Agreement approved with Hussey Communications to expand wireless internet

China Baptist Church

by Mary Grow

China selectmen settled two issues they and Town Manager Dennis Heath have been working on for weeks at their Oct. 1 meeting.

By unanimous votes, the four board members present:

  • Approved Heath’s policy on internal financial controls, which includes, among other things, the requirement that town checks have two signatures and an expanded advisory role for the budget committee (see related story here).
  • Approved an agreement with Hussey Communications of Winslow aimed at increasing availability of wireless internet service in China.

Board member Neil Farrington said two small wireless towers have already been added, one at the China Village fire station and one at Three Level Farm on Route 32 North, and the first few lakeside residents have signed up for service. He said as income increases, more towers will be provided; the eventual goal is to cover the whole town, in spite of the hills that block signals.

In other business, Town Clerk Rebecca Hapgood said absentee ballots should be available by Oct. 3. Residents unable to come to the polls Nov. 6 can apply for absentee ballots or vote in person at the town office until Nov. 1, when the early-voting period ends except in emergency cases.

Selectmen agreed to advertise for an assistant codes officer, to work 18 hours a week with Paul Mitnik, with the possibility of taking over Mitnik’s position when he retires.

Selectman Irene Belanger reminded those present of the household hazardous waste disposal in Winslow Saturday morning, Oct. 20 – pre-registration at the China transfer station is required – and the shredding on site at the China public works building Saturday morning, Oct. 27. China residents may bring unneeded drugs to each event, she said.

Planners approve camp expansion on Webber Pond

by Mary Grow

For the second month in a row, Vassalboro Planning Board members commended the only applicants before them for a well-prepared application and approved it unanimously with only a brief discussion.

Susan B. and Al Traylor’s plan to enlarge their camp at 54 Birch Point Road, on Webber Pond, met Vassalboro’s shoreland requirements, board members agreed. The Traylors plan a bigger room and a new deck, with minimal earth-moving and no expansion toward the lake.

Normally, the next planning board meeting would be Nov. 6, the first Tuesday of the month. Because the Vassalboro town office meeting room will be used for voting that day and evening, board members rescheduled the meeting to Tuesday evening, Nov. 13.

Selectmen to open bids on tax-acquired lot; review emergency services, police

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen begin their Thursday, Oct. 4, meeting with a 6:30 p.m. public hearing on amendments to the appendices to the General Assistance Ordinance. In a typical year, amendments slightly increase general assistance allowances, in conformity with state-wide changes.

Other major business items on the Oct. 4 agenda include reviewing bids for a tax-acquired lot on Harmony Lane; considering options for emergency services dispatching; discussing local law enforcement and public safety; and considering ways for selectmen to become better informed about school activities, now that the school is part of town government rather than a member of a regional school organization.

The selectmen meet in the town office meeting room. All meetings are open to the public.

FINANCIAL MATTER$ – IRA withdrawals: how much is too much?

by Jac M. Arbour CFP, ChFC
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

People are living longer and, thus, living longer in retirement. This is both the good news and the bad news. Sure, living longer is a great thing, but in the world of financial planning, it is causing concerns for a number of retirees. One of the questions we are consistently asked is “will I have enough?” It’s a great question! Once you consider how many people are living into their late eighties or early nineties, the volatility of the markets, and how investment risk is now in the lap of the investor more so than ever (due to fewer pensions), it is understandable why so many people are wondering if they will outlive their money.

So what is the right amount to take? There are many things to consider and there is no simple answer. If you have an advisor, I suggest you review the following talking points on an annual basis to help derive the best answer for you:

Time Horizon: How many years do you plan to receive an income from your investments? Things such as health and the timing of the income payments should be considered and discussed annually.

Investment Objective: Are you focused on the growth of the account or more so on income? Maybe you are focused on a combination of the two. Maybe you are focused on something completely different. Clarifying the answer to this question will help determine the allocation of your portfolio and help answer some questions that pop up when discussing the following talking points.

Risk Tolerance: Conservative, Moderate, Balanced, Growth, and Aggressive. Which of these categories best suits you? What is aggressive to one person might be conservative to another and therefore, makes it important to understand what is truly meant by each of these categories. Have your advisor explain the expectations of each.

Target Rate of Return: Are you looking for slow and steady and higher predictability, or are you shooting for the moon and ready for a ride? Higher rewards often times means increased risks, which can lead to seemingly lower consistency when it comes to income planning.

Legacy Plans: Do you want to spend your last penny on your last day or do you want to leave something to the loved ones or to a charitable organization? Knowing how much you want to leave behind is a major factor when determining how much to spend while alive.

Consider discussing these topics and others with your advisor. Any of them is a good place to start the conversation. If we can be of any assistance to you in anyway with the above, or any concerns you may have with your retirement planning, please reach out for a free retirement planning consultation. As always, I hope this helps you and your family to make better financial decisions. See you next month.

Trivia Question: How many days does a person have to complete an indirect rollover of an IRA? A. 180 days B. 90 Days C. 60 days, or D. 30 days

Answer can be found here.

Jac M. Arbour, CFP®, ChFC®, is president of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management, 77 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347; phone: 207-248-6767 | cell: 207-431-3376 | fax: 207-620-7264;;

Financial Matter$ Trivia Question, Week of October 4, 2018


How many days does a person have to complete an indirect rollover of an IRA? A. 180 days B. 90 Days C. 60 days, or D. 30 days


C. 60 days

Fundraiser planned for Serenity “Blueberry” Bunn

Serenity “Blueberry” Bunn


On Saturday, October 13, a fundraiser will be held to help with the care of a little girl named Serenity Bunn, affectionately known as “Blueberry,” from Windsor. At age two, Blueberry was diagnosed with stage 4 Refractory Neuroblastoma. Two years later, after multiple rounds of chemotherapy, tumor removals, and immunotherapy, her family has been informed by doctors that the cancer has stopped responding to treatment. They are now looking to try and spend as much time with her as possible. They have been given a year but told not to count on it.

The event will take place at the American Legion Post, 79 Legion Memorial Drive, in South China, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a BBQ (brisket as long as it lasts), hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, a beverage, and many more goodies. The cost is $10 per plate with a discount for younger children.

You should know that for someone so young and having been through so much, Blueberry is still full of sass and love. She is sweet and funny and definitely runs the roost. Blueberry loves to watch all the Disney movies her Nana has provided her and dress up like a princess. She gives the best hugs and has the sweetest smile. She loves her twin sisters, Faith and Hope, and playing with her uncles. Blueberry has a love for animals, but cows are definitely her favorite. She’s full of life and she brings so much joy to everyone that knows her!

A link has been provided to an article regarding Serenity done in Montana before she moved to Maine for the experimental treatments:

Submitted by Heidi Badger, family friend of Blueberry.
10/07/2018: Updated to include the time and place of the fundraiser.

Winslow teen presents check to Project Sparrow


Amy Moody, left, accepts a check on behalf of Project Sparrow from Winslow’s Miss Teen International, Mikayla Gurney. (Photo by Jeani Marquis)

by Jeani Marquis

The board president of Project Sparrow, Amy Moody received a $265 donation check from Mikayla Gurney, Winslow’s Miss Teen International 2018, as part of the activities at Winslow’s Public Safety Open House.

Helping children is Mikayla Gurney’s platform as her reign as Miss Teen. She feels Project Spar­row will put her donation to good use making foster children who are going into an unfamiliar situation more comfortable. Project Sparrow advocates for and supports at risk children being raised in Maine’s foster care systems.

Nearly 2,000 pinwheels were set up to represent the many children currently in Maine foster care. (Photo by Jeani Marquis)

Project Sparrow’s mission is to raise awareness of the needs of foster children and to fill in any gaps not filled by the agencies. There are nearly 2,000 children now in Maine’s foster homes. Many of these children had to leave unsuitable situations suddenly without extra clothing, diapers, toiletries and toys. With the help of donations, Project Sparrow provides these essentials.

“Maine’s children are in crisis. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of infants entering foster care due to the opiate crisis in our state,” explains Amy Moody. “Not everyone may feel they are called to be a foster parent, but there is always some way for everyone to help.”

The need is growing. To illustrate the number of foster children currently in Maine, Project Sparrow enlisted the JMG group from Winslow High School to set up the traveling display of nearly 2,000 blue pinwheels. Amy Moody said that it made a strong impression on the high schoolers that each one of pinwheels they inserted into the ground represented a foster child.

Project Sparrow’s next major project is their Christmas toy drive beginning mid-October. To get involved, look for information on the organization’s website or the Project Sparrow facebook page. What’s next for Miss Teen Mikayla Gurney? She’ll be working on the Project Sparrow Christmas toy drive as well because 2,000 foster children deserve a happy holiday.