Parade of Lights set for November 25


The 11th annual Parade of Lights is scheduled to be held on Friday, November 25, at 6 p.m., in downtown Waterville. All area schools, businesses, churches, organizations and municipalities are invited to participate in the parade by entering a float. A limit of 25 floats has been set. For more information or details, call 680-2055.

Photo by Mark Huard, owner
Central Maine Photography staff

Homecoming at Sugarloaf

Dan Cassidy
by Dan Cassidy

The foliage in the Carrabassett Valley region was at peak as Sugarloaf held their annual Homecoming events over Columbus weekend.

Thousands of Sugarloafers, young and old came to take part in meeting and reconnect with friends, attend condo meetings, check out the homecoming craft fair in the Base Lodge, take complementary chairlift rides on the SuperQuad, bike, hike and just hang out listening to a live band on the Landing, and attend the Sugarloaf Passholder’s meeting at the Inn.

Sugarloafers also visited the new state-of-the-art CVA/ Sugarloaf Ski Club Comp­etition Center, next to the Base Lodge where the old Gondola Station used to be. The new center will become a hub for social activity and networking providing a warm and welcoming venue for athletes of all ages. The 11,000-square-foot building includes day lodge space, tuning and waxing facilities, locker rooms, a trainers’ room, meeting space and offices. The facility’s total cost was $2.1 million. Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation helped make a dream possible.

Passholder’s meeting

Karl Strand, general manager greeted a large crowd at the Sugarloaf Inn, who were all eager to connect and hear about summer activities, mountain upgrades and to find out about what’s in store for the upcoming season and beyond. Strand, Ethan Austin, director of marketing and communications, Richard Crusher Wilkinson, vice president of mountain operations, Sam Punderson of Mountainside Real Estate and Kate Punderson, head of school at Carrabassett Valley Academy and Bruce Miles, president of the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club spoke about plans for the upcoming season.

Strand spoke about last year’s snow content that affected the bottom line of their budget. “It was a tough year,” Strand said, showing a graph. “The mountain received about 50 percent of snow over the season. There was no measurable snow in November, and only 24 inches of snow from the February vacation week on.” Strand said that rain events on weekends didn’t help out. “The groomer’s did a great job of grooming out and making snow until the next rain event came. It was a very unusual year, and as a result, lift ticket sales were down lodging was down, everything affected the bottom line, it was a rough year.”

Ethan Austin, marketing director of Sugarloaf, gave a run down on last year’s numbers and a look at what’s coming up this season. “Passholder sales were down, along with skier count, resulting in a somewhat down season,” Austin said, “but things are looking better for the upcoming season in lodging and ticket sales.”


The new CVA Comp Center at Sugarloaf is near completion. Photo by Dan Cassidy

“Some of the things like lift tickets are challenging,” Austin said. “Lift tickets are a huge part of dynamic pricing – more in demand. We have dropped the price of a mid-week lift ticket by 13 percent. Weekend and holiday prices are increasing this year. There is more demand on the weekends.”

“Going further into the dynamic model in online sales, we have a partnership with a new company called Intopia through our website, we’ll be selling lift tickets online that are available right now. Purchase a lift ticket for a March date and lock in the price and you will save a ton,” he said.

Other speakers including Kate Punderson, head of school, Bruce Miles, president of the Ski Club and Sam Punderson of Mountainside Realty gave updates on projects ongoing at the Mountain.

It’s time to get your gear out and ready. Tune and wax those skis and snowboards up and get into shape.

Hope to see you on the mountain soon!

Letters to the editor, Week of November 17, 2016

Wishing everyone well

To the editor:

I want to thank the 1,757 residents of China, Albion, Benton and Unity Twp. who voted for me on election day. It was a wonderful learning and growing experience and I gave it my best effort. I have spent more than thirty years working for the people of Maine. My career in environmental protection aside, my primary focus has been to work to fix Maine’s very broken system of fish and wildlife management. I am already back doing that work and I will redouble those efforts.

Maine’s problems are too great and too many for a single election to dampen my spirit. If anything, my desire to work to fix broken government and to work for Maine is even greater. I know my race was not decided based on qualifications, hard work or character. As children, we were told the importance of honesty and hard work. Some of us learned that lesson and I still believe both will win out in the long run. My opponent well knows what I am referring to.

I wish the residents of District #79 well over the next two years. 2,940 of you have decided that you are satisfied with the kind of representation you have been receiving in Augusta. I and 1,757 others believe we can and must do better.

The next election cycle starts one short year from now. Until then, we will be watching.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China

Thanks voters

To the editor:

To the citizens of Maine House District #80. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to the people of Vassalboro, Windsor, Somerville, and the House District #80 portion of Augusta for selecting me as your next representative to the Maine House. Getting to meet many of you as I was visiting door to door over the past several months was truly a rewarding experience. My promise to you is to work diligently in the Maine House of Representatives with members of all parties as we seek to make Maine a better place to live and work for generations to come.

I would also like to thank my predecessor, Lori Fowle, for her dedication and the hard work she has done on behalf of District #80 residents over the past four years in Augusta. Her efforts as a public servant are very much appreciated, and I want to convey my best wishes to her.

Dick Bradstreet

Condemning the riots

To the editor:

As a veteran who served during two wars, I am appalled at the actions going on concerning Donald Trump winning the election. Watching these protests, all I can think is that we are reverting to a third world culture where citizens say, to hell with law and order if they don’t get their own way. [I] must blame the media for most of our problems and hyping all these protests and riots.

Thank God Trump is remaining a gentleman and not falling for all this hype, but where is Hillary and Obama? Why are they not [condemning] all this anti-new president terrible display of ignorance, arrogance and criminality?

Too disgusted to continue and really fear for our republic that all of us love and would die for.

[I] hope cooler heads prevail and the media would pull in its horns. [I] will pray our republic survives and sincerely hope Washington gets its act together.

Frank Slason

Vassalboro: Attendees leave with informational pamphlets

by Mary Grow

People attending the Nov. 7 East Vassalboro meeting on removal of the Masse dam left with three handouts.
One is titled “Public Participation in the Licensing Process” and explains how and when area residents can follow and take part in the application review.

The handout directs people seeking maximum involvement to file a written request to become what DEP calls an “interested person” and receive application-related material. Interested persons may inspect and copy all non-confidential information in the DEP file on the application and will get notices of meetings and hearings.

Interested persons and others may submit written comments on an application being reviewed. There is also an opportunity to request a public hearing on an application, if the request is submitted within 20 days after DEP accepts the application as complete and meets other requirements.

The handout offers two sources for additional information: DEP Director of Procedures and Enforcement, 287-7688; and on-line links provided at

The second handout is a three-and-a-half page summary of ARI’s work as of July 2016.

The third is a one-page project summary explaining that the activity for which the DEP permit is requested will require using an excavator to remove the concrete dam and sluiceway, leaving the dam buttress and the part of the dam north of the sluiceway in place. Work is planned for July, August and September; no year is specified, but Landis Hudson of Maine Rivers said in an email that the goal is 2017.

Vassalboro: Dam groups hold public hearing on project

by Mary Grow

The groups applying for a state permit to remove the Masse dam in East Vassalboro held a Nov. 7 public hearing to explain the project and how area residents can get involved.

The presentation by Landis Hudson, of Maine Rivers, drew about two dozen people from Vassalboro and China to participate in a wide-ranging discussion. Most of the East Vassalboro residents who spoke remained unconvinced of the value of the project. Maine Rivers, the China Region Lakes Alliance and others have created ARI, the Alewife Restoration Initiative. ARI’s goal is to clear China Lake’s Outlet Stream of obstacles to fish passage so that migratory alewives can get from the Atlantic Ocean via the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers into the lake.

One step is the proposed removal of the dam in East Vassalboro. The project requires a Natural Resources Protection Act permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Hudson said the meeting was a state requirement as an early step in the application to remove the dam.

Hudson’s presentation focused on expected environmental impacts, the topic most questioned during the discussion. Proponents foresee a more natural ecosystem that will provide better habitat for native species of fish, animals, birds, insects and plants, and the probable improvement of water quality in China Lake through the alewife introduction.

Dams and other man-made barriers fragment formerly interconnected habitats and tend to benefit non-native and warm-water species, Hudson said. Reconnecting streams is Maine Rivers’ main focus; other ARI members are more concerned with alewife migration.

In August and September the Masse dam was opened to lower the water level in the upstream impoundment and part of the former mill was taken down. Hudson said complete removal of the dam would not change the upstream water level much more.

According to earlier discussions, the mill was in danger of collapse, endangering East Vassalboro Water Company pipes under the stream as well as people trespassing on mill property.

Hudson said mill owner Don Robbins made a presentation on the historic mill to the Vassalboro Historical Society.

Jan Clowes of the society said the group did not understand the urgency of his situation and hoped the society would not “drop the ball” should a similar problem arise in the future.

A related concern was that lower water above the water company’s pipes would expose them to freezing. The pipes have been relocated, Hudson said.

Charlie Hartman, Clowes and other East Vassalboro residents argued Nov. 7 that they have lost a pond that was a significant recreational and community center, that trees and perhaps buildings are endangered by the changed shoreline configuration and that there is not enough water in the stream for all the good things predicted.

Project Manager Matt Streeter said the application process includes a hydrogeologist’s study of the impact of lower water on buildings and retaining walls. Conclusions from the study will be submitted to DEP.

Water flow from China Lake down Outlet Stream is regulated by a Board of Environmental Protection order specifying maximum and minimum flows at different seasons. The Outlet Dam is managed to meet the state requirements.

Discussion also covered the validity of the claim that alewives will improve lake water quality, a statement everyone agreed is so far unproven. Dam removal proponents think improvement is likely; opponents are skeptical.

Resident Bill Pullen queried the cost of the project, getting no answer. Streeter said arrangements with contractors are not part of the public record. He assured the audience that so far the cost is within $1,000 of the original budget.

In May, Vassalboro selectmen approved giving the China Region Lakes Alliance $150,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds to support ARI’s work, $65,000 in the spring and $85,000 after the November tax payment.

Obituaries, Week of November 17, 2016


WHITEFIELD––Florence N. Hartley, 96, of the Devine Road, died Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the home of her daughter in Whitefield, following an extended illness. She was born in Presque Isle on April 15, 1920, the daughter of Vinal Shaw and Jaska (Palmer) Shaw.

Mrs. Hartley was a graduate of Skowhegan High School.

Prior to her retirement in 1990, she was employed by the City of Augusta School Department as director of the school lunch program.

She was predeceased by her husband, Ransom W. Hartley in 1977; and a daughter, Lois M. Frost in December, 2015.
Surviving is a daughter Sandra Picard and husband Charles, of Whitefield; a brother, Sewall Shaw, of Perth, New Brunswick, Canada; three grandchildren, Stacie O’Brien, of Augusta, Thomas Picard, of Augusta, and Toni Picard, of Whitefield; five great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at


SOUTH CHINA––Andis Ivars Busmanis, 57, of South China, passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2016, due to cancer. Andis was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Viesturs and Dzirkstite Busmanis, on August 1, 1959.
Andis went to Norton High School, in Norton, Massachusetts and to Unity College, in Unity, where he earned an associate’s degree.

He married Karla Vittands on October 6, 1984. Andis was a master carpenter and loved working with the crew at BRI, in Brunswick.

Andis was known for his contagious smile, his affinity for quoting movies, and the twinkle in his eye. An avid outdoorsman, Andis loved to fish, hunt, golf, and work on his family’s land. His favorite thing to do by far was to spend time with his family. Andis will be remembered and missed for his Sunday morning breakfasts, for playing hide and seek with his grandchildren no matter how tired he was, and for his willingness to build anything for anyone (no matter how long it took).

Andis was an amazing father and grandfather, a loving husband, and a loyal friend.

Andis was predeceased by his parents, “Blondie” and “Zita.”

He is survived by his wife, Karla; his children, Larisa, Nikki and Zack; his sons-in-law, Jesse and Adam; grandchildren, Abigail, Sadie and Myla; in-laws, Gunta and Jake; sister, Balba; brother-in-law, Gundars; and cousins, Paul, Jimmy and Wayne.

Memorial contributions can be made to Andis’ memorial bench at


FAIRFIELD––Joan Thelma Kane, 82, of Fairfield, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at the Lakewood Continuing Care Center in Waterville. Joan was born on June 4, 1934, to Raymond and Thelma Poulin.

She was raised in Fairfield and attended Lawrence High School where she enjoyed playing in the high school band.

Joan adored her father Raymond for the short time they had together before he passed away when she was a mere nine years old. Joan attended the Holy Ghost Hospital and School of Nursing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she completed her LPN nursing degree. Nursing was her lifelong passion, she was an LPN for 35 years, Joan was well known for her loving and attentive care in nursing and for always giving her heart and soul to her patients.

She had a love for dancing and was an active member in the singles clubs. Joan enjoyed gardening, and nature to its fullest. Joan was most fond of trips to the beaches with her family. She loved driving her little red car around town with her little dogs. Life was but an adventure.

She married Ronald Tibbetts and together they had five children.

Joan was predeceased by her granddaughter, Kayla Fletcher; her father Raymond Poulin; her mother Thelma Lane and stepfather Harry Lane; Irene King whom she considered a mother; Lorraine Lessard whom she considered a sister; Beverly Gagne whom she also considered a sister.

Joan is survived by her son Anthony Tibbetts and wife Sandra; daughters, Tina Fletcher and husband Scott, Judy Hall and husband Michael, Lisa Scully and husband Jim, and Lori Meredith; grandchildren, Dominic Tibbetts and partner Laura St. Peter, Stephanie Joyce and husband Terry, Melissa Fletcher and husband Steven Beaulieu, Jessica Ireland and Josh Bragdon, Joy Owens and husband Jevon, Joseph Church and wife Alaina, and Megan MacFarland, Steven and Caitlyn Meredith, and Mercedes Fountain; great-grandchildren, Vincent, Noah, Riley, Mason, Colton, Piper, Nolan, Gabriella, Keegan, and Gavin. Joyce Hachey and Nancy Smith who are dear cousins and have always been close to Joan and were considered her sisters throughout her life, and her sister Rae Philbrick.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed to the family at

Memorial donations may be made in Joan’s name to the Waterville Humane Society, or to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047.


OAKLAND––Sheila A. Butler, 62, passed away on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at MaineGeneral Hospital, in Augusta. She was born on March 5, 1944, in Waterville to Roland and Madeline (Burgess) Butler.

Her family moved to Oakland when she was a child and Oakland became her full-time residency. Sheila was educated in the Messalonskee School District and graduated in 1962 from what was then Williams High School.

Sheila was employed by Maingas (now Suburban Propane). in Waterville and Fairfield, for 43 years then retired in 2009 to care for her mother.

Sheila enjoyed bowling, playing golf with family and friends, skiing at Saddleback and Sugarloaf, she was an avid reader and loved a good book anytime. She also enjoyed going on bus trips with her mother and friends. Sheila went on several cruises to the Caribbean and a wonderful trip to Alaska. Every summer she so looked forward and enjoyed her weekly stay on the ocean at Pine Point in Maine. Sheila, along with friends and family made this annual stay at the coast for about 45 years.

Sheila was predeceased by her parents Roland Butler and Madeline Stubbert; her stepfather Charles Stubbert, Sr., and several aunts and uncles.

Sheila is survived by her aunt Beverly Barrett; her cousins Deborah and Rick Wentworth, Gail and Dick Kenney, and several other cousins and their families.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at:

Memorial donations may be made to the Pine Tree Camp, Client Activities. Memo on check to read In Memory of Sheila Butler, Pine Tree Camp, 114 Pine Tree Rd., Rome ME 04963.


VASSALBORO ––Carroll A. Waldron, 78, died Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at the Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta. He was born in Vassalboro, May 24, 1938, the son of Warren and Margaret (Clements) Waldron.

Carroll was a graduate of Erskine Academy. He was an over-the-road truck driver.

Mr. Waldron was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Maynard M. and Vernon F. Waldron; sister Annabelle Cunningham; grandson, Caleb T. Waldron; and son-in-law, Earle E. “Joe” Pierce.

He is survived by his long-time companion, Linda Cunningham; sons, Douglas G. Waldron and companion, Kellie Foye, of Sidney, Craig A. Waldron and companion, Tiffany Norton, of Jefferson, and William Waldron and wife, Mandi, of Vassalboro; daughters, LaVonne Pierce, of The Forks, Karyn Curr and husband, Danny, of Chester, Idaho, and Loreen Efft and husband, Peter, of Isabella, Missouri ; sister, Virginia Gallant; Linda’s children, Darren Cunningham and wife, Debbie, of Winthrop, Julie Brown, of Middletown, Pennsylvania, Timothy Cunningham and wife, Jennifer, of Winthrop and Matt Cunningham and wife, Angie, of South China; 22 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to a pot-luck celebration of Carroll’s life at the North Augusta Trail Blazers Club House, Sunday, November 20, 2016, from 1–4 p.m. Burial will take place in the spring.

Memories, condolences, photos, and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

Memorial donations may be made to: The Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, MaineGeneral Office of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 828, Waterville ME 04903.


NORTH VASSALBORO – Masie Knowles, 16, aka Charlie, Charles Knowles and Charlie Maze, made the decision to give up the struggle of living this life.

His struggle with mental illness got the better of him. Faced with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, gender identity and just being a teenager, Charles had an incredibly difficult “hand to play.”

Charles was born on December 9, 1999, in Waterville, the daughter and son of Michelle (McQuillan) and Douglas Knowles. He was educated in local schools and was currently a student at Winslow High School. Although Maze often had great difficulty attending school, he was a bright and productive student when he was there, enjoying especially art, and bringing humor and kindness with him. He also enjoyed anime. He thought of becoming a social and political activist for LGBT children.

For those who knew Charles he was supportive and would help those in need. He was sincere in his acceptance of others. The eyeglass frames changed as often as the hair color, and musical tastes were eclectic ranging from Queen to Skrillix to The Beatles.

He was predeceased by his grandmother Evelyn Knowles.

He is survived by his mother Michelle Knowles, of North Vassalboro, and his father Douglas Knowles, of Skowhegan; his two brothers, David and Drew Tardif; his grandparents, John and Shirley McQuillan, and Thomas Knowles; as well as a circle of friends whom he cared for and cherished as best as he could.

Please visit to view a video collage of Charles’ life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

Memorial donations may be made in Charles memory to: Autism Society of Maine, 72B Main St., Winthrop ME 04364 or :NAMI Maine, 1 Bangor St., Augusta ME 04330-4701.


OAKLAND – Albertine M. Violette, 93, of Oakland, died at Mount St. Joseph, in Waterville, on Monday, October 31, 2016. She was born in Waterville on October 3, 1923, the daughter of Abbie (Gurney) and Walter Dunton.

She was educated in local schools and graduated from Waterville High School.

She worked at C. F. Hathaway Shirt Factory, in Waterville, for over 40 years, retiring as an inspector. She was a talented craftsman who enjoyed needlepoint, with many of her pieces given as gifts to her family, which have become cherished heirlooms.

Al was a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church (Corpus Christi Parish), in Waterville. In 1975 she married Harvey Violette, and in so doing, received a ready-made family that brought great joy and happiness to her life.

Al loved any social event involving the family. She also had a love of dolls without being a collector. In retirement she enjoyed winters in Florida and spending Saturday nights with “The Gang” playing cards, and Sunday drives.

Al was a woman with a big heart as could be seen in her visits to shut-ins as well as helping them in any way they needed. During her time at Mount St. Joseph, she became an avid Beano player and became known for her collection of charms, or “jujus,” as players refer to them.

Al is survived by her husband of 41 years, Harvey Violette, of Oakland; stepchildren, Don Violette and wife Jane, of Waterville, Sandy Violette and husband David, of Winslow, and Patsy Veneziano and fiancé John Pickett, of Winslow; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; nephew Ronald Dunton and wife Donna, of Bangor; and nieces Darlene Dunton-Benedict and husband Matthew Benedict, of Maryland, and Sheila Allen, of Waterville.

She was predeceased by her first husband Romeo Bolduc; stepson Larry Violette, and two brothers, Alfred Dunton and Herbert Dunton.

You may share condolences, memories and tribute with her family at

Memorial donations may be made to Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Rd., Waterville, ME 04901, or American Cancer Society, NE Division, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suitye 300, Topsham, ME 04086.


WINSLOW – Peter Leon Muzerolle, 87, passed away Sunday, November 13, 2106, at Lakewood Nursing Home, in Waterville. He was born April 26, 1929, in Waterville, the son of Arthur Sr. and Lottie (Berard) Muzerolle.

He was educated in the schools of Waterville and graduated from Waterville High School in 1967. On August 17, 1985, he married Dorothy B. Blakney Bolduc at Seton Hospital Chapel, in Waterville. He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy until his honorable discharge in 1946. Peter and brother, Richard, owned and operated Muzzey’s Auto Body Shop, on Kennedy Memorial Drive, in Waterville, for eight years. He worked for Maine Central Railroad for 20 years before retiring early due to an injury to his back.PETER L. MUZEROLLE

Peter was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge #5, Waterville Elks, and Centerpoint Community Church, in Waterville. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, boating, bowling, camping, dancing, and playing cards.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Dorothy B. Muzerolle, of Winslow; two sons, Edward Muzerolle and wife Diane, of Sidney, Robert Muzerolle, of Boothbay Harbor; four daughters, Leah Romano, of Waterville, Kathleen Johnson and husband Gary, of Fairfield, Anna Gretta and husband Brian, of Orr’s Island, Lisa Muzerolle, of Portland; three step-sons, Scott Bolduc and wife Lauren, of Rome, Michael Bolduc, of China, Chris Bolduc and wife Sue, of Waterville; three step-daughters, Cheryl Wade, of Winslow, Cindy Jacques and husband David, of Winslow, Lori Dumont and husband Michael, of Vassalboro; six grandchildren; 21 step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; 27 step-great-grandchildren; many nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by brothers, Richard, Arthur, Francis, and Morris; sisters, Martha DeRaps, and Marjorie Lemlen.

Memorial donations may be made to Lakewood Nursing Home, Activities Fund, 220 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, Maine 04901.

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


JOHN E. BRETON, 64, of West Gardiner, passed away on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Locally, he is survived by Art Breton and April, of Whitefield.

MICHAEL O. GURNEY, 94, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, passed away on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Locally, he is survived by sisters Emerline Bartley, and Earline McGoff and husband Stanley, all of Shawmut, and Christine Beaulieu, of Fairfield.

SHIRLEY A. BESSEY, 85, of Waterville, passed away on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, in Madison. Locally, she is survived by a daughter Barbara Morin and husband Paul, of Oakland.

TIF committee meets in light of town vote

by Mary Grow

Four members of China’s TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Committee met Nov. 9 to consider future projects in light of town voters’ Nov. 8 decisions on local issues.

Three questions affecting the committee’s projects were on the Nov. 8 ballot. Voters approved two of the three, appropriating up to $10,000 to buy land at the head of China Lake and $50,000 for the China Four Seasons Club’s trail maintenance work.

They rejected proposed amendments to China’s Land Development Code that included, among other issues, changes that would have allowed building a boardwalk over the water at the head of the lake where fishermen now congregate on the shore.

The trail work will be primarily the responsibility of the Four Seasons Club, overseen by the committee and the board of selectmen, and need not be a major topic at future meetings, committee members agreed.
The project at the head of the lake, often called the causeway project, is a major committee endeavor. The next step is to schedule a pre-application meeting with state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff.

Engineer Mark McCluskey, of A. E. Hodson, brought committee members a letter to DEP asking for the meeting, with attached documentation. He expects the meeting between DEP staff and committee members will be during normal Monday through Friday working hours, rather than in the evening.

Committee members agreed he should send the letter, even if they have to wait until the March town meeting to try again to get voters to approve changes in shoreland requirements to make the project possible.

Joann Austin, who is both a TIF Committee member and a selectman, urged going ahead with the land purchase even without assurance of the rest of the proposed work. Buying the land will let the town own and improve the area across Causeway Street from the board landing where boaters already park. Tentative plans include paving the area and adding stormwater runoff controls.

Also discussed was the broader possibility of relocating the China Village fire station to the piece of land on Lakeview Drive that voters on Nov. 8 accepted as a gift; removing the current fire station and making a parking lot west of China Baptist Church; and acquiring the present church parking area east of the church as part of the causeway project.

Other projects committee members are considering include:

  • Deciding whether to set aside a small amount of TIF money for a revolving loan fund to help local businesses start or expand, and if the fund is to be established, adopting policies and procedures for it.
  • Considering extending the TIF program to add the new Central Maine Power Co. substation off Route 3. The current program gets its income from taxes on the expanded CMP power line through town; selectmen as well as committee members are talking about adding the new CMP property. Were the TIF application to the state to be amended, the program might also be extended from its current 20 years to the maximum 30 years.
  • Discussing whether to recommend the town acquire the former Fairpoint building on Route 3, which committee members and some of the selectmen have suggested could serve a variety of purposes.
    Committee members tentatively agreed to meet again Monday evening, Nov. 21, to continue discussion of some or all of those ideas.

Local church group fills gift boxes

China Baptist Church shares in sending gift filled shoe boxes to children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a part of the ministry of Samaritans Purse that delivers shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toys and other gifts to children all over the world. The goal this year is to share with 12 million children these gifts boxes filled and collected in churches and other organizations. Families at China Baptist Church have been filling and donating these shoeboxes for over 15 years. This year they collected and will be donating 33 boxes through the drop off center at Penny Memorial Baptist Church, in Augusta, which is a regional collection point. Every year Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week takes place the third week in November when nearly 5,000 drop-off locations are open across the country.

Some of the children from families who have contributed shoeboxes when the boxes were collected on November 13, in the morning worship service.                                                                Contributed photo

Some of the children from families who have contributed shoeboxes when the boxes were collected on November 13, in the morning worship service. Contributed photo

China: Selectmen deal with local issues; Farrington chosen chairman

by Mary Grow

At their Nov. 14 meeting, China selectmen dealt with results of the Nov. 8 local election and with a petition organized by Neck Road resident Marie Michaud and others.

Neil Farrington was elected the new chairman of the Board of Selectmen; Irene Belanger was re-elected secretary. To applause from the audience, Farrington presented a certificate of appreciation to previous chairman Robert MacFarland, who was not re-elected Nov. 8.

Voters on Nov. 8 approved five local referendum questions that require action by selectmen, to wit:

  • Appropriating $12,000 from the town surplus account to buy a parcel of land adjoining the town office lot.
  • Authorizing acceptance of a piece of land on the east side of Lakeview Drive opposite the former Candlewood Camps as a gift from Wachusetts Properties, Inc.
  • Appropriating up to $3,800 from surplus for a community needs assessment focused on older residents’ needs.
  • Authorizing selectmen to give the recently acquired former portable classroom to the South China Library for $1 plus moving costs, with library officials to have 60 days to decide whether to take the building.
  • Appropriating up to $10,000 from the Development Program Fund to buy land at the head of China Lake’s east basin for improved parking for the boat landing. The Development Program Fund gets its money through the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program funded by taxes paid on the expanded Central Maine Power Company line through China.

Selectmen voted unanimously to direct Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux to start implementing the decisions.
They made a decision of their own: beginning Monday, Dec. 12, the China transfer station will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (except on holidays), instead of Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. One of the two ordinances whose amendments voters rejected Nov. 8 would have made the same change; selectmen decided they have authority to do it.

Resident Sandra Kostron complimented transfer station staff for being helpful and for keeping the facility neat.

The petition, which Michaud said had 364 signatures, asked selectmen to declare a six-month moratorium on new commercial development to give time to reconstitute the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee “in order to establish Land Use Districts in accordance with the goals and provisions set forth and prescribed by the China Comprehensive Plan,” adopted in 2008.

The petition is a result of Parris and Catherine Varney’s still-unresolved application to use their barn on Neck Road for weddings and similar functions. Neighbors argue noise, traffic, lights and other features are inappropriate in a residential neighborhood; planning board members hearing the application said the town ordinance lacks the specificity – for example, decibel limits for noise – they need to make decisions.

Selectmen, L’Heureux and audience members talked about legal requirements for a moratorium, the history of the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee that has been inactive for several years and the difficulty of creating districts in a town where uses intermingle and where voters have traditionally opposed zoning.

Selectmen voted 4-1, with new board member Jeff LaVerdiere opposed, to revive the Implementation Committee for the specific purpose stated in the petition. Board members asked L’Heureux to see how many former members still want to serve; Michaud had a list of potential committee members. The manager proposed limiting the committee to 15 members.

Selectmen did not impose a development moratorium.

In other business Nov. 14:

  • Selectmen unanimously appointed Fred Montgomery alternate member of the planning board. The alternate member, chosen from anywhere in town, may participate in board discussions but votes only when one of the five regular members in absent.
  • James Wilkens volunteered to join the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee and was immediately appointed. The next committee meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.
  • Selectmen disagreed over whether they should appoint a committee to work on senior citizens’ issues this month or after they see results of the survey voters authorized. They tentatively decided to appoint committee members at their Nov. 28 meeting. Interested residents should contact the town office.

Selectmen scheduled their annual visioning session, when they discuss broad objectives and general plans for the coming year, for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the town office meeting room. The session is open to the public.

Local communities honor veterans with parade



Waterville, above, and Winslow police departments honor guards participated in the Veterans Day parade in Waterville on November 11.
Photos by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography