Vassalboro Days 2018 schedule of events

Vassalboro Days 2018!

Double Dam Ducky Derby at High Noon 9/8!

KV Cap will provide free transportation to anyone wanting rides from North to East Vassalboro and back for the days activities! Simply flag the van down!

Gary Coull will serve as DJ from 10 – 3!

Double Dam Ducky Derby tickets will be for sale from 10-11:30. Blocks of tickets will be auctioned off from 11:30-11:45!

Craft Fair at the Mill from 10 – 3 FMI call Linda Ellis @ 649-3697

Yard Sale in and out of the Mill all day. FMI call Bill Whitman @ 416-4346

Scavenger Hunt 10 – 4 with prizes! Sign up at the VBA tent

Kora Karts Demonstration at 1:00 beside the former Doctor’s office

 *Face Painting from 11 to 1 pm

 From 10 AM to 3 PM:

*Speed Pitch & Challenge Course Inflatables
*Play pools of grain for the kiddies
*Touch a Truck
*Bubbles Galore
*Meet Our Local Policeman Mark Brown!
*Child Identification Program (Mason’s)


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Food Vendors from 10-3:

Hot Dogs/ Hamburgers/ Drinks by JMG

Build Your Own S’Mores by Cub Scouts

Cotton Candy & Waters by Masonic Lodge

The Library Book & Food Sale will be held at the Grange on 9/7 for members from 7-8 PM and from 9-3 on 9/8 and from 10-1 on 9/9 (Buck a Bag on Sunday!)

Cruise into Freddie’s Ride at the Town Office from 9-2. Great cars and raffles galore!

Historical Society Open Houses on 9/8 and 9/9 from 9-3. Concert featuring the Gawler Family Sunday at 4 PM at the Grange $5.

Coffee House at the Grange 9/8 at 7 PM. Free and bring an instrument– join in!

Sponsored by the Vassalboro Business Association, Maine Savings FCU, and the Town of Vassalboro!

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Americans Overwhelmingly Reject Insurers’ Efforts To Deny Patients Coverage

(NAPSI)—A new national poll conducted by YouGov found that 91 percent of Americans believe insurance companies should not be allowed to deny coverage for people with chronic diseases whose premiums are paid by charitable organizations.

Known as “charitable premium assistance,” the federally approved practice of patients applying for and receiving help from charities to pay insurance premiums has long been accepted. Yet recent efforts by insurers to undermine the practice have left many people worried about their insurance coverage. Across the country more than 74,000 dialysis and kidney transplant patients—who are overwhelmingly unable to work because of their illness—rely on help from the American Kidney Fund (AKF) to afford health insurance premiums.

The poll found that 76 percent of respondents believe insurers want to block charitable premium assistance “to increase the company’s profits by not providing coverage for people who are very sick.”

“Consumers overwhelmingly reject efforts by the billion-dollar health insurers, their lobbyists and their legislative patrons to deny charitable assistance that pays patients’ health insurance premiums,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of AKF. “Consumers are smart enough to see through the insurers’ false statements and to recognize insurer efforts to end or limit charitable premium assistance are clear evidence of insurers doing what they do best: trying to find every possible way not to pay for sick people’s care,” she said. “The question is whether they’ve been able to find enough legislators who will take the insurers’ side instead of protecting sick patients.”

The poll showed that individuals are not inclined to vote for legislators who side with insurers. A vast majority of respondents (88 percent) are less willing to vote for a politician who supports the industry’s efforts.

What the Survey Shows

Among the findings:

  • 91 percent of respondents felt private insurance companies should not be allowed to kick patients with chronic diseases off their health insurance just because the patients’ premiums are paid by an organization such as a nonprofit charity.
  • 87 percent of consumers support the government’s current position of letting private charities help patients pay their insurance premiums, co-pays, and out-of-pocket costs when the patient suffers from a debilitating illness such as kidney failure.
  • 71 percent of respondents think patients with a chronic disease should be able to choose their health insurance plan. This number dramatically exceeds those who think state and federal governments (17 percent) or health insurance companies (13 percent) should choose which health insurance a patient with a chronic disease can have.

Concluded AKF’s Burton, “I believe people inherently understand that if insurers are successful in their campaign against people with kidney disease, people with other chronic diseases will be easy next targets. We’ll continue to protect patients by working with legislators and regulators at the national and state levels.”

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, AKF is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling one in five U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation.

Learn More

For more facts, visit

Roland’s Trivia Question, Week of August 30, 2018

Is Jim Rice the all-time Red Sox home run leader among right-handed batters?


Yes. (382)

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Crickets have had a place in cultures and societies for centuries

May the best cricket win! Grappling male crickets fighting for dominance.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

I’ve always been interested in folklore. It is intriguing how older generations and cultures came up with them, with most dealing with nature.

While sitting around a campfire with friends last Saturday, we heard a cricket chirp in the distance. One of the friends, we’ll call her Lauri, groaned at the sound. “What’s the matter?” I asked. Lauri responded, “Hearing a cricket means the end of summer.”


Well, my curiosity got the best of me. I started asking many acquaintances, friends, family and whoever else would listen: Had they ever heard of that folklore? The answer has been “no” every time. One thing I failed to ask Lauri was where she had heard that. It probably is an old wives tale or something, just like the cicada predicting the first killing frost in the fall, or the wooly bear caterpillar forecasting the severity of a winter.

Crickets, from the family Gryllidaeare

Crickets, family Gryllidaeare, are found in all parts of the world, except in cold regions at higher latitudes. They are also found in many habitats, upper tree canopies, in bushes, and among grasses and herbs. They also exist on the ground, in caves, and some are subterranean, excavating shallow or deep burrows. Some live in rotting wood, and some will even run and jump over the surface of water. They are related to the bush crickets, and more distantly, to grasshoppers.

Crickets are relatively defenseless. Most species are nocturnal and spend the day hidden. They burrow to form temporary shelters, and fold their antennae to conceal their presence. Other defensive strategies are camouflage, fleeing and aggression. Some have developed colorings that make them difficult to see by predators who hunt by sight.

Male crickets make a loud chirping sound by scraping two specially textured limbs together. This organ is located on the fore wing. Most females lack the necessary parts to stridulate, so they make no sound.

Crickets chirp at different rates depending on their species and the temperature of their environment. Most species chirp at higher rates the higher the temperature. The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear’s law. According to this law, counting the number of chirps produced in 14 seconds by the snowy tree cricket, common in the United States, and adding 40 will approximate the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

Some crickets, such as the ground cricket, are wingless. Others have small fore wings and no hind wings, others lack hind wings and have shortened fore wings in females only, while others have hind wings longer than the fore wings. Probably, most species with hind wings longer than fore wings engage in flight.

Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and several species have been known to bite humans.

Male crickets establish their dominance over each other by aggression. They start by slashing each other with their antennae and flaring their mandibles. Unless one retreats at this stage, they resort to grappling, at the same time each emitting calls that are quite unlike those uttered in other circumstances. Once one achieves dominance, is sings loudly, while the defeated remains silent.

Crickets have many natural enemies. They are eaten by large numbers of vertebrate and invertebrate predators and their hard parts are often found during the examination of animal intestines.

The folklore and mythology surrounding crickets is extensive. The singing of crickets in the folkore of Brazil and elsewhere is sometimes taken to be a sign of impending rain. In Alagoas state, northeast Brazil, a cricket announces death, thus it is killed if it chirps indoors, while in Barbados, a loud cricket means money is coming, hence the cricket must not be killed or evicted if it chirps inside the house.

In literature, the French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre’s popular Souvenirs Entomoloquques devotes a whole chapter to the cricket. Crickets have also appeared in poetry. William Wordsworth’s 1805 poem, The Cottager to Her Infant includes the lines, “The kitten sleeps upon the hearth, The crickets long have ceased their mirth.” John Keats’ 1819 poem Ode to Autumn, includes the lines, “Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft, the redbreast whistles from a garden-croft.” Could this be from where that folkore about the end of summer comes?

Crickets are kept as pets and are considered good luck in some countries. In China, they are kept in cages specially created. The practice is also common in Japan, and has been for thousands of years. Cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese pastime that dates back to the Tang dynasty (618-907). It was originally a common indulgence for emperors, but later became popular with commoners. (I hope Vince McMahon doesn’t read this!)

While serving in the Army in Southeast Asia from 1968-69 (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam), I learned that crickets are commonly eaten as a snack, prepared by deep frying the soaked and cleaned insects. In Thailand, there are 20,000 farmers rearing crickets, with an estimated production of 7,500 tons per year. No, I didn’t try them.

And, of course, in popular culture, we have Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket in the 1940 film Pinocchio, and in the 1998 film Mulan, Cri-kee is carried in a cage as a symbol of good luck.

In the media, the sound of crickets is often used to emphasize silence, often for comic effect after an awkward joke.

I’ll bet you didn’t think crickets had such a valued place in societies and cultures for centuries.

Roland’s trivia questions of the week:

Is Jim Rice the all-time Red Sox home run leader among right-handed batters?

Answer can be found here.

Kenan Estes named to dean’s list at Cedarville Univ.

Cedarville University student Kenan Estes, of Sidney, achieved the dean’s list for the 2018 spring semester, in Cedarville, Ohio. Estes maintained a 3.5 GPA while taking at least 12 credit hours from Cedarville University.

Elizabeth Jones named to Emory & Henry College’s dean’s list

Elizabeth Jones, of Skowhegan, was named to the Emory & Henry College Spring 2018 dean’s list, in Emory, Virginia.

Dakota Bragg named Presidential Scholar at Clarkson University

Dakota Rae Bragg, of Skowhegan, a junior majoring in civil engineering, was named a Presidential Scholar for the spring 201, in Potsdam, New York.

Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Christmas is coming!

by Debbie Walker

Time passes and with that Christmas will arrive on December 25 in about 117 days. My thought is just to give you a heads up and with that some ideas.

The little ones are easy to buy for. It doesn’t take much to make them happy. Beware though, they will unwrap, throw the paper, look at the gift for a second or two then throw that too and on to the next. Later they will go back to it.

It’s hard to know the interests of children in this day and age of everything computers.

My pet project idea is next: Do they have their own books or magazines? Promote reading whenever you can. Even long distance you can read to them. Get two books, mail them one and you keep one. They will look forward to your calls. Eventually they could read to you. Children can also tell stories from pictures.

When my grandkids got a little older I started giving them Experiences. An experience can be a new movie coming out, maybe a children’s museum. (These will work for other gift giving occasions as well.) Maybe a membership to a “Y” where they can play ball or swim would be good. Maybe you can take them to some workshops at The Home Depot.

When they become teens the Experience still works well. You can also use gift cards. If you live near them you could have a shopping trip and lunch. What about a weekend for two at a motel, especially one that has a gym and restaurant. I would suggest you both have limited cell phone and internet use. The idea is you are giving them yourself, your time and interest. Priceless!

Your adult children’s gifts, you are on your own. The best I can tell you is to listen to anything they may mention they need or babysit and send them to dinner or a movie. How about a cleaner to do the kitchen and bathrooms or yardman for a day?

If you are lucky enough to have an elder in your life, of course, they would appreciate your time. If you live in their area you might take them to a movie and lunch. If they could use some help you could always hire a cleaner or yardman for them, too. You can also have someone clean their windows. You can buy gift certificates for hair or even for car maintenance. Listen, really listen to them.

Women – Do not disappoint yourself again. I learned, finally, to be very specific about my list to the husband/significant other. I have been known to bring home what I wanted and put it in front of Ken and said, “Look what you got me,” so far he has been relieved and grateful AND I am not aggravated or hurt. They are not like our female friends who understand hints. They don’t seem to have that gene!

I am just curious what ideas you may have. Questions and comments, please. Contact me at and don’t forget we are also on line. We have archives, too!

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Part 2

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

(Read part one here.)

Zito Francescatti

Zino Francescatti had a style of playing that was elegant, vibrantly alive and communicative and recorded an early ‘50s Columbia mono LP with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic in which this style truly shined. A late ‘50s second recording of the firebrand Jascha Heifetz paired him and Charles Munch conducting the Boston Symphony, a performance that was slightly tamer than the earlier Beecham but an excellent example of the RCA Victor Living Stereo process during the mid and late fifties into the early sixties.

Dimitri Mitropoulos

Jumping ahead to the early ‘80s of digital sound, violinist Uto Ughi and the very underrated Georges Pretre conducting the London Symphony recorded a larger than life, grandly romantic performance for RCA that was so communicative I listened to it several times in a week. Jean Jacques Kantarow recorded a Denon cd in the early 2000s, featuring a smaller scaled, reserved approach, perhaps more suitable for Bach and Vivaldi but delectable in its musical charm; Emmanuel Krivine and the Nether­lands Chamber Orchestra provided superb accompaniment.

Jascha Heifretz

Due to limited time and space and an overwhelming multitude of violinsts and their contributions to the catalogs, I could not cover very worthwhile interpretations by Milstein, Stern, Oistrakh, Martzy, Perleman, etc., but I recommend that those who love this music follow their own instincts in picking violinists, scrolling through numerous YouTubes as a start.

INside the OUTside: Maine ski resorts gearing up for the new season

Quarry Road racers from Bowdoin College on the 4.8 Km Nordic course. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

Sugarloaf making plans for snow season

It’s been quite a warm summer overall and I was just reading a couple articles from our local ski areas in western Maine. Now I’m sure you remember how really hot and humid it has been over the past couple of months … but you may have forgotten the winter we endured last season. Let me remind you … it wasn’t only “cold” … it was downright freezing, along with more snow than we’ve had over the past couple years … beginning in early December, right into mid-May! Kind of forgot that didn’t you!

Well, as mentioned, a couple of the reports from our ski resorts are calling for an early beginning, hopefully the making of another great season!

While Sugarloaf and Sunday River are having a great summer of golfing, fat biking, hiking Appalachian trails or Maine Huts and Trails, canoeing and riding some of the zip line runs, vacation days are coming to an end. I recently heard that the two Maine resorts are aiming to begin snowmaking in about 100 days, give or take!? WoW!

Now is the time to take advantage of some special ski promotions that include Kids Ski Free at Sugarloaf Mountain. Book any ski and stay package of two or more nights by September 12, and Sugarloaf will throw in free lift tickets* for your kids 12 years and under. *Limit one free child ticket per paying adult.

Also, if you act now and buy online, you can save up to 30 percent on select days this season. Now is the time to act. Check out

Sunday River getting ready for winter snow season

If you book a ski and stay package at Sunday River by October 15, you will be guaranteed the best price of the winter. You can buy online at; call the resort at 1-800 543-2754.

The savings are valid for new reservations during the 2018-2019 winter season and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions, according to their website.

Sunday River, located in Newry, is one of Maine’s largest and most visited ski slopes in the east. The mountain is spread across 870 accessible acres that spreads across eight interconnected trails. We’ll keep you posted on new equipment, trails and events as snow season gets closer.

For now, there are several things you can do to be ready for opening day. First, get moving and get in shape, get your skis out of storage, get them tuned and waxed, get those boots out and clean them up.

Some weather reports are indicating that we’re due for an early start to the winter, with ample snow before the Christmas holidays. It’s closer than you think!