Fallen law enforcement officers remembered

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, left, a former Waterville mayor, and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Morris, former Waterville Police Chief, at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial ceremony on May 17. (Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography)

Several day camps to be offered at China School Forest this summer

Local educator and Maine Master Naturalist, Anita Smith, will be offering several day camps and family forest activities at the China School Forest. All programs start at the China Primary School bus circle, 763 Lakeview Drive, China. For more information or registration form, contact Anita Smith at 968-2255 or chinaschoolsforest@gmail.com

For updates and to RSVP, see https://www.facebook.com/chinaschoolsforest/


Day camps are for children entering grades 2-6. Space is reserved once your registration form and fee are received and you receive a confirmation email. Each day camp is limited to 10 students. Camps run rain or shine. Cost is $30, per child, per camp.

June 26-28 – Pond Explorers Day Camp: We will use dip nets and learn about pond plants and animals, play games and meet some fascinating critters. Prepare to get wet! 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

August 7-9 – Pirate Day Camp: Ahoy, Matey! Make “treasure” maps & dig for buried “treasure”, create your own pirate treasure chest and learn to talk like a pirate at this fun adventure-themed camp. 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

August 21-23 – Nature Explorers and Nature Games Day Camp. Learn about different plants and animals that live in the forest by playing fun games and hands-on activities. 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.


Family activities are for all ages, even our littlest friends! An adult must accompany the child for the activity.

Please RSVP on our facebook page or by email so we have enough materials for all participants. Family Forest Activities are free, but donations are gratefully accepted the day of the event to help cover the cost of materials. If we have to cancel, it will be posted on our facebook page the day before the event.

June 2 – Family Forest Fun: Butterfly, Oh My! Learn about butterflies, make a butterfly craft and play a butterfly game. Costumes are optional. For all ages. Suggested donation $5, per child to cover materials. 9:30 – 11a.m.

June 29 – Family Forest Fun: Pond Explorers. Come explore the pond using dip nets and see who lives here. For all ages. Suggested donation $5, per child to cover materials. 9:30 – 11a.m.

July 7 – Family Forest Fun: Nature Walk, Fairy Houses and Toad Homes Learn about Fairy Houses, gather natural forest materials and build fairy houses in our school forest. Suggested donation $5, per child to cover materials. 9:30 – 11 a.m. Please RSVP on our facebook event page or email to register. August 10 – Family Forest Fun: Pirate Adventure Search for buried treasure, look for gems, and play a pirate game. Come dressed in your favorite pirate garb! Suggested donation $5, per child to cover materials. 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Local fire chiefs cited

David LaFountain, retiring chief of both Waterville and Winslow fire departments (left), Andrew Clark, chief of Albion Fire and Rescue (right), and Senator Scott Cyrway (center). (Contributed photo)

David LaFountain, retiring chief of both Waterville and Winslow fire departments, and Andrew Clark, chief of Albion Fire and Rescue, were both recipients of EMS Excellence Awards at a ceremony put on by Maine Emergency Medical Services, in Augusta, on May 23. EMS Excellence Awards recognize individuals for their contributions to the EMS system, either in their area or to the state as a whole. Senator Scott Cyrway (R-Kennebec) attended the awards ceremony, presenting both recipients with legislative sentiments recognizing their accomplishments. Timothy Beals, of Waterville, executive director of Delta Ambulance, was also an EMS Excellence Award recipient, but he was unable to attend the ceremony.

47 Daisies’ mission to provide healthier food

by Mary Grow

Dylan, left, and Harmony Dillaway, owners of 47 Daisies. (Contributed photo)

When Dylan Dillaway talks about goals for 47 Daisies, the farm he and wife Harmony run on Webber Pond Road, in Vassalboro, he sounds highly idealistic. They’re going to use locally-grown food to connect people to the land and educate them about good things to eat, bring community members together regardless of income levels and other differences, disprove the belief that organic food has to be expensive and make the community healthier.

“Nothing should prevent anybody from being able to participate in the local food movement that’s thriving in Maine,” Dylan said.

And the ideals are turning into reality.

Since 2016, 47 Daisies has been a nonprofit operation providing food access programs to people of all ages and income levels, including housebound people who get deliveries. The Dillaways estimate they have more than 200 recipients throughout Kennebec County; they’re about to start a weekly drop-off program for pre-ordered fruits and vegetables at Ray Breton’s mill in North Vassalboro.

Children’s programs, including cooking classes, a book club and an explorers’ club, have attracted more than 50 youngsters, not counting the school classes, Scout troops and others who come on pre-scheduled farm tours. Recent renovations to the barn have created an indoor educational space that will promote year-round activities.

Beginning June 1 the farm will be open seven days a week for people who want to see what is available or just to spend time outdoors. The property is about 50 acres, half woods and half fields, with about 15 acres in production.

The Dillaways plan to start a community farm program in July: area residents will be invited to buy shares, paying in money, volunteer time or a combination, in return for seasonal produce.

The Dillaway children, Eilah and Basil. (Contributed photos)

More information is available on line at the 47 Daisies website, which includes information on getting in touch with the Dillaways and joining the farm’s programs. Dylan Dillaway said 47 Daisies has more than 400 varieties of vegetables, enhancing its educational value. When a patron buys something unfamiliar, Harmony is ready with suggestions for ways to use it.

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other berries are already produced in season, and a grant let the Dillaways start a fruit orchard that includes apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots and kiwi fruit.

Mint flourishes along the driveway, shitake mushrooms in a nearby corner. The retail store, converted from a garage/woodshed, sells 47 Daisies produce plus handcrafts and organic Maine food products. WIC and EBT are accepted.

47 Daisies is a Certified Naturally Grown operation; Harmony Dillaway explained it meets U. S. Department of Agriculture standards for an organic farm, but is certified through an organization designed for small farms, with less paperwork than the federal government requires.

Without poisons, Dylan Dillaway said the main way they protect their crops is with barriers between plants and pests, like row covers and electric fences to keep deer away. They also handpick unwelcome insects.

The farm was and still is known locally as the Strong farm; the Dillaways hear with pleasure stories about the Strong family. The name 47 Daisies, Harmony Dillaway said, is a combination of Dylan’s favorite number and her favorite flower.

Palermo Historical Society holds open house for third graders

For the ninth year in a row Palermo Historical Society hosted an open house for local third graders on May 3. Presentations included weaving, old school classroom experience, grinding corn, how log cabins were constructed and a house tour. As usual the students voted one of their favorites was seeing the old two hole out house in the shed, cobwebs and all.

One of the students was Hayden Little, who is a fifth generation Worthing. His great-great-grandparents were Clarence and Caroline Worthing, who rebuilt the farm after it was destroyed in the Branch Mills village fire of 1915. The home was later gifted to the town to be used for Palermo Historical Society.

Hayden Little, right, watches the weaving demonstration conducted by Pam Swift of the Palermo Historical Society. Hayden is a fifth generation decendent of Clarence and Caroline Worthing. Their home was later gifted to the town for the Palermo Historical Society. (Contributed photo)

Obituaries, Week of May 31, 2018


OAKLAND––Ronald Terrence “Terry” Gilbert, 77, of Oakland, passed away on Sunday, May 13, 2018, following a short illness. He was born in Waterville, April 20, 1941, son of Ronald W. and Thena Sullivan Gilbert.

In his formative years Terry studied music with the renowned Lila (Ma) Atherton. Upon graduating from Williams High School, in Oakland, he studied and was certified as an airline steward. With the love of music still in his heart he entered the Northern Conservatory of Music and graduated with a degree in music education. He also did graduate study in England.

He taught public school music for many years in Hudson, New York, where he had a renowned boys choir. Returning home, he taught music in Fairfield, along with maintaining Musical Trends, where he offered private music lessons in piano, voice, woodwind and brass instruments. His private students presented outstanding recitals each spring at many different venues.

He also worked for a number of years in the mental health field. His loving companions at different times throughout his life were his Chihuahuas.

He was predeceased by his parents; one sister, Catherine Bacon and husband, Otis; and two brothers-in-law.

He is survived by three sisters, Beverly Baird Cauley, of Ocala, Florida, Natalie Vogler, of Ocala, Florida, and Sherry Gilbert, of Oakland; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at www.gallantfh.com.


OAKLAND––John Poplaski III, 52, of Oakland, passed away at his home following a short but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. John, the son of John Poplaski Jr. and Eugenie “Jean” (Quint) Poplaski, was born February 25, 1966, in Waterville.

John grew up in Fairfield and attended Fairfield schools from 1972–1984. John worked from a very early age in the restaurant industry doing whatever he could to learn about cooking and was a self-taught chef. He was employed by area restaurants over the years such as Chinatown, Governor’s, Steve’s, The Lobster Trap, and most recently, the former John Martin’s Manor Restaurant, Waterville, where he was executive chef. He left The Manor in 2006 after injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident, which prevented him from continuing his career.

He had a great love of many things, cooking, fast cars (he loved his GT Mustangs), his favorite NFL team the Denver Broncos and the Boston Celtics, golfing, rock and roll music, spending time with his family and close friends, barbecuing, his animals and the simple things in life.

John was a very kind, compassionate man. John had quite the sense of humor and knew exactly how to make people laugh. His sense of humor was infectious and will be missed by everyone who knew him.

John was married to Annmarie Cole in August 2002, and even though the marriage ended in divorce in 2009, they remained close friends. For John, his pets were his children.

John was predeceased by his parents, John Poplaski, Jr. and Eugenie “Jean” (Quint) Poplaski.

John is survived by his five siblings: his brother Stephen Poplaski and wife Judy, of Winterport, his sisters Pamela Barker, of Waterville, Bonnie Poplaski and Bruce Harmon, of Benton, Anne Corey and husband David, of China, and Kelley Poplaski and partner Dick Ware, of Oakland; 17 nieces and nephews; 18 great-nieces and nephews; aunt, Estelle Verzoni-Barnes and husband Lou, of Waterville, Ann Theriault, of Liberty, and an uncle Gene Quint and wife Teri, of Hawaii.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, June 4, at 6 p.m. at the Fairfield Church of the Nazarene, 81 Main St., Fairfield, with the Rev. Eric. M. Larsen officiating. There will be a time of fellowship at the church directly following.

An online guestbook may be signed at www.lawrybrothers.com.

Donations may be made in John’s name to the following organizations: Bob Smilie Pancreatic Cancer Memorial Fund, c/o Linda Smilie, 305 Nason Rd., Shapleigh ME 04076 or Waterville Humane Society, 100 Webb Rd., Waterville ME 04901.


SOUTH CHINA — Frances Gelo Wilson, 85, passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Glenridge Comfort Care Unit, in Augusta. Born and raised in Searsmont, the daughter of Clarence and Alice (White) Gelo, she was a 1949 graduate from Appleton High School.

She was first married to Frank Wilson September 12, 1953. Together they raised two children and later in life they legally adopted two more children. While married to Frank, she was an active member of Kora Karts Women’s Auxillary. She worked for a short period of time waitressing at the Worster House, in Hallowell. Following that she began working for Wadleighs Oil Co. and after 40 years of service, she retired in 2004. She got re-married to Edwin Geschwendt on July 6, 1991, and together they ran a trucking business. In her early years, she enjoyed riding a motorcycle, snowmobiling and camping up in Moosehead. She had a passion for cooking and looked forward to holiday gatherings and summer cookouts with her family.

She is survived by her partner of 27 years, Edwin Geschwendt; daughters Diane Trueworthy and husband David, of Lewiston, and Sheila (Taul) Ballantyne and husband David Ballantyne, of China, son John Taul, of Augusta; a granddaughter Andrea Dwelle and husband Chris, of Augusta; grandsons, Abram Ashby, and Justin Ashby, both of Winslow, Ian Ashby and wife Joanna, of Hallowell, Shane Wilson and wife Meagan, of Clinton; as well as several great grandchildren; a brother Bruce Gelo and wife Dawn, of Kenduskeag; a sister Carol Robbins and husband Jenness, of Searsmont; nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by a son David Wilson, two brothers Carl Gelo and Raymond Gelo; sisters Elaine Perkins, Nancy Drinkwater, Phyllis Perkins and Priscilla Place.

Per her request there will be no funeral or burial services. There will be a gathering in her remembrance at a later date.


GORDON W. STROUT II, 70, of Bradenton, Florida, on Friday, March 30, 2018. Locally, he is survived siblings, Evelyn Cairnie and husband David, of Clinton, and Dennis West, of Benton Falls; nephew David Cairnie and wife Pamela, of Fairfield, and niece, Peg Paradis and husband Rick, of Fairfield.

CATHERINE M. McKAY, 78, of Chelsea passed away on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Locally, she is survived by a granddaughter Stacy Jeannotte, of Windsor; two great-grandchildren, Cali Austin and Parker Maxim, both of Windsor.

Whitefield Local Lions award six scholarships to local students

Scholarship recipients from the Whitefield Lions Club include, front row, from left to right, Club president, Lion Cindy Lincoln, Morgan Emond, Basel White, Samantha Jackson, Emma Allen, and Madison Allen. Back, Harrison Mosher and Lion Barry Tibbetts. (Contributed photo)

Lincoln Academy student Emma Allen, daughter of Cynthia and Andrew Allen, of Jefferson, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Emma will attend St. Joseph’s College and pursue a degree in physical therapy.

Lincoln Academy student Madison Allen, son of Cynthia and Andrew Allen, of Jefferson, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Madison is pursuing a career in aviation and will attend the University of North Dakota in the fall.

Lincoln Academy student Basel White, son of Erica and Daniel White, of Jefferson, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Basel is attending University of Maine, Orono and will major in biomedical engineering.

Erskine Academy student Harrison Mosher, son of John Mosher, of China, was awarded a $500 scholarship. Harrison will attend Thomas College, in Waterville, and major in business

Erskine Academy student Morgan Emond, daughter of Mindy and Gary Emond, of Windsor, was awarded a $500 scholarship. Morgan will attend the University of Connecticut.

Erskine Academy student Samantha Jackson is the daughter of Dan and Katrina Jackson, of Whitefield. Samantha was awarded a $500 scholarship and will attend University of Southern Maine.

Letters to the Editor: Winslow council did not listen to the voters last time

To the editor:

Last fall, the voters of Winslow handily (54 percent to 46 percent) defeated a bond that, had it passed, would have have allowed for the construction of a Performing Arts Center (PAC) and add a seventh and eighth grade wing to Winslow High School. Unfortunately, the Winslow School Board did not heed the powerful message sent by voters. The board decided to make no changes to the membership of the building committee created to devise a plan of action and to retain the architect who designed the failed renovation. Unsurprisingly, the building committee school board, and architect have engineered a new plan (PAC PLAN II) that is essentially the same as the one soundly defeated in November. Despite the fact that the Winslow Town Council voted that PAC Bond II “ought not to pass,” the school board is asking the voters of Winslow to approve an $8.1 million bond (over $10 million when considering interest payments) to build a PAC and renovate the high school. There are many reasons why this is an idea the voters of Winslow should not embrace.

Since November, the building committee, school board, and town council have all been working very hard to come up with a solution to our school infrastructure issues. Regrettably, the members of the building committee and our school board appear far more concerned with doubling the seating in our Performing Arts Center than providing state of the art school security measures, Advanced Placement labs, seating in the renovated gym, technology and cafeteria improvements (to name only a few). These are major mistakes. Prioritizing seats in a PAC above needs that would improve education for the entire student population in Winslow is not the direction we should be moving in. We need a plan that supports ALL students in Winslow, not just a select few.

Many of us here in Winslow would prefer to renovate Winslow Elementary School and to create a K-8 school. This belief is based on the very different needs and stages of development of adolescent and pre-adolescent students. Young adults should not be attending the same school as seventh graders. The K-8 alternative is a viable opportunity that has been estimated to cost $12 million at one point and $9.7 at another point. In fact, architect Stevie Blatt even said “We probably could build a K-8 building for $7.83 million” at one one building committee meeting. Since none of these cost estimates were analyzed by an independent third party, we really have no idea what we could or could not do given the budget set by the town council. The K-8 option is an opportunity that needs to be explored in full but unfortunately has not been given a fair hearing due to the fact that it would not allow for the building of a PAC which is the driving motivation behind the current masterminds of this project.

One major difference between this bond and the one we voted on in November is that this bond allows the building committee and school board much more flexibility in spending the funds as they see fit. There is nothing in the PAC Bond II ballot question that forces the school board and building committee to spend the money on the building specifications the building committee has outlined to the voters. It is not a prudent idea to allow spending of this magnitude to be unchecked by the town council. A blank check allowing carte blanche to the building committee spending is a scheme far too risky for the voters of Winslow to endorse.

PAC Bond II does not provide the best path for us to move forward as a community. We need to go back to the drawing board, form a new building committee, hire a new architect, and take a fresh look at our school configuration options. These options should not include seating in a PAC at the expense of other, more worthwhile, educationally related items that enhance all students’ learning. The K-8 option should also be fairly and fully vetted by the new building committee and new architect. For these reasons, I urge the voters of Winslow to reject PAC Bond II on June 12. We can do better.

Phil St. Onge

Letters to the editor: Education decisions in Winslow

To the editor:

One ballot question asks if the voters will approve an increase in the school budget for the upcoming year that is $1,043,769 more than this year’s budget. This would be a 7.2 percent increase in spending and require property taxpayers to contribute an additional $601,417 resulting in a possible increase of 5.6 percent or $137 for the median household valued at $146,000.

Another ballot question asks voters if they approve borrowing $8.1 million to consolidate the junior high students to the High School and Elementary School thereby closing the Junior High School. It is projected that at a 3 percent interest rate for the 20 year bond, a total of $10,651,500 will need to be repaid by property taxpayers. Based on the average yearly debt service payment of $532,575, property taxes would need to be dedicated which could result in an increase of 5 percent or $121 more per year for the median household.

While it has been noted by the Winslow School Board that there will be ‘cost avoidances’ once the Junior High has been closed, the school board has chosen not to provide their forecast of what the complete financial requirements will be after consolidation in September 2020.

I would suggest that it is important for voters to have the information and facts they need to make an informed decision on June 12. There is more information available on the Town website provided in the “Possible School Budget Tax Impact’ posting.

Ken Fletcher
Winslow Town Councilor

Vassalboro residents ready for June 4 town meeting

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro voters are scheduled to assemble at the Vassalboro Community School at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June, 4, for their annual town meeting, at which they will elect budget committee members, authorize spending for the 2018-19 fiscal year and settle policy questions.

The meeting continues on June 12 with a two-question local ballot asking voters to endorse or reject the school budget approved June 4 and to elect two town officials. John Melrose and Jolene Clark Gamage are unopposed for re-election to the board of selectmen and the school board, respectively. Vassalboro polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 12 in the town office meeting room.

At the June 4 meeting voters will need to choose at least three new budget committee members: Melrose and Eddie Scholz have resigned, and Elizabeth Reuthe will not seek re-election.

The committee has 10 members who serve two-year terms. The person elected to succeed Scholz will serve only one year, to finish his term that ends with the 2019 town meeting. (ep)

Most of the expenditure requests are similar to prior years’ proposals. Voters are asked to approve a municipal budget totaling more than $2 million and a school budget totaling more than $7.7 million.

If voters approve all expenditures as recommended by the selectmen and school board, Town Manager Mary Sabins calculates they will increase the local tax rate by 90 cents for each $1,000 of valuation, from 14.55 mils ($14.55 for each $1,000 of valuation) this year to 15.45 mils in 2018-19.

The budget committee agrees with most of the expenditures as proposed. They differ with selectmen on Art. 7, asking for $37,500 to be added to reserve funds set aside for a new plow truck and a new roof on the Riverside fire station: both boards approve the amount, but selectmen recommend taking it from taxation and the budget committee recommends appropriating it from the town’s surplus (also called undesignated or unassigned fund balance).

On Art. 8, funding for the public works department, Budget Committee members recommend $3,000 less than selectmen have endorsed.

On the school budget, budget committee members recommend a $50,000 cut, to be taken, they suggest, from the Vassalboro Community School administration account.

The two boards agree in recommending a total of $14,617 for 11 social service and similar agencies and groups that asked for town funds. The requests total $23,094 (Art. 34).

Most of the policy issues are also familiar:

  • setting four tax due dates and authorizing sale of alewives, for example. New questions include:
  • a request for authorization to apply for grant money to provide a generator at Vassalboro Community School so that the school might become an emergency shelter (Art. 22);
  • a request to accept two parcels of land on South Stanley Hill Road from Paul and Elisabeth Cates (Art. 23); and
  • action on a revised Building Permit Ordinance (Art. 24).

The revised ordinance is on the town website, and copies are available at the town office. The town meeting warrant is also on the website, posted in public places in town and printed in the town report for 2017.