BHBT donates to Junior Achievement program

From left to right, Nichole Lee, BHBT China Branch Relationship Manager and JA volunteer, Bob Bennett, JA volunteer, Sarah Sachs VP Residential Lending BHBT, Lisa Veazie SVP Regional Market Manager BHBT, Jill Jamison – Director of Operations JA, Michelle Anderson – President JA, Lilly Fredette China Middle School eighth grade student. (contributed photo)

In early May, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust presented a gift of $4,500 to Junior Achievement of Maine as part of BHBT’s Casual for a Cause. BHBT employees selected JA based on the passion and dedication JA commits to inspiring Maine students to build strong financial futures through mentor led programming. JMG at China Middle School gets great benefit from partnerships with JA and BHBT. JA offers valuable programming that provides students the necessary foundation to plan for long term academic and financial success. Through activities and projects, facilitated by a community volunteer, students learn critical employability and financial skills. JMG students in grades 7/8 at China Middle School have experienced JA programs, “It’s My Future, Economics for Success and It’s My Business.”

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appraisal needed on property

To the editor:

On June 11, the voters of China will vote on whether or not to authorize the select board “to purchase a portion of the property at Map 38, Lot 15, including all costs, not to exceed $150,000….” The portion of the property consists of five acres with frontage on China Lake.

I am a strong proponent of preserving open space and public ownership of land to preserve it for current and future generations. As a 30-plus-year resident of China, and as a voter and taxpayer, this sounds like a great deal and one which I would normally support.

In this case, however, offering the owner of the property up to $150,000 may be a great deal for the town, but it may be a bad deal for the property owner. It’s important for the voters to know that the $150,000 figure came from a tax assessment of the property. There has been no property appraisal. The property may be worth less or it may be worth much more. I suspect it is the latter.

I believe that the town of China should have bought and paid for a property appraisal before putting this to voters. Only in this way would we know what the property is really worth and what we should pay for it. If the voters of China vote the purchase down, this is all a moot point. If the voters of China vote YES, I hope that the town pays for an appraisal and has another vote in November if value of the property exceeds $150,000. I also hope and expect the town of China to not pay the owner more or less than the property is worth.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China

Local athlete gathers more accolades

Dylan Presby

After being presented with the prestigious male sportsmanship award at Newbury College, in Brookline, Massachusetts, Dylan Presby, of China, was recognized by being named to the Malloy All Sportsmanship team for the entire conference. The Nighthawks sophomore will transfer to LaSalle College, in Newton, Massachusetts, next season after Newbury closed at the end of the current school year. He is the son of David and Michelle Presby, of China.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: The night calls of the hermit thrush

Hermit Thrush

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

We haven’t visited the world of ornithology in quite some time, so it was only fitting this past weekend when someone at the weekly campfire asked a question about a bird that sings at night. After some research, it was determined the song heard was that of the hermit thrush.

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the hermit thrush’s song has been described as “the finest sound in nature.” It is flute-like, consisting of a beginning note, then several descending musical phrases in a minor key, repeated at different pitches. It often sings from a high open location. The famous author Walt Whitman referred to the hermit thrush as a “symbol of the American voice, poetic and otherwise,” in his elegy for Abraham Lincoln.

It is an unassuming bird with a lovely, melancholy song and lurks in the understories of far northern forests in summer. They have a rich brown upper body and smudged spots on the breast, with a reddish tail that sets if apart from similar species in its genus.

You can look for the hermit thrush in forest openings or along trails. This species spends winter and summer in different parts of the country. In spring and summer, you’ll likely hear their mournful, flute-like song long before you see them.

Hermit thrushes, Catharus guttatus, visit backyards, but generally do not go to feeders. However, during migration, they often forage on the ground or eat berries in yards with trees or shrubs. Males usually gather food for the nest, while females feed the nestlings. They usually make their nests in and around trees and shrubs, but they can also get more creative. Nests have been found on a cemetery grave, on a golf course, and in a mine shaft.

Young are ready to fly at about 12 days old. They usually have one to two broods a year. They eat mostly berries, beetles, ants, caterpillars, true bugs, grasshoppers, crickets and many other insects. They will also eat spiders, earthworms, and sometimes salamanders.

The male will defend the nestling territory by singing, especially in the morning and evening. Their nest site varies with the region, mostly found on the ground in the east and north, in a natural hollow on the side of a hummock and well hidden by overhanging branches or surrounding low vegetation.

The hermit thrush is hardier than other brown-backed thrushes. If it is startled from the ground in the forest interior, it often perches low and stares at the observer, flicking its wings nervously and slowly raising and lowering its tail.

The hermit thrush migrate in early spring and late in the fall, and probably migrates mostly at night. They are not year round residents of the state of Maine, but merely come here during the breeding season. They can only be found year round in Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

While most hermit thrushes migrate to wintering grounds in the southern United States and south to Central America, some remain in northern coastal U.S. states and into southern Ontario. They usually breed in forests, but will sometimes winter in parks and wooded suburban neighborhoods.

They are a medium sized bird measuring 6 – 7 inches in length, with a wing span of 9.8 to 11.8 inches, weighing from .63 to 1.31 ounces.

The oldest recorded Hermit Thrush was at least 10 years, 10 months old when it was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Maryland in 2009. It had been banded in the same state in 1999. They can be found in every contiguous state in the United States.

Conservation-wise, the numbers of the hermit thrush seem to be holding up well.

In culture, the former Canadian indie-rock band Thrush Hermit took its name from a reversal of the bird’s name. It is also shared by the American bands Hermit Thrushes and Hermit Thrush. Also, A Hermit Thrush is the name of a poem by the American poet Amy Clampitt. A hermit thrush also appears in the fifth section of What the Thunder Said, of the T. S. Eliot poem The Waste Land.

The irony of the whole episode is that in the 31 years my wife and I have had this camp, we had never heard it before.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

What Boston Bruins player is the only defenseman in their history to record four points in a single game in the Stanley Cup final?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, June 6, 2019

What Boston Bruins player is the only defenseman in their history to record four points in a single game in the Stanley Cup final?


Torey Krug, against the St. Louis Blues, on June 1, 2019


2019 Winslow Boys and Girls State delegates

Front row, from left to right, Katherine Stevens, Carrie Selwood and Grace Smith. Back, Jacob Huesers, Aaron Harmon, Caleb Mills. (contributed photo)

Winslow High School juniors will be attending the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State at Husson Uni­versity, in Bangor, and American Legion Boys State, at Thomas College, in Waterville, from June 16-26, 2019. This is the 72nd year of Dirigo Girls and Boys State. The students will be learning how local, state, and federal government operate.

China students at state house

From left to right, Gwen Lockhart, Elijah Crockett, Reiana Gonzalez, Colby Willey, Alexia McDonald, Sam Boynton, Hailey Estes, Senator Pouliot, Lilly Fredette, Joe Wing, Dominick Breton, JMG Specialist Ryan Sweeney. (Contributed photo)

China Middle School students pose for a picture with Senator Matthew Pouliot after participating in the Honorary Page Program.

China survey on town office hours

This survey seeks input from the residents of the town of China about the operating hours for the town office. Your participation is critical to ensuring the needs of community are being adequately met in the schedule of operating hours. If you have already completed and returned a paper version of this survey, please do not complete the online survey.

There will be paper versions of the survey at the town office and the transfer station.

The survey is available online here.

The Town Line reporter Mary Grow receives Spirit of America award

Chairman Lauchlin Titus, of the Vassalboro Board of Selectmen, and Mary Grow (Photo courtesy of Mary Sabins)

At the annual town meeting held at the Vassalboro Community School on Monday, June 3, 2019, Chairman Lauchlin Titus, of the Vassalboro Board of Selectmen, presented the 2019 Annual Spirit of America Award to Mary Grow to honor her for her commitment to exemplary local journalism as demonstrated by her years of dedicated attendance at Vassalboro board meetings, and reporting on Vassalboro activities and events to the public. The Spirit of America Foundation Tribute is presented in the name of Maine municipalities to local individuals, organizations and projects for commendable community service.

Gov. Mills visits Webber Pond dam fish ladder

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, center, netted some alewives at the Webber Pond Dam, in Vassalboro, on a recent visit. She is flanked by Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher, left, and Vassalboro resident, and Webber Pond Board of Directors member Phil Inness. (photo by Jeff Nichols)

Governor Janet Mills visited the Webber Pond alewife fish ladder on Thursday, May 30. It was an historic event. She is the first governor to visit an alewife fish ladder at all, much less to bring the Commissioner of Marine Resources Pat Keliher and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Judy Camuso to Webber Pond, in Vassalboro.

Gov. Janet Mills, left, discuss alewives at Webber Pond Dam with Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher, right, and Vassalboro resident, and Webber Pond Board of Directors member Phil Inness, center. (Photo by Jeff Nichols)

Webber Pond Association President Frank Richards got to interact briefly. The governor seemed to be having a good time. She was interested to learn that brook trout also ascend the fish ladder and that Webber Pond has become a well-known lake in the realm of bass clubs, tournaments, and even Bassmaster’s magazine.

Webber Pond was one of the first alewife restorations and it has become something of an example for other lakes. The pond has had a run now for about 15 years; since approximately 2004 when the first adults returned from the ocean.

This year the governor’s visit was scheduled on a “Count” day. She borrowed a net from the harvester for the sake of a photo op.

A lot of the conversation centered on the environmental benefits of alewife restoration. The group also had the experience of watching an eagle swoop down and pluck an alewife out of the water.

Next year, possibly, this can be done again and scheduled on a harvest day, in order to present the economic development benefits of alewife restoration to the lobster bait business, lobstering, and especially to the marine fishery.

Alewives are more than lobster bait. They significantly increase the forage available to haddock, cod, and other species in the Gulf of Maine.