Durant to represent Grace Academy at poetry regionals on Feb. 12

Contributed photo

Catherine Durant, of China, who won first place in Grace Academy’s school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition, will be representing the school at the regional compettion on February 12 at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, in Hampden. Poetry Out Loud, created in 2006, is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission to encourage our youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. She is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Durant, of China.

TECH TALK: My deep, dark journey into political gambling


by Eric W. Austin

I opened the door and stepped hesitantly into the dimly lit room. Curtains covered all the windows. The only light came from a half-dozen computer screens glowing menacingly in the darkness. A scary-looking German Shepherd slumped in one corner. She growled low in her throat as I came in, and then went back to scratching at imaginary fleas. She had seen it all before: just another poor sucker thinking it was possible to predict the future.

But this wasn’t some hole-in-the-wall gambling den in a seedy part of Augusta. It was my office at my house here in China, Maine. I sat down at my desk and pulled up the website PredictIt.org. Would I be up or down today?

PredictIt is a different kind of gambling website. Instead of betting on sports events or dog races, you bet on events happening in politics. For example, the Friday before the recent government shutdown, I pulled out of the “Will the government be shutdown on January 22?” market after quadrupling my initial investment. I got into the market two weeks earlier when I thought shares for ‘Yes’ were severely undervalued at only 16¢ a share. When I exited the market on Friday, my 20 shares were valued at 69¢ each. I should have held the line, but still not a bad return on investment in only two weeks. When in doubt, bet on the incompetence of the American Congress.

Called the “stock market for politics,” PredictIt is an experimental political gambling website created by Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. They work in partnership with more than 50 universities across the world, including the American colleges of Harvard, Duke and Yale.

Why would a bunch of academics be interested in political gambling? They’re studying a psychological phenomenon called “the wisdom of the crowd.” This is a theory that postulates that a prediction derived from averaging the opinions of a large group of diverse individuals is often better than the prediction from a single expert.

The way it works on PredictIt is pretty simple. Political questions are posed which have a binary response, usually ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Shares in either option cost between 1¢ and 100¢ (or $1). The value of shares is determined by the supply and demand of each market. In other words, if a lot of people are buying shares in the ‘Yes’ option, those shares will increase in value, and ‘No’ shares will decrease.

This set up allows one to quickly look at a share price and know how likely that particular prediction is of coming true. Will Trump be impeached in his first term? Since shares are currently at 37¢, that means the market thinks there’s a 37 percent chance of that happening. I own 15 ‘Yes’ shares in this market. Shares have increased by 4¢ (or 4 percent) since I entered the market several months ago (from 33¢ to 37¢), so my initial investment of $4.90 has increased by 65¢ to $5.55 as of today.

If you can think of a question related to politics, there’s likely a market for it on PredictIt. Will North Korea compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics? Currently likely at 94 percent. Who will be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president? At the moment, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris hold the top spots. How many senate seats will the GOP hold after the mid-term elections? “49 or fewer” is the most likely answer according to investors on PredictIt.

What are the chances that events over the next year will change things up? There’s no market for that question on PredictIt, but I’d say it’s at least 100 percent. Of course, that’s exactly what makes the game so exciting!

I first entered the world of political gambling back in May. I’d become a bit of a news junkie during the 2016 election (Donald Trump is the news equivalent of heroin), and was looking for something to give meaning to the endless hours I spent following the machinations in Washington. Initially, I started with just $20. Later, I added another $25 for a total account investment of $45. I lost $8 on a couple of bets early on, and have spent the past six months trying to make up for the losses. This government shutdown drama put me back on top. According to my trade history, after more than 169 bets and minus any trading fees, I’m currently up by $9.96.

Okay, so the IRS is unlikely to come knocking on my door when I don’t report it on my taxes in April. Still, it feels good to be back in the black.

Eric Austin is a writer, technical consultant, and news junkie living in China, Maine. He can be contacted by email at ericwaustin@gmail.com.

Unity group proposes creating green cemetery

movie poster (source: imdb)

The citizens of the Town of Unity have expressed interest in opening a green cemetery. Therefore, the Unity Cemetery Committee has arranged to show, “A Will for the Woods,” an award-winning documentary about green burials. The presentation will take place at the Unity College Center for Performing Arts on February 8, at 6 p.m. Admission is free. All are welcome to attend. A snow date has been set aside for February 15, at the same time.

China residents want more volunteering opportunities

Submitted by Helen Roy, China for a Lifetime Committee member

China’s China for a Lifetime Committee recently surveyed town residents to learn what they may need and services they want as they age in town. One surprising thing many residents mentioned was the lack of volunteering opportunities in town.

There is an organization based in Augusta that matches up volunteers with elders in the Kennebec Valley that allows for socialization for both. This program is called SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew, Courage and Hope). Volunteers can do things that home care workers cannot; things like playing a game of cards, going out for lunch, or simply having a cup of coffee and good conversation around the kitchen table. Also, there are some seniors that need help with grocery shopping or running errands.

SEARCH is always looking for volunteers. There is a waiting list of elders who have signed up, but there are not enough volunteers to meet the need.

Volunteering for SEARCH is a great way to help your community. You’re helping someone who has a lifetime of experiences and knowledge to share and simply needs a little time with another human being.

Consider volunteering for SEARCH. For more information, contact Lynn Kidd at 207-530-0137 or send her an email at lkidd@ccmaine.org.

Windsor school receives fast track grant


Windsor Elementary School has announced that their Title One program received a generous grant from the Perloff Family Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation. The goal of the grant is to support engagement of both students and parents/caregivers in the love of reading. The grant awarded 15 LeapPads and sufficient apps to provide a variety of resources. This project is especially important as it is encouraging adult role models to show them fun ways to read. Twice a month, children will receive a take-home bag containing the tablet, associated materials, and a parent contact form for the weekend. Parent involvement is an essential part of Windsor’s Parents as Partners program. The LeapPads were unveiled at a parent night and another is already scheduled. Linda Farwell and Mary Clark, the Title One educators, were instrumental in gaining this award.

Early reading and language skills build a critical foundation for learning. LeapPads include games, activities, videos and eBooks designed to build important early reading they need to become confident readers. New enhanced eBooks feature a vocabulary glossary and highlighted, clickable text that children can tap on to hear each word for more practice. Children raised in homes that promote family literacy grow up to be better readers and do better in school than children raised in homes where literacy is not promoted. We know that promoting family literacy is important to future reading and school success.

Community Commentary: Palermo Commissioners to work together to manage dam

Sheepscot dam

Community Commentary

by Rep. Jeffrey K. Pierce

Re: Legislative hearing scheduled Sheepscot Dam Issue:

I am a life-long fisherman and have spent many afternoons by a lake or pond, fishing for brook trout or togue. Having healthy populations of fish and access to fish for them is very important to me and my family. As the executive director of Alewife Harvesters of Maine, I am committed to restoring all river fish species, not just alewives, to promote healthy and vital fisheries throughout our state. As you said in your article, healthy fisheries are a vibrant part our communities and homes.

My bill, LD 922, An Act Directing the Commissioner of Marine Resources To Investigate the Conditions of Sheepscot Pond Related to a Management Plan for Anadromous Fish Species, prompts “The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shall cooperate with the commissioner [Department of Marine Resources] in carrying out the provisions of section 6171 for the management of anadromous fish species and habitat.” Thus, the commissioner of IFW and DMR are prompted to work together to manage the Sheepscot Dam. The Sheepscott Dam is currently open ten out of twelve months of the year, so my proposal suggests that the dam should have free fish passage in the two months that the dam is currently closed. This will not negatively impact water levels of the pond or river since the dam is open almost year-round.

This bill also states that the conditions of Sheepscot Pond will be monitored should the dam be opened in the spring. This monitoring will prevent any negative effects on current populations of fish that are landlocked during the springtime. To date there are no cases of alewives carrying VEN so that is not a concern for other fish populations. About four miles downstream from Sheepscot Pond at Coopers Mills Dam there is an active alewife fishery and they have had no problems with alewives effecting water quality or fish populations. I would encourage anyone to speak with residents of nearby Webber Pond. Alewives were introduced there a number of years ago and they currently have very clean water and an active alewife harvest that benefits the local community.

The Aqua, Animal, and Health Technical Committee is a committee comprised of individuals from the Department of Marine Resources, Inland Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with other science-based organizations. In 2017, they reviewed “the question of increased disease risk associated with opening passage to alewives and river herring” and they recommended “that the opening of the Sheepscot Pond fishway did not constitute a significant added risk over current practices.”

CHINA: Town manager, selectmen set warrant for town meeting

by Mary Grow

By the end of the China selectmen’s Jan. 29 special meeting, board members and Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux were satisfied they had the warrant for the March 24 town business meeting in final form.

Selectmen plan to sign it at their Feb. 5 meeting. By email, L’Heureux invited budget committee members to find a meeting date later in the week of Feb. 5 to review proposed expenditures and make their recommendations.

Selectmen’s recommendations were unanimous on 4-0 votes, with board member Jeffrey LaVerdiere absent due to illness. Items discussed and decisions made resulted in several proposals that will be new for town meeting voters.

For example, Art. 14, dealing with annual appropriations for emergency services, asks voters also to implement a new state law allowing the town to give each volunteer fire department its appropriation as a lump sum from which the department pays its bills, rather than having the departments submit bills to the town for payment.

Selectmen established that the law applies only to the China Village, South China and Weeks Mills fire departments, not to China Rescue.

Voters will be asked in Art. 18 to appropriate $80,613 to buy a pre-crusher/compactor and a new forklift for the transfer station, taking the money from a reserve fund and the town’s unassigned fund balance (commonly called surplus).

Art. 26 asks for up to $20,000 from surplus to provide a septic system and water system for the former Weeks Mills schoolhouse.

In Art. 41, voters are asked to appropriate up to $100 from surplus for purchase of the Branch Mills Union Church, adding another historic building to town ownership. The amount is intended to cover transaction fees; the article also requests authorization to use up to $80,000 from grants, donations and Tax Increment Finance funds to restore the building.

Art. 43, requested by the planning board, proposes using up to $22,000 in TIF funds to develop and implement a new town comprehensive plan.

Selectmen made final decisions on two local service organizations’ fund requests they debated inconclusively at their Jan. 22 meeting. They recommended a $3,000 appropriation for The Town Line newspaper as in past years – the item was debatable this year because the newspaper is renting the old town house basement for a nominal fee. And they recommended a $4,500 appropriation for the South China Library and a $100 appropriation for the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village, basing the difference on the growth of the latter’s endowment fund.

The possibility of reappearance on a June local ballot. One would have requested up to $10,000 to buy the land around the new fire pond on Neck Road; the other would have requested up to $110,000 to buy the Bailey property at the head of China Lake, as part of the expansion of recreational opportunities there.

The fire pond was again discussed at some length, and selectmen reaffirmed their Jan. 22 decision to get some kind of barriers around it as soon as possible.

Engineer Rick Pershken, attending the meeting at board Chairman Robert MacFarland’s request, gave his professional opinion that the steep sides of the pond would gradually erode into milder slopes, cutting away the edges including toward Neck Road. Selectmen agreed to ask someone from the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for advice on stabilizing the pond.

The Feb. 5 selectmen’s meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The Budget Committee meeting, when scheduled, will be posted on the town web site. Both meetings are open to the public.

Obituaries, Week of February 1, 2018


FAIRFIELD – Juliann “Julie” Lucy O’Connor, 56, passed away at her home in Fairfield, Saturday, January 13, 2018. She was born in Au­gusta on Febru­ary 14, 1961, the daughter of Ernest O’C­onnor and Loretta (Spaul­ding) O’Connor Rabassa.

She spent the majority of her life in Largo, Florida, with her two rescue dogs, Petey and Ginger. She moved to Maine to be with her family, which meant the most to her.

Julie had many self-taught skills, there was nothing she couldn’t teach herself how to do. She enjoyed spending time with her family, her flower gardens and loved the ocean. She spent her life as a determined, smart, independent, beautiful woman. She was so special, she touched everyone she met in such a powerful way; we are all better people because of her.

Julie is survived by her mother, Loretta (Spaulding) Rabassa; sisters, Vicki Tourtelotte, Nancy Wood, Diana Savage and husband Todd; brothers, Peter and John O’Connor; several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her father, Ernest O’Connor.

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

Memorial donations may be made to ones local humane society.


AUGUSTA – Ronald E. Cunningham, 74, of Augusta, passed away on Saturday, January 13, 2018, following a long battle with cancer.

Ronnie was born in Au­gusta on March 3, 1943, the son of Montie Sr. and Mar­guerite (Rain­ey) Cunningham. He attended Vassalboro schools. He was employed by White and Bradstreets used Auto Parts, in Augusta, O’Connor Motors, in Augusta, where he opened the Collision Center. After that he was self employed.

He married Helen Staples on August 15, 1992. Since then they have lived in Augusta. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and his dogs.

He was predeceased by his parents and one brother.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, of 25 years; daughter, Julia, of Pennsylvania and sons Timothy and wife Jennifer, Darrin and his wife Debbie, all of Winthrop, Mathew and his wife Angie, of South China; seven grandchildren, Jessica, Kyle, Daniel, Karrisa, Stephanie, Tyler and Allyson; seven great-grandchildren, 8 brothers and sisters, Robert, Montie Jr., Gwendolyn (Glendon), Donna, Brenda, Jacqueline (Tim), Darrell (Lori), and Cheryl (James); and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held on January 28, 2018, at 1 p.m., at the South China Legion Hall. Please come and share your thoughts and stories.


CHINA – Bernard E. Davis, 75, passed away on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at his home in China. He was born June 8, 1942, in Augusta, the son of Elden and Carmen (Farrington) Davis.

He was educated in the schools of China. On February 14, 1975, he married the former Barbara Davis, in Palermo.

Bernard is survived by a son, Keith Davis and wife Marie, of Litchfield; two daughters, Annette Bickford and Lisa Davis, both of China; two step-daughters, Charlene Pressey and husband George, of Chelsea, and April Vernesoni and husband Harry, of Florida; step-son, Parker Curtis and partner Michelle Orlan, of Palermo; brothers, Jeffrey Davis, of China, John Davis and wife Nancy, of Albion, Patrick Davis, of China, Mick Davis Sr., of China, Anthony Davis and wife Deb, of China; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Davis; son, Kevin Davis; and brother, Gregory Davis.
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of their choice.

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


WINDSOR – Joan Gloria (Cote) Harrington, 79, passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. She was born November 23, 1938, in Augusta, the daughter of Arsene and Cecile (Lebel) Cote.

She was educated in the schools of Augusta and graduated from Cony High School in 1956. On January 13, 1958, she married Paul E. Harrington, Sr., in Gardiner. Joan was employed for many years at Etonic Shoe, in Richmond, Truitt Brothers, in Gardiner, Weiss Uniform, in Augusta, and Grondon’s, in Augusta. She had been a member of St. Denis Church, in Whitefield since 1967. She enjoyed knitting, sewing, gardening, and baking. She also enjoyed her trips to the coast, New Harbor, for a “lobstah.”

Joan is survived by her husband of 60 years, Paul E. Harrington Sr., of Windsor; two sons, Paul E. Harrington Jr. and wife Nita, of China, Eric L. Harrington, of Windsor; three daughters, Brenda J Moody, of Crystal River, Florida, Cecilia M. Cater and husband Scott, of Windsor, Cynthia C. Smith and husband Ed, of Gardiner; one sister, Laurette O’Brien, of Farmingdale; two brothers, Donald Cote and wife Lorraine, of Sidney, Arsene “Joe” Joseph Cote and wife Rena, of Ft. Myers, Florida; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 11 a.m., at St. Denis Church, Whitefield.

The burial will be at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 Email: donors@stjude.org.

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


WINSLOW – Roland E. Bilodeau, 92, passed away Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Maine Medical Center, in Portland. He was born May 26, 1925 in Waterville, the son of Pierre J. and Mabel M. (LaCombe) Bilodeau.

He was educated in the schools of Waterville and graduated from Waterville High School in 1943. Roland was a veteran who proudly served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He then continued his education at the University of Maine, Orono, graduating in 1950. He was employed as a chemical engineer in the pulp and paper industry for 38 years and over the years worked for Hollingsworth and Whitney, Scott Paper Co., both in Winslow, and S.D. Warren, in Hinckley. On November 9, 1992, he married the former Marie Jeanne Cyr, in Caribou.

He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, in Winslow, and the American Legion. He enjoyed golf, bowling, fishing, hunting, and coin collecting.

Roland is survived by his wife of 26 years, Marie Jeanne (Cyr) Bilodeau, of Winslow; son, John Bilodeau and wife Karen Andrus, of Winslow; daughter, Diane Smith and husband Frederick, of Watertown, Wisconsin; brother, Gerald Bilodeau and wife Madeline, of Newton, Massachusetts; three step-sons, Claude Dugas and wife Diane, Pierre Dugas and wife Margoliene, and Guy Dugas and wife Guylaine, all of Maria, Provice in Québec, Canada; five grandsons, Nicholas Bilodeau and partner Jessica Davis, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Michael Bilodeau and partner Melissa Reynolds, of Portland, Stephen Smith and wife Heather, of Wisconsin, Eben Andrus, of Portland, and Timothy Andrus and partner Cecily Glowick, of Portland; five granddaughters, Amanda Bilodeau, of Cape Elizabeth, Rebekah Brusven and husband Gregg, Ruth Ann Wesemann and husband Cory, Sharon Leofilos and husband Allen, all of Wisconsin, and Elusia Andrus and partner Thomas Creighton, of Dillon, Colorado; 10 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Roland was predeceased by his parents and his first wife Rose (Poulin) Bilodeau.

Memorial donations may be made to the Travis Mills Foundation, 89 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347. This foundation benefits wounded and injured veterans and their families.

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


WINSLOW – Ronald A. Lepage, 69, passed away Saturday, January 20, 2018, at D’Youville Pavillion, in Lewiston. He was born September 21, 1948, in Lew­iston, the son of Levis and Yvonne (La­fleur) Lepage.

He was educated in the schools of Auburn and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1966. He was employed for 30 years as a ship designer at Bath Iron Works. He was a member of the St. Louis Church, in Auburn, and of the National Rifleman Association. Ronald enjoyed coin collecting, antique autos, reading and doing research, hunting, fishing, computer programming, loved animals, especially birds, and drinking Moxie.

Ronald is survived by his sister, Jeanne Luce and husband David, of Winslow; two godchildren, Arthur Jones, of West Des Moines, Iowa, Kathleen Lepage, of Polk City, Iowa; eight nephews, Ryan Jones, of Thomaston, Mark LePage, of Pelham, New Hampshire, Carl Lepage, Gregory Lepage, both of Connecticut, Robert Lepage, David Lepage, both of Wisconsin, Christopher Lepage, of Minnesota, and James Lepage, of Massachusetts; four nieces, Danielle Jones, of Washington, DC, Mary Anne (LePage) Kinney, of Knox, Deborah (Lepage) Burgess, of Connecticut, and Jennifer Lepage, of Montana.

He was predeceased by his parents, Levis and Yvonne Lepage; brothers, Henry, Paul, Daniel, and Raymond; and a special uncle to all, Robert LaFleur.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of their choice.

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


WINSLOW – Gerald E. Gagnon, 86, passed away Sunday, January 21, 2018, at his home. He was born March 2, 1931, in Benton, the son of Francis and Marion (Dyer) Gagnon.

He is predeceased by his wife of 58 years Lucille Evelyn Gagnon, his mother, father and brother Francis Jr.

He served in the United States Marine Corps in 1952 and was honorably discharged in 1953 due to family hardship following the death of his father. He married the former Lucille Levasseur on June 16, 1956, in Winslow.

He is survived by his four daughters: Debbie Savage, of Skowhegan, Linda Wood and husband James, of Fairfield, Cindy Gagnon and partner Joyce Wyand, of Benton, and Kathleen Gagnon-Rood and husband Michael, of Jefferson; six grandchildren, Jeremy Gagnon, of Fairfield, Angela, Robert and Lucia Haywood, of Charlotte, North Carolina, Richard Haywood, of Long Beach, California, and Antoinette Gagnon, of Augusta; and eight great-grandchildren: Gavin Lachance, Isaiah and Iriahnna Haywood, Deacon and Makalya Gagnon, Aaliyah and Aarikah Haywood and Rowan Pooler; siblings Ronald Gagnon, Beatrice Roy, Dianne Davis and many nieces, nephews and their children.

Gerald worked for Maine Central Railroad for 30 years. While working there, he also enjoyed raising a small herd of beef cows. He loved the life of farming. After his retirement, he opened C&G Antique Shop where he enjoyed buying and selling antiques and refinishing oak furniture. He and his wife Lucille loved to travel every January and February to warmer climates. They spent many winters in El Paso, Texas, and eventually Panama City, Florida. They made many lifelong friends throughout North America during their travels.

A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Wednesday, February 7, at 11 a.m., at St. John Catholic Church, 26 Monument St, Winslow. At his request there will be no public viewing held.

Memorial donations may be made to Disabled Veterans National Foundation , 4601 Forbes Blvd, Suite #130, Lanham, Mryland 20706.

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


SOUTH CHINA – Philip Mather, 94, passed away at his home on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. He was born in Brunswick on June 22, 1923, to Frederick and Vera Clif­ford Mather.

He graduated from Brunswick High School in 1942. He served in the US Army Air Force during WWII, spending 15 months with the 8th Air Force in England as an aerial gunnery instructor. He graduated from Gordon College in 1950 then did one year of graduate studies at Columbia Bible College.

He married the former Doris Johnson on September 22, 1951. She passed away June 28, 1993.

Philip pastored Baptist churches for 36 years including Holmes Bay and Kennebec, Kingfield, Mapleton, Dexter, Yarmouth and Blaine. He continued preaching as an interim pastor in Liberty, South Montville and Windsor following retirement.

He is survived by three children: Alan Mather and his wife Bobbi, of South China, Stephen Mather and his wife Anastasia, of Staten Island, New York, and Beth Froman, of Fairfield; and 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; sisters Glenna and her husband Mark Randall, of York, Barbara Ruszczyk, of Harpswell, and Doris Victoria Stevens, of Brunswick.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 3, at Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., in Brunswick, with a reception to follow in the Stetson’s Funeral Home Family Reception Center. Spring interment will be in New Meadows Cemetery, Brunswick.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, Maine 04086. A life tribute may be viewed and memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com.


DEBRA A. HASKE, 61, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at her home. She was born in Waterville on September 27, 1956, the daughter of Donald and Marlene Ann Pryor, of Benton. Locally, she is survived by a sister, Donna Jane Wilson, of Benton, and a brother, James Darren Pryor, of Waterville.

JEAN P. HOUSTON, 84, of Waterville, passed away Friday, January 19, 2018, at Lakewood Continuing Care, in Waterville. Locally, she is survived by a daughter, Brenda Houston, of Oakland; granddaughter Christie Holt, of Winslow, and her sons Jordan Holt and Colby Robertson; grandson, John Lessard, of Oakland, and his children Jonathan and Lily Wilkie; brother, Wayne Delaware, of Winslow; cousin, Jeanne Belanger, of Winslow.

CLARENCE H. JONES, 98, of Bingham, passed away on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Sandy River Center, in Farmington. Locally, he is survived by a daughter, Marilyn Rogers-Bull, and her husband Lief, of Solon.


MARGARET PRIOR, 90, of Portland, passed away on Monday, December 18, 2017, at Sedgewood Commons, in Falmouth. She was the wife of the late Carl Prior, who became dean at Unity College, in Unity, in 1968. She joined the Unity Union Church and sang in the choir, taught physical education at Mount View High School, in Thorndike, and coached field hockey and gymnastics. She was also involved with town meetings, worked for the food pantry, was active in church, Rotary International, played bridge and continued to swim and ski.

ALLAN N. HART, 69, of Canaan, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor. At one time, Allan worked for both the Fairfield Police Department and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, eventually retiring as a personal body guard for an international client.

VASSALBORO: VBA to host ice fishing derby, indoor mountain bike races


source: Frank R. Richards

The Vassalboro Business Association will be sponsoring a fishing derby on Sunday, February 11, 2018. You don’t have to fish at all to win big with this derby!

However any fish entered between 1 and 5 p.m., must be accompanied by a pre-purchased raffle ticket. Many, many prizes will be raffled off at 5 p.m., at the Olde Mill, in North Vassalboro. A light supper cooked by Victor Esposito’s students will also be available for sale. Tickets are available at The Olde Mill Store, Maine Savings FCU, and the Vassalboro Town Office, or by calling 631-3303.

Proceeds this year will benefit the “Save the Mill” initiative!

On the same day, Sunday, February 11, from 10 a.m., the American Woolen Mill Urban Mountain Bike fundraiser will be hosted at the Mill. Two floors of indoor bike racing. This race will also benefit “Save the Mill.”

Major prizes are $300 from Duratherm Window Corp.; Golf for four with cart ($209), Natanis Golf Course; $100, FutureForest Logging; $100 Reliance Fire Pump Repair. There will many more donated prizes.

First, second and third place winners ($25, $15 & $10 respectively) in the fishing tournament: largemouth bass, sponsored by Bridget’s Place; smallmouth bass, The Country Store; white perch, Maine Savings Federal Credit Union; brown trout, Green Valley Campground; brook trout, New England Battery & Tire; splake, Pleau’s Market; salmon, China Lake Auto; togue, American Legion Post #126; pickerel, V-Town Paint Ball; Children 12 and under, non-winners of above, Attention 2 Detail Lawn Care. There will also be a $100 prize plus trophy for the largest fish, except northern pike.

Weigh-in time is 1-5 p.m. Refreshments will be available. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 , one entry per ticket.

VASSALBORO: Selectmen to bid out new alewives harvest contract

by Mary Grow

At their Jan. 25 meeting, Vassalboro selectmen acted on waste-hauling bids and decided to bid out the new contract for harvesting alewives.

The board had five bids to haul solid waste after April 1, first to the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock and later to the new Fiberight facility in Hampden.

Town Manager Mary Sabins said Greg Lounder, executive director of the Municipal Review Committee representing Vassalboro and other Maine municipalities that intend to use the Fiberight facility, advised her to plan on at least six months’ use of Crossroads. Each company bidding offered different prices for the two hauls; Sabins did some math, based on the estimated six months, and recommended Vassalboro stay with the current hauler, Bolster’s Rubbish Removal, of Burnham.

Bolster’s charges during the one-year contract will be $200 per trip to Crossroads and $225 per trip to Fiberight. The company is the only bidder willing to remove a full container from Vassalboro’s transfer station on 12 hours’ notice; the other four asked for 24 hours’ notice. Sabins said Transfer Station Manager George Hamar is happy with Bolster’s service.

The town’s three-year contract with Ronald Weeks to harvest alewives at the Webber Pond dam ends this year. On advice from Nate Gray of the Department of Marine Resources, selectmen decided to seek bids for a new five-year contract. They emphasized that they are not dissatisfied with Weeks.

Gray recommended a five-year contract because alewives born in Webber Pond return to the ocean for four years and come back to spawn the fifth year. The harvester thus has an incentive to make sure he or she leaves a generous number of fish for the future.

There are 22 alewife runs in Maine, as dams are removed on rivers like the Kennebec to let the small fish go inland. Gray said Vassalboro did well to create a sustainable harvest so quickly.

Alewives are trapped as they return from the ocean in May and early June and sold to be used as lobster bait. Gray said increased need for bait has raised the price in recent years. It is standard procedure, he said, for the town to get one-third of the sale proceeds and the harvester two-thirds.

Board members discussed costs of counting the fish, ways to provide information the state and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission request annually and perhaps adding a count of fish sold. They asked Sabins to draft a proposed contract for their review, with Gray’s input.

In other business Jan. 25, selectmen renewed the liquor license for Natanis Golf Course on a 2-0 vote, with board member and Natanis owner Robert Browne absent due to illness.

They approved a resident’s request to tap sugar maples in Union Cemetery.

Sabins and board and audience members commended Road Commissioner Eugene Field for checking Vassalboro’s roads during the night whenever the weather forecast is doubtful and for calling out the road crew when they are needed.

Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus announced a Feb. 11 fishing derby sponsored by the Vassalboro Business Association. More information is on the town website.

The next two Vassalboro selectmen’s meetings are scheduled for Feb. 8 and Feb. 15 (a one-week interval instead of the usual two weeks to avoid meeting during school vacation week) at 6:30 p.m. in the town office meeting room. The 2018-19 municipal budget will be a major topic at both meetings. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, selectmen hold a budget workshop at 1 p.m. in the town office.