Haley: school budget “coming in on fumes”

by Mary Grow

The Vassalboro school department will end the fiscal year in the black, but just barely, AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) #92 officials said at the June 20 School Board meeting.

“We’re coming in on fumes,” Superintendent Eric Haley said.

Finance Director Paula Pooler said with 10 days remaining in the fiscal year, she expected an extra payroll for non-teaching staff whose school year was extended because of numerous snow days, plus a few more bills for services and supplies. The 2016-17 budget should cover everything, she said, but only by spending everything authorized, including reserve funds.

When school board members approved the 2017-18 budget, they funded it partly with the remaining money in the reserve fund, hoping to add unspent money to it after June 30. Pooler thinks additions unlikely.

With the state legislature unable to agree on state school funding for 2017-18, that income sources is still an unknown quantity. The budget Vassalboro voters approved at town meeting takes $338,681 from local taxes to fund the school budget, and requires the school department to return to the town any unplanned state revenue up to the $338,681.

In other business June 20, board members approved two new hires, both warmly welcomed by Vassalboro Community School Principal Dianna Gram. Arielle Jurdak-Roy will teach first grade, and Kate-Lynn Tarr will teach kindergarten.

Board members authorized Superintendent Haley to issue contracts to staff hired between board meetings, since the board will not meet again until August.

They accepted the resignation of Guidance Counselor Erin Brousseau, who Gram said is accepting a new position out of the area. Gram called her departure “a loss to Vassalboro.”

They approved the 2017-18 school calendar, with Thursday, Aug. 31, the first day of classes. Three snow days are scheduled; if no more are needed, the school year will end Friday, June 15, 2018.

The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Aug. 15.

Vassalboro educator takes part in space camp

Vassalboro Community School teacher Breanne Desmond recently took part in the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy, in Huntsville, Alabama.

Honeywell has announced the 2017 launch of Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) where select educators from around the world – including a teacher from Vassalboro – will attend space camp at the United States Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

Vassalboro Community School teacher Breanne Desmond recently attended the camp in Alabama. Those selected to attend participated in 45 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction focused on science, space exploration and leadership skills development, including:

  • A high-performance jet simulation
  • Rocketry and a new coding mission to launch them
  • Scenario-based space mission
  • Land and water survival training
  • Interactive flight dynamics programs

The one thing they all have in common – they’re on a mission to learn new ways to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to the classroom next fall.

But why? Only 16 percent of high school seniors are interested in pursuing STEM, according to the Department of Education, yet the National Science Foundation states 80% of available jobs in the next several years will require some math and science skills. HESA aims to re-ignite teachers’ passions for STEM and encourage students to seek a STEM career.

The teacher will be among more than 200 teachers from 33 countries and 45 U.S. states and territories accepted into the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) for 2017.

Created by Honeywell and U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in 2004, HESA is a scholarship program that inspires middle school math and science teachers to become more effective educators in STEM.

More than three million students have been reached and inspired by 2,776 math and science HESA alumni from 62 countries and 52 U.S. states and territories since 2004.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: White-tailed herd OK following a mild winter


by Roland D. Hallee

While traveling the back roads of Vassalboro the last couple of years, I noticed a drastic decline in the number of white-tailed deer sightings. There was actually one year – maybe the year before last – when I saw none at all.

Well, my hopes have been renewed about the state of the deer herd in this area. The last three days, I have seen deer every day. I truly welcomed sight.

So, what is the condition of the state’s deer herd?

According to figures from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the mild winter we just experienced was very kind to the deer. The deer population in Maine is estimated at approximately 210,000, mostly in central and southern Maine. Although there are fewer deer in northern Maine, there tends to be some of the largest bucks in the state in that area.

Male white-tailed deer can weigh between 100 and 300 pounds.

The healthy state of numbers in Maine has prompted the wildlife regulators to increase the number of “any deer” permits they will issue this year to 45,000, up by 60 percent. Approval of the final number should be made next month.

Most of those extra permits will be issued in southern Maine where the white-tailed deer did particularly well to survive the winter. Maine is actually at the northern edge of their range.

I did some research and was a little disappointed when I learned that, according to some “experts,” Maine didn’t even make the top 10 list of the best places in the United States to hunt deer. That is probably due to the fact that deer are at the edge of their range here, and the number of permits issued, along with the large size, area wise, of the state.

White-tailed buck, left, with a doe.

Wildlife regulators in Augusta say its necessary to keep the herd in check to prevent the herds from growing to the point where it becomes a problem. Unchecked growth can lead to deer-car collisions and food competition, which could result in starvation.

Back in the late 1990s, Waterville had a serious deer problem at the municipal airport, and were causing some anxious and dangerous moments when they wandered out on the runway. The herd had grown to large numbers. Since it is illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limits, archers were allowed to enter the area to help harvest the deer and manage the herd. Also, the habitat was altered in an attempt to force the deer to seek food and shelter elsewhere.

Coyotes and black bears are the main predators of fawns. It has helped protect the young deer with the fact that there is open season on coyotes, which means you can hunt them year round, but black bear hunting is restricted. However, today, dogs and humans are their primary predator. Because they don’t have many natural predators, deer populations sometimes grow too large for their environment and can cause death by starvation.

White-tailed dear, Odocoileus virginianus, have a way of protecting themselves during the winter months, like most other wildlife.

In winter, when the snow depths exceed 16 inches, deer will yard in stands of conifers, forming a central resting area with trails packed through the snow. This dense cover with adequate browse is essential for winter survival. They are herbivores and follow well-used trails to their feeding areas.

During the fall, with the coming of hunting season, is the time of year when deer breed. Females have a gestation period of seven months, and will produce one to three fawns, generally born in May and June.

The average hunting success rate in Maine is usually between 14 and 17 percent, with 84 percent of that coming during the firearms season. The firearms season generally attracts approximately 175,000 hunters.

White-tailed deer, sometimes referred to as “swamp ghosts,” are excellent runners, leapers and swimmers.

But, with all that, it is good to see more deer in our area this year than I have noticed over the last two to three years. With a healthy deer herd, the influx of hunters brings about economic benefits.

Legal Notices, Week of June 22, 2017

18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice is June 15, 2017.

If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-A MRSA 3-804.

2017-083 – Estate of WILLIAM E. ELIAS, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Shirley E. Ezzy, PO Box 305, Augusta, Me 04332 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-131 – Estate of WENDELL ROUTON, late of Embden, Me deceased. Colleen Routon, 2547 Embden Pond Road, Embden, Me 04958 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-133 – Estate of RAYMONDE ROUSSEAU, late of Cornville, Me deceased. Evangeline M. Chamberland, 920 Molunkus Road, Cornville, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-134 – Estate of MALCOLM A. CHIPMAN, late of Lexington Township, Me deceased. Vernon N. Ford, P.O. Box 135, New Portland, Maine 04961 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-136 – Estate of JOHN J. LAYMAN, late of Solon, Me deceased. Annette M. Layman, 190 South Solon Road, Solon, Me 04979 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-137 – Estate of ESTHER LAMBERT WATERS, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Austin J. Waters, 75 Lambert Road, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.
SPECIAL NOTICE: Any Claims Against Estate to be filed at Franklin Probate Court, 140 Main Street suite t, Farmington, Me 04938, Docket No. 2017-0091.

2017-139 – Estate of ARLAND V. STEDMAN, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Michael A. Wiers, Esq., PO Box 457, Newport, Me 04953 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-140 – Estate of MILES F. CARPENTER, JR., late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Schyler Y. Carpenter, 336 Beech Hill Road, Norridgewock, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-141 – Estate of HENRY D. CROWLEY, late of Mercer, Me deceased. Elisabeth M. Crowley, 624 Elm Street, Mercer, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-146 – Estate of MARGUARETTE ARSENAULT, late of Madison, Me deceased. Daniel J. Arsenault, 16 Nichols Street, Madison, Me 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-149 – Estate of MITCHELL A. DUNCAN, late of Rockwood, Me deceased. Diane Duncan, PO Box 340, Rockwood, Me 04478 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-153 – Estate of ROBERT P. LANDRY, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Judith A. McCarthy, 18 Prospect Street, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-154 – Estate of SUSAN B. HYDORN, late of Athens, Me deceased. Elizabeth Gagnon, 110 Denbow Road, St. Albans, Me 04971 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-158 – Estate of COLBY A. WAUGH, late of Madison, Me deceased. Jonathan C. Waugh, 4424 Lower Park Road, Unit 1409, Orlando, FL 32814 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-160 – Estate of JAMES A. BARNES, JR., late of Hartland, Me deceased. Jody D. Priest, 5 Stacy Street, Saco, Me 04072 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-161 – Estate of SMITH L. BICKFORD, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Bruce C. Bickford, PO Box 313, Pittsfield, Me 04967 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-162 – Estate of ROBERT F. CESARINI, late of Anson, Me deceased. Ryan L. Richards, 144 Hart Street, Apt. 36, Taunton, MA 02780 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-163 – Estate of HALVER L. BADGER, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Keith T. Badger, 1174 Athens Road, Hartland, Me 04943 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-166 – Estate of WILLIAM C. CHURCHILL, SR., late of Starks, Me deceased. Caleb Churchill, 5 Hisler Mt. Road, Somerville, Me 04348 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on June 15 & June 22, 2017
Dated: June 12, 2017 /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates. These matters will be heard at 10 a.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be, on June 28, 2017. The requested appointments may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard. This notice complies with the requirements of 18-A MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2017-138 – Estate of NICHOLAS PAUL VARNEY, adult of Smithfield, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Nicholas Paul Varney, 964 Smithfield Road, Smithfield, Me 04978 requesting his name be changed to Sarah Grace Varney for reasons set forth therein.

2017-143 – Estate of KATHLEEN E. UNDERWOOD, minor of Canaan, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by Kathleen Elizabeth Underwood, 27 Clarke Street, Canaan, Me 04924 requesting her name be changed to Kathleen Elizabeth Hamlin for reasons set forth therein.

2017-144 – Estate of ANTHONY SHAWN THOMAS WITHEE, minor of Madison, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by Kelley Leigh Withee, 132 Madison Ave, Madison Me 04950 and Jonathan Russell Butman, 43 High Street, Apt 2, Oakland, Me 04963 requesting minor’s name be changed to Anthony Shawn-Thomas Butman for reasons set forth therein.

2017-145 – Estate of BONNIE D. HAMLIN, adult of Cornville, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Bonnie D. Hamlin, 52 Ames Road, Cornville, Me 04976 requesting her name be changed to Bunny D. Hamlin for reasons set forth therein.

2017-155 – Estate of MICHAEL CHARLES SHAFER, adult of Pittsfield, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Michael Charles Shafer, 134 Leonard Street, Pittsfield, Me 04967 requesting his name be changed to Maximus Alexander Lucia for reasons set forth therein.

2017-164 – Estate of LANA LEE TESSIER, adult of Norridgewock, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by petitioner Lana Lee Tessier, 73 Ward Hill Road, Norridgewock, Me 04957 requesting her name be changed to Lana Lee Swett for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: June 12, 2017
/s/ Victoria M. Hatch
Register of Probate

Estate of
DOCKET NO. 2017-131

It appearing that the following heir/devisee of WENDELL ROUTON, as listed in an Application for Informal Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative is of unknown address as listed below:

Ann Elizabeth Routon

THEREFORE, notice is hereby given as heirs of the above named estate, pursuant to Maine Rules of Probate Procedure Rule 4(d) (1) (a), and Rule 4 (e) a.

This notice shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in The Town Line, with the first publication date to be June 15, 2017.
Names and address of Personal Representative: Colleen Routon, 2547 Embden Pond Road, Embden, Me 04958.
Dated: May 1, 2017
/s/ Victoria M.  Hatch
Register of Probate

DOCKET NO. 2017-112

It appearing that the following heir of EDWIN B. WESTON, as listed in an Application for Informal Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative is of unknown address as listed below:

Douglas Eugene Weston

THEREFORE, notice is hereby given as heirs of the above named estate, pursuant to Maine Rules of Probate Procedure Rule 4(d) (1) (a), and Rule 4 (e) a.

This notice shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in The Town Line, with the first publication date to be June 15, 2017.

Names and address of Personal Representative: Thomas B. Weston, 380 Weston Avenue, Madison, Me 04950

Dated: June 15, 2017
/s/ Victoria M. Hatch
Register of Probate

I’m Just Curious: Just a thought

by Debbie Walker

# When I made my usual trip into Walmart I noticed people at the self-serve registers. I am disappointed when I see people checking themselves through. To me those self-serve registers are one step closer to a cashier losing a job. Not many stores even have people working enough hours for benefits anymore. I don’t want to be part of the demise of another job if I can help it.

# I am not a very political person. I get disgusted with the process and the arguments (oops, I mean discussions). I am sick to death of hearing about what Russia did or didn’t. Which political figure talked to whom?

# I really wish we didn’t have political parties. Watching from the sidelines it seems there is an awful lot of wasted time and effort for the three-plus parties to argue over any subject out there. It doesn’t matter how important the issue, what one wants the other will fight it. What a waste.

# Even the reporters are lame as far as I’m concerned. These people are very much opinionated about the winner or the loser. I want to know if they are really trying to play up their own “no favorites” but are showing they are clearly judgmental. Do they really believe people don’t hear their tone of voice or see their body language?

# Another disgusting matter is the deer ticks. I understand this is basically a man-made mess. More and more people are becoming sick with Lyme disease. My mom always told us kids if you make the mess get back in there and clean it up! So… to whoever is responsible: Clean it up!

# Oh yeah, then we have all the mess about insurances. How about if we get everyone on the same insurance as the senators and congressmen? Either that or put them on the insurance we have or don’t have, whichever the case. Oh yeah, and they need to pay for their own. (And stop taking their families on a government business (their vacation) trip. We know who’s paying what!

Okay, you know this is not a reflection on the newspaper; these are my thoughts, such as they are. I really don’t ever intend to offend anyone, I’m sorry if I have.

AND, don’t forget we have the column on the website for The Town Line and you can look up a past printings as well. I really enjoy Roland’s Scores and Outdoors. I love the stuff about our little critters!!

So… I’m Just Curious about soooo many things. How about you? Let’s keep our childlike curiosity! It’s fun!! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Curious

Watch for “In Case You Wondered.” It’ll come out soon!

REVIEW POTPOURRI, Week of June 22, 2017


by Peter Cates

Bach Suites 2 and 3

Fritz Rieger conducting the Munich Philharmonic- Mercury MG10068, vinyl lp, from 1940’s German radio broadcast tapes.

Fritz Rieger

These two Orchestral Suites of J.S. Bach constitute some of the most joyous, very melodic and quite listenable music, both for newcomers to classical music and experienced connoisseurs who already find them infinitely re-listenable. The Second is scored mainly for strings and solo flute and has been recorded by such gifted tootlers as James Galway and Jean Pierre Rampal. The Third is a festive affair evoking the spirit of a holiday in which the entire orchestra, particularly the brass and percussion, display their wares. However, a special quieter movement is the soothing and delectable Air for the G String.

Fritz Rieger (1910-1978) was conductor of the Munich Philharmonic for over 25 years, beginning in 1941, before he took a position with the down under Melbourne Symphony in the land of duck-billed platypuses and Aborigines. (For those readers who are wondering about Munich, 1941, yes he was a member of the Nazi Party. But there is documentation that he kept his own hands clean and was de-Nazified quickly.)

The performances are very graceful and grandiose, truly living breathing renditions of an exceptional quality while the mono sound is vivid for its day, as German radio had magnetic tape several years before we did !

I have collected other recordings of Rieger and enjoy them a lot – the complete Mozart Magic Flute, Brahms 1st Concerto with pianist Witold Malcuzynski and the Robert Schumann A Minor Concerto with Rudolf Serkin. YouTube has several Rieger items, some of which I have posted recently, including an early ‘70s video of the Maestro rehearsing a Bach Concerto for 4 Pianos with three other now deceased conductors, Rafael Kubelik, Rudolf Kempe and Wolfgang Savallisch.

Against All Odds

Jeff Bridges

Rachel Ward

Soundtrack- composed by Michel Colombier; Atlantic 80152-1-E, stereo LP, recorded 1984.

I have never seen this Jeff Bridges/ Rachel Ward thriller but, having read the Wiki synopsis, am now curious. The soundtrack itself is a first class mishmash of instrumentals underscoring the action and individual tracks by Peter Gabriel, Stevie Nicks, Big Country, Mike Rutherford, Kid Creole and the Coconuts and, last but not least, the sublime Phil Collins hit, Take a Look at Me Now. The instrumentals by Colombier and Larry Carlton are powerful and soaringly eloquent. Recommended listening.

Bennie Moten

Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Jazz- X- EVAA-3004, ep 45 reissue, early ‘50s from Victor shellac 78s recorded December 13 and 14, 1926, in Chicago.

Bennie Moten

Bennie Moten (1894-1935), led an outstanding Kansas dance band that was, arguably, the most popular one in that burg for much of the 1920s and early ‘30s until Moten’s tragic 1935 early death from a botched tonsillectomy. The four numbers on this 45 – Kansas City Shuffle; Yazoo Blues, Midnight Blues, and Missouri Wabble – make for compelling listening. Every note is alive, every texture well articulated and the variety of sounds coming from my speakers, ranging from the spunky banjo picking of Sam Tall to the brass shadings of cornettists Ed Lewis and Lamar Wright; trombonist Thamon Hayes; and Abe Bolar on tuba, etc., gives this record its status as a classic.

Local residents receive bachelor’s degrees

On Saturday, May 13, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, in Worcester, Massachusetts, over 1,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded during the university’s 149th commencement ceremony.

Julia Pershken, of Albion, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with distinction. Mikayla Bolduc, of Skowhegan, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of June 22, 2017

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, you know very well that I used to own Lakewood-On-Lake Wesserunsett and because you know me well, you realize that I will tell you more about Lakewood’s history, but, right now, I just want to tell you about attending a Spiritualist meeting with a resident of Maplecrest, in Madison.

Oh, she was thoroughly enjoying every minute of what was being said. Yes, you are right that Spiritualists met in Lakewood’s Shanty when the Denis family were owners, but the new owners thought it best to give the Spiritualists one of the Lakewood cottages. So, you know why my Maplecrest resident wanted to “go home,” just as the speaker said that she had a message for me “from the unknown.” I was eager to hear who had a message for me, but Maplecrest’s rules dictated that, unless visiting the doctor, we accommodated the resident. Oh, well, so be it, but I shall always wonder who was sending me a message.

Y’know, WALLS, my grandfather Russell never missed a Spiritualist’s meeting and, though I have never been a believer, I thought about the messages that are referred to those attending the Spiritualists’ meeting, but, today, I was preparing all of your columns, WALLS, for the History House, in Skowhegan, and lo-and-behold, I had an October 2015 issue of The Town Line and the headline read, “Locals deal with paranormal activity.” Now, WALLS, you know I had read this, at the time, but my memory went to the Spiritualist meeting. There were people who had had “ghosts” appearing in their homes. What’s more, when I read, again, of the ‘piano playing’ and the house’s owner seeing a girl playing, I thought of my friend in New Jersey hearing someone playing the piano and singing in a second-story room of an antique home her family had purchased.

Then, memory broke my spell, WALLS. Do you remember when I was cooking and a coffee mug fell off the hook and landed straight up without breaking? Now, that mug remains where it landed and, for sure, that cup didn’t remove the hook that was keeping it in place, until plop!

Am I now a believer? No, but I’m sure curious about these strange things that happen to many of us, without warning and, for sure, without

Well, Walls, we sure have a long time to wait for The Town Line’s October issue, but, just in case our faithful readers have more paranormal experiences, remember that you read a bit about their existence. After all, do WALLS really talk?

Colby-Sawyer College names Haley Carver to dean’s list

Colby-Sawyer College, in New London, New Hampshire, has named Haley Carver, of Sidney, to the dean’s list for academic achievement. Carver, whose major is sociology, is a member of the class of 2020.

To qualify for the dean’s list students must achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours in graded courses.

Gingras selected for Religious Studies Honorary Society

Isaac H. Gingras, of Augusta, was inducted into the St. Lawrence University chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honorary society for religious studies and theology, in Canton, New York.

Gingras is a member of the class of 2018 and is majoring in government. Gingras attended Cony High School, in Augusta.