(NAPSI)—Nasal congestion is nothing to sneeze at. It affects roughly 20 percent of the population and is associated with reduced quality of life, difficulty sleeping, reduced daytime performance, and increased need for healthcare. In addition to the physical misery, it is estimated the annual financial impact of chronic congestion is more than $5 to $10 billion. Fortunately, scientists are coming up with new and better ways to deal with the problem.

New Device

That’s good news since, until recently, most of the current treatments for nasal congestion and season allergies were drugs that must be regularly ingested in the form of nasal sprays (decongestants or steroids), pills (decongestants or antihistamines) or uncomfortable nasal irrigators. Each of these has its own side effects and risks. In addition, current treatments provide only partial or temporary relief. Fortunately, there’s a new patented device that uses a combination of acoustic vibrations, and gentle, resistant pressure to help open nasal breathing and relieve nasal congestion, naturally—in as little as three minutes.

Called SinuSonic, it consists of a fully disposable medical-grade silicone nosepiece on a resin body. A flutter valve on top creates gentle, self-guided oscillating expiratory resistance.

A recent study published in the prestigious International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology (IFAR)—the official journal of the American Rhinologic Society (ARS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA)—found the relief from chronic nasal congestion can be life changing. Eighty percent of participants enjoyed a clinically relevant improvement.

Doctor’s Opinion

“We were excited to see measurable positive changes in both objective nasal airflow as well as patient-reported symptom scores and quality of life,” said Dr. Rodney Schlosser, an internationally known sinus specialist and one of the lead researchers on the study. “Our initial results demonstrate that SinuSonic is a safe and effective treatment alternative to conventional pharmacologic and surgical treatment for these patients.”

Learn More

To see the device in action or purchase online, go to

Absentee voting notice

Note to residents of China:

Various organizations are sending absentee ballot request forms to residents of the town, with a return address of the Town Clerk’s Office. These notices were not sent out by the Town of China. If you have already submitted an absentee ballot request, you may disregard these forms. For any concerns please call us at 445-2014.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: What makes your business special?

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

You have to be better than anyone else right? Isn’t that what makes business great? That extra little thing, that special thing that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Often it’s not just the product or service but what doing business with that certain company does for you; how doing business with that company makes you feel.

Apple is the perfect example of this. It has been proven they do not have the best phone on the market. When they introduced their MP3 player a few years ago. The IPod was certainly not the best player on the market, so what was it that made people and still make people for that matter camp out overnight in line to buy their latest new product? It’s the story, it’s the brand, it’s how cool it makes the buyer feel to have one of their products. That’s how Apple has become the most profitable company in the world.

Think Nike for another example. They sell sneakers that costs about six bucks to make and sell them for hundreds of dollars, and later, some of their more famous collectibles go for thousands of dollars. Heck people have been robbed and murdered over a pair of Nikes. Again, it’s all about the story, it’s all about how people feel when using their products.

The same thing goes from cars and beer and clothing and tools, and well, just about any product or service you can imagine. It’s all about the company’s story, the company’s brand and how the consumer becomes literally part of a cult when she buys into their story…she becomes part of that story, too.

This is why it is so important to develop your own story, your own brand, no matter what business you’re in.

Here are some differentiators that make companies stand out, things that make the consumer want to brag about using that company. Here are some things that drive people to buy your products and services.

• People want their friends to be impressed.
• They want to see review from past customers or users.
• They want to see success stories.
• When they see people, they respect using your products and services, and they want to join in.
• People want to know your story, neat stories worth repeating sell.
• People want to feel they are part of your company’s story.
• People are not afraid to pay more, even knowingly, too much because they so want to be part of your story.
• People want to seem unique; they want to buy something that makes them feel smart and discerning.
• And people want to be rewarded for their loyalty

So what is your company’s story? How do you stand out? What do you do that makes people want to tell their friends and family that they are so smart and discerning that they use your services or go to your restaurant or boutique? Think about it. It’s up to you if you really want to grow your business.

Winslow’s Veterans Park in need of volunteers

The Central Maine Veterans Memorial Park. (photo by Dan Cassidy)

by Dan Cassidy

Several volunteers recently answered the call “We need help” that appeared in the local newspaper recently. Weed whackers, leaf blowers and sweepers joined in to help clean up the large Park.

The Central Maine Veterans Memorial Park was in dire need of general cleanup of weeds, rocks and other flowering plants that have grown through the granite stones of the Park.

Volunteers and donors are needed to continue as funds have dwindled over the past few years. Anyone interested can call Karen Loftus and Patti Libby at Winslow Supply Company, 567 Benton Avenue at (207) 873-5608.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: 10 steps to self-care

by Debbie Walker

Hi! Okay I have to tell you right from the start that the basic steps were also on-line. I did add some of my “senior” wisdom. (Anyone who knows me will see humor in that comment.)

1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it.

When my grandkids were growing up, we tried to teach them about their Intuition. We resorted to “Is this something you would want to tell (Great) Grammie what you did (or said)? They adored her and never wanted to disappoint Grammie.

2. Say exactly what you mean.

Don’t assume someone understands what you intend. Don’t give them a half answer or half question. Be clear. Too often we are busy and give a condensed version, not everyone will see things as clearly as you.

3. Don’t be a people pleaser.

If someone asks you a question be as honest as you can be. Don’t give them the answer you think they want but don’t be hateful either. Often, I will tell someone that I don’t feel qualified to answer the question. It’s okay to just say, “I would not be comfortable answering that”. And in the real world you have to pick and choose your answers according to the situation.

4. Trust your instincts.

I believe this is pretty the same idea as #1, still have to refer back to instinct/intuition. How many times have you said, “I should have gone with my gut feeling”. Do I have to say more?

5. Never speak badly about yourself.

When you speak badly about yourself, it slowly but surely teaches you to think negatively about yourself. You may use your opinion of you as an excuse to not try something new. Also, who hears your negative comments? My Mom used to call herself “stupid.” One day I told her she had to not do that when doing things for the grandkids. They will someday think the same about themselves and use it for an excuse not to try something new. That would be sad.

6. Never give up on your dreams.

Keep some kind of a dream in front of you. You will be healthier having something to look forward to. They don’t have to be big dreams. It doesn’t have to be big dreams. Try new things and meet new people. You may never know what experiences are coming your way. Keep your Dreams.

7. Don’t be afraid to say NO.

To me this one is very much like #3. You have a right to say “No” sometimes. If you over-extend yourself by always saying “yes” when you have a good reason to say “no”, you may become resentful.

8. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

I think we have covered this earlier.

9. Be kind to yourself.

If you treat yourself as you would treat a friend, that’s a good head start.

10. Let go of what you cannot control.

I am just curious of how well we treat ourselves. If you don’t take care of you there won’t be anything left to care for someone else with.

Any questions or comments find me at . Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!


Peter Catesby Peter Cates


Divertimento, K. 563-
Pasquier Trio; Columbia Masterworks, M-351, recorded 1935, six 12-inch 78s.

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed his one and only String Trio for violin, viola and cello in 1788 for a friend/benefactor Johann Michael Puchberg but the circumstances are unknown. The total number of his works are over 600; this piece appeared after his final three symphonies, 39, 40 and 41 or the Jupiter (all 3 composed in 6 to 8 weeks.).

The Trio is, like so many Mozart pieces, a masterpiece from one extraordinary genius who composed his first Symphony at four years old. Still to come in his three remaining years were the 27th Piano Concerto, Magic Flute and Requiem and about 60 other pieces before his death from a variety of health problems mainly related to overwork and alcoholism.

The Pasquier Trio consisted of three French-born brothers – violinist Jean, violist Pierre and cellist Jean – who recorded several works during the 78 era. The above set can be heard on YouTube and is a superb performance.

Johann Puchberg

The 1985 movie Amadeus gives a basically twisted portrayal of the composer from the point of view of his arch-rival Salieri but it is quite entertaining and brimming with his music. Another recommendation is Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 cinematic treatment of The Magic Flute, which I have seen at least five times.

YouTube has just about every piece of the composer in many historical and current recordings.

Biographical accounts of the composer describe him as vain about his wavy hair, not particularly striking in physique or poise, working long hours under financial pressures, and quite fond of billiards and dirty jokes.

In recent weeks, I have been listening to recordings of his Abduction from the Seraglio, C Minor Mass and Violin Concertos, all of which I recommend as good starting points for those new to the composer, but I might be quite biased.

The very witty Jim Thompson (1906-1977) wrote in his memoir, Bad Boy, about his maternal grandfather ‘Pa’ as a Robin Hoodish personality who gave generously to the less fortunate but thought little of chiseling the rich, stating “that they had probably stolen their money anyway and that he could put it to better use than they could.”

Up and down the Kennebec Valley Railway transportation

by Mary Grow

Although the narrow-gauge railroad that was built inland from Wiscasset starting in 1894 never reached either Québec (its first name was the Wiscasset and Québec) or Waterville or Farmington (later it was the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington) (see The Town Line, Sept. 17), as the WW&F it was an integral part of towns along its route.

Reminiscences from Palermo include the WW&F. Dean Marriner mentioned the WW&F in two Kennebec Valley histories. The histories of China and Vassalboro include the WW&F. Clinton Thurlow, of Weeks Mills, wrote three small books on the WW&F. Ruby Crosby Wiggin titled her town history Albion on the Narrow Gauge; the cover has a sketch of engine number 7 taking on water at the Albion water tank, and her introduction says that for 40 years the WW&F was vital to the town and in 1964 residents still remembered it fondly.

Milton E. Dowe’s 1954 Palermo history (the town was incorporated in 1804, so this booklet would be a sesquicentennial history) points out that the WW&F did not even enter Palermo; the Branch Mills station, though called Palermo, was in China, west of the village the two towns share. However, Dowe wrote in the history and in his later book, Palermo, Maine Things That I Remember in 1996, the railroad carried Palermo residents on business and pleasure trips; it brought things they needed, like mail and foodstuffs for local grocery stores; and it took away things they sold, like milk and cream, lumber and bark, apples, potatoes and grain.

Dowe wrote in his history that the regular passenger fare to Wiscasset was $1.25, and excursion fares were $1.00 round trip. After the branch line to Winslow opened in 1902, Palermo residents had the option of riding to Waterville.

The railroad served traveling salesmen, Dowe wrote. They would sell to Palermo residents, play cards and swap stories in Branch Mills stores and spend the night at the Branch Mills Hotel. The next day they would move on to China Village or Albion.

The Palermo station was flanked by three potato houses where local potatoes were sorted and bagged ready for shipment, mainly to the Boston market. One year (presumably early in the 20th century), Dowe wrote, 100,000 bushels of potatoes were shipped through the station. At that time, farmers could expect to be paid $1 per barrel.

The creamery, also near the station, collected and pasteurized milk, brought in by the wagonload. Butter was made by the pound; Dowe said production averaged 3,000 pounds a week. The creamery later became an apple cannery and cider mill. Dowe described a line of 75 wagons waiting to unload apples during a week in 1920 when 3,000 bushels of cider apples arrived for processing.

The China bicentennial history says there were three other WW&F stations in China. From south to north, they were west of Weeks Mills; south of South China; and east of China Village. (The China Village station was on the east side of the head of China Lake; the village is on the west side. A causeway crosses the inlet stream.)

Each station was a small rectangular wooden building with an overhanging roof, the history says. The stations were painted the WW&F colors, two shades of green. Weeks Mills, South China, and China Village stations each had one nearby potato house.

The Weeks Mills station complex was west of the Sheepscot River and south of Main Street. It included a freight building and one of the WW&F’s five water tanks, put up in 1913; south of the station building was a roundhouse with space for four engines (used as a hay barn for a few years after the WW&F went out of business).

South of the roundhouse was the turntable on which an engine was shifted to either the Albion or the Winslow line. The China history describes the turntable as having ball bearings in the middle, a circular outer rim encasing a wheel and two tracks that could be turned different directions as needed. The machinery ran so easily that two men could operate it with a locomotive on it, the history says.

Frank Noyes opened a canning factory about 1904 and used the WW&F to ship out canned corn and succotash and later each fall apples and cider. The factory closed in 1931; the China history blames the Depression, which killed Noyes’ profit.

Thurlow’s three small, generously-illustrated books start with a focus on Weeks Mills, where he retired after a career teaching history. He found numerous original documents, like a 1911 set of operating orders. Among other things, the orders absolutely prohibited smoking around the trains and drinking alcohol on duty.

While the WW&F’s line to Winslow served Vassalboro between 1902 and 1915 or 1916, Vassalboro residents and goods traveled both ways. James Schad’s chapter in Anthology of Vassalboro Tales says that lumber, potatoes, canned corn and poultry were shipped to Wiscasset, to continue by water to Boston and other points south. Imports included coal to power North Vassalboro mills, feed and grain for farmers and supplies for local retailers.

Vassalboro had at least two WW&F stations. Schad’s article is accompanied by a photo of one on Oak Grove Road that served North Vassalboro, and Robbins’ bicentennial history mentions East Vassalboro’s “pretty little station,” later converted to a house that was evidently still occupied in 1971.

The photo in the Vassalboro anthology shows Engine No. 4, with no cars attached, in front of a rectangular wooden building. The engineer (probably) stands in shirtsleeves and cap, right hand on right hip, left arm draped casually on the engine. Two more formally dressed men accompany him, and three others stand on the trackside platform under the building’s overhanging roof.

Thurlow’s WW&F Two-footers includes 1964 photos of the former Winslow and North Vassalboro stations, both converted into two-story houses.

The Winslow line brought people to two attractions on the west side of China Lake a bit north of South China. One was a dance pavilion; excursion cars from Winslow took passengers out for the evening and brought them home around midnight, Thurlow and other sources say. Thurlow adds that north of the pavilion was a mineral spring where train crews were known to make unofficial stops so they and their passengers could have a refreshing break.

Wiggin speculated that the WW&F was more important to Albion people than to others it served because George H. Crosby, prominent among the railway’s founders, was an Albion native (see the article on Albion in the June 11 issue of The Town Line, p. 11), and because many Albion residents invested heavily in railroad stock. Additionally, she wrote, the railroad employed Albion residents (and those in other towns).

The Albion station had the northernmost of the WW&F’s five water tanks, coal sheds and a turntable. The building was the only one of the 15 WW&F stations (11 on the Albion line, four on the Winslow line) to have a second floor; Thurlow wrote that a conductor named Alfred Rancourt and his family lived above the station for 11 years.

In 1908 the Albion-Wiscasset fare was $1.50. In ideal conditions, the trip could be made in two hours; on the five-and-a-half mile stretch between China Village and Albion, several sources say the train often traveled at 60 miles an hour.

There are many, many local stories about the WW&F as a sort of family railroad. Most, unfortunately, are undated. Some are handed down; others local writers witnessed or heard directly from participants or observers.

Wiggin wrote from personal experience with the railroad and from interviews with other local residents, especially Earl Keef, who worked for the railroad for about 30 years, much of the time as an engineer. Consequently she included many personal stories in her Albion history.

For example, she quoted the neighbor who said she and two other women were admiring the first bananas they had ever seen in a local store window. The foreman of the Italian crew building the rail line bought each of them the first banana she’d ever eaten.

Another story is of a train that left Wiscasset at 2 a.m. in a snowstorm, with an attached plow and flange blocking the engineer’s view. At Palermo, the train was flagged down: a local doctor heading home after an emergency call was using the track ahead for his snowmobile (converted from an old Ford).

One of the crew volunteered to ride on the snowplow to watch out for the popular doctor. At the next trestle, they paused to make sure the doctor hadn’t fallen off it; but his tracks continued across.

The train finally caught up with him in Albion. China’s roads were plowed, so he switched to roads and reached Albion as the train did. Later, he said he made better time on the tracks than on the highway.

Yet another story, in Thurlow’s Weeks Mills “Y” (repeated in the China history), tells of Weeks Mills resident Edna Van Strien reaching East Vassalboro on the WW&F as the electric trolley by which she planned to continue to Augusta was leaving. The WW&F engineer stopped the train athwart the trolley tracks and waited until she was safely on board before moving out of the trolley’s way.

Ernest Marriner has two of the best anecdotes about the WW&F. Neither, alas, is dated.

The first, in his Kennebec Yesterdays (1954) concerns the line’s most successful – and unsuccessful – train. A mixed (freight and passenger) train, it carried an unusually large load of bark from Winslow, which was to go by sea from Wiscasset to a Massachusetts tannery. It also had an unusual number of passengers planning to witness the launch of a new schooner from a Wiscasset shipyard.

Marriner related that WW&F stockholders, informed of the big – and profitable — run, started touting the railroad to residents along the line. A welcoming committee assembled in Wiscasset.

The engineer and fireman added to the publicity by blowing the loud whistle constantly. Thus, Marriner wrote, they used a lot of steam and had to stop at water tanks. Perhaps because they allegedly had a generous supply of rum, they soon forgot about the water; and in Alna, the engine died. The load of bark eventually reached its destination, but neither the stockholders nor the excursionists were happy.

Marriner’s second story is in Remembered Maine (1957). He (like other local historians) wrote that WW&F engineers would usually stop wherever they saw someone trying to attract their attention, not just at stations and when the flag was up at a flag stop. One day, a Weeks Mills woman ran trackside and waved her apron.

The engineer shut down the engine and climbed out of the cab. The woman allegedly told him her hen was about to lay the twelfth egg; as soon as she had the full dozen, she wanted the engineer to take the eggs to the store in Wiscasset and swap them for a spool of thread and a bottle of vanilla.

Main sources:

Bernhardt, Esther, and Vicki Schad, compilers/editors, Anthology of Vassalboro Tales (2017).
Dowe, Milton E., History Town of Palermo Incorporated 1884 (1954).
Dowe, Milton E., Palermo, Maine Things That I Remember in 1996 (1997).
Grow, Mary M., China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions (1984).
Marriner, Ernest, Kennebec Yesterdays (1954).
Marriner, Ernest, Remembered Maine (1957).
Robbins, Alma Pierce, History of Vassalborough Maine 1771 1971 n.d. (1971).
Wiggin, Ruby Crosby, Albion on the Narrow Gauge (1964).
Websites, miscellaneous.


The WW&F Railway Station Restoration Project Albion, Maine

by Phillip Dow, Albion Historical Society

The year was 1976. Albion townsfolk banded together to present a week-long period celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of our great country, the United States of America.

It was suggested that the Albion railroad station be preserved. Nothing was done to improve the structure for another 10 years. New blood got involved and the Albion Historical Society was formed. Their first major project was to try to save the old railroad station. John and Ora Rand, the owners of the station, graciously gave it to the Albion Historical Society for a museum.

Time and money were the big factors holding up progress on the restoration of said building. Donations finally came in and away we went. Dirt work around the building started. The old building was braced up, inside and out. The station had to be gutted, both downstairs and up. Cobwebs, spiders, bats and mice had to find a new home.

But, 10 years later, with the help of many people, a concrete slab was poured to the tune of $20,000. Floor joists and studs were added. New lumber replaced the old rotted boards. Asphalt shingles and a new chimney were added. A $500 grant was received and new wooden-framed windows were purchased.

We discovered stamped on one of the hidden window sills “Mathews Bros., Belfast, Me.” The original windows had been installed in 1895. Where did we purchase the new windows? Mathews Bros., with one “t,” Belfast, Me., one hundred years later.

Pine clapboard siding was painted and added. The interior of the railroad station is fairly simple in style, but it is the simple style that we should go back to, at least for a few days.

Albion railroad station, before, left, and after restorations.

Let Them Play Rally on Labor Day

Members of the Messolonskee football team rallying in Augusta hoping they have a season! (photo by Central Maine Photography)

Messalonskee field hockey team member Jenna Cassani at the Let Them Play Rally. She is a senior this year. (photo by Central Maine Photography)

Messalonskee and Cony High School football team members at the Let Them Play Rally on Labor Day, in Augusta. (photo by Central Maine Photography)

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Noisy, plentiful acorns; obscure beech nuts

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

While preparing breakfast last Saturday, I glanced out the kitchen window towards my recently cleaned up garden plot. As I looked around I noticed some movement, and commented to my wife: “I think I have the title for a new country song, ‘There’s a squirrel in the compost pile.’

I’m not sure how that translates to pickup trucks, bass boats and lost loves, but I’m sure it has a place in there somewhere.

Anyway, that prompted me to ask myself what could be in the compost that would interest a squirrel. After all, it has nothing more than plant stems, vines from squashes and various roots and stalks. There were a few tiny, fledgling fruits from these items that didn’t have a chance to mature, but that would be it.

Then my mind rewound to camp, and the food sources out there. Nearby there is a large oak tree and a mature, but fairly young beech tree. Most of you have probably heard acorns when they fall from the trees, and land on something solid. They sound like gunfire, exploding bombs or branches falling. They make quite a loud noise. The presence of Beech nuts, on the other hand, are hardly even noticeable.

Wildlife that consume acorns as an important part of their diets includes birds, such as jays, pigeons, some ducks and several species of woodpeckers. Small mammals include mice, squirrels and several other rodents – ahh, squirrels. Large mammals include pigs, bears, and deer. Acorns are in high demand.

Acorns are attractive to animals because they are large and efficiently consumed or cached. They are rich in nutrients and contain large amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and the vitamin niacin.

Acorns are too heavy for wind dispersal, so the spreading of the seed is dependant on animals like the squirrels who cache the nuts for future use. Squirrels scatter-hoard the acorns in a variety of locations in which it is possible for them to germinate and thrive. On occasion, the odd acorn may be lost, or the squirrel may die before consuming all the acorns it has stored. A small number of acorns may germinate and survive, producing the next generation of oak trees.

As far as humans go, acorns have frequently been used as a coffee substitute. The Confederates in the American Civil War and the Germans during World War II, which were cut off from coffee supplies by Union and Allied blockades, respectively, are particularly notable past instances of this use of acorns.

As far as the beech nuts go, again going back to camp and the beech tree near our site, there doesn’t seem to be much activity by squirrels in the area of the tree. Of course, the beech nut seems to defy gravity. It is a small nut with soft-spined husks. Although it is high in tannin content, they are bitter. The nut can be extracted by peeling back the husk, but your fingers may hurt dealing with the spines. Maybe that is why they are not that attractive to squirrels.

Nowhere in all my research did I find any reference to wildlife that feast on the beech nut.

Beech trees are better known for other things than producing a source of food. The Beech bark is extremely thin and scars easily. Carvings, such as lovers’ initials, remain because the beech tree is unable to heal itself.

On a different note, slats of Beech wood are washed in a caustic soda to leach out any flavor and is used in the bottom of fermentation tanks for Budweiser beer. This allows a surface for the yeast to settle, so that it doesn’t pile up too deep. Thus the slogan, “Beechwood Aged.” Beech is also used to smoke Westphalian ham, various sausages and some cheeses.

The American beech tree occurs only in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is believed that it was found coast to coast prior to the Ice Age. Now they can only be found east of the Great Plains. You will rarely find the beech tree in developed areas unless it is a left over of a forest that was cut for land development.

The beech tree is also temperamental. Some trees never produce nuts while others only spawn edible nuts in certain years.

So what was that squirrel – I could not discern whether it was Martha or Stewart, my two resident rodents – looking for that day? Probably just window shopping.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Who are the only two Red Sox managers to be named Manager of the Year?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, September 24, 2020

Trivia QuestionsWho are the only two Red Sox managers to be named Manager of the Year?


John McNamara in 1986. Jimy Williams in 1999.