Pierce Ducker, of Waterville, was among more than 1,700 candidates for graduation from Adelphi University, in Garden City, in New York. Commencement ceremonies took place in NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on May 18, 2018. Pierce graduated magna cum laude earning a bachelor of fine arts in theatre arts.
Communication was the theme at the Vassalboro selectmen’s Sept. 6 meeting, as board members talked with new Vassalboro School Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer and School Board Chairman Kevin Levasseur about better information-sharing between school and town officials and with Police Chief Mark Brown and audience members about Vassalboro’s law enforcement needs.
Pfeiffer, newly-hired as Vassalboro’s one-day-a-week superintendent, came to introduce himself to the board. He promised to return as his schedule permits; a former principal and superintendent, he now works as a consultant to the state education department and travels throughout Maine.
Selectmen Lauchlin Titus and John Melrose expressed frustration at hearing from school officials only while the annual budget process was underway. They would like more frequent information, especially now that dissolution of the regional school unit makes the school more clearly a town department.
Titus called for out of the box thinking to find ways to fund tuition, transportation, special education and other essentials without taking money away from elementary education programs at Vassalboro Community School.
Town Manager Mary Sabins brought Pfeiffer up to date on her efforts to have the school designated a Red Cross emergency center and equipped with a powerful generator.
Melrose raised the law enforcement issue. He pointed out that Vassalboro hired Brown for 15 hours a week, supplementary to his full-time job elsewhere, but gave him the title of police chief, implying, Melrose thinks, more policing than the town really provides.
Melrose recommends either using a more accurate job description or creating something more like a local police department, perhaps by contracting.
Brown told board members he works closely with state and county law enforcement and the state Drug Enforcement Agency. They take on the extended, time-consuming cases, he said; he focuses on local issues, including spending time with students at Vassalboro Community School.
Selectmen agreed to continue the discussion at their next meeting, which they scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 (instead of the usual 6:30 p.m. Thursday). Sabins asked Brown how the police cruiser is holding up. Brown, whose request for a new vehicle was shot down during spring budget discussions, said it is costing money for repairs, as he forecast.
In other business Sept. 6, selectmen agreed to offer for sale a tax-acquired lot on Harmony Lane, with a minimum bid of $5,000.
Road Foreman Eugene Field suggested additional road repaving if there is money available. Selectmen approved his suggestions and left decisions to him once he sees how much, if any, money he has.
Board members asked Sabins to send a thank-you letter to Steve Jones, of Fieldstone Gardens, for trees donated to the East Vassalboro park.
They approved a plan to provide enough water for the Sept. 8 Double Dam Ducky Derby, worked out by Kennebec Water District authorities, a representative of the Alewife Restoration Project (ARI) who is working on dismantling Lombard Dam and Vassalboro Days organizers.
Titus said he and Melrose plan to attend the Oct. 9 Vassalboro Historical Society meeting to discuss issues involving the society’s lease of the former East Vassalboro schoolhouse.
China selectmen’s decisions on bids for various projects around town will keep the town public works crew busy for the rest of the fall.
At their Sept. 17 meeting, selectmen took two major actions.
They accepted Bryce DeMerchant’s bid to dig a new Neck Road fire pond for $5,560, provided that the town crew do a lot of auxiliary work, like pumping out the current pond, moving needed rocks and gravel and the existing fire hydrant and managing erosion control.
Town Manager Dennis Heath said DeMerchant would do the other tasks, but if he does everything his bill would exceed $12,000. There is $6,000 on hand for the project, board members said.
Selectman Neil Farrington supported the plan, though he said he would still prefer to fill in the existing pond and forget about a new one. China Village Fire Chief Timothy Theriault proposed the pond a year ago, to provide a nearby source of water in case of fires on Neck and Stanley Hill roads.
Selectmen rejected bids for installing a bathroom in the former portable classroom behind the town office, building an entry roof over the basement entrance on the north side of the old town house and making repairs at the town office, instead assigning the jobs – except for plumbing and electrical work – to the town crew. Heath said he discussed the idea with foreman Gary Cummings before the selectmen’s meeting.
Board Chairman Robert MacFarland and Selectman Donna Mills-Stevens expressed concern that the board is asking too much of the small town crew. Heath plans to let them schedule the extra assignments as their other responsibilities allow.
Selectmen also rejected a bid of $9,600 for roof work on the red garage south of the town office, because it exceeds the $8,000 voters approved. MacFarland recommended they advertise for new bids.
In other business Sept. 17, selectmen accepted a request that town office staff administer the Heritage Tour Scholarship Fund, established by former eighth-grader Sarah Praul and inherited by her mother, Erika Matthies Praul, after Sarah graduated from China Middle School.
The fund provides assistance to China eighth-grade students who cannot afford the annual March Heritage Tour, which Erika Matthies Praul said now costs close to $1,000 per student. The main fundraiser is selling advertising space on students’ T-shirts to local businesses; individual donations are also welcome.
Heath said the fund will pay the town $100 annually toward administrative costs. Codes Officer Paul Mitnik brought a consent agreement to correct land use violations. Selectmen approved it.
Town Clerk Rebecca Hapgood said residents may apply now for absentee ballots for Nov. 6. Ballots will be available a month before the election.
Selectman Irene Belanger and Transfer Station Manager Tim Grotton said China residents will be able to participate in a hazardous waste disposal program in Winslow on Oct. 20, after registering at the China facility, and in a drug take-back program and a document shredding program in China on Oct. 27. More information is available at the transfer station or the town office.
On Heath’s recommendation, board members again postponed action on two documents, a tower use agreement with Hussey Communications, of Winslow, intended to improve wireless service in town and an internal financial controls policy.
Heath announced that work on the new causeway bridge at the head of China Lake’s east basin is scheduled to close Causeway Street from the first week in October through the first week in November.
by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979
Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!
The South Solon Road and Meeting House Road have had an additional substance put on these two roads, I thought perhaps those of you who live on either of these roads might be wondering, (as I was) what this was all about….and so I went to the selectmen. This is the message from your Board of Selectmen: In an effort to allocate our budget dollars most effectively, the town of Solon will be utilizing alternative pavement preservation methods on the South Solon and Meeting House roads this year. The Pavement Preservation Treatment will be applied as a part of our overall road maintenance strategy.
By utilizing Pavement Preservation Treatments the town is able to: Preserve and extend the service life of existing pavements. Prevent deterioration of our good roads, “Keeping good roads good!” Decrease the construction time and traffic delays due to road work. Stretch our budget dollars, allowing for the treatment of more roads per year.
The information in this flyer is intended to provide more details on the treatments, benefits, and commonly asked questions. If you have any questions regarding any of the information, please contact the Board of Selectmen at 643-2541.
Another bit of news from the Selectmen is Volunteer Opportunities: planning board member, appeals board member, Coolidge Library Board of Trustees, Community Recreation Department Director, Community Recreation Department Youth Sport and Coaches. Please see the Municipal Clerk or Selectmen for more information.
Received the Solon School News recently and this is the Principal’s Message: The Solon staff and I wish to welcome our new students in grades PreK-5 and their families to our school and to welcome back those who have been with us before. I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful summer.
I am the principal of both Solon Elementary School and Garret Schenck Elementary School so I split my time between the schools. I am here for half of each day. Our school secretary Mrs. Lisa Weese can help parents with any issues they may have and can help you make contact with me if you wish to.
Mrs. Debby Haynie continues to serve as our lead teacher and will help me to handle discipline issues.
We are pleased to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students again this year under the district’s community eligibility program. Students can buy milk or juice for snack or to go with a cold lunch if they wish to for 30 cents.
Again this year our students will have healthy snacks provided through a Fresh Fruits and Vegtables Grant Program on Mondays, Wednesdays , and Fridays.
Please contact them if you have any questions. thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to a great new year.
Our K-5 students will visit Lakewood Theater on September 21 to attend their fall production of “Little Bo Peep’s Wacky, Wonderful Road Trip” performed by the Lakewood Jesters. This is the nineteenth year that Lakewood has produced a show specially customized for elementary students.
The play lasts about an hour, and students get to interact with the performers during the show and meet them after the show. We are fortunate to have this historic theater so close to home. Parents are welcome to join us on this trip. Permission slips have already gone home. Thanks to the PTO for funding the admission fees for our students.
The following news is very important to the Anson Academy class of 1968. They are planning a 50th reunion for October 12, 2018. The group needs contact information for Deidre Nile, Roseann Spaulding, Lois Witham and Sarah Costello. Anyone with information please contact Beth Bown 474-6609 or Karen Piper: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a Facebook page for the reunion. Thank you. This e-mail was sent by Emily Quint
And so for Percy’s memoir: May your days be filled with…An abundance of happiness, Blessings that warm your life and make you smile. Friends and loved ones by your side… people who are going to treasure every memory they get to make with you. Wonderful swurprises in your life. Beautiful sunrises in your days, Opportunities that come along. Chances you’ve hoped for. Goals you’ve been striving to reach. Changes you’ve wanted to make. A song in your heart. A wish that comes true. And reminders of how much nicer this world is… all because of you. (words by Douglas Pagels)
The Red Sox ownership ventured in NASCAR racing in 2007. What was the name of the race team?
Roush Fenway Racing.
(NAPSI)—You don’t have to let a busy schedule break your healthy stride or keep you from crushing your goals. You can regroup on your approach instead. By incorporating these three ways to release, refresh and reset, you can still make health a priority.
- Release Your Mind by Escaping into Nature. Getting out into nature gives you the space and peace to release the things that bog you down. Escape the rush. Try camping in the wilderness or taking a scenic hike. Studies show that surrounding yourself with nature can have positive effects on mental health. Ditch the office and try working outdoors at a picnic table or on a blanket in the grass. Wherever you go, whatever you do, sit back and breathe in the fresh air.
- Refresh Your Exercise Routine with New Moves. Inspiration derives from new experiences, which is why exercise physiologist and Bowflex fitness advisor Tom Holland recommends mixing up your daily workout routine. “Give yourself the opportunity to explore and challenge yourself in new ways,” suggests Holland. Try a new workout program, or an exercise machine that moves you in new ways, such as the breakthrough Bowflex LateralX (www.bowflex.com/lateralx) cardio machine. It strengthens and activates muscles with side-to-side, push-and-pull and stand-and-squat motions that target the arms, back, hips and core, as well as common trouble spots including glutes, hamstrings and quads. By moving in all directions, you mimic everyday activities such as yard work, housecleaning or chasing after your kids. It’s a new and exciting workout that can keep you motivated.
- Reset Your Soul with Time for Yourself. In addition to carving out time for fitness, you need to make time for yourself. Creating positive energy in a chaotic world can be challenging but it’s important for overall health and well-being. You don’t have to be a yogi to meditate. Experts say to start small—try focusing for 10 minutes a day in a quiet place and don’t get frustrated if your mind wanders. It takes practice but the benefits are worth the investment. You may find you’re more calm and productive and you sleep better. Whatever helps you reset, create time in your schedule and act on it. You owe it to yourself.
There it was. On the deck in front of the barbecue grill. I’d seen something similar before, but that one was brown. This one was a bluish color.
A little wracking of the brain produced no results. It was time to ask my contacts at the state level.
Allison Kanoti, acting state entomologist with the Maine Forest Service, told me it was a Rough Stink Bug, Brochymena arborea. That jogged my memory. What I had seen before, which looked exactly alike, instead of the color, was a Marmorated stink but, which I wrote about in the November 15, 2017, column. They are similar, but different.
The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species and considered a serious crop pest. They were accidentally introduced in the United States from Asia. It is believed to have hitched a ride as a stow-away in packing crates or on various types of machinery, first appearing in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1996. Following its arrival, the brown marmorated stink bug spread quickly from state to state, and is now listed as a top invasive special of interest by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since 2013. It is readily found in the eastern half of the U.S., as well as several western and southwestern states.
At first glance, the two stink bugs are easily confused. If you find large numbers of stink bugs in or around your residence, chances are it is the invader, not our natives.
So, how do you go about telling them apart. First, look at their antennae. The brown marmorated stink bug has white bands on the last two antennal segments. Rough stink bugs have no such contrasting markings on the antennae. Second, look at the leading edge of the top of the thorax, right behind the head. There are fine teeth along that edge in the rough stink bug, so it is not the brown marmorated.
Again, they are called stink bugs because they produce teeming amounts of foul-smelling fluid that is discharged if disturbed.
Rough stink bugs are very well camouflaged and closely resemble the color and texture of tree bark on which it lives.
The rough stink bugs are beneficial insects that control caterpillars and other insect pests. Before randomly destroying an insect, always attempt to identify it first, or at least determine whether it’s a beneficial or pest. No one wants to kill a perfectly good bug. However, since little is known about these insects of non-economic importance, they are suspected of feeding on the sap of host trees and shrubs Though there are persistent rumors they are occasionally predatory, and many true bugs are opportunistic predators or scavengers on other insects, this may not be a stretch.
Eggs are laid in small clusters, resembling a honeycomb, on twigs of trees, and the nymphs that hatch progress through four instars (an instar is the interval between molts) before reaching adulthood. Their development from egg to adult is surprisingly long, so there is but one generation produced annually.
Rough stink bugs have an ability to withstand the cold. BugEric, Eric R. Eaton, an expert in the field, said he once attempted to kill rough stink bugs by putting them in a container in the freezer. He thinks he left them there for about a week or so. When he took them, he found them coming back to life in a relatively short period of time.
Rough stink bugs are the prey of the sand wasp. The female stings the stink but into paralysis, and then flies it back to her nest burrow where she deposits it as food for her larval offspring. Birds are also recorded as predators of the stink bugs. It amazes me that any other creature could find them and make a meal out of them, but they do have enemies.
You can look for the rough stink bugs in spring and fall when they are emerging from, and entering, hibernation. You’ll have to look closely, though, given their camouflage.
I don’t know what that rough stink bug was doing that day on my deck, in broad daylight, but it is contrary of what is known about them, that they camouflage well, and are difficult to find because they are fewer in number than the brown marmorated stink bug. I just got lucky, I guess.
Roland’s trivia question of the week:
The Red Sox ownership ventured in NASCAR racing in 2007. What was the name of the race team?
There will be a very important meeting about trying to keep the Solon Food Cupboard and Thrift Shop open at the Solon Fire Station on Wednesday, September 19th at 6 pm. This meeting is to let every one know about the plans to try and keep these two very beneficial projects in Solon. Hope that many of you will attend.
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