Common Ground Round 2: Win a $10 Gift Certificate

Identify the men in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Retail Therapy boutique, 11 KMD Plaza, Kennedy Memorial Dr., Waterville, next to the Dairy Queen!* Email your answer to or through our Contact page.

You may also mail your answer to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358. (To be eligible for the drawing, you must email or snail mail your answer to us — please don’t leave a comment!)

*Should there be more than one correct answer, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner.

Previous winner: James Lacroix, of Smithfield. (Randomly drawn from 9 correct answers received.)

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Climate change driving migrating birds farther north

Clockwise from top left: Boreal chickadee, Black-capped chickadee, Purple finch, and Pygmy nuthatch

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

A 40-year study conducted by the Audubon Society has found that more than half of 305 bird species in North America are spending the winter about 35 miles farther north than they did 40 years ago. Some of these birds include chickadees, robins and owls.

Bird ranges can expand for many reasons, among them urban sprawl, deforestation and the backyard feeders.

The study suggests that the reason so many birds over such a broad area are wintering in more northern locations is climate change.

The study of migration habits from 1966 through 2005 found that about a quarter of the species have moved farther south. But the number moving northward (177 species) is double that amount.

Of all the birds, the purple finch was the biggest mover. Its wintering grounds are now more along the latitude of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, instead of Springfield, Missouri.

Over the four decades covered by the study, the average January temperature in the United States rose by about five degrees. That warming was most pronounced in northern states, which have already recorded an influx of more southern species and could see some northern species move into Canada.

The study also provides support for what many bird watchers across the country have long thought – that many birds are responding to climate change by moving farther north.

Previous studies of breeding birds in Great Britain and the eastern U.S. have noticed similar trends. But the Audubon study covers a broader area and includes many more species.

Examples of these are the purple finch and the boreal chickadee. They are spending their summers in the forests of Canada and fly south into the U.S. for the winter. Climate change could be playing a role in why they are not flying as far south as they used to. This is reflected in the fact that these species of birds are no longer as common as they once were in states like Maine and Vermont.

The Audubon Society likes to conduct their bird counts in mid-December. At that time of year, temperature is the primary driver for where birds go and whether they live or die.To survive the cold, birds need to eat enough during the day to have the energy needed to shiver through the cold nights.

With the milder winters that the northeast has been experiencing in that four-decade span, it is possible that birds don’t need to expend as much energy shivering, and can get by eating less food in the day.

However, researchers cannot explain why some certain species are moving. It’s speculated that changes in temperature affect different birds in different ways.

Researchers don’t know for a fact that it is warming. But when they keep finding the same thing over and over, they reason that it is not just a figment of the imagination.

Over the past 40 years, the Christmas Bird Count has documented shifts to the north or inland for the majority and for nearly every kind of North American bird species. Audubon’s analysis confirms the evidence from bird enthusiasts who have frequently reported changing populations.

Given the strong evidence that global warming is indeed a key factor in documented bird movements, shifts like these will continue for familiar species — for better or worse — as long as the climate continues to change. Though these movements clearly point to significant ecological disruption underway, their short and long term impacts will vary for specific species and even groups.

Among all landbirds in the study, 64 percent showed significant northward movement, including more than 70 percent of all woodland birds and 70 percent of those that frequent feeders.

Among the birds that depend on feeders, such as Boreal Chickadee and Pygmy Nuthatch, have moved hundreds of miles since 1966. Already adapted to human surroundings, they are unusually well-suited to a shifting climate. Most will fare well in the short term, as long as food is provided to them. However, northern-wintering birds are highly vulnerable to the sudden onset of cold and stormy conditions. They are also likely to further disrupt ecosystem balance by forcing out less adaptable species.

Woodland birds that do not visit bird feeders, such as Spruce Grouse and Barred Owl, also showed long-distance northward movements. Their continued survival in northern winters will depend on healthy forest habitat, which is already at risk due to both the drying effects of global warming and over-development by humans.

Grassland birds are among the few groups that did not move north over the past 40 years, but are the most vulnerable. Only 10 of 26 (38 percent) grassland species moved north significantly, while nine moved south. Many probably could not move into northern areas despite increasingly moderate temperatures, because conversion to human uses such as crops, pastures, and hayfields, has greatly reduced availability of grassland habitat. These species are facing an uncertain future.

These little creatures of Mother Nature are wonderful to watch, track and photograph, as they go about their daily routines. In the process, they are trying to tell us something. We need to take note.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

The NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies formerly played in what Canadian city?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, February 28, 2019

The NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies formerly played in what Canadian city?


Vancouver, British Columbia

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Do I Need Bunion Surgery?

by Brett Sachs, DPM, FACFAS
Foot & Ankle Surgeon practicing in Denver, CO
Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

(NAPSI)—One in five Americans suffers from bunions. A bunion, or hallux valgus, starts out as redness and a bump on the side of the foot near the big toe. Over time, bunions can cause chronic pain and restrict movement.

Bunions are progressive and don’t go away on their own, so it’s important for people with bunions to see a foot and ankle surgeon who will evaluate the severity of the deformity and develop a treatment plan. Nonsurgical treatments may reduce the chance of damage to the joint and ease the pain of bunions. However, these treatments will not reverse the deformity itself. If the pain begins interfering with normal daily activities, surgical intervention will typically be the next step.

Until recently, the procedure had been very painful and the recovery difficult. However, foot and ankle surgeons have made several advancements in surgical techniques and patients return to normal activities sooner. Recovery typically takes four to six weeks.

Foot and ankle surgeons implement pain management techniques following bunion surgery, including using nerve blocks, postsurgical pain pumps, and vitamin C and calcium supplements. These let patients recover fully with minimal pain.

For more information or to find a foot and ankle surgeon nearby, visit, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ patient education website.

Brett Sachs, DPM, FACFAS is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and Fellow Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Deadline nears for film and video conference 2019

Photo from

Registration is now open for the second annual Maine Student Film & Video Conference, a full-day event offering a slate of hands-on workshops for middle and high school students in narrative and documentary filmmaking, broadcasting, photography, and technical production. Educators will have access to professional workshops and presentations focused on teaching and learning with film in the classroom. Attendance and participation in the conference is free, and registration is limited to 200 students and 50 educators.

Colleges, universities, working filmmakers, and professionals in the digital arts from Maine and nationwide will be in attendance and lead all workshops, working with small groups to provide individualized instruction. Lunch will be provided, and film-related prizes will be drawn at the end of the day to encourage skills development. To register for the 2019 Maine Student Film and Video Conference, visit:

“The conference is a perfect opportunity for students to try out the digital arts – from photography, shooting video, animation, editing and more,” said Dave Boardman, director of the Media Mass Communications program at the Mid-Maine Technical Center and co-director of the Maine Student Film and Video Conference. “The teenagers who came last year loved it, and the line-up is even better this year. The opportunities in this field are growing so fast, and this is the place where young people are getting a look at what’s possible.”

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Crazy March holidays

by Debbie Walker

Once again it is “that” time. It’s the first of a new month of Crazy Holidays and I hope you will find them interesting and a bit humorous. And we will begin:

March 1: National Pig Day: The purpose is to honor a domestic livestock that is considered to be one of the most intellectual and important species.

March 2: Dr Seuss Day: It is a favorite week for the little ones in schools and they celebrate this man’s birthday. It looked to me like they all enjoyed it, even I did.

Fun Holiday: Old Stuff Day: Appreciate the beauty of all things old and vintage. (some of us only need to look in the mirror and smile!)

March 5: Learn What Your Name Means Day: Do some research to find out the meanings of your name first and last. Maybe you will find a great story.

March 6: National Oreo Cookie Day: Enjoy! No calories that day!

March 7: National Cereal Day: Cereal is the most popular breakfast food in the U.S.

March 9: National Meatball Day: unofficial is to celebrate those little orbs of meat,

March 11: Napping Day: Celebrate the day after the return of daylight savings time. Gives you a chance to catch up on much needed sleep.

March 14: Steak and BJ Day: It is the male version of Valentine’s Day. I will only tell you to check this one out on your computer because I know this info would never get past Roland, our editor.

March 18: Awkward Moments Day: Celebrate or forget those awkward and embarrassing moments in our lives that may have made us want to hide.

March 19: Let’s Laugh Day: It is suggested that laughter can help people relax and reduce stress. Laughing and being joyful can also have health and social benefits.

March 20: World Storytelling Day: Unofficial holiday celebrates the tradition of oral storytelling and encourages participants to tell and listen to stories from different cultures and in different languages. I love this stuff! Grandparents please appreciate the values of your stories to children (and me!)

March 22: National Goof Off Day: You can enjoy this one without more clarity needed.

March 25: Waffle Day: It’s celebrated in other places around the world. Here in the states we have the National Waffle Day on August 24.

March 28: National Something on a Stick Day: For me that will be the day for me to go to the local flea market and the little red trailer where they make the very best corn dogs ever made!

Weed Appreciation Day: I don’t know why but someone thinks it needs “appreciation” (not one I plan to celebrate!)

March 28: Children’s Picture Book Day: Personally I am hoping a lot of folks celebrate this one every day. It really helps our children.

March 30: National Doctors Day: It is to celebrate physicians for the work they do for their patients and communities.

March 31: National Crayon Day: Celebrate the invention of crayons and the joy of coloring. Have you noticed how many people who are relaxing with some form of coloring? For me I enjoy surrounding myself with bright colors and flowers and fairies!

I am just curious which holidays you choose to observe. I’d love it if you would share with me! Contact me at Enjoy your holidays!

REVIEW POTPOURRI: The night E.B. White stayed in China Village

E. B.White

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

When I wrote about E.B. White’s Elements of Style for my February 14, 2019, column, I expressed my intent to devote another column or more in coming weeks, not only because of his phenomenal quality and quantity of writing, but also of the many years he and his wife lived in Maine.

I didn’t realize how soon until I received a phone call from Mrs. Janet Dow, with respect to my Valentine’s Day column. She told me of some paragraphs from White’s book, One Man’s Meat, in the form of a diary entry, devoted to the January 1941 night when the writer, his wife and their son slept at a China Village, Maine, inn owned by Mrs. Dow’s mother, Letha Wilson. Since China Village is located in my neck of the woods, this week’s column will consist of E.B. White’s paragraphs about that night:

Sunday. All three of us to the faraway doctor yesterday through snow and bad temper, the temper being mine; but it comes from my nose not my heart. The doctor took X-ray pictures of our son’s antra and wants to bore some holes in his head, which made me sick and discouraged all day and worried. We started driving back home just before dark, but I was doubtful that we could make it, as the snow had begun to drift across the highway and it was still snowing hard. Couldn’t see the road very well, so when we drew into the village of China I decided we had had enough of storm and bone cavities for one day, enough of doubts and slippery surfaces, so we drove into the garage of R.E. Coombs and he told us we might find lodging at an inn across the way.

No lights showed, but we waded up to the door and were welcomed by Mrs. Wilson, the proprietress, who was surprised to find guests in winter but took us in anyway and gave us some Saturday-night baked beans and brown bread with a dessert of preserved strawberries; and we moved the davenport from the living room into a big chamber across the hall to make the third bed. After supper we had a talk with our hostess about education, a subject on which she turned out to be an authority, because in winter-time, when innkeeping is slow, she occupies herself by teaching a district school and has nine schools under her.

She thought consolidation of schools in her town would probably be a good thing, but that there was strong opposition to it. And she told us that, although the disadvantages of the one-room school were very great, there were some compensating things too, principally that the pupils in such a school gained of necessity a certain independence at an early age, realizing that they had to progress in scholarship almost unassisted if they were to progress at all. She had taught also in Augusta, where she had only one grade to instruct, and she said it was noticeable how much more reliant on the teacher were the pupils there than in the country school.

I believe that, too, and my guess is that the Little Red School of yesterday produced a lower average of intelligence but produced occasional individuals who had the very best education there is, namely the knack and the will to seek and gain knowledge independently, without having it spooned out.

Arts society to offer scholarships

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 schools: Waterville, Winslow, Lawrence, Messalonskee, Erskine Academy, Snow Pond Arts Academy and Mid-Maine Technical Center.

Information has been sent to guidance departments asking for nominations. Information requested includes: student contact information; teacher recommendation; the student’s artistic ability and need; and three photos or video clips of student work. These can be submitted by mail to Waterville Area Art Society (WAAS) PO Box 2703, Waterville, ME 04903-2703) or digitally to Nominations must be submitted by May 1, 2019.

Previous winners and former applicants are also 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 207-872-5843.

SOLON & BEYOND: 4Hers, scouts to raise funds at town meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club held a meeting on February 16 with 15 members and two guests, Rebecca Johnson and Cynthia Lewis from GGC Member on Youth.

Three older members did presentations for examples. Cooper made butter, Laci made muffins and Hunter did compost. Those three will be doing the above presentations in the County Demonstrations on March 16.

Members made food plates to be delivered after the meeting.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club members will be putting on the March 2 town meeting dinner from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., at the Solon School before the annual town meeting. They have been doing this for many years, money raised from this will be donated to the Solon Food Cupboard.

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club will also being having a Food Sale from 8 a.m. -noon on town meeting day.

Hope many of you will go and support this worthy club with these young people.

Another e-mail that I received from Jennifer Hebert tells of the upcoming Solon Congregational Church’s Inside Craft/Yard Sale. “We are hoping that you will be part of our 2019 Inside Craft/Yard Sale this year. It will be held at the Solon Elementary School on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is a great winter blues buster for the community and always draws a good crowd! I am looking forward to hearing from you and having you at our event!”

Another e-mail that I received from Somerset Woods Trustees was very appreciated as usual. It is entitled, “CMP Transmission Line Proposal Wins Governor’s Support.”

Governor Janet Mills has issued her decision to support the 145-mile transmission line across western Maine’s North Woods that will carry hydropower to Massachusetts. Mills believes that the economic and environmental package offered by Central Maine Power is beneficial to Maine. A new 50-mile segment will be cut through the wilderness and a tunnel will be developed underneath the Kennebec River Gorge.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Clean Energy Project Director Dylan Voorhees wrote in a press release that, “Mainers don’t support CMP’s corridor project because it is a bad deal for Maine and our environment. This massive corridor would cause large-scale damage to Maine’s North Woods, would not reduce carbon pollution, and could block local clean energy projects that would provide real jobs and benefits for Mainers. CMP’s settlement offer doesn’t change these fundamental problems. It strikes us as being a desperate and calculated move to win support.”

For more information about the above, the address is Somerset Woods Trustees, P.O. Box 833, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.

As many of you know, I feel very strongly about this proposed CMP Corridor, along with many that I have heard from, after they read my first letter to the editor. And some that I don’t know who are placing their feelings on STOP signs. Wonder how many of you have noticed the big red STOP signs, with the letters underneath CMP? Or some say under the big STOP trusting CMP!

And now for Percy’s memoir: The only way to find rainbows is to look within your heart; the only way to live fairy tales is through the imagination and power of your mind; the only place to begin a search for peace is within your soul; because rainbows, fairy tales, and peace are treasures that grow from the inside out. (words by Evelyn K. Tharp) (I used the above words 12 years ago, even before we lost Percy, hope you like them.)

Lawrence boys headed to state championship game

In photo, front row, from left to right, Dylan Coombs, Seth Pellerin, Nick Robertson, Kober Nadeau, Gavin Herrin, Adam Duprey, Jackson Dudley. Back, Coach Elon Firmage, Coach Jon Doyen, Nik Pomerleau, Dylan Martin-Hachey, Jake Patterson, Mack Huard, Zach Nickerson, Coach Jason Pellerin and Coach Tim Robinson. (Photo by Mark Huard, owner of Central Maine Photography)

The Lawrence High School Bulldogs captured the Class A North boys basketball championship on Friday, February 22, with a 47-40 victory over the Skowhegan Indians. Lawrence improved its record to 13-8, and is headed to the Class A state championship game for the first time since 1999. The game will be held Friday, March 1, at the Augusta Civic Center at 7:45 p.m. Their opponent will be Class A South champion Greely High School.

In Class A North basketball final action, Lawrence’s Jacob Patterson (22), drives to the basket around Skowhegan defenders, Marcus Christopher, left, and Jimmy Reed. (Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography)

Lawrence’s Jackson Dudley has his eyes on the hoop ahead of teammate Adam Duprey (14) and Skowhegan’s Chase Carey. Lawrence advanced to the state championship game with a 47-40 victory. (Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography)