Bathroom design & remodel on a budget

Image by stellalunacypress

So you’re ready to redecorate and redesign your bathroom. But dropping $20,000 on a deluxe spa retreat is light years away from what you can afford to spend. You don’t need mega-bucks to transform your bathroom into a relaxing, cool space. There are plenty of ways to renovate and redesign on a budget.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, an average bathroom remodel costs around $10,500 while an upscale remodel is going to run you a hefty $26,000. However, if you do the work yourself and get creative, This Old House estimates that you can do a remodel for $1,000 to $3,000, or even less, depending on how much you want to change.

Moreover, updating a bathroom to your home is a home improvement project that adds value. In other words, you’ll recoup a significant portion of costs when you sell your home, as much as 100 percent.

Determine how much you can afford to spend on your remodel to determine the extent of the changes you can make. If your budget is on the low end (i.e. $1,000 or less), you’ll want to stick to cosmetic changes. Again, it all depends on your budget.

If you’re planning to add a completely new bathroom or decide major changes need to be done to an existing bathroom, consider a home equity line of credit.

So what can you do to save money on your bathroom redesign or remodel?

Limit Your Tile: Tile gets expensive, especially when you hire a contractor to lay it all out for you. To save money, limit the amount of tile and focus on high-impact areas like the floor (instead of the floor and inside the shower stall walls).

Save on Counter Tops: A popular trend is to splurge on granite countertops. Because the bathroom counter is so small, the investment is often fairly low compared to what you’d spend on kitchen counters, for example. So how can you save here? First, look at the color. Neutral colors like tan, brown, and light beige are more popular, which means they’re more expensive. To save money, consider and price out a wider swath of colors.

Paint: If you don’t have a lot to spend, then repainting will be the cheapest and, perhaps, the most effective way to give your bathroom a new look. It’s going to take more time than you think. Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but you’re going to have to paint slowly and gently around the window, the tub or shower, the sink, the mirror, the toilet, the switchplates, the wall corners, and the floor. Since mold and mildew develop easily in a bathroom, and humidity and temperature change often, it’s a good idea to invest in high quality paint with a satin finish. You may also want to go over the ceiling with a special bathroom paint that helps resist the growth of mold.

Update Fixtures: Next, you can update light fixtures, sink faucets, towel racks, and drawer pulls for a relatively small investment. These items may seem insignificant, but updating them can make a big difference in your bathroom’s look.

Redo, Don’t Buy New: Replacing your old tub or shower is going to cost you a pretty penny. Instead, have it professionally relined, which is much cheaper. However, let’s say you have some vintage bathroom fixtures or an old tub you don’t want to get rid of. The good news? You can refinish them yourself if they’re made of porcelain, cast iron, or fiberglass.

Buy Used: Scour sites like eBay and Craigslist or head over to the nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which specifically sells home necessities such as doors, mirrors, sinks, toilets, and tubs.

How much does window replacement cost?

photo by Andersen Windows

by Katie Flannery

If the windows in your home aren’t opening and closing like they used to or if they’re letting in the cold air, it may be time for replacement windows. Knowing the overall cost of window replacement can help keep you within the project’s budget and avoid any surprise costs down the road. The typical window replacement cost is between $200 and $1,800 per window, and the national average is around $100 to $650 per window, depending on window frame material and glass type, among other factors. Labor adds to the overall window replacement cost and can run approximately $100 to $300 per window. The most common factors that affect window replacement cost are the type of window, window frame material, window size, and energy efficiency. Cost is also dependent on the geographical location of your home and whether you live in a warm or cold climate.

When replacing windows, you’ll likely have the option of choosing the window frame material. The most common window frame materials are vinyl, wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and composite. Standard vinyl windows are the most popular and have an average price range from $100 to $900 per window. Vinyl is one of the most affordable, durable, and energy-efficient varieties. Wood frames run from $150 to $1,300 or more. Wood frames offer a classic architectural look, and some areas may require wood frames if your home is located in a historic district or is a historic landmark. Fiberglass window frames run approximately 15 to 30 percent more than vinyl frames, and the national average cost of window replacement is usually $500 to $1,500 per window. Fiberglass frames are more durable than vinyl and have similar insulation properties. Aluminum frames can cost anywhere from $75 to $400 per window with some window types costing up to $1,200 or more for large or high-end windows, but they don’t insulate as well as other materials. Composite windows run between $300 and $1,200 per window. They are the most durable and are constructed of a mix of PVC polymers and wood fiber for maintenance-free frames.

The type of glass in replacement windows can help lower utility bills and boost energy efficiency. Tinted glass is good for reducing harmful UV rays, and impact-resistant glass may be recommended depending on the house’s geographical location. Depending on the location and age of the home, tempered or safety glass may be required by law. Older homes may not have standard-size window openings, and replacement windows may require removal of the frame.

Windows with multiple glass panes will generally cost more to replace. Bay windows have three panes of glass and cost $1,800 on average. Bow windows typically have a minimum of five panes and cost between $1,000 and $4,500.

Homeowners with older homes, usually 70 years old or more, will usually have to double or triple projected pricing. Older homes come with unique challenges, such as unusual window sizes, which can necessitate custom windows as well as the need to repair or replace damaged or rotting trim, match the historical architecture, remove counterweights, upgrade to current building codes, and fill in empty space with insulation.

When budgeting for window replacement cost, there are additional cost factors and considerations to keep in mind. Most window replacement professionals average $40 per hour for window installation. Structural repairs, insulation, waterproofing, job location, and disposal and cleanup costs can add to the total window replacement cost.

The geographical location of your home can significantly impact the cost of window replacement. Local ordinances and codes could dictate the type of frame and glass that are required for window replacement in your area. If you live in a cold climate, more expensive triple-pane windows are the best option for optimal insulation and energy efficiency.

Disposal and cleanup costs are sometimes taken into account when a contractor estimates labor costs, and sometimes they are added as a separate charge. Window replacement professionals can remove all job-related debris and clean all interior and exterior work areas.

Do I Need a Window Replacement?

Some reasons for window replacement are obvious: there’s cold air leaking through the windows, visible damage or rot to the frame or glass, condensation forming on the inside of the glass or in between panes, or the windows no longer operate smoothly. All of these factors can increase your utility bill by causing the furnace to work overtime in the winter months. Investing in energy-efficient window replacement will help you save money with heating and cooling costs. Here are a few specific reasons to consider window replacement.

Windows become difficult to open and close for a few reasons: an old house that has settled around the frame, an incorrect installation that resulted in balance issues, or frames that have warped and rotted are just a few of them. Windows that don’t close properly may not lock, which also creates a safety issue. Windows should open and close with ease and create a tight seal against leaks.

One of the clearest signs you need to replace your windows is visible damage. This includes cracked or broken glass panes and decaying, damaged, or moldy frames. Broken and damaged windows are serious issues and need to be fixed before they get worse. Take a close look at your windows. If you notice signs of decay, rot, mold, or other damage, it’s probably time for new windows.

Pointers on preparing for power outages

A solar energy storage system can be permanently installed in your home to protect your family and possessions from power outages.

(NAPS)—More Americans suffered extended power outages in 2020 than any year since Superstorm Sandy struck the New York area in 2012, according to Generac, owners of Power Outage Central, a real-time outage tracking service that monitors outages throughout the United States.

“In 2020, more than one out of three Americans experienced a power outage, and the U.S. power grid suffered more outage hours than it has in years,” said Russ Minick, chief marketing officer for Wisconsin-based Generac. “With people still working, learning and shopping from home, everyone must prepare earlier for outages that accompany severe weather.”

Outages are statistically much more common than many other threats to the home, according to Generac’s data. In fact, while about 12 percent of homes are at risk of flooding according to the First Street Foundation’s flood database1, every home is at risk of losing power. Unlike with floods, however, there are multiple ways to safeguard against loss of electrical power.

“There are three key paths to protecting power supply, said Simon Allen, president of Allied Energy, a backup power solution provider in San Diego, Calif. “These include portable generators, which are a short-term solution; home standby generators; and solar energy storage systems. Solar energy storage systems and home standby generators are permanently installed and can provide secure sources of power for longer periods.”

Each system requires advance planning, including local permitting and installation, said Allen, but secure power is worth it.

“Life gets very primitive and dangerous when the power is out. With outages lasting longer and occurring more often, all against the backdrop of people working and learning from home, our customers are turning to Generac home standby generators and PWRcell battery storage systems. Effectively, they’re making their homes a sanctuary against Mother Nature’s threats.”

Picking the correct solution varies for every homeowner, said Stephen Cruise of Generator Supercenter, a Texas-based provider of power solutions. “A generator will run nearly indefinitely on propane or natural gas,” he said. “With correct power management, a solar energy storage system can also power the whole home for extended periods. It comes down to preference, local codes and budget. The best place to start is finding a great local installer who can help make the decision easy.”

“Authorized dealers and installers know local codes and are factory trained,” said Minick. “They’re experts in local needs and can provide a one-stop solution for every homeowner.”

All the resources needed to acquire and install backup power are available at Prices fit most budgets and vary depending on factors such as the size of home, the electricity needed for backup and preference for solar or generator-based options. data indicates that 14.6 million U.S. households are at risk of flooding out of 122.8 million nationally.

Seven things to know before choosing a metal roof

photo by Bob White:

by Donna Boyle Schwartz and Bob Vila

Rain on a tin roof proves so soothing that it can be found on white noise machines and meditation apps alike, but that’s not the only reason (nor one of the top!) for its popularity among today’s homeowners. Growing numbers of people are installing metal roofs in both new construction and roof replacement projects. In fact, McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics estimates that 750,000 U.S. homeowners chose metal roofing for their residences as of 2015. That number indicates an 11 percent share of the roofing market—second choice only to asphalt shingles.

Curious why this construction material has won over so many homeowners? At the top of the list of metal roofing “pros,” the material’s long lifespan is why most homeowners make the switch in either a re-roofing or new construction. Indeed, that recent McGraw-Hill survey found that 26 percent of homeowners cited longevity as their primary reason for investing in metal and another 22 percent said they were swayed by its strength. A properly installed metal roof typically will last as long as the house, with an expected lifespan of 40 to 70 years and, often, a 30- to 50-year manufacturer’s warranty to boot. (By contrast, traditional asphalt roofing typically lasts 12 to 20 years.) Thanks to the material’s unique durability, you can count on it to withstand the elements—including gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour—and not corrode nor crack thanks to rust-proof coatings.

Traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and, as such, increase dependency on fossil fuels. Plus, they require replacement every 15 to 20 years, which means that nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are sent to U.S. landfills every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Metal roofs are energy-efficient. Money spent on the installation of a metal roof can be recouped from the savings in monthly cooling and heating costs thanks to this type of roof’s reflective properties. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat instead of absorbing it, which—year-round, but especially during the long days of summer—can reduce cooling costs by as much as 25 percent, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. Furthermore, some metal roofing comes coated with special reflective pigments to minimize heat gain, keeping occupants comfortable without having to crank up the air conditioner.

Today’s metal roofs are a far cry from the corrugated tin barns of the bucolic past—indeed, now you can choose from tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel, in a dizzying array of colors, finishes, and even shapes! Their variety surpasses that of the much more conventional asphalt shingle. While asphalt might offer 15 to 20 color choices, modern metal roofing comes in more than 100 different colors, including standard, premium, and custom hues. Steel and aluminum, the two most common metals used in residential roofing, are both designed to hold paint finishes well.

Seven out of 10 homeowners living under metal roofs designed theirs with the traditional vertical ribbed panels or “standing seam” construction, but metal roofing is not short on style options, either. Fans of more traditional profiles can opt for a metal shingle manufactured to resemble wood shakes, slate or clay tiles, or any other number of designs instead. The metal doesn’t have to stand out like a sore thumb to do its job; rather, it can mimic nearly any look using multiple-layer factory finishes that ensure that the appearance is not only beautiful but long-lasting and durable.

Inland vaccinations schedule change

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Light Inland Hospital has adapted care and service to meet the needs of our communities. As COVID-19 vaccines became available, they moved quickly to offer vaccinations at a central location, designed to deliver vaccine to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With over half of Maine’s eligible population vaccinated, it is time to shift our approach to ensure that those who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated can now do so.

While they have offered pop-up clinics in underserved communities and have been providing personal vaccinations to homebound community members, they are looking to expand vaccination opportunities for those who were unable to travel to the larger vaccination sites.

On Monday, May 17, Northern Light Walk-In Care, located at 174 Kennedy Memorial Drive, in Waterville, began offering walk-in Moderna COVID-19 vaccination between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week, for anyone 18 years and older. You do not need to be a current patient, and no appointment is necessary.

The large-scale vaccination clinic, located at Kennebec Valley Community College, in Fairfield, will begin tapering hours and days in the coming weeks, with a tentative final day of operation on Friday, June 4, based on demand.

The administration and staff at Northern Light Inland Hospital thank Kennebec Valley Community College, all the volunteers, and the community for making COVID-19 vaccinations a success. This has been a team effort for the health of our communities.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Deer tick population explodes in central Maine area

Deer tick before and after engorging.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

There is nothing like beating a subject to death. But, in this case, it’s worth every word.

You have to be living in a cave not to know that deer ticks are at an all time high. They are everywhere. Friends and family have told me stories about their encounters with the pest, and they all have one thing in common: They have all had multiple numbers on them at one time.

Also, as you know, deer ticks are hazardous to your health, primarily because they are the carriers of the dreaded Lyme Disease. In the last decade alone, the population of ticks of all kinds has ballooned in the United States. The number of ticks that carry Lyme disease has been on the rise in the mid-Atlantic states, and has skyrocketed throughout the Northeast. It has gained a reputation as a serious health problem in many areas.

Only adult female ticks and nymphs can transmit infections through their bite. Male ticks attach, but they don’t feed or become engorged. Adult females have red and brown bodies and are larger than males. Nymphs are actively feeding between early April and early August.

Although not all deer ticks are infected with Lyme disease, you never really know. Only ticks that have fed on infected mammals are infected. About half of deer ticks are infected (usually white-footed mice can be other culprits).

a dog tick.

Deer ticks live two to three years, and in that time usually enjoy three blood meals. In the spring and summer of its second year, a nymph will take its second meal. They insert their mouth parts into the skin much like a corkscrew, which ensures them a nice tight grasp. They often take up to five days to complete their meal.

This fact is key to reducing panic when discovering a tick. An infected tick must be attached to its host for at least 24 hours, and up to 48 hours to transmit the disease. It’s the very reason for checking your body right away after any possible exposure to a tick-infested environment.

Deer ticks crawl. They usually grab onto people or animals that brush up against plants near ground level, and then they crawl upwards to find a quiet place for their blood meal. Although many sources will state that ticks don’t land on you from an overhanging tree branch, many people have insisted it has happened to them.

Ticks live in wooded, brushy areas that provide food and cover for mice, deer and other mammals. The ideal tick environment is humid. Your exposure will be greatest along trails in the woods and fringe areas between woods and the border, where they will wait patiently on the tips of vegetation for an unsuspecting host to walk by.

Life is too short to avoid the outdoors during our abbreviated spring, summer and fall. In Maine, that is about half the year. There is no need to be brave, just be smart: cover your body; wear repellant; check yourself for ticks, if you find a tick, remove it immediately; shower soon after being outdoors – last Saturday, after working around at camp, I found four ticks on the floor in the shower; throw clothing in the dryer, that will kill any ticks present; and finally, if you are concerned, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

The best way to remove a tick is to use fine-point tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull backwards gently but firmly, using an even, steady pressure. Do your best not to jerk or twist. Don’t squeeze, crush or puncture the tick’s body, the fluids inside may contain infection-causing organisms. After removing the tick, wash the skin and your hands thoroughly with hot soap and water. If any mouth part of the tick remain in the skin, leave them alone. They will be expelled on their own. It could take weeks. Trying to remove them will only cause you unnecessary pain.

For the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, deer are the preferred host of the deer tick, but they can also be found in small rodents. After the female is engorged, the tick drops off and overwinters in the leaf litter of the forest floor. The following spring, she will lay several hundred to a few thousand eggs in clusters. They are very hardy creatures. Considering the mild winter we just experienced, they are active in record numbers. They will be active even after a moderate to severe frost, as daytime temperatures can warm them enough to keep them actively searching for a host. In the spring, they are one of the first invertebrates to become active.

It may be monotonous to keep hearing about the health hazards of being infected by a deer tick, but it’s one that needs to be repeated.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Before Mookie Betts in 2017, who was the last Red Sox player to lead the team in home runs and stolen bases in the same season?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, May 20, 2021

Trivia QuestionsBefore Mookie Betts in 2017, who was the last Red Sox player to lead the team in home runs and stolen bases in the same season?


Carl Everett.

OBITUARIES for Thursday, May 20, 2021


VASSALBORO – James Frederick Ronco, Jr., 86, passed away Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Mount Saint Joseph’s Nursing Home, in Waterville, following a long illness with Park­inson’s Disease. Born April 17, 1935, in the home of his grandmother, Emma Burgess Ronco, in Fairfield Center, the first of three sons of Lorna Sarah (Abbott) Ronco and James F. Ronco, Sr.

He attended Gardiner High School, graduating in 1953 as senioir class president. In 1955, he enlisted for four years in the U.S. Air Force, of which 32 months were served in Bordeaux, France. With 30 days leave time per year, he toured much of Europe. Back in the ’60s, Jim was very active in the Augusta Jaycees, serving as an officer and being named Jaycee of the year. From his participation, he gained additional self-confidence.

Jim married the former Rosemary Elizabeth Willette and started work as an agent/rep for Met Life, in Augusta. They became parents of Mark, Lisa, and Jason during this time. Promoted to sales manager in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and later as a consultant for Met, he became a million dollar producer. They returned to Gardiner and opened Ronco’s Bookworm, which was sold at a profit nearly five years later. Jim and Rosemary divorced during this time.

In the spring of 1982, Jim began a 20-year career as an Optical Frame Sales Rep, calling on Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists, covering all of Maine. Jim had found his niche, becoming the top rep for each of the three companies by working hard, by being himself, honest, ethical, and low-key. He married Eileen Marsden Lindberg, of Vassalboro, in 1995. On the last day of 2001, Jim hung up his running shoes, he fully retired.

While still president of the Gardiner High School Class of ’53, Jim initiated the class of ’53 scholarship fund in 1983. With classmates contributing for several years, the fund has awarded $31,000 to G.H.S. students, giving $1,000 per year. “An unmatched legacy.”

Jim was a member of the Vassalboro United Methodist Church and was previously active as a member and chairman of many committees, including the Community Calendar. He later attended the Oakland Sidney United Methodist Church and was a member of both the Vassalboro and the Sidney historical societies.

He is survived by his wife Eileen; daughter, Lisa Marie Ronco; son, Jason Raymond Ronco and husband Richard Perry; brother, Gary Ronco and wife Judy; sister-in-law, Mary Ronco; former spouse, Rosemary Willette Ronco; nieces and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, son Mark, and brother, Robert.

A graveside service will be observed on Thursday, May 27, 2021, 10 a.m., at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mount Vernon Rd., Augusta, and a Celebration of Life to follow at the Le Club Calumet, Augusta.

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

In lieu of flowers, please donate to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, in memory of Mark Alan Ronco.


SOUTH CHINA – Clinton R. Hayward, Jr., 78, died peacefully on Sunday, May 2, 2021, following a brief illness, at Togus VA Medical Center, Augusta.

He was the husband of the late Patricia B. (Sitnik) Hayward.

Clinton was born December 29, 1942, in Vanceboro, the son of the late Clinton R. and Ruth D. (Davis) Hayward.

He was a resident of South China for the past three years. He previously resided in Calais and Winslow. He was a graduate of Calais High School, class of 1961. He went on to further his education at the University of Maine Orono where he graduated in 1976 with a degree in criminal justice.

Clinton was the security director at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Lewiston, for 22 years until his retirement in 2008. He previously was the Chief of Police for the City of Calais for 12 years and was also the owner and operator of the Red Beach Country Store, in 1977.

He was a proud United States Air Force veteran serving during the Vietnam war and held the rank of sergeant.

Clinton was an active member of the community. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited and served as chapter chairman, The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety where he served as Maine State Chairman, a member of the Humane Society of the U.S. and the United Animal Nations. He was the associate supervisor of the Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District, past president of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association and also served as a member of the New England Association for Chiefs of Police and Governor’s Task Force for Law Enforcement.

Clint was a master gardener and spent most of his years creating, building and maintaining Hayward Gardens, in Winslow. This talent carried over in his retirement years at his home on Three Mile Pond, known as the “Chick-a-Monk”. Clint loved Three Mile Pond. If he wasn’t caring for his gardens you could find him on the pond fishing or maintaining trails on the property at “Chick-a-Monk”. He truly enjoyed being outdoors with his family, friends and loyal and faithful canine companion Joy. He also treasured the time he spent with his family at the family camp on Boyden Lake, in Perry, and most recently on Three Mile Pond, in South China.

Clint was happiest when his hands were in the dirt, or fishing on many lakes in Central Maine, and/or spending time with his family, friends and his canine companion Joy. Clint had also recently re-opened his antique business (Wild Wings Antiques) out of his home on Three Mile Pond and had a lifelong love of antiques. In his earlier years, Clint was an avid duck and grouse hunter and passed that passion on to his two sons Tom and Clint. He was a happy and positive man known for his leadership and compassion. All that knew him well have suffered a tremendous loss.

Clinton is survived by his children Diane Seeley, of Charlotte, Tommy Hayward and his wife Nokomis, of Scarborough, Clinton D. Hayward and his wife Anne, of Livermore, Paul Blair and his wife Sarah Pew, of Pacifica, California, and Kathy Blair, of Auburn; his sisters Betty Jean Bisson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Karel MacKay and her husband Al, of South China, Marcia Hayward, of Machiasport, and Debbie Hancock and her husband Gordon, of Calais; grandchildren Megan Grenier and Samantha Hayward, of Sidney, and Taylor Hayward, of Scarborough; step-grandchildren Stephanie Seeley-Bishop and her husband Taylor, of Herman, and Andrew Seeley, of Concord, New Hampshire; his step-great-grandchildren Lydia and Myla Bishop, of Herman.

In addition to his wife and parents, Clinton was predeceased by his sister Janet Yardley, brother David Hayward; and his son-in-law Edward Seeley.

Clinton’s visiting hours will be in the Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by his funeral service in the funeral home.

Interment with military honors will immediately follow in the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Road, Augusta, at 1 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited.

Arrangements are in the care of the Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

In lieu of flowers, donations in Clinton’s memory may be made to the Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Rd., Waterville, ME 04901.

(Read more about Clint and his interests and experiences in these two stories published in The Town Line: The bird man of South China: 100 birdhouses or bust! and Welcome home: A Vietnam experience.)


BENTON – Sharon Esther Drake, 77, passed away Monday, May 3, 2021, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. She was born May 29, 1943, in Waterville, the daughter of Elwood Lawrence and Avis Delia (Abbott) Manson.

She studied theology at the New Brunswick Bible Institute where she met her future husband Lawrence A. Drake. They shared 55 years of marriage before his passing in 2018.
She was employed by Laverdiere’s Drug Stores in the accounting department and then at KSW Federal Credit Union, in Waterville. She was a member of the Clinton Baptist Church.

She is survived by daughter, Jillene L. Graves and husband Daren, of Benton; two sons, James L. Drake and wife Tami, of Kennebunk, and Jordan L. Drake and wife Denise, of Winslow; grandchildren, Leah Solis, Brooke Murphy, Brittany Murphy, all of Las Vegas, Nevada, Tyler Drake and wife Kaileigh, of Dayton, Caleb Drake, of Westbrook, Kelsey Graves, of Waterville, and Kade Graves, of Benton.

She was predeceased by her husband, Lawrence Drake, and daughter, Julie Drake.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, May 29, 2021, at 9 a.m. at the Clinton Baptist Church, 10 Spring St., Clinton.

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

In lieu of flowers, friends may make donations in Sharon’s memory to the Clinton Baptist Van/Ride Share Program, 10 Spring St., Clinton, ME 04927.


WINSLOW – Deborah Ann “Debbie” Sabia Perry, wife of Tyrone Perry for 44 years, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at her home in Winslow. She was born on September 29, 1946, in Stamford, Connecticut, to Daniel Sabia Sr. and Fanny Lupo.

Debbie was employed at C. F. Hathaway Shirt Co., in Waterville, for many years. She was a mother to her son David, wife Heather and grandmother to her two grandchildren Daniel and Amiya, as well as her adopted daughter Debbie Dufour.

Debbie was a wonderful and loving friend and sister and is survived by sisters and brother William “Bill”, Rebecca, Ceal and husband Bill, Marylou and husband Raymond, Theresa and husband Mark; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her mother and father, brother Pete, his wife Leona, sister-in-law Carmela and brother Robert.

Burial service to be announced. at a later date.


AUGUSTA – Lydia M. Day, 85, died Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at MaineGeneral Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center at Glenridge, following a long illness. She was born in Jefferson on July 18, 1935, a daughter of the late Reuben and Theresa (Clark) Bowden.

Mrs. Day was a graduate of Erskine Academy, in South China, and was employed for many years at various law offices as well as the State Attorney General’s Office.

She was Queen of the Red Hat Society and loved to play cribbage.

Mrs. Day was predeceased by her husband, Frederick K. Day, Jr.

She is survived by two sons, Terrance Pierce, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Todd Pierce, of Vietnam; a daughter, Merlene Williamson, of Whitefield; a half-brother, Clayton Weeks, of Waterville; a half-sister, Beverly Weeks, of Winslow; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Pierce, Spencer Pierce, Michael Pierce, Tom Williamson and Joshua Williamson; two great-grandchildren, Sabella and Hunter Williamson; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Relatives and friends may visit on Friday, July 16, from 9 – 11 a.m., at Plummer Funeral Home, Windsor Chapel, 983 Ridge Rd., Rt. 32, Windsor, where a memorial service will follow at 11 a.m.

Burial will follow in the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta.

Condolences, stories and photos may be shared at


WATERVILLE – Peter Kevin Madigan, 77, of Waterville, passed away on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. Peter was born in The Bronx, New York.

He graduated from Archbishop Malloy High School and Fordham University, in the Bronx. Peter traveled the world for work when he was younger, always bringing home special gifts for his wife and daughters. He had a talent for doing things that made his loved ones smile. Once it was designing and implementing a scavenger hunt for his grandchildren that involved numerous neighbors.

He had a varied career but what he enjoyed doing most was cooking for people. Peter was a long time volunteer with the Waterville Food Bank. He also volunteered at the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen. He absolutely loved giving food to people. He would take vegetables from the Food Bank to make delicious tomato soup or spaghetti sauce for the Waterville Evening Sandwich Program. When he was well, he participated every year in the NAMI Walk, supporting Kennebec Behavioral Health. He took great joy in helping others any way he could. He was a proud retired member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union. He served on the Waterville City Charter Commission in 2013. He was also a friend of Bill W for nearly 40 years.

Peter loved music, especially The Rolling Stones. He enjoyed seeing live music with his daughters. He saw a number of the best acts in the business in his lifetime, including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Tom Petty and U2. He also loved the New York Yankees and had quite the collection of Yankees gear. He loved to wear crazy colorful socks and took great pride in his outlandish sock collection.

Peter also was a great animal lover.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Alice Madigan; daughters, State Representative Colleen Madigan and her husband David Bradford, of Waterville, Elana Madigan and her partner Ronald Reed, of Waterville, and Jennifer Madigan Bott and her husband Christopher Bott and grandchildren Nathaniel and Mackenzie Bott, of Ship Bottom, New Jersey; sisters Elizabeth Freher and her husband Edward Freher, of Naples, Florida, Ioset Madigan, of Plano, Texas, and Virginia Minucci and Salvatore Minucci, of Staten Island, New York; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m., at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver St., Waterville. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Peter’s family asks that donations be made to the Waterville Food Bank in his name, so his work of feeding people continues


ALBION – Donald H. Hotham, Jr. passed away on Friday, May 7, 2021, at his home, following a brief, but aggressive battle with cancer. Donald was born in Waterville, on July 1, 1956, son of Donald, Sr. and Margaret Ann (Haunan) Hotham.

He grew up in Albion and graduated from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield.

Donald was employed by the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, Local Union #1468, District Council #35, and traveled all over the country painting commercial buildings and nuclear power plants.

Donald enjoyed hunting with Daryl, fishing with Victor, had a green thumb for gardening and loved playing cribbage. He especially was fond of NASCAR races and an avid fan of race car driver Kyle Busch. He looked forward to the races and bantered with Justin about who was the best driver and who would win. Don loved Burger King and enjoyed eating a Whopper with his mother-in-law Rose, after driving her to her medical appointments. Even though Don’s brother Dean was much younger than him, they loved spending time together, talking and laughing about hunting trips, friends and family.

He married the former Kathy Jean (Pelotte) Hotham, on July 8, 2000. Together they honeymooned at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Poconos. They traveled to Jamaica several times, and to many destinations in Florida, including Key West and Busch Gardens, amongst other places. They were recently planning to return to the Caribbean to renew their marriage vows, together with close family members. While traveling to various destinations, Don and Kathy enjoyed tailgating with his truck and eating their favorite barbecued foods. At the end, Donald surprised his nurses with his brave fight to survive.

Don nicknamed Kathy “Toots” and she affectionately called him her “Donny Boy”. They were never far from each other and enjoyed every minute together. They cherished packing a picnic basket and going to the ocean to eat lobster to enjoy the smells of the ocean and the warmth of the sun. Don especially loved playing and spending time with his grandchildren and was so proud of each one of them. For Christmases for their first five years, he gifted them with a piggy bank containing money for future savings.

He had a special affection for his granddaughter Emily Fortin, and recently helped her purchase her first car. Together they laughed and joked as she has progressed into a beautiful young lady. Don loved his granddaughter Haley and was looking forward to her graduation from high school this spring. He is also survived by grandchildren Audric and Taylor Elkins. When Audric visited for the weekends, he would run into the living room and jump on Donny and shower him with kisses and hugs. Audric loved having Papa Don give him rides on Big Red the tractor. He considered Taylor his special little princess. Garrett Pelletier was also happy to visit Papa and knew where his stashes of candy and goodies were. He was also ecstatic this year, in meeting River and sharing candy and getting to know her.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents; his son Owen Hotham; sisters Sheila Hotham Tuttle and Holly Hotham, brothers Dwight Hotham, and Butch McGee; father-in-law Bernard Pelotte; and brothers-in-law Jeffrey Pelotte, Kevin Stetson and Donald Nadeau.

Donald is survived by his wife Kathy Hotham; his brother Dean Hotham (wife Andrea); Don’s and Kathy’s children Justin Fortin (fiancée Katy Noiles), Cody Elkins (partner Emily Delozier) and his daughter Alli Hotham; mother-in-law Rose Pelotte; sisters-in-law Brenda Stetson, Cheryl Brackett; and brother-in-law Richard (Dickie) Brackett.

A service will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 1 p.m., at Winslow’s MacCrillis-Rousseau VFW Post #8835. A celebration of his life will follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Riposta Funeral home of Belfast Maine.


WATERVILLE – Forrest Breton, 66, passed away on Friday, May 7, 2021, due to an unexpected medical issue. He was born in Waterville on April 28, 1955, the son of Richard and Evelyn Breton.

Forrest attended school in Waterville and was a graduate of Waterville High School in 1973. He was formerly employed by C.B. Davis Co., Waterville BPOE Elks Lodge #905, and Forrest J. Paré VFW Post #1275, all in Waterville. He was a meticulous carpenter. He also did volunteer work for several organizations. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cribbage, riding the 4-wheeler and being in the company of his friends.

Forrest is survived by his sister, Cynthia Roy and her husband Jeffrey, of Fairfield; his brother Jeffery Breton and his wife Elaine, of Waterville; his companion Patty Real, of Belgrade; nieces, Sherrie Genness and Christina Johnson and nephew, Nathan Breton.

He was predeceased by his parents.

There will be no visiting hours. A committal service will be held at St. Francis Cemetery, 78 Grove St., Waterville, ME 04901, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 11 a.m.

Arrangements are under the care of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street, Waterville ME.


GULFPORT, Fla. – Robert “Bob” William Palmer Jr., 87, passed away Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Bob was born February 16, 1934, in Gilford, the son of Robert William Palmer Sr. and Virginia Lee Palmer.

Bob graduated from high school in 1952. He joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country for four years. After the air force, Bob attended the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in 1961.

Following in his father’s footsteps, in 1960, Bob performed his first internship as city manager for the city of Rockland. This is where Bob met his future wife, Sylvia Rose Maker. After graduating, his first job was the town manager of Waldoboro. In 1962, Bob accepted the position to be the town manager of Limestone. In 1965, Bob was the city administrator for the city of Westbrook. In 1968, Bob became the first city administrator for the city of Waterville. For 13 years, he would spend his time managing the city and raising his family. Bob then took a position as the general manager for the Kennebec Water District, located in Waterville. For 18 years, Bob managed the Kennebec Water District until his retired.

Bob’s other achievements consisted of a lifelong membership as a 32nd-degree freemason, a shriner, president of the Waterville Osteopathic Hospital, president of the Waterville Rotary Club, and a lifelong member of Waterville BPOE Elks Lodge #905. During his retirement years, he worked as a management-financial-personnel consultant. Bob would summer in Vassalboro and winter at his condominium in Gulfport, Florida.

Bob had several hobbies. He enjoyed re-designing the house in Waterville. Bob loved to go fishing in the spring and hunting in the fall. He always had a garden, lots of plants and many pets.

As age crept up on Bob, he could no longer travel back and forth to his beloved state of Maine, so he remained in Gulfport Florida, where he passed away. Bob’s ashes shall be placed at the Dover Cemetery, Dover-Foxcroft, near his mother and father.

Robert W. Palmer Jr. is survived by the mother of his children, Sylvia; daughter, Virginia L. Sturies, her children, Christopher Sturies, Anja S. Parlin and husband Paul; son, Robert W. Palmer III, and wife Donna, his children Robert W. Palmer IV, and wife Rachel, and Athena M. MacDonald, her husband Kyle, and their child Torrin; son, Stuart C. Palmer and his wife Amy, and their daughter, Heather.

Robert was predeceased by his father, mother; his two sisters, their husbands; and his son-in-law, Wolfgang Sturies.


WATERVILLE – Mary Jane Peace, 80, of Waterville, passed away peacefully Thursday, May 13, 2021, at Oak Grove Center, in Waterville. Mary was born March 29, 1941, in Waterville, the eldest daughter of Jennett (Garvis) LaBrie and Leo LaBrie.

She attended Waterville schools and was employed at the C. F. Hathaway Shirt Co., in Waterville, for many years. Later in life she worked as a housekeeper, making friends everywhere she worked.

Mary, known to most as “MèMè”, was a very social person. She enjoyed going shopping, eating out at restaurants, and visiting (and gossiping) with friends. Her greatest joy in life was spending time with her children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. The abundance of kindness she showed the friends of her loved ones led to her becoming MèMè to many people beyond her immediate family.

Mary was predeceased by her husband, Stanley Peace, as well as her parents, and three bothers Alfred LaBrie, Lionel LaBrie, and Roger “Ray” LaBrie.

She is survived by her four children, Billy Sawtelle, Debbie Sawtelle, and Ronald Sawtelle and his partner Sherry Bishop, all of Waterville, and Lisa Sawtelle, of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; many grandchildren; and great-grandchildren; her six remaining siblings Joseph LaBrie, of Fairfield, Harold LaBrie, of Waterville, Simone Johnson, of Augusta, Paul LaBrie and his wife Charlene, of Benton, Pam LaBrie, of Waterville, and Gary LaBrie, of Jefferson; many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, May 20, at Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville.

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


BENTON – Joseph Gary Poulin, 73, passed away peacefully at his home in Benton, following a long illness. The son of Norman Poulin and Betty LaVallee, he was born in Waterville on September 21, 1947.

He started his career with Beneficial Finance and worked for several other banking institutions. He retired from Gardiner Savings Bank in 2009 after a 40 year banking career. He was a dedicated and hard worker.

He was predeceased by his father and mother.

He is survived by his wife Louise Toulouse Poulin, of Benton; his children Christian Poulin, of West Gardiner, Jason Poulin and his wife Lora Joye, of Bonita Springs, Florida, and Jessica Willette and her husband Jeffrey, of Waterville; his stepsons, Ryan Ward and his wife Heather, Joshua Ward and his wife Amanda, and David Ward and his wife Alisha, all of Benton; his grandchildren, Avery, Hunter and Tatum Willette, Talan and Camilla Ward, Declan and Ainslee Ward.

Upon Gary’s request there will be no service.

Arrangements by Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan.

Friends wishing may make donations in his memory to the American Cancer Society, New England Division, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086-1240.


WINSLOW – Frances (Rafferty) Roy, 94, passed away on Thursday, December 24, 2020, at her home. Fran was born in Bangor in 1926, the only daughter of Francis Xavier Rafferty and Emma (Nina) L. Rafferty.

Fran was very proud of her French-Irish Catholic heritage.

Fran attended schools in Bangor before moving to Fairfield where she attended Lawrence High School. She remained active on committees for class reunions over the years. After graduation, she began her nursing career and training via a World War II program, enrolling in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, at Sister’s Hospital, in Waterville. Part of Fran’s training occurred at other sites, including Children’s Hospital, in Portland, Brady Maternity Hospital, in Albany, New York, and hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland, that covered psychiatry and pediatrics. Upon graduating as a Registered Nurse, Fran became the lead nurse for various companies in Maine and Connecticut, including C.F. Hathaway Shirt Co., in Waterville, and G. Fox Department Store; and then as an I.V. Team nurse and Nurse Supervisor at Hartford Hospital.

Fran returned to Maine and to Sister’s Hospital, in Waterville, as the 1960s approached and became the Assistant Head Nurse of the Medical-Surgical Unit. She worked in the Vaccine Clinic when the new polio vaccine was developed. Fran quickly became head nurse on the Obstetrical Unit and assisted on many committees. She was chairman of the Employee Campaign to raise funds for the new Seton Hospital, in Waterville, and arranged many fundraisers. For several years, Fran helped coordinate the hospital Christmas parties that were held for all employees and physicians, and she later became chairman of the Auxiliary Charity Balls.

Fran worked in all areas of the hospital over the course of her outstanding career, overseeing various departments as the hospital went through its many changes. She was deeply involved when Seton and Thayer hospitals merged to become Mid-Maine Medical Center, in Waterville. She oversaw the Emergency Department for many years. She was very perceptive and one always knew where he or she stood as Fran did not often “mince words.” She was highly organized and strove for excellence and perfection in both her work and home lives.

In the early 1980s, Fran was promoted to Vice President of Nursing for MMMC until her retirement at the end of the decade. During that span, she was honored many times for her insight and hard work throughout the hospital and for her commitment to the highest standards, successfully leading the hospital through three Joint Commission Surveys.

Always active, in her retirement years, Fran engaged with the Muskie Community Center, in Waterville, and ran monthly blood pressure clinics. She received many awards, among them the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Fran joined the Waterville and Fairfield bridge clubs and became an avid and formidable player, winning a few championships for fun. Continuing to learn constantly, she was unrelenting in her grasp for knowledge. She was also an ardent believer in living healthy with exercise and a proper diet. Fran continued to share her nursing and hospital management knowledge, consulting at Kennebec Valley Technical College, in Fairfield, and Penn Bay Medical Center, in Rockland.

Fran was blessed with a keen eye for style which she claimed was from her mother’s influence as a buyer for high-end stores wherein she traveled frequently to Boston and New York. Fran was a “classy dame” with confidence and a sense of fearlessness about her. She loved the Coast of Maine, any beach she could lay on, and lobster of any kind. Her biggest enjoyments were watching and talking sports, especially basketball, football and tennis; and her trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Walt Disney World, which she enjoyed with her family and friends.

Fran is survived by her daughters Deborah Benton, of Nevada, and Jane Roy, of New York, New York; granddaughter Joy Beckerman, of Seattle, Washington; two great-grandsons, Phoenix and Spiral Horn, both of Seattle, Washington, and niece Janis Pollitt, of Virginia.

Fran was predeceased by her parents and by her beloved brother Andrew “Red” Rafferty. She missed her brother terribly but is now reunited with him.

In keeping with Fran’s wishes, no services will be held.

Those who wish to may donate to the Muskie Community Center at Spectrum Generations, Muskie Community Center, PO Box 2074, Waterville, ME 04903-2074, or calling (207) 873-4745. Checks should be made payable to Spectrum Generations, with donations to Muskie Community Center in the check memo line.

China planners approve extension on solar permit

by Mary Grow

At their May 11 meeting China Planning Board members approved a one-year extension of SunRaise Investments’ permit for a solar development on Route 3.

At their April 27 meeting, SunRaise representatives explained delays in starting construction as due to factors outside their control. Planners postponed action in case neighbors wanted to comment; on May 11 they approved the extension promptly and unanimously.

SunRaise representatives said in April construction might start late in 2021 or early in 2022.

Planners spent most of the rest of the meeting continuing to wordsmith their proposed ordinance to regulate solar developments. They also agreed tentatively to take on another project, revising the China Land Use Ordinance to conform to state requirements.

Revisions to the Solar Energy Systems Ordinance are by now primarily for clarity and for consistency with older town ordinances, rather than for content. Board members intend to continue working on it at their May 25 meeting.

China received a May 10 letter from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) saying China’s April 6, 2019, revision of the Land Use Ordinance has been conditionally accepted. Conditional acceptance means, Codes Officer Jaime Hanson said, that the 2019 update is not yet enforceable; from DEP’s perspective, the 2017 version remains in effect.

DEP has asked mostly for two types of revisions to bring the town ordinance into compliance with state regulations, Hanson said. One set of changes involves definitions: DEP has changed some of theirs, and expects municipalities to match the changes.

Other DEP objections point to places where China rules differ from state rules. Board members discussed one example, the provision in China’s ordinance that says for purposes of calculating lot coverage (the percentage of a lot covered by impervious surfaces), driveways and parking lots do not count.

This exemption makes China’s ordinance less restrictive than state regulations, which do include these areas. Board members agreed that municipalities are not allowed to have regulations that are less strict than the state’s.

Board Chairman Randall Downer asked that the DEP letter be made public so residents can see reasons for changes the local board proposes. It is now on the town website,, under Planning Board, with the title “DEP Department Order #07-2021 Ordinance Approval.”

The draft Solar Energy Systems Ordinance is directly under the DEP order.

The next regular China Planning Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25. Barring unfortunate pandemic-related developments, it will be in person in the former portable classroom behind the town office.

CBC decision makes it easier for consultants to prepare costs

by Mary Grow

At their May 13 meeting, China Broadband Committee (CBC) members unanimously approved one piece of the outline of their proposed China Community Broadband Project, making it easier for their consultants to prepare cost scenarios.

The program they intend to offer will have three tiers, or service levels, providing different capacities at different prices, plus a fourth, higher tier committee member Neil Farrington named “the Tod tier” in honor of self-described geek and committee member Tod Detre. Detre admits he will want more capacity than most other users in town.

Consultants Mark Van Loan and John Dougherty, of Mission Broadband, and Mark Ouellette, President of Machias-based Axiom Technologies, the planned service provider, can use the framework to work out cost-sharing alternatives.

As at prior meetings, committee members and consultants described two broad cost categories, construction and on-going service. The plan is that the town of China will issue a bond to cover construction costs, and will own the network. User fees will cover bond repayment, plus service provided by Axiom (or in the future perhaps another company, if the network owner so decides), plus a reasonable profit for Axiom.

The May 13 discussion included the per-house connection to the network, estimated to average $1,300. Committee members considered asking householders to pay some or all of the fee; no decision was made.

Construction costs are currently estimated in the $8 to $9 million range. But, Van Loan and Ouellette agreed, any construction company will estimate for maximum conceivable needs; once its representatives survey the situation, costs are likely to come down.

Ouellette has dealt with another Maine town whose officials used taxes to fund construction. CBC members do not want to propose a tax increase.

Another issue is different rates for seasonal residents, which can be managed in multiple ways.

User fees, at least initially, will depend to a great extent on the “take rate,” how many people sign up for the new service and share the costs. Committee members talked briefly, again, about ways to provide information to residents.

Funding from grants is another possibility not yet either guaranteed or ruled out. CBC Chairman Robert O’Connor is working on a federal grant application, and got suggestions from Van Loan and Ouellette.

Ouellette said Axiom was approved for a federal subsidy program through the Federal Communications Commission a few hours before the China meeting; “I have no idea how it’s going to work.”

Ouellette said in his experience, in a town like China with established internet service providers, up to 40 percent of householders are likely to try Axiom promptly, with 70 percent choosing the lowest of the tiers. He has repeatedly said that once people see how fast and reliable Axiom’s service is, his customer base grows.

Van Loan and Ouellette offered to have updated information, based on a three-tier plus the “Tod tier” system, available within a week for committee members to review before their next meeting, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.

The CBC is likely to continue to meet earlier than its previous 7 p.m., though not always as early as 4:30 p.m., to accommodate Ouellette, who explained he has family obligations in mid-evening.