INside the OUTside: Sugarloaf opens new Competition Center

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

Sugarloaf Mountain opens the season with a new state-of-the-art Competition Center. The new facility was built this summer in the footprint of the old Gondola station that served the Carrabassett Valley Academy and the Sugarloaf Ski Club as its tuning and waxing facility, along with meetings and locker rooms.


Dedication ceremony to be held

A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 10 at the new Competition Center from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The new center was made possible by a $1 million grant from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation and the combined efforts of Carrabassett Valley Academy, Sugarloaf Mountain and the Sugarloaf Ski Club. This completes the Bill and Joan Alfond Competition Center.

“CVA’s Board of Trustees has long supported the Sugarloaf Ski Club’s vision of a new competition center,” said Kate Webber Punderson, Head of School, in an e-mail interview. “In May 2015, CVA received an incredible gift from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation in support of the project such that the CVA Board, bolstered by the commitment and support of partners Sugarloaf and the Sugarloaf Ski Club, officially launched the effort to make this long awaited dream become a reality,” she said.

Punderson said that the Sugarloaf Ski Club had the vision, the Academy took the reins and Sugarloaf threw full support behind the project.

The new Competition Center will serve as base of operations during the U.S. Alpine Championships that will take place March 25-29, 2017. All are welcome to attend the dedication ceremony.

Ski and ride safely. Use your head and don’t forget to wear a helmet.

China Road Christmas Park full of spirit of the season


The China Road Christmas Park, in Winslow, is a family endeavor started a few years ago and has continued to grow. The park is filled with Christmas spirit and is a favorite of both young and old. It is open to the public on most nights, but it is recommended to check their Facebook page, China Road Christmas Park, just to make sure. The park is located at 1229 China Road, in Winslow.

Photos by Tawni Lively, Centrl Maine Photography staff


SOLON & BEYOND, Week of December 8, 2016

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

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

This week I’ll start off with a little news that I didn’t write about the women’s shelter in Solon before because of lack of space. This new building where the shelter is now behind the New Hope Church, in Solon, two new group classes were begun for the women back in July. On Mondays there is a nutrition/cooking class, and on Tuesdays there is a parenting class for the women with minor children. These classes help the residents not only with their spiritual needs, but also with practical skills needed for a productive life after they leave the shelter.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about other news from Tim and Pat about the New Hope Church and Women’s Shelter and the wonderful things happening there. The e-mail I received ended with, “Thank You! We are so grateful to each of you for your interest in and support of the ministries we have been part of over the past 46 years.”

One other item in the e-mail was this request, “Pray that Pat will quickly learn the various skills needed in her position as secretary. She laments, “I can milk cows, muck stalls, drive tractors; but run a copy machine? Learn computer programs? If the trial of my faith works patience, I should be all set on patience for the next billion years!”

My sympathy goes out to her, I have a similar problem with anything electronic, and it is most frustrating! Best of wishes go out to you and your church for all you do.

Received a copy of the Embden Historical Society, Inc., 2017 Program from Carol Dolan and there won’t be any meeting in January and February. The March 13 meeting program: DVD Blizzard to Blossoms (Winter 1948-49, Skowhegan) and April meeting Program: Fiddleheads A to Z, sound very interesting and some things to look forward to.

Other things to look forward to at the Embden Community Center are: On December 10, Phil Amadon will present a musical show from 7 – 9 p.m. All proceeds to benefit the center. On December 11, 1 – 4 p.m., Country Jam/Open Mic on second and fourth Sunday, by donation. Kitchen open.

Another event at the Embden Community Center is a sale at the Embden Thrift Shop on boots and shoes, half off on men’s and women’s and kids through (Dec. 7, 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.). The Lending Library is open the same days and times. ( My many thanks go out to Carol Dolan, she is my most dedicated helper. I truly appreciate your e-mails). I’m sure my readers do also, it is nice to know what is going on in our communities.

For those of you who perhaps have not seen your news in, it is because I didn’t get it in time for my deadline. I need all news by early Sunday to get it in that week’s Thursday edition. Thanks to all of you, I do appreciate your help in providing me with newsworthy items.

Yesterday was one of those wonderful days when good things happen. Son Dave had called to let me know that he and wife Eleanor (Pete), would be coming to see us. They do this every year, so we can exchange Christmas gifts before they leave for Florida. After opening our gifts we always go out to eat, this year was extra special, Peter, Sherry, Chandra and Cole joined us at Ken’s Restaurant and we all enjoyed our meal and joy of being together.

I’ve got a little extra space this week so I’m going to put in two of Percy’s memoirs: “Life’s greatest celebrations are born in the heart.” And, “The path to wisdom is never easy, but those who strive will find their journey blessed.”

Obituaries, Week of December 8, 2016


CHINA––Donald Edward Carll, 84, of China, formerly of Boston, died peacefully on November 10, 2016, at the Maine Veteran Home, of Augusta. He was the son of the late Stanley and Anna Carll, born in Boston on April 14, 1932.

A Navy veteran and 1957 graduate of Coyne Electrical School, he went on to become a master electrician and opened his own business, Carll Electric Company. Donald enjoyed nature and a simple life including gardening, fishing, snowmobiling and the company of friends and family.

He was predeceased by siblings, Robert Carll and wife Norma, Maryjane long and husband Donald, Nancy Kelliher and husband Lenny and Peter Carll.

He is survived by five children, Edward M. Carll and wife Nanci, of Plymouth, Donald P. Carll and wife Kathy, of Marshfield, Ellen M. Carll-Bennett and husband Rick, of Plymouth, Daniel G. Carll and wife Suzanne, of Boca Raton, Florida, and Julie A. Igo and husband Richard, of Weymouth; six grandchildren, Nicole, Alex, Taylor, Sarah, Peter and Rachel; sisters Pricilla Carpenter, Marjorie Carll, and Sandra Ryan and husband Bill; and many nieces and nephews.
Memories, condolences, photos, and videos may be shared with the family on the website obituary page at


WINSLOW – Fernand “Fern” J. Rodrigue, 69, passed away Wednes­ay, November 23, 2016, at Maine Medical Center, in Portland. He was born April 5, 1947, in Waterville, the son of Roland and Lorette (Duguay) Rodrigue.
He was educated in the schools of Waterville and earned his GED. On June 4, 1966, he married Linda M. Wilbur, at St. Francis de Sales Church, in Waterville. Fern was a veteran who proudly served his country in the Army National Guard until his honorable discharge. He was employed for many years at Fort Halifax Packing, in Winslow, and as a page4pict3maintenance supervisor at a national seafood factory. Fern enjoyed camping, electronics, and family gatherings.
Fern is survived by his wife of 50 years, Linda M. (Wilbur) Rodrigue, of Winslow; two sons, Daren Rodrigue and David Rodrigue, both of Vassalboro; two sisters, Nancy Wing and husband Chris, Ann Morneau and husband Richard, two brothers, Ronald Rodrigue and wife Karen, Gerard Rodrigue and wife Janine; six grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by sister, Loretta Steeves and husband Charles; brother, Donald Rodrigue; and his parents.
Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville, ME 04901.
Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine 04976


FAIRFIELD––Donald “Skip” Barry II, 53, the son of Elaine and Donald Barry, passed away suddenly Wednesday, November 23, 2016, in a fatal car accident. Skip was born April 28, 1953, in Waterville.

He grew up in Fairfield, creating many memories in his younger years while play ing in the Pal league programs. He attended and graduated from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, in 1981. This is where he was most known for his participation on the football team.

Skip worked for Michael Wing at Central Maine Disposal, in Fairfield, for a few years, but made a career at Sappi, located in Skowhegan, for 29 years. He finished his career at Sappi in the beginning of 2016 and spent most of his free time refinishing his home and enjoying his Harley-Davidson motorcycle interest.

In August 1993, Skip became a father to his only son, Ridge. Growing up they spent a lot of their time outdoors. They enjoyed traveling the state of Maine, snowmobiling in the winter time. In the summer, they would trim down the four-wheeling trails around their home and play a few rounds of golf. For the last few months, their quality time was spent refinishing Skip’s home together. Ridge will continue to refinish the house in remembrance of his dad.

Skip is survived by his mother, Diddie; son, Ridge; sister, Tammy; aunt, Charlotte; and many other aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of one’s choice.


WINSLOW – Aaron Michael Hunter, 26, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, November 24, 2016, at Maine­General Medical Center, in Augusta.

page4pict4Aaron was born January 24, 1990, in Skowhegan. He worked as a Quality Control Inspector at Kennebec Technologies, in Augusta. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and disc golf player. Nothing brought him more joy than spending time with his four-month-old son, three-year-old daughter, and fiancée.

Aaron is survived by his mother Laura Ellis, of Missouri. Aaron was also very blessed with two amazing men he called dad, Timothy Elkins, of Waterville, and Terrill Hunter Jr., of California. His fiancée Hannah Daigle, their son Abel and daughter Avery, all of Winslow. Two sisters, Kailynn M. DePesa and her daughter, Jada Sulim, of Waterville, Alexandria K. DePesa, her fiancé Steven Oisten and children Kyndal and Jaxson, of Wyoming, and one brother, Brad a/k/a Terrill Hunter III, of Oklahoma; grandparents Judith Andrews and Edward Ellis, both of Skowhegan, along with Susie and Terrill Hunter Sr., of California, several aunts, uncles; aunt Trace Hunter, of California, who affectionately referred to Aaron as “geeko.”

Memorial donations may be mde to the Quaker Hill Disc Golf, 146 Middle Road, Fairfield, ME. 04937.
Arrangements under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan.


ALBION––William “Bill” McKenzie Jr., passed away Saturday morning, November 26, 2016, at Androscoggin Home Care-Hospice, in Auburn. Bill was born April 24, 1934, in Claremont, New Hampshire, to William Sr. and Grace Bushway McKenzie.

Bill was a veteran, serving in both the Air Force and the Army. He was successful in business, an avid hunter and active in the community as a member of the Masons, scoutmaster and football coach in Albion, where he lived since 1971.

He was predeceased by his parents; brothers Ronald and Vic; and niece Patricia Chapman.

He is survived by his son William H. and (Kelly) Mckenzie III, of Albion, with grandchildren Dugan (Caitlin) McKenzie, of Casco, Brody McKenzie and Jeremiah McKenzie, son Wesley (Tracy) McKenzie, of Pensacola, Florida; grandchildren Caitlin McKenzie and Benjamin McKenzie, of Forest Part, Illinois; daughter Audrey McKenzie, of Westbrook; sisters Grace (Martin) Adams, of South Royalton, Vermont, and Gloria (Robert) Perkins, of Dunnellan, Florida; brother Jack McKenzie, of Claremont, New Hampshire; seven nieces and nine nephews.


WINSLOW – Nelson Leslie Adams, 68, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2016, at the Maine Veterans Hospital, at Togus. He was born on July 21, 1948, in Farmington, the son of the late Richard and Nora (Ellis) Adams of Farmington.
He was educated in Farming­ton schools and joined the U.S. Army from 1965 -1969. In 1971 he met and married his wife of 45 years, Nancy. Nelson worked for Scott Paper Co., in Winslow, Prudential INsurance Co., (10 years), and finally found his greatest love. He went to school and became a self-employed farrier. He said that he never felt like he was going to work; he just loved the challenge and everything to do with horses. He has owned many race horses and truly loved the sport.page4pict1

He is survived by his wife Nancy (White) Adams, of Winslow; his two ”girls,” Karyn Adams Bechard and husband Matt, of Vassalboro, and Katrina Adams Cates and husband David, of Newburg; four grandsons, Peyton Cates, Noah Bechard, Parker Cates and Sam Bechard. Also surviving are his sister, Pamela St.Pierre and her husband Joe, of Chesterville; brothers, Stephen Adams and wife Hazel (Pat), of Woolrich, Micheal Adams and wife Diane, of Livermore, Jeffery Adams and wife Linda, of Bowdoinham, and Randy Adams and wife Bonnie, of Jay; many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother Robert in an accident many years ago.

Memorial donations may be made to MHHA scholarship fund, 185 State Street, Augusta, ME 04332.

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


BENTON – William “Dave” David Cairnie, 96, passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at Lake­wood Continui­ng Care Center, in Waterville, following a brief illness. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of Peter and Margaret (Baxter) Cairnie.

He lived in New York City untpage4pict2il the age of 15. He then moved to Benton to live with his Uncle Bill and Aunt Doris Baxter, and attended Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. There he met his future wife Ethel Taylor.

Dave enjoyed sports at Lawrence, scored the first touchdown on Keyes Field, and was a recipient of the Bulldog Award.

He coached Little League baseball and enjoyed watching his sons in their athletic activities. Dave loved golf. He played in the Senior League at Natanis Golf Course, in Vassalboro, well into his 90s, and was known for shooting his age or less. He enjoyed his many trips to North Carolina and playing golf there. He was an avid reader and liked to tease the ladies at the Lawrence Library.

He was a veteran who proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II until his honorable discharge. He was a member of the Fairfield United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir for many years. He was a member of the Siloam Lodge #0092, of Fairfield, where he was Master and served as Chaplain for over 50 years. Dave worked at Taylor Motors, in Winslow, and Joseph Motors, in Waterville, until his retirement.

Dave became a volunteer at Lakewood Manor in 1997 after the loss of his wife. He is survived by three sons, David Cairnie and wife Evelyn, Raymond Cairnie and wife Alice, Paul Cairnie and wife Angie; five grandchildren, David, Peggy, Donna, Melissa, and Michael; 11 great- grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild.

He was predeceased by his wife, Ethel (after 58 years of marriage), brothers Peter and George, sisters Jessie and Millie.
Memorial donations may be made to the Fairfield United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 313, 37 Skowhegan Road, Fairfield, ME 04937.

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


WINSLOW––Jeanne T. Clavette Martin, 89, passed away November 29, 2016, at Lakewood Continuing Care Center, in Waterville, following an extended illness. Jeanne was born in Van Buren, on June 13, 1927, a daughter of William and Eugenie (Poirier) Clavette.

Jeanne’s early years were spent working alongside her siblings in their dad’s soda pop business, Silver Spring Bottle Works. Her school years were spent at St. Louis School, in Fort Kent, graduating in 1945. After graduating, she went to work for Claude Theriault at Claude’s Electric and remained there for several years until she married. She often visited cousins at St. Elizabeth Nursing Home, in Bakerbrook, New Brunswick, Canada, which is where she met her husband, O’Neil, who was employed there. Jeanne was a tomboy at heart but also a very talented cook, seamstress, crafter, and artist. Once their kids were grown and out of the house, she filled her time volunteering many hours at St. John Parish, in Winslow, and at the school’s Christmas craft fair; cleaning offices for Dr. Thomas Chasse; and took up oil painting.

Jeanne and Neil were married June 26, 1954, and lived for a short time in New Brunswick. One they married she became a housewife, and a year later they started their family. After the birth of their first son, they left Canada and northern Maine and moved south to the Waterville area for better job opportunities for Neil. They soon settled in Winslow where they had three more children.

Jeanne was predeceased by her husband, Neil, on June 7, 2016; her parents, Willie and Eugenie; six siblings, Alice O’Keefe and husband Raymond, Lorette Clavette, Toussaint Clavette and wife Bernadette, Annette Clavette, Yvette Barr, and Thomas Clavette; Neil’s parents, Benoit and Laura Martin; and his siblings, Rita Pinnette and husband Patrick, Bernadette Beaulieu and husband Honore, Lionel Martin and wife Patsy, Jean-Maurice Martin, Roland Martin, and Antoine Martin, all of Canada.

She is survived by sons, Roger Martin and spouse Cindy, of Houlton, Joseph Martin and spouse Nancy, of Schertz, Texas; daughters, Lorraine Lessard and spouse Brian, of South China, Gisele Carey and spouse Jim, of Fairfield; grandchildren, Jammie Keane, of Massachusetts, Jessica Remscheid and spouse James, of Memphis, Tennessee, Jeremy Martin, of San Antonio, Texas, Jacob Martin, of Schertz, Texas, Shauna Exner and spouse James, of China, Josh Lessard, of Palermo, Adam Carey, of Auburn and Spencer Carey, of Fairfield; six great-grandchildren, Jason and Julianna Remscheid, Bryce, Lexi and Riley Lessard, and Trevor and baby girl Exner; her sister Anne Clavette, of Fort Kent; sisters-In-law, Anita Clavette, of Fort Kent, Denise Martin and Marjolaine Martin, both of Canada; brothers-in-law, Yvon Martin and spouse Nilda, Normand Martin,and Rosaire Martin, all of Canada; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to: Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 US Route One, Scarborough ME 04074.


WINSLOW––Theresa Myra Cyr LaCroix, 96, passed away on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, as Oak Grove Center, in Waterville. She was born on June 22, 1920, in Waterville, she was one of six children born to Wilfred and Melvina Cyr.
She married Wilfred LaCroix in 1939. They lived most of their years in Winslow, but also lived in Connecticut, Texas, and spend many years in Southern California.

Theresa attended St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, in Waterville. When all of her children were nearly grown, she worked in Winslow schools as a kitchen worker and later at Thayer Hospital, in Waterville, as a housekeeper.

She enjoyed listening to music, singing and dancing. Theresa kept her love of music her entire life even during the illness of her final years.

Theresa was predeceased by her husband, Wilfred, in January 1989 after nearly 50 years together; sisters Germaine Poulin and Lillian Cyr, and brother Guy Cyr.

Theresa is survived by her children: daughter Dolores LaCroix, of Redmond, Oregon, son James and wife Patty, of Corona, California, daughter Catherine LaCroix, of La Quinta, California, daughter Sandra Doverspike, of Winslow, son Kenneth and wife Kristen, of Wrightwood, California, and daughter Judith and husband Mark Bard, of Winslow; granddaughters, Vicki Short, Becky Figone, Christina Dutton, Christine LaCroix, Theresa Weeden, Samantha Sage, Sharon Kulsick, and Marsha Bard and their families; grandsons: David and Jacob LaCroix, Philip, Thomas and Joseph Bard and their families. Theresa is also survived by brothers Robert Cyr, of Waterville, and Wilfred Cyr, of Rochester, New Hampshire; 13 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Please visit to view a video collage of Theresa’s life and to share condolences, memories and tributes.

Memorial donations may be made to Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville ME 04901.


FAIRFIELD––Eleanor A. Noel, 87, passed away on Thursday, December 1, 2016. She was born June 8, 1929, in Mattawamkeag, to the late Roland and Lena Estes.

Eleanor spent over 40 years as a hairdresser, telling stories and enjoying the company and friendship of her many customers.

Eleanor was active in many organizations throughout the community. She made dolls at the doll factory at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Waterville. Eleanor was very active in the Shawmut Chapel.

She was predeceased by her daughter Laurie, brother Hayden and sister Kathy.

Eleanor is survived by her husband of 63 years, John G. Noel; children Jane Noel, of Gloucester, Virgina, Scott Noel and wife Carol, of Belgrade, and James Noel, of Allentown, New Hampshire; grandchildren, Seth Poulin and wife Jessica, of Gloucester, Virginia, Melissa Buxton, of Madison, Nicholas Buxton and wife Jasmine, of Waterville and Erica Kerr, of Fairfield; brother David Estes and family, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; niece Mary Pooler and husband Harold and family, of Newport Richey, Florida; great-grandchildren, Jace Huard, Jenna Rodrique, Jaden Gagne, Jacob Poulin, Julianna Poulin, Devon Stewart and Zoie Stewart.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at

Memorial donations may be made to Shawmut Chapel Youth Fund, 57 Bray Avenue, Shawmut ME 04975.


WINSLOW––Rollande G. Bilodeau, 91, of Winslow passed away on Thursday, December 1, 2016. She was born January 31, 1925, the daughter of Athanase and Rose_Anna Gilbert, in St. Alfred, Quebec, Canada.

She married Gerard Bilodeau in July 1946. Together they formed a loving family with four children, Patrick, Yvan, Marlene and Gilbert. She and her husband worked tirelessly for many years building a successful auto repair and sales business in Winslow. Anyone who met her instantly knew she was a special person who gave of herself always.
She was predeceased by her husband Gerard who died in 1981, her brothers Ronald, Laureat, Jean-Paul, Camille and Patrice and her sister Jeannine.

Rollande is survived by her four children, Patrick and wife Cathy, Yvan, Marlene and husband Al, Bert and his partner Morgan; grandson Jeremy, granddaughter Jennifer and husband David; great-grandson Jacob and great-granddaughter Claire; sisters Eveline and Annette; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Please visit to share condolences, memories and tributes with her family.

KHS December program features trees

Most of our birds are migratory. They come and go and you must be on the alert to see them at the right time and place. Most of our flowers have only a brief blooming period. You must look for them at a certain time of year if you wish to find them in all their beauty and fragrance. But the trees we always have with us. With them there is no hurry. They stand there summer and winter, year in and out, in all kinds of weather. Many have been standing for more than a century. This presentation is to introduce them and rouse the observer’s interest to the large, breathtaking trees around us. We are fortunate to have two “National Champions,” the largest of a particular species in all the United States. Maine has more than 160 different kinds of trees.

If you look at a group of 100 trees in a small area, you will see at least 10 different species.

The presenter, Duane Prugh, graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in electrical engineering. He is now a semi-retired computer consultant. For the past 15 years, he has been teaching at several of Maine’s Senior Colleges, taking local seniors on field trips to explore dozens of these sites. There is so much to see in our own state, and his goal is to get our senior students out of their homes for day trips to explore sites in Maine that most people don’t know exist.

The Kennebec Historical Society December presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, December 14, at 6:30 p.m., at the Augusta City Center, located at 16 Cony Street in Augusta.

Albion News: Public library offers book group

The Albion Public Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer “Let’s Talk About It”, a free reading and discussion group with copies of the books available through the library. This program is provided by the Maine Humanities Council’s Maine Center for the Book in cooperation with the Maine State Library.

The series, “The Gilded Age”, begins at 6 pm Tuesday, January 31 at the Albion Public Library.

Books to be read and discussed are: Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton; The Gilded Age, by Mark Twain & Charles Dudley Warner; The Rise & Fall of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howell; Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson; and, Poland Spring, by David Richards.

The discussion will be led by David Richards, Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan. David holds M.A. in New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine, and a Ph.D in History from the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of Poland Spring, A Tale of the Gilded Age and is currently working on a project for the Kennebec Highlands History Project learning about Central Maine native and game maker, Milton Bradley, the “Man Who Taught America How to Play”.

“Exploring ideas and issues through literature has a unique and fun way of creating community” said Nicole Rancourt, director of Let’s Talk About It. “We find that there is great interest among adults in getting together to discuss what they’ve read with others. Having a discussion leader like David Richards can help deepen this experience.”

Books for the program are available for loan at the library. Go to the library, or call Roberta at 437-2019, to register. You can go to the library to pick up the first book of the series. The library is open Monday and Thursday 6 – 8 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday, 9 – 11 a.m.

Vassalboro News: Special town meeting likely for January on marijuana issue

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro residents need to keep their eyes open for notice of a special town meeting likely to be scheduled in January 2017 to vote on recreational marijuana in town. About 30 people attended the selectmen’s Dec. 1 public meeting to talk about how town officials ought to respond to the state vote approving the recreational use of marijuana. The Marijuana Legalization Act allows residents to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, sell and test retail marijuana products and to open marijuana social clubs. Lauchlin Titus, chairman of the board of selectmen, suggested three possible options. Vassalboro could prohibit recreational marijuana use within town boundaries; it could create a moratorium for up to 180 days, which could be extended for another 180 days, to provide time to develop local regulations; or it could take no action.

Either the first or second option requires a decision by voters, not selectmen, Titus said. Selectmen concluded that it would not be advisable to wait until the June 2017 town meeting to seek voter action.

Most of those who spoke at the Dec. 1 meeting favored a ban or at least a moratorium. New state Representative Richard Bradstreet pointed out that a majority of Vassalboro voters opposed legalization on Nov. 8.

Jim Pfleging, a retired lawman from California, urged a ban and was promptly supported by four or five others.
Pfleging said the problem is not so much marijuana as what comes with it. Because business is transacted in cash due to federal prohibitions that make it impossible to use the banking system, marijuana operations become “money-laundering facilities,” likely to underpay taxes and attract thieves and other criminals.

Several speakers explored the connection between medical marijuana, legal under existing law and regulations, and recreational marijuana. No one was able to say whether Vassalboro’s crime rate had gone up since the town acquired medical marijuana facilities. There was consensus that a ban or moratorium would not affect currently licensed medical facilities; how such action would relate to their hypothetical future expansion was another unknown.

If Vassalboro is to hold a special town meeting to act on a ban or a moratorium, a quorum of 125 registered voters must be present, Titus said – more voters than attend some of the June town meetings. Audience members thought the topic would bring people out.

The Marijuana Legalization Act is currently subject to a ballot recount; assuming the yes vote stands, it will probably take effect early in January. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the state licensing authority, has up to nine months to adopt rules for regulation and control of activities covered by the law, including developing licensing procedures, qualifications for licensure, security requirements for licensed premises and appeal procedures if a license application is denied. Titus and fellow Selectman Philip Haines doubt a state agency can adopt major rules in so short a time. Within 30 days after the rules are adopted the department is to begin accepting applications.

At the short selectmen’s meeting that preceded the marijuana discussion, Town Manager Mary Sabins said Mark Brown has taken over as police chief, after a period when he and retiring chief Richard Phippen worked together to transfer responsibilities. Selectmen again expressed interest in changing Vassalboro’s streetlights to LED lights. They asked Sabins to find out whether Central Maine Power Company is planning a change; if not, they have information from other companies.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting will be Thursday evening, Dec. 15.

Warming Up for Christmas concert benefits ShineOnCass Foundation

by Mark Huard

The 15th annual Warming Up for Christmas benefit concert with Steve Fotter and Friends was held on Saturday, December 3, at the Williamson Auditorium, at Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, and helped raise $12,000 for the ShineOnCass Foundation.

Brothers Conner and Cameron Mushero perform at the Warming Up For Christmas concert on December 3.                               Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography

Brothers Conner and Cameron Mushero perform at the Warming Up For Christmas concert on December 3. Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography

The foundation was created to honor the spirit, continue the work, and encourage others to live the legacy of Cassidy Charette, whose kindness and passion for others shines on!

The mission is to educate, inspire and empower youth to make their world a better place through volunteer charitable activities.

The effort envisions stronger communities led by future generations who make community service and kindness part of everyday life.

These are just some of the many ways we support the ShineOnCase:

Steve Fotter

Concert director/producer Steve Fotter. Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine

  • Cassidy’s Kitchen: Hart-Hart Farm and Education Center;
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maine;
  • Cassisy’s Kids: Mount Merici Academy;
  • Waterville Area Humane Society ShineOnCass Day;
  • Central Aroostook Humane Society ShineOneCass Day;
  • Shine on Saturday, Messalonskee High School girls soccer.