INside the OUTside – Summer weather is here: time to get outside

by Dan Cassidy

It’s that time of year… even though we haven’t had enough poor weather conditions, and for those of you who are outdoor enthusiasts have had to put up with this Coronavirus COVID-19. It’s hard to imagine that the whole world has seemed to be shaking up, destroying lives and creating uprisings.

Take a hike

It’s time to get your hiking gear and plan a trek into Maine’s woods, mountains and lake regions. Let’s not get too excited and overdo yourself in climbing a high mountain range, bike an extended ride or not pack accordingly.

Although it looks like it’s going to be a shortened season, there are many opportunities to get in some single day and multi-day treks. Temps are rising steadily as the month of June wears on, and Caribou, Maine, of all places may soar into the high 90’s breaking all-time records.

A day trek …

Before we venture out, let’s make sure you have the proper gear for a day trek.

  • A lightweight backpack to carry some light food, water, warm waterproof rain gear.
  • Footwear – very important to keep feet both dry and safe for the terrain you’ll be hiking. Sneakers are not the proper footwear for hiking rough terrain.
  • Apparel should consist of waterproof wool layers that will keep you both dry and warm.
  • Hiking pole, such as a ski pole or walking staff will help maintain stability and strain on your knees.
  • Don’t forget to leave a copy of your trek behind so that if you should get lost or if you need to be contacted, timing may come into play. Always carry a compass.
  • Keep track of the weather before you venture out. Plan ahead for any inclement conditions.
  • Other gear should include a first aid kit, sunglasses, sun protection lotion, knife, toilet paper, whistle if you should get lost and a cell phone.

If you’re planning an overnight trip, you’ll need a backpack large enough to carry some extra gear. In addition to the gear you’ll need for a day hike, here are other essentials to consider:

  • Check out the weather forecast as to where you’ll be heading.
  • Food such as snacks, sports bars, sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly) and chocolate bars.
  • Stay hydrated. Don’t forget to carry plenty of water for an extended trek. You may want to consider water treatment tablets, as any water found on the trails should be treated before drinking.

Enjoy your day! It’s a great way to stay healthy, toned up and it’s a great exercise.

Give the loons their space

“The loon families of China Lake, and other surrounding ponds, thank you for space and slow speeds as we raise our young. Our young are unable to dive out of danger!”

Remember, loon nests are built near the water line because loons are poor walkers and exit and enter the nests from water level. Any substantial wake from a passing boat will swamp the nest and could possibly wash away eggs or drown chicks. Maine law requires “headway speed” within 200 feet of shore. If you know of the location of a nest, stay away! The loons depend on you obeying that fundamental boating law.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Red foxes are abundant and widespread in all 16 Maine counties

A mother red fox with her kittens rambling through the grounds at the Togus VA. (photo by Gary Kennedy)

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Over the last several weeks, I have been approached and told of numerous fox sightings. It seems they are becoming more abundant in our area. I have seen a few, on the roadways, from time to time, as they cross from one side to the other. They have also been spotted at camp, moving about from lot to lot.

Then, there is the sighting, by one of our supporters, of the somewhat rare gray fox.

Maine is fortunate to have two species of fox, the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and gray fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus. Both species are similar in size, but there are some important differences in their appearance, behavior, and distribution.

Gray fox.

The red fox is abundant and widespread, occurring in all 16 counties in Maine. Adult red foxes weigh 7-15 pounds and have a distinct red/orange appearance, white chest, black legs, and bushy white-tipped tail. Silver or cross foxes are an abnormal development of dark pigmentation in the fur of the red fox; they appear black, silver or a combination of red/black/grey and are less common than the typical red ones. Red foxes have keen eyesight and hearing, and are very agile, jumping up to six feet high. Red foxes have a special method of hunting with impressive pounces on prey hidden under the snow or ground.

The gray fox is abundant in southern and mid-coast Maine, and continues to expand into western and central parts of Maine. Gray foxes weigh about 10 pounds and are distinguished by their grizzled coloration, a hint of red on the neck, ears, and lower legs, and a black stripe down their tail. Gray fox are the only member in the canid (dog) family in North America that can climb trees. Red foxes can climb, but not as well as gray foxes.

Foxes are omnivores and eat a wide variety of plants and animals, depending on the season. Small birds and mammals are consumed, including mice, voles, rats, rabbits, and bird eggs. Foxes also eat insects, snakes, carrion, berries, apples, corn, seeds, and nuts.

Foxes are primarily nocturnal, including hunting during dawn and dusk, but foxes are occasionally seen out during the day, particularly during the spring/summer, as is the case right now, when rearing pups.

Foxes are found in diverse habitats and are quite tolerant of living near people. Foxes are common in agricultural landscapes and tend to do well with a mix of forest and fields.

Coyotes are predators of foxes but tend to be more wary of people, so foxes avoid coyotes by living near people.

Research suggests that humans create the conditions for conflict by deliberately or inadvertently providing animals with food and shelter. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife urges you to use the following management strategies around your property to prevent or resolve conflicts and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Seeing a fox out during the day is not a problem and does not mean the fox is sick! Never approach or handle wildlife. Enjoy watching the fox go about its business from a safe distance. Remember that fur coats are much thinner and patchier in the summer, especially for mother foxes who have put most of their energy into raising young.

Never feed wildlife. Once an animal is fed, it will return, lose its fear of people, and could become aggressive.

If you have had conflicts in the past and have a bird feeder, consider planting native plants instead. Bird feeding can create a chain of events that are not always obvious. Dropped seed attracts many wildlife species who feed on the seeds or predators who feed on the rodents that increase as a result of a bird feeder.

Store your trash inside buildings, use garbage cans with locking lids, and bring your garbage cans to the curb the morning of pick up.

Securely cover and fence compost piles or use a compost bin. Never throw dairy or animal matter into compost, since it can become smelly and attract animals. Regularly mixing in some dirt or leaves to your pile will also reduce the scent and allow the foods to break down more quickly into compost.

Foxes and other predators will kill free-ranging chickens and other small livestock that are not secured in a shelter. Protect your livestock from predation by using a predator-proof pen with well-fitted doors and locks and electric fencing.

Small livestock should be confined to their pens during vulnerable periods from dusk until dawn.

Foxes can carry diseases, but people can protect themselves by keeping a safe distance from wildlife and vaccinating their pets. Common fox diseases include mange, rabies, and canine distemper.

Foxes are very tolerant of people and will den in a variety of places, including near roads, in yards, or under buildings. In most cases, the fox family will move if there is a lot of disturbance. Be a responsible pet owner and never let your dog harass wildlife. If you want to encourage the foxes to move, simply pour some bleach or ammonia at the entrance of the den, leave a portable light on, or a radio on overnight. This will encourage them to move to an alternative den.

Prevent wildlife from denning under your porch, deck, or buildings by closing off holes during the fall. Close off these areas with quarter-inch hardware cloth, boards, metal flashing or other sturdy barriers.

In the rare case that there is an aggressive-acting animal, call the nearest dispatch center for help:

Augusta 1-800-452-4664; Bangor 1-800-432-7381; Houlton 1-800-924-2261.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Red Sox first baseman went 238 games without committing an error between 2006 and 2008?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, June 25, 2020

Trivia QuestionsWhich Red Sox first baseman went 238 games without committing an error between 2006 and 2008?


Kevin Youkilis.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS – This too will pass: will you be ready?

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

I think that right now all of us are wondering if we will ever feel free to be around other people, to go out to dinner, or grocery shopping. We wonder if our customers will be comfortable having us come into their homes to put in that new kitchen or bathroom? We wonder when that guy is going to come back for a haircut, or that great customer of yours will be back for that once a month all day spa treatment that both you and she count on?

We have to wonder don’t we? They are saying it could be weeks or even months before we all get back to normal, whatever that means. But we can say with a clear vision of optimism that yes, we will get back to normal… or at least a normal with a slant based on what we are going through.

But of this we can be sure. Yes, your customers are going to want that new kitchen and bathroom, they are going to want that spa treatment and yes, believe it or not, that might even be looking forward to that teeth cleaning, or even that postponed root canal. People are going to need the same things that they needed before COVID-19 hit us. In fact, they are going to not only need them, but they are going to want them, and want them with a vengeance!

They are already salivating at the thought of that medium rare filet at their favorite steak house, they are unbelievably tired of that crummy old out of date kitchen they have had to live with four months longer than they’d planned. They are going to want that wonderful and relaxing day at your spa, especially now that everyone knows their true hair color. And yes, they are actually going to look forward to that once dreaded root canal.

But will you be ready for them? Some states, (not the very bright ones, unfortunately) are already opening up and in a few weeks more will follow including our own. Will you be ready? Really, well let me ask you what are you doing to be ready? If you’re a contractor I suggest you call those customers who postponed their projects with you to get them back on the calendar. Remind them there is going to be a rush for your time once this terrible nightmare is over, so they’d better get on your schedule now. The same with your Spa.

If you own a restaurant, you’d better be planning a welcome back menu that will make everyone who missed you delight in their return to your place.

Think about it. We will all be back on the road in a very short time, it might even be a shorter time than you think. So, if you want to start growing your business again, you’d better start planning right now for when things get back to normal.

LETTERS: It shouldn’t take a pandemic to underscore need for high speed internet

by Pat Pinto
AARP Maine, Volunteer State President

It shouldn’t take a pandemic to underscore the importance of high-speed internet in our state. Rural Maine’s struggle with connectivity has been going on for years, but with COVID-19, the true consequences of slow or no internet can no longer be ignored.

During the last few months, residents throughout Maine have voiced their frustration. Paul Armstrong’s small business in Palermo is floundering because the internet service in his area is practically non-existent. Ray Smith of Windham, an occupational therapist for children with developmental and physical challenges, now counsels his young clients by video chat due to COVID-19. He describes many of the sessions as “disastrous” because some of his clients have such poor internet service. A retired teacher from Lewiston, Joyce Bucciantini, laments the learning divide between those students who have high speed internet and those who do not.
No matter where we live in Maine, and no matter our age, every Maine household should have access to high-speed internet.

The Maine Broadband Coalition, of which AARP Maine is a member, estimates that 85,000 households in our state have no access to high-speed internet. For many, this means they have little or no connection to family, friends, and critical services such as tele-medicine and counseling. For some, lack of high-speed internet creates barriers to doing business and creating jobs. Still others, particularly older Mainers, miss out on opportunities to offset loneliness, depression and isolation.

This is the time to take action, and I urge all Mainers to vote in the Maine State Primary and Special Referendum Election on July 14th, and to vote YES on Question 1. Question 1 is a ballot referendum providing $15,000,000 in funding for high-speed internet expansion to underserved and unserved areas. This will particularly impact rural areas of Maine that currently lack the infrastructure for high-speed internet. Of great significance is the fact that the $15M bond will be matched by $30 million in federal and other funds to triple the impact.

This is an opportunity not to be missed. Maine is a rural state with a far-flung population. If Maine invests now, we can help Mainers, particularly in rural areas, who don’t have access to reliable, high-speed internet service. It is essential for Mainers of all ages to be able to stay connected to friends and family, but it is equally important for them to be able to access their caregivers, doctors, and other health professionals. High-speed internet is a smart investment that will help businesses grow and help students gain access to education even when they are at home.

Access to high-speed internet is extremely important to daily life in Maine, and not just during the coronavirus pandemic. Support of this referendum will put Maine on the right track. I urge you to vote Yes on 1 on July 14.

OBITUARIES for Thursday, June 25, 2020


WATERVILLE – Wendy T. Caron, 52, passed away Thursday, May 28, 2020, at Glenridge Center, in Augusta. She was born October 19, 1967, in Waterville, the daughter of Clinton P. and Marion M. (Wood) Caron.

She was educated in local schools and graduated from Waterville High School in 1986.

Wendy is survived by her daughter, Mariah Caron, of Waterville; son, Michael Estes, of Oakland; three sisters, Earlene Mitchell and husband James, of Fairfield, Melinda Maciel and husband Bruce ,of Albion, Celena Caron, of Brunswick; grandson, Jayden Stevens, of Waterville; granddaughter, Kynlee Stevens, of Waterville; several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Clinton and Marion Caron; daughter, Brittany Estes.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 10:00 am at St. Francis Cemetery in Waterville.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Wendy’s memory to Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Road, Waterville, ME 04901.

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


WATERVILLE – Mark Lawrence Roscoe, 66, passed away at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Mark was born on January 27, 1954, the son of George J. and Joan (Leclerc) Roscoe.

Mark married Patricia on December 23, 1987, in Fairfield. Mark attended Waterville High School and the Kennebec Valley Technical College, in Fairfield. Mark worked for IBEW of Maine as an electrician on numerous jobs. Mark traveled with his wife to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Montana, Mississippi and Crawford, Indiana, for his work. Mark was a peaceful man who enjoyed hunting, fishing and target shooting with his family.

Mark was predeceased by his parents and brothers, Floyd Roscoe and George Roscoe Jr.

Mark is survived by his wife, Patricia Roscoe; his brothers, Bruce Roscoe and Bryan Roscoe.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at


CLINTON – Frederick “Fred” A. Pollard, 65, of Clinton passed away Thurs­day, June 11, 2020, at his home. He was born February 22, 1955, in Clinton, the son of Charles and Ruth (Goodine) Pollard.

On January 23, 1988, Fred married the lformer Lisa (Dodge) Pollard. Together they raised three children, Christopher, Tabitha, and Amos. In his early years, Fred worked several jobs including Ethan Allen, in Burnham, Blue Rock and Pike Industries, in Sidney. He enjoyed snowmobiling, four-wheeling, and watching NASCAR. He also enjoyed racing at Unity Raceway up until the mid-’90s. Undoubtedly, Fred’s greatest love in life was spending time with his wife, children, and grandkids.

Fred is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lisa (Dodge) Pollard; daughter, Tabatha Dodge; son, Christopher Dodge; three grandchildren, Jenna, Emeryn and Hayden; sister, Sandra Welch; brothers, Lou and Gerald Ryder; many in-laws, nieces, nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Donny, Lloyd and Skip; sisters, Marlene and Gail; and son, Amos Henry.

Fred will always be remembered for his sense of humor which he kept to the very end.

A private Celebration of Life will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending donations for final expenses to Lisa Pollard, PO Box 521, Clinton ME 04927.

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


PINELLAS PARK, Florida – Joan Gallagher passed away peacefully on Friday, June 12, 2020, while in the care of Sun­coast Hospice, in Pinellas Park, Florida, after having struggled with numerous chronic illnesses for several years. Born in Waterville to Ernest and Florence (Vashon) Paradis, Joan attended Waterville schools where she was a very gifted artist.

Joan married James F. Quirion “Jim” in 1954 and followed him to Fort Jackson, in Columbia, South Carolina, during his time in the Army. Upon their return to Maine, Joan began work at Keyes Fibre Company (currently Huhtamaki) and resided in Waterville. Joan and Jim divorced in 1976.

Joan met John “Jack” Gallagher on her 40th birthday while dancing. She subsequently moved to Jack’s home in Long Island, New York, and got involved in the real estate and insurance industries. Returning to Maine in 2008, she resided in Brunswick with her sister, Gloria.

Here, she enjoyed visiting with her family, especially her daughters and grandchildren, eating out at her favorite restaurants and participating in Bible study groups and church services at the Topsham Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Joan and Jack married on November 5, 2018, following a move to St. Petersburg, Florida.

Joan loved music, especially singing and playing the guitar. She also loved to dance. During her time at Keyes Fibre, she and friends, Jim Doody, Kitty Plisga and Joan Rodrigue started a band – Big Jim and His Harem. They performed at dances and parties and became a well-known fixture in the Waterville area. She also loved hosting parties for family and friends, and was a great cook. She enjoyed traveling with sister, Gloria, friend, Rachel Boulette Mathieu and her daughters, and cherished a special relationship with her cousin, June Cote Hallee.

Joan is survived by her husband, John “Jack” Gallagher and his three children, daughters, Tanya and son-in-law Dave Kolonoski, Karen and son-in-law Bob Kreider and Brenda Gilbert; three grandchildren, Zac Gilbert, Dylan Gilbert and Hailey Gilbert; sister, Gloria Pelletier and brother-in-law, Norman Pelletier and brother, Ernest “Sonny” and sister-in-law, Donna Paradis; several cousins, nieces, nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; sister, Claudette Jolicoeur and brother-in-law, Renaud Jolicoeur; and former husband and father of her children, Jim.

A celebration of Joan’s life will be announced at a later date.


WINSLOW – Gertrude Barton Crosby, 79, of Waterville and Winslow, died peacefully on Friday, June 12, 2020, at Bedside Manor, in Oakland. Trudy was the daughter of Lawrence P. Barton and Winnafred Keller Barton and was a 1959 graduate of Waterville High School.

She worked for a number of years at Federal Trust Company, in Waterville. Trudy was fond of wildflowers and gardening, and especially enjoyed time at their cottage in Pemaquid. She was an antique enthusiast with a keen eye for yard sale finds.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Bentley C. Crosby, of Winslow; her brothers, William (Carole), of Falmouth, and Robert (Elizabeth), of Cape Elizabeth; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held on Saturday, June 20, at Pine Grove Cemetery, in Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral and Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Pine Tree Society, 114 Pine Tree Camp Rd., Rome, ME 04963.


OCALA, Florida – Gertrude M. Francoeur, 94, passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020. She was born September 11, 1925, in Waterville, the daughter of Joseph and Lea (Rossignol) Veilleux, and was the last living member of her immediate family.

She held various jobs in her youth working at the C. F. Hathaway Shirt Factory, in Waterville, and as a sous chef at Colby College, in Waterville. She was most proud, however, of her position as a homemaker having raised six children.

Gertrude was highly creative and skilled as a seamstress and a variety of crafts. She was an excellent cook and her recipe for baked scallops in a cream sauce won first place in the Maine Seafood Festival one year.

She loved card games of all types, especially cribbage. Her favorite game was Bingo and she never passed up a chance to play.

She was married 64 years to Alcide Francoeur who passed away in 2010 and was predeceased by her son, Neil (Donna) Francoeur who passed away in 2019.

Gertrude is survived by her children, Jane Bourgoin, Ronald (Judith) Francoeur, Pearl Pawlowski, Paula Rowe and Joey Francoeur-Krzyezk; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Due to the current pandemic a celebration of her life will be scheduled at a future date. She will be buried alongside her husband at Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Ocala Florida.

Gertrude had a heart for children and in lieu of flowers donations can be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


SMITHFIELD – Ronald A. Slater, 72, passed away Monday, June 15, 2020, at Glenridge Center, in Augusta. He was born June 2, 1948, in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, the son of Herbert R. and Roxie G. (Hartlen) Slater.

He graduated from Lee Academy in 1967 and then from Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in 1969. After 14 years together, on September 19, 1992, he married Barbara Larsson, in Smithfield. He was employed as a marine diesel mechanic, truck driver, construction worker, heavy equipment operator and from 1991 to 2015 as a working manager for Sandy River Recycling Association, in Farmington.

Ron was a member of the Maine Resource Recovery Association. He enjoyed road trips with his wife, Barbara, spending time with family and friends, spoiling his dogs, reading, photography, listening to music, fast cars and gardening.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Barbara Larsson, of Smithfield; sister Lynn MacIntosh and husband Thomas, of Economy, Nova Scotia, Canada; two brothers, Andrew Slater and wife Bonny, of Calais, Allan Slater, of Calais; sister-in-law Joanne Larsson and husband Jim Newcomb, of The Villages, Florida; brother-in-law Jon Larsson and wife Leslie, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island; six nieces, Dana MacIntosh, of Spencerville, Ontario, Canada, Jessica MacIntosh, of Economy, Nova Scotia, Andrea Slater and fiancé Michael Cook, of Wells, Angela Harrington and husband Christopher, of Brentwood, New Hampshire, Madison Slater, of Calais, Emily Larsson, of Worcester, Massachusetts; four nephews, Anthony Slater and wife Brionna, of North Carolina, Christopher Slater and wife Brooke, of Princeton, Michael Perkins, of Maine, Zachary Larsson, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island; several grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Ronald’s memory to Alzheimer’s Association Maine, 383 U.S. Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough ME 04074.

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


WATERVILLE – Mary J. Huff, 82, passed away on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at Northern Light Lake­wood Continuing Care, in Water­ville. Mary was born on Dec­ember 31, 1937, in Water­ville, to Lee and Lorena Joler, of Oakland.

She was married to Robert Huff on April 18, 1957. She was a homemaker and when her children were older she worked at Sterns Department Store, in Waterville, for many years until they closed. Later in life she worked for the Muskie Center, in Waterville, in the adult day care program, and earned her CNA working in home healthcare. She was a feisty lady, sometimes sassy and quite sarcastic. She enjoyed verbal banter with everyone. She was determined to live her life her way. She loved all stray cats and frequently took them in her home and gave them a great life.

She was an amazing knitter and made one of a kind blankets, jackets, and sweaters. She also enjoyed horses and watching the Kentucky Derby every year.

She is survived by her five daughters, Susan and Bob Barton, of Belgrade, Barbara and Mike Bickford, of China, Laurie Bennett, of Guilford, Peggy Huff and partner Brian Milliken, of Albion, and Amy and Curt Foy, of Fairfield; four grandchildren, Matthew Bickford and wife Emily, Daniel Bickford and wife Ellen, Sarah Byrne and husband Taylor, and Katie Barton; also four great-grandchildren, Sawyer and Evelyn Byrne, and Harper and Elliot Bickford; as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; husband; son-in-law, Bill Bennett; and siblings, Norma, Wendell, Dolores, and Carolyn.

Services will be held on Tuesday, July 21, at 2 p.m., at the Maine Veterans Cemetery, on Mount Vernon Road, in Augusta. Following the graveside services a gathering will take place at Mary’s house, at 135 Clinton Avenue, in Winslow, at 3 p.m.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home,


WATERVILLE – Betty L. Fletcher, 80, passed away Thursday, June 18, 2020, at Oak Grove Center, in Waterville. She was born February 20, 1940, in Winslow, the daughter of William A. and Minnie L. (Morrill) Fletcher.

She is survived by two sons, John Fletcher and wife Alice, Troy Fletcher and wife Erin; two daughters, Becky Cookson and husband Jeff, and Tracy Fletcher; grandchildren, John Fletcher, Ashley Fletcher, Harley Fletcher, Jeff Cookson Jr, Dakotah Cookson; great grandson, Eithan Fletcher; four sisters, Nancy Fletcher and husband Bob, Margaret Lahay and husband Jim, Penny Fletcher and husband Michael, Marion Ewen; four brothers, William Fletcher and wife Liz, Todd Fletcher and wife Cindy, Mark Fletcher and wife Melissa, and Mike Fletcher.

She was predeceased by her husband, Lynn M. Fletcher in 2005; grandson, Liam Fletcher; two sisters, Elaine Dionne and Janet Davis.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family may send condolences to John and Alice Fletcher, 90 Morrill Road, South China, ME 04358.

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


WINSLOW – Avis Arlene (Kelley) Shaunessy, 81, of Winslow, passed away on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Augusta. She was born in Cornville, on December 7, 1938, the daughter of the late Sylvanus and Bessey Luvita (Bickford) Kelley.

Avis grew up in Vassalboro and attended Vassalboro schools.

Avis was employed by McClellan’s Department Store, on Main Street, in Waterville, for 26 years and worked as a CNA at both Mt. St. Joseph, in Waterville, and Klearview Manor, in Fairfield, nursing homes.

She married Carl Shaunessy on December 1, 1984.

Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers, Arnold Bickford, Bernard Bickford, and Herbert Kelley; and her sister, Esther Merrill.

Avis is survived by her husband, Carl Shaunessy, who says, “She was my little bundle of beautiful”; her son, Brian Keith Shaunessy and his wife, Wyona-Lynn; her two grandchildren, Brian and Brittany; her brothers, Sylvanus and Milan; and her sister, Marion.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, at Chadwick Hill Cemetery, in South China, with Pastor Steve Donahue officiating.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

LETTERS: Thanks from historical society

To the editor:

On behalf of myself and other members of the Palermo Historical Society I want to express our thanks to Mary Grow for her article on the history of Palermo in the June 18, 2020 issue (of The Town Line). The old mill and the library are favorites for those of us who grew up in the village.

Pat Clark

LETTERS: Love and compassion

To the editor:

To all the wonderful people who showed up for the parade at Country Manor, in Whitefield. My wife is a patient there so, of course, I agreed to be in it. What surprised me was how many came. I figured maybe a couple dozen or so, but instead almost a hundred showed up when we all lined up in our trucks and cars, led by a fire truck, followed by a farmer’s trailer with people in it, and then a couple dozen motorcyclists and then us.

One kind lady saw I didn’t have a balloon or other decorations so she helped me out. As the parade started, it was all I could do to hold back the tears, seeing such an outpouring of support and love coming from everyone. The parade line stretched over a mile long and many of us were allowed to turn around and get back in line, which many of us did. I even went a third time as I was worried my wife didn’t recognize me the first two times, even though I was only six feet away in my truck. But that is Alzheimer’s for you.

This lockdown is hurting, not only the patients at Country Manor, but all of us loved ones who want so much to visit again, but I commend Country Manor for keeping that awful virus away from there. Thank God.

It sounds vain but I wish we could have gotten a snippit like the home in Augusta got on Saturday’s 6 o’clock news on NBC. To see and watch the love and compassion taking place is almost heartbreaking.

Frank Slason

Vassalboro school officials not sure what fall return will mean

Vassalboro Community School. (source:

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro school officials have no idea what returning to school in the fall will mean.

“We’ve got to be ready for change,” School Board Chairman Kevin Levasseur summarized during the board’s June 16 in-person meeting in the Vassalboro Community School (VCS) cafeteria.

Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer said he and colleagues have guidelines from the state education department, but they are not directives, and local school officials assume they will change as circumstances change. Pfeiffer does not expect decisions until late July at best.

School board member Jessica Clark said at a recent Maine School Board Association meeting no one had firm plans. Many participants hoped their schools will reopen, to accommodate parents with no child care and because “no school has the money or infrastructure to support 100% virtual education.”

Principal Megan Allen said VCS staff want to be in school, and a survey to which 40 parents responded found almost half of them would like the school to open. The rest, she said, were unsure or waiting to see how the health situation changes.

Pfeiffer pointed out that reopening the building will add costs, too, for such things as supplies, like masks and sanitizers; staff time to clean; and if students come and go in shifts, additional bus routes.

Pfeiffer and Allen anticipate an unusually busy summer as they monitor developments and try to be prepared for however the new school year starts.

Allen said the June 5 end-of-school parade was one of the best days of her life. Vassalboro fire trucks and the police car, school buses and decorated private vehicles toured much of the town visiting students who had not seen their teachers since March.

“We got to see so many kids – it was fantastic,” Allen said.

VCS also had a retirement parade for retiring literacy specialist Kathy Cioppa, of China, Allen said. She said Cioppa has been in education for 38 years, 35 of them at VCS.

One of the board’s June 16 decisions was to approve a copier lease agreement in conjunction with Waterville and Winslow schools. Pfeiffer said he, Waterville Superintendent Eric Haley and Winslow Superintendent Peter Thiboutot are discussing ways to continue mutually useful cooperation as the agreement that succeeded AOS (Alternative Educational Structure) 92 enters its final year. Voters in the three towns dissolved AOS 92 in the spring of 2018.

The next Vassalboro school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Aug. 18. As part of their usual summer routine, board members authorized the superintendent to sign contracts for new staff until then, to avoid losing a good candidate to a school system prepared to act faster.