 or at www.give.mainegeneral.org.


FAIRFIELD – Robert “Bob” W. Chamberlain, 71, passed away unexpectedly on Tues ­day, October 18, 2016. He was born August 31, 1945, in Waterville, the son of Wilfred Nicholas and Doris (Cayouette) Chamberlain.page4pict1

He enjoyed singing and playing his guitar, spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Robert is survived by his wife Darlene (Smith) Chamberlain, of Fairfield; daughters, Charlotte Quimby, of Fairfield, Michelle Chamberlain, of Madison, Ronnie West and husband Robert, of Jay, and Heather Hovey, of Fairfield; sons, Robbie Lewis, of Solon, Joshua Chamberlain and wife Adrien, of Hallowell; 10 grandchildren; two great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his father and mother.

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


OAKLAND––Ethelyn Mae Harvey passed away on Thursday, October 20, 2016. Ethelyn was born February 27, 1941, in Cape Porpoise, the daughter of Justin Jr. and Ione (Mawson) Foss.

She graduated from Kennebunk High School.

Ethelyn found great joy in spending time with her entire family and friends. She had many hobbies including boat building, doll making, woodworking, painting, fishing, boating, cooking, and sewing. Ethelyn was also an avid swimmer, volleyball player, basketball star, golfer, tennis player, an extraordinary artist, and a dutiful teacher. She enjoyed teaching those who wanted to learn and shared all her knowledge and wisdom to those she came in contact with. Ethelyn was one of a kind and lived her life to the absolute fullest. She instilled in us all what it means to be a true family. “I can’t promise you that I will be here for the rest of your life but I can promise that I will love you for the rest of mine.”

Ethelyn was predeceased by her husband of 46 years Paul Harvey, sister Pauline Foss, and brother Justin Foss III.

Ethelyn is survived by three daughters, Elizabeth Lane and partner Gil Drouin, Laura Harvey and partner Ron Burwood, and Cindy Harvey and fiancé Keith Woodard; nine grandchildren, Rachel Lane and partner Kevin Smith, Paul Garland, Roy Garland, Michael Garland and partner Katie Seeley, Ricky Lane II, Katie lancaster and husband Travis, Nicholas Lane and partner Jen Swett, Jeff (Jay) Quirion and partner Tamran Laliberte, and Trisha Ware; 17 great-grandchildren Tyler, Noah, Parker, Kylie, Jacob, Kaydence, Mackenzie, Alexis, Makylee, Ricky III, Lily, Jackson, Morgan, Haylee, Paige, Ali, and Aerek; sister Ada Skillings; and lifelong friends, Carolyn Emilie and Connie, and countless others.

An online guestbook may be signed and thoughts expressed at www.lawrybrothers.com.


AUGUSTA––Clara Elizabeth Cunningham Curtis, 80, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, October 24, 2016, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. She was born on July 15, 1936, in Augusta, to Reginald and Lena Cunningham.

She grew up and attended school in Vassalboro.

In 1956 she married her husband of 60 years, Richard Curtis. Together they raised six children.

Clara had a very fulfilling life with her whole focus on her family. She was a fun mom who liked to stay active. She started a 4H Club for some of the neighborhood kids teaching them to sew, cook and other craft projects. She was very involved in church, writing and directing plays and teaching Vacation Bible School. She created scavenger hunts for her children, taught them to fish in the rain puddles for milkweed pods that looked just like real fish, and made the best picnics under the willow tree.

Clara was an entrepreneur in her own right. She stated by selling baked goods at a local flea market which sold out weekly. Eventually that led into a business called Carriage House Gardens where she and her husband had a farm stand, made gift baskets, wreaths, sold Christmas trees and, of course, her cheesecake and cream puffs.

After the children left home she found new ways to keep herself busy. She took up painting and writing classers where she really found her passion. In 2008, she published her memoir, Cross Hill, about growing up during the depression in Vassalboro. Clara loved to talk about her childhood and the relationship she had with her cousins and the fun times they had living and playing in nature.

Clara was also very involved in volunteer work. In the 90s she spent much time at Glenridge Nursing Home helping her daughter in the activities department where she loved to decorate for the residents. She also volunteered with the Special Olympics. She was also involved with the non-profit group PAS. Parental Alienation Syndrome, trying to get laws changed and passed in the Senate advocating for parents and grandparents rights.

Clara was predeceased by her parents; two sister, Noreen Bradford and Shirley Barnes; and son-in-law David Tobias.
Surviving are her husband Richard Curtis; sons, Mark Curtis and wife Deborah, and Clint Curtis land partner Valerie Johnson; four daughters, Kathleen Tobias, Debra Elliott and husband Jeffrey, Brandy Labbe and husband Michael, and Stacy Caron and husband Claude; stepson Steven Scholz and wife Kimberly; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.


WHITEFIELD––Lydia Scott, 97, who was born in Whitefield on May 26, 1919, passed away on Monday, October 24, 2016.

Lydia attended the Whitefield school.

She raked and picked blueberries for many years and worked at the Old Homestead, in Manchester, as a cook and Carleton Mill, in Richmond. She belonged to the Grange in North Whitefield Baptist Church.

Lydia was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Frederick Larry Scott, who she married July 11, 1941; parents Lucy Ann (Hansen) Brown and Nathan Brown; 10 siblings, Edith Craig, Clyde Dow, Ruth Quimby, Mabel Desmond, Norman Dow, Lloyd Dow, Bertha Merry, Horace John Brown, Keith Brown and Forrest Brown.

Lydia is survived by two daughters, Lydia Susan Choate and husband Roland Sr., and Elizabeth Arline Presby; seven grandchildren, Roland A. Choate Jr. and wife Allison, Michael Alvin Presby and wife April, Peter Lee Presby and wife

Heather, Debra Sue Dill and husband Robert, William Scott Choate and wife Kim, Nathan Allen Presby and wife Cassie, and Nicholas Frederick Presby; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.


CHINA – Terry William Cotta, 60, passed away on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, following a lengthy illness. Terry was born on December 16, 1955, in Augusta.page5pict1

He served in the United States Army between 1976 and 1981, stationed in Germany as a vehicle mechanic. Later, Terry worked as a mechanic and construction equipment operator.

Terry was friendly and good-natured, ever supportive of his family, friends and wife. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. He enjoyed motorcycles and NAS­CAR, and his love of cooking was equaled only by his love of eating.

Terry could always be counted on to add a new perspective and unique outlook to a given situation, reminding those he loved that while life is serious, it ought also to be fun. He was a gifted conversationalist, free of condescension, engaging friends and strangers with equal relish. The absence of his buoyant spirit is deeply felt.

He was predeceased by his parents, Francis Cotta Smith and Harvey L Cotta, and by his sisters, Joann Cotta Sheffler and Dawna Cotta Holmes.

Terry is survived by his sisters, Margaret Sharon Cotta and Lisa Cotta Wilson, and by his brothers, Harvey David Cotta and Wayne B Higgins.

Veterans free on wildlife park closing day

The Maine Wildlife Park will close for the 2016 season on Friday, November 11, at 5 p.m. Since Friday is also Veterans Day, the park will recognize and thank all past and present Maine military personnel and veterans for their service to our country by offering free park admission for each, and their immediate families, on our final day of operation for 2016.

Letters to the editor, Week of November 3, 2016

Glowa working for Maine’s environment

To the editor:

Representative Tim Theriault says in his ad, “We have a duty to protect our outdoor traditions and Maine’s great natural resources.” Yet the nonpartisan group Maine Conservation Voters gave Theriault an abysmal 22 percent rating, meaning that 4/5 of the time he voted against conservation of our natural resources. In contrast, the other Republican in our district, Sen. Roger Katz, received a 100 percent score from Maine Conservation Voters.
I am tired of politicians saying one thing in their ads, then voting just the opposite. On Election Day, I will be voting for John Glowa, who has a 30-year record of working for Maine’s environment, to represent me in the Maine House.

David Preston
China Village

Glowa respectful, honest, and open

To the editor:

Letter to the people of the communities of Maine House District #79, China, Albion and Benton,
It is a pleasure to be able to want to write a letter in support of a local candidate for the Maine House of Representatives for District #79; Mr. John Glowa. I’ve lived here for close to 40 years and love my community. It has been sometime since I’ve felt positive enough about a candidate to want to write a public letter in support of a person running for office.

I have lived in the China, raising my sons and building a home and life with my wife. I have worked as a local business owner as well as volunteering and being involved in the school system as a parent and later as an educator.

I have not known John Glowa long, but in that time I have come to respect him for having all the best qualities for someone to represent the district and the real interests of the people and community rather than any ideology.

Especially important are his respectfulness, considerateness, ability to listen with integrity, honesty, openness and the ability to use critical thinking, not emotional reaction, or party-line political policies when evaluating an issue. I actually had no idea whether he was a Democrat or Republican for some time. What I saw, was a person open to discussion and listening to the concerns of the people he wanted to serve. The impression I got was someone who was running for office to serve the peoples’ interest with integrity and not to promote an agenda for one party or the other. He seemed to have the strength of character necessary to endure politics and the realities of the state assembly. Some of his primary concerns were of interest to me; people’s welfare, the environment and long-term investing in the future through educational reform.

I know there have been some very negative letters written about Mr. Glowa’s campaign. All I can say is what I have seen about his integrity and forthrightness. I will say, that if you are a [Donald] Trump and [Gov. Paul] LePage supporter of racism, bullying and lying, then John is not your candidate and you should consider someone else who will toe the party line and take their voting orders from the party bosses.

For all of these reasons, I am happy to support and vote for John Glowa. It is time for a change in leadership and representation of the community after the ineffective representatives and incumbent who have served us over the past ten years.

It is time for a change in Augusta! Please consider supporting Mr. John Glowa for District #79

John Soifer

Advice to candidates

To the editor:

Just a reminder to all those running for office:

  • Women, get a nice hairdo, get nails manicured, use lots of make up and don’t dress up looking manly (pantsuits, etc.).
  • Men, get a haircut, trim beards, trim nose and ear hairs, take showers, etc.

Think I’m kidding writing this? In my humble opinion, voters in Maine are like voters everywhere: they carefully consider all the assault ads, baloney, and then go into the booth and vote for the best looking candidate.

Frank Slason

Check voting records

To the editor:

For those readers who are planning to vote next Tuesday, you may want to check the following web sites to get a clear picture of how district state and federal legislators have voted over the past year. If you have concerns about the future of Maine’s economy, health care, education, and environment, I strongly encourage you to check the following sites to find out how your elected officials have – or have not – represented you:





American Conservative Union Foundation:


Maine Conservation Voters:


Maine AFL-CIO:


If your incumbent politician(s) is not voting on your behalf – does not represent your values – then it may be time to consider making a change. Whatever your decision, please be sure to exercise your right vote!

Jayne Winters
South China


China News: Commercial event center application denied

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members apparently denied the more controversial permit application on their Oct. 25 agenda, from Parris and Catherine Varney. They approved the less controversial one from Michael Marois, and for the second time discussed the Howe property on Dirigo Road.

The Varneys’ application to operate a commercial events center in their barn at 701 Neck Road again drew a sizable audience with most members opposed to the plan, citing noise, traffic and other disruptive effects in what they described as an agricultural and residential neighborhood. The Varneys had modified their plan, proposing to operate only Fridays through Sundays from June through September, with no more than four events per month, and to shut down amplified music at 9 p.m. Their original request was to operate any day of the week until 11 p.m.

China’s Land Use Ordinance requires an applicant to meet all of 15 criteria in order to receive a permit. The fifth criterion on the list requires the applicant to prove that the proposed use will not have “a significant detrimental effect on the use and peaceful enjoyment of abutting property as a result of noise, vibrations, fumes, odor, dust, glare or other cause.”

Board member Milton Dudley’s motion that the criterion had been met received only his vote. Chairman Frank Soares and board members Toni Wall and Tom Miragliuolo did not support it. The chairman did not make it clear whether they were opposed or abstaining, but Dudley said later the vote was one in favor to three against.

Board member Jim Wilkens, an abutter to the Varney property, at the beginning of the meeting recused himself from the discussion and votes.

Despite the failure to meet the fifth criterion, Soares continued through the rest of the list. The only other question was about the septic system requirement. Codes Officer Paul Mitnik said state regulations do not allow the planned portable toilets for a commercial use; the Varneys would need to have their septic system evaluated and perhaps expanded.

Board members voted 3-1 with Miragliuolo opposed the criterion would be met if the septic system complied with state codes. After the list was finished, Soares asked the Varneys if they could provide more information if the application were carried over to the planning board’s Nov. 22 meeting. When the Varneys questioned what more they could do, Miragliuolo moved that the 15 criteria had not been met.

The vote on Miragliuolo’s motion that would have had the effect of denying the permit was a 2-2 tie, with Soares and Miragliuolo in the affirmative and Dudley and Wall opposed.

After some inconclusive parliamentary discussion, Mitnik said the Varneys could either appeal or submit a new application. An Oct. 27 email from Mitnik indicated they plan to file an appeal.

Marois, owner of MJEK Enterprises and operator of a seafood eatery at 237 and 239 Lakeview Drive, applied to build a 20-by-30-foot addition to allow indoor seating in addition to outdoor seating and take-out. Planning board members again went through the 15 criteria and unanimously approved the project.

In March, Maoris received approval to run the business year-round instead of seasonally and to extend operating hours to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Board members again talked about Ralph and Linda Howe’s property because of odor from the waste lagoons, which Dudley described as sometimes non-existent and sometimes “gut-wrenching,” depending on weather and wind conditions. Mitnik advised Soares to review the issue with Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux.

Because Nov. 8 is election day and because Soares will not be available, the next planning board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 22.