Letters to the editor, Week of May 4, 2017

Elected official puts special interests first

To the editor:

The fifth and final bill submitted this session by Rep. Tim Theriault, L.D. 868 – “An Act Regarding Game That Is Confiscated in Connection with an Alleged Violation of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Laws” – was heard by the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on April 20. Rep. Theriault is a member of that committee. The bill would allow those who kill a deer or moose and are found not guilty in court, regardless of their actual guilt or innocence, to shoot another deer or moose if the meat from that animal has been confiscated and not returned.

The bill was opposed by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife which argued that they already have in place a process to provide a license to shoot another deer or moose in cases where they wrongfully confiscated the animal and failed to return the meat. In other words, there is no need to create a new statute and no need for this bill. Had Rep. Theriault adequately researched the matter, he would have known that. During the work session, all of the committee members except for Rep. Theriault and one other voted the bill Ought Not To Pass. This is the fourth of Rep. Theriault’s five bills that was voted Ought Not To Pass by either a large majority or by a unanimous vote.

Not a single bill sponsored by Rep. Theriault this session does anything to promote jobs, taxes, seniors, veterans and the Second Amendment, all of which are the priorities he cited during his re-election campaign. While on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committee he voted in favor of all six pro-Sunday hunting bills regardless of the consequences to our wildlife resources or the fact that landowners have threatened to close their land to hunting if any Sunday hunting is allowed. After those final votes, he said aloud “We did our job” about himself and the one other committee member who also voted for all six bills. He was also the only committee member to vote against a bill to increase penalties for baiting deer, one of the most common and unsporting poaching violations.

Far too often elected officials put special interests before the public interest. They either forget why they were voted in or they run for office for the wrong reasons. As citizens, taxpayers and voters it is our responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable. That’s the only way our democracy will work.

John M. Glowa, Sr.

Obituaries, Week of May 4, 2017


WHITEFIELD––Irene Adell Potter, 82, passed away in her sleep Sunday, April 23, 2017. Irene was born on June 15 , 1934, in Readfield Depot, to Ruth and Wesley Adell.

She graduated from Kents Hill School in 1953.

Irene worked for many years at HP Hood, the Readfield Town Office, and retired from Mitchell and Davis law firm in 1997.

Irene and her husband, Jack Clarke, owned and operated Clarke Transport from the mid 1970s until the early 1990s with Jack’s untimely passing in 1981 from cancer.

Irene married Hubert Potter, her high school sweetheart, in 1999. They enjoyed many years together gardening, attending car shows and spending time with family and friends until Hubert’s passing in 2008. In her later years, Irene enjoyed watching the many birds and squirrels at her window birdfeeder, the deer, turkeys and even the ground hogs that lived on her property. She was an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast, enjoyed knitting and watching “her shows” and loved her beautiful flower gardens, especially the garden she had planted in honor of her aunt Mildred.

Irene is survived by her son, Wayne Whitman and his wife, Kim, of Readfield; sister, Evelyn Potter, of Readfield; nieces Sandi Potter Clarke and Dale Potter Clarke; stepdaughter, Tonya Ballard and husband Tom, of Morrill; stepson, Dorian Potter; grandchildren, Laura and Justin Lamport, Jake, Sam and Hannah Whitman, Michael Ballard and Meghan Pittis; as well as two great-granddaughters.

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


SOUTH CHINA–––Geraldine Richardson Brackett, 92, died Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at home in South China. She was born October 7, 1924, in North Monmouth, the first of five daughters of Jesse A. and Evelyn Jordan Richardson.

Gerry graduated from North Monmouth Academy and received her B.S. degree in teaching from Farmington State Teachers College. Teaching was her passion and she touched the lives of many young people during her 47 year career.

She started teaching in a one room school house in Sandy River Plantation, taught many grades in Rangeley and Auburn and finished at Weare Baptist Christian School after her official retirement.

She married Reynold C. Brackett (Pen) on July 12, 1946, and together they had three children, Nancy, Mark and Hope. One of their greatest sorrows was the loss of Nancy too early in 1976. They resided in Rangeley until their retirement when they moved to their dream home in Henniker, New Hampshire. They were happily married for 44 years until Pen’s death in July, 1990. At 73, she built a new home she loved in Loudon, New Hampshire, where she lived until she moved to South China to be with her daughter.

Wherever Gerry lived she made wonderful lasting friendships from work, church and other organizations. She was caring and generous with her time and resources. She would offer her home for Bible studies, meals and gatherings. Many had the opportunity to taste her fabulous cooking.

She had many interests including cooking, gardening and traveling whenever she had the opportunity. She especially loved trips with family in their camper. She loved the ocean, lighthouses, loons, cardinals and flowers. Gerry had a strong faith and was very active in church activities in each community in which she lived. She was a member of the Rangeley Free Baptist church, the Weare Baptist Church and the Landmark Baptist Church, in Loudon. She volunteered for the John O. Cates van in Loudon, New Hampshire, where she made a difference by assisting with transporting local residents. She was a life-long member of the NEA & ßßMEA teachers associations. In her retirement she enjoyed the Loudon Young at Heart group and had many happy memories of their excursions and events.

Gerry was predeceased by her husband Pen; daughter Nancy Dunham; sisters, Janice Doyan, Jean Brackett and Pauline Gove.

She will be sadly missed by her son Mark and wife Anne and children Zachary, Bethany, Nancy and Taylor, of Pembroke, New Hampshire; daughter Hope and husband Nelson Pendexter, of South China, and their children, Rebecca Viola and husband Joe, of Gardiner, Katrina Herrick and husband Charlie, of Damriscotta and Crystal Scott and husband Gary, of Monmouth; grandson Cliff Dunham and wife Maghean and daughter Erin, of Topsham; four great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and one grand-niece; sister JoAnne Ricker, of Waterville.

A graveside service will be held at the Evergreen Cemetery in Rangeley, on June 10 at 1:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life will follow at Parkside and Main in downtown Rangeley.


FAIRFIELD––Debra-Jo “Deb” (Levesque) Jacques, 56, of Fairfield, passed away on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at Maine­General Medical Center, in Augusta. She was born July 23, 1960, in Waterville, the daughter of David and Lillian (Lagueux) Levesque.

She owned and operated her own business for 10 years, Tweetie’s Nest Day Care, as she loved kids.

Deb loved the outdoors and going camping and fishing with her husband, siblings, and friends. She loved people and would always make herself available to them in times of need. Deb was a great cook and loved to make special dishes for her husband and family.

She was predeceased by her father, David Levesque; father-in-law, Richard Jacques; and mother-in-law, Germaine (Michaud) Jacques.

Deb is survived by her husband of 21 years, Mark Jacques, of Fairfield; two sons, Alex Jacques, of Fairfield, and David Fredette, of St. Lucie, Florida; daughter, Heather Boccella, of Austin, Texas; several grandchildren; mother, Lillian (Lagueux) Levesque, of Ft. Meyers, Florida; sisters, Rhonda Levesque, of Fairfield, and Lori (Levesque) Perry and husband Dick, of Estero, Florida; brother Mark Levesque and wife Chantal, of Scarborough; five brothers-in-law, Stewart Jacques and wife Elaine, of Sidney, David Jacques and wife Patricia, of Sidney, Dan Jacques, of Waterville, Raymond Jacques and wife Vicki, of Waterville, and Patrick Jacques and wife Lisa, of Sidney; sister-in-law Paula Dennis and partner Dan McNeal, of Waterville; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

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

Memorial donations may be made to the Waterville Homeless Shelter, 19 Colby Street, Waterville ME 04901.­


ELIZABETH J. NICKERSON, 78, of Clinton, passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Glenridge Living Long Term Care Facility, in Augusta. Locally, she is survived by a daughter, Lorraine Main and husband Larry, and stepson Frank Nickerson and wife Trina, all of Fairfield.

WILLIAM P. ROUNDS, 78, of New Bern, South Carolina, passed away on Wednesday, April 27, 2017. Locally, he is survived by a sister, Mary Lee Rounds and husband Charles, of Albion.

CORRECTION: Zumba-thon

In the caption under the Zumba-thon photo on page 6 of the April 27, 2017, issue of The Town Line, it should have stated the Zumba-thon is annually sponsored by the Madison American Legion Auxiliary, Unit #39. It was an editing error

CHINA NEWS: Expanded internet service debated

by Mary Grow

At their May 1 meeting China selectmen made progress on two of three ongoing issues.

The most complicated – and potentially expensive – is the question of expanding and improving internet access for China residents. Robert O’Connor, for the Broadband Committee, outlined three alternatives:

  • Fairpoint, which currently offers comparatively slow service and would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade and millions of dollars to provide house-to-house fiber connections.
  • Redzone wireless, which would cost at least $250,000 to add towers to cover the whole town, plus monthly fees, and would require a minimum of 500 subscribers.
  • Spectrum/Time Warner, which currently covers 88 percent of China’s homes and would need an estimated $364,000 to add the remaining 12 percent, and whose monthly charges under the new ownership have increased dramatically, two selectmen said.

Selectmen had no advice for committee members, who intend to continue discussion with all three providers. They did act on a related issue, reviving the unsuccessful 2014 application for a ConnectMe grant to fill in a gap on Route 3 between Windsor Road and Alder Park Road.

Board members unanimously approved offering town payment of 20 percent of the $114,000 for which they are applying and authorized Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux to sign the grant application. Selectmen rediscussed how to implement the March town meeting vote authorizing stipends for volunteer firefighters and China Rescue members. Federal law defining independent contractors versus employees is complicating the issue. They postponed further action until fire department and rescue members report back to them; they considered asking the town attorney to weigh in, but made no decision.

Bill Van Wickler, Weeks Mills Fire Department Assistant Chief, reported on progress toward finding the second-hand brush truck the department was authorized to buy some time ago. He has found a promising candidate in Alabama, he said.

After considerable discussion of specifications and options, selectmen unanimously authorized spending up to $50,000 for a used brush truck plus up to $500 to get it inspected by a knowledgeable person. They further authorized Van Wickler to put down a $500 refundable deposit to hold the Alabama truck, if it is still available.

L’Heureux would prefer a newer truck than the Alabama one, but Van Wickler said most trucks less than 12 to 15 years old are still in service. A brand-new one would cost a minimum of $99,000, he said.

The next China selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, May 15, preceded by a 6:30 p.m. public hearing on June 13 local ballot items.

CHINA NEWS: Three local issues on town June ballot

by Mary Grow

China voters will have a three-issue town ballot on June 13, in addition to ratifying or rejecting the Regional School Unit #18 budget for 2017-18 and voting on state questions. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the former portable classroom behind the town office on Lakeview Drive. Voters in the five RSU 18 towns will approve next year’s school budget at the annual district budget meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

Public hearings on China’s three local questions are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 15, before that evening’s selectmen’s meeting.

On June 13, voters will decide by written ballot whether to:

  • Approve an “Ordinance Prohibiting Retail Marijuana Establishments and Retail Marijuana Social Clubs in the Town of China”;
  • Appropriate up to $25,000 from the Unrestricted/Unassigned Fund Balance (surplus) to buy and install a septic system and well for the portable classroom, referred to in this article as the Emergency Preparedness Shelter; and
  • Authorize selectmen to buy a two-acre lot on Alder Park Road adjoining land already town-owned and appropriate $12,000 from surplus for the purchase.

The four budget committee members attending an April 26 meeting unanimously supported both proposed expenditures.

The plan for the well and septic system includes two further steps if voters approve the $25,000: installing a bathroom in the building and connecting the well to the town office. Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux recommends funding the bathroom and town office connection from town office maintenance money. The current town office well provides minimally drinkable water, because it is affected by the pile of salted sand that stood uncovered behind the town office for many years.

The lot proposed for purchase is east of the lot on the corner of Alder Park Road and Lakeview Drive that the town bought several years ago, south of the lot on which the town office complex stands and west of part of the 6.2 acre lot voters approved buying in November 2016. L’Heureux said he is working to get an accurate map and clear title on the November purchase.

At an April 27 special selectboard meeting, selectmen unanimously authorized L’Heureux to sign an agreement on the Alder Park Road lot conditional on voter approval of money to buy it.

The marijuana ordinance was again a subject of debate at the April 27 selectmen’s meeting. It was put on the June 13 warrant without a selectmen’s recommendation to voters and with board member Joann Austin voting against presenting it.

Austin called putting the question on the ballot a mistake. She believes that retail marijuana establishments open new possibilities for local businesspeople, and that keeping marijuana illegal only increases its attractiveness to young people.

Other board members fear marijuana businesses would be dominated by large out-of-state operations with the profits going out of state. They pointed out that approving the ordinance would neither affect medical marijuana operations nor forbid individuals to grow small amounts for personal use.

A copy of the proposed ordinance is on the China town website under Election Information.

In other business April 27, Board Chairman Neil Farrington announced the recent state award to China’s transfer station staff, which will be more fully publicized, and announced that May 7 through 13 is Maine Composting Week.

Board members talked again about plans for stipends for China’s emergency services volunteers. Voters at the March town meeting approved up to $40,000 for the purpose, with a distribution plan to be worked out by the services and town officials. Federal regulations defining when a person is an independent contractor versus an employee are complicating discussions.

Since the April meetings, L’Heureux learned that the property for sale at the north end of China Lake, mentioned by Tax Increment Financing Committee member Dale Worster at the April 24 TIF Committee meeting (see The Town Line, April 27, p. 3), is the house and lot immediately west of Church Park. L’Heureux has informed TIF Committee members.

China transfer station receives excellence award

China transfer station employees, from left to right, Kevin Rhoades, Mary Kay Tisdale, manager Tim Grotton, holding the award, and Ed Brownell.
Contributed photo

The Town of China was awarded the Maine Recycling and Solid Waste Most Improved Program award in 2010. Since then the town has continued to strive for excellence.

China and Palermo have recently agreed to share the use of the China transfer station and the transition has been extremely successful. Many positive comments from Palermo residents have commended the staff’s high commitment to excellence in the pursuit of stellar service to all the residents served.

The inter-local initiative has benefited both municipalities through cost management and capacity building while recognizing the state’s hierarchy in solid waste disposal.

China’s personnel were an integral stakeholder in the conversations on how to make the transition a successful one. An innovative and dynamic group of determined workers provide outstanding service for residents of China and Palermo.

China has also expanded its composting program from 0-lbs of composting before 2012 to over 34-35 tons of composted materials today (weighed when leaving the transfer station and received by those who use the composted materials.)

Their daily contributions to solid waste management processes, environmental concerns, safety in operations, and economically sound solid waste management practices are honorable and appreciated and worth recognition.

The Town of China was presented with the MRRA’s 2017 Recycling and Solid Waste Continuing Excellence Award.