Aiden Pettengill achieves rank of Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout Aiden Pettengill

CHINA – Throughout its history, the Boy Scouts of America has provided leaders for tomorrow who are prepared as good citizens, always ready to serve others. Service often occurs in small, unassuming ways – good turns and acts of kindness by individual Scouts, often unnoticed throughout their daily lives. It happens on a larger scale, too, when an Eagle Scout candidate plans and carries out his major service project. The celebration of this event was held March 17, 2018, at the China Baptist Church, for Eagle Scout Aiden Pettengill of China Troop #479.

Friends, family members, elected officials and other scouts gathered together to honor Aiden for earning his wings – the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle is the highest rank that scouting bestows in the advancement program. Eagle Scout Aiden Pettengill, his family, his Scout leaders, and other members of the community were recognized in this special presentation.

Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Bodine gave a brief description Aiden’s Eagle Project. Aiden’s Eagle Project was at the new location for the South China Library. His project was to design and build a reading outdoor station. His final design included clearing a space under a large tree, having two benches built, two large flower beds surrounded by two layers of round rocks. He had many donated flowers and bulbs to plant. Scouts and Leaders came the morning he selected to work under his leadership. His outdoor reading station will be available this summer when the Library is moved. His project couldn’t have happened without Aiden’s leadership and drive to succeed.

Assistant Scoutmaster Darryl Praul and Assistant Scoutmaster Doug Leonard were introduced. Darryl Praul asked Eagle Scout Aiden Pettengill to advance his name on the board of Eagle rank. Doug Leonard presented the gift from the Troop Committee, Running Toward Danger – Real Life Scouting Action Stories of Heroism, Valor & Guts by Michael S. Malone

Advance Chairman Ron Emery introduced special guests. Sentiments were presented by Daniel L’Heureux, China’s Town Manager and Chuck Mahaleris, Kennebec Valley District Advancement Chairperson. It should be noted that letters of sentiment were received from Past President George W. Bush and his father and members of U.S. Congress, and many others.

Aiden expressed gratitude to all those who helped him to reach the Eagle Rank. Especially Scoutmaster Scott Adams, Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Bodine and Advance Chairman Ron Emery and his parents who all gave him help whenever needed. Aiden also thanked all the guests who took time to come to his Eagle ceremony on his special day and for all the Scouts who helped him with the ceremony.

He is the son of Lee and Danielle Pettengill, of South China, and is a freshman at Erskine Academy, in South China.

Obituaries, Week of April 5, 2018


BENTON – Randy Damren, 56, of Benton, passed away at his hone, on Friday, February 23, 2018, following a long battle with diabetes. He was born on May 4, 1961, the son of Bunnie Damren and the late Richard Damren, of Norridgewock.

Upon graduation from Skowhegan Area High School, Randy served in the U. S. Navy.

Randy will be remembered for his love of the outdoors, especially fishing.

He is survived by his son, Richard R. Damren, and his fiancée Chantal Beane, of Benton; his granddaughter, Halley Damren, of Benton; his mother, Bunnie Damren, of Norridgewock; a sister, Gina Lauze, and husband Marc, and their family, of Berlin, New Hampshire; and a brother, Steve Damren and wife Katrina, and their family, of Fairfield and Winslow.


WINSLOW – Gertrude M. Bernard died on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, following a brief illness. She was the daughter of the late Alexandre and Maria (LaFlamme) Bernard.

She was an alumni of Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and graduated magna cum laude. She did post-graduate studies at Boston University.

She graduated as a cadet nurse during World War II. Following a long career in nursing as an instructor at Metro General Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and at St. Margaret Hospital in Boston, she retired, and returned to Winslow to be with her family.

Gertrude leaves a legacy of abundant generosity and unwavering faith; love of nature, especially animals and flowers. She was a very accomplished singer, having sung with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. She was a long-active member of her church choir and several other choral groups.

She was predeceased by her parents; four sisters, Florentine, Cecile, Marie Ange, and Laurette Kickham; and three brothers, Roy, Gerald, and Victor Bernard.

She is survived by one sister, Madeline Vigue, of Winslow; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and their families.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church, 26 Monument St., Winslow, at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 5, 2018, and interment at St. Francis Cemetery, in Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations could be made to: ‘Blessed Sacrament, 101 Silver Street, Waterville ME 04901


EAST VASSALBORO – Nick Scott, 84, died on Friday, March 23, 2018. He was born in London, England on September 11, 1933. He served in the Royal Air Force, and was a Professor of Theater at University of Maine Farmington for 28 years.

He leaves behind his children, step-children, many grandchildren, and Vivian, his life partner for the past 11.5 years.

We will remember Nick at Shabat Services on Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m., at Temple Beth El, 3 Woodlawn St., Augusta.


WINSLOW – Evelyn M. Frazier, 95, passed away on Monday, March 26, 2018. She was born July 24, 1922, in Winslow, the daughter of George and Florida (Quirion) Melanson.

As a young girl she went to work to help support her parents and siblings. She worked as a waitress in her father’s restaurant, The Central Maine Café, among many other Waterville Main Street restaurants. She also worked at C. F. Hathaway, in Waterville, for 28 years and was voted president of the union, local #486, in which she served many terms. She was the former Regent of the Joan of Arc circle, Daughters of Isabella, of Fairfield, as well as a member of the Volunteers of GOD. She was the Grand Warden of the State of Maine chapter for the New England Order Of Protection. She belonged to the Maine Counsel of Senior Citizens, and was also a member of the National Counsel. She was always an advocate for the working class.

She was a faithful member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Corpus Christi parish.

Her faith was very important to her, she was a very devout Catholic.

She married Shirley Otis Frazier in 1943. They had six children. He predeceased her in 1991. She was also predeceased by five sisters: Carmeline Languet, Irene King, Violette Boulette Sheehan, Lucille Roy Sinclair, Bernadette Melanson; two brothers Robert and Harold Melanson; infant son Bruce; daughter Linda; grandson John Gush; and recently her son Vernon Frazier.

She is survived by her two daughters: Nancy Johnston, of Maine, Bunny Brier, of Idaho; and her son Robert Frazier, of Maine; grandchildren: Tammy, Debra, Sonya, Troy, Bruce, Brian, Laurie, Tracey, Kathleen, Karen, Jeff, Jennifer, and Christopher; many great-grandchildren; and great-great-grandchildren; her daughter-in-law Donna Frazier; and many nieces and nephews. including nephew Dick Martineau, who helped her for many years with her property.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at


RODGER D. COTE, 52, of Chelsea, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at Maine Medical Center, in Portland, following a brief illness. Locally, he is survived by a daughter Jennifer L. Cote, of Waterville; a brother, Roland B. Cote, of Oakland, and a sister, Deborah M. Core, of Whitefield.

JOHN E. POTTER SR., 75, of Edgecomb, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at his residence. Locally, he is survived by daughters Beth Jordan and husband Clayton, and Tina Lear and husband Bob, all of Whitefield.

DAVID A. HARTLEY, 49, of Waterville, passed away on Friday, March 23, 2018, at his home. Locally, he is survived by his partner, Alan Smith Jr., of Waterville; adopted daughters, Morgan, Taylor nd Quinn, Smith, and a son, Darren Hartley, all of Waterville; his mother Carol Hartley, of Winslow; and a sibling, Terry Hartley, of Winslow.

LAUREN W. RUYBAL, 70, of Waldoboro, passed away on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Togus Springs, in Augusta. Locally, he is survived by a granddaughter Sierra Sproul and companion Austin Owen, of Washington.

JOYCE ANNE BARBUTO, 48, of Skowhegan, passed away on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at her home. Locally, she is survived by nephews Egide III and Robert II, and niece Elise Dostie, all of Fairfield.

CURTIS R. PRIME, 69, of Augusta, passed away on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Locally, he is survived by a sister, Rebecca Gilman and husband Sonny, of Windsor.


RACHEL M. (BUMPS) CUNNINGHAM, 94, of Waterville, passed away on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at Lakewood Continuing Care Center. She was born on October 21, 1923, to Arvide and Susie (Martin) Bumps, on the family farm in China. She was employed with the China School Department from 1957 until her retirement in 1992. She worked as a cook in the cafeteria and drive a school bus.

Letters to the Editor: Thanks, Pray for Jacob’s success

To the editor:

I know I’m late getting this letter written but it’s needing to be done. The fundraising 3-on-3 basketball “extravaganza” was just fantastic. So many people put so much time and effort into that day at the China Primary and Middle schools and at Erskine Academy where it went all day. Amazing!

Teams came from Brunswick, Rumford and other towns to contribute to the fundraiser and paid $5 a head to play and be a part of such an amazing fundraiser.

Many helped cooking, selling food, tickets, etc. Plus, all the refs and announcers, etc.

As Jacob’s great-grandmother, I just have to say how impressed I am to have witnessed such an event. To observe so many supporting, caring, loving and fantastic people who came to participate or just watch and be a part of it.

I did participate in the entertainment and Dan (my son) and Terry (the grandparents) and I played against Joe, Joe’s brother, Achiva and Bella (sisters of Jacob), and I made a basket, which was a miracle! Great fun for the fundraiser and one of the men from the Brunswick team called mine “The Granny Dunk.”

Many thanks to all who participated in any way, especially the China Primary and Middle schools and Erskine Academy for sharing their facilities. To those who put this all together and all those who worked many hours on it, your efforts and generosity were noted and the family is sincerely grateful. God bless you all and keep praying for Jacob, he’s going through a lot.

Nancy Seigars

Waterville art scholarship registrations now being accepted

The Waterville Area Art Society (WAAS) is now accepting applications for its annual $500 scholarship award to be given to a graduating high school senior who pursues a degree in visual arts, performing arts or music. It is open to students from the following high schools: Waterville, Winslow, Lawrence, Messalonskee, Erskine Academy, Snow Pond Arts Academy and Mid-Maine Technical Center.

Information has been sent to the schools. Teachers are asked to submit nominations and include: student contact information; recommendation; information about student’s artistic ability and need; three photos or video clips of student work. These can be submitted by mail (WAAS) PO Box 2703, Waterville, ME 04903-2703) or digitally to waasmaine@ Nominations must be submitted by May 1.

Previous winners and former applicants are eligible to apply again with a former high school or college teacher’s nomination and materials. To receive further information, send email to or contact Mary Morrison at 872-5843.

Palermo residents win battle over Sheepscot Lake dam opening

Sheepscot dam

by Carolyn Viens
Sheepscot Lake Assocation

The residents of Palermo have won a major battle in the opposition to LD922, the legislative bill mandating the opening of the Sheepscot Dam to alewives, and other migrating fishes which would have a negative impact on the health of the lake. Representative Jeffrey Pierce of the Maine House of Representatives, and sponsor of LD922, has agreed to withdraw the bill which is currently tabled in the Maine House upon request of Governor Paul LePage.

Following a meeting held with the governor, Mr. Pierce, Commissioner Chandler Woodcock, of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W), and Commissioner Keliher of the Maine Deparment of Marine Resources (DMR), it was determined that several expensive steps would need to be taken before such legislation should be considered. These steps include the addition of appropriate biosecurity systems deemed necessary to adequately protect the Palermo rearing station, the securing of funding from private sources to assist in installation of a system meeting the DIF&W criteria, and the determination of the appropriate timeframe to reopen the fish passage for sea run alewife once the necessary measures are in place at the Palermo rearing station. These steps would be extremely expensive and time consuming to complete, and as a result the legislation has been pulled and the removal of the fish gate will not be permitted.

This indefinite postponement is a direct result of the citizens of Palermo and the Sheepscot Lake Association showing their concern repeatedly during town meetings, as well as through communication with government representatives. It would not have been successful without the ongoing involvement of Senate President Michael Thibodeau, who continually gave support throughout this process.

Congratulations to all of you who took the time and made the effort for your voices to be heard through testifying, as well as the untold hours spent contacting legislators, writing letters and articles to the newspapers, and networking with people who could help the cause! It is a testament to the fact that our voices, collectively, were heard and that the government representatives listened! A special thank you for the Long Pond constituents who participated in both research, written articles, and testimony at the hearing, as well as everyone who invested their time and shared their voice, as well as those who listened, and cared. Sheepscot will continue to be the beautiful, pristine, and healthy lake shared by so many each year!

Vassalboro School board reviews unfinished 2018-19 budget


by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members reviewed an unfinished 2018-19 budget and discussed it with budget committee members at two sequential meetings March 29. The preliminary $7.9 million budget at the beginning of the meetings would require an increase in local taxes of more than $495,000, which Town Manager Mary Sabins said would amount to somewhere around $1.30 for each $1,000 of valuation (about one and one-third mil).

However, that figure is already obsolete, according to AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) #92 Superintendent Eric Haley and Finance Director Paula Pooler. For example, they had projected a nine percent increase in insurance costs, and had learned earlier that day that the increase will be zero, cutting about $63,000 in projected expenditures.

Haley and Pooler emphasized the number of expensive unknowns in each annual school budget. For example, when a special education student who needs a full-time educational technician moves into or out of Vassalboro, budget needs can increase or decrease by thousands of dollars.

Tuition costs are also hard to predict. The state does not set its figures until late in the calendar year, and the cost varies among the different high schools Vassalboro students attend, with Waterville the least expensive and Erskine Academy the most. If the state figures are higher than expected, or if more Vassalboro eighth-graders choose Erskine, or if more high-school sophomores choose the vocational schools as an option, tuition will be underfunded.

Special education is one reason the 2018-19 budget is projected to increase, Haley said. Another is teachers’ and educational technicians’ salaries, which have been negotiated. He shared results of a survey showing that Vassalboro pays most of its teachers and educational technicians less than they would get in comparable jobs in nearby school systems like Fairfield, Oakland or Madison.

Budget committee and school board members have another joint meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, after the school board meeting at 6 p.m. that evening (a week earlier than usual because of April school vacation).

The budget committee will also meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the town office. That evening’s selectmen’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m., also in the town office.

In addition to the budget, school board and budget committee members briefly discussed consequences of dissolving AOS #92. Vassalboro Community School will have its own part-time superintendent; school board members intend to contract with Waterville and Winslow to get the same central office services they have been getting, delivered by many of the same people, with costs determined by the same formula that has divided AOS central office costs among Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow.

While Haley and most school board members favor a three-year contract, several budget committee members and selectmen advised starting with a one-year contract. Haley said he plans to provide enough staff members, replacements and two new hires, to serve all three former AOS schools; but he needs a three-year commitment to justify staffing. He doubts Vassalboro would find less expensive services elsewhere; Pooler warned Vassalboro might end up with none.

School Board Chairman Kevin Levasseur agreed, saying no other agency “has been beating down my door” to offer a competing proposal.

School board member Susan Tuthill said a three-year contract would allow a year to adjust, not only to the new arrangement but also to a new superintendent and principal; the second year would allow evaluation; and if problems developed, the third year could be used to explore alternatives.

Selectman John Melrose has talked with people in two other towns where go-it-alone schools have moved to in-house services. Lauchlin Titus, chairman of the selectmen, compared the proposed contract for school services with Vassalboro’s alewife harvesting contract, which started as annual and when the arrangement proved satisfactory went to three and now five years.

Pooler and Vassalboro Community School Principal Dianna Gram said the comparison is inaccurate, because Vassalboro is not “jumping into the unknown”; the school has had nine years of satisfactory service from the AOS office.

Gram was accompanied at the School board and budget committee meetings by her successor, Dr. Megan Allen, who will become principal when Gram retires at the end of June.

China planners set to hear proposal on camp for teens

by Mary Grow

The China Planning Board has scheduled an April 10 public hearing on a proposal to convert a former corporate retreat on Pond Hill Road to a leadership development camp for teenagers.

Pond Hill Road is between Route 3 and Three Mile Pond. The property has frontage on the pond as well as a tennis court, baseball field and half basketball court, owners Wesley and Susan Horton said.

The planing board’s initial review of the proposal, held March 27 with only three of the six board members present, drew nine neighbors with questions and concerns. Given the interest, board members willingly accepted several audience members’ recommendation they hold a public hearing.

The Hortons, who also run the Ironwood Maine facility, in Morrill, explained the Pond Hill Road camp is for young people, mostly between 16 and 18, who are recovering from problems like anxiety and depression, have been in treatment and are ready for a transition back to family life, college or another destination.

They plan to have no more than 10 residents at a time, with at least two staff people supervising at all times. The focus will be on life skills and character development – dealing with emotions, reconnecting with family members, finding purpose, establishing routines. Youngsters typically stay three months; the camp operates year-round.

Their clients do not have criminal records, and they are not ordered to the facility by a court or other agency. Referrals come mostly from parents, who are “part of the equation,” Wesley Horton said, and sometimes from school counselors.

“They’re good kids,” said Susan Horton, who is a psychotherapist specializing in adolescent development.

Wesley Horton added that the camp operates on a two-strike system: a second infraction of rules, like smoking, keeping an untidy room or arguing with staff about chores, means the youngster is out.

Neighbors had questions about traffic, interaction with neighborhood young people and the degree of supervision – the last raised by Anita Whittaker, considering the snow-sculpted penis she sees from her windows. The Hortons said the clients do not drive and are supervised at all times. The facility has a 10 p.m. curfew.

As the discussion drew to an end, neighbor Raymond Gosselin said the camp has been operating since the Hortons bought the property in October 2017, and asked why they are only now applying for a planning board permit.

Codes Officer Paul Mitnik said he was unaware of the Hortons’ use of the property until they asked him for an occupancy permit. He assumes they did not know they needed a change of use permit from the planning board.

The April 10 hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the town office meeting room.

See our related story: China public hearing planned on proposed teen camp


Area students go on American Heritage Tour

Students and parents from China, Vassalboro, Palermo, Waterville and Chelsea at the White House, in Washington, DC.

Submitted by Jane Golden

The American Heritage tour, offered through the Boys and Girls club and YMCA of Greater Waterville at the Alfond Youth Center, is an educational journey for eighth grade middle school students to learn about America’s history and how to contribute effectively as citizens. This educational trip is offered to many of the local schools every Spring.

The first trip of this year was with students from China, Vassalboro, Palermo, Waterville and Chelsea. Tour destinations included: The Liberty Bell and U. S. mint in Philadelphia; Gettysburg National Park, where the students visited different battleground sites and the museum; Arlington Cemetery where they witnessed the changing of the guard; Washington D. C. where they visited the Pentagon 9/11 memorial, Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon; and the final destination was New York City where they visited the 9/11 memorial, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.

This year the China parents and students decided to raise funds to allow scholarships for students that needed financial assistance to go on the trip. Thanks to generous businesses in the local area, a couple of scholarships were awarded and those students were able to participate in a once in a life time experience. Much thanks goes to the following businesses that supported these students: Lakeview Lumber, MAJEK Seafood, Windsor Veterinary Clinic, Reed & Reed, Fieldstone Quick Stop, Whitt’s Garment Works, Hannaford and China Lake Auto Sales and Service.

China students and their parents at the White House. (Photos courtesy of Jane Golden)