VASSALBORO: About a dozen turn out for solar power presentation

by Mary Grow

About a dozen residents of Vassalboro and nearby towns turned out for a Jan. 24 discussion of solar power with Rep. Richard Bradstreet and Sen. Roger Katz.

Discussion focused on legislative bills, originally LD 1686 and after a Jan. 24 work session LD 1444, dealing with what everyone agreed are complicated issues involving solar power in Maine.

LD 1444, “An Act Regarding Large-scale Community Solar Procurement,” sponsored by Sen. David Woodsome, directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to promote community solar development. The closest local example is the planned solar array at 3 Level Farm on Vassalboro Road in South China.

At the Vassalboro meeting Todd Martin, of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, summarized three additional provisions that he expects will be added to LD 1444:

  • Preventing the PUC from taxing rooftop solar production used by homeowners that doesn’t go into the grid (he compared the proposed tax, which he said will take effect unless the legislature acts, to a grocery store taxing customers who eat tomatoes grown in their gardens instead of store-bought tomatoes).
  • Increasing the maximum number of participants in a community solar project from 10 to 50.
  • Directing the PUC to make no changes in net metering, the billing system applicable to people who generate solar power into the grid for credit against power they draw from the grid at night and on cloudy days, until 2020.

The bill, Martin said, would save money for all electricity consumers, whether or not they choose to rely partly on home-based or community solar generation.

Martin and audience members said Central Maine Power Company (CMP) is a business whose owners want to encourage more transmission lines, the source of their income, and therefore promote electricity consumption and discourage local production. Martin said the company gets a 12 percent return on its investment in wires and poles.

CMP does not generate any electricity, since production and distribution were legislatively separated in Maine late in the 20th century. The separation, Winslow resident Peter Garrett commented, gives CMP leaders a very different perspective from utility executives in Vermont, who try to reduce consumption and promote solar and other small-scale forms of generation.

One result of the difference is that Vermont is a leader in solar energy in New England and Maine is the laggard.

In general, Martin and others said, Maine Democratic legislators support solar energy, as do many Republican Senators; opposition comes primarily from House Republicans. Last year, both Bradstreet and Katz supported a pro-solar bill; Bradstreet did not vote to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of the measure.

An audience member asked Katz how she could argue in favor of solar energy without sounding like a “left-wing radical.”

Points he offered included: every form of energy has a subsidy, so solar is not unique; Maine people pride themselves on self-reliance, and solar installation prices have come down enough so it is no longer only for the rich; installing solar panels creates jobs; and when most of the country promotes solar energy, why should Maine be left behind?

Martin added that the solar industry lets young college graduates find jobs in Maine, for example with ReVision Energy, in Liberty and Portland; and undoing disincentives for solar energy encourages a free market in energy, a point that should appeal to Republicans.

The solar energy discussion was held in Vassalboro Friends Meeting House, which is heated almost entirely by heat pumps and solar panels.

Time change on LD 922 legislative hearing

Sheepscot dam

On Wednesday, February 7, at 10 a.m., (NOTE: time change) the Maine State Legislature will hold a hearing regarding LD 922. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Pierce, (Dresden) proposes giving control of the dam on Sheepscot Pond to the Dept. Of Marine Resources after decades of successful management by the Dept. Of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It also mandates opening the dam at Sheepscot Pond to alewives, sea lamprey, and other migratory anadromous fish without regard to the historical problems of such a move. The hearing will be in Room 206 at the Burton M Cross Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta. The Sheepscot Lake Association, the Palermo Town Select Board, and a large percentage of Palermo residents oppose this legislation for several reasons. See the cover story of the January 25, 2018, issue of The Town Line.

Grace Academy recipient of grant from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust

From left to right, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees Ben Huard, KelLee Gray, Daja Gombojav, Nichole Lee, Courtney Bonsant, Celeste Smith, Lisa Durant, and Grace Academy Executive Director Michelle Bourque. Contributed photo

Grace Academy Learning Center was a-buzz with teachers and students settling in to a typical school day when two representatives of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Nichole Lee, Customer Service Manager and Courtney Bonsant, Customer Service Supervisor, paid a special visit, with a surprise in hand.

The Center’s staff was overwhelmed when Nichole announced that the bank had chosen Grace Academy as the recipient of its most recent employee-driven donation program called “Community Commitment,” a charitable fund which disburses monthly gifts to local non-profit organizations.

A check for $1,000 was presented to Grace Academy Executive Director Michelle Bourque. With plans to use all monies to run its many programs, the staff and students of Grace Academy were sincerely humbled by such a generous gift, and wish to publicly thank Bar Harbor Bank & Trust for supporting the work they do.


Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of January 25, 2018

LONG ROAD TO WINTER: Eric Austin, of China, captured this shot of the changing leaves last fall.


SNOWY OWL: Karen Willette, of China, photographed this Snowy Owl on the roof of her home recently.


ELUSIVE BUG: Jayne Winters, of South China, snapped this cicadae last summer.

Graicen earns first competition pin

Graicen Giroux, 7, from Benton, got his first pin in wrestling this weekend at the Mid-Coast Youth Wrestling Club Youth Opener, the first tournament for the season. Graicen wrestles for Skowhegan youth wrestling.
Contributed photo

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Live life well – how to keep your resolution in 2018

(NAPSI) — The New Year is a wonderful time to not only evaluate your past, but also explore your goals for the year ahead. While it is common that health and fitness resolutions land at the top of people’s list, the truth is that achieving any goal in 2018 is dependent upon good health. Whether planning that bucket list vacation, trying a new hobby or spending more time outdoors, a healthy fitness routine is the backbone of making these goals achievable.

This year, create an attainable health and fitness goal to help you reach all your resolutions. SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading fitness community for older adults, offers the following tips on how to make resolutions that will help you live life well in 2018:

  1. Set a SMART goal: SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time Bound. “Losing weight” is not a specific measurable goal; instead, say you want to lose 10 pounds in three months. That way, you have something to strive toward and measure against.
  2. Start small: If you only focus on an ambitious long-term goal, you may be setting yourself up for failure. It is important to set weekly milestones that allow you to see progress and achieve success early and often.
  3. Bring a friend: Knowing that you promised a friend you would join her for that 6 a.m. class keeps you accountable for showing up and doing your best. Having a friend to work out with also makes the experience more enjoyable.
  4. Track progress: As you work toward your goals, make sure to track your activities and the progress you make along the way. Whether it be pounds lost or miles ran, it will be encouraging to see where you started and where you are now.
  5. Celebrate success: Each milestone toward the end goal should be celebrated. Completing your resolution won’t happen overnight and the journey should be an exciting time as you work toward a healthier you.

For more than 25 years, SilverSneakers has been helping older adults enjoy and get the most out of life by engaging participants in physical activity, as well as fostering new friendships with a welcoming member community. Through exercise, SilverSneakers helps people maximize their health and well-being, and maintain their active lifestyle in retirement.

To find out if you are eligible or to find a class in your area, visit

Roland’s Trivia Question, Week of January 25, 2018

Answer to Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Of the New England Patriots’ five Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady has been MVP ofur times. Who was the fifth?

Answer: Deion Branch, in Super Bowl XXXIX.

<– Return to SCORES & OUTDOORS!

SCORES & OUTDOORS: An imbalanced food web and Lyme disease

Deer Tick. (photo by Jared Belson)

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

This week, I’m going to print an article that was sent to me by Glenn W. Martin, regarding the tick-born disease epidemic. It is an interesting article and worthy to be passed on to our readers.

Glenn W. Martin, a resident of Montville, is a master Maine Guide and farmer, and his hypothesis on the cause of the tick/tick-borne disease problem is worth a read.

Maine’s extremely large and growing tick population is to blame for human contracted tick-borne diseases such as the Lyme epidemic. This was the result of an increase in tick hatching and growing habitat. The root of the problem was driven by a disruption in the food web caused by the artificial introduction of wild turkeys. Wild turkeys were introduced to southern Maine by 1980. Relocation continued across the state for 20 years by netting birds from established New England flocks. The goal of the program was to increase hunting opportunities. Regulated, permit-only hunting kept the birds safe and propagated the current population.

Increased wild turkey populations have caused disruptions in the bug food chain. Voracious, shoulder to shoulder eating habits have stripped tracts of woods, edge and grassland of large protein filled grasshoppers, caterpillars, worms, grubs, beetles and spiders among others. Leaving areas reduced in bug life is detrimental to many wild creatures (migratory song birds, snakes, shrews, voles and moles) and beneficial to others (Gypsy Moths, Japanese Beetles and Ticks).

Many species of spiders and insects rely on other bugs for food. These creatures are called predator bugs. Their populations reflect the amount of protein a particular area’s bugs are producing. Foliage and grass-eating insects convert vegetation into protein. Sub-terrestrial beetles, grubs and worms convert decaying vegetation into protein. Turkey’s aptitude for fast growth and large food consumption have decreased the protein-producing bug numbers. Eggs and larvae (protein) are the currency of the bug world. When a caterpillar is eaten, it doesn’t mature to lay eggs as a moth. Reduction of eggs and larvae is reflected in reduced bug populations.

As mammals depend on protein in milk, insect and spider populations depend on protein in eggs and larvae. Tick populations have not suffered because their protein source is warm blooded animals. Like any insect or spider, a tick’s largest predator is other young spiders and insects eating their eggs and larvae. Reduced predator bug populations provide sanctuary for tick eggs and larvae. History shows a balanced food web will not allow for an exponential growth in tick population. Current rates will continue until the natural predators are restored to their past levels, when ticks were virtually nonexistent. The disruption turkeys caused in the complex food web is the primary reason we have a tick-borne disease public health crisis.

Many publicly funded studies and reports were consulted to better illustrate this connection. A passive, statewide tick surveillance was initiated in 1989 to record the species, size, season, location, host and age, with a report published in 2007. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife made a Wild Turkey Assessment, recording a basic timeline and reasoning behind the turkey program. Public records clearly show that where wild turkey populations had grown, tick populations increased exponentially. In 2010, the Maine State Legislature required the Maine CDC to record all incidences of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Up to date wild turkey harvest records are available from MDIF&W. The help of numerous MDIF&W wildlife biologists, the Vector-Borne Disease research group led by Chuck Lubelczyk and the wisdom of the Maine State Legislature made the pieces available to put this puzzle together. Thanks Given!

Primary sources to consult are:

  1. Maine CDC report to Maine Legislature on Lyme Disease February 2017.
  2. Maine DIFW Wild Turkey Assessment January 25, 2000.
  3. Maine DIFW Wild TurkeyHarvest Records per WMD post 2000.
  4. Passive Surveillance in Maine, an Area Emergent for Tick-Borne Diseases 2007 Entomological Society of America.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Of the New England Patriots’ five Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady has been MVP ofur times. Who was the fifth?

Answer here.

Legal Notices, Week of January 25, 2018

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 January 25, 2018.

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.

2017-356 – Estate of KAY L. HAGGAN, late of Moscow, Me deceased. Frank M. Haggan, Jr., 296 Point Road, Belgrade, Me 04917 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-361 – Estate of LASZLO KAKUK, late of Madison, Me deceased. Mary DaCosta, 1309 E Madison Road, Madison, ME 04950 and Kim Orlando, 23 Pincrest Avenue, Mashpee, MA 02649 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2018-001 – Estate of DARLEEN R. WAYE, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Monica L. Morin, 136 East Madison Road, Madison, Maine 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-002 – Estate of NANCY L. HOLT, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Nancy L. Gold, 370 North Avenue, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

017-340 – Estate of ROBERT T. GREENLAW, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Danna J. Greenlaw, 11 Weeks Street, Fairfield, Me 0437 and Evelyn A. Greenlaw, 56 Tampa Street, Lewiston, Me 04240 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2018-005 – Estate of BETTE ANN CHESLEY-PHINNEY, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Woodrow C. Phinney, PO Box 474, Norridgewock, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-006 – Estate of GLADYS P. TOTH late of Mercer Me deceased. William H. Toth 99 Pond Road, Mercer Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

018-007 – Estate of ELIZABETH ERB HOGATE, late of Cornville, Me deceased. Melvin J. Hogate, Jr., 169 West Ridge Road, Cornville, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-008 – Estate of FLORIENE C. NELSON, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. John H. Nelson, Jr., 41 Pleasantdale Avenue, Waterville, Me 04901 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-009 – Estate of EDGAR McDONALD, late of Moscow, Me deceased. George McDonald, 614 Pierce Hill Road, Moscow, Me 04920 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-010 – Estate of REGINALD A. CLEMENT, late of Starks, Me deceased. Kathryn L. Clement, 771 Sandy River Road, Starks, Me 04911 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-011 – Estate of DAVID A. JACKSON, late of Henderson, NC, deceased. Jodi Elliott, 5037 Goochs Mill Road, Oxford, NC 27565 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-012 – Estate of GERALD ALBERT RAYMOND, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Ginger M. Raymond, 196 Pleasant Street, Clinton, Me 04927 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-013 – Estate of EILEEN R. STEVENS, late of Skowhegan, Me, deceased. Secha E. Steward, 190 Corson Road, Mercer, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-014 – Estate of DARREN A. DOMONSKI, late of Palmyra, Me deceased. Lorrie L. Farewell, 811 Main Street, Pittsfield, ME 04967 appointed Personal Representative.

2018-017 – Estate of RICHARD E. PARSONS JR., late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Julie A. Fitzgerald, 547 Middle Road, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on January 25, 2018 & February 1, 2018.
Dated: January 22, 2018 /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 February 14, 2018. 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.

2018-004 – Estate of SARAH EMILY SMITH. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Sarah Emily Smith, 41 Grassland Ln, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting her name be changed to Sarah Emily Leavitt for reasons set forth therein.

2018-016 – Estate of JAKE MICHAEL OCTAVE GEHRKE. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Jake Gehrke, 63 Joaquin Road, Athens, Me 04912 requesting his name be changed to Jake Michael Octave Norton for reasons set forth therein.

2018-021 – Estate of AIDAN W. LORENTSEN. Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by Louise McGraw, 381 Hartland Road, St. Albans, Me 04971 requesting minor’s name be changed to Aidan Wesley McGraw for reasons set forth therein.

2018-020 – Estate of ISAAC JAMES DORKO. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by petitioner Isaac James Dorko, 676 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting his name be changed to Avery Dorko for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: January 22, 2018 /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

I’m Just Curious: Ticks and bumps

by Debbie Walker

Ever notice how sometimes things are easier when you put them in your own words rather than maybe the appropriate one? You know, bring them down to your terms.

I think I do it out of a healthy disrespect for the real terms, and sometimes because my words are just shorter. I’ve done some of that here.

I made a long put-off trip to the dermatologist to have a little mole thing on my forehead looked at. They told me just by looking at it that it was a basil cell carcinoma, lot of words for cancer. Instantly, that thing reminded me of being in Maine, come in from the woods with a tick on you and all you want to do is get it off you! And anyone else in the room starts checking for any ticks on themselves. Well my immediate reaction was: GET THAT THING OF ME, NOW! This little mole thing was now my “tick” and I wanted it gone, now!

Well, beside the little tick I had a bump on my upper left leg. It has never been discolored; it has never burned, itched, hurt, changed colors, nothing. However, it has started to grow and just a little bit ago it seemed to be forming groupies around it. So, hey, since I’m here I might as well ask him what kind of thing that was. Well you know how it goes, almost like with your car, it could be this or it could be that, usually it is the more expensive one but sometimes you get lucky. So the doc did his little biopsy of both tick and bump.

Tick test came back next day just what they said it was and it was going to have to come off. I’m ready, now. However we (they) were waiting on the bump’s biopsy that it turns out had to be sent away. Oh yeah, I’m a little nervous now, but better safe than sorry.

The “tick” was no big deal; they took that off in a matter of minutes and a few stitches. But it seems that the “bump” was going to send me to a specialist, seems it was a little on the rare side and had a name I think includes all the letters of the alphabet in it. So I was sent off to Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, Florida. Probably means nothing to you guys but in Florida this place is top of the line, all the way!

That little bump that never did anything but grow to about the size of a nickel was going to require an 8-inch by 6-inch cut down to the muscle to get rid of, I had one layer of stitches and one layer of staples. This particular cancer is rare and has a 95 percent success rate. AND, for it to be considered not successful only means it will grow back in the same spot. Now as cancers go I consider myself very lucky.

We all do it; we all put things off, “Ah, that isn’t anything.” I will admit that for while I had an idea what the tick was and even then put it off, lack of money, insurances, time from work, etc. As for the little bump, looked like the most harmless thing in the world and as I said, never gave a sign of it being anything other than a bump on the skin. But if you think about it, what was the bump doing there, I didn’t have one anywhere else?

Please take this seriously. My tick is long gone and my bump was removed December 23, 2008. Yup, I am making fun of them, that healthy disrespect I was talking about but this is serious. If you have ticks or bumps or whatever word you decide to call them, do yourself and your family a huge favor and go now. Don’t wait. If it turns out to be nothing, go celebrate, if it is something, deal with it. You wouldn’t leave a tick on there knowing it was there, would you?

This is one time when I wish my curiosity had won me over sooner!

Thanks for reading and if anything here rings a bell to you: Check it out!

Contact me at sub line: Ticks and Bumps.