China Police Log for October 2017

China Police Log

(provided by Detective Sergeant Tracey Frost of the Oakland Police Department)

Report for October 1 – October 31 2017

4 traffic complaints.
10 traffic stops.
9 property checks.
1 report of suspicious activity.
8 business checks.
1 traffic direction detail.
2 trespass complaints.
1 disabled vehicle.
1 stationary radar detail.
1 debris in roadway.
1 found property.
1 assist fire department.


10 a.m., report of erratic driving, Rte. 3.


3:15 p.m., speeding complaint, Waterville Rd., unable to locate vehicle.
3:45 p.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Dr., warning for speed.
4:05 p.m., check of the South China boat landing.
4:22 p.m., suspicious activity complaint, Fire Rd. 11, investigated.
4:50 p.m., check of Thurston Park, 3 pickups in parking area.
5:30 p.m., property check, Bog Rd.
5:50 p.m., business check, Hanson Rd.
6:20 p.m., business check, Rte. 3.
6:55 p.m., business check, Windsor Rd.


Traffic control detail.


Trespass by motor vehicle complaint, South Road, referred to Warden’s Service.
Driving to endanger complaint, Rte. 3, vehicle gone on arrival.
Trespass by motor vehicle, Rte. 3, unfounded. Vehicle belonged to landlord.


9 a.m., speeding vehicle complaint, Weeks Mills Rd.
4:21 p.m., disabled vehicle, Rte. 3, stood by until tow truck arrived.
4:40 p.m., traffic stop, Rte. 3, warning issued for speed.
4:53 p.m., traffic stop, Windsor Rd., warning for speed.
5:16 p.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Dr., warning for inspection violation.
5:39 p.m., traffic stop, Main St., China Village, warning for stop sign violation.
6:08 p.m., traffic stop, Main St., China Village, warning for speed, summons for no insurance.


4:30 p.m., traffic stop, Windsor Rd., warning for speed.
5 p.m., check of the South China boat landing.
5:45 p.m., check of Thurston Park.
6 p.m., check of Causeway parking area.
6:15 p.m., stationary radar, Main St., China Village.
7:10 p.m., business check, Lakeview Dr.
7:20 p.m., business check, Lakeview Dr.
7:35 p.m., business check, Lakeview Dr.


10:15 a.m., speed trailer set up on Waterville Rd.
10:55 a.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Dr., warning for speed.
11:25 a.m., check of South China boat landing.
11:40 a.m., traffic stop, Weeks Mills Rd., warning for speed.
11:57 a.m., assist China/Weeks MIlls Fire Dept., Plummer Rd.
1:12 p.m., check of Thurston Park.

TECH TALK: Are you human or robot? The surprising history of CAPTCHAs


by Eric W. Austin

We’re all familiar with it. Try to log into your favorite website, and you’re likely to be presented with a question: Are you human or a robot? Then you might be asked to translate a bit of garbled text or pick from a set of presented images. What’s this all about?

There’s an arms race going on between website owners and internet spam bots. Spam bots want to log into your site like a regular human, and then leave advertising spam comments on all your pages. Website admins naturally want to stop this from happening, as we have enough ordinary humans leaving pointless comments already.

Although several teams have claimed ownership of inventing the technique, the term ‘CAPTCHA’ was first coined by a group of engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001. They were looking for a way to allow websites to distinguish between live humans and the growing multitude of spam bots pretending to be human. They came up with the idea of showing a user distorted images of garbled words that could be understood by a real person but would confound a computer. It was from this idea that the ubiquitous CAPTCHA emerged.

CAPTCHA is an acronym that stands for ‘Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.’

Around this same time, The New York Times was in the process of digitizing their back issues. They were employing a fairly new computer technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which is the process of scanning a page of type and turning it into searchable text. Prior to this technology, a scanned page of text was simply an image and not searchable or capable of being cataloged based on its content.

Old newsprint can be difficult to read for computers, especially since the back catalog of The New York Times stretches back more than 100 years. If the ink has smeared, faded or is otherwise obscured, a computer could fail to correctly interpret the text.

The New York Times got the brilliant idea of using these difficult words as CAPTCHA images, utilizing the power of internet users to read words a computer had failed to recognize. The project was reinvented as ‘reCAPTCHA.’

In 2009, Google bought the company responsible for reCAPTCHA and began using it to help digitize old books for their Google Books project. Whenever their computers run into trouble interpreting a bit of text, a scan of those words is uploaded to the reCAPTCHA servers and millions of internet users share in the work of decoding old books for Google’s online database.

I bet you didn’t realize you’re working for Google every time you solve one of those garbled word puzzles!

Of course, artificial intelligence and OCR technology has improved a lot in the years since. Now you are more likely to be asked to choose those images that feature street signs, rather than to solve a bit of distorted text. In this way, Google is using internet users to improve its artificial intelligence image recognition.

Soon computers will be smart enough to solve these picture challenges as well. In fact, the latest version of CAPTCHA barely requires any input from the internet user at all. If you have come to a webpage and been asked to check a box verifying that, “I’m not a robot,” and wondered how this can possibly filter out spam bots, you’re not alone. There’s actually a lot more going on behind that simple checkbox.

Invented by Google, and called “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA,” the new system employs an invisible algorithm behind the scenes that executes when you check the box. This algorithm analyzes your recent online behavior in order to determine if you are acting like a human or a bot. If it determines you might be a bot, you’ll get the familiar pop-up, asking you to choose from a series of images in order to verify your humanity.

This internet arms race is a competition between artificial intelligence’s efforts to pass as human and a website admin’s attempt to identify them. The CAPTCHA will continue to evolve as the artificial intelligence of spam bots increases to keep pace.

It’s an arms race we’re bound to lose in the end. But until then, the next time you’re forced to solve a garbled word puzzle, perhaps it will help ease the tedium to remember you’re helping preserve the world’s literary past every time you do!

Obituaries, Week of December 7, 2017


AUGUSTA – Norman R. Higgins, 88, died Friday, November 17, 2017. He was born in Rochester, New Hamp­shire, on November 12, 1929, the son of Don and Alma (Gallant) Higgins.

Mr. Higgins was educated at Worcester Jr. College and Clark University, in Massachusetts. He served his country in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict, 1950 to 1953, and was honorably discharged.

His work history includes manager of product development for Eaton Paper Co., of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and corporate manager of technical services for C. D. Burnes Co. (acquired by Hallmark Cards, Inc.). He opened his own company, Woonsocket Plexi-Fab, Inc., in Rhode Island, in the 1980s. He purchased a camp on Togus Pond, in Augusta, where he spent his weekends until he met Lea Davis. In 1987 they renovated the camp and moved to Augusta permanently. They married in 1991. Norm opened Maine Woods Furniture on Rte. 3, in Augusta, and manufactured unfinished pine furniture. He retired and sold the business in 2006. Norm kept a positive view on life, even throughout his history of health issues, enjoying annual visits from his family members and cherished time spent with dear friends.

He was predeceased by his daughter Lisa (Higgins) Martin.

He is survived by his wife, Lea, of Augusta; his children from a previous marriage, Keith Higgins and his wife Marion, of Virginia; Sharon Stafford, of California; Keir Beamon and her husband Patrick, of Texas; Mark Higgins and his wife Kim, of Texas; and his son-in-law Bob Martin, of Virginia; stepchildren Christopher Davis, of Rhode Island, Deborah Davis Harrold, of Rhode Island and Stephen Davis, of Virginia. Also, grandchildren Stephanie and Taylor Higgins; Ali and Nathan Stafford; and Oliver, Will and Jared Martin; and step-grandchildren Meghan Davis, Tyler Harrold, Jessica Harrold, Cory Harrold and his wife Katie, Caroline Davis and Jonathan Davis. He is also survived by his sister, Eleanor Higgins, of Ohio, and several nieces. A celebration of Norm’s life will be held at a later date.


SOMERVILLE – Erman Kaelamakuli Fujinaga, 90, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Lewiston, on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Born in Haleiwa, Hawaii, on May 21, 1927, he was the son of Enichi and Makae Rosalina Kahelahela Fujinaga.

Upon graduating from Waialua High School he served in the US Army in World War II. He worked most of his life as a carpenter mason for the Carpenter’s Union in Hawaii until he was 68. He then worked for the USDA at the Honolulu Airport until he was 80. At that time he moved to Somerville to live and experience the peace and quiet of nature and the woods where his wife was from. He enjoyed 52 years with his wife, Claudia.

Erman enjoyed running marathons, boxing, and excelled at all forms of sport. In retirement he found great joy in his garden. He acted as a father and mentor to many nieces and nephews who loved him dearly. He was a kind, humble man who is greatly respected by all who were fortunate to know him.

He is survived by his wife, Claudia Ruth Pignolet Fujinaga, of Somerville, and his son, David Fujinaga Allen and his wife Patricia, of Hawi, Hawaii, and his nieces who he raised as his own daughters, Annette Lau, Harolyn Tantog, and Lauretta Sewaki and many nieces and nephews.

A candlelight memorial service for Erman will be held on Thursday, December 7, at 4 p.m., South Somerville Baptist Church, 8 Hewett Road, in Somerville. Interment will be at Queen Lili’uokalani Church, in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Memorial donations may be made to South Somerville Baptist Church, 8 Hewett Road, Somerville, ME 04348.


ALBION – Ann E. ( Bragdon ) Bathgate, 64, of Albion, died unexpectedly at her home on Friday, December 1, 2017. She was born July 7, 1953, in Waterville, the daughter of Robert and Lorraine (Jordan) Bragdon.

She obtained her GED at Winslow High, class of 1970. While raising a family, she attended University of Maine Augusta to earn an associate’s degree in general science in 1986. She and her family moved to Florida in 1988 and she worked at MD How as a trucking dispatcher. After a few years she wanted to go further with her education so they moved to Alabama so she could attend University of South Alabama getting her bachelor’s degree in 1997. After graduating, she then went to work as a paramedic for many years before going on to teach classes in the field of Emergency Medicine at several universities in both Alabama and Florida. Her last job was a flight paramedic, a job she loved and enjoyed.

Ann enjoyed camping, reading, chatting with online friends, traveling to different countries, raising her children and grandchildren. She was anxiously waiting for her first great-granddaughter, Payton Marie, to arrive.

She is survived by her husband of 47 years Stephen Bathgate, Sr., of Albion; sons, Stephen Jr. and wife Elizabeth, of Fairfield, Peter, of Windham; daughter, Andrea, of Albion; brother, Kenneth Bragdon, of Vassalboro; sisters, Janet Cross and husband Mike, of West Virginia, Deanna Works and husband Dwayne, of Oakland, Norma Allen and partner Ronnie Dudley, of Vassalboro; brothers-in- law, Peter Bathgate and wife Connie, of Waldoboro, David Bathgate, of Connecticut; grandchildren, Cameron Bathgate, Brandon Wheeler, Gabriel Bathgate, Elizabeth Bathgate, all of Albion, Juliana Bathgate, of Fairfield, Tyler Williams and Renee Cotton, of Alabama, Faith Ann Jones, of Augusta; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ann was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Lorraine (Jordan) Bragdon; daughter, Stephany Wheeler; sisters, Christine Bilodeau, Mary Martell; nieces, Jamie and Aria; father and mother-in-law, Peter and Elizabeth Bathgate; sister- in-law, Susan Bathgate; brother-in-law, William Bathgate.

Ann will be missed by all who knew her.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 11:30 a.m., at the Village Cemetery on the family plot, in Vassalboro, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Olde Mill Place on Oak Grove Road, Vassalboro.

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


FAIRFIELD––Connie Jo Hamlin passed away on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, following a prolonged illness while being cared for at the Oak Grove Nursing Home, in Waterville. She was born on a Tuesday, October 3, 1951, in Waterville, to the late Clarendon and Natalie Pomeroy.

Connie attended Pittsfield area schools as a child, and graduated from Warsaw High School, class of 1970.

Connie married John C, Hamlin, also from Pittsfield, and together they had a son Jeremy. That marriage ended in divorce, however Connie stayed in her home town to raise her son. She enjoyed many years of employment in that area, primarily with the CM Almy Company and later with Edwards Company where she had many great life long friends.

When Jeremy graduated from high school and decided to join the Army, Connie decided to finally pursue her life long dream of living near the ocean. So she retired from Edwards Company and moved to the coast. First to Ellsworth for a short time, and then on to Bar Harbor where she spent more than 20 happy years on the island.

Connie decided to move closer to her son when her health issues became a concern. She moved to Fairfield, next door to her grandchildren to spend as much time as possible with them. While in Fairfield, Connie enjoyed a slower paced life; gardening, reading, visiting with friends and family. She also volunteered and took a job at the Belgrade Central School where she worked in the kitchen part time. She loved interacting with the little ones.

Connie is survived by her son Jeremy, his wife Stacy, their four children Kayla, Bryant, Hunter, and Harley; one special great-grandson Xayvier; her five siblings, Gale Russell, Brenda and her husband Wally Devoe, Linda Belmain, Larry and Gary Pomeroy; nieces Heidi Dorr, Christian Pomeroy, Tara Kallweit, Jessica and Karen Belmain, and Janessa Pomeroy; nephews Greg Merrithew, Eric and Robert Russell and Corey Devoe; and great- nephew, Caleb Young.


BENTON––June Bernice Barker Woodworth, 80, passed away at Lakewood Continuing Care Center on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, following a long illness. June was born in Waterville on June 6, 1937, the daughter of Thomas P. and Annie (Turner) Barker.

Harry Woodworth and June were married July 11, 1953, at her parents’ home in Benton.

June was the youngest of 10 children. She attended Benton and Fairfield schools. June grew up and lived in Benton her entire life.

June worked many years at LaVerdiere’s Warehouse, in Winslow, until she retired to take care of her grandchildren when her daughter went back to work, because she “didn’t want anyone else taking care of them.” She helped on the family farm, volunteered as a Cub Scout leader, made latch hook rugs, looked for treasures at garage sales, loved to be with her grandchildren and go camping. At Lakewood Continuing Care Center, she loved Elvis, beano and all her caregivers.

June was predeceased by her parents; her brothers, Linwood, Roland, Philip, Raymond, LaForest and Eldridge Barker; and her sisters, Mildred Wood, Arlene Cole, and Louise Cole.

June is survived by her husband; daughter June and her husband Leo Caron; son Roland Woodworth and his wife Joanne; her grandchildren, Paul Caron, Anna Caron, Jason Woodworth, and Joshua Woodworth and his wife Jane; her great-grandchildren, Eliot, Alice, Andrew, and Jaina Woodworth; brother-in-law Richard Cole Sr.; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, December 9, at 11 a.m. at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at


WINDSOR––Joseph M. St. Amand, Sr., 84, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the Maine Medical Center, in Portland. He was born in Limestone on April 26, 1933, the son of Leon and Eva (Cyr) St. Amand.

Although he only had an eighth grade education, he was the jack of all trades; he loved to read and he was very intelligent and well informed with what was happening around the world, in his country and in his own community.

As a young man, he worked with his father in the woods until he was 18, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, during the Korean War. After completing his training for Seaman, he was assigned Seaman Apprentice aboard the battleship USS Missouri BB-63, the Mighty Mo, until his honorable discharge. Upon his discharge he received the Korean Service, the United Nations Service and the China Service medals. He was a member of the Korean War Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the American Legion Veterans Memorial Post #205, the Fraternal Order of Eagles #3137, the AMVETS Post #14, and the 2014 Bronze Leader of Maine Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

After his discharge from the Navy, he worked several jobs including employment with Capital Lumber as a driver and a laborer and with the Edwards Division of Bates Manufacturing Company as a weaver, until an injury disabled him.

He married Pauline Harrington Fraser in 1954 and they raised their children in Windsor for many years. He was very involved in the community coaching the local youth, from t-ball to high school baseball. His other passions were spending time with family, being outside, hunting, fishing, and most of all a jokester and comedian.

He was predeceased by his parents; his brothers Raoul, Roland, Emery, Vincent, Rosario, Adrian, Gilbert, Roger and Michael; his sisters, Stella Caron, Theresa Raynes and Leona (Chick) Michaud; and his former wife Pauline St. Amand.

He is survived by his 11 children, Marlene Webber St. Amand, of Augusta, Audrey Brann Shorty, of Windsor, Cecile Tardiff, of Randolph, Karin Cook and husband Bill, of South China, Kim St. Amand and partner Daniel Colby, of Jefferson, Joseph St. Amand, Jr. and wife Susan, of Farmingdale, Bernadette St. Amand, of Palermo, Mark St. Amand, Sr. and wife Debbie, of Windsor, Tamra St. Amand, of South China, Stacey St. Amand, of Vassalboro and Jillian St Amand, of Windsor; 26 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews; sister Hazel Rackliff, of Gardiner; his brother Norman St. Amand and wife Carol, of Brewer.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at St. Denis Catholic Church, in Whitefield. A gathering will be held immediately following at the church hall.


WINSLOW––Lee Eric Kerr, 64, of Winslow, passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at Captain Lewis Residence, in Farmingdale, following a long battle with cancer. Lee was born in Rumford on February 3, 1953, to Lawrence Kerr and Edna Kerr, and then grew up in Mexico, where he graduated from Mexico High School, in 1971.

He graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a teaching degree. He then went on to work at Sappi, in Skowhegan, as a papermaker for 33 years, retiring in May of 2016.

Lee was an avid Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Lakers fan. He loved the Green Bay Packers so much that he even bought a share of stock in them so that he could become an owner. He truly enjoyed spending time with his children and family, and would have done anything for anyone. He also loved taking trips to the coast and going to yard sales searching for new turn tables and speakers to listen to his records and 45s.

He was predeceased by his father Larry, and his mother Edna.

He is survived by his son Ryan Kerr and wife April, of Brewer, daughter Erika Kerr and fiancé Dennis Glynn, of Augusta; brothers Allen Kerr and wife Joan, of Nashua, New Hampshire, Jack Kerr and wife Jan, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Mark Kerr and wife Becky, of Dixfield; granddaughter Avery, of Augusta; nieces Darcy, Allyson, Lindsey, and Mackenzie; great-niece Riley; and many cousins.


ANGELINE D. MICHAUD, 88, of Waterville, passed away on Thursdaty, November 16, 2017, on her birthday. Locally, she is survived by a son, Gary Michaud and wife Cindy, of Fairfield.

PASTOR RICHARD WALTER, 46, of Winthrop, passed away on Friday, November 17, 2017, following a battle with cancer. Locally, he is survived by a son, Ryan J. Walter, of Vassalboro.

SHAWN PERKINS, 31, formerly of Fairfield, passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Locally, he is survived by a son, Carter Perkins; his parents Scott and Michelle Perkins, and a brother Tyler Perkins, all of Fairfield.

RICHARD L. LANGUET, 64, of Troy, passed awat on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at his home. Locally, he is survived by a daughter, Angel Languet and partner Jesse Willett, of China; grandson Zander Willett, of China; sisters Angela Latno and husband Richard, of Sidney, and Desiree Languet Thompson, of Albion; brother Joseph Languet, of Waterville.

MARIE J. HUARD, 100, of Waterville, passed away on Saturday, November 25, 2017. Locally, she is survived by a son, Richard Huard and wife Cindy, of Benton.

KHS to hear about Explosion in Halifax

On December 7, 1917, two war ships collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Following the collision and subsequent fire, a massive explosion occurred, killing about 2,000 people and wounding countless more. At the time, it was the largest man-made explosion in history. With the city devastated, help was needed. Boston is still remembered for responding quickly and sending up a train with supplies and people the following day. They are still celebrating this day with a Christmas tree that is sent from Halifax to Boston each year.

However, Maine also played a role in the relief effort. Mainers joined the Boston relief train and we sent up supplies and a National Guard troop of our own. This talk will discuss the overall history of the event and the relief effort, but will also aim to focus more on Maine’s role in the relief effort.

The speaker, Sam Howes, is an archivist at the Maine State Archives, where he has been for three years developing exhibits and preserving the state’s historical records. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History with a mix of American Labor, Canadian History, and Medieval Studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. While living in Nova Scotia, he became very interested in the relationship between the Maritime Provinces and the New England States. That interest is what led him to research the Halifax Explosion and the response from New England, and Maine in particular.

The Kennebec Historical Society December Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street, in Augusta. ​

Vassalboro: Residents hear update on ARI from speakers

Left, Ladd Dam, and right, Box Mill. Contributed photos

by Mary Grow

About 30 people gathered in the East Vassalboro Grange Hall for a Nov. 29 update on the Alewife Restoration Project (ARI), aimed at restoring alewife runs from the ocean into China Lake. Speakers focused on two obstacles, the Ladd and Box Mill dams.

Presenters were Landis Hudson and Matt Streeter of Maine Rivers, Nate Gray of the Maine Department of Marine Resources and Peter Abello and Ben Naumann of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Other groups involved in or assisting with ARI include the China Lake Association, China Region Lakes Alliance, the towns of China and Vassalboro, the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, Maine Rivers, the Nature Conservancy and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Outlet Stream, which runs from China Lake into the Sebasticook River, had six dams that obstructed fish passage. The Masse dam in East Vassalboro has been removed; the Lombard dam between East and North Vassalboro is also to be taken out. The Outlet dam in East Vassalboro will have a fishway. Plans for the Morneau dam between East Vassalboro and Lombard dam are incomplete.

Plans discussed Nov. 29 include a fishway at the Ladd dam, along the west bank, with the existing impoundment to be maintained and Ray Breton’s recreational area on the east bank to be undisturbed.

Naumann said an archaeological survey is pending. Engineering plans are due this winter. If funds are available, construction of the fishway could be a 2018 project. An informational sheet distributed at the meeting said a Denil fish ladder is planned; it would allow an annual alewife harvest to benefit the town, like the harvest at Webber Pond.

The partly-collapsed Box Mill dam is a “complex site, highly modified over the years,” Gray said. Naumann agreed, saying the dam is nicknamed “Swiss cheese” because it has so many holes.

Numerous engineers have come up with more than a dozen conceptual designs over the last three years, Naumann said. The experts are moving toward consensus on a plan; if they agree, construction is possible in 2018 or 2019.

Gray said removing the dam is not an option. Outlet Stream was diverted when it was installed, and without the dam significant upstream erosion would threaten the Oak Grove Road bridge.

Once a plan has been made, Naumann said residents will be invited to another meeting for an updated progress report.

Abello, NRCS district consultant based in Augusta, explained that the agency’s main role in the project is to assist with funding. The landowner – Ray Breton for both the Ladd and Box Mill dams – applies; Abello helps develop plans that meet the landowner’s goals and preserve natural resources.

The funding process is highly competitive, Abello warned.

Before the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers were dammed in the 1800s, Gray said, alewives and other fish used to travel well inland to spawn in lakes and ponds. The Edwards dam on the Kennebec was removed in 1999 and the Fort Halifax dam on the Sebasticook in 2008; by the spring of 2009, alewives were sighted below Box Mill dam.

The small fish are valuable for lobster bait. They might also play a role in removing the algae that are over-abundant in China Lake and other area lakes; scientific studies are not unanimous, but Webber Pond Association President Frank Richards gives alewives some of the credit for improved water quality.

China Lake has been stocked by trucking in alewives since 2012, Gray said.

In addition to alewives, a Denil fish ladder can accommodate other small fish, including Atlantic salmon and perhaps small striped bass, Gray told an audience member. Unwelcome fish like pike, white catfish and carp, which are present in the lower Kennebec, will probably be deterred by shallow water in Outlet Stream between North Vassalboro and the Sebasticook, he said.

CHINA: Planners revert to old method for reviewing conditional use applications

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members agreed at their Nov. 28 meeting to return to their previous procedure for reviewing conditional use applications and went on to apply it. Until about a year ago, board members would usually review such applications, which are for new or expanded commercial or other non-residential uses, at one meeting and make a decision at the following meeting. That procedure gave neighbors a chance to comment and board members time to consider the comments and develop reasons for their decisions.

China’s ordinance lists 15 criteria an application must meet, dealing with effects on the environment and nearby properties. The ordinance and several court rulings require planning boards to prepare written findings of fact to substantiate their decisions on each criterion.

Recently the board has made numerous decisions in a single meeting, in the interest of avoiding delay for applicants. It has not been clear who should prepare the written findings of fact or how detailed they should be.

Members present at the Nov. 28 meeting agreed to return to the two-meeting process, with the codes officer to prepare the findings of fact after board members make decisions on the 15 criteria at the first meeting. The application before the board was from Kennebec Community Church, in Augusta, to use the former Fairpoint building on Route 3 as a satellite church. Joann Austin, who owns land on three sides of the church lot, was present and offered comments.

Pastor Dan Coleman and church member Rick Bergeron, who will be supervising renovations, said they plan few changes outside the building. Access from Route 3, parking, lighting, the well and septic system and most of the parking will not be affected. Additional handicapped parking spaces are to be designated.

The two major issues board members discussed were the septic system or systems and the plan to clear trees and vegetation between the building and Route 3 to increase visibility.

Codes Officer Paul Mitnik said the property has two septic systems; he added the capacities together to make sure the systems will accommodate the maximum number of people who could be in the building. Plans submitted showed only one system, and Bergeron was not aware of another. The issue is to be investigated.

The vegetated area toward Route 3 is at least partly a designated buffer required by China’s Phosphorus Control Ordinance, leading to multiple questions about how much clearing could be allowed and how church officials plan to maintain the buffer. Board members asked Mitnik to clarify the size of the buffer and location of retention ponds, and added a condition to the proposed permit saying any clearing would need the codes officer’s approval.

A majority of planning board members found the application met all 15 criteria. If requested information is supplied, final approval could be granted at the next board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday evening, Dec. 12.

Mitnik said there might be two commercial items on the Dec. 12 agenda, if applicants are ready: Parris and Catherine Varney’s re-application to use their barn on Neck Road for parties, and a preliminary discussion or new application for a Dollar General store on a small lot on the southwest corner of the intersection of Route 3 and Windsor Road.

The Planning Board has scheduled a site visit to the Varney property for 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Like board meetings, site visits are open to the public, but those present should not expect board members to answer questions individually, and no decisions are to be made.

The Varneys applied initially in 2016. After several planning board meetings attended by neighbors opposed to the project, a board of appeals hearing and a court refusal to consider the merits, Planning board members intend to rehear the application from the beginning, as advised by town attorney Alton Stevens.

Central Maine Squares to hold Toyland Dance

Central Maine Square Dance Club of Waterville

The new officers of the Central Maine Square Dance Club are, from left to right, Claude Francke, Al Mather, Jeff Howes, Karen Cunningham, and Becky Potter. Contributed photo

The Central Maine Square Dance club of Waterville is having their monthly square dance on Sunday, December 10, from 2 – 5 p.m., at the Waterville Jr. High School, on Rte. 104 (West River Road). Again this year this dance is being promoted as our “Toyland Dance.” Each year the club encourages its members and guests to bring an unwrapped toy or article of clothing to be donated to the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, in Waterville.

Items needed by the home are, toys for boys and girls ages 3-12, complete outfits size 0-16 for boys and girls, infant and toddler VTech and Fisher Price Developmental, 500 piece Lego sets for bots and girls, ages 8-12, warm pajamas, sizes 0-16, reading books for all levels up to age 12. Snow pants, jackets, boots, mittens and gloves.

They are asking the general public if they would like to get involved with this endeavor, they could drop a gift off at the dance on Sunday, December 10, from 2 to 5 p.m., or call 447-0094 or 631-8816 to make arrangements for pick up.

Winslow’s Wildes wins multiple awards

Michael Wildes, of Winslow High School, received several Division II Northern Maine Class B awards at the 44th annual Maine Coaches All-Star Banquet. Wildes accepted the Northern and Southern Maine Regional All-Stars and the soccer ball for All New England awards. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Accepts northern and southern Maine regional and New England soccer accolades

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

The 44th Annual Maine Soccer Coaches All-Star Banquet was held at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor, Sunday, December 3.

Awards were presented by coaches of Northern Maine Class A, B and C, and Southern Maine Class A, B and C. The Presentation of awards included the 23rd Mane Soccer Coaches Senior Bowl MVPs, Northern and Southern Maine Regional All-Stars, Northern and Southern Maine state teams. Maine Soccer “Coach of the Year” Awards, NSCAA Region One Coach of the Year, Class “Players of the Year” Awards, All New England Awards, and All America Award presented to both boys and girls All-Star teams.

Michael Wildes, a senior at Winslow High School and a Class B Northern back soccer player earned multiple awards in the Northern and Southern Maine Regional All-Stars and All New England Awards. Jake Lapierre, a Winslow High School student was also awarded recognition. He was not present to accept the awards.

Wildes played four years of soccer. “I am really proud of my coaches and players at Winslow High,” he said. He is looking at attending one of several colleges: Babson, Assumption, or Saint Joseph’s College.

The event honored over 150 players and coaches at the All-Star Banquet.