SOLON & BEYOND: Town to hold preliminary budget meeting; to discuss marijuana opt-in options

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

Received this e-mail from the Solon Town Office: There will be a preliminary budget meeting for annual town meeting on Wednesday, December 11, at 6:30 p.m., at the town office conference room. This is a preliminary meeting to discuss town budget issues before the annual budget meeting and the marijuana “Opt In” options for a town vote in March.

The selectmen will be attending a workshop on December 4 on the new marijuana laws and what it means for the towns.

Also Selectman Keith Gallagher is resigning effective November 28, 2019. He and his family are moving out of state in December. The selectmen are sad to see him leave. He has been a real asset to the town and brought new knowledge and insight to the board of selectmen.

The selectmen will not hold a special election to fill his seat. Instead, at the March 2020 annual town meeting there will be two selectmen positions on the ballot; one a three-year term and one a one-year term. Selectman Sarah Davis will be running again for the three-year term position.

Nomination papers will be available for the two selectmen positions and the road commissioner position on Wednesday, November 27, and due back by Tuesday, January 7, 2020. The nomination papers will be available from the town clerk and are required to have the signatures of at least 25 registered Solon voters when they are turned in.

That is all the recent news I have since I just sent my column for this week. (I will be delivering the papers on Wednesday that week because of Thanksgiving the next day.)

Hoping to give you a few laughs, I’m going to write down an old poem (October 4, 1943). It was one I had written for English I, at Flagstaff High School, I had named it Saving Gas! Some people go to the movies in cars, and that is luck, But we have to go in a breezy old truck. What do we care, if we only get there. With many a song our singing is rare. We don’t have much style, but we have lots of fun. The people of Stratton always know when we’ve come!

I received an A- for this crazy poem, we had some great teachers! But…… there wasn’t any movie theater in Flagstaff, but there was one in Stratton and my wonderful uncle loaded up his truck with as many of us who fit in safely, and off we would go to Stratton! I brings back many wonderful memories!

Now I want to tell you more about the great calendars we at the Skowhegan Adult Ed teacher-less painting class have had made. There are some beautiful special pictures painted by members in this group for each 12 months of the year 2020. Much of the work done to get these calendars finished was done by Lee York, who has been with this group of artists since the beginning. I can’t call them my students since I don’t teach them anything, but I do call them wonderful friends. Don’t know how to tell you how proud I am of these painter friends of mine and their talent shows in the paintings. If any of you are interested in purchasing a calendar you can call me at 643-5805. The money that we take in for them is going to go towards scholarships.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Don’t wait with longing for the day when better times might come your way. Discard the fears that may depress; Live now and garner happiness.

It’s such a waste to dwell on gloom. Though you have problems, find the room for loving when the path is rough; For laughter when the going’s tough.

To fully live means you must face whatever comes with humble grace. And if you mourn, turn it to praise. How much to do, how few the days!

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Crazy December holidays

by Debbie Walker

This is the 12th month I have done the Crazy Holidays columns. I hope you got some fun out of them as I did. I haven’t decided yet what I will follow up with to use for the last week of the month. Do you have any ideas? Let me know what you might like for one week out of every month. I’ll be waiting.

Okay, here we are for the month of December 2019. Most people wouldn’t believe there are holidays other than Christmas for this month. If all the Christmas marketing hype has you somewhat frazzled, pick your own holiday to observe in your own way. Here are a few suggestions:

December 3: National Roof Over Your Head Day: Spend a few minutes of thoughtful appreciation for having a roof over your head. You might think of donating to something benefiting the homeless in your area.

December 5: Bathtub Party Day: Invite a friend (or spouse) to your bathtub party. Open a drink, light some candles and have some snacks within reach.

December 6: Mitten Tree Day: Set up a Christmas tree and have people bring in mittens to donate. This is popular in both schools and work.

December 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Please do remember.

December 12: National Ding-A-Ling Day: You should beware of the people you encounter today. Even normally conservative people have been known to go a little a little crazy on this date. It’s a day to cut loose.

December 14: National Bouillabaisse Day: I must admit that I have never had bouillabaisse, nor do I intend to. I love our fish or seafood chowders; my sister’s is especially good. The French and folks around the Mediterranean have their version, I’ll keep ours!! I imagine a lot of families have different recipes.

December 16: National Chocolate Covered Everything Day: Ok this must be one of my favorite foods. On this day you should also share with others.

December 20: Go Caroling Day: You must be able to put together a small group of fun loving people who would be happy to put smiles on others faces. You don’t need to be an expert.

December 21: Look on the Bright Side Day: This day is the shortest day of the year but you only need to remember to look for the good in different aspects of the day.

December 23: Festivus – It’s for the Rest of Us: If you don’t celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza, and you don’t have a clue what Ramadan and Boxing Day are; Festivus might be just the holiday for you.

December 24: National Egg Nog Day: You may start your egg nog drinking on Christmas Eve but my family starts just before Thanksgiving and on through the holidays. Egg Nog is famous in our house also for nutrition if someone has been ill.

December 30: National Bicarbonate of Soda Day: The other name for this is baking soda. It can be used for baking, indigestion and heartburn, removes odors from kitty litter, as a fire extinguishers, cleaning product, and many more uses.

December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day: You can ‘make up your mind’ to rather you want to make any resolutions. Then make up your mind what those may be.

That ends the Crazy Holidays columns for the year. The replacement is going to be Different Uses for Regular Products for the year 2020. Hope you enjoyed the Crazy Holidays, if you missed any of them please check out the archives for, I’M JUST CURIOUS. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

FYI: Ignore those vehicle repairs and you may get pulled over

(NAPSI)—Many drivers may feel that they don’t have the time or money to address vehicle repairs immediately, but beware: Ignoring some repairs can get you pulled over and even ticketed.

“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” explains Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In some jurisdictions, car owners may even lose their license for certain violations. A few dollars spent on simple vehicle repairs can help avoid trouble with the law.”

While a vehicle is in operation, traffic laws require that certain equipment is properly installed and functioning correctly, including brakes, headlights, turn signals, mirrors, windshields and safety belts, to name a few.

The Car Care Council recommends that drivers address these four repairs right away as they present public safety concerns that can earn drivers a traffic ticket on top of a repair bill.

  • Non-functioning turn signals and headlights or taillights that are cracked or broken. Most states require vehicles to have functioning turn signals as well as two functioning headlights and taillights. Taillights must illuminate red; if a taillight is cracked, it can give off a white light, which is also typically a traffic violation.
  • Cracked windshield. If a windshield is cracked, discolored or tinted in a way that obstructs vision, drivers may get ticketed and fined. In some states, vehicle modifications, such as tinted windows, are prohibited.
  • License plates are unreadable. If the license plate light is out or the plate is otherwise unreadable, drivers may be pulled over. In some states this includes clear or tinted plastic license plate covers.
  • Loud exhaust system. A defective exhaust system that is too loud, either because it’s been modified or because it needs repairs, can be cause for a ticket. What’s considered loud depends on the state.

Many states, including Maine, also require periodic vehicle safety inspections. For an overview by state, visit

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at

Free Guide

To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Veterans Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of Vietnam War With ‘Alive Day’ Stories

Photo credit:

(NAPSI)—Army veteran Ron Hope was piloting a helicopter in Vietnam to extract a company of soldiers, when he was shot down. His left brachial plexus—the network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the arm and hand—was crushed. He also broke both legs, suffered compound fractures in six vertebrae and had third-degree burns covering 55 percent of his body.

The Texas native was honorably discharged from the Army and turned his focus to recovery. He went on to enroll at Tarleton State University and dedicated 40 years to serving his fellow veterans. Each year on July 15, Hope hosts what he calls a “celebration of life” gathering to mark his Alive Day and remember the battle buddies he lost. “I met a lot of good people in Vietnam. Unfortunately, I don’t have many of them left, but I still remember them and those we left behind.”

Alive Days are now common among veterans who have survived catastrophic wartime injuries, whether visible or invisible. These special days mark the anniversary when they almost died serving their country. Many Vietnam-era veterans have reached 50 years’ worth of Alive Days. DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a nonprofit charity that helps veterans get their benefits and services, honors those milestones through a new online series of articles and podcasts featuring Vietnam heroes.

For example, Marine veteran Bobby Barrera had been in Vietnam for only six weeks when a massive explosion rocked his vehicle, causing severe burns over 40 percent of his body and leaving him without a right hand or left arm. While his family marks the anniversary of the day—Sept. 16, 1969—every year, Barrera says, “My real Alive Day was when I married my wife, who gave me a renewed reason to live.” With her support, he went back to school and they started a family. He also found meaningful work with DAV, helping other veterans and their families.

Another Vietnam veteran, Jim Sursely, thought only of sports as a teenager—football, baseball and basketball. But while driving down the street in his Minnesota hometown, he saw a sign that read, “Uncle Sam Needs You.” Sursely went to see an Army recruiter and three months later, was inducted into the military. A year into his service, Sursely stepped on a landmine, immediately losing both his legs and left arm.

After accepting and adjusting to life as a triple amputee, Sursely moved to Florida, where the new construction business brought more accessibility and opportunities in real estate. Today, he and his wife run their family business and he is one of the top real estate professionals in the area. Sursely is proud to say that he enjoys life with his four children, 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. And he continues to honor his Alive Day and looks forward to celebrating his 51st next year.

To read more about these and other Alive Day stories and learn about the support available to veterans of all generations, go to

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Tale of the turkeys, and the tough times they’ve been through

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an upland ground bird native to North America. Although native to North America, the turkey probably got its name from the domesticated variety being imported to Britain in ships coming from the Levant via Spain. The British at the time therefore associated the wild turkey with the country Turkey and the name prevails.

Wild turkeys prefer hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests with scattered openings such as pastures, fields, orchards and seasonal marshes. They seemingly can adapt to virtually any dense native plant community as long as coverage and openings are widely available.

Despite their weight, wild turkeys, unlike their domesticated counterparts, are agile, fast fliers. In ideal habitat of open woodland or wooded grasslands, they may fly beneath the canopy top and find perches. They usually fly close to the ground for no more than a quarter mile.

Wild turkeys have very good eyesight, but their vision is poor at night. They will not see a predator until it is too late. At twilight most turkeys will head for the trees and roost well off the ground; it is safer to sleep here in numbers than to risk being victim to predators who hunt by night. Because wild turkeys don’t migrate, in snowier parts of the species’s habitat like the Northeast, it is very important for this bird to learn to select large conifer trees where they can fly onto the branches and shelter from blizzards.

Wild turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating acorns, nuts and other hard mast of various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as lizards and small snakes.

Turkey populations can reach large numbers in small areas because of their ability to forage for different types of food. Early morning and late afternoon are the desired times for eating.

Males are polygamous, mating with as many hens as they can. Male wild turkeys display for females by puffing out their feathers, spreading out their tails and dragging their wings. This behavior is most commonly referred to as strutting.

Predators of eggs and nestlings include raccoons, striped skunks, groundhogs, and other rodents. Avian predators of poults include raptors such as bald eagles, barred owl, and Harris’s hawks, and even the smallish Cooper’s hawk and broad-winged hawk.

Predators of both adults and poults include coyotes, gray wolves, bobcats, cougars, Canadian lynx, golden eagles and possibly American black bears.

Occasionally, if cornered, adult turkeys may try to fight off predators, and large male toms can be especially aggressive in self-defense. When fighting off predators, turkeys may kick with their legs, using the spurs on their back of the legs as a weapon, bite with their beak and ram with their relatively large bodies and may be able to deter predators up to the size of mid-sized mammals. Occasionally, turkeys may behave aggressively towards humans, especially in areas where natural habitats are scarce. They also have been seen to chase off humans as well. However, attacks can usually be deterred and minor injuries can be avoided by giving turkeys a respectful amount of space and keeping outdoor spaces clean and undisturbed. Male toms occasionally will attack parked cars and reflective surfaces thinking they see another turkey and must defend their territory. Usually a car engine and moving the car is enough to scare it off.

At the beginning of the 20th century the range and numbers of wild turkeys had plummeted due to hunting and loss of habitat. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they were found from Canada to Mexico in the millions. Europeans and their successors knew nothing about the life cycle of the bird and ecology, itself, as a science would come too late, not even in its infancy, until the end of the 19th century whereas heavy hunting began in the 17th century. Deforestation destroyed trees turkeys need to roost in.

Game managers estimate that the entire population of wild turkeys in the United States was as low as 30,000 by the late 1930s. By the 1940s, it was almost totally extirpated from Canada and had become localized in pockets in the United States. In the northeast they were restricted to the Appalachians, only as far north as central Pennsylvania. Early attempts used hand reared birds, a practice that failed miserably as the birds were unable to survive.

Wild turkeys were once native to Maine but were extirpated in the early 1800s from over-hunting and the clearing of forests along the coast. But in 1978, wild turkey were successfully reintroduced in Maine by state biologists – and the birds have thrived since.

But not everybody is so enthusiastic about the state’s success in reintroducing wild turkeys, which began back in the 1970s in York County. In fact, plenty of Mainers think we have far too many turkeys on the landscape and blame the birds for a variety of ills.

In some parts of the state, there are a lot of turkeys. And though the state deals with few calls about nuisance turkeys, there are places where efforts to limit the number of birds might make sense.

However, these big birds get a bum rap and are blamed for a variety of problems. If you see a flock of turkeys in a blueberry field at noontime, you might blame the birds for eating all the berries. But there are deer, bear, moose, foxes and other critters in that blueberry field at night, doing damage.

“Do we have too many turkeys?”

It all depends on whether the birds are eating your crops, or foiling your attempts to hunt them.

Benjamin Franklin

Had it been up to Benjamin Franklin, the turkey we carve for Thanksgiving dinner might have been our national bird. After the bald eagle won the honor instead, Franklin wrote to his daughter that the turkey was “more respectable” than the eagle, which he thought was “of bad moral character,” calling them lazy, opportunistic predators.

Franklin expressed admiration for the feisty way barnyard turkeys defended their territory, a trait he liked in Americans, too. It’s not clear, however, whether Franklin knew much about wild turkeys, which ran and hid from intruders instead of defending their turf. Indeed, some Apache Indians thought turkeys were so cowardly that they wouldn’t eat them or wear their feathers for fear of contracting the spirit of cowardice.

So Franklin probably wasn’t thinking about the wild turkey when he considered possible symbols of American courage. But the domestic or barnyard turkey he admired did have its origins in America’s wild turkey population.

Aztec Indian tribes had long domesticated wild turkeys for food. Early Spanish explorers discovered these domesticated turkeys and took a few of them back to Europe, where the birds were bred into yet another variety of domestic turkey.

Those European turkeys came to North America with English colonists and were used for food. They are the birds Franklin seems to have preferred over the native bald eagle for our national symbol.

So, even though the bald eagle is the official bird of the United States, much to the chagrin of Benjamin Franklin, it must be pointed out that on Thanksgiving day, the wild turkey is the national “bird of the day,” even though most of us actually consume domesticated turkeys.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

The Buffalo Bills appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-1993. Has there ever been a team to appear in three in a row?

Answer can be found here.

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

The Buffalo Bills appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-1993. Has there ever been a team to appear in three in a row?


Twice. The Miami Dolphins, 1972-1974, and the New England Patriots, 2017-2019.

Graduates from military basic training

PVT Jordaan Harris

Parents Ben and Patrice Harris, of Fairfield, have announced their daughter, PVT Jordaan Harris, has graduated from Army Bootcamp, on November 15, 2019. She successfully completed 10 weeks of intensive basic training. She has reported to Fort Huachuca, in Arizona, to complete her AIT before heading to her duty station.

China Food Pantry thanks community

A photo of the food boxes being prepared for needy families in China.

WOW!! Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our community, the China Community Food Pantry has been able to serve 53 families this year AND, in addition, you have given us a healthy head start on being able to offer our families a turkey at Christmas time as well. Thank you all so very, very much. The outpouring of support from this community was both humbling and staggering. We are so very, very grateful to each and every one of you.

LEGAL NOTICES for Thursday, November 28, 2019

18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice November 28, 2019

If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-A MRSA 3-804.

2019-320 – Estate of THOMAS H. MOORE, III, late of Bingham, Me deceased. Jane Lawton Potelle, 632 Ivy Street, Glendale, CA 91203 appointed Personal Representative.

2019-354 – Estate of FRANK K. BENNETT, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Rhonda Robinson, 36 Nyes Corner Dr., Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2019-364 – Estate of ROBERT S. CURTIS, late of Fairfield, ME deceased. Elaine S. Philbrook, 32 13th Fire Road, China, ME 04358 appointed Personal Representative.

2019-371 – Estate of ANITA N. MULLEN, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Ninette C. Dubois, 171 High Street, Oakland, Me 04963 appointed Personal Representative.

2019-372 – Estate of FABIA CHANDLER, late of Athens, Me deceased. Joseph K. Chandler, 344 Coffee County Club Road, Hortense, GA 31543 and Jennifer Luarent, 149 Stratham Heights Road, Stratham, NH 03885 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2019-376 – Estate of LOUIS H. MORONG, late of Ripley, Me deceased. Virginia J. Morong, 71 McCarthy Street, Manchester, NH 03104 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on November 28, & December 5, 2019.
Dated: November 25, 2019 /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates. These matters will be heard at 10 a.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be December 11, 2019. The requested appointments may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard. This notice complies with the requirements of 18-A MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2019-365 – Estate of TAYLOR SIERRA STAPLES. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Taylor Sierra Staples, 60 North Ave., Apt 4, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting name be changed to Taylor Keith Staples for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: November 25, 2019. /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate


Estate of
DOCKET NO. 2019-354

It appearing that the following heirs of FRANK K. BENNETT, as listed in an Application for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative are of unknown address as listed below:

Donna Bennett, address unknown, Bonnie Bennett, address unknown,

Mike Bennett, address unknown, Timothy Bennett, address unknown

Bruce Bennett, address unknown

THEREFORE, notice is hereby given as heirs of the above named estate, pursuant to Maine Rules of Probate Procedure Rule 4(d) (1) (a), and Rule 4 (e) a.

This notice shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in The Town Line, with the first publication to be November 28, 2019.

Name and address of the Personal Representative: Rhonda L. Robinson, 36 Nyes Corner Dr. Fairfield, Me 04937

Dated: November 25, 2019.
/s/ Victoria Hatch
Register of Probate

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Give your people permission to break rules

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Great customer service is often delivered by people who don’t mind breaking the rules.

You walk into your favorite pizza place. You love the pizza here because it is always fresh, hot, and delicious, so good, in fact that as far as you’re concerned, there is no other place in town to get pizza. One of the things you especially like about this place is that they serve pizza by the slice, which you love when you’re in a hurry and need a quick slice, or two, before you get back to what you are doing. You arrive at 7:15 one evening only to be told that they don’t sell by the slice after 7 p.m.

You’re disappointed but you get it, they don’t have enough walk-in business that late in the evening to move the pies by the slice. You are about to choose something else, when the person serving you says, “Hold on a minute and a few seconds later appears with a fresh hot slice of pizza and sells it to you. Now she is obviously taking a risk, she has broken the rule; you don’t know where she got that slice. But all you care about is that she gave you, a recognized good customer, a steady customer, what you asked for, and with that simple gesture, she guaranteed your loyalty forever. That is rule-breaking great customer service.

Sometimes great customer service comes to you unexpectedly, like the lady from the dry cleaners knocking on your door as six in the evening, after her shift is over because you forgot to take all of your shirts when you picked up the others earlier in the day.

Or, the car mechanic who calls you late one afternoon to tell you he has been thinking about the sound your car is making and he is pretty sure he knows what it is; so, if you bring in first thing in the morning, he will fix it right away. Just the fact that he has been thinking about your car’s problem after you left is a big deal!

Or the cable service person who actually tells you exactly when she will be at your house. And then won’t leave until she solves your problem, no matter how often the office is calling her to get to her next call.

Or your favorite waiter, at your favorite restaurant, who knows your taste so well that he likes to bring you a little sample of a new dish the chef is preparing because he thinks you’ll like it…and he doesn’t charge you a penny for it.

Or the person who is drying your car, at the car wash, who is not happy with the job they did, and insists on taking your car through again.

These are all examples of people who care more about the customers they are serving, than the rules of the company they work for. Now as a business owner ask yourself these questions:

  • What would you do if these were your employees? Would you reward them or reprimand them?
  • Do you have a system that gives your employees permission to do the right thing for your customers?
  • Is your entire staff trained to react the way the people in these examples reacted?

If not, then you’d better think about your customer service attitude and training. But if, on the other hand, these examples sound like what’s happening in your company, then good for you because that is the right way you are going to grow your business.