Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of May 30, 2019

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ALL FOR ME?: Val Baker, of Weeks Mills, snapped this yellow-rumped warbler on a suet feeder.


BREATHTAKING SUNRISE: Janet Soucy captured this spectacular sunrise over China Lake, at Pellerin’s Campground.


CUTE GROUNDHOG: Britt Holmstrom-Salisbury photographed this groundhog in Benton Falls.

SOLON & BEYOND: Margaret Chase Smith Library is an archive, museum, education center

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

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

Received this e-mail from Susan Lahti: Good Morning all,

Please help us publicize the annual East Madison Historical Association’s Yard and Bake Sale on June 1 – 2 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This year we will also have our newly published EMHA cookbook with 200 recipes from members and friends of the EMHA.

Items included in the yard sale include tools, furniture, glassware, small appliances games and puzzles, books and more.

Baked items available are: Yeast and quick breads, cookies, pies candies scones and more.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word!

It certainly seems like winter refuses to step aside for spring but we are hopeful! Stephany Perkins’ talk on her efforts on behalf of JMG in Tanzania was enthusiastically received at the Leeke Lecture. DC political pundit, Sophia Nelson, spoke at Bowdoin and made a point of trekking to Skowhegan to see the library named after her idol. Lions Club Speak-Out Contest selected its regional winner. National History Day in Maine winners were selected at the UMaine contest; now on to nationals. Essay contest winners were announced as well. Community-minded kids from area schools continue to do kind deeds. Maine author, Paul Doiron, will be here on June 11 to talk about his upcoming book. Won’t you join us! This e-mail was from Angela Stockwell.

Author Paul Doiron will visit the Margaret Chase Smith Library on Tuesday, June 11, at 6 p.m., to talk about his popular Mike Bowditch mysteries. Doiron is on the tenth installment of his highly successful series about a crime-fighting Maine Game Warden. He will preview his forthcoming book, Almost Midnight which is due for release in early July. Doiron will also have available for purchase a limited number of earlier titles from the series, which he will be willing to autograph.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The Library is located at 56 Norridgewock Avenue in Skowhegan. For more details, phone 474-7133.

The Margaret Chase Smith Library is an archive, museum, educational center, and public forum dedicated to promoting the values of aspirations, service, civics, and civility modeled by Senator Smith during her long, distinguished career in national politics. The above e-mail was sent to me by David Richards.

I greatly appreciate any news shared in this column, either from Solon or Beyond.

Since the above is all the recent news I have received for this week, I am going to print some of an old column when I was writing for the Skowhegan Reporter on November, 3, 1988. That was when my column was called, “SOLON, The friendliest town in the state.” Had told a couple of people that I’d probably have to leave town after last last week’s Reporter came out and one of them commented on Friday that it was well written but he said, “You know most people probably read it and just laughed.” Oh yes, I’m sure of that (that’s what I’m here for is to give every one a good laugh) but this dreamer’s heart can’t help dreaming that maybe a seed of thought was planted in a few minds.” Wonder how many of you noticed it was the full of the moon last week? That will do it every time!

And now for Percy’s memoir, this week it is from an old yellowed page of Actual Announcements from Church Bulletins. And he means no harm, he just wants to give you something to laugh about: “This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.” Another one states: “A bean supper will be held Saturday evening in the church basement. Music will follow.”

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: June’s wacky holidays

by Debbie Walker

We will soon be heading into June and I don’t want you to go into the month without being prepared for your fun holidays. Maybe you can work some of these holidays into your vacation time. Let me know what was the most fun for you!

June 1, Dare Day – or a challenge day. Don’t just pass out dares, take one or two yourself. Show your sense of adventure.

June 2, National Bubba Day – If it is not your nickname you can adopt it for yourself for the day. You determine what “Bubba” would do today.

June 4, Old Maid Day – The suggestion on the ‘net’ was for ladies to get out and get noticed, to help you find your prince charming. I like to think that is the day to get out and celebrate ‘you’. Can’t say that I buy into the ‘Prince Charming’ and ‘Old Maid’ days. What is your thought?

June 6, D-Day – World War II D-Day Invasion – It is the largest amphibious assault in world history. Take a moment of silence and thank our soldiers, past and present.

June 8, Best Friend Day – Take this time to reach out to a best friend you may have lost touch with over our busier years. You never know what this might do for them or for you. Just try.

June 9, Donald Duck Day – Donald Duck has a middle name. Did you know? It is Donald Fauntleroy Duck. June 9 was his first performance on June 9, 1934. Do your grandchildren know Donald?

June 10, National Ballpoint Day – The Ballpoint pen was introduced on this day in 1943. The first ones sold for $12.50. They say the invention ranks right up there with canned beer.

June 13, National Weed Your Garden Day – A weed is any plant not wanted in your garden. I have found around the yard there are ‘weeds’ that just look like another flower to me and I keep them.

June 14, Monkey Around Day – Go out and have some untamed fun (something might cause someone to tell you to act your age). You will relax and have some great memories!

June 16, Father’s Day – Remember on this holiday to honor those who are a “Father figure” to you, and that may include some Moms. Think of the Dad’s who have passed and appreciate them while you have them. They are not a forever given.

June 18, International Panic Day – OK, well maybe get the panic out of your system and then calmly carry on for the rest of the year. I have no idea why this one was created.

June 19, World Sauntering Day – Sauntering is a form of strolling, no hurrying. Walk along slowly, happily and aimlessly. Enjoy your stroll.

June 21, Summer Solstice – Finally Summer Day – Longest day of the year. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the season because we always feel it is too short a season. (It has been in the 90’s here all week)

June 26, Forgiveness Day – A time to forgive and be forgiven. It may be tied into the Best Friend Day for some. The world will be a better place if we all celebrate this day.

Once again I have run out of allowed words but I am sure you can come up with some ‘holidays’ of your own invention. How about you pass them on to me, maybe come up with some future holidays and share with me??

I’m just curious what you will invent. Please share. Contact me with questions or comments at I’ll be waiting. Happy and Safe Holidays for you all! Thanks for reading!

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Paragraphs from E.B. White

E. B.White

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Paragraphs from E. B. White

I offer two paragraphs from E.B.White’s One Man’s Wheat in which he writes about the movies from the sweet peace of his Brooklin, Maine, farm in May 1939:

“There is no movie house in this town so I don’t get to many pictures; but I keep in touch with Olympus by reading Motion Picture magazine and the daily papers. On the whole, this is a higher type of entertainment than seeing the films-although I miss Tarzan and Lamour, and I am not getting ahead very fast with my study of trees in the movies, a work I have been engaged in for some years.

“The newspapers, of course, keep one informed of the marriages, births, deaths, separations, divorces, and salaries of the stars. If Gable weds Lombard, I know about it. When Tone and Crawford reach the end of the road, I am informed. Separations and divorces are scented with the same delicate orange blossoms as marriages and elopements, the same romantic good fellowship. One of the most interesting accomplishments of the film community, it seems to me, is that it has made real for America the exquisite beauty of incompatibility. Divorce among the gods possesses the sweet, holy sadness which has long been associated with marriage among the mortals. There is something infinitely tender about the inability of an actor to get along with an actress.”

A footnote to the above-mentioned actor Franchot Tone (1905-1968). He is one of the most underrated actors I have ever seen in films and his roles as Roger Byam in 1935’s Mutiny on the Bounty and the President of the United States in Otto Preminger’s 1962 Advise and Consent conveyed his talent at sucking the air out of a room.

Vivid moments from two recent concerts:

I traveled to Portland for the last concert of the Symphony’s 2018-19 season on May 13 at downtown’s Merrill Auditorium. It featured guest conductor Jeffrey Kahane who had already directed two previous concerts this season. Kahane lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, and they have another home in Denver, Colorado. He resigned in 2017 as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra after 20 years.

The Maestro led the Beethoven 1st Piano Concerto by memory from the keyboard. He then conducted a powerful Rachmaninoff The Bells for choir, orchestra and soprano, tenor, and baritone soloists and finished with Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful showpiece, Capriccio Espagnol. The Orchestra has achieved considerable growth in the more than 45 years since I last attended a concert under one of their former conductors, Paul Vermel, who did do very good performances with it. I remember a Berlioz Romeo and Juliet, Charles Ives 2nd Symphony, Brahms Violin Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and a nicely-staged Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte.

Last Saturday’s Detroit Symphony live link featured the 26 year old Italian-born pianist, Beatrice Rana, in the Sergei Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto with the Orchestra under guest conductor, Kent Nagano. The Concerto, completed in 1921, was premiered by the Chicago Symphony in 1922 with the composer as soloist. Its technical demands are ferocious, its rhythms very compelling but it has the most exquisite delicacy and lyricism. Ms. Rana brought a wonderful balance of these musical qualities to her playing .

The accompanying Bruckner 3rd Symphony has the gripping power, serenity and eloquence of that composer, along with long stretches of development that need the right pacing or the symphony could become quite dull. As with long-gone conductors Eugen Jochum, Herbert von Karajan, and George Szell and the still living Ivor Bolton and Daniel Barenboim, Nagano met these challenges.

The concert can still be watched for a while through the DSO link.

My favorite Mamas and Papas pop song has always been the 1966 hit record, Go Where You Wanna Go; for those who no longer have that record, it can be heard through YouTube.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Fighting the opioid epidemic

(NAPSI)—According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care professionals could save more than 130 lives lost to the opioid epidemic each day.

How? With a deeper understanding of pain, pain medication and addiction, especially related to opioids. Communities rural and urban are witnessing a growing and deadly phenomenon, while health care providers feel caught between prescribing guidelines and patients’ needs.

To address this issue, doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, pharmacists and other clinicians can take courses from CME

Outfitters and USF Health, supported by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson, that provide strategies for how and when to prescribe opioids, better understand the biologic underpinnings of pain and addiction, and look at targeted, effective and safe treatment alternatives.

Fighting the opioid epidemic in our communities goes beyond educating the health care professionals who prescribe opioids to educating patients as well. If you are prescribed an opioid:

  • Make sure you understand your treatment and what to expect
  • Learn how to safely dispose of unused medication
  • Understand how to help loved ones struggling with addiction
  • Know what lifesaving measures you can take in case of an overdose.

Learn more at

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An open letter to Gov. Janet Mills regarding the NECEC project

by Bob OConnor
Citizen Town of China
Founding board member of China Lake Association

Dear Governor Janet T. Mills,

This is my Open Letter to you to consider revising your stance on the NECEC project (CMP-Quebec Hydro). Please require that NECEC put the new power lines underground.

Recently the federal “Environmental Protection Agency says Central Maine Power’s permit application now being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its controversial New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project is incomplete and needs a ‘detailed analysis’ of alternatives.”

I want to speak to these alternatives and suggest that the NECEC Change their plan and REQUIRE that the HVDC line be fully put underground.


Underground lines are Safer from Environment Extreme Climate events, Wind and Ice Storms. Transmission towers like the proposed came down in a heap during the 1998 Ice storm in Quebec. (Pictured above)

There was even more ice damage in Quebec than in Maine.

Severe windstorms can also take down these towers. See Google for more examples of the vulnerability of these towers and find many recent examples of failure of these towers due to storms. The trend going forward is for more frequent and more severe storms.

Putting the HVDC lines underground will almost totally eliminate Storm damage.


Underground lines are much safer from Sabotage from some misguided person or group.

See the current Canes Film Festival winner from Iceland Woman at War to see how easy it is to sabotage power lines using a bow and arrow. (Shown in Waterville Maine).

This movie shows the necessity of police patrols with helicopters, drones and heat sensitive cameras. The new isolated rural 43-mile line is likely to require regular patrols that will further upset the wildlife and people.

Putting the cables underground would significantly reduce the possibility of sabotage.


With the current plan, CMP will be using herbicides that will adversely affect the Maine woods, wetlands, streams and ponds. Putting the wires underground would eliminate the need for herbicides.


This picture to the right shows the comparison of land disturbance of above ground HVDC towers with underground HVDC lines.

This image from Page 17 of the EuropaCable document attached shows how much less intrusive underground HVDC is. It shows in the first example, 100m (328 ft.) wide path tower path (1) and the 12m (40 ft.) underground path (4). This is an 88 percent reduction in path width.

There is very little electromagnetic radiation from HVDC underground lines (versus AC lines) and light farming can even be done over the underground cables.

Also note that the two alternate route RFP’s from Vermont and New Hampshire proposed using HVDC underground lines to Quebec Hydro.

See attached document that gets into the details of HVDC underground Europacable ‘Introduction_to_HVDC_Underground_Cables_October_2011‘.

Governor, please consider modifying your stance on the NECEC project and STIPULATE THAT THE CABLES BE PUT UNDERGROUND.


Caught volunteering, again!

China selectman Irene Belanger was caught, once again, volunteering. Here she is seen working in the flower gardens next to the China Town Office, in front of the Old Town Hall, on Lakeview Drive. (photo courtesy of Becky Hapgood)

Erskine annual spring concert slated for May 31, 2019

(photo credit: Erskine Academy)

The Erskine Academy Annual Spring Concert will take place on Friday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m., in the James V. Nelson Gymnasium. Admission is free. Participating ensembles are Chorus, Concert Band, Collaborative Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and Music Lab. Each ensemble will reveal their own artistic identity as well as perform many favorites including The Sound of Silence, Summertime, Let it Be, and Imagine. Please celebrate the musical arts with these wonderful young people!

Results of dam removal

With the removal of the Lombard Dam, in Vassalboro, another section of the China Lake Outlet Stream is flowing freely. (photo by Matt Streeter)


photo by Matt Streeter

The caption for the above photo has been corrected. It was an editing error.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Trust emergency responders

To the editor:

As you all know, I’m pro volunteer emergency services. Anyone who voluntarily races towards an emergency I trust with my life (and my wallet).

Neil Farrington