China resident Fred Wiand’s presidential campaign gets send off from supporters

Democratic presidential candidate, and China resident, Fred Wiand received a send off by supporters at The Head of China Lake, on Saturday, April 6. (Photo by Sandy Isaac)

by Sandy Isaac

A group of supporters gathered at the north end of China Lake for the launch of Fred Wiand’s “Running for You” campaign tour. Fred, a resident, of China, Maine, seeks the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.

He emerged from his white recreational vehicle shortly before 1 p.m. to meet and greet the group who came to hear him speak. His RV will act as a mobile campaign office and home for the next few months.

Wiand, a retired Air Force Major, served for over 20 years active duty and was stationed in over 13 countries. He has visited all 50 states and lived in many of them, including Pennsylvania, California, Texas, New Hampshire and Maine.

He said he has been (physically) running since the ‘60s which makes him fit for the job. This was also the inspiration for calling his campaign “Running for You” and at this rate, he has no thoughts of slowing down.

After greeting the supporters Wiand stated, “I may be the dark horse, but I see a path.” He then explained that he does not plan on taking any PAC money to help fund his campaign.

PACs (Political Action Committees) allows corporations or organizations to bundle contributions from their members and channel that money to fund elections of our government officials. This is the fastest way for a candidate to raise the cash needed to run a successful campaign.

When asked if this puts him at a disadvantage, he said, “No, a huge advantage actually. Other candidates will be beholden to those who contribute to their campaign.” He promised to address campaign finance reform once elected.

Wiand went on to speak about some of the issues that he would tackle as president, like universal healthcare, gender equality and gun safety. Two of the biggest topics he elaborated on were global warming/climate change and immigration. He said, “[We] should rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement,” and spoke of looking for alternative energy sources. Solar energy, wave/tidal/ocean options, geothermal, hydroelectric and hydrogen were all areas he felt we should explore more.

Immigration is also an important topic to Wiand. He started by expressing concern for all of those fleeing other countries and “escaping with their lives.”

Wiand mapped out a plan involving working with the Mexican President to ensure a safe and secure travel route for those who wish to come and go from the United States. His plans involve creating stop-over camp sites along the refugee routes in Mexico. He then spoke of villages being built with American and Mexican labor between camp sites, establishing employment opportunities, and all the benefits that a village infrastructure would have. A similar setup could occur on the U.S. side in areas like El Centro, California, and Del Rio, Texas, just to name a few.

He went on to say that electronic surveillance would be put into place instead of a solid wall and that every vehicle must be searched for contraband, no matter how long that inspection would take at designated secure crossings.

Wiand also spoke about gun safety. He mentioned that he was a gun owner, but that military guns should be used only by the military and that better background checks were necessary. He would like to see a universal gun law in place.

The “Running for You” campaign tour will take Wiand first to Massachusetts for a speech before heading south along the coast for stops in New York. Next up will be Pennsylvania to speak at Valley Forge and Gettysburg, then south to Florida.

When asked if he had anyone in mind to be a running mate, he said, “No, not yet. They would have to be like minded politically of course, but I would look for someone to add diversity to the office.”

Wiand was then asked about his negotiating style or philosophy. He said, “You have to be open to friendly negotiations. No bullying. You have to have vision, charisma, persistence and resolve.” For example, he mentioned how President John F. Kennedy said we would have a man on the moon, and although there was push back, he made it happen.

He went on to say that he hoped Democratic voters would not become divided by a third party, stating that “I will support whoever the Democratic National Committee chooses to be their next candidate. I just hope that it will be me.”

To read more about Fred and his philosophies, please visit his website,

ERIC’S TECH TALK: The 5G future and the fight with China

by Eric W. Austin

There’s a new wireless technology being rolled out this year that promises to be the biggest technological revolution since the invention of the cell phone. Dubbed 5G NR (“fifth generation new radio”), this isn’t just an upgrade to the existing 4G cellular network, but a radical reinvention of wireless technology that will require an enormous investment in new infrastructure, but also promises massive improvements in bandwidth, speed and latency.

This new cellular technology achieves these incredible improvements by making fundamental changes to the way cellular networks function. Whereas the old 4G technology used radio waves in the microwave band between 700 MHz and 3 GHz to communicate, 5G will tap into previously unused radio frequencies in ranges from 30 Ghz to 300 Ghz, known as millimeter bands. In addition, the new 5G technology will transmit across wider frequency channels of up to 400 Mhz, compared with 4G’s limit of only 20 Mhz.

Now, that may sound like a lot of technobabble, but it has real world implications, so let me explain.

A radio wave can be imagined as a wavy line traveling through space at the speed of light. Information is transmitted by manipulating the crests and valleys that make up that wavy line, much like the dots and dashes in Morse Code. The number of crests and valleys in a radio wave that pass a point in space in a specific amount of time determines the quantity of information transmitted. This is called the frequency of a radio wave. Since you can’t increase the speed at which a radio wave travels (it will always travel at the speed of light), the only way to increase information transfer is to increase the number of crests and valleys within a single radio wave. This is done by increasing its frequency. You can think of this as the difference between a wavy piece of string and a tightly coiled spring. While both the string and the spring are made from material of the same length, the spring will contain a greater number of crests and valleys and take up considerably less space. This is the basic concept behind the move in 5G to transmit using higher frequency radio waves.

Since the higher frequency radio waves of 5G technology are capable of transmitting a much greater amount of data than earlier microwave-based 4G technology, one can reasonably ask, why aren’t we using it already? The answer is simple. These high-frequency waves are much smaller, with their crests and valleys more tightly packed together, and therefore require receivers which are much more sensitive and difficult to manufacture. While such receivers have been available for military applications for a number of years, it has taken time for it to become cost effective to produce such receivers for wider commercial use. That time has now come.

The ability to fit more information into smaller transmissions, in addition to the use of wider frequency channels, means a hundredfold increase in data transfer times, and lower power consumption for devices.

However, there are also some significant downsides to using these higher frequencies. While millimeter waves can pack more information into a single broadcast, their shorter wavelength means they can also be easily blocked by obstacles in the environment and absorbed by atmospheric gases. Although the antennas needed to receive these transmissions will be much smaller than the giant cell towers in use today, we will need more of them because 5G antennas require line-of-sight in order to receive transmissions. Instead of cell towers every few miles, as we have for our current 4G/3G cellular network, hundreds of thousands of smaller antennas will have to be installed on office buildings, telephone poles and traffic lights.

This new 5G technology couldn’t have been implemented earlier because it requires the existing fourth generation infrastructure already in place in order to make up for these deficiencies.

While the new 5G technology has some real benefits to human user experience, like having enough bandwidth to stream 50 4K movies simultaneously, speeds that are 20 times greater than the average U.S. broadband connection, and the ability to download a high definition movie in less than a second, the real excitement lies in how this upgrade will benefit the machines in our lives.

A confluence of technologies ripening in the next few years are set to revolutionize our lives in a way that promises to be greater than the sum of the individual parts: this new, high-speed 5G cellular upgrade; artificial intelligence; and the rapidly widening world of the Internet of Things (IoT). These three technologies, each with astonishing potential on their own, will combine to change our lives in ways that we can only begin to imagine.

I have spent this article talking about 5G, and you have likely heard a bit about the emerging field of artificial intelligence, but the final item on this list, the Internet of Things, bears a bit of explaining. The Internet of Things is an industry buzzword referencing the increasing level of sophistication built into everyday appliances. Your car now routinely has cameras, GPS locators, accelerometers and other sensors installed in it. Soon nearly every electrical device in your house will be similarly equipped. In the future, when you run out of milk, your refrigerator will add milk to a list of needed items stored in the cloud. On your way to the grocery store, your home A.I. will send a message ahead of you and robots at the store will prepare a shopping cart with the requested items, which will be waiting for you when you arrive. Stepping through your front door after a long day at work, your phone will ping you with a list of recipes you can prepare for dinner based on the items you’ve recently purchased.

This is the Internet of Things. It’s every device in your life quietly communicating behind the scenes in order to make your life easier. Although this idea might seem a bit creepy at first, it’s coming whether you like it or not. According to statistics website, there are currently more than 26 billion devices worldwide communicating in this way. By 2025, that number is expected to top 75 billion.

The upgrade to 5G, with its increases in speed and bandwidth, is not so much a benefit to us humans as it is an aid to the machines in our life. As more and more devices come on line and begin to communicate with each other, the demand for greater speed and bandwidth will increase exponentially. Soon the devices in your house will be using more bandwidth than you are.

There are also some significant security concerns arising from the need to build additional infrastructure to support the new 5G network. It will require the installation of billions of antennas and 5G modems across the world, in every town, city and government building. But who will build them? According to a February 2019 article in Wired magazine, “as of 2015, China was the leading producer of 23 of the 41 elements the British Geological Society believes are needed to ‘maintain our economy and lifestyle’ and had a lock on supplies of nine of the 10 elements judged to be at the highest risk of unavailability.” With this monopoly on the materials needed for high tech production, Chinese companies like Huawei, which is already the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world, are set to corner the market on 5G equipment.

You may have heard of Huawei from the news recently, as the U.S. government has accused the company of everything from violating international sanctions to installing backdoors in the hardware they manufacture on behalf of the Chinese government. China’s second largest telecommunications company, ZTE, who is also looking to seize a piece of the emerging 5G pie, has been the subject of similar accusations, and last year paid more than $1.4 billion in fines for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Do we really want to build our communications infrastructure with equipment made by companies with close ties to the Chinese government? It’s a real concern for security experts in the U.S. and other western countries. Fortunately, European companies like Nokia and Ericsson, South Korea’s Samsung and California’s Cisco Systems are emerging as threats to this Chinese monopoly.

The new technology of 5G is set to revolutionize cellular communications in the next few years, but the real story is how the confluence of technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, in combination with this upgrade in communications, will change our lives in ways we can’t possibly foresee. The 5G future will be glorious, exciting, and fraught with danger. Are you ready for it?

MESSING ABOUT IN THE MAINE WOODS: A real problem with someone in my life – Past Me

by Ron Maxwell

I have a real problem with someone in my life: Past Me. He is an embarrassment and a nuisance and I wish I knew how to handle him. He always fools around and leaves me to do the work. Past Me even thought it a great idea to go camping last February break. I made ready all the food, double checked that I and my two teenage boys were packed. This camping trip even ran afoul of Herself as my wife worried about the temperature. I eventually had to gracefully accept her input and postpone the trip.

This week during April break the boys reminded me of Past Me’s promise and cowardice. I smoothed things over by letting them pick a day to spend in the woods. Once again I was planning and looking after Past Me’s task. Since he had already packed, I just grabbed the bag and the boys and I set out on the day they chose. Our early morning departure looked good, and it looked like the weather forecast would be right about today being the only day of partial sun and not rain this entire week. The only downside to the plan would be the outside chores neglected in our absence. Past Me had promised Herself a day of outside cleanup.

The good day turned bad in several ways. As we hiked to camp, an azure sky turned leaden. Gusting winds then thwarted most attempts at fire. Fleas, thousands of flocking fleas, made my sleeping on the ground not an option. Poor planning left us extra time which turned into a cold, windy walk. Food, started in the kitchen, failed in the field. An impending, frigid, sleepless night loomed as we huddled by our finally started fire.

Later, around that same fire, I realized my focus on the negatives was wrong. Our day contained all the fun parts of camping. Full packs and all, we had hiked and enjoyed it. We had tamed the wilderness to set up camp. We had overcome failure of the lighters with an emergency kit, my sleep system problem with an extra hammock, and our poor food choices with some good nature. We had wandered packless through the nearly springtime forest, played in streams and made pine mint tea (mint leaves we grow at home are always in my mess kit and the pine needles we picked made a welcome addition.) A safe, basketball sized fire completed our camp, with its small size made effective by adding flat rock reflectors and our microclimate tarp. We had also talked and ate and sat ourselves to that comfortable peaceful silence I love about family.

So, I suggested to the boys we could go home. This could be a new thing: theoretical camping. Camping joy without suffering the eternity of cold darkness until morning. We were only ten miles away, had experienced the best parts of camping and we could work tomorrow on the projects that were needed around the house. We could also, I added, get candy bars on the way home. Neither of them needed convincing past that, so we packed up camp. When we got home I had candy bars for everyone and all my wife said in the way of, “I told you so,” was “So you couldn’t stay away?” The smell of campfire hung about me as I nestled into the couch. I alternated between finishing a Snickers and dozing through a famous actor’s terrible British accent (he was singing some drivel about chimney sweeps, I think…) I also slept great that night.

Next day, as I was taking advantage of beautiful weather to work in the yard, it occurred to me that Past Me had finally done something right. He had shown discretion and coined a new hobby of theoretical camping, camping without the missing home part. So some things can change. But then it dawned on me that some things never do. He had messed about in the woods while I was stuck doing all the hard work at home.

Obituaries for Thursday, April 25, 2019


OAKLAND – Raymond Carl Bickford, 86, of Oakland, passed away at Togus Springs Hospice Center on Wednesday, March 27, in Augusta. He was born in Rome, May 29, 1932.

Ray was predeceased by his father, John R. Bickford, mother, Lillian M. Tibbetts Bickford; and brother, Robert Bickford and his sons, Peter Bickford and Timothy Bickford.

Ray leaves behind his wife, Ruth Hurd Bickford, of Oakland; son, Gregory Bickford and wife, Diane, of Unionville, Connecticut, and daughter, Kim Bickford, of Waterville; grandchildren, Joseph Greene and wife, Leslie, of Fairfield and their children, and Jeremy Bickford, of Connecticut; Courtney Green, of Waterville, Michael Ashman and wife, Cara, of New Hampshire, and Brian Bickford, of North Carolina. Ray also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was particularly close to his cousin Vance Tibbetts and wife, Ida, of Norridgewock. He also leaves behind his stepsons, Landy St. Peter and wife, Mary, of Oakland, Mark St. Peter, of Waterville and Glenn St. Peter, of Oakland, his step-daughters, Caron Beeckel and husband, Peter, of Turner, and Diane St. Peter and wife, Lisa, of Massachusetts, step-grandchildren Jeremiah, Jacob, Ben, and Ashley St. Peter, and many others throughout the US.

A private memorial will be held on April 28.

Arrangements are under the care of Direct Cremation of Maine.


OAKLAND – Lisa Ann King, 54, passed away at home on Friday, March 29, 2019. She was born on February 26, 1965, at Redington-Fairview Hospital, Skowhegan, to Lawrence R. Farmer and Scharliene M. Farmer (Austin).

Lisa graduated from Messalonskee High School, in Oakland, and Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. She was employed by Buds Food Center and Maine Criminal Justice Academy before becoming a homemaker.

Lisa loved children, crafts, gardening, working with animals, large family gatherings, modeling, dancing, and gymnastics. She had a heart full of love for her family and friends.

Lisa was predeceased by her parents, Lawrence and Scharliene Farmer; and her brother, Lawrence Farmer Jr.

Lisa is survived by her husband, Wann C. King; her children, Michael, David, Brandon, Hannah, Joselyn, Angela and Donna King; and her grandchildren, Alex and Scarlett.

A memorial service will take place at Grace Bible Church, 333 Oak St., Oakland, on Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m., followed by lunch and fellowship with the family. All are welcome.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home & Cremation Care, 26 Church St., Oakland.


WINSLOW – Roland LaRochelle, 94, of Winslow, passed away on Monday, April 1, 2019, at Mount Saint Joseph Nursing Home, in Waterville. He was born in Winslow ono January 5, 1925, a son of the late Ephrem and Alfredina (Letourneau) LaRochelle.

Roland worked for 35 years at Capital Distributors, in Winslow, as a salesman and subsequently as sales manager. He later joined Mid State Machine Shop, in Winslow, where he worked until he retired in 1995.

He enjoyed many hobbies, including hunting, gardening, splitting wood, and playing cards with his friends at the Le Club Calumet, in Augusta, where he was a 50-year member. He also loved working around his home and yard. One of his favorite pastimes was watching and feeding the birds from his porch which led to his battling the squirrels and chipmunks, all known to him as “Chippy.” To those privileged to know him, Roland graced all with his humor, ingenuity, and unmatched hard work. Memories and stories of his life are many and will be shared for years to come. He will be dearly missed.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lucille Picard LaRochelle; seven children, Muriel (Thomas) Howells, Theresa (Ronald) Bailey, Raymond (Brenda Shea), Elaine (David) McQuillan, Ann (Michael) Roderigue, Lisa (Michael) Whisman and Donald; his brother, Patrick. He was lovingly known as Pepere to his 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his infant daughter, Francine; brothers, Lionel, Wilfred, Clarence, August and Paul and sisters, Adella Boggs, Evelyn Paradis, and Yvette Jean.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John Regional Catholic School, Tuition Fund for a Child in Need, 158 Grand St., Winslow ME 04901.


FAIRFIELD – Nicholas V. Goodwin, 34, of Fairfield, and formerly of West Gardiner, passed away on Monday, April 1, 2019. Nicholas was born in Augusta at MaineGeneral Medical Center, on November 20, 1984, the son of Victor A. Goodwin Jr., and Kelly Batchelder.

Nicholas attended Wayne, Maranacook, as well as Gardiner school systems. He spent most of his life battling a kidney disease and received a kidney donation on June 1, 1989.

He loved listening to music, especially Madonna, Michael Jackson, and had a love for Marilyn Monroe.

He is survived by his parents, Victor A. Goodwin Jr., of West Gardiner, Kelly Batchelder, of Richmond; a brother Billy; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were under the care of Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner.

Condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website:


OAKLAND – Jaleah Gail Parlin, infant daughter of Hope and Dylan Parlin, was born sleeping on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta.

She was predeceased by her twin sister, Jocelyn Marie, and grandfather Mike Jordan.

She is survived by her parents, Hope and Dylan Parlin; her sister, Juliette Parlin; grandparents, Norman and Donna Cormier, all of Oakland; Peter and Alicia Parlin, of Daytona, Florida; great-grandparents, Bernice Lausier, of Oakland, Gail Parlin, of Augusta; uncles and aunts, Kyle Cormier and partner, Jaime, Nate Parlin and partner, Mercedes, Austin Parlin and partner, Hannah, and Aaron Jordan; as well as numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins.

A celebration of Jaleah and Jocelyn will be held Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 1 p.m. at The First United Pentecostal Church of Augusta, 15 Wilson Street, Augusta. Following the celebration there will be a gathering of family and friends where refreshments will be available.


WINSLOW – Joanne (St. Amand) McKay, 89, passed away Wednesday, March 17, 201, at Oak Grove Center, in Waterville. She was born April 4, 1929, in Middleboro, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ovila and Minnie L. (Fagerberg) St. Amand.

She was the wife of Eugene “Gene” Y. McKay, her high school friend. They were married April 8, 2000, after being separated for 52 years as they followed their separate paths through life.

A 1947 graduate of Memorial High School, in Middleboro, she attended Westbrook Junior College, in Portland, where she studied journalism. Following her college, Joanne was employed by Thomas Brothers, in Middleboro, as a bookkeeper. Further employment was with Plymouth Shoe Company and Earth Shoes, both of Middleboro, in the position of scheduler, followed by accounting positions at Hughes Ford, of Middleboro, Chase Chevrolet, of Middleboro, and finally retired as the Bbusiness manager of the Halifax Country Club, Halifax, Massachusetts. She was also employed as a secretary to the Superintendent of Middleboro Public Schools.

Joanne was the widow of Foster McComiskey, Jr., to whom she was married for 31 years. Gene and Joanne relocated to Maine in 2001 where they enjoyed a life of retirement and volunteer work, mostly at MaineGeneral Hospital, Thayer Campus, in Waterville, and also at Four Seasons Medical Clinic and the Alfond Cancer Center, in Augusta. Joanne also served on the Middleboro finance committee, Middleboro Central Cemetery Committee (as treasurer), the Lakeville Cable Television committee, all located in Massachusetts, and the treasurer of All Souls Unitarian-Universalist Church, in Oakland.

She loved reading and traveling, visiting the United Kingdom and Scotland and devoting many hours of reading at their own home library with Gene.

Joanne is survived by her husband, Gene; several nieces; stepson, William Curtis McKay and wife Nancy, of Wilton, New Hampshire.

She was predeceased by her sister, Anna Louise Stevens (the mother of her nieces).

There will be no visitation hours. A graveside service will be held at the Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, in Augusta, at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Cancer walk at Clinton school

From left to right, co-advisor Mrs. Cloutier, sixth grade students Kaylie Smith, Kylie Delile, Colton Carter, Alyssa Carter and co-advisor Mrs. Buck. (Contributed photo)

Clinton Elementary School’s Student Council led the school in a Bulldog Strong Walk-a-thon cancer walk for the American Cancer Society recently. Students and staff carried with them lists of names of the people they know or have known who had cancer. Over $1,002 was raised.

Vassalboro selectmen review almost-final warrant draft

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen spent most of their April 18 meeting reviewing the almost-final draft of the June 3 town meeting warrant, with a few other items briefly discussed.

Town meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, at Vassalboro Community School, where voters will act on Articles 1 through 63, which include 2019-2020 municipal and school budgets. The final three articles will be voted by secret ballot on Tuesday, June 11, at the town office, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Articles 64, 65 and 66 are a reaffirmation (or rejection) of the school budget approved the previous week, known as a budget validation referendum; a question asking voters if they want to continue the budget validation referendum for another three years; and election of municipal officers.

The three positions to be filled are one on the selectboard and two on the School board. Town Clerk Cathy Coyne said incumbent Selectman Robert Browne and incumbent school board members Jessica Clark and Kevin Levasseur are unopposed for re-election.

Five of Vassalboro’s 10 budget committee members will be elected at the June 3 open meeting. Committee members whose terms end this year are Donald Breton, William Browne, Philip Landry, Richard Phippen and Peggy Schaffer.

Selectmen are scheduled to sign a final warrant for town meeting at their May 2 meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the town office.

In other business April 18, selectmen unanimously approved using $250 from the police budget to sponsor Police Chief Mark Brown’s son at the Criminal Justice Academy. Brown said Vassalboro has paid for sponsorships in the past, including one for him in 1984. He wanted selectmen’s specific approval because of the family connection.

Selectman John Melrose continued discussion of improvements at the East Vassalboro park between the boat landing and the former school. He also proposed reviving the Trails Committee, a subcommittee of the Conservation Commission whose activities included establishing the town forest trail in East Vassalboro.

CHINA: Decisions will impact recycling, town funding and mass communications

by Mary Grow

At their April 16 meeting, China selectmen made decisions that will impact residents and non-residents on recycling, requirements for town funds for outside agencies and a mass communications system.

The board authorized Town Manager Dennis Heath to apply to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for a $38,000 recycling grant for a $58,566 three-part project, with a local match of $5,566 in cash plus labor or materials.

If the application is successful, most of the money would provide four recycling trailers, each with four bins for different materials. They would be distributed around town, one outside China Village near the causeway, one in South China, one near Tobey’s Market close to Branch Mills and one in Weeks Mills.

The manager also proposed an electronic pass system (RFID, or radio-frequency identification) to get into the transfer station. Residents, and later non-residents who have arranged to use China’s facility, would have a tag in their vehicles that would be recognized by a scanner at the gate. China would not charge for the initial tag, but if it were lost a replacement would cost $10.

A third component of the project is educational, with presentations on recycling at China schools, China Days and other appropriate venues.

Selectman Jeffrey LaVerdiere abstained on the vote; he supports recycling but questioned a recycling trailer at the causeway. Heath replied that it would be less unattractive than trash all over the grounds.

The change in requirements for an estimated 18 to 20 organizations that apply for town funds at the annual business meeting would ask them to prove that they are in conformity with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

A reference to payment of stipends makes it clear that the change includes China’s volunteer fire departments. Selectmen and fire chiefs have argued for months over how stipends are distributed, how they are reported and how much say selectmen have.

By China’s April 6 town business meeting, town and fire officials had direction from the state Department of Labor. At the meeting, voters gave the fire department more than either the selectmen or the budget committee recommended, with discussion indicating the goal was to let fire departments have funds for stipends they thought necessary. (See The Town Line, April 11, p. 3.)

At the April 16 selectmen’s meeting, board member Donna Mills-Stevens said the policy revision was not aimed at “picking on” fire departments, but was intended to make sure selectmen disbursed town funds as required by law. Heath emphasized that the change applies to all entities seeking town funds, whether or not they offer stipends. Selectmen’s approval was unanimous.

In a related matter April 16, Heath said fire officials told him they would attend selectmen’s meetings to discuss pending issues if they were at the beginning of the agenda, so they would not waste time. Currently, the third agenda item, after action on the previous meeting’s minutes and bills to be paid, is titled “Department Reports,” and fire/rescue is the third report.

Selectmen agreed to move fire/rescue to the first report item. The time spent on minutes and bills varies from meeting to meeting depending on how many questions board members have.

The proposed communications system would let town officials notify residents who signed up to receive message about emergencies, meetings, events of interest and anything else they might need to know. Town meeting voters appropriated $4,000 for the system, called Hyper-Reach.

Heath asked approval to pay the first annual $3,900 fee before the new fiscal year begins so the system could be operational in July. Selectmen had no objection.

Board members also approved the manager’s proposal to use up to $3,580 from this fiscal year’s contingency fund to replace 72 town office light fixtures with LED ballasts and bulbs.

Public Works and Transfer Station representatives said the new Ventrac tractor that plowed South China sidewalks was used to sweep the transfer station yard and started sweeping sidewalks in South China, until it blew a belt. No-charge repairs were expected in about two days.

Saturday, April 27, is a drug take-back day at the transfer station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fluorescent and other bulbs for which disposal fees are charged will be accepted free that day.

According to the town website, the next selectmen’s meeting will be Monday evening, April 29.

Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of April 25, 2019

To submit a photo for The Town Line’s “Give Us Your Best Shot!” section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

THREE’S COMPANY: Tina Richard, of Clinton, snapped these deer feeding in her backyard.


STORMY SKIES: Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, photographed this eery-looking sky above China Lake.


THE BIRDS!: Joan Chaffee, of Clinton, caught these crows, flying over Waterville, looking to roost for the night.

Vassalboro honors World War II veterans

Earl Brown (right) accepts his commemorative certificate from American Legion Commander Tom Richards (left). (photo by Eric Austin)

by Eric W. Austin

The fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, in France, was still burning on Monday evening, April 15, as a small group gathered at St. Bridget’s Community Center, in Vassalboro, to celebrate the service of the soldiers who had freed that country from Nazi occupation 75 years earlier.

Legion Chaplain Pearley Lachance opens the ceremony in prayer. (photo by Eric Austin)

The devastation unfolding in Paris was clearly on the minds of everyone, as Pearley Lachance, American Legion chaplain for Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post 5, in Waterville, opened the ceremony in prayer. “We are witnessing, via television, the destruction by fire of Notre-Dame, in Paris,” the chaplain intoned solemnly. “Paris was liberated by our brave troops in 1944. Many of them came home with memories of having visited this holy site. To the remaining veterans of that great war, we are grateful, and pray that God protects them until their final hour. Amen.”

Later, Jim Kilbride, Adjutant for Vassalboro American Legion Post 126, explained the impetus for holding this celebration honoring local World War II veterans. “We were having meetings,” he said, “and realized that for a lot of our older veterans, it was getting harder for them to come to the meetings. We decided we needed to do something before they were all gone. When we originally started researching it, we thought we had seven [veterans of World War II], only to find out that two had passed away recently.”

Although the Legion eventually identified five Vassalboro World War II veterans still living, three of those men, James W. Gray (US Army), Roland Lapointe (US Army), and Robert Roux (US Navy), could not make it to the ceremony for health reasons. Earl Brown (US Army) and Willard Sleamaker (US Navy) were in attendance, however.

Willard Sleamaker (left), US Navy, accepts his certificate of recognition from Commander Tom Richards. (photo by Eric Austin)

Willard Sleamaker was only 17 when he joined the Navy, and was stationed on an island repair station in the Philippines during the war. “We maintained a little island that became the ship repair center for the Pacific,” he explained. “My job as a kid was to operate equipment, grease it and keep it maintained.”

Earl Brown was drafted into the Army right out of high school, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and served as a field medic in the 79th division. He remembers participating in the liberation of Paris in August 1944, and visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fighting ended. “That’s why I’ve been watching all day,” referring to the fire still burning in the Gothic church.

(Earl can usually be found at Bee’s Snack Bar, in Winslow, around 10 a.m. each morning, so be sure to drop by to say hello and thank him for his service.)

Richard Bradstreet, Vassalboro resident and state representative for District 80, also spoke briefly at the ceremony. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” he said. “We honor our people who served their country.” Then, referring to Tom Brokaw’s 2004 book, The Greatest Generation, which he had recently finished reading, he said, “It was really eye-opening to me what the Greatest Generation went through in service to our country. I appreciate all the work that you’ve done, and appreciate our World War II veterans especially. They are part of the Greatest Generation, and I’m gratified to be here. Thank you.”

Richard Bradstreet, State Representative for District 80, speaks at the commemoration ceremony. (photo by Eric Austin)

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the evening came when Post 126 Adjutant Jim Kilbride read a certificate originally sent by the State of Maine to the families of soldiers killed in World War I. “In 1920, the State of Maine sent this certificate to the families of those that passed away during World War I,” he told the audience. “I have never seen a statement that better covers what it means to serve your country.” He then read from the century-old document: “’War means sacrifice. Every man or woman who enters the service lays at the feet of his country his hopes, his ambition, and his life. This is fully understood and yet it lessens not but little the sense of loss when that supreme sacrifice is made.’” After a pause, he looked up at the audience again, his eyes tight with emotion. “That is what it means to serve your country — to put your life, your hopes, your ambitions, your dreams on the line for your country,” he said, and then asked for a moment of silence, “for the men and women who have passed away in war, combat or in active service, and to remember those who are serving now.”

Legion Adjutant Jim Kilbride speaks at the gathering to honor WWII veterans. (photo by Eric Austin)

After the ceremony, Adjutant Jim Kilbride and Commander Tom Richards spoke about the current state of the American Legion. “We don’t have that many members,” Richards admitted sadly. Younger veterans aren’t joining the Legion as they have in the past, and he is worried the Legion won’t be around for the next generation.

Kilbride thinks the Legion is a victim of its own success. Because of the important work of the American Legion, the VFW and other organizations, veterans’ benefits, as well as the public perception of returning soldiers, has improved tremendously – a marked contrast to the days after the Vietnam War. But, he warns, those gains were only accomplished through strength of numbers. “What we try to get younger veterans to understand is, without their membership, we have a very hard time working with Congress and the Senate on veterans’ issues,” Kilbride said.

Waterville American Legion Post 5 chaplain, Pearley Lachance, who was recently named 2019 Legionnaire of the Year, is also doing his part to keep the memories of local veterans alive. For years he has collected the names of area veterans, particularly from the first two world wars. “What happened with this project,” he said, “it just got out of hand. I now have over 8,000 names of people from central Maine.” Lachance began compiling the list by poring through more than a thousand newspaper articles saved in an old scrapbook by a local teacher from the 1940s, which is now archived at the Waterville American Legion. Then, two or three years ago, he realized, “Those [names] are just words on a page.” He then began tracking down photos to go with every name. He’s gathered 400 pictures so far, 15 of which are from Vassalboro.

If you have a grandfather or grandmother who served in either world war, and a photo you’d be willing to share (he’ll scan it and get it back to you), you are encouraged to contact him at 873-0358 or through the American Legion Post 5, in Waterville.

Each veteran honored at the ceremony was presented with two certificates, one from the State of Maine, thanking them for their service during World War II, and the other from the American Legion, thanking them for their years of service with the American Legion.

The American Legion Post 129 meets every other month at St. Bridget’s Community Center, in Vassalboro.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Health Benefits Of Plant-Based Nutrition

(NAPSI)—As people continue to look for ways to live healthier lifestyles, the plant-based diet continues to gain momentum. A plant-based diet describes a way of eating in which there is an emphasis on plant foods in the form of colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

Supporting Your Health with Plant-Based Foods

Benefits of eating more plant foods are numerous. Plant foods are nutrient dense, which means that they provide an abundance of nutrients relative to their calorie cost. Fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains are terrific sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and they’re naturally cholesterol-free. Most contribute a fair amount of fiber, too, so they help to fill you up and keep your digestive tract running smoothly. When you include plenty of these nutritious, filling foods in your diet, it leaves less room in your stomach for less healthy fare.

That said, as the proportion of U.S. consumers who adhere to a vegan diet grows, so does the desire for these people to get more protein. In fact, a Nielsen HomeScan survey recently found that 39 percent of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods and 60 percent want to get more protein in their diets.

Identifying Sources of Plant-Based Proteins

The major sources of plant-based protein include beans, peas and lentils but whole grains are also important. You may think of whole grains as more of a carb than a protein and that’s true–most grains have more carbohydrate calories than protein calories. But whole grains contribute important essential amino acids to the diet. Most vegans know that in order to get the full complement of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins in the body), it’s important to consume both legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and whole grains. Soy is one of the few complete plant-based proteins, meaning it contains the nine essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own.

How Much Protein Is Right For You?

Protein is important for maintaining lean body mass. Susan Bowerman, Registered Dietitian and Senior Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition says the Institute of Medicine recommends you eat 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories from protein.

You can estimate your protein needs based on your current body weight. Simply, multiply your body weight by 0.7. The number you get is a reasonable target for the amount of protein, in grams, that you should eat each day. For instance, a woman who weighs 140 pounds should aim for about 100g of protein a day. A 220-pound man should shoot for at least 150g of protein.

Introducing Other Plant-Based Proteins

While most plant-based diets place an emphasis on whole foods, other plant-based foods that are derived from these whole foods can be included. So, in addition to legumes and whole grains (brown or wild rice, oats, quinoa, millet and the like), other sources of plant-based protein include soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, tofu, tempeh, and protein powders made from plant sources such as soy, pea, rice, hemp, oats or quinoa.

To help, Herbalife Nutrition’s Formula 1 Select and Protein Drink Mix Select are two new plant-based nutrition mixes specially formulated with a high-quality blend of pea, quinoa and rice proteins. Formula 1 Select is specially formulated to provide an excellent balance of protein and other key nutrients for optimal nutrition, is an easily digestible source of high-quality plant protein and fiber, and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

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